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Shambhala Mystery Tour

by Ernst von Waldenfels

Khamar Monastery is the biggest and most important Buddhist monastery in the Gobi. Furthermore, it is the only monastery in Mongolia directly connected to Shambhala.
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What is Shambhala? That is a very difficult and complex question. It is a holy concept with various meanings, difficult to comprehend.

For many centuries, monks in the monasteries of Lhasa, Kumbun, Sera, and Gandan have meditated over Shambhala and tried to understand what even older sages have written about it. The first book to undisputedly mention Shambhala is the Kalatshakra (“Wheel of Time”), a Buddhist manuscript written in India in the Ninth Century.

Copyright HappyMongolia.netThe Kalatshakra is a holy text for Tibetan Buddhism; the Dalai Lama has many times referenced it. But Shambhala is mentioned not only in the Kalatshakra; it appears in many other Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese texts as well.

Very simply put, Shambhala can mean three things:
  1. It was a real place on this earth in the past. The Kalatshakra mentions it being north of the river Sita. But there are also travellers who have been there as late as the Thirteenth Century and have left detailed descriptions of how to get there. But nobody has been there since, although many have tried to find it.
  2. It is a place that can be found in long meditation, but only the adepts of certain teachers can find it. It is within the self of the person looking for it and can only be reached after very long and very strenuous meditation. Once you have reached it, you have found clarity and real understanding.
  3. It still exists as a continuation of the place that is mentioned in the Kalatshakra. It exists in a physical reality but not in our everyday reality.
The last meaning is perhaps the most mysterious.

Copyright HappyMongolia.netThe Kalatshakra not only mentions that there will be 25 Kings of Shambhala, but also gives their names and the durations of their reigns. The Kalatshakra was written more than a thousand years ago. We are now in the time of the 22nd King of Shambhala. There will be two more and then will come Rigden Dshapo, the Last King of Shambhala, who will lead the faithful into the final battle against the enemies of Buddhism.

The mystery of Shambhala is necessary to understanding the importance of Khamar Monastery. This monastery is one of the few places on earth – and the only place in Mongolia – where our reality and the reality of Shambhala intersect.

Whether you believe in Shambhala or simply find the concept interesting, Khamar Monastery is certainly one of the most fascinating places to visit in Mongolia. Open yourself to it, and you will realize that you have come to a unique place in the world.

* * * * *

Four-day, seven-day, and twelve-day Shambhala Mystery Tours are available!Copyright HappyMongolia.net The longer tours include more time in the Shambhala area and incorporate other attractions in the south Gobi.

The following is the itinerary and prices for the Four-day Shambhala Mystery Tour:

Day 1:
09.50-20.10: Train ride from Ulaanbaatar to Sainshand, the capital of the west Gobi. Transfer to accommodation. Supper and accommodation included.

Copyright HappyMongolia.netDay 2:
Tour the Shambhala area and Khamar Monastery. Visit camel-breeding local family. Breakfast, lunch, supper, and accommodation included.

Day 3:
Tour Bayanzurkh Mountain and the surrounding area. 20:50 PM: Train ride back to Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast, lunch, and supper included.

Day 4:
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the morning around 10:00 AM.

Follow the link on the screenshot to watch a short YouTube video about Shambhala in the Gobi by Buddhist writer and teacher and my friend Glenn Mullin!

YouTube - Shambhala in the Gobi

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Contact me to arrange your tour!

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photos by Julia Pakhomova and Sarah Fischer
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mountains near Lake Khovsgol, Mongolia