Saturday, January 10, 2009

Remembering Peace Pilgrim - an American Saint

To see the 2002 Video:

Peace Pilgrim:
An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk


"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."

Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PO Box 2207 - Shelton, CT 06484-1841
tel. 203-926-1581

I mentioned PEACE PILGRIM in my last post, and felt like reading her book again, which is a tremendously inspiring collection of her sayings and writings gathered by friends up until her death in 1981. For those who are unfamiliar with her, 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, relinquishing worldly goods as well as her name, Peace Pilgrim travelled across the U.S., Canada and into Mexico 7 times - for almost 30 years, until her death in a car accident. She devoted her life to becoming "a walking prayer" for peace.........within herself as a practice, and as a witness and advocate to the world and all of those she met along her way. As always, I find her simplicity, and practicality, helps me to return to what matters.

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.

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