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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
75 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly sentient beings” with “mother and father sentient beings” in deference to Chinese filial values. The final essays in the volume expose the complications and ambiguities that high-level political visits entailed. When the Thirteenth Dalai Lama visited Beijing in the fall of 1908, the dilemma of meeting protocol arose. The Dalai Lama was con- sidered an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the Qing emperor an emanation of Manjushri. Who should bow to whom? As Fabienne Jagou discusses in her essay, what transpired could be interpreted favorably in symbolic terms on both sides. When a visit to Taiwan was scheduled for the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in 1997, the Tibet issue carried high stakes for the future political status of Taiwan. Abraham Zablocki shows how this visit was “hotly debated” and delicately orchestrated to emphasize its religious, rather than political, significance. Although this book is not meant to be comprehensive, col- lectively the contributors do an admirable job of conveying the general sweep of history. It may be tough going at times for nonspecialists, but careful and patient reading will be rewarded by nuanced insights, rigorous attention to detail, and a refreshing absence of politicized rhetoric. While some essays provide maps, a master map marking major sites from all the articles would have been a nice way to underscore the geographical aspects of Tibetan-Chinese relations. On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet: The Nyemo Incident of 1969 presents a heart-pounding narrative interspersed with the cool, distant voice of analysis. From the first page, the reader is graphically immersed in the chaotic world of the Cul- tural Revolution. Authors Melvyn Goldstein, Ben Jiao, and Tanzen Lhundrup detail the chain of events around a young nun named Trinley Chödrön, who was said to be possessed by a powerful goddess and protector of Buddhism, Ani Gongmey Gyemo. In June 1969, she led hundreds of villagers in a series of violent actions in Nyemo County southwest of Lhasa. The Nyemo incident has become romanticized as a milestone in Tibetan national resistance against China, and, as the authors point out, the nun Trinley Chödrön has been compared to a heroic, “Joan of Arc-like woman” who “threatened China’s control over Tibet.” The authors challenge this interpretation, arguing that it was not a matter of Tibetans versus Chinese but rather a bitter dis- pute between two revolutionary factions, Gyenlo and Nyam- dre. These two factions arose during the Cultural Revolution, with differing views about how to implement Chairman Mao’s directives. The grievances of Gyenlo were expressed in ideolog- ical terms: Gyenlo accused Nyamdre of stalling revolutionary progress by protecting local government officials and cadres from being criticized and ousted. They were also expressed in terms of persecution, after the People’s Liberation Army attacked and killed Gyenlo activists at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa in June 1968. As the authors take pains to demonstrate, Chinese and Tibetan members were active in both factions, Reviews Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between:The Tibetan Book of the Dead Chöd Empowerment & Retreat Working with your Enemies: Transforming the Roots of Suffering Jivamukti Yoga Vacation Hiking in the Catskills Iyengar Yoga Retreat Catskill Mountains Phoenicia, New York We also welcome outside rentals MENLA MOUNTAIN Spring/Summer 2009 Retreats