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Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  6,817 ratings  ·  291 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Shambhala (first published 1984)
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Mar 09, 2021 rated it liked it
IF THE VISION in one book helped to guide me past the rocks, waves and eddies of the last incredibly busy, productive and seat-of-my-pants zany twenty years of my career, this was IT.

Trungpa’s surreally adventurous vision hauled me up by my wilting collar and set me up high on a Sky Hook. It carried me to a fully pensionable retirement. Then, mulling over the whole set of felicitous circumstances that landed me back safe and sound into a reading retirement, I mulled some more:

And felt the whole
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not knowing exactly what to write, I wanted to write a review to remind myself of the key points in this book and share something that is likely not on most people's radars. Much of this book can't be summarized or fully captured in a blog post, but I think the quote below gives you an idea of what you'll find in here. The basic premise is that we need to fully accept what it means to be human, taking our "bad" with the good, and facing this fact—embracing our humanness—is an act of being a warr ...more
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I didn't finish this book. Realization: It doesn't matter.

Last year I read Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, also by Trungpa. Both it and this book are the kind you can read, chew on, chew on, then come back to. Its a part of a journey. That being said, they could also be used as part of a very intentional practice, which I hope to get back to.

If you've ever wondered how to delve into the layers of your psyche without the use of drugs, pick up this book. The use of imagery is p
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Hmmm, once upon a time Trungpa comes out to a large audience waiting to hear his lecture. He was late. When he finally appears, dead drunk, he stumbles to the mic and states simply, "You read the book" and walks away. For this the people in attendance had paid five bucks.
I'm glad that so many Americans have found Buddhism to soothe their agnostic needs to have a God who does not exist but as the author of this book states about his final (and arguably best) text, "it's secular". Trungpa was a f
Julian Worker
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Some points that resonated with me after reading this book. These are just a few examples, there are many others. This book should be read by all, so we can all find sentences, paragraphs, and chapters that will make our lives better for us.

1) Casualness has become increasingly popular, because people think in terms of efficiency rather than appreciation.

2) In some religious traditions, sense perceptions are regarded as problematic, because they arouse worldly desires. However, in the Shambhala
Chilly SavageMelon
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I can't say it's bad without really trying to implement the lifestyle described, but I've read other similar works that were more inspiring. For example, there's a volume I can't find on here, a series of letters complied into a volume called Advanced Meditation by Yogi Ramachakra that came out early in the 20th century. While reading the explanation of the ego, will etc. I was suddenly inspired to quit smoking.

While there's nothing wrong with what's being said here, it seems aimed at the comple
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, buddhism
The first part was really interesting, the second part definitely lost me, and the third part was a mix of the previous two. Mostly what lost me in the second part was Trungpa's constant redefining of words to mean something only vaguely similar to their normal usages. It was frustrating to have to constantly remember that fearlessness didn't really mean fearlessness and magic didn't really mean magic. I know sometimes concepts don't translate well into English, but I really wish he could have c ...more
Apr 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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 w
Apr 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
For those interested in methods for the edification of the heart and spirit without relying on ghosts or Flying Spaghetti Monsters, this book is a must read. Yet interestingly enough, most of what Trungpa is saying is mirrored in the more profound aspects of Christianity, especially in the exegesis of scholars like Bultmann or Tillich, provided the reader doesn't get hung up on cosmetic differences but thinks about the *meaning* of the words. I can recommend this book with an open heart equally ...more
David Guy
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've probably read this book five or six times; I just seem to know when I need to. Supposedly it is talking about a secular practice that is not specifically Buddhist, but it's quite apparent that Buddhist thought and practice are behind it; only the terminology has been changed. Somehow or other I find this to be Trungpa's most inspiring and accessible book, and am always very much inspired by it. It's about basing your life in meditation practice, and learning to live out of that.

Trungpa's l
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Inspiration from the ancient Tibetan Kingdom of Shambhala as a means to strive for an enlightened society in modern times carries powerful messages. The Buddhist foundation is grounding while expanding to encompass all beings in a non-religious way of life mentality focused on fearlessness, egolessness, and soft-heartedness. These and related characteristics are the "true face" of the warrior.

Recognizing and appreciating the basic goodness of life as it is, being compassionate to yourself and ot
As part of my 2015 reading challenge I was to read the book at the bottom of my to-read list. I’m not sure why I wanted to read this, but it was my very first Goodreads “to-read” book. The title seems intimidating, as I’m suspicious if not cynical about the words sacred and warrior, and have no desire to be either. But since I inherited the book from a friend who passed away, with whom I’d shared many books, I thought it was worth a try. I needed to cross it off my challenge list anyway, plus it ...more
Linda Martin
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers
Recommended to Linda by: Peter Mt. Shasta
I will be honest - I found this difficult to read but by sheer power of stubbornness I slogged through it and tried to learn the philosophy. There's a lot of wisdom shared on right living and the path of a spiritual warrior. It was not at all what I expected! The path is very subdued and subtle. I took notes on every chapter... I'll share a few with you.

