For all its impressive scholarly scrupulousness, the book reads like a dramatic novel, filled with suspense and captivating tales of astonishing heroism.
Flight of the Bon Monks is a magnificent achievement on many levels. Cole and Rice have not only preserved a vital piece of neglected history, but they present this enthralling tale--virtually unknown in the West--in the form of a riveting adventure story as thrilling as any Jack London ever wrote. I fell in love with the heroic Bon Monks, the luminous religion they risked their lives to save, and the book that recounts their inspiring story.
Flight of the Bon Monks is a riveting tale, skillfully layered with despair, adventure, terror, and hope but ultimately a story of human triumph. This emotionally powerful book isn't just a chronicle of courage, it is a poignant reminder of why Tibet needs to stay in our collective conscience.
With six decades of going on adventures to wild places, I’m often asked if I have a favorite. The answer is easy—it’s the remote high plateau of the Chang Tang. The Flight of the Bon Monks will take you there.
A true story that reads like a thriller, set in exotic places and told with passion and insight. Read this book and go on a journey like no other.
A spellbinding story of escape and survival that takes the reader into an exotic world. The authors bring to life an unexamined slice of the Tibetan diaspora.
Flight of the Bon Monks tells the remarkable story of bravery confronted by darkness as it outlines the escape from Tibet of several of the most senior and important Bön monks and how they have courageously kept their religion alive even though so rudely expelled from their native land. A story for our troubled times that needs to be told and needs to be read.
Defying the prejudice against practitioners of Bön, Sangye Tenzin gained entrance to Tibet’s most esteemed Buddhist monastery, Drepung, overlooking Lhasa, to further his studies. From there he watched artillery pound Lhasa as the Chinese crushed an uprising. He escaped to Nepal and eventually became the head of the Bön religion, earning the title of Menri Trizin.
Tenzin Namdak was shot by the Chinese and left for dead. He was so grievously wounded that he was certain he would die. Miraculously, he survived and escaped from a Chinese prison camp. He helped found a monastery in India and a monastery in Nepal that were instrumental in helping the Bön religion survive.
Samten Karmay, a life-long friend of Sangye Tenzin. They obtained their geshe, or doctorate degree, in the same class as well as attending Drepung together. Samten Karmay escaped Tibet with Sangye Tenzin and traveled with him to London, where he remained in order to assume a career as a lay academic scholar writing about Tibet and Bon. He is now widely respected for his study of Tibetan myths, beliefs, the Bön religion and religious history.
Harvey Rice is a retired journalist who worked for the Houston Chronicle, where he covered the 2003 Gulf War from Qatar, and was part of the Chronicle’s Enron investigative team. Jackie Cole is a veterinarian and a long-time Bön student who lives in Galveston, Texas, with her husband, Harvey Rice. They enjoy the island along with their dogs and cats.
Yungdrung Bön has rich traditions and sophisticated philosophy and teachings. In many ways similar to Buddhism, these teachings and practices help to cultivate the heart-mind of compassion and wisdom. The founder of Bön is Tonpa Shenrab Miwo, who, according to Bön tradition, first brought the Bön teachings to what is now Western Tibet 18,000 years ago.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has acknowledged that Bön is the native religion of Tibet, and one of the five core spiritual traditions of Tibet. The Dalai Lama has further said that to understand Tibetan culture and history completely, one must understand Bön, and both support and preserve it.