Lotus Girl: My Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and America

by Helen Tworkov (Author)
Set against the arresting cultural backdrop of the sixties and their legacy, this intimate self-portrait depicts Tworkov’s search for a true home as she interacts with renowned artists and spiritual luminaries including the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Joseph Goldstein, Bernie Glassman, Charles Mingus, Elizabeth Murray and Richard Serra.

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Lotus Girl: My Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and America

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The daughter of an artist, Helen Tworkov grew up in the heady climate of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism; yet from an early age, she questioned the value of Western cultural norms. Her life was forever changed when she saw the iconic photo of Thich Quang Duc, the Vietnamese monk who, seated in meditation, set himself on fire to protest his government’s crackdown on the Buddhist clergy. Tworkov realized that radically different states of mind truly existed and were worth exploring. At the age of twenty-two, she set off for Japan, then traveled through Cambodia, India, and eventually to Tibetan refugee camps in Nepal.

Interweaving experience, research, and revelation, Helen Tworkov explores the relationship between Buddhist wisdom and American values, presenting a wholly unique look at the developing landscape of Buddhism in the West. Lotus Girl offers insight not only into Tworkov’s own search for the truth, but into the ways each of us can better understand and transform ourselves.


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