Monday, February 29, 2016

Remembering Peace Pilgrim

I've been feeling very discouraged lately, so I felt like reposting this article about Peace Pilgrim, and the documentary that was made about her extraordinary life.  She was truly an American saint, and it is good to know in these cynical times, to know and remember that there are people like her in the world.  

Remembering Peace Pilgrim - An American Sage

 At age 44, Mildred Norman left her life in California and became Peace Pilgrim -- walking coast to coast for peace, living on faith, and sharing her wisdom and exhuberance generously with people across the land. Starting on January 1, 1953, in Pasadena, California, she adopted the name "Peace Pilgrim" and walked across the United States for 28 years. On July 7, 1981, while being driven to a speaking engagement in Indiana, Peace Pilgrim was killed in an automobile accident. At the time of her death, she was crossing the United States for the seventh time. Below is a 60-minute documentary about her life and message, which  includes are interviews with the  Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, John Robbins, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, and many of Peace Pilgrim's friends, along with newsreel footage from the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's.


"The second relinquishment is the relinquishment of the feeling of separateness. We begin feeling very separate and judging everything as it relates to us, as though we were the center of the universe. In reality, of course, we are all cells in the body of humanity. We are not separate from our fellow humans. The whole thing is a totality. From that higher viewpoint there becomes just one realistic way to work, and that is for the good of the whole. As long as you work for your selfish little self, you're just one cell against all those other cells, and you're way out of harmony."

Peace Pilgrim, in 1953, at the height of nuclear armament, took a vow to walk for Peace until all of humanity could live in peace. In her own words,

"I felt guided or called or motivated to begin my pilgrimage for peace in the world - a journey undertaken traditionally. The tradition of pilgrimage is a journey undertaken on foot and on faith, prayerfully and as an opportunity to contact people. I wear a lettered tunic in order to contact people. It says 'PEACE PILGRIM' on the front. I feel that's my name now - it emphasizes my mission instead of me. And on the back it says '25,000 MILES ON FOOT FOR PEACE.' The purpose of the tunic is merely to make contacts for me. Constantly as I walk along the highways and through the cities, people approach me and I have a chance to talk with them about peace.

I have walked 25,000 miles as a penniless pilgrim. I own only what I wear and what I carry in my pockets. I belong to no organization. I have said that I will walk until given shelter and fast until given food, remaining a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace. And I can truthfully tell you that without ever asking for anything, I have been supplied with everything needed for my journey, which shows you how good people really are."

With nothing but the clothes on her back, she devoted her life to becoming "a walking prayer" for peace.  

Q: Do you work for a living?
A:  I work for my living in an unusual way. I give what I can through thoughts and words and deeds to those whose lives I touch and to humanity. In return I accept what people want to give, but I do not ask. They are blessed by their giving and I am blessed by my giving.

Q: Why don't you accept money?
A: Because I talk about spiritual truth, and spiritual truth should never be sold - those who sell it injure themselves spiritually. The money that comes in the mail - without being solicited - I do not use for myself; I use it for printing and postage. Those who attempt to buy spiritual truth are trying to get it before they are ready. In this wonderfully well-ordered universe, when they are ready, it will be given.

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I saw this before, but a going to watch it again! Thanks for the reminder! What an extraordinary woman.