Peace Pilgrim II

October 15, 2008

Continued from previous post: Peace Pilgrim.

The most intriguing aspect of Peace Pilgrim’s story for me is: Exactly what kind of changes have to happen within the life of a middle aged woman living a conventional life of material comfort to propel her to set out  to walk across a vast country alone and penniless in the name of world peace?

In her book she tells of a fateful night when, filled with deep yearning, she walked through the woods until dawn asking God (substitute a word you are comfortable with- ‘ Higher Self’, ‘Universal Intelligence’ etc) how she could be of service. She did receive a clear indication of what she would do; but between that moment and the one in which she left her old life to set her first step for peace, were 15 years of rigorous psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical preparation.

On the hour long video about her life on You Tube I can understand her family’s puzzlement about the transformation of their ordinary sister, ex-wife, relative, ‘Mildred’, into this powerful spiritual teacher. When asked they just can’t figure out where the impulse came from to make her cut her ties so irrevocably and become this unrecognizable person.

Peace Pilgrim, from her book:

When I started out my hair had started to turn silver. My friends thought I was crazy. There was not one word of encouragement from them. They thought I would surely kill myself walking all over.  But that didn’t bother me…There was much pressure to compromise my beliefs but I would not be dissuaded. Lovingly I informed my friends of… two widely divergent paths in life and of the free will within all to make their choice.

There is a well-worn road which is pleasing to the senses…but leads nowhere. And there is the less travelled path, which requires purifications and relinquishments, but results in untold spiritual blessings.

So when I am feeling bogged down by all the clutter in my life, both mental and material, I reach for Peace Pilgrim and drink deeply of the purity of her teachings. I feel that her preparation to take on her pilgrimage plus the nearly 3 decades of walking  ceaselessly for world peace created a truly enlightened being.
Her family may be bewildered by the power and authority of her words, but for me they are genuine, healing and empowering:

Who am I? It matters not that you know who I am; it is of little importance. This clay garment is one of a penniless pilgrim journeying in the name of peace. It is what you cannot see that is so very important. I am one who is propelled by the power of faith; I bathe in the light of eternal wisdom; I am sustained by the unending energy of the universe; this is who I really am!