Francis V. Tiso, a noted authority on the rainbow body, explores this manifestation of spiritual realization in a wide-ranging and deeply informed study of the transformation of the material body into a body of light. Seeking evidence on the boundary between physical science and deep spirituality that might elucidate the resurrection of Jesus, he investigates the case of Khenpo A Cho, a Buddhist monk who died in eastern Tibet in 1999. Rainbow Body and Resurrection chronicles the dissolution of Khenpo's material body within a week of his death, including eye-witness interviews. Tiso describes the spiritual practices that give rise to the rainbow body and traces their history deep into the encounter of religions in medieval Central Asia. His erudite exploration of the Tibetan phenomenon raises the fascinating question of whether there is a connection between the rainbow body and the dying and rising of Jesus.
Drawing on a wealth of recent research, Tiso expands his discussion to include the contemplative geography out of which Dzogchen arose some time in the eighth century along the great Silk Road across Central Asia. The result is an illuminating consideration of previously unimagined relationships between spiritual practices and beliefs in Central Asia.
Rainbow Body and Resurrection: Spiritual Attainment, the Dissolution of the Material Body, and the Case of Khenpo A Cho, Francis V. Tiso, North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 2016, 408 Pages, $24.95