|A snail on the side of the highway (of all the places)|
Every person has their own unique reasons for walking: to cultivate deeper, to pray, to spend time in nature, to challenge themselves, or to simply just walk. Underneath all these responses, though, there is perhaps one single thread that connects them all. A walking pilgrimage is to stop life in its tracks and ask that one fundamental question -- why? Or as Ramana Maharishi might frame it -- who am I?
You leave the comforts of your home and work and people you love, and you put aside the responsibilities of your daily chores and the day-to-day undertakings, simply to answer the primordial call -- why all this? A pilgrimage is about giving full priority to that inquiry. It is about having the courage to stop your world from spinning if only for a bit, so you can look directly in the eyes of life and try to understand its message. Certainly, we've had bursts of joy, glimpses of truth, and whispers of wisdom but those are no longer enough. A deeper call beckons.
A pilgrimage is a call to pay attention, to look beneath the surface, to listen to the subtle voices from depths of yourself that you never knew. It is to trust that summoning and allow it to reveal the treasures that were always there. This is why I walk.