A common space for harmonic peacemakers
In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet.
Part spiritual biography, part nail-biting undercover reporting, In the Shadow of the Buddha brings together Matteo Pistono's quest to uncover long-hidden spiritual truths and real-time violations of religious freedom in Tibet.
For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono secretly carried out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the US government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen. Yet, Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet—he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim.
Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas. After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono's quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Pistono not only became the master's student, but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India. This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure.
In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee—a stranger hiding in plain sight. It's about how a culture's rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future. It's about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse. It's also about Pistono's own journey of merging political activism with Buddhist mysticism, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace.