Ian Baker

Ian Baker

Ian studied art history, literature, and comparative religion at Middlebury College, Oxford University, and Columbia University and Medical Anthropology at University College London. He is an international fellow of the Explorers Club and was honored by National Geographic Society as one of six ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his ethnographic and geographical field research in Tibet’s Tsangpo gorges and his team’s discovery of a waterfall that had been the source of myth and geographic speculation for more than a century.

Ian is the author of seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine including The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place, Celestial Gallery, The Tibetan of Art of Healing, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple, a collaborative work with His Holiness The Dalai Lama that illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices. Ian’s latest book, Tibetan Yoga: Secrets from the Source, will be published in 2016. Ian has also written for National Geographic Magazine and has contributed to academic journals in the fields of Tibetan yoga and physical culture in VajrayaÌ„na Buddhism.


Reflections from the Wheel of Life


With a foreword by the Dalai Lama, this remarkable volume presents an intimate, Family of Man-like portrait of Tibet and its people.

According to Tibetan belief, existence is an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and in this exquisitely illustrated volume authors Carroll Dunham and Ian Baker take us through the Tibetan wheel of life, from birth and childhood through adolescence and midlife to old age and death. We meet a pregnant woman who is married to four brothers. She dreams of turquoise--a sure sign that she will give birth to a boy. Ten-year-old Tulku Ralo yawns as he sits on a grand throne blessing the reverent throng who flock to him; it is not easy being a god-child. The pilgrimage of a family to Lhasa takes several years, for they cover the entire distance by prostrating the length of their bodies across the earth, surrendering to the primordial ground from which all Buddhas have arisen.

Set against Tibet's staggeringly beautiful mountain landscapes, as well as against the ongoing struggle of the Tibetans to win independence from China, Tibet: Reflections from the Wheel of Life portrays the many faces of an earthy yet devout people steeped in a rich heritage.

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