Many of you have heard the Three Dog Night song, “Shambala.” It refers to a place in Buddhist mythology of peace, tranquility and harmony. Some say is it metaphorically a state of consciousness or sensitive awareness, in which one has an acute and dynamic response to the divine. The song is actually based on one legend that tells us that Shambala is a huge cavern under the Gobi Desert where there is a replica of every evolving human being. As a person does good in their life, or cleans up their act, or moves to a higher state of consciousness, our replica begins to glow. When our light in Shambala reaches a certain brightness, a spiritual teacher is dispatched to take us even further.
“How does your light shine in the halls of Shambala?” really invites us to entertain some potentially difficult questions:
- Are we living with love and compassion, or are we harboring anger and resentment?
- Are we kind and generous, or are we greedy and judgmental?
- Are we working on our spiritual journeys? In other words, are we self-aware? Do we look for, and pay attention to, the presence of the Divine in our lives?
- Are we actively seeking to gain deeper knowledge of the Divine and a deeper connection to God and creation? Or are we living isolated, focusing only on self?
- Do we live in the NOW with gratitude for all that life brings us, for being able to breathe, to love, to give, to see beauty? Or are we living in past or future moments?
I honestly don’t believe this is any different from Jesus reminding us that we “are the light of the world” and our light is not meant to be hidden. Once we hide our light from the world, it is essentially hidden from ourselves as well. And there are plenty of things that would cause us to hide our light: fear, anger, work, discord, guilt, shame, disappointment, grief. It is natural to come face to face with these things and decide not to risk letting our light shine, not to risk getting hurt.
This is how we grow, because when we remain connected to the Divine Love, when we seek to live out of a higher self-awareness and state of consciousness, then teachers do suddenly appear. However, I can almost guarantee that they won’t appear in the way we hope or expect. It’s not as easy as a little green guy named Yoda showing us how to use the force. It will be someone or something that pushes us to look at ourselves and the parts of us that still need to be healed or worked on, or challenge us to take a risk to move to the next part of our journey here on earth.
My friends, my children, strangers, books, movies, “enemies”, and chance experiences have been my teachers. It’s often the people and situations that push our buttons the most that have the most to teach us… if we will let our light shine, and stay connected for the deeper wisdom that present itself.
Letting our light shine is not all flowers, unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes we get beat up over it or beaten down because of it. But maintaining that connection to the Divine helps us transform ourselves through what life throws at us. The learning process is very often uncomfortable, but we come through able to be more understanding, compassionate and loving. We come through with an even deeper connection to Divine Wisdom.
Let your light shine and open to the opportunities to learn and grow that surround you.