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The Land of Serenity

Matthieu Ricard

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An exceptional voyage to the heart of Bhutan, a land of ancient wisdom, where spirituality and daily life are intimately linked


Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains unique. Few photographers have been granted permission to reside in this long-inaccessible kingdom, now a democracy, where life quietly unfolds to the rhythm of traditions amidst the magnificent, unspoilt landscape.

Nearly 30 years ago, Matthieu Ricard, a monk and photographer, went to Bhutan to study with a revered Tibetan Buddhist master. He spent eight years in Bhutan with him, and has continued to return to the ‘land of the thunder dragon’ – or Druk-yul, as Bhutan is known in Bhutanese – throughout his life, discovering on each occasion another of its invaluable treasures. As a Buddhist monk, Ricard not only witnessed private religious ceremonies, the life of a great Buddhist master, and exceptional works of art, but has also participated in the daily lives of the people. His encounters and experiences are recorded here in this sublime voyage to the heart of Bhutan, a land where spirituality and daily life are intimately linked.

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'An intimate portrait of the country where spirituality is inseparable from daily life'
Daily Telegraph

'An exceptionally beautiful book'
Asian Art

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Edition Type: Compact edition

Size: 16.8 x 18.2 cm

Extent: 232 pp

Illustrations: 184

Publication date: 3 September 2012

ISBN: 9780500290446

Contents List

1. Land of Serenity • 2. The Lair of the Tiger • 3. A Spiritual Master in the Country of the Thunder Dragon • 4. Architecture – The Spiritual Dimension • 5. Sacred Art – Cultivating the ‘Pure Vision’ • 6. The Dancing Monks • 7. The Ceremony of the Great Accomplishment • 8. The Offerings of Light and Fire

About the Author

Matthieu Ricard is a French writer and Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal. He has been the Dalai Lama’s French interpreter since 1989.

List of Contributors

Matthieu Ricard

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