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By Vicki Mackenzie

The tale of Tenzin Palmo, an Englishwoman, the daughter of a fishmonger from London's East finish, who spent 12 years on my own in a cave 13,000 toes up within the Himalayas and have become a world-renowned non secular chief and champion of the precise of ladies to accomplish non secular enlightenment. Diane Perry grew up in London's East finish. on the age of 18 besides the fact that, she learn a publication on Buddhism and realised that this could fill a long-sensed void in her lifestyles. In 1963, on the age of 20, she went to India, the place she ultimately entered a monastery. Being the one lady among hundreds and hundreds of priests, she started her conflict opposed to the bias that has excluded ladies from enlightenment for millions of years. In 1976 she secluded herself in a distant cave 13,000 ft up within the Himalayas, the place she stayed for 12 years among the a long time of 33 and forty five. during this mountain hideaway she confronted unbelievable chilly, wild animals, floods, snow and rockfalls, grew her personal meals and slept in a conventional wood meditation field, 3 toes sq. - she by no means lay down. In 1988 she emerged from the cave with a decision to construct a convent in northern India to restore the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten lady non secular elite.

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1bsolute sdence she yearned for. The silence that W

How could it be otherwise? In front of her, stretchmg In a 180 degree arc, was a vast range at mountams. She was almost eye to ere with their peaks. Right now, In summer, only the tops were covered wIth snow but In the long eight-month winter they would constitute a massive wall of whiteness soaring Into the pristine, pollution-free, azure-blue sky above. The light was crysrallme, Imbumg cvcryrhlllg with a shlmmenng luminosity, the air sparkling and CriSp. The silence was profound. Only the rushing grey-green waters of the Bhaga river below, the whistle of the wind and che occasional flap of a bird's wing broke the quietness.

When It was all over TenzlIl Palmo returned re her room and collapsed into bed. It had been a long day; the ceremony had lasted almost three hours and had been conducted entirely in 60 61 CAVE IN THE SNOW FEAR OF THE FEMININE Tibetan. ' 'I leapt out of bed and dashed back to the monastery, thinkmg someone important was about to arrive. When I gOt there I found the Karmapa in a side room, sining on a high throne with a hat box In front of him. ' Tenzin Palmo was about to he privy to one of the most mystic and powerful rituals that existed in Tibetan Buddhism.

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