Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
Deep River, Iowa
Walk More, Rush Less
Two papers in the local area, “The Journal Tribune” and “The Pioneer Republican,” carried the story with the above title, by Melinda Wichmann:
“We’re designed for walking but we’re not doing enough of it.”
That is the message Bhaktimarga Swami wants to share as he walks from New York, N.Y. to San Francisco, Calif.
“The Walking Monk,” as he is called, passed through Williamsburg, Tuesday morning, July 12, during his travels. He left Iowa City before the sun rose that morning and walked along the IWV Road, arriving in Williamsburg about 10 a.m.
The purpose of his cross-country trek is two-fold: first, to encourage people to slow down the pace of their existence, to become more introspective, and to find their spirituality, and second, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hare Krishna movement.
Bhaktimarga is breaking his journey into three parts. Last year, he walked from New York to Butler, Pa. This year, he resumed walking in Butler and hopes to complete the middle portion of his journey in mid-Nebraska by August. He plans to reach San Francisco next year.
Long-distance walking is nothing new. Canadian-born, he has walked across his home country, four times, as well as Ireland, Israel and a number of other foreign countries. He averages about 20 miles a day, logging mostly morning hours to beat the summer heat. He believes walking enables people to find their spirituality, slow down and become a little more introspective, rather than rushing through the day in a frantic hurry. No one walks anywhere anymore, he said, they all drive. “We are consumed by the automobile and as a species, it is making us very hard and cold.” Walking provides a way to connect with one another as well as oneself.
“This part of the country already has a slower pace of life,” he said, by comparison with larger cities and urban areas. When he told friends he was going to walk across the United States, their reaction was a little skewed, based on American television shows.
“But everyone has a gun there,” his friends told him.
“Clearly, that is not true,” he said.
“The reception has been great,” he says, with the people he passes offering friendly waves or stopping to talk to him.
He is enjoying his trek across the heartland, especially the spacious fields and pastures.
“You have an opulence of space here,” he said.
For more information, visit thewalkingmonk.org.
May the Source be with you!