Real-life stories about nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Buddhist monks in Thailand are ingeniously intermingled with experiences recorded by their Western contemporaries. By juxtaposing these eyewitness accounts, Kamala Tiyavanich presents a new and vivid picture of Buddhism as it was lived and of the natural environments in which the Buddha's teachings were practiced. Stories tell of giant snakes, bandits, boatmen, midwives, and guardian spirits, and this book collectively portrays a Buddhist culture in all its imaginative and geographical concreteness.
KAMALA TIYAVANICH is a Thai Buddhist with a PhD in Southeast Asian history from Cornell Universty. She is the author of Sons of The Buddha, Forest Recollections- Wandering Monks in Twentieth-Century Thailand, and The Buddha in the Jungle.
"Part history book, part travelogue, part spiritual teaching, this wonderful book is like a window into another world. In the Cool Shade of Compassion shares an important and fascinating view into both human experience and human nature. This book arose at the intersection of careful scholarship and good storytelling and helps us shape our own view of the world." --Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Love "This is one of the most remarkable, honest, and rich accounts of how Theravada Buddhism actually flourished in Thailand. It gives us a new picture of the true breadth and fullness of the tradition in every part of life."--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart