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Shambhala Publications Inc.

A Brief History of Shambhala Publications

Books are companions... teachers... muses... carriers of dreams, visions, and truth. For a quarter of a century, Shambhala Publications has been devoted to the magic, craft, and business of books. Weve published hundreds of titles over the yearsfrom miniature classics to oversized art books, from scholarly translations to stories for children, from books on tape to books in a box, from A Little Course in Dreams to The Great Path of Awakening. In these pages, we invite you to celebrate with us some of the highlights of our history--the people, events, and books that have helped Shambhala to flourish as a small independent house of quality, integrity, and vision.

Simple Beginnings: 1969

At the height of the sixties counterculture, a distinctive publishing venture emerged as an outgrowth of Shambhala Booksellers, a metaphysical bookstore that two young friends, Sam Bercholz and Michael Fagan, had opened in Berkeley, California, the year before.

Shambhala Publications began as a sort of after-school activity, publisher Bercholz recalled years later. Originally we just wanted to have a place where people could exchange ideas, a sort of meeting place. But a meeting place had to have some way of keeping itself going, so we became a bookstore. From the bookstore, we felt that there was information that should be passed on to a larger community than just the college community around Berkeley. So we published a thousand copies of our first book, sold around the San Francisco Bay Area.

That first bookMeditation in Action by Chögyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher then living in Scotland--set the tone for all that was to follow. At a time of growing interest in mystical paths of inner development, here was a book that spoke in an unusually direct and accessible way about spirituality as a sane and practical approach to life: not an obscure doctrine unconnected with experience, but a clear vision of reality that could be expressed beyond the meditation cushion, in everyday activities and all spheres of human endeavor.

Ever since, Shambhala has specialized in books that present creative and conscious ways of transforming the individual, the society, and the planet. The notion of translating spiritual insight into action in the world is embodied in the companys name: Shambhala is a legendary Central Asian kingdom that symbolizes an enlightened way of life harmonizing the inner and outer worlds. Thus, the Shambhala worldview enables us to publish in a wide variety of subject areas, including psychology and the sciences, the arts and creativity, business and economics, and health and healing.

Still, religion and philosophy remain the heart of our publishing program. Among other titles that we are proud to have had among our early publications are Gopi Krishnas Kundalini and Carlos Suares The Cipher of Genesis (both of which, like Meditation in Action, were acquired with the help of Shambhalas mentor. Vincent Stuart of Stuart & Watkins in London), The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi, The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-neng, and works by scholars Herbert V. Guenther and John Blofeld.

A Taste for Zen: 1970

Hailed by reviewers as the bible for bread baking, Edward Espe Browns Tassajara Bread Book was welcomed by a generation fed up with supermarket squish. The author, then head cook of a Zen meditation retreat in California, offered a philosophy as wholesome as his natural ingredients, encouraging readers to bake with love, awareness, and a sense of the sacred dimension of everyday life.

Twenty-seven years later, the book is still Shambhalas top seller. In second place is another overnight classic, Browns Tassajara Cooking (1973), a basic vegetarian cookbook thats fun to read, simple to use--and not too ascetic: as Brown wrote, No sugar, no enlightenment.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism: 1973

In the supermarket of spiritual techniques, there was also a squish factor to contend with. Chogyam Trungpas second book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, offered much-needed guidance in discriminating between authentic spiritual practice and what he called spiritual materialism, the tendency of ego to distort the spiritual path to its own ends.

Shambhala Meets Random House: 1974

Thanks to our early successes, New York publishing houses began deluging Sam with offers to distribute Shambhala books to the trade. The idea of teaming up with a big corporation wasnt seriously considered until James Silberman of Random House, Inc., came along and the chemistry was right. A personal, congenial relationship with Random House and its dynamic sales force has continued fruitfully to this day, enabling Shambhala to gain international visibility while preserving editorial independence.

