The Walk is just beginning!
What a journey it has been, whats next?……..
Well, It is May 4th at 11:15am and I am in Troy, NY sitting here with some coffee thinking about what we have all just finished and also started. Since I joined my first walk in January 2002 from Seattle WA - the World trade center in NYC (4 months walking) my life has changed dramatically. I was unclear and certainly not aware of what I was getting into. When I first found out about these walks and why people do them I was unclear as to the full understanding and could only find out by walking. I asked many people about walking and why they walk and the answer is for the most part one of the same "People are suffering" was the response many times. I understood that people suffered although it was difficult to feel their suffering and understand the feeling. I walk so I can try to understand the suffering of the world and try to heal it and do my part. I have since then walked on numerous short walks and 2 other walks, one across Japan and the walk from Y12 in Oak Ridge TN to the UN in NYC that I just completed with the assistance of many other walkers and many prayers. A day of the walk is what I would like to share with you all.
It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising in the distance and the drums beating as one with the heart of the universe. Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo was the chant that came from the hearts of many, shortly there after songs of love and fear and hope came from so many others. Tyler Vega, Anna and Emily Strole were just a few that shared their spirit that morning.
After prayer came time to eat breakfast pack up the bags and clean the area where we were so welcomed. Inge Arnold, Nat, Taka and so many others did a great job every morning getting the food prepared to nourish the bodies of many walkers. So breakfast was being served, walkers are packing up lunches, people are out loading up the vehicles with the luggage, walkers are cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming... and lots of phone calls are being made to organize the stay places and checking on the plans for the days. All this is happening before 6:30 am. No time to relax, just hustle bustle and walk. This was the way it was almost every morning.
On the road walking by 7:15 or so; after we have a circle to thank our hosts. The flaggers would head out about 100 ft in front of the group to assure the safety of the trek. Jeff McKenzie, Paul, Inge, Marcus Atkinson, Mario Barros and so many others took turns at flagging. Then came the banner of the peace walk, then the Gendaiki carried by Taka, Suzuki, Ocama-san, Brother Utsumi, Renjo, Paul and a few others. The Gendaiki is a banner the has Na Nu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo in Kanji written on it. Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo is chanted throughout the day as we all would walk. The Monks and drums were next and then everyone else. Chihiro Seki was in the back many days playing his Guitar and singing out his heart and his pain for the world, a great addition to the drumming, Berta Lambert also was in the rear end walking and doing his prayers in his own ways. Lunch and breaks would come and many would eat quickly in hopes to get a wink of sleep. Guitars and flutes were played many times during the lunches, not always welcomed by everyone though. Some walkers just wanted quietness.
Well after walking all day, praying, crying, talking, etc... The day of walking was over but there was much work that still needed to be done. Some nights were potluck dinners and some we cooked at out place of rest. Walkers were still on the phones, repairing cars, driving the routes, and also trying to stay in a sane state of mind. Walking is difficult but dealing with ourselves is also difficult as well. At about 2am everyone is asleep, some still maybe working on Media stuff or updates or may just be having a difficult time sleeping. Needless to say, the experiences were all incredible.
In the beginning of this little entry, I stated that; the walk is just beginning. Some may not understand what I am referring to. After doing a walk and learning and experiencing whatever oneself did, it is time to put into action what you have learned and carry a message of hope to all people, even you enemies. I would like to say that I have no enemies but I do, I am my worst most enemy. I need to constantly talk to myself and look inside to heal. I want to share my experiences with the world. Please join me in my battle and journey. This walk is the beginning to a better future for all... walk with me, you don't need to be happy about it just give of yourself what you can.
I love you all very much. A special Thanks to John Toren, Larry Crane and Jon Blickenstaff for all the love and support and the commitment to this website. It is you who I look to for inspiration and strength. Courage is in there as well.
Walk in a good way, walk in a strong way, walk, walk, walk...for Peace will come someday.
Love you all and Miss you,
Jason Laffer (Snickers)
See you all on the next walk!