Senior editor Dave O'Neal took a look back at the entire Shambhala catalog and came up with this list of his top ten titles.
Still the best first book on Zen practice and why you'd want to do it. There are so many other wonderful books on Zen now, but I'd still suggest this to anyone just starting to get a taste for it, mainly because it conveys something of the joy of practice along with all the rest.
Thoughts in Solitude
Contains one of my favorite opening sentences of any book: "There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality. " And it goes on from there. We didn't originate this one-we licensed it to publish this pocket-sized edition-but it was a delight to me, as a Merton-ite, to be able to give it this mini-life.
Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead
This book rearranged my head. Not so much for the details of what it says occurs when you die (I'll check that out when it happens), but because it provides an education in understanding the lack of distinction between symbolic and real. When you get that, the whole world begins to look different.
A corrective to the notion that koan practice is supposed to hurt or something. It's about intimacy with reality! It's about happiness! Thanks, John, for reminding us.
W. A. Mathieu
It's really nothing but a pattern of vibrations that makes some tiny bones in our heads jiggle. Yet it can make us cry. Mathieu shares what he's observed about the mystery of music from his decades of composing it, performing it, and being astonished by it.
Confessions of a Wayward Monk
Shozan Jack Haubner
The funniest book we've ever published. Anybody wanna dispute that? Bring it on.
Dilgo Khyentse and Padampa Sangye
Khyentse Rinpoche's teachings are an antidote to the tendency we all have to postpone our practice on behalf of all beings until a more convenient time. This, his commentary on the short verses of advice that Padampa Sangye addressed to laypeople, is a powerful cure for that kind of procrastination.
Baron Munchausen's got nothing on this inadvertently adventurous woman whose life began as a bourgeois German girl and ended as a bhikshuni. In between there was the Nazis, China, suburban L.A., the Hunza, South America, Pakistan, and the raising of Shetland ponies in Australia. Her story is amazing, her teaching is powerful, and, you have to admit, she's got a certain charm.
The Art of Twentieth-Century Zen
Paintings and Calligraphy by Japanese Masters
Audrey Yoshiko Seo and Stephen Addiss
It's just so very beautiful. What else can I say? This is unfortunately out of print, but available various places on the web.
An Art of Our Own
The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art
Roger Lipsey's survey may have a somewhat dated look at this point, but I still go to his insights about Brancusi, Rothko, et al., to reflect on them. It's also, sadly, out-of-print, but there are copies around for anyone who dares to look for them.