At Market Connections, we have an amazing team of professionals, all with vast experience in their respective fields. However, what you may not know is that our team members also have some amazing personal stories and accomplishments that are also worthy of sharing!
Dave Glantz, our Director of Research Services, conducts qualitative and quantitative research on a variety of topics including high tech product and service concepts, information assurance, cybersecurity, political issues and government policy, healthcare, education, and career and employment issues for Market Connections’ clients including government agencies, top contractors and Fortune 500 businesses.
In addition to his expertise in research, Dave has an abiding interest in Tibetan culture and art, fueled by his travels and experience. This led Dave to collaborate with David Huber on The Golden Valley: The Untold Story of the Other Cultural Center of Tibet and to co-authoring their latest book, Symbolism In Tibetan Art: Meanings and Practical Applications.
Symbolism in Tibetan Art unlocks the wisdom secrets of Tibetan symbolism and opens the door to a deeper understanding of ourselves. Unlike other books on this subject, they go beyond hard-to-interpret line drawings, instead revealing full color images of the actual artwork painted over the centuries. Drawing on numerous sources dating all the way back to Buddha’s own teachings, the allegories these symbols contain can also open up unique pathways each of us can follow toward awareness, wisdom and enlightenment.
Below are a couple of questions we asked Dave to provide insight into his work and passion.
MC: What drove your interest into Tibetan art and culture? How did you get into it? What has driven your expertise?
DG: My first exposure to Tibetan art and culture came when trekking in nearby Nepal, and, years later, spending time in Tibet itself. All along the way, from Lhasa’s Jokhang temple to Everest base camp, I found myself incredibly moved by so many generous, humble and welcoming people, despite their incredible hardships. That sparked my interest in the Tibetan people.
Like 500-year-old Italian Renaissance paintings, whose images are infused with their own symbolism, 500 years ago on the roof of the world, in a place called the Golden Valley, Tibetan monks were following their own painterly traditions to decorate and educate through their own symbols and stories. Many of the paintings in these two books come from that era.
That paintings like these, along with exquisitely preserved furniture and other relics, could survive major invasions and, in our own time, the near-total destruction of Tibet’s monasteries, I consider it nothing short of miraculous that any of the art of the Golden Valley’s monasteries remains intact.
With that in mind, David Huber and I were inspired to bring these objects to light. To place this output in context, we added background on the history, living conditions, beliefs and rituals of those that reside there now, and what influenced earlier generations. The result is these two books.
MC: If you could provide one takeaway from both of your books, what would you want your readers to gain from reading them?
DG: I realize that this art, and the culture it reflects, might come across to many readers as opaque, mystical and as inaccessible as the land that produced it. It is easy to ask why anyone should even care about this remote place and its deep attention to esoteric ancient symbolism and hard to pronounce mantras; or the positioning, size and gestures of the various figures on paintings and furniture. In answer to that, I feel this legacy matters for three reasons.
First, it tells us something about the ideals Tibetans hold dear, allowing us a glimpse of what their society is all about, and why they continue to cling to their Buddhist faith in the face of overwhelming odds.
Secondly, it illuminates the path to enlightenment that countless generations of Tibetans have desired to follow – learning and reciting lessons of universal meaning and relevance that apply not just to one sect, ethnicity or nation, but as a guide for all humanity should anyone wish to take that path. To lose this learning would deny the world the unique and rich store of spiritual knowledge found on this vast but little-known plateau.
The third reason to care about this heritage is simple: once it’s gone, it’s gone. We therefore felt a profound urgency to tell their story.