Chapter One: Creating an Enlightened Society
Basic secular human wisdom can solve the problems of this world. There's a discussion of where Shamb
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Beyond mindfulness, before mindfulness.This is what I got from reading on the XXI Century Shambhala, Chogyam Trungpa's classic. Throughout its pages, the renowned meditation teacher and artist develops a secular approach to living a fulfilling and meaningful life according to the Shambhala teachings. Although these are rooted on Buddhism, its application can be implemented by anyone interested in making the best out of his or her life, and benefitting as many people around as possible.
So, expect
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Sacred Path of the Warrior is an amazing and rather interesting read. I didn't actually expect to relate to the lessons and methods explained within the book, but I was sorely mistaken. This book takes you through each step of becoming a warrior in life. In other words, this book helps you to become aware of yourself and the world around you. It really puts the reader in the hot seat because its so easy to find things in life that you need to work on. This book is more of a philosophical and ...more
Izak Last
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-finish
I try and live my life by the wisdom contained in this book. It focuses on the rising sun and not the setting sun, a great way to adjust one's outlook on life. I try to read a few lines from it every week even though I have read it many times. ...more
Ariel Desouza
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life tremendously.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Finally finished. Meh. Some good stuff but really preachy as well. Just not my style.
Oct 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, lifestyle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love this book, especially after being introduced to Chogyam Trungpa's Shambhala way by some of his disciples at the ALIA Leadership Institute I just went to in Halifax and the track on "Leader as Spiritual Warrior" that I took with Meg and Jerry as the guides.

Finishing the book on my little porch on my cabana at the Finca Mistica on the Olmetepe Isle on Lake Nicaragua this morning, I delighted in the second to last chapter on authentic presence where I discovered the four dignities and final
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Through years of meditation I have come to the realization that we have the lost our appreciation of this wonderful world we live in. We have created a mechanized universe that separates us from our appreciation of the simplicity we can only experience as creators. We now throw a switch or push a button and wahla a machine produces a product. We are no longer creators we are an appendage of our mechanized society. This separation slowly diminishes our appreciation of nature. We are no longer Num ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Research on this author is necessary. The man who wrote this book is, flawed, human and yet he held a position of spiritual authority. What he has made available in this book to the westerner is invaluable. Though I wonder, without a teacher, or further research would a novice completely understand. I read this book in a discussion group, we met weekly to discuss chapters read. The early chapters seemed familiar to teacher and student alike who are versed and familiar with Buddhist spiritual pra ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
It is undeniable that one characteristic of human beings is: they fight.

When I chose three books to take along on the airplane last week, it seemed a remarkable coincidence when I noticed that they all dealt with the subject of fighting.

It was probably inevitable that this would eventually happen, given how fighting is a main activity of humans.

The books are: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, Shambhala by Chogyam Trungpa, and 100 Tips for Amateur Players Vol II by Youngsun Yoon.

Fight Club is a nove
Sophia Ciocca
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm obsessed with this book in theory. Trungpa's message is all-important, and the way he lays out part 1, how to be a Warrior, gave me a fresh perspective on ideas that have been swimming in my head for so long -- ideas of how to live a good life, how to be radically authentic, how to be genuine and gentle and soft and yet confident and strong. His wisdom is immense, and this book overall felt like magic. I loved reading it in the park and feeling like I suddenly had a superpower, of being able ...more
David Biddle
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Over the years I've read a great deal of Eastern philosophy. It still surprises me that Buddhism of any vein is not the path of choice for most thinking people. Shambhala as a philosophy and way of life is the most enticing perspective I've come across. Trungpa should be more well known. But no matter. There is great truth in this work for those of us in the present moving always into the future. The Sacred Path of the Warrior is not about worshipping some comic book deity or trying to answer th ...more
C. Varn
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chögyam Trungpa is rightly controversial as our his successors: he successfully brought Kaygu teachings to Europe and America parallel to the Dalai Lama's exile. Yet Trungpa's scandals undergirded his success and while many defended it as a concession to secular and as the crazy wisdom often used in the Tantric guru-relationship. While he was often a good transmitter of Vajrayana and general Buddhism to "the West," he also secularized much of the work. This Shambhala's warrior path is a quasi-s ...more
Cannot make up my mind whether this was supposed to be deep philospohical stuff that went over my head or a lot of prattling on and on about nonsense. I am leaning toward the latter. To me, this was thinly veiled psycho-babble mixed with advertising for his schools. He wants us all to live good lives, helping others, being kind, blah blah blah... but then he himself says, "but somebody's got to wear the three-piece suit" meaning if the rest of us are running around with flowers in our hair, we s ...more
I read this as the introductory book into Shambhala Buddhism and indeed, if you have participated in any Shambhala Meditation centre, their introductory levels of training programs go through what is in this book.

Shambhala Buddhism distinguishes itself from other forms of Buddhism in that it takes the Tibetan myth of the city of Shambhala as an inspiration for an enlightened society. Although it is purportedly fully compatible with Buddhism, it simplifies a lot of Buddhist concepts, assumedly so
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are.

Shambhala vision is trying to provoke you to understand how you live, your relationship with ordinary life.

The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.

Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.

Absence of doubt is trusting the heart, trusting yourself.

To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life. That is
Rebecca Dhrimaj
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
I recently started going to a local Shambhala Center, and a friend gave me this book to read. Some parts were too abstract and went over my head, but most of Shambhala teachings seem to be what I've been missing all my life in pursuit of a spiritual path. The concept that everyone is basically good is refreshing but was hard for me to digest at first, having spent most of my childhood learning that humans are all inherently sinful. Shambhala, to me, is like going back to basics and returning to ...more
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Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Tibetan: ཆོས་ རྒྱམ་ དྲུང་པ་ Wylie: Chos rgyam Drung pa; also known as Dorje Dradul of Mukpo, Surmang Trungpa, after his monastery, or Chökyi Gyatso, of which Chögyam is an abbreviation) was a Buddhist meditation master, scholar, teacher, poet, and artist. He was the 11th descendent in the line of Trungpa tulkus of the Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was al ...more

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“The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.” 99 likes
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