Bones of the Master

A Buddhist Monk's Search for the Lost Heart of China

George Crane



I read an excerpt of Bones of the Master in the Spring 2000 issue of Tricycle. It knocked my socks off – such beauty, such writing, what a story! Without even bothering to question, I ordered a copy the very next day. Then I proceeded to read it as though it were food and I were starving. It filled me completely.

Bones of the Master is a true story about a Ch’an (Chinese Zen) Buddhist Master, Tsung Tsai, then living in upstate New York. At the age of 72, Tsung Tsai determined to return to China – from which he had escaped during the Great Leap Forward in 1959. His purpose was to find the bones of his beloved Master, rebury them with proper Buddhist rites, and create a shrine in his master’s memory. He selects as his traveling partner his neighbor and “heart friend,” George Crane, the author of the book. Crane’s life up to that point had as little to do with the renunciation of desire as Tsung Tsai’s had to do with its cultivation – the way they weave their worlds together is as much an adventure as their remarkable trek into the mountains of Inner Mongolia to carry out their unlikely task. The Truth that Tsung Tsai shares with us along the way is as powerfully transforming as it is beautiful and wise.

Bones of the Master is so valuable on so many levels that I am joyous to offer it to you!

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