By Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo
Threads of Awakening—the first book to explore the Tibetan art of silk thangkas—is the inspiring story of a California woman who found her heart’s home on the other side of the globe, stitching sacred Buddhist wall hangings right next door to the Dalai Lama.
What if you set out to travel the world and got sidetracked in a Himalayan sewing workshop? What if that sidetrack turned out to be your life’s path—your way home?
Part art book, part memoir, part spiritual travelogue, Threads of Awakening is a delightful and inspiring blend of adventure and introspection. Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo shares her experience as a California woman traveling to the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in India to manage an economic development fund, only to wind up sewing pictures of Buddha instead. Through her remarkable journey, she discovered that a path is made bywalking it—and that some of the best paths are made by walking off course.
For more than 500 years, Tibetans have been creating sacred images from pieces of silk. Much rarer than paintings and sculptures, these stitched fabric thangkas are among Tibet's finest artworks. Leslie studied this little-known textile art with two of its brightest living masters and let herself discover where curiosity and devotion can lead. In this book, she reveals the unique stitches of an ancient needlework tradition, introduces the Buddhist deities it depicts, and shares insights into the compassion, interdependence, and possibility they embody.
Paperback; 328 pages