Searching for the Lotus Born Master
Eight Manifestations of Quantum Energy
In 2018, a documentary expedition team followed the historic journey of the “Lotus-Born Master” (also known as Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche), who lived in the Himalayas during the Eighth Century. Shrouded in myth and mystery, the Lotus-Born Master, is recognized as the founder of Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. In the documentary film, “Searching for Lotus-Born Master,” the expedition team sought to prove the legend to be true. The Lotus-Born Master had eight manifestations depicted in Thangkas, murals and statues across the Himalayas. In “Searching for the Lotus-Born Master,” documentary film director Laurence Brahm beckons to ask: was the founder of Tibetan Buddhism also the father of quantum physics? The expedition team sought to decode the quantum energy field behind each manifestation.
Searching for Shangri-La
Launching from Lhasa in 2002, the first expedition ventured north crossing Qinghai Province before tracking south to Yunnan Province.
Throughout the expedition, the Searching for Shangri-la team pursued one single inquiry: where is Shangri-la?
On different segments of the Searching Shangri-la expedition, the team was joined by China’s leading artists, writers, musicians and dancers, who each felt dedication and commitment to speaking out on protection of the environment, water resources, and cultural heritage.
After searching everywhere and conducting countless field interviews, the expedition team determined that Shangri-la could not be found.
Conversations with Sacred Mountains
Journey along Yunnan's Tea Caravan Trail
During the first expedition, the Searching for Shangri-la team discovered that the term “Shangri-la” was first described in James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon, published in 1933.
Shangri-la captured the western imagination in the 1930s during the Great Depression when all faith in capital markets and financial materialism was lost. So people turned to loftier ideas of spiritualism, as exemplified by Shangri-la.
Re-grouping in 2003, the Searching for Shangri-la expedition team conducted detailed research and analysis of Lost Horizon. They found: historically, James Hilton never visited Asia. He certainly never visited the Himalayas, not even Tibet for that matter. Hilton apparently based all of his writing on reports from Joseph Rock, National Geographic’s first Bureau Chief in China, based in Yunnan Province.
In 2003, the Searching for Shangri-la expedition team followed the footsteps of Joseph Rock along the Tea Caravan Trail that for centuries had served as the main route for transporting Pu’er Tea from Yunnan overland to Lhasa, and on to India. On the return journey back from India, pony caravans carried Buddhist sutra. Historically the Tea Caravan Trail was a vital route for Buddhist philosophy entering China.
Along the Tea Caravan Trail, there are many ethnic nationalities such as Yi, Bai, Naxi, Mosu, and Tibetan. Each has its own sacred protector mountain. They worship and pay homage to the mountain.
Many western anthropologists and social scientists may dismiss such practices as mere superstition. However, they are not.
The river systems of each village come from the mountain. Snows as they melt with the change of seasons, nurture the fields that provide water – the very source of life itself. So by praying to the protector mountain and revering its delicate ecology, the people are engaging the mountain to protect them.
Ecological Civilization and sustainable development are not something we invented. They are things they already knew. We are just learning from them.
During the second expedition, it was discovered that “Shangri-la” is actually a misspelling of the word “Shambhala,” an ideal realm in Tibetan Buddhism. A new question arose:
How to find Shambhala?
The Road Less Traveled in Western Tibet
By 2004 the search for Shambhala had been launched.
The Searching for Shangri-la team had discovered a rare ancient text hidden at Tashilumpu Monastery in Sigatze, central Tibet. Could it offer clues? Written in the 1700s by the Sixth Panchen Lama, the sutra serves as a travel guidebook offering physical locations that could possibly guide one to the mysterious realm of Shambhala.
However, the Searching for Shangri-la expedition team soon discovered that the coordinates described in the sutra could not be found on GPS.
Following the Sutra’s designations, the expedition crossed Ngari Prefecture, the most isolated and inaccessible part of western Tibet, arriving upon the ancient abandoned city of Guge, rising out of the desert like a ghost city. Could this be Shambhala?
After thorough archeological investigation the expediton team determined that Guge is not Shambhala.
So then where does one go to find Shambhala?
Moreover, what is it?