Eastern Tibet, or Kham, is a place of rugged ranges and torrential rivers, home to the fierce Khampa rebels who tried for a decade to defeat China's army and win independence for Tibet. Pamela Logan is an inveterate traveler who fell in love with Kham and was deeply affected by the poverty she saw there. With the help of many friends, she started a nonprofit to do the impossible: bring development and humanitarian assistance to Tibetans under Chinese rule.
This book chronicles Logan's fourteen years of work in Kham: helping children stay in school, saving the lives of babies and mothers, providing job training to nomadic herders, improving health care, assisting communities hit by earthquakes, and repairing centuries-old architecture.
Compassion Mandala records Logan's first-hand observations of rural Tibetan society and China's relentless efforts to modernize it. Outlining each gate of the development mandala - areas such as education, health care, jobs, and the environment - she explains how Tibet has changed over the past century, giving historical context to contemporary challenges. She details obstacles faced by Tibetans as ethnic minorities in China, and she describes how they are adapting to China's rapid development and coping with the tidal wave of Chinese migrants arriving in their homeland. She portrays many individuals she knew: incarnate lamas, ordinary farmers, educated professionals, corrupt officials, devoted Buddhists, and a brilliant young woman determined to overcome her humble origins and realize her dreams.