Synopses & Reviews
Bill Porter (Red Pine) trekked through China's remote Chungnan Mountains in search of hermits. Lessons of spiritual wisdom emerge from his interviews with more than twenty male and female hermits. "A stupendous corrective to modern American Zen practice". -- Jim Harrison, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
"(A) fascinating book". -- Yoga Journal
"Porter unfolds a dizzying panorama of cliffs and valleys, crumbling monasteries and canny abbots, all the while discoursing on the rise of Taoism, its encounter with Buddhism, the lives of past hermits, the outlines of Tantra. Lessons emerge: the value of silence; the need to balance inner practice with community service; the differing aims of hermits, with some of them questing after immortality, others seeking escape from illusion." Kirkus Reviews
Drawing on knowledge based on 20 years as a resident of China, Porter examines the ancient Chinese hermit tradition. Part travelogue, part history, part sociology, and part religious study, this record of extraordinary journeys to an unknown China sheds light on a phenomemon unparalleled in the West, and the philosophies that underlie it. Photographs.