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The Wheel of Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist

by John Eaton Calthorpe, Blofeld, John Eaton Calthrope Blofeld, Huston Smith

Buy the book: John Eaton Calthorpe, Blofeld. The Wheel of Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist

Release Date: November, 1988

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: John Eaton Calthorpe, Blofeld. The Wheel of Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist

More travelogue than spiritual autobiography

The subtitle of this work is "The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist". Unfortunately, that is not really an accurate description. The author, whether from humility or reticence, tells us little of his spiritual development and practice.

Still, his life has been remarkable and he describes a spiritual world in China and Tibet that is gone forever and can only be vicariously experienced through books such as this.

The author is a modest man, perhaps excessively so. I believe that he has left out much that would be of interest to his readers. The result is more a spiritual travelogue than a true spiritual autobiography. Yet, this book is so evocative that I am grateful to accept however much he is willing to share about his extraordinary experiences.

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A Western Dharma Pioneer

ven. Huston Smith's comments are right on. Having used and admired Blofeld's edition of the 'I Ching' for some time, I always wanted to get around to reading this book, and now am very glad I did! ven. John Blofeld gives us an honest account, free of self-conscious editing, of a Western seeker attracted by the fragrance of Dharma while still in grade school, who then pursued it to pre-Mao China and met many great sages from a millenia-old tradition. On my sagging particle-board bookshelf, I put this book lovingly next to ven. Anagarika Govinda's 'The Way of the White Clouds' and ven. Lama Alexandra David-Neel's 'Magic and Mystery in Tibet' and and ven. Kawaguchi's 'A Stranger in Tibet', and ven. Bhagavan Das's 'It's Here Now', (and while we're at it, next to ven. Friedrich Nietzsche's 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' as well! :). Namaste, y'all!

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