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Record Type: Review   ID: 373

The Way to Shambhala

Bernbaum, Edwin

 In the first four chapters the author describes the Tibetan myth of Shambhala, the mysterious kingdom hidden behind the mountains. It is based on both oral and written sources, including three extensive trips to Tibet to do research and conduct interviews. In the fifth chapter he describes Tibetan Buddhism and the teachings reportedly hidden in Shambhala. Chapter 6 is a discussion of the inner symbolism of Shambhala. The next two chapters describe accounts of the so-called journey to the hidden kingdom. In Chapter 9 Bernbaum "interprets the guidebooks as allegories for a journey into the hidden depths of the mind" (p. xiv). Chapter 10 is concerned with the prophetic elements of the Shambhala tales, which involve a final battle and the coming of the golden age. This symbolism is examined in the light of Buddhist teaching. In the final chapter Bernbaum relates the myth of Shambhala to daily life. He concludes: "Ultimately, . . . each one of us needs to find and seek his own equivalent of Shambhala--that place, thing, person, or even idea that has the power to inspire us to take the inner journey to greater freedom and awareness. Such a symbol can give meaning and direction to our lives, as well as the strength and determination to endure the trials that lie ahead. For it to do so, it must, however, have the reality for us that a hidden valley has for the Tibetan yogi who seeks it. Our personal equivalent of Shambhala must be something genuine that grows naturally out of our own lives and experiences, something that comes, in fact, from the inspiration of the deeper mind" (p. 267).
Publisher Information:Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1980. 316p. Bibl: 295-300; Chap. bibl: 269-288; 15 figs; Glos: 289-293; 25 illus; Index: 307-316; 1 map
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