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Lions Roar : July 2015
M AYA By C.W. Huntington, Jr. Wisdom, 328 pp., $16.95 (paper) C.W. Huntington Jr.’s vivid first novel recounts the spiritual and personal journey of a young American Ph.D. student in India in the mid-1970s. Defying his academic advisor, who tells him that going to India is “a waste of time,” Stanley Harrington arrives in Delhi hoping he will find “some- thing important, something alive.” The large cast of characters he encounters includes a hermit living in a forest bungalow from the days of the British Raj, an accountant with a passion for Sanskrit poetry, a beautiful Oxford scholar named Penny, and a Tibetan lama named Nortul Rinpoche. Striking images abound—a camel “lifting and dropping its spongy feet,” “the screech of an insomniac bird,” and Nortul Rinpoche’s enigmatic smile “that was collecting momentum as I watched.” Hunting- ton is a scholar and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, and his protagonist’s exploration of meditation and Buddhist philosophy feels true to life. The frank, passionate love scenes, unflinching views on poverty and cruelty, and Stanley’s struggles with illusion make this a novel both of intellect and humanity. MISS TIBET Documentary directed by Norah Shapiro Flying Pieces Productions Miss Tibet follows Tibetan-American teen- ager Tenzin Khecheo as she competes in the finals of the 2011 Miss Tibet pageant in Dharamsala. Born in India and raised in Minnesota, Khecheo is a third-generation Tibetan in exile. A year after the death of her father, she enters the Miss Tibet competition in his memory, and in the hope of raising awareness for the Tibetan cause. When she arrives in India, she meets five other contestants from as far away as Australia and Switzerland, including a computer scientist, an MBA graduate, an accountant, and a nurse. The young women visit the Tibetan Parliament and take lessons in Tibetan music, language, and culture. They attend a public talk by the Dalai Lama, and have a moving meeting with Ama Adhe, an ex-political prisoner who spent a third of her life in a Chinese prison and watched 296 of the women imprisoned with her starve to death. The film explores the emotional upheaval of a high-stakes competition in which the criteria for winning are vague at best, and at worst perhaps rigged. What emerges is a compelling portrait of a bright young woman who longs to maintain her Tibetan identity and help her people. ♦ REVIEWS Tergar Collegeville, MN May31–June7 Natural Clarity: Teachings on the Nature of Mind with Khenpo Kunga Hudson Valley, NY July3–5 The Noble Heart with Myoshin Kelley Portland, Oregon July17–25 Summer Practice Retreat with Tim Olmsted Marathon City, WI August2–8 Summer Practice Retreat with Edwin and Myoshin Kelley Visit our website for Mingyur Rinpoche’s centers and upcoming programs in the U.S ., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, and South America. Visit learning.tergar.org for a free intro to meditation course, monthly video teachings by Mingyur Rinpoche, community forums, and more. www.tergar.org Summer 2015 Meditation Retreats Edwin Kelley Myoshin Kelley Khenpo Kunga Tim Olmsted SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2015 78