Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit

By (author) Peter Gold
Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit
By (author) Peter Gold

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Pages : 350

Book Size : 8 x 10

ISBN-13 : 9780892814114

Imprint : Inner Traditions

On Sale Date : October 01, 1994

Format : Paperback Book

Illustrations : 200 color and b&w illustrations

Author Peter Gold draws extensive parallels between the Navajo and Tibetan spiritual traditions. Creation myths, cosmology, the uncanny resemblance of their physical features, and the mandala sand paintings common to both cultures suggest a legacy shared by these seemingly disparate people. This sensitive comparison inspires us to reflect on our own cultural paradigms.

About Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit

The similarity between the Navajo and Tibetan spiritual traditions has often been remarked upon by scholars chiefly because of the mandala sand paintings common to both cultures, their ideas about matter and spirit, and their uncanny physical resemblance to one another. Author Peter Gold substantiates the shared knowledge of these seemingly disparate people by drawing extensive parallels among many aspects of both cultures: creation myths, cosmology, geomancy, psychology, visionary arts, and healing and initiation rituals. Through his sensitive comparison of Navajo and Tibetan sacred ways, the author encourages us to reconsider our own cultural paradigms and shows us how we might begin to recover a sense of the sacred.
Table of Contents

Table of content

Message from His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama of Tibet
Part One - Awakening and Connecting to the Nature of Things
Part Two - Balancing and Unifying Earth with Sky
Part Three - Centering in the Mandala of Self and Cosmos
Part Four - Becoming: Sacred Rites of Transformation
1. The Wheel of Cyclic Existence
2. Tibetan and Navajo Models of the Sacred World
3. Enlightening Experiences
4. Harnessing Protective Powers
5. Two Rites of Exorcism
6. Diviners and Divination
Pronunciation Guide
Illustration Credits
About the Author
Author Bio
Formerly a research assistant to Dr. Margaret Mead and curator at Indiana University's anthropology and folklore museum, Peter Gold is currently on the anthropology faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is also the author of Tibetan Reflections: Life in a Tibetan Refugee Community; Altar of the Earth: The Life, Land, and Spirit of Tibet; and Tibetan Pilgrimage.


Book Praise

Book Praise

"A bold and exciting exploration, showing many astonishing parallels between these precious and imperiled traditions, from which we have so much to learn."

Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard and Indian Country

"Peter Gold has described our ways and philosophy of life in this book and I hope that it will help you to better understand us. This book also helps us to understand others better. It shows that we are not alone in living according to the teachings coming from the center of life to the four directions, and from the lower and upper lives of Mother Earth and Father Sky.

Not long ago I had the opportunity to meet with one of the holy men of the people of Tibet, Lama Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche. In our long talk, we found many similarities between Navajo and Tibetan philosophy and sacred ways. It is good and enlightening to know that there are others around the world who still abide by the teachings of their ancestors, and know the peace and value of maintaining beauty ahead, behind, below, above, all around and from within themselves."
Alfred W. Yazzie, Chanter Navajo Nation

"This remarkable book coalesces the fruits of a personal odyssey that ranged back and forth between two continents over a period of many years. As an anthropologist, I am impressed by Peter Goldís sustained fieldwork among two peoples, so far apart in space, language, history. This is not a work of conventional social science or of comparative mythology; rather, it invites the reader to search beyond his or her cultural framework and enter onto a quest of spiritual anthropology."
Philip Snyder, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy Cornell University

"Peter Gold describes and compares many aspects of Navajo and Tibetan Buddhist practice, highlighting the humanitarian principles on which they are based, reflecting the fundamental goodness of the human heart."
H.H. The Dalai Lama

"At long last the mighty indigenous traditions of Navajo and Tibetan are juxtaposed, to let their powerful teachings reinforce each other and resound together. A beautiful, wise book."
Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

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