The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise
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The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise Review by Debbie Goff
This is an autobiographical account of Ian Baker world class climber and Buddist scholar’s exploration into the heart of the Tsangpo Gorge to find a fabled 108 foot waterfall and the sacred sanctuary believed to be hidden behind the flowing waters. Previous expeditions to this area had failed so there was not a map to follow so Ian and his party had to rely on ancient scrolls, myth, and lore to find this beyul or hidden land. Ian went on 8 journeys between 1993-1998 to find this Shangri-la. The book tells in detail the many obstacles Ian encountered as well as the many people that helped him in his quest.
I would recommend the book for high-school or college students. The descriptions are beautiful but can weigh down the reader that wants to get to the meat of the story. There are parts of the book that make you feel like you are in a Indiana Jones type adventure. Other parts make you realize how much we take for granted in our daily lives.
Some prior knowledge of Buddhism and the culture would be preferable before reading the book.