The Tao of Physics: 1975

Is the cosmic dance of the god Shiva just another way of saying E=mc2? Did the new physics merely rediscover what the ancient mystics of the East learned centuries ago through meditation? Probably not, as even Fritjof Capra concedes, yet his 1975 book The Tao of Physics, exploring the parallels between Eastern spirituality and Western science, was destined to become a classic. Now in its third edition and still going strong, it continues to have wide popular appeal because of its visionary recognition of the interplay between mystical, intuition and scientific analysis.

49 Skiddoo: 1975

The Tibetan Book of the Dead was the first book to bring Tibetan Buddhism to the attention of the West when it appeared in 1927 in an English translation by W.Y. Evans-Wentz. The text contains meditation instructions to be practiced in the bardo, or in- between state, between death and rebirth. It is traditionally read aloud at the time of death and for up to forty-nine days afterward, at which time the person is said to be reborn. Fascination with the doctrine of reincarnation made the book famous, but alas, it was not very readable. Reviewers and readers welcomed our lucid new translation by Francesca Fremantle and Chogyam Trungpa, designed as a book for the living, with a commentary by Trungpa elucidating the texts insights into human psychology.

From Berkeley to Boulder: 1976

By 1976, it was time for a change, and Sam Bercholz decided to move the company to Boulder, Colorado. Theres an illusion in Berkeley that youre in the forefront of thought, he remarked at the time. And its just an illusion. In Boulder, Shambhala was closer to many of its authors, including Chogyam Trungpa, and to the Naropa Institute. Americas first Buddhist university, which was a helpful source of contacts. Besides, Sam said, We like it here.

The Cleary Phenomenon: 1977

The mammoth Blue Cliff Record--over 600 pages of Zen koans and commentary from twelfth-century China--marked the debut of an outstanding scholar and translator of Asian sacred literature, Thomas Cleary (who collaborated on the book with his brother J. C. Cleary). Tom would go on to produce an astonishing array of classics over the next decades--dozens of key works of Eastern wisdom, including The Flower Ornament Scripture, several versions of the I Ching, Taoist alchemical manuals, teachings of great Chinese and Japanese Zen masters. His books were devoured not only by serious practitioners but also, in some cases, by business people eager to learn the ancient Oriental arts of leadership and strategy.

Transpersonal Best: 1981

What can we say about a man who has been likened Thomas Aquinas, William James, and Albert Einstein--except to add that were glad hes Ken Wilber and that hes published a few books with us. A leading theorist in consciousness research and transpersonal psychology, Wilber is best known for his full-spectrum model of human consciousness, from the most basic stages of development to the highest spiritual attainments. No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (1981), our first Wilber title and still his most popular book, presents this framework in a simplified form, relating the spectrum of consciousness to the major schools of psychology as well as to the mystical traditions of the East. His recent opus, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality--the first volume of his Kosmos trilogy (and its short, popular version, A Brief History of Everything - has aroused both ardent praise and excited controversy. We admire Ken, not only for his Einsteinian qualities, but for his groundedness in spiritual practice, the example he sets of intellect in the service of truth, and perhaps most of all, his sense of humor.

Interviewer: Ken, how much of the spectrum of consciousness is familiar territory to you?

Ken: Im at chakra one and a half, and Im trying to work my way up to the Oedipal complex.

The Wounded Woman: 1983

My rage and my tears are behind every page, writes Linda Leonard, a Jungian analyst and existential philosopher, in her book The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship, which we brought out in paper in 1983. Her courageous self-revelation, heartfelt writing, and compassionate, nonblaming approach to womans and mens problems make it one of the best books in its field.

How to Be A Warrior: 1984

Our first martial arts book, John Stevens Aikido: The Way of Harmony, was an auspicious start to what has been a satisfying part of our list, which now includes Aikido books by Mitsugi Saotome, Tai Chi books by Waysun Liao and Paul Crompton, and a Qigong book by John Alton.

