Tales of a Mad Yogi — Lama Liz’s book is published!

Tales of a Mad Yogi — Lama Liz’s book is published!

Congratulations to Lama Liz Monson on the publication of her book, Tales of a Mad Yogi: The Life and Wild Wisdom of Drukpa Kunley. To celebrate and learn more, please join us for:

Dharma Sunday: Authenticity
September 19, 10:00 am–12:00 pm EDT

Join Lama Willa and Lama Liz for our first HYBRID Dharma Sunday, taking place both in person at Wonderwell and Live Online. This Dharma Sunday will be a special book launch event, including guided meditation, a Dharma teaching on Authenticity, and a discussion about Lama Liz’s new book. Attendance at the In Person event is limited to 40 and advance registration is required, so if you are interested, sign up now.

To register:
IN PERSON Dharma Sunday, September 19
LIVE ONLINE Dharma Sunday, September 19

Lama Liz introduces Tales of a Mad Yogi

Lama Liz speaks about her motivation, process, research, and joy in writing and publishing Tales of a Mad Yogi in this lovely video with Shambhala Publications. Click here or on the image below to watch.

About the Book

Drukpa Kunley is a beloved figure throughout Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal, known both for his profound mastery of Buddhist practice as well as his highly unconventional and often humorous behavior. Ever the proverbial trickster and “crazy wisdom” yogi, his outward appearance and conduct of carousing, philandering, and breaking social norms is understood to be a means to rouse ordinary people out of habitual ways of thinking and lead them toward spiritual awakening.

Lama Liz has spent decades traveling throughout the Himalayas, retracing Drukpa Kunley’s steps and translating his works. In this creative telling, direct translations of his teachings are woven into a life story based on historical accounts, autobiographical sketches, folktales, and first-hand ethnographic research. The result, with flourishes of magical encounters and references to his superhuman capacities, is a poignant narrative of Kunley’s life, revealing to the reader the quintessential example of the capacity of Buddhism to skillfully bring people to liberation.

Purchase the Book

You may order the book from Shambhala Publications. Receive 30% off the price using the code TALES30 at checkout. The code is valid through September 30. If you attend the book launch celebration in person, books will be available for purchase at Wonderwell.

News and Reviews

“Truly enthralling.” —Publishers Weekly. Read more here…

Tales of a Mad Yogi is a wonderfully successful experiment in nonfiction narrative. Rooted in translation, field research, and oral history, yet expressed through immersive storytelling and prose-poetry, the book does what few works of scholarship can achieve: transport the reader to vast places and intimate spaces where the magic of Drukpa Kunley becomes real. With art, craft, and devotion, Elizabeth Monson brings the tales and teachings of Bhutan’s great Buddhist saint to life.” —Kurtis Schaeffer, professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia

“Elizabeth Monson gives a most compelling narrative of the Tibetan ‘mad yogi,’ Drukpa Kunley, revered in Bhutan for piercing through the hypocrisy of society to bring out the essence of the Dharma. The author, herself an academic and Buddhist practitioner, weaves in an elegant prose, spiritual insights, folktales, and biographical elements of one of the most fascinating yet elusive religious figure of Tibetan Buddhism.” —Françoise Pommaret, senior researcher, CNRS France, and associate professor, CLCS, Royal University of Bhutan.

“Today we release an astonishingly good book: Tales of a Mad Yogi: The Life and Wild Wisdom of Drukpa Kunley. Elizabeth Monson has done something quite special here. Most English speakers know of Drukpa Kunley only through stories and the book Divine Madman. This is a very different approach, and one that gives a much fuller picture of who he was, his life, and how he reached spiritual maturity. Publishers Weekly calls it ‘truly enthralling.’ But that is an understatement. I highly recommend this to those interested in Bhutan Vajrayana Buddhism.”  —Nikko Odiseos, President of Shambhala Publications


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