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Franklin, May 12, 2009 in Group Studies
I read the book several years ago. It's not very fresh in my mind. I recall it being a bit slow for my taste but I agree that I felt it afforded an interesting glimpse into China and the temples he visited.
Sounds very interesting. I would be keen to read books of this nature but I am aware that some are not very true.
Do you have any recommendations perhaps?
The Monastery of Jade Mountain by- Peter Goullart is a wonderful book giving a real insight to the world of Chinese monastic life in the pre-communist era. My first Tai Chi teacher gave me a copy in the early 1990's and I later read Goullarts other books concerning his time spent in China and Tibet. Whilst you will learn little of Taoist practises from the book it gives a charming glimpse of a world now gone. One scene remaining in my mind concerns a Taoist exorcism the grimness of which is matched only by its fascination. This is a book that can be highly recommended.
I read this book several years back. Don't remember a lot of detail but do remember enjoying reading it. Now I have to hunt up my copy and re-read it.
I was able to find my copy and begin reading this book for the second time after 10 years or so. One thing I have noticed this time is that he slips in an allusion to the Taoist Shambala "Tebu Land". Also, a few pages later he is visiting a Buddhist hermitage that was on the site of a miraculous spring. After touring the place, he asks his guide if there is anything else to see there. His guide shows him "Chikung's pagoda." I missed the double entendre the first time I read this book.
Anyway, I think perhaps there is a little more to this book than first meets the eye. I am looking forward to reading further.
I ordered this at my local library and found it an enjoyable, easy to read book.
The accounts of pre-communist Chinese temple life are fascinating. There is quite a graphic narrative on an exorcism which was very interesting to say the least.
The whole book is full of warmth, humour and laughter and is a celebration of life itself.
However, one chapter in particular stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the book.
Chapter 15 Divine Tao, gives one of the most poignant, life-affirming and practical explanations of the Tao, and of living a Taoist life, that I have ever come across. It proves that, although Chinese in origin, the practice of Taoism is open to anyone, of any race, age, sex or nationality. It is all encompassing and all one has to do is open themselves to the complete mystery of life.
A great find.