A Graphic Memoir
Dante's Inferno meets the Tibetan Book of the Dead in this graphic memoir / fine-art book--the unforgettable true story of the author's visionary excursion into Buddhist hell, with stunning color paintings that bring a modern spirit of imagination to the sacred art of Asia.
Sam Bercholz was devoting himself to teaching Buddhism after retiring from his successful publishing company, when suddenly he was blindsided by a heart attack. As he succumbed to clinical death in the hospital, he found himself entering a classic near-death experience--but the last place he expected to end up was Buddhist hell. And not just one hell, but numerous horrific hell regions, both hot and cold, where countless beings suffer unspeakable pain due to their own mental conceptions.
A sublime being appears and tells Sam: You have been brought here to witness and understand the suffering of human beings. Thus begins a nightmarish expedition that evokes both horror and awakening as Sam is guided though a gallery of hell-denizens by a feminine embodiment of wisdom, who ultimately redeems him and returns him to life.
Powerful storytelling is matched by the illustrations of master painter Pema Namdol Thaye. Comic-book drawings illustrate Sam's life story and hospital ordeal, while fantastic color paintings of his hell experience bring a startling modern spirit of imagination to the sacred art of Asia.
““Sam Bercholz, one of the most genuine and heartful teachers of dharma I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, has written a harrowing and vivid account of what might await us after death. A dark thrill to read, it is also a generous gift, reminding us that what we do here matters urgently.”—George Saunders “An apocalyptic guided tour through the infernal Buddhist hells realms revealed during a near-death experience. A courageous and subjective account, resonant with Buddhist doctrine, that veers far from the heavenly realms of much modern NDE literature. Sam Bercholz’s narrative is vividly illustrated by Pema Namdol’s brilliant artwork.”—Robert Beer, author of The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs”