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In mythology, Shambhala is a kingdom that exists hidden in the Himalayan mountains.
It is a place where people live in perfect harmony and happiness with one another.
One could say it is heaven on earth.
There are many synonyms for Shambhala, Shangri-la is one. I first learned about it in a book called Lost Horizon by James Hilton that I highly recommend. It’s an uplifting and inspiring story about a place on earth which is heavenly, and it expanded my thinking about the possibilities that are available for us human beings.
Although Shambhala can be thought of as a place, it is actually a state of being—one of spiritual happiness and harmony.
Nearly all cultures around the world have their own version of this concept. When one is in that place, their physical location doesn’t matter. This exalted state of consciousness can be achieved by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The first step is believing in Shambhala.
I also practice meditation and prayer in order to prepare my mind and body. More specifically, I engage in a spiritual practice where I try to see God everywhere and in everything.
All is one.
When I see myself in everyone, I am less likely to be judgmental and critical and more likely to have compassion and understanding.
What happens to me also happens to you and vice versa. For example, if I bless you, I am also blessing myself. If I curse you, I am cursing myself. I can practice seeing God in everyone I meet and also in everything that happens. This is a different way of life and a different way of thought.
At first this concept may seem foreign, but with consistent practice, it is possible to begin living one’s entire life in this way. It is a higher frequency of consciousness than the normal human is accustomed to.
According to some Eastern philosophies, this world is impermanent—here today and gone tomorrow, and therefore, does not have a permanent reality.
If one goes traveling throughout the world looking for Shambhala from various traditions, they may not find what they seek. Some believe there is a celestial realm that is eternal, existing everywhere in time and space.
It is right here and now. We are swimming in it. It is within me; it is within you; it is in the space that separates us.
When we tune into this realm, we become it and it becomes us. Shambhala lives in this place. It is Shambhala.
There are some things which give me great joy when I think of Shambhala.
There is a song called, “On the Road to Shambhala” written by Daniel Moore. It was made famous in 1973, by Three Dog Night and B.W. Stevenson. There is a verse in the song which goes, “Everyone is so helpful, everyone is so kind on the road to Shambhala.”
I have been on the road to Shambhala for some time. I pray for it daily. I don’t always call it Shambhala, I may call it the beauty and the glory of God. Along the way I have been meeting people who are so helpful and so kind. It is a great source of happiness and well-being in my life.
I would like to offer some simple practices that anyone of any religious or spiritual background can easily participate in.
First, set aside about 10 minutes a day to establish a connection with God. (Feel free to substitute Goodness for the word God and vice versa.) Sit in a comfortable position with an erect spine, close your eyes, and breathe evenly. Establish an intention to bring forth the beauty and the glory of God, kindness of heart, to learn how to love God, and how to love others.
I also recommend that we practice mindfulness of our own thoughts. When we find ourselves having ill will toward others, stop these thoughts and immediately think good of the person.
Practicing goodwill toward others helps ourselves, as well as them.
Sometimes the best way to jump into the practice of goodness is to simply perform random acts of kindness. Some examples could include complimenting a stranger along the way, offering help to someone in need of assistance, offering a hug, or “pay it forward” by paying for someone’s meal or coffee.
Begin each random act of kindness with the thought, “How can I be friendly to this person right now?”
It has been my experience that God helps me in my search for Shambhala and this state of mind is revealed in various ways.
I have become a better person, a kinder person, and less critical of others. It’s easier for me to see the beauty and goodness in all—and if I treat the universe with kindness, the universe treats me with kindness.