Tibet was once home to thousands of thriving Buddhist
monasteries. But in 1959, following a Tibetan uprising against
China's long occupation, nearly all were destroyed by the Chinese
military, the practice of Buddhism was outlawed, and the Dalai Lama
was forced into exile. In March of that year, Chinese tanks
bombarded the 540-year-old Sera Jey Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet,
killing hundreds of monks and destroying ancient texts and
invaluable artifacts that had been collected over centuries.
Thousands of survivors fled over perilous mountain passes to
neighboring India, many with only thin robes and light footwear to
shield them from the harsh winter conditions of the Himalayas.
The Sera Jey Monastery, reestablished near Mysore, India, now
houses 5,000 Buddhist monks living in exile-including many who
escaped the attack on the Tibetan monastery in 1959, and many more
who have never known their ancestral homeland. Providing an
intimate glimpse of this rarely seen world, Sera: The Way of
the Tibetan Monk evokes the subtle moods and rhythms of this
Buddhist community that has steadfastly carried on the legacy of
the original Sera Jey. More than 100 duotone photographs capture
daily rituals and sacred ceremonies, serious moments and playful
gestures, compassionate faces and expressions of inspired serenity.
Moving and unforgettable, Sheila Rock's portraits celebrate the
tranquility, simple joys, and unadorned beauty of the ascetic life,
offering a powerful testament to the strength and resilience of a
A percentage of the royalties from this book go to the Sera
Jhe Health Care Committee in aid of various humanitarian
Subjects: Art & Art History, Religion, Architecture and Architectural History
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