Dies ist der FriedensPilger-Blog
This is the peace pilgrimage blog

To my surprise.

Dear friends

it seems that I change my route again. 

I arrived Varanasi. Now hidding towards Bodhgaya. From there towards Patna as planed. (Then a one month Vipassana retreat as planed)

Further I proparbly change diagonal northeast toward Sikkim. That means not walking to Kathmandu, which I would have loved to….

The reasons are multiple. Most important is my feeling. It’s seems I am here to walk through India. And it’s a strong feeling. Secondly I safe some money by not staying in Nepal for to long. Nepalese Government increased the Visa fees again. It was already not cheep, especially when you think about the income of most Nepalies. Now they increased it again by 25 %. It feels cruel to me and somehow mafiotic. Third is: I just read a article about Sikkim, which I anyway was interest to go to. The Indian State of Sikkim got back to organic farming and that’s just so sympatic. That’s what India really need, countrywide!!!! To be wholesome with mother earth, to be more healthy with oneself. That’s the way.

Later on I will again enter Nepal. Because of Visa issues. That could be then done in July (monsoon starting month). I have to find out, if it is possible to walk through Buthan. And how to manage the Visa issues about Myanmar later on.

Heart hugs.

Thomas

Plans

7.1.-18.1.2020 Walking from Muhammadabad to Varanasi

18.1.-30.1. Maybe serve or sit a Vipassana retreat in Sarnath

30.1.-27.2. Walking from Varanasi to Bodhgaya and Patna

29.2.-31.3. Sitting a 30 day Vipassana retreat in Shravasti / getting there by train.

1.4.-10.4. Afterglow the retreat / renew the Visa again In Nepal / travel by train back to Patna.

11.4. …….Walking from Patna north towards Nepal. Kathmandu and/ or south of Everest area.

Contact for Comments / Info / Getting involved in the Peace Walk

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Email  steppps@gmx.de

The Big Hug II

Dear friends,

Even after a short break of even some days, walking is just different. All the mussles in the feet, legs, but, around the lower spine are hurting. It’s again and again surprising. So it’s important to listen to the body, he has a reason.

Also: Getting out of the bed, first steppps on the ground feel like coming out of a cramp, especially the mussles in the feet. But…. then….. after a while, it’s ok again.

I am walking barefoot and it is a joy. To feel mother earth. To feel the direct connection to the ground. To be not enclosed in a shoe or sandal, not having to deal with blisters, coming from to narrow sandals or from any ‚comfortable‘ waves, so called soles. But sometimes, but less often it is also possible to develop blisters. If so, than it’s so more understandable, why nature established a blister, to protect the feet from more damage. I so had only a very few at some very unusual spots. For example between to toes, who kind of rubbed each other. Once, because a toe nail hurt the toe nail bed. And another time, on top of a toe, underneath a crusted skin and because of unusual movement of my toes, still learning the right way to move barefood. The barefoot walking is almost everywhere possible and all the time. But I allow myself to use slippers here and then,  If the road is very raff or there is already to much happening in my feet, because of to much walking (for example in the end of the day) or some inner process. The barefood walking helps my inner process together with the Vipassana meditations to bring the old defilements, the sankaras, stored in my subconsciousness up to the surface. I observe and realize. It’s very interesting what we all carry on levels down to atomic and subatomic levels. When the time is ready, it comes up for transformation. It manifests as feelings, sensations, symtoms, stays a while and then disappears again. I am so greatful, what I learned through Vipassana and that my walking barefood and in awareness supports step by step my transformation.

At the second day I meet Manoj inThuthibarihh…..

I wanted to write more…..

But I had to stop,  because the connection was bad…..

I realize. I have tostop at least this time about all the incidences. …. Meeting so many nice people wants me to report about it here and then…..

This time I will not….. in gratitude for all the interactions…. I say thanks and bow to you all.

I wish you all a wonderful new decade. It will be a brilliant one.

Continuesly on the ‚Big hug‘ round.

FFor my Visa I had a break in Lumbini/Nepal.

The Big Hug

Last bus ride (40h) to come back, after walking the gap, and arriving at Nepal/Indian border, Sonali, where I start walking tomorrow towards the Buddha places in Northern India.
Love flows through my body coming closer and arriving in Sonali, being connected with the Peace-Walk-way. (Until here 20.650km are walked) Universe arranged everything, to come quick back to continue walk step by step.
To say it short: Being on the actually way, walking, feels sooooo right. Being not on the way (for example having a few days break in Rishikesh) feels so weird.
The outside conditions are chaotic, but inside it feels so right to do.
Let’s start the walk to the Buddha places – it’s a circle – as a big hug to the area. It will be a ~1200km hug.

