Hidden Lands

'When the mind opens through spiritual practice, so too do new dimensions in the environment' - Chadral Sangye Dorje

Within Padmasambhava's tradition is the understanding of 'hidden lands'; tracts of land that retain and foster an harmony and beneficence throughout their meta-ecology. The hidden land can be understood on different levels. The outer level of understanding a hidden land is as a place, whilst not a utopia, that allows practitioners and communities that are orientated towards the realisation of the world as sacred to thrive. These lands allow the nurturing of a goodness that may then to spill out and resonate across the world. In the tradition of the Kalachakra Tantra this is Shambhala. In the tradition of Google Maps, Pemakod, (the land between NE India and Tibet), Yolmo in Northern Nepal, and Sikkim are well known examples.

The inner levels of understanding hidden lands places them within the practitioner’s heart, quite literally; within her purity of perception whence the boundarying of outer and inner is resolved and ultimately all appearance is redeemed. This sanctity of vision creates a blessed landscape, restores environmental harmony, the resonance of which can be experienced by others.

Whether we choose to see these hidden lands as literal or mytho-poetic, or whether we can understand them as both (the holding of fact and metaphor together as simultaneous and non-contradictory would be in keeping with a tantric world view) we can see that this phenomena is born out of an outlook that holds the land as sacred.

And so the question might then arise, what does it mean to hold the land as sacred? What does sacred mean even? Is sacredness, sacred land something that could be created within the centre of the heart’s perceptual axis? Could this expansion of vision, this gentleness of ecology be an answer to what is so obviously needed now? And could an understanding of hidden lands inspire and help us create sanctuaries of Love and beneficence in our own places?

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