Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment
In 1976 Diane Perry - by then known by her Tibetan name, Tenzin Palmo - secluded herself in a remote cave, 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, cut off from the world by mountains and snow. She entered the cave aged thirty-three and left it when she was forty-five; there she faced unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods and rockfalls, grew her own food and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three-feet square - she never lay down. In 1988 she emerged from the cave with a determination to build a convent in northern India to revive the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten female spiritual elite. From living as a mendicant on 50 a year, she became a globe-trotting fund-raiser, giving lecture tours. Diane Perry had grown up in London's East End, the daughter of a fishmonger. At the age of eighteen, she read a book on Buddhism, and realised that this might fill a long-sensed void in her life and began saving from her wages as a shop assistant. She left England for India at the age of twenty in 1963. After a long period of searching she entered a monastery, becoming the only woman among hundreds of men, and from there grew her determination to break down the prejudice that has excluded women from the path to enlightenment for thousands of years.
out as a leading spiritual pioneer of our time.
Vicki Mackenzie has been journalist for thirty years, working mainly for national newspapers in Britain. She is the author of Reincarnation: The Boy Lama and Reborn in the West: The Reincarnation Masters.