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Pilgrimage Creations Newsletter

August, 2013

The height of summer is on us. We hope that where you are the heat and humidity is not too oppressive. Our Pilgrimage Creations Newsletter brings you the following this month.

To India by boat

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I have not written about our former visits to India. They are pilgrimages in our pilgrimage of life as much as our walks have been. So I have begun to write about our India experiences. The first is To India by boat. It tells about our early-2004, container-ship trip to India as we went there for the first time. To read it, you can click on the title above or choose To India by boat under the India option under Our pilgrimages on Pilgrimage Creations.

Threshold guard

”It’s too long.” “It’s too far away.” “You can never walk five miles in a day; how do you think you are going to walk 15?” “Why do you want to be away from home so long?” “You are too old.” “You have too many things to take care of at home to be out on the road.” Our threshold guard comes at us from many directions to try and keep up from fulfilling our dreams. S/he works hard to keep us at the status quo.

We are two months away from leaving for India. You may be a month or so away from beginning the Camino. Our threshold guards are chattering loudly at us. We are beginning to fear, to think that maybe it is better to just keep going along as usual. “What will happen if we have to change your lifes when we come back?” Our threshold guards are at work. “Don’t go out there. What if …? What if...?” What if? is at the base of their every protestation. It is always about the imaginary situation that will do you in. But we can never guess the future. I am convinced that “What if?” should be tossed from our vocabularies as meaningless.

Our threshold guards are part of us. We cannot ignore them. So we need to talk with them and acknowledge the fears they present us with. They are real. But they do not have to stop us. As long as “What if? is still in our vocabulary, why not use it to respond to our threshold guards, to give them some positive outcomes:

“What if you get lost?” – “What if I don’t get lost? And if I do, I will see new things.”
“What if you can’t walk 15 miles?” – “What if I can? And if I cannot, I will have a shorter day.”
“What if you get blisters?” – “What if I don’t? And if I do, I can take care of them and enjoy an extra rest day.”
“What will happen if you have to change your life when you come back?” – “That’s a big one. Many do change after the Camino and other lesser journeys. That’s part of why I’m going. I will just have to change. And, yes, it might be hard. But I will surely be better for it. Thank you for reminding me.”

We are never going to be totally safe. I find that, after listening to my guard and realizing that I can continue reasonably well, I work best by then ignoring most of my guard’s protestations and moving forward. The easiest for me is doing an end run around her/him and buying my ticket when I am traveling far. I am cheap enough that it will take a lot of convincing to throw away a ticket already bought and loose that money.

I am not advocating taking unnecessary heavy risks or doing foolish things. I am only saying; don’t avoid doing something new for reasons that are usually meant to keep you comfortable in your status quot. Take risks and wave at your guard as you pass her/him on the way out the door. Once you are past, s/he often has little to say. And you will be better off in the end.

We're going
to India

We will be leaving for India October 7.

Our books will be available while we are away from the United States. But you will not be able to get an autographed copy after September first.

We are selling our 2008 Honda Fit Sport. If you are interested, contact us for details.

An Indian Pilgrimage

As we continue to talk about different pilgrimages here in our newsletter, today we have one of the many walking pilgrimages in India: the Narmada Parikarma, a walk around the Narmada River never crossing it. The 815-mile (1312 km) river, the fifth longest in India, begins in central India and empties into the Gulf of Khambhat in the state of Gujarat.

Tradition says it takes 3 years, 3 months, and 13 days to make the holy journey around the river. Traveling up one side and back down the other side of the 815-mile river makes the pilgrimage 1630 miles (2624 kilometers). That traditional time calculates to about 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) a day, clearly showing that the daily walk is the destination. Just think, at 2.2 kilometers a day, the Camino would take you around one year to walk it! I am sure that the tradition is bendable. One can certainly do it in less time. At nine miles a day (very slow for us), I calculate it would take around 181 days, six months on the outside. That means we could do the whole walk in one dry season while still making each day, each step, the destination.

This pilgrimage has rules. For one, you are supposed to walk barefooted. That alone would be quite hard for me. You are also to shave your head and face on starting and not cut hair, beard, or nails until the end. Finish that off with no sex for the duration and you have a pilgrimage different from the Camino de Santiago.

From the write-up on its Wikipedia page, the Narmada is a river of many personalities with plains, teakwood forests, and mountains, a beautiful place to spend time.

We just might do the Parikarma. It would be an immersion into a very different culture. What people would we meet along the way? What insights would we gain? (And my threshold guard adds, “How many cuts will you have on your bare feet?” and “How often will you have to sleep on a cold, hard temple floor or under a tree?”)

Click the link to read more about the Narmada Parikarma.

October 7

As we announced in the last newsletter, we are going to India. We’re going for yoga, naturopathy, Ayurveda, some ashram-ing, immersing in the history and culture, and perhaps some walking – the Narmada Parikarma is tempting. We have our tickets for Mumbai. We’ll fly out of Albuquerque on October 7, less than two months from now. We have only begun to pack.

We have a car to sell

We will be gone long enough that we cannot keep our car in storage for the duration. So we have a car to sell. Is anyone interested in a 2008 Honda Fit Sport? It is in very good shape and has averaged better than 34 miles to a gallon for the time we have had it. If you are interested, please contact us. You are far away? Consider a flight to the sunny southwest in early October and a drive back home. What a better time to be on the road than in the early autumn.

Autographed books

If you are interested in getting an autographed copy of one of our books, please do so before September first. We will close that option then. After that, we will not have the time to sign them and get them to you. To get an autographed copy before that, go to our Books page and choose the book you are interested in. Follow the directions on the page to get an autographed copy.

Visit Pilgrimage Creations' Our Books page and browse through and consider buying one or more of them for yourself or as gifts.

Peace and Joy,
Petra Wolf and Mike Metras
Pilgrimage Creations.

Note: You can always read our newsletters online by choosing Newsletters under Pilgrimage Creations Home on our menus.