FROM THE OFFICE OF HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
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
FROM TIBET HOUSE, CULTURAL CENTRE OF HH THE DALAI LAMA, NEW DELHI
‘It is a very nice book. We have added the same to our library which is open to all.’
Tenzin Dhedon, 19 June 2017
AMAZON: 5.0 OUT OF 5 STARS – AN EXCELLENT GUIDE TO TIBETAN BUDDHISM
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
FROM THE ‘BODHISATTVA ROAD’ BLOG ON PATHEOS.COM
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