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Journey to the Sacred

A pilgrimage to the hallowed mountains of China and the American Northwest, by Jacob Rawson


A restless graduate student of Chinese language discovers a rare old book about sacred mountains and embarks on an adventure that sees him scaling cliffs and tramping across alpine tundra to find and speak with monks, nuns, hermits, priests, and pilgrims across China. He discovers a ninety-year-old nun who has lived hidden among cliffs for half a century, meets one of the world’s last cave dwellers, and details a chance encounter with a dead body. Along the way, he deciphers cliff inscriptions and translates classical Chinese poems that help uncover the secrets of these ancient pilgrim trails.

The journey continues to the author’s home in the Pacific Northwest, where he climbs a set of renowned American peaks where Beat-generation poets such as Jack Kerouac practiced Buddhism and studied Chinese poetry.

Journey to the Sacred presents a lively adventure and a deeply personal exploration. Through his encounters with pilgrims and hermits on both continents, the author examines universal themes of isolation, vulnerability, loss, and triumph in the context of the long intimate relationship between people and mountains.


174 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-87573-117-9 - Softcover
ISBN: 978-0-87573-118-6 - ebook
$20.00 - Softcover

$16 - ebook (order from Google Play)

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