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Diane Publishing Books
Questions of Heaven: The Chinese Journeys of an American Buddhist
Gretel Ehrlich (au). Ehrlich’s path leads her to western China to climb Emei Shan, one of China’s 4 sacred Buddhist mountains. For Ehrlich, a practicing Buddhist, the climb is both a spiritual pilgrimage & a troubling encounter with a culture reeling from recent political history. She visits Buddhist lamas who, until recently, were in hiding from the purges of the Cultural Revolution, & she travels to a panda refuge in the mountains northwest of Chengdu -- in both cases trying to unravel the ultimate fate of these once-revered symbols. Her journey from the city of Kunming over the Burma Road & on to Lijiang -- to an isolated mountain town fulfills Ehrlich’s hopes for cultural & spiritual revival, & where she learns from an unlikely group of Naxi sacred musicians that “music is medicine”.
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