Vicki Mackenzie, a journalist for 30 years, has written an engrossing account of the first Western woman to follow in the footsteps of the Eastern yogis of old and enter a Himalayan cave to seek enlightenment. Diane Perry was born in 1943 in London, the daughter of a fishmonger. She loved solitude and told people she was going to be a nun when she grew up. At 18, Diane realized her attraction to Buddhism and at 20 she was off to India. There she met her teacher, Khamtrul Rinpoche, the great Kargyu master who would bestow the name Tenzin Palmo upon her as only the second Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun.
Mackenzie focuses on Tenzin Palmo's pursuit of perfection that resulted in her 12-year retreat in a Himalayan cave measuring 10 feet wide and 6 feet deep. She spent 12 hours a day in meditation and overcame starvation and a 49-day eye infection. MacKenzie marvels at Tenzin Palmo's inner peace, clarity, discipline, and luminosity. Since leaving India in 1988, this nun has traveled the globe giving dharma talks and raising money for the establishment of a Buddhist nunnery. This riveting biography will appeal to all readers interested in women's spirituality.