“One Day I Shall Meditate In Falling Snow:” Meditation and Eastern Ways of Perceiving in Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard and George Schaller’s Stones of Silence
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- Student papers (HF-IKS) 
Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, published in 1978, has remained a well-known work on reading lists incorporating nature writing and Eastern Buddhist thought. It has not, however, received much scholarly treatment since its publication. This thesis will attempt to explore Matthiessen’s pilgrimage through his practice of meditation in the larger framework of his Zen Buddhist journey, while also setting the stage for a cognitive confrontation between Eastern and Western thought, particularly through his expedition companion, George Schaller. Schaller, a renowned field biologist, wrote Stones of Silence about his respective experiences. The contrast between the two men, and their works, is stark. A comparison of the texts presents an opportunity to understand how a balance between the intersection of Eastern and Western thought can enable modern readers to reevaluate the way in which they see and engage with the world, in the hopes that a more sustainable future can be imagined through the marriage of scientific and Eastern thought. In The Snow Leopard, Matthiessen uses Buddhism to infuse his perceptions and engagement with the landscape, ultimately leading to a denouement that fails to achieve a concretely successful realization to his pilgrimage, leaving an open call to the reader to continue the search.
Master's thesis in Literacy studies