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March 19, 2013 > Book Review: I Spy Hidden Angels from Shambhala

Book Review: I Spy Hidden Angels from Shambhala

By Simon Wong, Photo courtesy of PublishAmerica

Author John Chyan's latest book is I Spy Hidden Angels from Shambhala (ISBN 9781627093378). The Fremont resident is a Buddhist and volunteers with the Purple Lotus Buddhist School, Union City.

His first foray into publishing was a collection of his thoughts and beliefs on the subjects of meditation, the spiritual world, prayer, love, dreams, life, death, reincarnation, science, auras, orbs and steps towards enlightenment through the experience of end-of-life support and care for others. Over the years, the tenets by which he leads his life and his perspectives on the matters about which he has written have come to be regarded as "teachings" and, with the encouragement of his friends, he recorded them in Expand Our Spiritual Hearts (ISBN 9781456029326), two years ago. He points out others have shared their stories with him and their experiences have helped shape his spirit.

Chyan's new book deals with re-birth, purpose and progress towards nirvana. The Sanskrit term "Shambhala" is understood to be a Buddhist Pure Land, a place of peace, tranquility and happiness whose inhabitants are enlightened. Kalapa is the capital city.

The Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth of Kalki of Sambhala. The Buddhist version may be based on a long-lost culture either in Central or Far Eastern Asia (China).

Although there are other ideas about this society's location, it is often placed in central Asia, north or west of Tibet. Depending on the culture, Shambhala is identified in Punjab, or in certain valleys of southern Siberia. Some believe Mount Belukha is the gateway to Shambhala. Modern Buddhist scholars opine that Shambhala is in the upper reaches of the Himalayas in the Dhauladhar mountains around Mcleodganj from where the current Dalai Lama manages the Tibetan government in exile.

The idea of Shamhala has fascinated westerners to whom Tibet was essentially closed until the early 20th Century. Available information had consisted of fragmentary accounts. The concept of Shangri-La, first described in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon, is said to have been inspired by the Shambhala myth.

Conceptually, Shambhala has "outer," "inner," and "alternative" meanings. The outer meaning regards Shambhala as a physical place, although only individuals with the appropriate karma can reach it and experience it. In 1985, the 14th Dalai Lama noted that Shambhala is not an ordinary country:

"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."

The inner and alternative meanings refer to what Shambhala represents to one's own body and mind (inner) and the practice of meditation (alternative). Oral history passes on symbolic explanations from teacher to student.

"Based on my beliefs and spiritual experiences, I truly believe we all have missions we need to accomplish in our lives. I also believe if you have a true heart, then you must be a re-born angel from Shambhala or other paradises, no matter what your background," states Chyan.

Chyan was born in Taiwan and came to the United States to complete his MBA degree. He is involved with many community service programs and has founded some of his own. For more information about John Chyan's perspectives, visit www.PeopleCarePeople.com.

To order a copy of I Spy Hidden Angels from Shambhala, visit http://bit.ly/TQE2Ll. For an introductory 20 percent-discount, enter coupon code: Discount20.

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