Like much of Chogyam Trungpa's writing, this little book is somewhat deceptive. The language is so simple. But soon the attentive reader realises that she is being spun into a many-layered world of vast depths.
Shambhala – the Sacred Path of the Warrior is one of two Trungpa books released by Shambhala meant to contain ‘secular’ teachings. Of course, the Lama remains rooted in his Buddhist lineage. But this little volume, being part of Trungpa's Shambhala vision, was delivered in the spirit of providing everyday teachings to westerners, unadorned by the ‘other-worldliness’ of traditional Buddhist teachings.
As the name suggests, these teachings tap authentically and powerfully into the more general lineage of spiritual warriorship, which is really an archetypal spiritual path. In the sense that it represents themes that are common to numerous spiritual lineages throughout the ages. Including alchemy, shamanism and any other spiritual path that involves initiation.
Common to these traditions is the theme that the first phase of authentic spirituality is to become a spiritual warrior. Whereas it necessarily entails the kind of discipline that involves an unlearning of past habits, the spiritual warrior has little resemblance to its martial and heroic western cousin. As Trungpa points out regularly, the core of spiritual warriorship is the cultivation of a tender heart. Yet paradoxically, to do that, impeccable discipline is required.