Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
PO Box 2207, Shelton, CT 06484
  tel. (203) 926-1581

Online Newsletter

Winter 2009
Number 52

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"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" -- Peace Pilgrim

Index - Page 1- Page 2 - Page 3

Letters and Email - Peace Pilgrim in History


From our Correspondence - Letters and Email

From Matthew in New York:

     Hello, my name is Matthew. I am 26 years of age and an armed forces veteran. I live in upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains where I work and go to school full time. I recently watched the documentary on Mildred Norman and was absolutely moved by it! I am also baffled that I, as well as most of the people I know have never heard of this amazing woman!  I would love to have several copies of her book if it is not too much to ask. I would like to share them with some of my friends. I work in a residential facility for troubled young boys and I feel that I could get a couple of them to read this as well. I often think if these boys knew about such a woman and read her story and beliefs that it may ease them and help to keep them on task through difficult times in their lives. Thank you so much. It truly is a good thing you all are doing. God Bless you.......


From Megan in Texas:

     Hello! I am writing to receive a copy of your book. I have already read it online, admittedly, but would like to have a copy of my own to pass around. I was blown away by the message because my original search was about mystics in history - just a random curiosity (or inspired thought!) I had. Peace Pilgrim came up in my search and I'm amazed nobody around here has really heard of her. Some scoff at what she did saying things like, "yeah, a lot of good she did, huh." She is still doing the work of God and I believe her spirit is present in many people today. She passed on a year after I was born and it's been almost 30 years since then - sorry I didn't hear about all of this sooner! :) I've been on my own spiritual "walk", so to speak, and as Peace Pilgrim would put it, I have been "plugged in" to the spirit lately - as if out of nowhere this amazing story about the power of faith and love and PEOPLE has blessed my life. That is the way it works - When we seek, we shall find.  God bless you folks for all you do.


An email from a journalist in Kashmir:

     Dear Madam/Sir, I live in Muzaffarabad Kashmir, which remains embroiled in violence and turmoil. For over a half-century since 1947, people of Kashmir have been bearing the brunt of the animosity between the region's two countries, India and Pakistan - now both nuclear powers.  They have fought two of their three wars to gain control over Kashmir and they have yet to settle this dispute even after the loss of the lives of half-a-million. We want peace like the food, water and air. We are sick of wars, violence, and turmoil. Please send a copy of Peace Pilgrim. Maybe I can find something in it to achieve much needed peace for my people.

Regards, K. (Journalist)


From Anne in California,

     I’ve heard it said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  And that has certainly been the case in my lifetime.  Just last month I heard about Peace Pilgrim for the first time.  And yet she began her walk when I was almost five months old and died just five months before my first child was born 27 years ago.  My parents used to attend the Rose Parade every year, so I was probably at the parade on the morning of January 1, 1953 when Peace began her first pilgrimage.  And yet it is now this late in my life that I finally make her acquaintance.
     The information on your website said that if someone requested it you would send a free copy of Peace Pilgrim Her Life and Work in Her Own Words.  The copy I read needed to be returned to the library and since I am disabled and do not have the money in my budget for books, I would love to receive a free copy; one that I can highlight and underline and keep notes in the margins!
     For many years my mother and I have been estranged.  Just this last year many healing things have come to pass and we are now speaking again.  She has had a VERY DIFFICULT time coming to terms with her life and “peace” is NOT a word that describes her.  Yet, I think Peace Pilgrim’s book would reach her on a level no one else has been able to up to now.  So if you could send me two copies, I will give the second to my mother.
     Since I, myself am somewhat of a wanderer – living full time in a motor home and staying with friends who offer free parking – I need you to mail these to my friends with whom I will be spending a few weeks.
      Thank you so much for keeping alive the message of Peace Pilgrim; I know there are many people out there who have not heard of her yet but are open and ready for her message.


From a prison chaplain in Texas

     I am the assistant chaplain at the El Paso Detention Center.  Over the past few months we have distributed your booklets in English and Spanish to hundreds of detained men and women.  In addition we had copies of the Peace Pilgrim in our library and several of the detainees have commented on how much these books have deeply inspired them.
     Recently I received a letter from a Vietnamese woman who has since left us.  She thanked me for the help she received and included $40.00 requesting that this money be used to help other detainees.  It was placed in an envelope with your address and so I am forwarding it to you.
     I thank you for your generous assistance and ask God’s blessing on your continued efforts to spread the message of peace.

“When you feel the need of a spiritual lift, try getting to bed early and get up early to have a quiet time at dawn. Then carry the serene "in tune" feeling that comes to you into your day, no matter what you may be doing.”   Peace Pilgrim


From Charles on the road in Guatamala:

     I have thought of your offer of the Steps Toward Inner Peace pamphlet.  Maybe I can tell you the story of how I came to know Peace Pilgrim.  Over two years ago I started on a journey.  I had traveled the world before but this time I wanted social work to be the platform for my journey.  My plan was to drive my BMW motorcycle to the end of the world (Tierra del Fuego in Argentina) stopping and volunteering along the way.  Before beginning the trip, I went to help post-Katrina New Orleans and also worked with immigrants in San Diego with the Western Workers Social Union.  After a long tattoo session, I realized that I needed to make some changes in my plan. I realized I needed to stop buying gasoline.  So I sold everything and bought a bicycle.  I have now peddled all the way to Guatemala.  I have volunteered here for nearly a year. During this time, while in a remote mountain town, I discovered Peace Pilgrim.  There was a Swiss man there who had your pamphlets.  So I would love a bunch of your pamphlets in Spanish so I can pass them out when I continue this journey in January.  I speak to hundreds of people as I pedal this world.  My flag has a picture of the earth and says in Spanish and English, “Another world is possible.”  A website is chronicling the journey.  Check it out at: quetzaltrekkers.com.  Thanks for your time.  Peace and love.
     Oh, and thank you so much for keeping the faith and holding the light.  Peace is all around us.


