To A Mountain In Tibet – Colin Thubron

“In the minutes before sleep, a shadowy melancholy descends: the bewilderment when something long awaited has gone.”

A very personal account of Colin Thubron’s pilgrimage to Mount Kailas; a slighter, but deeper, volume than usual.

Read it if you’re going to do the kora: you’ll gain an understanding not simply of the physical demands, but also the spiritual significance of this mountain for Buddhists, Hindus, Jain and Bon. I wish I had.

It’s also made me want to reread A Stranger in Tibet: The Adventures of a Zen Monk, Scott Berry’s account of the life and travels of Kawaguchi Ekai, a Japanese zen monk who travelled to Tibet in the opening years of the 20th century. Kawaguchi is mentioned a lot in Colin Thubron’s account, and he (Kawaguchi) also lived in Marpha, Nepal, for a while – we passed his house on the Annapurna Circuit. link: To A Mountain In Tibet – Colin Thubron