Reed Magazine August 2005
next page next page


A new documentary film based on Lieberman’s work is currently making its way to film festivals and other venues across the country. “Visioning Tibet,” directed and produced by Isaac Solotaroff, had its Bay Area and East Coast premieres this spring, chronicling the invaluable work of the Tibet Vision Project. The film includes rare footage of rural life, set against the dramatically beautiful backdrop of the Himalayas. In the film a blind man looks into the camera and says, “Nothing is more important than your vision and your soul.” Says another, “Since we lost our eyes, we cannot work. Our days have become very long.”

The film shows how, just a few days later, numerous lives have been transformed. “They are opening eyes that have been closed for a long time,” says one patient’s daughter. Another man whose eyesight has been restored, says,“I can see the sun, the shadows, the land, and my family. Now I can see the road ahead of me.” Among those who have seen the documentary is the Dalai Lama, who commented that the film revealed the realities of life in rural Tibet, and portrayed a tremendously worthwhile project, the miracle of restoring sight.

Lieberman, who calls himself “a Jewish Buddhist,” lives quietly, surrounded by Tibetan sacred art, candles, and offerings. In an adjoining room are stacked the technical books of his craft, a monumental gathering of information that is going into the update of his glaucoma textbook.

He maintains an ophthalmology practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. A glaucoma specialist, he also serves as director of glaucoma services at California Pacific Medical Center, and is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California San Francisco. He’s written textbooks and several dozen scientific papers on his specialty.

Lieberman entered Reed before he finished high school, and studied calligraphy with revered professor Lloyd Reynolds. “He taught italic hand like a crafts apprenticeship,” says Lieberman. “I was so taken with the marvelous blending of mind, heart, and hand.” Reynolds, he adds, “was a man who could wake up your soul. He influenced a whole generation, including Gary Snyder ’51 and Lew Welch ’50. His heroes were William Blake and Martin Luther King. He recognized the miraculous, the revolution of the spirit. He profoundly appreciated the capacity for change, and that left me inspired at a very deep level. He was one of the first to speak of Asian spirituality. He planted the seed.”

next page next page

  Tibetan woman

The indescribable joy
of seeing again

Reed Magazine August