Don Farber Visions of Buddhist Life

ISBN 13: 9780520233614

Visions of Buddhist Life

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9780520233614: Visions of Buddhist Life

Don Farber's highly acclaimed photographs open a spectacular view of the beauty and diversity of Buddhist life around the world. His superb eye for composition, his attention to color and detail, and his intimate knowledge of Buddhism come together to produce outstanding, often breathtaking images. A selection of Farber's best work to date, Visions of Buddhist Life brings an important message of compassion, healing, and understanding to today's troubled world.

The photographs, together with Farber's extensive captions, take us to the temples, monasteries, and colorful streets of Los Angeles, Kyoto, and Bangkok, and travel onward to China, India, Nepal, South Korea, and Taiwan. They depict Buddhists alone and in crowds, in cities rich and poor, in meditation and in conversation. They also picture some of the great teachers of our day—the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Kalu Rinpoche. These images capture some of the last Tibetan masters to have received their training before the Chinese invasion and are a vital documentation of a tradition in danger of vanishing forever.

A study in the human face, in the art of spiritual devotion, in the evocative power of landscape, this collection of images provides an essential context for understanding Buddhism. Visions of Buddhist Life is also a visual and spiritual journey into a realm where the doctrine of nonviolence is paramount and where peace begins with the thoughts and actions of the individual.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Devoted eye. Sweet enterprise. Thank you."—Leonard Cohen

"What a kind, gentle, knowing photo book Don Farber has done here. It has taken a lifetime of commitment and insight for these photos to reach us."—Richard Gere

"Farber brings us into the temple, monastery, and mountain village with these striking photographs of both ordinary practitioners and many of the great masters. The simple elegance of these images offers a wonderful window into the Buddhist world."—Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of Insight Meditation Society and author of Lovingkindness and A Heart as Wide as the World

"Don Farber's images capture the beauty of his subjects. However, his skill goes far beyond the surface and draws the viewer into a close experience with the structure of the experience that opens before his lens. This rare talent is essential when directing the gaze toward a sacred object or a holy person. It is an even greater need when holding a moment of religious life in the frame. Farber provides us with pictures which give dignity to aspects of religion and culture that appear as a result of his careful focus and sensitivity to the energy and spirit of each event taking place before him. We are directed in our own viewing by his guidance as people and objects take on a quality that touches our emotions. His pictures teach us much about life and art. In his hands, the camera gives us the nuances that escape all but the most talented of artists. It is a pleasure to see the Buddhist tradition depicted in such a masterful fashion."—Lewis Lancaster, Professor Emeritus, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley

"Don Farber is one of the most important chroniclers of Buddhism in the twentieth century. Whether he is portraying great teachers or ordinary practitioners, he has a unique ability to capture in a photograph the essence of Buddhist enlightenment."—Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-chief, Shambhala Sun magazine

"Visions of Buddhist Life is a powerful and moving work, a spiritual odyssey, which beautifully captures the living spirit of Buddhism in today's world. Through this extraordinary collection of photographs, Don Farber chronicles his personal spiritual journey with a keen eye and an open heart, revealing a rare and intimate glimpse into Buddhist life. I highly recommend this remarkable book."—Howard C. Cutler, M.D., co-author with the Dalai Lama of The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

About the Author:

Inspired by Buddhism early in his career as a professional freelance photographer, Don Farber became a disciple of the late Vietnamese Zen master and scholar Thich Thien-An. Following the publication of his critically acclaimed book, Taking Refuge in L.A.: Life in a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple (1987, with text by Rick Fields and introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh), Farber set out to photograph Buddhist life internationally and, to date, has carried out this work in eight Asian countries and the United States. This Fulbright scholar's photographs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asia Society in New York, have appeared in magazines such as Life and Time, and have been featured on the covers of many books, including The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler (1998). Huston Smith is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University. His book The World's Religions (1958, revised 1991) has sold several million copies. In 1996 Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special to Smith's life and work.

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