One of my treasured books from favorite author Linda Schierse Leonard, “The Wounded Woman,” had the most beautiful, sacred, royal-looking design on a deep purple cardstock page insert, simply announcing the name of the publishing company, Shambhala. That card, alone, I remember, was as fascinating to me as the book’s title and the mysterious, wise teachings of Carl Jung, brought to life by the woman author devoted to sharing archetypal insights. (“The Call to Create” and “Creativity & the Veil of Addiction” are just two others Schierse-Leonard penned.)
Back in the ‘80s — before the age of websites — I filled out the card and sent it in to receive their catalog of books and see what else they had up their sleeve. Over the years, it seemed I’d only sporadically receive a brochure (as fits and starts to publishing houses’ marketing efforts came into the digital age).
Having the same effect as the cardstock insert, though, as soon as the first one arrived some 20-plus years ago, I was captivated anew.
Shambhala is perhaps best defined as a Buddhist pure land. Shambhala Publications (Boston) puts out books and audio that quite literally speak to wellness, personal growth, psychology, creativity, mental and spiritual health, relationships and Buddhism. Though some material is far deeper into the latter than I could ever ponder appropriately, I have never been disappointed when a catalog does show up in my mailbox. (Nor is my husband.)
“The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery,” by Dr. Lawrence Peltz, expands upon Western thought, offering an enlightening new way of approach to an old, troublesome problem. “Shadow Dance,” by featured author David Richo, looks good — it is subtitled ‘Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side.’ And then there is “Making a Change for Good: A Guide to Compassionate Self-Discipline,” by Cheri Huber.
There are even texts on conscious parenting, crafts, cooking and many mandala coloring books for inner contemplation.
Some of the Buddhist Wisdom books are very approachable to laypeople and have ended up on the Shambhala Favorites list. Many are by sage woman Buddhist Pema Chodron. Her titles speak for themselves (and I for her good writing): “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change,” Awakening Loving-Kindness,” and two that uncannily approach Western psychological behaviorist theory, in “Don’t Believe Everything You Think,” and “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears.”
Whether you want to find “the middle way” between Western and Eastern, or simply want to be inspired, Shambhala offers artful, sacred and thoughtful ways of getting there. Their works truly help, whether when one needs an extra boost to feel connected to self, others and planet, or simply retreat.
You can visit Shambhala Publications here.