There is no glimpse of the light without walking the path. You can’t get it from anyone else, nor can you give it to anyone. Just take whatever steps seem easiest for you, and as you take a few steps it will be easier for you to take a few more.
—-Peace Pilgrim 1
Since touch reaches us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, it only stands to reason that joy and peace are attainable when we understand the connection between our inner and outer worlds. When we find that connection, we become inspirations for each other.
In August, 1995, while attending an outdoor luncheon in Truckee, I met a soft spoken silver haired man with a contagious smile. He called himself Peace Pilgrim Two. He spoke of a simple, yet abundant lifestyle that seemed remarkable to me. I immediately wanted to know more about him and offered him a complimentary Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment. I learned that in 1989, his journey began in attempting to follow in the original Peace Pilgrim’s incredibly large footsteps in order to perpetuate peace.
The original Peace Pilgrim walked the United States for 28 years without once becoming sick. From 1953 until her death in 1981, she walked over 25,000 miles crossing the country seven times bearing this simple message: “This is the way of Peace, overcome evil with good and falsehood with truth and hatred with love.”
Peace Pilgrim One was a silver haired woman that dressed in navy blue slacks and a shirt with pockets all around the bottom in which she carried her only worldly possessions: a comb, a folding toothbrush, a pen, copies of her message and her current correspondence. She walked alone and penniless and with no organizational backing. Many times she walked through “dangerous “ parts of cities when many of us were afraid to go out on the streets, and slept beside the road, on benches and in bus stations, when no bed was offered.
She spoke of peace among nations, between people and most important, Inner Peace. She vowed to remain a wanderer until mankind learned the ways of peace. Throughout the years strangers became friends, inviting her into their homes and arranging speaking engagements, often a year or more in advance.
She awakened and inspired many thousands during her 28 year pilgrimage for peace. Those she touched in a personal way carry very special memories—talking, laughing, walking together; listening to pilgrimage stories over the dinner table. She gave us an example of a person who lived in inner peace and was full of boundless energy that grew rather than diminished with age. Ironically, in 1981, while being driven to deliver a lecture, she was involved in a car accident and was killed instantly. —-adapted from “Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Work in Her Own Words” Compiled by some of her friends. 1982.
I never met Peace Pilgrim one, however, Peace Pilgrim Two continues her legacy. In the beginning of his journey, he also gave up all of his possessions and traveled without any money. Unfortunately, Peace Pilgrim Two had walked only about 2,000 miles when he realized there was too much pain in his hips. When he accepted this assignment he had already been having chiropractic treatments and was requiring more and more to keep walking comfortably. He soon learned that a hip replacement was needed and stopped his pilgrimage for awhile. With a pending hip replacement surgery looming, he knew now was the time to put his trust into a Higher Power.
During his healing process, he wrote the book, “Enjoying the Journey, The Adventures, Travels, and Teachings of Peace Pilgrim Two” About six weeks into writing this book, a friend called him who’d heard through the grapevine that he needed a vehicle and donated a gray sedan. A car would be more efficient, thus enabling him to cover greater distances in less time, give more talks and reach more people. After all, it was the message that was important and not the means of transportation. I never heard from him again but I hope he is still out there sharing his messages, “Peace begins with each of us as individuals and to have outer peace, we must first have inner peace.”
These two people put their whole lives so completely within Gods hands and they were always taken care of. God’s will becomes our will if we only allow ourselves to be gently guided. This path always brings peace of mind and heart. Please visit the original Peace Pilgrims website for more messages and books.
My own pilgrimage hasn’t yet been about totally giving up my possessions, even though I’ve been working at it. For three years, my partner and I traveled and lived in an RV. We downsized quite a bit. It was a valuable lesson because prior to this, while living in larger cities, I was burglarized more than once and finally realized how little importance my material things really were. They were just conveniences. We all have at one time or another been caught up in our material stuff, thinking it will make us happy, when all it really does is make us prisoners to our stuff. Peace Pilgrim One and Two’s example showed me how little we truly need to be healthy and happy. These two wanderers were just regular folks with a calling to serve humanity in their own unique way.
In 1998, I lost both my parents and a stepfather within a year. This separation of family created a void I never knew could exist and I fell into a deep depression. I moved to the White Mountains of Arizona where employment was sketchy and malls few. However, it was the perfect place for an aspiring writer to heal. Lots of quiet moments of solitude. If I got restless, there was plenty of open country to explore with fresh air to go with it to clear the cobwebs in my brain. I, like the Peace Pilgrims, turned my life over to God and continued my spiritual journey. Faith that God would provide everything I need. It was during this eight year period that I realized it was time to share my insight and gifts. Remembering Peace Pilgrim’s messages gave me hope to move forward with my life again.
I may not be walking about the country as they did, but a girlfriend and I did build the Blue Star Kachina Labyrinth in Pinetop, Arizona. This labyrinth was a community effort and gained notoriety in the White Mountains. At this same time, I created the inspirational web site,The Healing Channel. This site has changed a little in context, but still offers an opportunity for inner exploration of our authentic selves through thought-provoking topics, inspiration and joyful exercises to enhance your mind, body and spirit. And as always, I offered Jin Shin Jyutsu to this community as well as worked on myself continuously.
Today, my calling still appears to be among the material world. However, I continue to reduce, recycle and reuse any and all of my material items. While inner peace and taking care of ourselves is very important, nurturing and loving Mother Earth also creates a more harmonic environment for everyone on the planet.
To attain inner peace you must actually give your life, not just your possessions. When you at last give your life—bringing into alignment your beliefs and the way you live—then, and only then, can you begin to find inner peace.
—-Peace Pilgrim 1