A challenge

I managed the only 12 km the second day.
But…. After 3 1/2 month meditating and resting the walk is another story.
My mussles and all my walking system is hurting. To carry the backpack… it feels also very heavy. … as I said,  just another story.
I even got some blisters at my toes.
They are care taken. Step by step I will continue.

For the moment I will mostly stay at night in hotels. Today I have again a low budget one. Including some cleaning. Means, if the place is not so as I with,  I do what I can to make it a bit better.
Only if I get invited somewhere, I maid go with the people. For now it’s for myself and the people maybe better not to ask – because of Corona.

Step by step to continue the big hug (do you remember?)

First day walking again

First way walking after 3 1/2 month was quite fun. But I walked only 12km to adjust myself to the situations. (So today I walked 0,5% of the rest of the way to Myanmar/Yangoon-2.500km)
Some people on the road quite friendly. Some a bit afraid.

I reached Nalanda. Today I stay in a OYO hotel. Some month ago I saw a video on Facebook about the owner. It’s a just 25 year old man, who had, when he started nearly no money in the pocket. In his village he saw that the local hotel was not booked at all. So he made a deal with the owner, a kind of bet. He promised to make the hotel busy. He changed some sheets and blankets, pillows. Arranged everything in a need way, took care for some more cleanliness, took photos and published them in the internet.
After a little while the hotel was really good booked. He somehow became the co-owner.
Now he owns 1000s of hotels in all of India and became a billionaire.

Nalanda is known for a old Buddhist university, which tought Mahayana Buddhism, which spread all over Asia, specially Southeast Asia. Ruins and excavations are to witness here. I myself don’t go, because mostly these days it’s anyway closed -lockdown- but also because tourist have mostly to pay 12 times more entrance fee than Indians……

Bihar is actually a very beautiful state, when it comes to nature and climate. I don’t know, if the Monsoon this year is a bit early? Anyway, here and there it rained a bit and a bit more.

Hugs

Thomas

First days ‚outside‘

5 days ago I left the ‚protective bubble‘ of the Vipassana center, where I stayed for the last 3 1/2 month. On the way back to Bihar/Rajgir to continue the peace walk.

First everything went somehow normal to Indian standards. From a tuktuk to a bus, another bus and a bus to Gorakpur. Already a 16.30 there. Earlier than I expected. I thought I maid get her a train from Gorakpur to Hijipur – a ticket at the ticket counter. But arriving at the train station I realized, not everything is in a normal mood yet. Only extra CROVID-19 trains where running. Ticket counters not open. Hmmm. Surprise.  Don’t make sense to me, that all the busses are running again, but not the trains. This was also the info I got in the center, that everyone can go now, whereever they want.
Ok. What to do. I decided to get to Kushinagar. All the government busses don’t cross the state borders I had learned in between. Kushinagar was still in Uttar Pradesh.
In Kushinagar I found a helper, T-Roy. He has a little cafe there, also Vipassana practitioner, and he loves to help people. The monestaries have not opened yet there guest rooms. So we try at a hotel. I got sprayed with with some bleaching fluid which hurts on the skin and I protest. Desinfection ok, but not bleaching. And no soab at the public sink…..
Just in front of the police station, the people jump away, when arriving……
Finally I arrived at a hotel,  little bit more expensive. … they accepted me.
In the public only fifty percent of the people wear masks.
The Vipassana manager, Mukesh, of the Kushinagar center calls me a bit later. I had contacted him already in Gorakpur. I can come to the center, stay there, also for longer, but I have to get in quarantine for 4 days there – I came with a bus and not by private transport. But I dont want to stay. In this case it does not make sence To travel from one Vipassana center to another.
To diguest all of it, I take a day break to mentally ajust with the outside world and what happened to me here…..

After that day break I continue my bus journey and I arrive in the evening in Patna. Quickly I get away from the bus station and find a hotel bed again.
Next morning the people at the bus station send me from here to there.  The bus starts at area 3. Arriving there, the bus to Rajgir leaves at gate 1. But I just come from there. This went on for some rounds. Patna bus station is a total chaos. Busses drive through mud and passengers have to reach there busses by getting through the mud. No costumer service. Finally my bus is to find at area 2. I ask every bus driver in that area and suddenly ‚yes, this bus goes to Rajgir‘.
Luckyly no bleaching spray anymore.

After a night of sleep I walk towards the peace stupa, 6 km outside of the town. A police officer stops me. You can’t get there. ??? Still lockdown. After a while I understand. Sights are still closed in this time, while most of the public life goes on normal. I did not know that.
In the net it’s also not easy to find this information. And I trusted what I heard in the Shravasti Vipassana center.

