The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Summary
  1. Peter Matthiessen recounts his travels to India, Nepal and the Himalayas and his spiritual and transformative journey along the way
Key Takeaways
  1. In India, human misery seems so pervasive that one can manage to only take in stray details
  2. Shakyamuni, The Buddha, never involved himself in efforts for social change for he believed the greatest contribution one could make to mankind was self-revelation
  3. The Buddhists he encountered all had the wonderful trait of doing their work for its own sake, to do it in the most beautiful way and to their best capacity, rather than for pay or the sake of the employer
  4. Ecstasy is identity with all existence
  5. To become one with whatever one does is true realization of the way
  6. One must go oneself to know the truth – others can’t travel or do any type of work for you in one’s spiritual quest for enlightenment
  7. Through meditation, he was able to transcend his ego and intuit truth immediately.
  8. Being calm regardless of circumstances is not fatalism but a deep trust in the universe in that things will work out
  9. It is better to be true than strong
  10. The point of meditation is to train the ability of letting go and to be wholly present in the eternal now
  11. It is meaningless to try to capture and hold onto experiences and things as one can never truly express reality
What I got out of it
  1. Vivid storytelling but honestly was a bit disappointed after having heard so much about it. However, looking back there are some gems and clear insight on meditation and enlightenment