This is a lovely idea. According to Tibetan lore – specifically the Nyingma tradition of Padmasambhava – there are many secret, sacred valleys dotted around the Himalayas and beyond, where people, who are seeking peace and spiritual refuge, can go to live. These are called Beyul.
Protective forces manifest as snow storms, mists and snow leopards. Buddhist texts indicate beyul are discovered when the planet is approaching destruction and the world becomes too corrupt for spiritual practice. They describe valleys reminiscent of paradise… (Source ~ Wikipedia)
(Image of Pemako Beyul, taken by Ian Baker.)
The ancient tradition is being revived in modern times as a basis for creating large areas of conservation. Since it was hoped that people who sought refuge in Beyul would naturally be kind to wildlife, and avoid desecration of nature, this is the attitude being encouraged among people who live in or visit such valleys nowadays.
Beyuls do exist on earth, (Ian) Baker was assured, but lie beyond the range of our ordinary senses.
“It’s a bit like quantum physics,” the Dalai Lama explained, “which recognizes parallel dimensions and multiple universes.”
“I remembered how during our crossing of the Karkaroum Pass, my groom,the Ladaki, asked me. ‘Do you know why there is such a peculiar upland up here? Do you know that in the subterranean caves here many treasures are hidden, and that in them lives a wonderful tribe which abhors the sins of the Earth?’
And again when we approached Khotan the hooves of our horses sounded hollow as though we rode above caves or hollows. Our caravan people called our attention to this . . . . “Long ago people lived there; now they have gone inside; they have found a subterranean passage to that subterranean kingdom.” ’ ~ Nicholas Roerich (1928)
(Shasta Beyul – Lindy Kehoe)
Many other beyul are known only to local people and they often transcend political boundaries. The exact geographical locations of beyul are often debated because their locations are also spiritual. A person might follow instructions from the ancient texts but still not be able to see or experience the beyul if not in the proper spiritual state.
Beyul are religious conceptions, but because of the reverence with which they are treated by local residents, hunting, fighting and disturbing the natural landscape are considered inappropriate behaviors and are avoided. As a result, beyul have become significant oases of biodiversity as well. They typically have plentiful water coming from the surrounding mountains, and their terrain is covered with forests, lakes, alpine meadows, and snow and ice fields. These valleys cover large areas and have vast elevation ranges. Their size and topographic variations provide a home for a diverse array of plants and animals; their isolation and inaccessibility generally means low levels of human disturbance.
Within the beyul, particular natural features such as lakes, rocks and patches of forest are often regarded as especially sacred because they are home to supernatural beings. Some gathering of plant resources, such as medicinal plants, firewood and timber, is allowed, but collectors make sure they have not harvested more than is needed. The animals in beyul are protected by the Buddhist taboo against killing. The residents of the Kharta and Rongshar areas in Tibet, for example, challenged British explorers who wanted to hunt when they arrived in 1921. Endangered species that live in beyul include the snow leopard, musk deer, red panda and Himalayan black bear.
The sacredness of the beyul also means that human conflicts are spiritually discouraged. In Beyul Dremoshung in the Indian state of Sikkim, two groups, the Lepchas and Bhutias, hold an annual festival that commemorates the signing of a peace treaty.
My Beyul…..(my back yard view – Winter)
Where to read some more about Beyul – Sources for the above…