Maybe around 10 days ago I read a message on the German foreign ministry ‚Auswaertiges Amt‘ that the lockdown in India continues until the 30th of June. That was opposite of what I experienced. All the members who where stuck in the center since about 2 month, left for home. Getting advise from the Vipassana center teacher, by letting him know, that I feel a impulse to continue the peace walk, he just said, I should wait until the 8th or so of June, because at that time all the hotel will open again. So I was surprised,  that the German foreign ministry had a wrong information in there travel advises. And thats very unusual.
But now I understand. Somehow the lockdown is still active, but practically only the sights and other official institutions are closed…..

All together, the authorities did not take the chance to establish more hygiene in the country, except of hand sanitizer here and there. In Bihar maybe 50 % of the people wear a face mask, maybe 50%.

I still feel, being here is right. My heart gave the impulse to continue walking. And on a practical level, yes I agree, but this can be only done with my heart. My head, my mind/interlect can’t contribute to much. So the challenge is, to give everything up, except the guidance of the heart.

I am not a big fan of adventure. There is always already enough adventure happening inside, I often say. This becomes now another level….

Tomorrow. 21.6., summer solstice, the peace walk continues….

 

Start walk after lockdown

Dear Friends.
Slowly and now continuously, finally more strongly there is coming a clear energy towards starting to walk again.
Lockdown in India has passed. Since 12 days travelling without permission is allowed again. But not all trains are running again. And people partly follow the social distancing rules, but another part does not care enough.
I am not sure, if that will result in a castrastrophic rising of Corona cases…. or will the nature help, at least in the summer, with his high summer temperatures?…. or people maid have a different immun system….?
I was locked with 60 other Vipassana meditators in the Vipassana center Shravasti after my intended 30 day course. The course started 29th of February and strict lockdown was until 31.5.2020. Some very few Indians where allowed earlier to travel home with special permits. Since beginning of this month now nearly everyone left the center. Foreigners were the last…. and now, today, 4 more foreigners left.
My plan is to leave at the 15th of June. A friend of mine, Tabish came visiting me, and I want to spent some time with him.

Where to go?
There is a strong impulse to continue walking from Rajgir. Here I stopped walking end of February. It’s tricky to get a train ticket, but if not, I have to travel all the way by uncomfortable busses, I guess two or 2 1/2 days. It’s about 600-650 km.
As always I have to trust my inner impuls, what means my heart, even though from outside there are lots of other opinions, which reached me. But, if you read my blog, you also know: There was a inner clear voice, back in September 2018, when I was stuck in the snow in the higher Himalayas, which said ‚When you visit your mother in summer 2019 you will walk all the rest of the journey in one row‘ And I totally trust this voice. We could argument, that situation changed with Corona now, but this trust in the voice, and the impulse energy I have now, and the feeling in my heart to finally continue the walk now and finish the peace walk officially in April 2021 has not changed. I have balance all the options and risks and voices around me got calmer and I am myself also calm.
Still moving , the whole walk,  at least through Bihar (Indian state) will be not easy. First of all, it’s hot season now, monsoon on the way to come around end of June. Second Bihar people are poor and a bit afraid anyway, especially when the night comes closer.
Third with the Corona topic people have maybe even more fear when it comes to over night stay….
So the route will be from Rajgir towards northeast, walking around Bangladesh, around 400 km. From there east – southeast towards the Myanmar border. All together 1.250-1.300km.
(After that I plan another meditation period and some time to organize the Visa for Myanmar. Latest at 1st of January I want to start walking in the last country on this walk, 1.200 km in Myanmar)

I will tell you something interesting from last year. You maid remember, from April on I was stuck in Lumbini. I was unexpected with the arrival there, superexhausted and could not walk at all. Within some days my hornskin at my feet removed so quick, within days… I could not understand. I had some options how to continue, but energy changed every day. Finally at the 12th of June I understood that I will leave. Next morning it crystallized that I will fly to Germany. At the 15th I left Lumbini towards Kathmandu, 4 day later I could hug my mother.
Somehow a lot of synchronicity this year. After the retreat stuck from April on in Shravasti. At the 12th of June (today) I know I will leave at the 15th. Some days later I will continue walking – on the road again.
And, when I arrived here, the very first few days the horn skin under my feet removed itself so quick…. then not knowing what it ment.
Was the last year an exercise for this? Is this a blue print? Was something like Corona already last year ‚in the air‘?
At least impressive. Dont you think?

Vipassana
Since I learned Vipassana I meditated every day mostly at least 2 hours.
With Equanimity and Awareness.
Equanimity means a balanced mind. No thoughts about future and past/Not generating any kind of Aversion or Craving.
Awareness means just observing on the experience/feeling level without reacting.
This allows the mind and matter to bring old structures /Sankaras up. Again, they also get just observed, without judging, on he experience and feeling level. Old Sankaras disappear with the law of arising and passing and liberation starts and continues.
This I have done here in Shravasti since 29.2.. in the courses up to twelve hours meditation,  beside the courses mostly 4-6 hours a day. I was very fortunate to stay here during this time and I am very greatful, that I was allowed to be a guest here on all levels. Thanks thanks thanks.

