David P. Jackson. A Saint in Seattle: The Life of the Tibetan Mystic Dezhung Rinpoche. Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2005. Paperback, xxxi + 767 pp.
Dezhung Rinpoche was one of those remarkable Tibetan adepts who, after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, made their home in the strange culture of America uncertain of what to expect but happily and willingly transmitted the Buddha’s teachings to Western students. Aged fifty-four, he arrived in 1960 in Seattle, and this was to be his home for the remainder of his days.
Widely sought out for his incredible scholarship, Dezhung Rinpoche also impressed everyone by his kindness, patience, calm, and not least exemplary modesty. At first, scholars affiliated with the University of Washington usurped his attention, but subsequently he also offered many public teachings leading, in 1974, to the founding of a Dharma Center.
When Dezhung Rinpoche died in 1987 while traveling in India, he did so in a yogic manner—consciously, cooperatively, graciously, and in perfect meditative control.
Jackson, a professor of Tibetan studies at Hamburg University, writes engagingly and with not a little awe about this gentle Sakya mystic. His massive book is hagiography in the best sense of the term.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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