While I was in the “realm of hungry ghosts” – a.k.a. NATOstan – and then on a Tehrani magic carpet ride, my great friend Arthur was on the road to enlightenment.
This is his pic of a Tibetan pilgrim doing a kora – sacred pilgrimage/circuambulation/prostration – around holy Mt. Kailash, in the Western Tibetan plateau. It’s 52 km. Walking, you can do it in two and a half days. For this pilgrim, it will take several weeks.
I’ve been to Tibet twice – but never made it to a kora. Arthur just performed his second, and since this is the Year of the Wooden Horse, it amounts to 12. Adding the previous one, he’s now on 13; that is, according to Hinduism, he’s been face to face with the lingam of Shiva.
Mt. Kailash is as sacred to Buddhism as to Hinduism. Arthur, a blessed soul (he took his eldest son to the kora) gave me a stone from Kailash (arguably 45 million years old); the best Tibetan incense; THE definitive guide (it had to be German) for the inner and outer Kailash pilgrimage; and made me drink the pure water of sacred Lake Manasarovar.
This means now I’m stronger than a million Tomahawks – ready to take on The Caliph and his goons and exterminate them all in a flash. Just need a magic carpet to take me to Syraq.