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An Exploration Of The Mysterious World Of The “Hidden Lands” with Ian Baker

Join anthropologist and intrepid explorer Ian Baker for an exploration of the mysterious world of the “hidden lands,” or beyul. These extraordinary places are geographical power points where mindscape and landscape merge, and where spiritual practice is accelerated. “Here you can accomplish in one day what would otherwise take a year.” Dreamlike in nature, and absolutely mind-bending in essence, these terrestrial pure lands are an ineffable interworld between mind and nature. Here facets of the landscape act as fulcrums where perception turns into revelation, and gates open to a previously inaccessible space that defies categories of inside or outside. Ian explores the outer, inner, secret, and ultimately secret dimensions of these places, and how if we open our mind and heart we can discover these hidden lands tucked within the present moment (as the timeless “fourth moment”). The conversation turns to how these magical places relate to terma, symbolic guru, and liminality, and how the language of metaphor is necessary to describe the indescribable. The esoteric becomes exoteric when the teachings that surround beyul are connected to the current ecological crises, and our divorce from nature. Ian and Andrew share their experiences around nature coming alive in these power spots, and how surrendering to the mystery opens us to their blessings. This is one of the most mind-stretching interviews Andrew has conducted, sure to challenge and expand your vision of reality. In the end, the way to find these hidden lands is to stop looking, and to realize that the path is perceptual not actual – it’s a path to nowhere, or now-here. As Proust said, “The real journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

About Ian Baker

From Ian’s website: “Ian is the author of seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine including The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place, Celestial Gallery, The Tibetan of Art of Healing, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple, a collaborative work with His Holiness The Dalai Lama that illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices. Ian’s latest book, Tibetan Yoga: Secrets from the Source, will be published in 2016. Ian has also written for National Geographic Magazine and has contributed to academic journals in the fields of Tibetan yoga and physical culture in Vajrayāna Buddhism.”

“Ian also leads private journeys and scheduled travel seminars in India, Tibet, and Bhutan. He has also designed and conducted academic travel programs in Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal for Smithsonian Institution, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and National Geographic Society. Through the Hidden Lands Trust, he works actively to preserve indigenous cultures and ecosystems in the eastern Himalayas, based on local models of environmental conservation that ensure sustained benefit to local communities. Ian has also conducted extensive research in Myanmar among contemporary practitioners of Buddhist alchemy, the subject of a forthcoming book entitled Drinking the Milk of Dragons: Journeys among the Alchemist Wizards of Burma.”

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