Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I have this idea that anywhere you are is Shangrila, or Shambala, or any other idealized postulate of place, because I have this idea that everywhere you are is a buddhafield -- or, to say it another way, that buddhafields are ubiquitous, so what we are really invoking with our Shangrilas or Shambalas is the quality of buddhafields.  You wake up one day, and look around, and you realize you have been in perfect circumstance all along.

Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by that which we consider precious and rare. What we  ordinarily "see" is only a fraction of this perfection.

The mistake comes when we turn Shangrila or Shambala into a hope, or a dream we have to "find," instead of a perfection that we can just relax into.


Sunday, I watched the PBS broadcasts of the National Geographic documentaries treating the Bon and Buddhist caves and cave temples in Mustang. I know many people watched these, and if you missed them I am sure they will be re-broadcast. Actually, you can pre-order a DVD by clicking here.

What can one say? To go technical climbing up near the Tibetan border and rescue an ancient library... this is a purpose worth a lifetime. To walk in Padmasambhava's footprints? Really... what can one say?

Pete Athans : a guy with a big, big heart.

Tremendously inspiring and uplifting... watching the films almost irresistibly makes one wish to head off for hidden valleys.

I also watched Michael Wood's PBS documentary on the In Search of Myths and Heroes program, "Search for Shangri-La," or some such, and I do admire the man's fortitude. We are roughly the same age, so it does me good to watch him negotiating some of the trails I visited when I was much younger.  I began following his career with the thing he did on Alexander of Macedonia, and then the thing he did on India. This latest adventure is quite simply remarkable, and I do recommend it to you very highly.

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2 reader comments:

Don said...

My Pal Jeff Watt was apparently involved in the Mustang Show. For a moment I was sorry I don't have a TV. The moment has passed.

Anonymous said...

High Lama: I wanted to meet the Conway who in one of his books said: "There are moments in every mans life, when he glimpses the eternal". That Conway seemed to belong here.

High Lama: It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision, long, long ago. I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom, but in the vulgar passions and the will to destroy. I saw the machine power multiplying, until a single weaponed man might match a whole army. I foresaw a time when man, exalting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure, would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving, that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and of culture that I could, and preserve them here, against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! What unintelligent leadership! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity, crashing headlong against each other, propelled by an orgy of greed and brutality. A time must come my friend, when this orgy will spend itself. When brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. Against that time, is why I avoided death, and am here. And why you were brought here. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here. For here, we shall be with their books and their music, and a way of life based on one simple rule: Be Kind! When that day comes, it is our hope that the brotherly love of Shangri-La will spread throughout the world. Yes, my son; When the strong have devoured each other, the Christian ethic may at last be fulfilled and the meek shall inherit the earth.