BUDDHA NATURE.COM Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas


The Road to Shangri-La

Maitreya image Maitreya says,

How might I describe the kingdoms of golden light?

They are suffused with the qualities of kindness and sympathy. It is a long road to reach them, perhaps like the effort required to reach Shangri-La. Travelers are weary, battered, but hopeful. My world attracts idealists and dreamers, who wanted to help others more than they were ever able to do.

There are artists who sought to create a beautiful world, and writers who whose writing could never match the depths of their experience. We have those whose wishes to create beauty and help others have not been destroyed by the miseries and sorrows of their lives.

I am the essence of friendship. But what is the best way to be a friend?

From my perspective, friendship locates the deepest and most sensitive part of a person. The friend helps it grow giving encouragement and admiration. The hard part is separating that part from the ignorant, cruel, greedy, and desirous parts of the self - the aspects that are often the most visible.

The deepest part of the self is often hidden by tragedy for the destruction of the sensitive and beautiful creates the tragic. Ideals are shattered, love is rejected, hopes are dashed, and dreams are ridiculed.

Violent societies will deliberately destroy the sensitive aspects of children, calling them weak and cowardly. Children are taught to seek status, social dominance, and wealth. Their souls are hidden and deformed, made anxious and perverted.

My heaven is for survivors who have felt pain and not sought to impose that pain on others.

In terms of personal development, pain is the motivation to make souls curious, to seek meaning in life, and to find ways to help others.

In Buddhism, mandalas are territory markers. They mark the edges and entrances to paradise worlds. What is not shown in typical yantras and mandalas is that these entrances are surrounded by mountains. One must traverse the mountains to enter the gateway.

Some imagery in folktales, children's stories, and fairy tales echo the process of searching the mountains seeking a treasure. The lands around the mandala gateway can be traversed with the help of guides, often dakinis, yoginis, and bhairavas. Such helpers may take on animal forms becoming horses or reindeer or hawks. The may also have more abstract forms like currents in the wind or water. They guide the soul to the gateway.

But those who seek treasure for themselves alone will not find the gate. It is those that are dedicated to higher goals that will find the way.

The soul may enter at death, or during sleep, or during prayer or meditation. Sometimes there will be a trail of gems or crystals or seeds to follow. The seeker must learn to follow such trails in order to enter the mandala.

The mandala has inner gates that bar the way in many dimensions moving from horizontal to vertical, and outward to inward. They move and transform constantly, and the soul must be able to find a continuous path through one gate and on to the next. A mile can compress to an inch and then expand again to a mile. If the soul falters on the path, it is cast out of the entrance to the paradise and back to the mountains where the path becomes invisible leaving the soul to wander.

Empowered mantras create the road that the soul must walk. That road is woven of sound and light. I welcome those who learn how to proceed to the road's end.


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