Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
'Walking Monk' Makes Stop During Journey Across America
I walked the I&M Canal Trail, and came upon a narrow river to cross. I fell, slid and landed by the river. No scrapes or scratches. I got muddied-up. My cell was displaced for hours and so was I, displaced from my support person. Call it a piece of adventure perhaps.
Mike Mallory put out an article in 'The Herald News.'
JOLIET – Bhaktimarga Swami sat calmly Monday morning as he rested in the grass of Joliet’s West Park with a water bottle at his side.
Known as the “Walking Monk,” Swami covers about 20 miles a day with only a pair of sandals separating his feet from the ground. He’s in the middle of the second leg of his journey from New York City to San Francisco.
“I started walking in Joliet today,” Swami said. “I found out the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail is here. That’s a piece of paradise. You see a heron every few minutes.”
Swami hopes to promote a “greener,” healthier lifestyle in America – one that emphasizes strong morals and ethics. Through outreach efforts along his path, he spreads his message.
“My purpose is to make the statement that we need to simplify life,” Swami said. “In many ways this walk reaffirms what we should be doing. Our bodies were made for walking. The question is, are we doing enough of it?”
He began this portion of the trip in May in Pennsylvania and plans to finish in early August in Nebraska. Next year, he will make his way to California.
Swami has walked across Canada four times, and isn’t opposed to battling heat waves and severe weather all summer if it accomplishes his goal. He said it helps develop a sense of austerity.
“Being exposed [to the elements] is part of it,” Swami said. “Every day it’s a new plan. If it’s going to be very hot, I might get on the road at 2 or 3 a.m., or walk in the evening if I have to.”
Swami, 63, also is walking to honor the contributions of his own spiritual teacher, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, who arrived 50 years ago in America. At 70 years old, Prabhupada moved from India on the order of his teacher to promote God consciousness, or devotional bhakti yoga, to the English-speaking world.
When not walking, Swami flies to other continents to teach and spread the message. He is an instructor in bhakti, mantra meditation and interactive dance. He’s also scripted and directed dozens of performances based on sacred Hindu texts.
Next, he will travel along the Lake Michigan shoreline with others to a temple in Evanston before heading west to the Great Plains.
A caption of a photo reads: 'Bhaktimarga Swami a Canadian-born Hare Krishna monk stopped Monday in Joliet on his walk from New York City to San Francisco to promote a strong spiritual foundation.
May the Source be with you!