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Lions Roar : March 2013
TIBET WILD A Naturalist’s Journeys on the Roof of the World By George B. Schaller Island Press 2012; 374 pp., $29.95 (cloth) Tibet Wild is a finely crafted memoir detailing George B. Schaller’s travels and conservation projects in the rugged Tibetan Plateau. (Schaller will be familiar to many readers as Peter Matthiessen’s expedition partner in his classic The Snow Leopard.) For thirty years, he has studied the region’s wildlife, including the rare Tibetan brown bear, the blue sheep, and the plateau pika, a small mammal that often is considered a pest (and is therefore poisoned), yet is key to maintaining the biological diversity of the region. Schaller’s driving passion, though, is for the chiru, or Tibetan antelope, and his studies have helped bring back its decimated population by drawing international attention to poaching. “Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart,” Schaller quotes the Dalai Lama as saying. Then Schaller himself adds: “The Buddhist religion stresses love and compassion toward all living beings, and this predisposes its followers to be receptive to an environmental message.” JOURNEYS ON THE SILK ROAD A Desert Explorer, Buddha’s Secret Library, and the Unearthing of the World’s Oldest Printed Book By Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters Lyons Press 2012; 336 pp., $24.95 (cloth) Journeys on the Silk Road tells the fascinating story of Aurel Stein, an archaeologist employed by the British government. His scholarship and explorations are at the root of almost everything that’s currently known about the Silk Road and Buddhism’s migration along it. While Stein died a hero in the West, in China he has long been reviled as a thief, and today many Westerners also see him in that light. In 1900, a Chinese monk named Wang Yuanlu discovered a hidden cave, unearthing scrolls piled from floor to ceiling that had been hidden for a thousand years. Among them was what is now recognized as the oldest dated printed book in the world: a complete copy of the Diamond Sutra. Printed on paper at a time when paper was unknown in the West, this scroll was produced 600 years before Gutenberg had even heard of ink. Stein bribed Wang with a mere four horseshoes of silver, then sneaked out of China, his caravan loaded down with loot from the caves. MINDFULNESS IN THE GARDEN Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt By Zachiah Murray Parallax Press 2012; 160 pp., $16.95 (cloth) THE BACKYARD PARABLES A Meditation on Gardening By Margaret Roach Grand Central Publishing 2013; 288 pp., $25.99 (cloth) Under the silvery-green-leafed olive trees in her yard, Zachiah Murray planted her first garden. She immediately fell in love with the scent and feel of the earth and with how gardening loosened the knot in her mind. Her love endured, and today Murray is a landscape architect and the author of Mindfulness in the Garden, a small, handsome book in which she offers gathas for gardeners. (A gatha is a short verse that we can recite as we do an action, which in turn helps us develop awareness of what we are doing.) For instance, for watering: “Don’t think you will die of thirst, dear soil. I bring to you the sky and the sea. I carry it to you in my hands, and together we shall drink.” From Margaret Roach, the first garden editor of Martha Stewart Living, comes The Backyard Parables. It’s part memoir and part compendium of horticultural lore, and it even features a couple of recipes for garden-fresh veggies. “The garden is a perennial dharma talk—a meditation, a reminder to reflect,” writes Roach. “It teaches us to live with intimacy and attention, and asks that we feel the pulse of more than just our own interior life force, instead seeing ourselves as part of a vast, complex organism and story.” ♦ EMORY UNIVERSITY ATLANTA, GA WWW.TIBET.EMORY.EDU/CBCT CBCT TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM CBCT is a secular compassion training program based on the lojong, or “mind training” tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This intensive training is designed for individuals interested in learning how to lead and implement CBCT in various educational, clinical and non-clinical settings. COGNITIVELY-BASED COMPASSION TRAINING An Emory-Tibet Partnership Program APPLICATIONS OPEN SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 88