Thursday, July 28, 2011


Lost Horizon was partly based on the idea of Shambala, which is an ancient traditional Tibetan Buddhist concept associated with Kalachakra Tantra. It refers to a Buddhist pure land. It has analogues in the Hindu and Bön religions as well, and various traditions speak to its actual location as a hidden kingdom.

The term Shambala has also found its way to Western culture, and I grew up more familiar with the term 'Shambala' than with 'Shangri-La'. This is mostly because of my Three Dog Night phase. While all the other kids were into Linkin Park and Evanescence, I was listening to:

"I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes
On the road to Shambala

I can tell my brother by the flowers in his eyes
On the road to Shambala

How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?"

Also: "Play something sweet/ play something funky/ Just let me lay back/ and  grin like a monkey"
Now that's good songwriting.
Some traditions refer to Shambala as a metaphorical destination in the journey to enlightenment. Quoth the Dalai Lama:

"Although those with special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not a physical place that we can actually find. We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there."

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