Monk Finds Walking Therapeutic and "Addictive"
Bhaktimarga Swami, a Hare Krishna monk, freely admits to be an addict.
His drug of choice: walking.
The Chatham, Ont. native also known as John Peter Vis loves walking so much, he’s in the middle of his fourth walk across Canada since 1996.
Hi first walk was featured in the documentary “The Longest Road.”
The Swami has a lot of fun terms for his walks, but he calls this one a “get up off your butt-a-thon” with a smile.
“It’s a great way to clear the cobwebs in my mind,” he says. “Walking really helps create clarity of thought. When I think about what it does to improve me psychologically, physically and spiritually, I think people should reconsider the idea of walking.”
The Toronto-based monk says walking also provides a positive way to deal with identity crisis, stress and faltering relationships and a chance for self-discovery.
Very much in keeping with being a monk, Bhaktimarga Swami is also promoting the notion of pilgrimage.
“That’s the type of things monks do – go on long treks for inspiration and that exactly how I feel when I walk; in fact, it gets better each time” reads a brochure he hands out to anyone who is interested in his story and motivation.
The brochure also invites others to join the vegetarian monk for part of his journey.
When he isn’t walking, Bhaktimarga Swami is a yoga instructor and director of morality plays.
Although he might not be everyone’s image of cool, he’s hoping one day people will think of walking as where it’s at, instead of disturbing the peace in a muscle car and blasting music. He doesn’t even have an MP3 player to keep him company, just a man named Daruka who follows him in a blue sedan with his parrot Billy.
“I think when we walk, we should listen to what’s around us,” said the Walking Monk. “I’m going for simplicity.”