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"Walking for Peace"-book by Rome to Jerusalem pilgrims

Mony Dojeiji

Pilgrim. Rome to Jerusalem.
Past OR future Camino
2001
Hello everyone,

For those of you who walk for reasons beyond the physical and cultural, you may perhaps find the book "Walking for Peace, an inner journey" of interest.

My Spanish partner and I are pilgrims who walked the Camino, and then embarked on a 5000-kilometre, 13-country, 13-month walk for peace from Rome to Jerusalem.

This was not an organized event. We had no sponsors. No political, religious or social affilitations. Just two people contributing to peace by walking, and believing that to create peace in the world, we must begin by creating it within ourselves first. There were no hotel rooms booked in advance. We simply carried a road map and plotted out our daily route, trying to average around twenty-five kilometers a day, while staying away from busy thoroughfares. We slept wherever we were given shelter – from the floors of church halls to the warm beds of monasteries and convents that took us in, to the homes of people who saw us on the road and invited us to their homes. It was a pilgrimage in the more traditional sense of the word, relying on providence and the invisible hand that guided us (call it the Universe, angels, God, Jesus, the Creator, Allah… the label doesn’t matter). To us, it was the hand of Love that always delivered us to people and situations that could help us. That’s not to say that it was always easy. It certainly challenged every single belief we held about peace, life and love; but it also demonstrated to us the magnificence of the human heart, and its essential goodness, no matter the country.

There is a lot more information on our website if you are interested, including maps of our route, photos, tips and more on: http://walkingforpeace.com.

The book focuses much more on our inner journeys (hence the title), and less on the places and sites that we visited. We speak honestly of our struggles, our conflicts, our fears and frailties... and, of course, the many moments and experiences that can only be described as magical.

I hope you will check us out!

With my thanks,
Mony Dojeiji
Co-author, "Walking for Peace, an inner journey" - FINALIST, 2012 National Indie Excellence Awards
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I would love to know if and how the act of walking contributed to peace outside of your own personal peace.
 

Mony Dojeiji

Pilgrim. Rome to Jerusalem.
Past OR future Camino
2001
Hello Kiwifamily!

I see from your blog that I am speaking to a fellow pilgrim, and not just one! What an amazing adventure you and your family have all been on.

In answer to your question... what could I possibly say to you that you don't already know?! :lol:
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
the answer???? (smile)
I do ask seriously.
I dream of walking round the world (or at least great chunks of it). I just struggle to reconcile the time that would take (and which I would totally love - I'm an introvert, despite the life I find myself living!) - what "good" would it do (for anyone other than me)? I guess I'm looking for a convincing argument beyond "I like doing it".
 

gnhale

New Member
I have never walked the camino but have walked great lengths of hikes in the US on city streets with complete strangers. What I have found is that it does make me more peaceful (which you indicated) and that in turns allows me to be peaceful with all I meet. This allows me to be peaceful and present with all I meet.

For example on a multi walk in California I was having breakfast listening to some in the group complain about someone who was walking with them. I knew enough from their complaints that later that day I happen to be walking with that person. We walked together for about 3 miles where she talked to me the entire time and I gently listened. When we started together her tone was anxious and unable to focus. When we finished she was starting to quietly relax even laugh. I like to think it was my peaceful presence that helped her in turn be more peaceful.

I am so looking forward to my first camino. I try to enjoy each training day as I prepare and recognize that that too provides opportunity for peace in my own community.

Peace to you
 
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Mony Dojeiji

Pilgrim. Rome to Jerusalem.
Past OR future Camino
2001
My experience has been similar to gnhale's. That when I am at peace, I exude an energy which affects people and situations around me. I can promise you that when I am at peace, my response is quite different from how it would be if I were upset or angry at the time.

I think that is probably why the greatest sages and teachers have encouraged the inner journey, working on releasing the fears, judgments, etc. that cloud our perception of the world, and which prevent peace, love, compassion...from taking hold in our hearts. You can certainly walk to experience that because walking forces you out of your daily routine, and places you in a laboratory of sorts where you experiment with choosing new ways of being and responding. I am sure you have so many of your own experiences to draw on from your own pilgrimage. I am sure you were "walking" with an open heart, exuding an energy that attracted people to you, whether it was to lend you a helping hand or to somehow reveal to you an aspect of humanity that re-enforces your vision of it, OR which offered you an opportunity to heal a perhaps less-than-wanted vision of it.

I'll give you an example. During our walk, because Alberto had less money than I, I decided to join him as he called on churches, monasteries, spiritual centres, etc. to ask for shelter. Although I didn't need to do it, I went with him because I certainly wasn't about to sleep in a hostel while he was sleeping on a floor somewhere. Most priests and monks took us in, and offered whatever was available - usually a church hall where we slept on the floor, on tables, on mattresses, whatever was there. There were some, however, who turned us away. I couldn't understand how they could do that to us when I believed it was their obligation to help people, and especially pilgrims. I struggled with that, and became ever more angry and mistrustful every time we were turned away - even though we were also embraced and helped by so many others.

Of course, much later, I would understand that I needed those experiences to help me heal my own judgments and expectations of how I think things should be and how people should behave. How could I possibly allow peace to take root within me while those prejudices existed? I needed to see those prejudcies so that I may heal them, and walk without judgment or expectation... not only on my walk, but in life.

The inner journey has no end. I continue to walk it today, trying to apply what I learned during our walk to my every-day life, to the raising of our daughter, to my interactions with people.... I believe that is the purpose of pilgrimage, to bring us closer to the highest and best of ourselves (to the Divine within us, however you define that) so that we may offer it to the world; and when we can do that, then we are changing the world. Our energies go out and create ripples whose effects we can't possibly imagine.

Just as I am certain that your pilgrimage did for so many people in ways you can't imagine.

Sorry for the length... I hope it is of some service to you. :)

With love,
Mony
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Thank you Mony for your thoughtful reply. It's given me some food to chew over in my mind.
 

Mony Dojeiji

Pilgrim. Rome to Jerusalem.
Past OR future Camino
2001
Hello gnhale!

I just realized that I never responded to you! Sorry...

I have no doubt that your calming presence, the energy of peace that you emitted, helped calm that woman that you were walking with. I think that is probably one the greatest gifts that we can offer another - simply being ourselves, in that state of peace and grace in every moment, and allowing it to touch those whose path we cross.

You will have a magnificent camino, of that I have no doubt, for you are clearly already walking with an open heart.

Much love to you, and buen camino!
Mony
 
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