Dehradun to Haridwar

Dear friends,

The Vipassana retreat helped me to come to another level. But starting walk from there I felt just so exhausted. It feels that the barefoot walking also empowers the transformation process inside me. It feels that the process itself needs always a specific time. So, if there is to work through so much to the same time, it comes somehow to a transformation ‚jam‘.

On the way to Haridwar I meet incredible people. Also I found, with some exeptions, smaller ways I could walk. In one day, where I already thought, the big road is coming now, I just relaxed at a river side. Enjoying the view, nature and calmness, the bright sun and the fresh air. Effortlessly the neighbours invited me, started cooking and we had without much talking a wonderful time together. Greatness always appears. I can’t mention all the other beautiful meetings, but it seems, that I can again eat Indian meals, and I like it. Highlight is always to have brown or red rice, the natural one.

Somehow, still exhausted, I maid it to Haridwar, clompeted finally the gap. Now all the way is walked until Lumbini in Nepal (and a bit further over the Indian border, where I continue walk towards the ‚Buddha‘ places).

I thought is was a good idea to have a rest time in Rishikesh, so I took the bus to the 30km away town. But my final place where I have been several times is somehow a big mess now. Heavy mashine work on the promenade to make it nicer. The neighbors property, a ashram, has to give 2,5m of there building (illegal constraction) back to the city, so a slegehamner is busy all the time. And everywhere I walk it feels to me, soooo busy…. including beggers, tuc tuc drivers, traders with there approaches …. Sometimes I even can’t feel the beautiful Ganga, I only can see, because of loudspeakers, insences, rituals, workplaces……. In these days nature seems not present in Rishikesh – only disturbance…. even the nature is sooo close.

The day after tomorrow I leave towards Sunali at the Indian /Nepali border. Trains are not easy to book these days  (some are cancelled) because of some construction work going on. After trying some days it will be now the night bus to Lucknow, another day bus towards the border. So 24h on the bus. To my first walj destination,  Kushinagar I found a calmer way.

I asked people to join me at the flat areas to the Buddha places, but no responce. So I take it as a universal message and take my fate in my hands, heart and feet. I try to do my best!!!!

I love you all

Thomas

Reaching Mussouri

Leaving the holy river Yamona I have to walk uphill again. Nearly no shortcuts, which I speculated on,  the mountain just to steep. Mussouri lays on the top of the mountain and not in a highland as I thought and really high up, at about 2000m. As I arrive there,  clouds and fog limit the view. It’s also a sign for the beginning autumn/winter. Traffic jams remind me of Dharamshala and Shimla. It would be really good for this cities to have cable cars. But even though for lots of ways through the Himalayas.  Even cable cars for good transportations in containers could be a solution. It’s an intersting thought to think of a net of cable cars in whole of Himalayas, cable cars with a bigger capacity, like busses. India should have a fabric for cable cars to invent this system.

Walking through the steep mountain area I imagine having flower seeds spread everywhere. Flowers to install a lot of bee hives,  who collect honey from all over. This could help the people to earn good money. Honey in India is nearly everywhere added with some kind of sugar syrup. Real honey is a need to have, also for a lot of health reasons. 

Coming down from Mussouri I found a wonderful lonely hiking trail. The way was so lonely, that I doubted for a few times, if I am really on the right path. Only problem where a lot of loose stones on the way. But I enjoyed walking all the way barefoot, it took a long while, the stones slowed me very much down. But I just wanted it.

Tomorrow I have to walk another 13km to the Dehradun Vipassana center. I have not signed up the 10 day course, hope to find a free spot, because often not everyone signing in comes to the course.

Best greetings to all of you

Thomas

Purola looking back

5 days after leaving Purola 2 guys just now stop beside me. They have seen my posts of the clean-up at the river side in Purola. They stopped to thank me.

Anyway they liked it a lot and promise to start or join a local Clean-up group.

Let them be blessed to have lots of guts and heart power to do so. 

