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June 4th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 22
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A Monk’s Spiritual Journey
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Hare Krishna order monk Bhaktimarga Swami, (born John Peter Vis).
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Last week, a monk of the Hare Krishna order walked through the Crowsnest Pass on journey across the country.
“I’m walking to encourage people to embrace the walking culture and the notion of pilgrimage,” says Bhaktimarga Swami, (born John Peter Vis). “It’s a journey of introspection and inner development; a walk for spiritual healing.”
Swami is originally of Chatham, Ont. and adopted the monastic lifestyle of the Hare Krishna in 1973. This is his fourth trans-Canadian trip and he’s done the whole thing on foot.
Swami left from Cape Spear, Nfld. in 2012 and is expected to reach Victoria B.C. by mid-summer.
He has undertaken three similar journeys in 1996, 2003 and 2007.
continued below...


He has four companions, one of whom is a talking parrot named Billy. They are helping with logistics and food. He says they’ve been staying in hotels but with the warm weather they’ve begun camping outdoors.
Karuna Sindhu, the Swami’s walking companion and cook, joined up with the walking monk near Taber for the last leg of the journey.
We eat a very simple diet. I prepare wraps, rice, beans and spices,” says Sindu. “I’m looking forward to continuing the journey.”
Swami says he enjoys meeting people on the road and is taking a mindful view of dealing with the elements on his journey.
“The whole idea is to develop some detachment,” says Swami. “Learn to take it all in. You learn to be tolerant and as a monk, that’s part of the exercise. You accept some inconvenience for longer-term benefit.”
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June 4th ~ Vol. 84 No. 22
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