I am sorry to have to write what may be a slightly negative review. However, as there were no reviews when I looked at this book here on Amazon, I bought it rather blindly. So I will now let you know what I think of it.
Firstly I was getting ready for a lovely life story. There are excellant life stories written, such as the life of Milarepa, and the life of Marpa. However, this book is quite different. For a start, even though it is 220 pages long, the actual Life story only takes 51 pages (a fair amount of which is empty space, so actually a good deal fewer true pages than that).
Coming to the Life story then, we encounter quite a strange writing style. Here is an example of a sentance: "Some bad person took [them] away, and [I] wept a great deal."
This makes me thing, who is Mr Schaeffer writting for? If it were a paper he was writing as a translation assignment for a university course, I could understand. But for the public? It is cryptic scholar writing, and there is surely no need for this. It serves no benefit to write in that way.
Then there are occasions when the text makes no sense. Here is an example:
"Dirt got in my mouth and my hair, and then a rock went down my mouth." What does that mean? And Mr Schaeffer puts a note. If you look up the note in the back, it says "translation tentative". There are 8 such examples.
So I thought, how is it possible that he studied this text (i.e. studied under a master) and could not get to grips with the meaning? So I turned to the Acknowledgments. There he seems to imply that he did not study this text with anyone, from what I can understand. In fact, the only Tibetan person he mentions at all in the acknowledgments is the fellow who painted the picture for the book cover.
It may also be worthy to note the dedication. It is very nice. Mr Schaeffer dedicates the book to his mother, father, wife and daughter. That's very nice. However let's take another example. Let's take "Repeating the Words of the Buddha", and book by Tulku Urgen Rinpoche. The dedication for that book reads "This book is dedicated to the Buddhadharma and all sentient beings. It is said that when the teachings of the Buddha flourish, there will be happiness for all beings in this life, in the bardo, and in following lives."
The point seems to me to be, the former book (Himalayan Hermitess) seems to me to be a book about Buddhism, by a scholar perhaps, for students perhaps, or maybe anthropologists? The latter (Repeating the Words of the Buddha) seems to be a Buddhist book, by a Buddhist, for Buddhists.
If you lie in the latter category, I highly recommend the latter book, or any by Tulku Urgen, or Chogyam Trungpa, or if you want to read something systematic, please see Reginal Ray's two volume Indestructible Truth and Sectrets of the Vajra World.
If this upsets anyone I do appologise. I do wish you find what will help you.