Another important title this year was Chogyam Trungpas Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, showing how to bring the principles of sacredness, dignity, and warriorship into the conduct of our ordinary lives.
New Science Library: 1984

Our Autumn 1984 catalogue introduced a new imprint for the purpose of exploring and encouraging the dialogue between the orthodox sciences (such as physics, biology, and psychology) and what might be called the spiritual sciences--the contemplative disciplines of both East and West. These contemplative practices very much exemplify what we mean by the word science, we stated in the catalogue, in that they embody truth that is based not on mere dogmatic belief or naive faith, but on direct experiential evidence. New Science Library, under the editorial direction of Ken Wilber, Jeremy Hayward, and Francisco Varela, presented some of the most exciting results of the science-spirituality dialogue: books such as Order Out of Chaos by Ilya Prigogine, Up from Eden by Ken Wilber, Imagery in Healing by Jeanne Achterberg, and Space, Time, and Medicine by Larry Dossey. In time, the imprint was phased out, but we have continued to publish in the science category, notably in ecology.

Shambhala Heads East: 1985

It was time for a new illusion. Shambhalas eastward expansion continued when eight households packed up and moved to Boston, setting up shop in the Back Bay in an elegant old building that had once housed a convent. The move placed the company in closer proximity to the mainstream of book publishing, allowing greater contact with authors, media, and the marketplace. Besides, we like it here.

Writing Down the Bones: 1986

Hardly a day goes by that we dont receive a bunch of fan mail for Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within(1986). A word-of-mouth sensation, the book began life modestly, with a small print run, and then soared off into best-sellerdom. In a series of short chapters full of humor, wisdom, and good advice, Goldberg--a writer, poet, and Zen meditator--instills aspiring writers with inspiration and self- confidence. The success of Bones opened the way for us to publish other books on creativity, such as Peter Londons No More Secondhand Art and W.A. Mahtieus The Listening Book and The Musical Life.

Shambhala Dragon Editions: 1987

In 1987 we left the convent to move into more spacious quarters at Horticultural Hall, and launched a new series, Shambhala Dragon Editions, intended as a vehicle for the pith teachings of the Asian religious traditions. Favorite Dragons include Peter Mathiessens Nine-Headed Dragon River, John Wus translation of the Tao Teh Ching, Joseph Goldsteins The Experience of Insight, and the Dalai Lamas A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night. Not surprisingly, several popular books by Tom Cleary have appeared on the list, notably his translation of The Art of War by Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese classic of military strategy, which advises: To win without fighting is best.

The Lion Roars: 1989

Our spoken-word audio publishing program, Shambhala Lion Editions, was born in 1989. It boasts Michael York reading C.G. Jungs autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Richard Gere reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead; and David Warrilow reading...guess what? Tom Clearys Art of War was a hit again. Ten thousand copies of the book-on-tape were even sold to the Marine Corps in their attempt to explore alternatives in conflict resolution.

Jung and Restless: 1989

In the same year, we joined hands with the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in New York City. Marie-Louise von Franz, Edward F. Edinger, Ann Belford Ulanov, and M. Esther Harding are a few of the outstanding authors in our C.G. Jung Foundation series. We also continued to publish Jungian authors outside of the of the series, including Marion Woodman, Robert Bosnak, and Linda Leonard.

In the Palm of Your Hand: 1990

With visions of wee booklings dancing in our heads, we gleefully introduced Shambhala Pocket Classics in Autumn 1990: 3- by 4-1/2-inch paperback books that fit nicely in a Christmas stocking, a shirt pocket, or the palm of your hand. The delightful variety of miniatures includes Krishnamurtis Meditations, Clearys I Ching (not to mention his Art of War), Thomas Mertons Thoughts in Solitude, and Thoreaus Walden.

Shambhala Centaur Editions: 1991

One series of adorable little books was not enough for us. In a slightly larger size (4 1/2 by 5 inches), with illustrations in two colors, we began publishing beloved classics of world literature and spirituality, from Basho to Rumi to Anna Akhmatova, in a charming gift-book format. We called them Shambhala Centaur Editions, after the simple and elegant Centaur typeface that had been a house favorite for years. Today, the Centaurs have grown into a slightly larger format as fashions in book size have changed.

