Searching for Happy Valley: A Modern Quest for Shangri-La


Product Details

$25.00  $23.25
Rocky Mountain Books Incorporated
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Jane Marshall has written for the Edmonton Journal, Travel Alberta, VUE Weekly, Avenue Magazine, and the University of Alberta's Illuminate magazine, and was content editor for the "Capital Ideas" sections in the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald. She currently writes an adventure blog for Breathe Outdoors to inspire people to connect with nature. Her first book, Back Over the Mountains (Penguin) introduced her to the Himalayas and she's been learning about sacred lands ever since. Marshall fell in love with the land and people of Tsum, Nepal, and co-founded The Compassion Project, a Canadian-registered charity striving to improve healthcare and education. Her trekking company, Karuna Mountain Adventures, connects people to the land and people of Nepal so that they too can experience the Himalayas. She lives in Canmore with her husband and two children and teaches English to refugees and newcomers. You can find her in the alpine, random camping or skiing, and at


"Searching for Happy Valley is a powerful meditation on our relationship with each other, the land and our place within it. Weaving this book with grace and courage, Jane guides us into the heart of three naturally intact corners of the Earth, enabling us to soften into the sacredness of these lands and the people who inhabit them, as well as the one sacred place which resides within us all." --Mike Schauch, author of A Story of Karma: Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya

"This book leads you along a humble path to a place that touches the realm of the Vision Quest -- where you can look into another world. Jane has a powerful mind and heart and her story brings us back to our physical nature, which is made up of mother earth and the elements. It connects you to the land and to the core of who we are, the place where we are all one. Honestly and beautifully written." --Conrad Little Leaf - Piita Piikaon/Eagle Being, Piikānii interpreter at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Site

"I have seen what occurs when culture, spirituality, music and the Earth are desecrated. Jane Marshall's writing conveys the importance of happy valleys and Tibetan Buddhist beyul. They are sacred places that protect Indigenous wisdom, places where we find healing and return to what is most important." --Ngawang Choepel, musician and filmmaker

"A journey of light and love into the far horizons of the spirit." --Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer, author, photographer, anthropologist

"Searching for Happy Valley is a special travelogue that chronicles Jane Marshall's quest for the inner and outer boundaries of the sacred. She describes her time with Indigenous people in Morocco and Alberta, but especially her heart is opened in the remote area of Tsum on the border of Nepal and Tibet. Here she undertakes an intrepid pilgrimage to a holy mountain rarely seen by outsiders. This is a poetic and heartfelt account of a search for innermost meaning reflected in an environment of vast grandeur beyond the senses." --Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, author, international Buddhist teacher and founder and director of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery

"Jane Marshall's book transcends cultural boundaries in its charting of the geography of happiness, and it reveals that it's as much about what we bring to the places that inspire us as about what such places may reveal about human flourishing. Searching for Happy Valley is a timeless journey that shows us how wild and dangerous places are also the most intimate when, as Jane Marshall writes, "we touch them with love." --Ian Baker, author of The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place

"Searching for Happy Valley is for the inner pilgrim in all of us. Intrepid and sure-footed, Jane Marshall offers a modern lens into the ancient tradition of hidden valleys that exist around the world, from Morocco, to Alberta, Canada, to the Himalayas. These remote regions offer a place of physical refuge and spiritual sanctuary. Along the way, the author brings alive the travellers she meets and the friends she makes, from First Nations elders to the delightful Nepalese Tibetan nun Ani Pema. In luminous, tender writing, Marshall invites us to step out of our comfort zone and into our courage zone. To let the land imprint itself on us, rather than for us to leave even our footprints. At this time of climate devastation, her words create a sanctuary. An urgent reminder of all that we must protect before it's too late. By the end of the book, you'll have dusted off your walking boots to discover the remote, wild regions near you. Written in gold-washed prose and with clear-eyed wisdom, this is a travel memoir filled with light, love, and longing." --Dr. Claire Scobie, author of Last Seen In Lhasa: The Story of an Extraordinary Friendship in Modern Tibet