More from and about
Peace Pilgrim
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

If you want to serve the universe, the obvious place to begin is right where
you are. That's where I began. I looked at every situation I came into and
wondered, 'What can I do to be of service in this situation?' Sometimes
there was nothing I could do, but often there was - a helping hand, a word
of cheer, a pleasant smile. Then, after I had given a lot, a most wonderful
spiritual receiving began - giving me more to give.

   

If you are harboring the slightest bitterness toward anyone, or any unkind thoughts of any sort whatever, you must get rid of them quickly. They are not hurting anyone but you.  It isn't enough just to do right things and say right things--you must also think right things before your life can come into harmony.
  
  
Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! There is great freedom in simplicity of living. It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.

      
In reality, of course, we are all cells in the body of humanity. We are not separate from our fellow humans. The whole thing is a totality. It's only from that higher viewpoint that you can know what it is to love your neighbor as yourself. From that higher viewpoint there becomes just one realistic way to work, and that is for the good of the whole. As long as you work for your selfish little self, you're just one cell against all those other cells, and you're way out of harmony. But as soon as you begin working for the good of the whole, you find yourself in harmony with all of your fellow human beings. You see, it's the easy, harmonious way to live.
  
There is a well-worn road which is pleasing to the senses and gratifies worldly desires, but leads to nowhere. And there is the less traveled path, which requires purifications and relinquishments, but results in untold spiritual blessings.
   

Truth is the pearl without price. One cannot obtain truth by buying it--all you can do is to strive for spiritual truth and when one is ready, it will be given freely. Nor should spiritual truth be sold, lest the seller be injured spiritually. You lose any spiritual contact the moment you commercialize it. Those who have the truth would not be packaging and selling it, so anyone who is selling it, really does not possess it.

     

It's very important to get your desires centered so you will
desire only to do God's will for you. . . . When you think about it,
is there anything else as really important to desire?

   

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You must learn to forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others.
And then take a further step and use all that energy that you
used in condemning yourself for improving yourself.

   

Iíve met a few people who had to change their jobs in order to
change their lives but Iíve met many more people who merely had
to change their motive to service in order to change their lives.

   

Were I to solve problems for others they would remain stagnant;
they would never grow. It would be a great injustice to them. My
approach is to help with cause rather than effect. When I help
others, it is by instilling within them the inspiration
to work out problems by themselves.

   
    
Carrying in her tunic pockets her only possessions--toothbrush, comb, pen, and later, her Steps to Inner Peace pamphlets--she took a vow to walk penniless, and to remain a wanderer until mankind had learned the way of peace, "walking until given shelter and fasting until given food."  She had no organizational backing and never accepted money.  She owned only what she wore on her back.  She stepped out for peace on faith alone, and in so doing, undertook a daring and groundbreaking feat that represented enormous moral courage.

She introduced herself to people as a pilgrim--walking not to a place but for an idea.  Her message was a simple one about the way to peace. She said to all who would listen:  "This is the way of peace:  Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."  Her definition of peace included peace among nations, among people and individuals, and the most important peace--within oneself--for only with inner peace, she believed, can the other kinds be achieved.  She said that her message should not be taken lightly, or viewed simply as impractical religious concepts, but rather, as universal truths to be lived:

These are laws governing human conduct, which apply as rigidly as the law of gravity.  When we disregard these laws in any walk of life chaos results.  Through obedience to these laws this world of ours could enter into a period of peace and richness beyond our fondest dreams.

Setting out at the dawn of the nuclear age, she carried three petitions: one to end the war in Korea, the second to establish a U.S. Peace Department (both directed at President Eisenhower and Congress); and a third petition directed at the United Nations, urging world disarmament and the redirection of arms spending towards human needs funding.  She delivered all three.

On her journeys, she preached that the basic conflict in the world was not between nations, but between two beliefs:  1) that evil can only be overcome with more evil (the dominant, present belief); and 2) that evil can only be overcome with good (the belief for which she walked).  "What we suffer from in the world is immaturity," she said.  "If we were mature people, war would be unthinkable and peace would be assured."  In her life, her belief in maturity was put into daily practice.  She wrote:

No one walks so safely as one who walks humbly and harmlessly with great love and great faith.  For such a person gets through to the good in others (and there is good in everyone), and therefore cannot be harmed.  This works between individuals, it works between groups and it would work between nations if nations had the courage to try it.

She walked for the next 28 years, weaving back and forth across the country, making trips into neighboring countries.  From the start, her life on the road-- walking, talking, eating, sleeping--was undertaken as a reverent, loving prayer, integrating what she believed were the important things of living, into a penniless, simple, committed existence of love and service.

She never approached anyone, but waited for people to approach her.  Her commitment was to make herself available to the serious, the concerned and the curious.  She spoke tirelessly to those who wanted to talk.  With her message covering the entire peace gamut, from the international to the individual, she asked people to overcome the selfishness and pride within themselves first, and then do whatever they felt called to do for peace in the world.

For those who asked, she gave out her Steps Toward Inner Peace pamphlet, which outlined her preparations for inner peace, including simplification of life and purification of the body, bringing the inner and outer well being into harmony.  She always stressed that there was no particular order to the steps, but rather, one should begin wherever it made sense.  (These Steps were first printed in 1966, when, during a radio interview, a friend asked her to share them with listeners.  The friend copied them down and made a little booklet, Steps Toward Inner Peace, which has been in print ever since).

(Taken from peacepilgrim.net.  Read her full bio--an amazing story-- at http://www.peacepilgrim.net/htmfiles/mdppbio.htm.  You'll find more information and free copies of her writings there, also.)

  

  

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