These days

Little before Naugaon I meet Aman. He invites me to his house. Aman is just 17 and convinced easily his mother Sapna, 35. The whole family is so nice, welcoming and support each other. Little after my arrival I get invited to stay up to five days. Even though Sapna is leaving the house for Diwali to see her relatives, I am welcome. I agree to stay for one more day.
Aman has prepared everything for a day journey on his scooter. After 1 1/2h drive we reach a spectacular view out in the nowhere on a 2.000+ meter pass. Really enjoyable. Himalayan nature all around incl snow peaks.
Amans dream is to travel the world and has done a lot of research to make it happen. He learned a lot about the regions, he want to go, through all kinds of YouTube videos. Also his english is quite good ‚I learned it by watching english movies‘
I was his first westerner to host and I was really impressed, how he managed the challenge. All the best for you and you are always welcome, when I am back in Germany.

With a full bag of food I leave the house. I am still in the Himalayas, maybe at around 1000 elevation meters, when I realize, some km before Damta, traffic is still little…. but I react by sneezing somehow allergic to the traffic smell. Damta is also not a big place, the town (village) feels dust and whatever polluted? I don’t understand. … my feet are also much more dirty and my yellow trouses got so dark today…. The street does not go much up or down but it seems dust from the brakes of trucks and busses are in the air…. It’s still 50 km in air line to the bigger places….

This is, which I have most respect to. The upcoming dust, smoke, pollution. How to dive through this? All the pollution has such an impact on the people – including me. How to keep the bubble around me clean? How to bring steppps of peace into ‚this’…… (that’s the reason, I asked for help – walking help – until now no-one did sign up for this period – it’s between January and March 2020 plusminus)

And one thing more:
I am really looking forward to finish and complete the steppps peace walk in spring 2021 – but until then I want to enjoy every day and every moment

3rd day of cleaning

At the 3rd day I have the feeling people avoiding me.
I have a rest in the nature to feel clearer.
After that I decide to leave the day after.
The chairman is not to speak …. (because of the election ….?)
I clean up everything at the riverside, as planed. It looks good. This could be a starting point for the river clean up in both directions… just a dream?…. ?
One big bag I could not move over the big fence, even with one helper. The hotel worker promised, not to bring it back to the burning place…. I very much hope so…

At the last evening I get a nice present and letter from the neighbor kids, done with so much love…. with the wish to meet again in five years ……

Purola

Just before Purola I have to walk close to a ugly dump, and it’s burning. Cows are looking in the rubbish and smoke for something to eat. Surreal.

Coming to Purola I see some benches, surprise. That’s somehow rare. The town started to collect the rubbish? So the town is somehow clean, also not so dusty. People maid feel the difference. But the dump problem is not really solved, but it’s a little start towards the right direction. It need a real waste incineration plant.

I tried to find someone, who can tell me about Uma, is she in the area or not. Only after I decided to take a hotel for 300 Rupies suddenly information flows. Gangaram, the assistant of Uma, knocks at my door, Uma is for another 10 days in Delhi. He shows me on his phone videos of her and her garden. Just beautiful. A real nice open heartful moment with him.

Next morning I somehow feel not to move on. My body or what… I don’t know, does not want.

The nature around is so beautiful. My room is towards the river. There is even a terrasse towards the river, but only rubbish bin there. No consciousness towards having a rest there, maybe 2 chairs and a little table?….

Looking down towards the river, people still burn there rubbish and use the river side as dump area. The river takes it all….

I went to the hotel owner to tell him. I need some bags, I want to clean up the area. This is now happening already 2 days. I report on Facebook: ‚Thomas Heinrich Schmöckel‘ about it.

Within hours at the first day I have 1 TV station coming for interview, a newspaper, lots of neighbors get so interested. Everyone likes what I am doing, but they are kind of in a mind shock.

One guy, later another one says to me: no-one ever has done this in our town.

A 10 year old boy says worried: but if you are going again in a week or so, they will again start throwing things in the river and burn rubbish.

Second day in the morning a hotel worker want to come and burn rubbish. ‚No, not anymore at the river side, the rubbish has to go to the rubbish collector car, which comes every day‘  (I would love to plant 2 or 3 trees, exactly at the spots where the burning places have been…. don’t know if I have enough money for that)

I have to speak to the chairman of this town. We have to find a solution, to bring the recyclable trash towards Dehradun to the recycle companies. Until now there is no transport system for it. I am also happy to help some people to find a clean-up group.

Let’s see what happens the next days.