Hidden Treasures: 1991

Books in a box were the brainchild of Julian Rothenstein, a brilliant designer who had founded the Redstone Press in London. In collaboration with Julian, we published our first Shambhala Redstone Editions title in 1992: Surrealist Games, a boxed set containing not only a small hardcover book full of outrageous games and creative projects, but also goodies like a removable tattoo, a fold-out poster, and a little Surrealist dictionary, proclaiming, for example, that death is the horizontal prolongation of a factitious dream, life not being verifiable. Further titles in this series celebrating the arts have featured the Mexican Day of the Dead, optical paradoxes, the revolutionary graphics of Jose Guadalupe Posada, and Kalighat, a popular art movement of modern India. Redstone Editions also features regular unboxed books, such as Alphabets & Other Signs and The Writers Drawing Book.

Shambhala Guides: 1996

In 1996, we inaugurated a new series, presenting accessible and authoritative primers on a wide range of subjects, from Aikido to Zen. Our first two Guides were The Shambhala Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Shambhala Guide to Yoga. Forthcoming titles cover Sufism, Christian mysticism, Tibetan Buddhism-and even sex! (the author will be Zen and Aikido specialist John Stevens). As companions to the Guides, we created a series of anthologies of accessible texts, such as Teachings of the Buddha, selected by Jack Kornfield, and Teachings of Taoism, selected and translated by Eva Wong.

Awarded for Excellence: 1997

For our history of excellence in publishing, Shambhala was awarded the 1996 Literary Marketplace Corporate Award in the Adult Trade category. Among our 1996 successes that were cited at the awards ceremony: Mexico City Blues by Jack Kerouac, read by Allen Ginsberg; A Mapmakers Dream by James Cowan; After Ikkyu and Other Poems by Jim Harrison; The Shambhala Guide to Taoism by Eva Wong; and The Healing Power of Mind by Tulku Thondup.

The View From Here

In the twenty-seven years of our publishing program, as the cultural landscape has transformed, areas of interest that were once considered marginal or esoteric have entered the mainstream. Meditation and alternative healing have gained wide acceptance, natural foods are sold at the corner supermarket, and books on Buddhism are sold in nearly every bookstore. As many of these subject categories have been increasingly commercialized under the nebulous catch-all of new age, Shambhala has quietly continued to fulfill its original mission of publishing serious books of lasting value that, in the words of Sam Bercholz, present whats real and not the glitz.

Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544

Website: http://www.shambhala.com

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Timeless Books

P. O. Box 3543, Spokane, WA 99220

Tel: + 1 (800) 351 9273

Phone/fax: + 1 (509) 838 6652

Website: http://www.timeless.org

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Snow Lion

P. O. Box 6483, Ithaca, NY 14851

Tel: + 1 (800) 950 0313, (607) 273 8519

Email: 75061.1026@compuserve.com

Website: http://www.snowlionpub.com

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Himalayan Academy Publications

Himalayan Academy Publications

107 Kaholalele Rd. Kapaa, Hawaii 96746-9304

Tel: + 1 (800) 890 1008, ext. 238

Fax: + 1 (808) 822 4351

Website: http://www.HinduismToday.kauai.hi.us/ashram

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World Wisdom Books


World Wisdom Books is a small press that has as its aim to present a series of works founded on Tradition, this term being defined as the transmission, over time of permanent and universal truths, whose written sources are the Revealed Scriptures as well as the writings of the great spiritual masters.

This series is thus dedicated to the Sophia Perennis or Religio Perennis which is the timeless metaphysical truth underlying the diverse religions, together with its essential methodological consequences.

It is in the light of the Sophia Perennis, which views every religion from within, that may be found the keys of an adequate understanding which, joined to the sense of the sacred, alone can safeguard the irreplaceable values and genuine spiritual possibilities of the great religions.

Comments and requests can be sent to World Wisdom Books: wwbooks@worldwisdom.com.

World Wisdom Books
P.O. Box 2682
Bloomington, Indiana 47402-2682

Phone: (812) 332-1663
Fax: (812) 332-1983

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