top of page
Don Farber Photography Masthead 2.jpg

Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters


Photography by Don Farber with the words of the masters and text by Rebecca McClen Novick, and Foreword by Sogyal Rinpoche.  Includes portraits, quotations, and biographies of 76 Tibetan Buddhist masters. (University of California Press, 2006) 


Renowned photographer Don Farber, one of the most important chroniclers of Buddhism today, brings the face and the spirit of contemporary Tibetan Buddhism alive with this remarkable book. Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters--a collection of superb color photographs presented with brief biographies and teachings from each master--is a vibrant work, a testament to the compassion and wisdom that lies at the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  Farber felt compelled to record the last of the living Buddhist masters who received their training in Tibet and then fled the country following the invasion by China, as well as other masters who survived many years of imprisonment during the Cultural Revolution. He has worked with a sense of urgency to photograph and interview these extraordinary beings who have been the custodians of this endangered Buddhist tradition. His collection of portraits also includes some of the bright lights of Tibetan Buddhism, the younger masters who will carry the tradition into the future. As a photographic archive of Tibetan Buddhist masters, this book plays an important role in preserving Tibetan culture, in all its richness and complexity, through the words and faces of its esteemed masters.

~ Description from the Inside Jacket

"Don Farber's book of photographs is a beautiful work of exquisite art and profound discovery. His artistry, skill, and approach to these wonderful subjects bring us to a place whereby lama, photographer, and reader merge into one contemplative, heart opening experience. These teachers are remarkable."

~ Robert Thurman, Columbia University


"An exquisite collection of photographs of some of the most influential contemporary masters of the Tibetan tradition."

~ José Ignacio Cabezón, University of California, Santa Barbara


"An inspiring book of heart-warming photographs... at once thought provoking and deeply moving."

~ Jeffrey Hopkins, author of Cultivating Compassion: A Buddhist Perspective


"Photographer Don Farber is renowned for the stunning quality of his images as well as his passion for chronicling Buddhism and preserving Tibetan culture. . . . The photos are expertly matched with informative text... Together they transform this book into an enlightening journey of the mind and the soul."

~ Shutterbug

"These seemingly simple portraits are a startlingly powerful means of conveyance for the wisdom and compassion embodied by these teachers and their traditions; this book is a profound offering to them, and a precious gift to their students." 

~ Tricycle


“Chronicles the faces of Buddhism in a series of arrestingly beautiful color portraits of extraordinary beings. . . .The result is that visitors to Mandala’s office have to be asked to please put the book down so the editor can get some work done on this review...!  It really is that good.” 

~ Mandala


"These photographs, each accompanied by a short teaching and a biography, are luminous and penetrating - these teachers are actively conveying something of their realization." 

~ Shambhala Sun


"Don Farber helped create a work of history by taking portraits of the last of the living Buddhist masters who received their training in Tibet. . . . Farber brings alive the spirit of these masters through brief biographies and quotations that give readers a taste of their wisdom and compassion."

~ Inquiring Mind

bottom of page