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Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

by Chogyam Trungpa

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People occasionally ask me if I attended Naropa University. My response is that if I was an adult when I chose were to attend university I would have attended Naropa University. This popular text by Naropa's founder is required reading there. Though nominally secular, Buddhism is at the core of this spiritual primer. Not that different from other introductory Buddhist texts, this book is nice breath of fresh air, or a foot in the door for those wanting to learn more about Buddhism (or just the whacked out life of Chogyam Trungpa). I think though the current Dalai Lama's often humorous public persona makes Trungpa's approach very familiar. Now that I am nominally an adult, would I still choose to attend Naropa University? ( )
  librarianbryan | Apr 20, 2012 |
My job has recently required me to travel and the quiet times at night are a good time to explore something I’ve been curious about, Buddhism. I visited a Shambhala Meditation Centre for an introductory session and picked up a recommended book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa.

What is Shambhala? What is this warrior thing all about? (I could not help but think of Klingons.) Trungpa was a Buddhist teacher closely associated with the Dalai Lama. He was a scholar who researched the legendary kingdom of Shambhala and used it as a metaphor for a secular discipline. It does not teach Buddhism, but rather the principles of warriorship that were embodied in ancient India, Tibet, China, Japan and Korea.

I very much like Trungpa’s description of meditation as “developing a sense of our spot, our place on this earth” (20), a kind of psychological or inner homesteading that helps us be at peace. Gentleness and bravery create a regal sort of person fit to rule a kingdom. He suggests that many of us have a “setting sun” attitude toward life and advises visualizing a “rising sun”. Seems a bit too simple, but I tried it and it does facilitate a change of attitude. There’s more to it than that, so if it piques your interest, grab the book to learn more about it, and also about the powerful windhorse metaphor.

Trungpa’s basic aim is to show that the best of life can be enjoyed in even the most ordinary of circumstances. Its secular approach appealed to me. The best Buddhist teachings do not fuss over theological details, and my favourite book so far is Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor.

http://johnmiedema.ca/2009/06/21/inner-homesteading-shambhala-by-chogyam-trungpa... ( )
2 vote jmiedema | Jun 22, 2009 |
Whole-heartedly recommend this book! Sound advice, delivered in a warm and sincere way, almost like hearing it from a firm, yet loving grandparent.

Firstly talking through the reluctance to leave the warm, familiar darkness of `The Cocoon', symbolically representing the ignorance of denial, then leading through the journey towards `The Eastern Sun', helping open up a more enlightened viewpoint along the way.

Including developing loving kindness/ raising the strength of `Wind Horse' energy/ establishing the right perspective to walk tall with confidence/ guidance on how to represent yourself physically in the world/ awareness of the characteristics of the true warrior/ understanding fearlessness as moving through and beyond your restrictions.

Emphasis is given to learning the wisdom of accepting self-responsibility and knowing that the foundation of all spiritual growth is firstly attending to ones own problems, fears and behavior. Recognizing that before we can try to solve these things in the world around us, we ourselves must be acting from a place of peaceful open willingness.

Contact details of international groups following 'The path of the Warrior' can be found at the back of the book. ( )
2 vote aannttiiiittnnaa | Feb 23, 2008 |
Prefer Pema.
  Hanuman2 | Dec 16, 2007 |
Excellent introduction to meditation and Tibetan Buddhism practice and view. JB
  jeeelb | Feb 6, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0877732647, Paperback)

In this practical guide to enlightened living, Chögyam Trungpa offers an inspiring vision for our time, based on the figure of the sacred warrior. In ancient times, the warrior learned to master the challenges of life, both on and off the battlefield. He acquired a sense of personal freedom and power—not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. The Japanese samurai, the warrior-kings of Tibet, the knights of medieval Europe, and the warriors of the Native American tribes are a few examples of this universal tradition of wisdom.

With this book the warrior's path is opened to contemporary men and women in search of self-mastery and greater fulfillment. Interpreting the warrior's journey in modern terms, Trungpa discusses such skills as synchronizing mind and body, overcoming habitual behaviors, relaxing within discipline, facing the world with openness and fearlessness, and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life. Above all, Trungpa shows that in discovering the basic goodness or human life, the warrior learns to radiate that goodness out into the world for the peace and sanity of others.

The Shambhala teachings—named for a legendary Himalayan kingdom where prosperity and happiness reign—thus point to the potential for enlightened conduct that exists within every human being. "The basic wisdom of Shambhala," Trungpa writes, "is that in this world, as it is, we can find a good and meaningful human life that will also serve others. That is our true richness."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Since ancient times, the path of the enlightened warrior has been a powerful and inspiring ideal, showing us how we can master the challenges of life and draw power not from violence or aggression but through the cultivation of gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. Trungpa's classic work has been presenting these ideals to a wide and appreciative audience for more than twenty years.… (more)

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