REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
When Gretchen first announced that she was working on a biography of Lucille my automatic response was apprehension. I was concerned that the result would be another expression of devotion to a much-loved teacher.
To the contrary, Luminous Sitting, Torturous Walking is a balanced, unflinching examination of the life and work of Lucille Cedercrans Schaible. Drawing on the documents, writings, transcripts, poetry and other materials in Lucille’s files, as well as on the recollections of former students, Luminous Sitting answers many of the questions that her students and critics have had over the decades, and clears up many of the misunderstandings. The result is a valuable asset to Lucille’s body of work and a testament to the insights of the author.
Both long-term and relatively new students and practitioners of the NTFPW will be well-served by this work.
Glen Knape, Wisdom Impressions
After Lucille Cedercrans Schaible left Estes Park in 1962, we heard nothing more from her. Her travels thereafter were a mystery. This book completes her journey. It is so wonderful that the full story, not just the first half, of Lucille's life can be told. Well done!
The author, Gretchen Groth, has really nailed Lucille's personality and her many trials and tribulations. She has gone deeply and thoroughly in the archives and multitudinous files that Lucille left her. As a result, the dates, localities, and Lucille's views are right on point. By reading this book, one can come to know the many dimensions of Lucille: her personality, her struggles, her tremendous commitment to her spiritual path, and her ongoing service to humanity.
My memory of Lucille was that she was always working with a new concept, her mind was always on the Universal Truths and when the group gathered, those concepts were presented, discussed and embodied so that the response and impressions could then be given to a waiting humanity via our thoughts, speech, actions and service. Luminous Sitting, Torturous Walking shows the many ways this was true for Lucille from her early beginnings in 1948 throughout her transition to Tibetan Buddhism to her death in 1984.
Pam Nissen, Wisdom Research
I loved Luminous Sitting, Torturous Walking. You did a brilliant job with a difficult assignment.
Lyn Hebenstreit, NTFPW student
Thanks for walking me back to the UMK days with Lucille. The book opened my heart and gave me a chance to reopen a place I packaged with a bow many years ago. That place definitely deserved a second viewing.
The book reminded me of the love and compassion Lucille provided for her students and the care and regard we had for our teacher. While Lucille's end was certainly hard for me, the book let me rework some of these patterns benefitted by the distance of time.
So thanks to you, Lucille, for changing my life and thanks to you, Gretchen, for having the perseverance and fearlessness to take on Lucille's history. I appreciate your care and service in writing the book.
Joan Barrett, Buddhist student of Lucille
For years whenever my Buddhist friends would ask me who my teacher was, and I told them “Lucille,” I knew they would be totally baffled, and would wonder whether I was being sarcastic, mysterious or just plain disrespectful. Well, now I have The Book, the book that reveals an amazing behind-the-scenes story of a remarkable woman who sacrificed greatly to help bring the Tibetan teachings to the West. All of who Lucille was comes through. Being a student of Lucille’s, I knew I would relish every page, but this book is way more important than the personal stories about Lucille. It opens a door that few Western Buddhists have looked through. It's an important piece of "spiritual" history. Will everyone be as blown away as I am? I don’t know. I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s reactions, especially those who didn’t know her.
But perhaps my best endorsement is another Lucille story that I remembered while reading the book. Lucille used to watch soap operas, something that I thought was rather strange and “unspiritual.” One day when I came by to visit, there she was, appearing to be fully engaged in Days of Our Lives. I’m sure she sensed my judgment. With her usual penetrating loving kindness she looked at me and said that these TV shows were the same as our everyday reality; people are acting as if something that’s made up is real, and everyone who’s watching in turn responds as if it’s real. My smugness was suddenly turned on itself and my world was turned inside out once again, leaving me dizzy and groundless. I’m sure she’s still laughing and smiling, knowing that someday I’ll get it.
Tom Fox, Buddhist student of Lucille