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The Way and the Mountain
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Way and the Mountain, The: Tibet, Buddhism, & Tradition
Way and the Mountain, The: Tibet, Buddhism, & Tradition
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Comparative Religion
Eastern Religion

Price:  $21.95

ISBN:  978-1-933316-53-6
Book Size:  6 x 9
# of Pages:  296
Language:  English

Marco Pallis (1895-1989) was a Renaissance man: a gifted musician, composer, mountaineer, translator of “perennialist” works, and a widely respected author on Tibetan Buddhism. Pallis traveled extensively in the Himalayas, where at first he climbed mountains and later studied Buddhism from Lamas within the tradition. From 1936 onward, he was a practicing Buddhist with the Tibetan name of Thubden Tendzin.

This book is a selection of his most important writings on Tibetan Buddhism, backed by his universalist approach to religious belief. Pallis focuses on the Tibetan tradition but situates it in the wider context of the perennial wisdom and the spiritual life which this entails. He provides the keen observations of a Westerner as he makes sense of spiritual practices, moral systems, modes of dress, and other traditions that are often hard to understand unless described by an open and seeking soul. Pallis was just such an observer, and the traditional world of Tibet that he encountered comes to life in much greater intelligibility for Western readers.
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About the Author(s)

Marco Pallis

Marco Pallis was a widely respected author on Tibetan Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy, but he was also a gifted musician, composer, mountaineer, and translator.

Pallis' book The Way and the Mountain came from his experiences traveling in the Eastern Himalaya region and with Tibetan Buddhism. Pallis also wrote many pieces for the important traditionalist journal Studies in Comparative Religion, some of which are included in his last publication, A Buddhist Spectrum . Marco Pallis' essays are included in the following World Wisdom books:

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Joseph A. Fitzgerald

Joseph Fitzgerald has authored or edited several books on diverse world religions and philosophy that have won more than ten awards, including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award. The subjects include Buddhism, Hinduism, the American Indians, Christianity, the ecological crisis and the Perennial Philosophy. Fitzgerald studied Comparative Religion at Indiana University, where he also earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He is an adopted grandson of Thomas Yellowtail, one of the most honored American Indian spiritual leaders of the last century. For more than thirty years, Joseph has traveled extensively throughout the American Indian, Oriental and Islamic worlds. He has edited the following books for World Wisdom:


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Harry Oldmeadow

Harry Oldmeadow was co-ordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies at La Trobe University in Australia and author of the acclaimed Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy (2000), an authoritative introduction to the perspective of Perennialism. Prof. Oldmeadow's contributions to World Wisdom books & DVDs include:

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Reviews of The Way and the Mountain

“The author comes across in his writing as a highly sensitive and gentle soul with true ecumenical spirit. His wealth of religious knowledge and the depth of spiritual reflection is impressive. The modesty of style cannot hide the fact that it is the work of a master.”
The China Quarterly, No. 137. (Mar., 1994), pp. 267-268

“A careful student of language and custom, he [Pallis] visited one Buddhist monastery after another in the borderland provinces of Sikkim and Ladak, seeking always Lamas, teachers, of the utmost excellence. . . . From them he learned, and through them he was profoundly drawn toward that subtle, serenely intricate theology [of Buddhism].”
Time Magazine

“For insight, and the beauty insight requires if it is to be effective, I find no writer on Buddhism surpassing him.”
Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions

“I had the pleasure of meeting. . . Marco Pallis, who has written a couple of excellent books on Buddhism, from firsthand contacts.”
Thomas Merton, author of The Seven Storey Mountain

“Pallis’ oeuvre is unhampered by any assumptions about the superiority of the West; indeed, his books derive much of their insight from his adamantine opposition to the modern spirit and his receptivity to the lessons of tradition in one of its last strongholds.”
Prof. Kenneth (“Harry”) Oldmeadow, La Trobe University, Bendigo

“Pallis was an incomparable authority on Buddhism, especially in its Tibetan form. He was a defender and protector of the Tibetan tradition in the West following the tragedies of 1951.”
Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University

Table of Contents for The Way and the Mountain


1.   The Way and the Mountain

2.   The Active Life

3.   On Crossing Religious Frontiers

4.   On Soliciting and Imparting Spiritual Counsel

5.   The Place of Compassion in Tibetan Spirituality

6.   Sikkim Buddhism Today and Tomorrow

7.   Do Clothes Make the Man?

8.   The Dalai Lama

9.   The Tibetan Tradition:—Its Presiding Idea

AFTERWORD   "The Everlasting Message"


Selection from our Library about The Way and the Mountain
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2Subject WW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
In this foreword to World Wisdom's edition of Marco Pallis' "The Way and the Mountain," Harry Oldmeadow first gives some necessary background to the contemporary study of Tibetan Buddhism, and then looks at Marco Pallis' esteemed place among the commentators on that tradition. Oldmeadow states, "At a time when all too many of the Western cognoscenti hailed Buddhism as a kind of rational and humanistic psychology, Pallis’ writings served as an implacable reminder of the Transcendent which is the fountainhead of all integral religious traditions and without which all the doings of mortals are nothing." Oldmeadow also calls the book "Pallis' master work…focusing on the Tibetan tradition but situating it in the wider context of the perennial wisdom and the spiritual life which it entails."
Foreword to The Way and the MountainThe Way and the Mountain: Tibet, Buddhism & TraditionOldmeadow, Harry Buddhism
In this exposition of the spiritual life, Marco Pallis explains that the interior life is the fruit of the marriage of Wisdom and Method – “Wisdom which illuminates with the truth” and Method which provides the act by which the knower becomes what he knows. The supreme instrument of Method is the Life of Prayer in the widest sense, enshrined in religious tradition which serves to maintain the balance between theory and practice. The methodic invocation of a Sacred Name or formula is at the centre of the process, the Name “being first the apparent object of invocation and then its subject, until finally the subject-object distinction disappears altogether.”
Discovering the Interior LifeThe Way and the Mountain: Tibet, Buddhism, and TraditionPallis, Marco Buddhism
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