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A pilgrimage to Mt Kailash

My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

China | Sunday, 17 October 2010 | flickr photos

I am an avid explorer with an eternal lust to explore foreign lands-to challenge my worldview through new ideas, cultures and environments. Inspired by my yellow-bound collection of National Geographic magazines, I undertake truth-seeking adventures to better understand issues facing humanity. This inspires, and is inspired by, my professional work in international development which addresses human rights in Australia’s aid program.

I have strong ambitions to grow my photographic skills to share stories about critical global challenges to create a more informed and inspired world. I am particularly passionate about sharing stories of the warm and resilient communities who inhabit mountain regions, their connection to spiritual life and the fragile ecologies they inhabit.

Since my first life-changing encounter with the Himalayas in 2002, I am continually drawn back to, and feel at home in, the energy of these extraordinary regions within Nepal, Tibet and India.

These images tell one of these stories: about pilgrimage to a sacred place in Western Tibet-Mt Kailash.

Mt Kailash is more than a physical place-it is surrounded by, and connected to, cultural, religious and sacred spaces which merge the material with the spiritual. It is also a place of rich ecological and cultural diversity.

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, pilgrimage is less about reaching a physical destination than transcending from a state of material attachment to a deep sense of the interconnectedness of all life.

The ever-present symbols of the five- coloured prayer flags represent the five elements of wind, fire, sky, water and earth.

On their journey, the pilgrim is exposed to extremes of these elements. In seeking an equilibrium, the connection between the material and spiritual becomes evident - and reveals the interconnectedness of all life.

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