Today I’ve been reading some quotes from Peace Pilgrim, a woman who walked all over North America from 1953 until her death in 1981. She walked for peace ~ world peace as well as inner peace.
I think she was a special person and her travels gave her even more insight. I don’t know if she ever met the Dalai Lama, but I’m sure they would’ve greatly enjoyed one another’s company. In the stories she sounds so much like a joyful bodhisattva. You can learn more about her and even download free books here.
This quote I found entertaining:
“After a wonderful sojourn in the wilderness, I remember walking along the streets of a city which had been my home for awhile. It was 1 pm. Hundreds of neatly dressed human beings with pale or painted faces hurried in rather orderly lines to and from their places of employment. I, in my faded shirt and well-worn slacks, walked among them. The rubber soles of my soft canvas shoes moved noiselessly along beside the clatter of trim, tight shoes with stilt-like heels. In the poorer section I was tolerated. In the wealthier section some glances seemed a bit startled and some were disdainful.
On both sides of us as we walked were displayed the things we can buy if we are willing to stay in the orderly lines day after day, year after year. Some of the things are more or less useful, many are utter trash. Some have a claim to beauty, many are garishly ugly. Thousands of things are displayed – and yet, my friends, the most valuable are missing. Freedom is not displayed, nor health, nor happiness, nor peace of mind. To obtain these things, my friends, you too may need to escape from the orderly lines and risk being looked upon disdainfully.”
Her words revive for me a feeling I have when traveling and living out of a small bag. I know many of you have felt this too….There’s useful stuff, and there’s the stuff that weighs you down, that you realize you’ve been clinging to out of fear or confusion or habit, even. Some of this stuff is inside as well. For many of us, too much energy is spent maintaining all this stuff, striving for more stuff, or trying to carry it all.
And that feeling of lightness, of freedom, when you let it go? That is real joy.