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The Walking Monk Pilgrim walks through Casselman

Walk A Friend Raiser

by Gerry Therrien

Mattawa Recorder

A Chinese proverb states that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Bhaktimarga Swami’s walk has already taken him 2066 miles to Mattawa and the shores of the Ottawa River. His first step of his cross Canada trek began in Victoria, British Columbia this spring and he hopes to reach Cape Spear Newfoundland by September.

His journey is one of self discovery.

“Through its moments of strain, the walk aids in my own personal growth. The unpredictable weather helps with tolerance. And connecting with folks along the way tends to soften me a little. So I walk for spiritual growth,” he said.

The Hare Krishna monk hopes that his pilgrimage will promote people to slow down and do some reflective walking.

He stated, ” If people would walk for an hour every day we’d be living in a different world. If something like that could be achieved collectively -how much more potent that would be.”

This is Bhaktimarga Swami’s third time walking the whole length of Canada. He explains his obsession with walking in this way, ” For me, walking on the road while meditating and communicating with other travelers is an attempt at seeking inspiration from other people. It ’s a chance to make a lot of friends - it’s a friend raiser.”

During his short stop over in Mattawa, on July 4, 2007, Bhaktimarga Swami whose name means path of devotion shared how he became part this lifestyle. More than thirty years ago, John Peter Vis of Chatham, Ontario adopted the principals of Eastern monastic life. He enrolled as a monk in the Hare Krishna movement back in 1973 when it was hip to be radical, daring and different. Since that time, as a celibate monk, he has evolved as an instructor of Bahakti-yoga and mantra meditation. He explained that the experience has left him personally content and philosophically satisfied. He admits that being a monk is not everyone’s calling but that it is indeed his.

Comment Posted By Gerry Therrien On 22.08.2007 @ 20:28

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