Threads of Awakening: An American Woman’s Journey into Tibet’s Sacred Textile Art PDF by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo


Threads of Awakening: An American Woman’s Journey into Tibet’s Sacred Textile Art

By Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo

Threads of Awakening An American Woman’s Journey into Tibet’s Sacred Textile Art


Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama



Part One: FIBERS

Piece 1: His Holiness Will See You Now

Piece 2: Fabric

Piece 3: First Contact

Piece 4: A Finger Pointing to the Himalayas

Piece 5: Stepping Out

Piece 6: Making Moves

Piece 7: My Good Friend, Fear


Piece 8: Sick in Delhi

Piece 9: A False Start … or Was It?

Piece 10: Coming Home to Dharamsala

Piece 11: Settling In

Piece 12: Making Connections

Piece 13: A Room with a View

Piece 14: Dharma Class

Piece 15: Where Are You Going?

Piece 16: Precious Human Life

Piece 17: Monsoon

Piece 18: Veg Wallah

Piece 19: Insiders

Piece 20: Refuge and a New Name

Piece 21: Norbulingka

Part Three: WARP

Piece 22: Thangka? Tonka.

Piece 23: Emperors, Lamas, and Silk

Part Four: WEFT

Piece 24: In Search of a Teacher

Piece 25: My Teacher’s Teacher

Piece 26: Drawing, Horsehair, Silk, and Meat

Piece 27: Losing My Teacher

Piece 28: Like Being Adopted

Part Five: PIECES

Piece 29: Step into the Tsemkhang

Piece 30: Wrapping, Turning, Making the Silk Dance

Piece 31: Teatime

Piece 32: Hanging Out with Buddhas

Piece 33: Back to the Drawing

Piece 34: The Deity Has No Shame

Piece 35: Outsider In

Piece 36: Choose Your Poison

Piece 37: Mastering the Process

Piece 38: Horse Tales

Piece 39: Two, Three, Seven, or a Thousand Eyes

Piece 40: Different Eyes, Different World

Piece 41: Patience—Not!


Piece 42: Can You Make a Thangka for Me?

Piece 43: Multi-Colored Weave of Humanity

Piece 44: Remembering the Silkworms

Piece 45: Three Syllables, Three Doors

Piece 46: Frames of Brocade

Piece 47: Blessings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Part Seven: BUDDHAS

Piece 48: Padmapani, My Patience Tester

Piece 49: Green Tara, the Swift Protectress

Piece 50: White Tara, Live Long and Practice

Piece 51: Manjushri, Cutting Through Ignorance

Piece 52: The Buddha, the Founder

Piece 53: Medicine Buddha, Treating the Root Cause

Piece 54: Lotus Flowers, Unstained by Circumstance

Piece 55: Lotus-Born Guru Rinpoche

Piece 56: Saraswati, Melodious Goddess

Piece 57: Samantabhadra, Always Good

Piece 58: Chenrezig, Focus on Just One

Epilogue: Lineage


Appendix: Stitches and Steps of Tibetan Appliqué

Glossary of Selected Terms


Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is a pioneer in introducing to the Western world the rare and sacred Tibetan art of lhemthuk —appliqué thangkas created with hundreds of pieces of brightly colored fabrics that are meticulously cut and stitched together to create enlightened icons and motifs. This ancient tradition requires a tremendous amount of skill: it demands a degree of mastery of the eyes and hands that exceeds the skills of the more commonly known painted thangkas (traditional Tibetan scroll paintings). Appliqué thangka creation also commands an extraordinary aesthetic maturity in the design and overall color placement and skillful layering of a myriad of fabric pieces to create a three-dimensional perspective in two dimensional form. Beyond the technical skills that appliqué thangkas require, lineage blessings, spiritual training, and genuine compassion for all living sentient beings must ripen within the artist. For these reasons, appliqué thangka creation is an art form that is extremely difficult to accomplish—something which Leslie has achieved through her rigorous apprenticeships, dedication, meticulous skills training, and compassionate motivation to benefit all beings. Threads of Awakening is a celebration of this accomplishment, demonstrating that the authentic lineage of creating traditional Tibetan appliqué thangkas has been planted firmly in America and made accessible to the world at large.

Threads of Awakening shares Leslie’s fascinating travels of exploration and growth. Interconnected moments of her life weave together like a mosaic in her quest of finding and accomplishing this rare and precious art form. In her articulate and joyfully relatable stories, Leslie lays her heart open with candor, drawing you in to walk alongside her as a companion on her journey. Of particular note, the appendix, “Stitches and Steps of Tibetan Appliqué,” is perhaps the first written record on the topic ever published. Threads of Awakening not only fulfills a critical gap in the recorded literature and preservation of traditional Tibetan appliqué thangkas—it is also sure to enrapture, delight, and inspire you! PEMA NAMDOL THAYE, traditional Tibetan architect, painter, sculptor, 3-D mandala specialist, author, and art educator.

This book is US$10
To get free sample pages OR Buy this book

Share this Book!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.