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The Shambhala Principle Review: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure

July 12, 2014 | By

For what I gained from reading this, the value is immeasurable. Many ideas are gleaned from others; this is a nice crystallization that presents a new vision. My life is bettered for reading this.

The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure
Author: Sakyong Mipham
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harmony (7 May 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0770437435
ISBN-13: 978-0770437435
Available on: Amazon IndiaAmazon USA, Flipkart
Rating: 5/5

The Shambhala Principle Discovering Humanitys Hidden Treasure

The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure
One of Tibet’s highest and most respected lamas elucidates for us the principles of Shambhala, or the path to happiness, set down by his legendary father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

500 words, are you kidding me? That’s the number of words I’m allowed to quote without needing special publisher permission. If I could, I’d quote for you most of chapters six, seven, eight, and eleven. I found those chapters the most profound and life changing. I’m not saying that lightly. Here’s one quote I put on Twitter while reading this book: “Every moment has its energy; either it will ride us, or we can ride it.”

Let’s start with some definitions. Shambhala is a word that means “source of happiness”. From my understanding, it was the area of Shangri-La, now obtainable through meditation. The author goes into much greater detail of this, some of which is abstract for folks like me, who come into this mostly uninitiated. The author’s title of Sakyong means to be “an earth protector, protecting the goodness by awakening other to it.” It is much like the Indian dharmaraja (dharma king), or the Chinese sheng huang (sage ruler). The author inherited the title from his father; this book describes much of that transition.

Now let’s get to the good stuff. “The principle of basic goodness is not particularly religious or secular. It is about how humanity at the core is complete, good, and worthy.” The author says The Shambhala Principle moves “beyond the parameters of Buddhism” and goes to talk about supporting “the unique qualities of various traditions”. He says that everything boils down to this: “humanity is good, and good is the nature of society.”

It’s a lot to take in, but the process is a worthy endeavor. No matter your religious belief system, you have much to benefit from this book and its practices. Both Eastern and Western cultures are blended together to reveal the virtue of mankind. The author mentions Plato (virtue meaning humanity), Aristotle (virtue meaning “manifestation of the good”), Buddha (“Let whatever you are doing become your meditation, and your path will deepen”), and many others. The author states you become virtuous by “being mindful, feeling compassion, and exercising patience” which leads to “pleasure and lightness of mind.”

One of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books comes to mind when the author states, “Appreciating where we are right now is a helpful antidote to depression.” That quote came spawned from the author’s father’s teaching of, “Be where you are and who you are. That’s how to cheer yourself up.” Furthermore, what I learned from another book called Hardwiring Happiness was reflected in this statement by Mipham: “Even if it is only finding time to take a shower or to feel good that we made it to work after missing the bus, we need to find small victories in the day—and slow down enough to appreciate them.”

As with my review of The Four Agreements, and as alluded to above, some thoughts may appear abstract to many. Such things include non-weaponed warriors with visions of the future and communicating through snapping fingers and touching chests. Also, the end-book applications to global economics and health were interesting, but a bit too far reaching for my understanding.

For what I gained from reading this, the value is immeasurable. Many ideas are gleaned from others; this is a nice crystallization that presents a new vision. My life is bettered for reading this.

Thanks to Harmony, Crown, and Random House for providing this book for me to review.

And one last quote, “The day does not have to be perfect in order for us to feel a sense of celebration.” Let us all go and enjoy our special day.

The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure is available on Amazon IndiaAmazon USA, Flipkart

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I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon.com and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog and Twitter.
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One thought on “The Shambhala Principle Review: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure

  • Partho Mondal

    “The day does not have to be perfect in order for us to feel a sense of celebration.” Let us all go and enjoy our special day.

    This is a wonderful thought! Thank you for the review. I look forward to more such reviews. I plan to read this book…

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