Autumn came with a vengeance last night. It rained most of the evening and when I got up this morning temperatures were hovering around 30F.

Started reading The Desert Smells like Rain by Gary Paul Nabhan, one of the books Jack Loeffler recommended to me regarding the Southwest. The subject are the Papagos and the Sonoran desert. Excellent book. Highly recommended.

I have no illusion about how much help we will be able to offer to Nomads in Kham during the next month. It seems to me that if we had pooled the money that is going into this trip and donated it to a local Tibetan organization it might have done more good. But, this is a really a pilgrimage, and it is us, the participants, who will be changed by this experience – more so than the people we are going to help. We will transform ourselves and return somehow different.

To study the Way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.
To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between one’s self and others.
Dogen (1200-1253 CE)

Transforming ourselves and helping others are not separate events.

Tomorrow morning I will turn off commenting on this Diary in order to prevent massive spamming from accumulating – in the past couple of months more than 2,000 spam comments were dropped on this diary. When I return at the end of October I hope to have lots and lots of photos and quite a few stories for you.

Be well.
With a gentle bow
– ottmar

PS: Many thanks for this and this and this and this and this.

PPS: one more link.