The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity's Hidden Treasure Hardcover – May 7 2013
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“In this rich and touching book, Sakyong Mipham recounts his relationship with his father, Chögyam Trungpa, to illustrate his personal journey of discovering the Shambhala principle of basic goodness and enlightened society. His contemplation of humanity’s true nature invites us all to do the same: dig deep into our hearts and bring forth the jewel that will illuminate our own inherent worthiness and that of society—as well as the worthiness of the beautiful earth we inhabit. This is the love that connects us all.
I hope everyone will join Sakyong Mipham in this global conversation. This is a pivotal book for our time.” —Pema Chödrön, author of When Things Fall Apart
"At a time when we can either destroy the world or create a good future, Sakyong Mipham proposes to use the power of goodness to solve our problems. In this surprising and inspiring book the author develops the view that humanity at the core is basically complete, good, and worthy. If you feel sometimes overwhelmed by the daily crimes and disasters, this is a healing book and a basis for hope, one that shows how basic goodness can begin to affect our homes, workplaces, hospitals, and schools, extending all the way to our economic and political systems." -- Lothar Schäfer, author of Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals about How We Should Live
In The Shambhala Principle, Sakyong Mipham offers an inspiring vision of the fundamental wisdom, grace, and courage that resides in the heart of every human being. Rich in insight and practical detail, The Shambhala Principle is an indispensable guide to personal and societal transformation. It is at once a moving and deeply personal tribute to his father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and a transmission of timeless principles presented in a manner uniquely suited to the challenges of the 21st century.” Eric Swanson – co-author of The Joy of Living and Open Heart, Open Mind
About the Author
SAKYONG MIPHAM is the head of the Shambhala lineage, which is grounded in the power of creating enlightened society in everyday life. With a unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives, he teaches this way of social transformation throughout the world. In addition, he extends his vision to a number of humanitarian projects in Asia and the West. He is the author of the bestselling titles Running with the Mind of Meditation, Ruling Your World, and Turning the Mind into an Ally.
For more information, visit www.sakyong.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Definately not just about running. More like a handbook for huma life planning
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book differs from self-help books because, while it is written in a straightforward style, it looks at things from the point of view of the Shambhala teachings which the author received from his father, a historically significant Tibetan Buddhist teacher. The premise of this perspective is a truth that is self-evident but rarely acknowledged in our culture--that things are basically good as they are. There are other books which make this point, of course, but I guess I am liking this one so much because of its focus on how the everyday decisions we make as individuals are actually the decisions that create the larger world. I will let others wax enthusiastic about saving the world, but I will say that the perspective put forward in this book rings true and points out a way to live one's life without ceaselessly fumbling with the twin snaps of self-doubt and self-promotion.
The book's format is delightful and appropriate to the importance attached to relationships and the elements of daily life. In each chapter the author reflects on a phrase or two spoken by his father--in once instance for example, he comes to see his father's invitation to a dinner party with "just you and me" as a teaching on how society is built of a web of one-on-one relationships. At the heart of this book is the notion of "ceremony"--which in another day might have been called ritual. In this perspective, ceremony conveys the idea that everything we do has a rippling significance, and the little things matter a lot. This is challenging but also quite exciting and brings the elusive possibility of making a difference in the world within our grasp.
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 HAPINESS 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.
Author, Sakyong (Earth-Protector) Mipham, the son, and the reincarnation of Mipham-the-Great of 19th centaury Tibet, also a channel for bringing Shambhala teachings into this world, muses in each chapter around a few simple words spoken to him directly by his father and then expands them to relate directly to our lives both as individuals and as a collective. In the chapter-Life is a Ceremony-for example he has us contemplate how our calendar, which originally had sacred meaning with a day set aside for family and one for spirituality has been almost totally co-opted by the predominant culture of materialism. "Within this system personal growth and spirituality are not priorities, because there is little room left in the calendar for examining the purpose of life and developing one's heart and mind. My father would always say 'Desire leads to more desire, it does not lead to satisfaction' what leads to satisfaction is appreciation."
As a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher working in health care, the cancer field, and mental health, I am witness daily to tremendous suffering brought about by people’s deep doubts in their worthiness, and in their sense of belonging to something important, good and larger than themselves. The culture of materialism has sown deep doubts in humanities faith in their own goodness and potential and systematically cultivates a culture of inadequacy, fear, dissatisfaction, distraction and endless craving. I call these social mind viruses and The Shambhala Principle is a powerful and practical antidote to these viruses. I recommend it for your health and wellbeing and for the ultimate health and wellbeing of society at large for generations to come.
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