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Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West
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Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The colourful tale of the successful flowering of an obscure, ancient Eastern sect in the modern world. In a single generation, Tibetan Buddhism developed from the faith of a remote mountain people, associated with bizarre, almost medieval, superstitions, to perhaps the most rapidly growing and celebrity-studded religion in the West. Disaffected with other religious tradit ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 9th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Feb 09, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
A fascinating look at a process that began as long ago as the dawn of the 20th Century. Beginning with the interpid explorers of the early days which, by the way, included women acouple of whom had some of the greatest success in infiltrating Tibetan culture, even learning the notoriously difficult Tibetan language in an astonishingly short time - almost unheard of in that era. The book takes us from those beginnings through the tragedy of the Chinese occupation and the subsequent meeting of the ...more
Ruta Sevo
Nov 08, 2014 Ruta Sevo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is an entertaining and informative account of Westerners who have been attracted to Buddhism. It is written in a colorful and journalist style. Paine covers Thomas Merton, Alexandra David-Neel, Lama Yeshe, Chogyam Trungpa, Diane Perry/Tenzin Palmo, Theos Bernard, Catherine Burroughs/Jetsunma, and Richard Gere.

The chapter on Jarvis Jay Masters, a prisoner in San Quentin Penitentiary, is most interesting, because it captures the attraction of Buddhism to someone who has no access to a lam
Joel Brown
Dec 26, 2012 Joel Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Consistently engaging throughout! Learned alot more in depth about some familiar names and some not as familiar.

Most of the book is NOT about the Dalai Lama which was refreshing in studies of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, but this quote stuck out to me regardless of that fact. "The Dalai Lama insists that he is a simple Buddhist monk and his insistence goes beyond words. With his constant travel his home is practically on airplanes, but unlike financiers and politicians with their private planes
May 22, 2009 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, tibet, 2007
One of THE best books I’ve read this year. Hands down. Not only is the subject matter great, but he focuses not on the religious aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, but the people as well, crafting amazing tales around some figures that are worth reading into, like Tenzin Palmo, the Dalai Lama, Chogyam Trungpa, and Alexandra David-Neel.

His attitude for a traditional bibliography is great, too. He says it would be longer than the book itself, and really, he quoted a lot of books within the work itself, s
David Pantano
Nov 06, 2016 David Pantano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Author Jeffery Paine writes a highly informative and entertaining account of the introduction, impact and proliferation of Tibetan Budhhism onto the Western Psyche. In an easy-to-read style, Paine outlines the vision Tibet represented in the West, pre and post Chinese invasion, circa 1959 - 2010. Special attention is afforded to the role Tibetan magic and mystery played in stirring the fascination of western adventurers of the psyche. The book does an admiral job of profiling spiritual leaders, ...more
Rick Goff
Sep 01, 2013 Rick Goff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a set of brief accounts of Western adventurers and seekers exploring Tibet and its mystical Buddhist tradition, and of the 1959 dispersion of Tibetan Buddhism that arose from Chinese suppression. I really enjoyed reading about these people, particularly 19th century Frenchwoman Alexandra David-Neel, who seems just too interesting to be real, and Chogyam Trungpa, who could have been the Rat Pack Lama had he been introduced to Frank Sinatra. One Jeopardy fact to take from this book is ...more
Craig Bergland
Mar 22, 2015 Craig Bergland rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It's a delightfully insightful account of Tibetan Buddhism coming to the west. Actually, it begins with the west going to Tibet in the form of some early pioneers. I especially enjoyed that the author didn't shy away from some controversial figures in western Tibetan Buddhism, but also didn't address them less than charitably. I found the book full of insight, information, anecdotes, and compassion. This is one of the most human books I have read about Tibetan Buddhis ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Victor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quietly, humorously edifying - the book moves across time and space at a confident clip, in part to show how time will have its way with intransigence, in part to show how a practice - particular to a time and place - still teaches those who have stumbled upon or inherited its capacity to re-enchant.
Apr 11, 2014 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
A history of how Tibetan Buddhism came to the West (mostly the U.S.) told via the lives of particular teachers, some Tibetan, some American. The interesting lives of these people really move the story along. Very engaging. I finished it in 8 days (unusual for me).
Catherine Auman
Nov 29, 2008 Catherine Auman rated it really liked it
Wonderful gossipy account of the spread of Tibetan Buddhism after the Chinese holocaust. Stories about the Dalai Lama, Richard Gere, and a fascinating hero named Alexandra David-Neel who I now want to read more about. Reads like a novel.
Apr 14, 2013 Sasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A wonderful narrative describing Tibetan buddhism's arrival in the west over the past 100+ years. If you are interested in the craft of nonfiction and cultural history, I recommend this book, even if you could care less about the topic.
Jul 19, 2008 Amy added it
fabulous writing.
Vikki Ellis
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