A unique reference guide to one of the most complex metaphysical systems known to man

‘Wisdom of the Mountains’ is a comprehensive guide to the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism found in Tibet and the Himalayan regions of India, Bhutan and Nepal. It explains the basic principles of Buddhism, the evolution of the philosophy and ritual associated with the rise of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, and the emergence of the key monastic traditions in Tibet.

The complex art, iconography and ritual is explained, illustrated with over three hundred images, maps and diagrams. Buddhism as currently practised in each of the countries is then described.

The book is intended for those who are travelling to the region, or may have just returned, who, like the author, are intrigued by this most complex of traditions and want to know more. The text, with 640 pages, is not written in an academic or liturgical style, and therefore makes the whole subject more approachable.

Purchase your copy using PayPal: price includes post & packing in the UK.

Please email us for a quote for delivery in all other countries. This can be cost-effective in North America and Australia as the book can be printed ‘on demand’  and despatched locally for you. Please email colin@himalayanbuddhism.com and we will get back to you quickly with postage options.

Hardback: GBP £30
Softcover: GBP £25

Other Amount: GBP

What people have said about the book


In September 2017, the book was presented to His Holiness. His office sent this kind acknowledgement:

‘We have already presented it to His Holiness and he thanks you for sending him a copy and for the effort you have put into writing this book.

We are confident that your book will further help in the promoting the spiritual wealth of Tibet and the Himalayan regions.’

Tenzin Sherab, 16 September 2017


‘It is a very nice book. We have added the same to our library which is open to all.’

Tenzin Dhedon, 19 June 2017


This is a thorough and well-written introduction to Buddhism in general and a detailed reference work for the history and practice of Tibetan Buddhism in particular.

The author has travelled and explored extensively. Fascinated and intrigued especially by the traditions of the various countries of the Himalayas, he applies his sharp and inquiring mind to understanding the particular form of Buddhism found there. As he admits, this is neither an academic work, nor a book by a practitioner. What it is, is an honest endeavour to explore the essence of the esoteric tradition of Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism, known as Tibetan Buddhism.

As well as looking at the history and development of this particular form of Buddhism, the core concepts, philosophy and practice, he also covers monasteries, temples and other structures. He gives guidance on deities, rituals, art and iconography with plenty of rich illustrative material to help in the reader’s understanding of some of the complexities…

…Whether you are a curious traveller or trekker in the Himalayan region, or indeed visit one of the Tibetan settlements elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent, and want to know more, or whether you are simply someone who has become interested in Buddhism in general, this is an excellent reference book.

By Elena on 14 August 2017


Wisdom of the Mountains is a giant book, much bigger than I expected when I ordered it. At over six hundred pages, with numerous pictures and diagrams,

It’s probably the most detailed book on Tibetan style Buddhism that I’ve seen.
It’s author, Colin Stump, has traveled extensively in the Himalayan region and it’s pretty obvious in the book that he knows what he’s talking about.

It starts off with basic teachings about Buddhism and then delves deeply into the specifics regarding the way it has affected the cultures in the Himalayan region. I think the target audience for this book fits into one of two categories that might also intersect.

On the one hand, if you’re really interested in the history of Tibetan Buddhism and those things that make it unique, like deities, complex rituals, and the way this tradition has been shaped over the years, this is a good book for you. There are detailed descriptions of deities and rituals, along with pictures (the fact that this book had color photos really surprised me!). About the pictures: there’s a lot of art in this book. Tibetan art and iconography is explored in great detail.

There’s also plenty of detail about what Buddhism was like right before it entered Tibet, and the way it was shaped as a result of mixing with Tibetan culture, along with a detailed description of the schools of Buddhism that have emerged in Tibet: Nyingma, Kadam, Sakya, Kagyu, Geluk, and minor schools too. Often understanding and remembering the differences between these schools has been difficult for me. The author does a good job of elucidating the differences, even the subtle ones.

On the other hand, this book also works as a travel guide. If I wanted to travel to the Himalayas, this book could serve as a travel guide. There’s a great exploration of the people and places that are important to Buddhism in the region, from India through Nepal and Bhutan, into Tibet.

This is a wonderful book for people who are interested in delving deeply into Tibetan Buddhism, either for scholarly, spiritual, or adventure based interest. I’m going to keep this giant book on my bookshelf and turn to it whenever I need to write about some nuanced aspect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Daniel Scharpenburg, Dharma Teacher and ‘Bodhisattva Road’ Columnist for Patheos, 1 October 2017

About the author

Colin Stump spent years in the UK brewing and food industry, but was to eventually manage a global group of adventure travel companies. With many visits to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, Colin sought a deeper understanding of the Buddhist art and ritual that he had seen on these travels, culminating in the publication of his first book in June 2017.


A talk on Buddhism of the Himalaya & Tibet by local author Colin Stump, followed by yoga and meditation led by Mandy Keast-Southall, BWY DIp

Venue: Rolleston Village Hall, near Newark-on-Trent, UK

Date and time: Sunday 28 January 2018


We are delighted to announce that £494.38 was raised at this event and has now been donated to the Tibet Relief Fund, founded in 1959 to help Tibetan communities in need.

Today they continue to work with Tibetans in India, Nepal and Tibet through local projects that address basic needs and provide vital healthcare and education. They also respond to emergencies and promote self-sufficiency in Tibetan communities to help them build a positive future.  http://www.tibetrelieffund.co.uk