Friday, June 3rd, 2016
"Monk Takes Steps to Slow Down, Appreciate Nature"
People responded today to the Blade Newspaper Article on the front page, photo by Amy E. Voigt, and scripted by John Victor.
Subtitle, "Brother Swami Is Walking From New York To San Francisco"
"Wearing an orange monk's garb and a worn out pair of sandals, Bhaktimarga Swami strode into Toledo on Thursday morning for a stop on his cross-country trek from New York to San Francisco.
Brother Swami, also known as The Walking Monk, is in the second phase of his trip across the United States which he is completing over two summers. The Hare Krishna monk is using the journey to promote a more active and more sustainable lifestyle, as well as honour the legacy of his former teacher.
'Let's get our feet back on the ground and our heads out of the clouds,' Brother Swami said. 'Let's do the things we're meant to do.'
According to a news release of the event, Brother Swami's walks serve to highlight a car-free, care-free lifestyle, with a stronger spiritual base grounded in meditation.
Brother Swami stopped outside the Toledo Museum of Art on Thursday afternoon for a quick lunch of vegetable wraps prepared by one of his two assistants. He sat in the shade for about an hour, and rested before heading toward Chicago later that day.
The monk has walked across his native Canada four times in addition to trips across Ireland, Guyana, Israel, Mauritius, Trinidad, and the Fiji Islands. The journey is his first across the United States.
Over the course of his trip, Brother Swami has walked about 20 miles per day, a distance he completes in 7 to 8 hours. The trick, he said, is to start early in the morning as to avoid the summer heat. Swimming is also, 'a must', and The Walking Monk has taken to Lake Erie several times to cool off.
Brother Swami said his long treks are part of a monastic tradition dating back for centuries, but he noted that all religions recognize taking some time for introspection. Ultimately, he said, the walks allow him to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature, whose miracles can only be experienced by walking.
'It allows you to see things from a close up perspective,' he said. 'You end up feeling like a kid in a candy shop.' "
May the Source be with you!