In the moment everything in this Corona times takes time and is a bit complicated.
Visa need to be asked for every month online.
Trains are now overbooked and you need an extra App to go on the train.
The border to Nepal is close, so how to get out of the country, if you have just an Exit Visa…..????
Yesterday I finally needed to get money from a bank machine.  It took me a whole day and travel to 3 different towns to finally find a bank machine, which had money. All other money machines where our of work or out of money. What a chaos and a damage of economy, when people can’t get to buy because getting cash is not well organized.

For the walk in Corona times I just need to be aware about social distancing, hygiene and boosting my immune system.
Sleeping at privat places is often anyway half outside. Under a shelter in front of the house. So this is perfect not to get infected. People bring a bed outside, blanket and mosquito net often included.
I have 4 face masks now. So every half day latest I can change the mask. And disinfection of hand and face is needed all the time. Sanitiser has to be bought still, in case there is no water. Otherwise full body washing 2 times a day should be hopefully somehow in the summer temperatures possible. Hand washing anyway with soap all the time especially before eating.
My immune system I boost with fresh fruits, dry fruits and nuts, dates, honey, ginger, propolis.
From time to time eating garlic to have some antibiotic protection.
First I thought I can’t walk barefoot anymore, but looking back, it is very mostly happen, that a injury is not coming from now to then. And, it is so super rarely that blood is involved then. Almost every injury at the feet is just a cut in the horn skin without having any blood involved. I will observe all of that wisely and protect myself as needed.
Here and there are some officials walking around with a body temperature scan pistol.

One more thought.
Does the world need to be infested by Crovid-19 after a period of time? Lot of people are carrying the virus without having any symptoms…..???

Life has to somehow continue.
May I be wise and open enough to sence any danger coming my way.

Help
I heard from a third person, that a Vipassana teacher from Mumbay thinks of helping me in any way needed. The contact needs still to be maid.
After waiting for a while I just see it as a sign, that help will come from somewhere, if needed.
This is anyway my experience since at least 8 years. There is always help coming if needed.

Stay safe my friends
Love Peace and Happiness to you all
Thomas

Happy to walk the last 2.500 km

8 years

8 YEARS!!!!!! Today
Steppps Peace Walk 🌎👣🌏❤🌍

I walked until now to Bodhgaya, Buddha’s place of Enlightenment – and 70 km further northeast to Rajgir, where Buddha meditated in different caves. Now there is a beautiful Peace stupa build.

Around 21.500km are walked. 2.500km are still to come until Yangoon in Myanmar.

Now I face another obstacle. The lockdown!!! The Visa was running out and the prolonging ended up in an ‚Exit Visa‘. For around mid May. Solutions and alternates are happy to receive me. Where to go? Nepal is also in lockdown. Otherwise a flight back to Germany and a summer stay there…????. until the situation normalises. Let’s still hope for a good solution. I would love to stay in India.
If the Visa problem can be solved, I have already a nice place to stay. The Vipassana center in Shravasti. Here Buddha thaught 25 monsoon retreats.

In case of coming back to Germany I love to continue my peace work, in the moment by lots of meditations and….???….. Univers knows… There is a heart wish to continue living from donations…..

In one year the Peace walk shall be officially be finished. After that I wish to the stay in the area where I walked to – one, two years…

Love peace and happiness around this beautiful world 🌍❤🌏👣🌎 and all of you.
Thomas

Corona thoughts V

This virus is clever

It shows us

There are no borders

But

Nations now protect there borders and even close them

When do we understand

We are living on one planet

There are no borders

One human race

Humans, animals, plants and minerals 

We have to share the place – in harmony

Corona thoughts IV

This virus is clever

It does not effect the kids. They carry it, but mostly have no symptoms.

It effects the grown ups.

The ones who are responsible for the world we live in now.

It effects the western rich country’s most.

The country’s who have polluted the world most.

The country’s who are responsible for an unfair world – let’s think of a unfair money system for example…..

……

Do you agree?

Corona thoughts III

This virus is clever

It brings all the earth to a ’stop‘

The human world gets shaken.

Human gets shaken.

People who are not prepared are getting softened by staying at home allone. Immediate unexpected retreat.

A ‚healthy shock‘ to think about, what we have done to the world, to us.

 

 

 

 

Corona thoughts II

This Virus is transmitted to human kind through the animal kingdom

Do we understand the message?

Is this a cry out from the animal kingdom?

We have taken lots of the living areas of animals.

We have cut forests.

Polluted the elements.

Put animals in animal konzentration camps to make buisiness with them and eat them.

All this animal’s can’t speak. Do you hear them now?

Corona thoughts I

This Virus ja very clever

It comes to the lungs of human kind

To let the human race feel, how it is, when you can’t breathe anymore

Out of danger and fear the humans react

And stop all there usual behaviours

And suddenly Mother Earth can breathe again