This article was published in The Calvert Journal (online journal on contemporary Russian culture). The longer version (before being chopped for Calvert) is published here.
A Letter From the Altai Republic
“Gate to Shambhala”…“Pearl of Asia”…“Siberia’s Switzerland”…“The Golden Mountains”… “Cradle of Civilizations”. The list of epithets to Altai is endless, exaltory, eclectic and impressive for a place few have ever heard of.
I first travelled to Altai as a tourist on a trip advertised online as a sacred journey. We were promised shamans and Shambhala but it was the earth and water that motivated my subsequent move to Altai. I was often asked by Russian friends in Novosibirsk, what exactly had driven me to leave the comforts of Europe for an old wooden house in a remote Altai village where I would chop wood, hack ice, lob cow pat and steal coal, all the while contemplating the nature of enlightenment…
View original post 2,637 more words