From Jared in Nebraska:

Wow, is all I can say after reading about Peace Pilgrim's life.  She really was an inspiration for human development.  Her message is one that truly should be heard by all and keeping her words alive is a very important part of bringing peace to everyone.  I absolutely love how her message is so simple and yet profound.  I have read much about other sages, yogis, and the sort, but Peace Pilgrim's message seems to be the most universally ready to be accepted, not too much emphasis on religion which can frighten some people away from a message.  I would love to share the wisdom of Peace Pilgrim with some people in my life if you could be so kind as to send me a few copies of her book.  I would love to be able to introduce my friends to this wonderful woman's work.  Thank you in advance, and thank you for donating your time and efforts to such a great cause.


From Yvonne in Beijing:

     I had always wanted to write to thank you for giving me the copy of "Steps Toward Inner Peace" but I do have a bad habit of procrastination! Today we had a bonus holiday in Beijing due to the opening of the Olympics. I decided to make use of the time to catch up with friends from afar.
     I started reading the booklet while waiting for my flight in the Hanoi airport and finished reading on the plane.  Peace Pilgrim's story is really inspiring.  Her life gives examples of how we can walk the talk! She is a bodhisattva! I have re-read the booklet for more than 10 times ever since.  Together with Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness practices, Peace's story helps me to reflect on my life purpose, and on what small steps I could take one at a time.  I am able to gain more inner peace!
     I forwarded the website of Peace Pilgrim to my close friends.  I think Peace's story can inspire and help a lot more people in China.  I would like to publish bi-lingual Chinese and English copies of "Steps Toward Inner Peace" and distribute them here.  May I get the official Chinese translation?  

After receiving this email from Yvonne we sent her additional copies of our Steps Toward Inner Peace booklet in both English and Chinese.  Booklets containing both languages in one volume have now been printed in Beijing and are making Peace Pilgrim’s message available to new friends in China.


From Elizabeth in California:

     Words fail me to try to express appreciation for a life lived in the way Peace Pilgrim made hers, every day!  All though it was lived in an incredibly simple and original way, still its fullness is utterly touching and awesomely inspiring!
     Her simple life and words of rare wisdom illumine every page of this beautiful book and show what a blessing Peace Pilgrim was to those who knew her, and to a newer generation just now learning of her and her dedicated life.  She is still here – blessing us all!
     Who among us, rich or poor, has gained anything of the insight that continually poured out of Peace Pilgrim enriching all who encountered her.  It touches our hearts, it truly does.  Love like that is so rare – like sunshine brightening the day for everyone.
     Peace Pilgrim’s saintly life is a light that lingers on to uplift and illuminate.  We are greatly blessed and enriched by her life and words, now speaking to us from her book.


From Jenny in Illinois:

God bless each of your selfless hearts.  Peace Pilgrim has touched, changed, and blessed me more than I can say.  She was an answer to my prayers and lifted my heart and spirit to the high heavens.  Thank you for perpetuating her practical and timeless message of love.  (p.s. I sent her book to six others.)  Sending you all God’s unconditional love.

“The darkness in our world today is due to the disintegration of things which are contrary to God's laws.  Let us never say hopelessly this is the darkness before a storm; rather let us say with faith this is the darkness before the dawn of the golden age of peace, which we cannot now even imagine.  For this, let us hope and work and pray.” Peace Pilgrim


Peace Pilgrim in History         (top)

Seattle photo

Pilgrim for Peace Now Finds
Herself On ‘Popular Side’

Seattle Times – June 20, 1969

     Peace Pilgrim is back – more optimistic than on her last cross-America hike to Seattle three years ago.
     “I used to feel like a voice in the  wilderness.  Now I’m on the popular side,” she told a circle of silver-haired women at the Des Moines United Methodist Church.
     “Congressmen are changing to peace positions. There’s a spiritual awakening. There’s a young people’s rebellion – violence is just an infinitesimal part of it.  It’s a rebellion against war, against prejudice, against hypocrisy, against materialism.
     “Let me tell you, I have trouble staying a penniless pilgrim.  Once you get rid of material stuff, they pour it on you.”  The solidly built, silver-haired woman has “25,000 Miles on Foot for World Peace” lettered on the back of her blue tunic.  Her voice is rich and strong; she cups, steeples and points her hands as she talks.
     Peace politely refused to give her real name, age or much of her background.  She said she is from a small town and has no near relatives.
     She began living a simple life with few possessions 31 years ago and “I haven’t had a cold or headache since,” she said.  “I’m the most secure person I know and I feel very rich.”
     She began her walks for peace 15 years ago, she said, after she suddenly had a mental picture of her blue-slacks, blue-tunic costume and the Los Angeles – New York route she should follow.
     “Religious people would say it was a calling from God,” she said. “Non-religious people would say it was my subconscious.  A thing like that you interpret.”
     Now and then she still sleeps with leaves or newspapers for cover or washes her only set of clothes in a stream. Her only possessions are a comb, pen and folding toothbrush, she said.

 

*****

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Inner peace is not found by staying on the surface of life, or by attempting to escape from life through any means. Inner peace is found by facing life squarely, solving its problems, and delving as far beneath its surface as possible to discover its verities and realities."

Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Works in Her Own Words - Page 132


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Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PO Box 2207
Shelton, Connecticut 06484

tel. (203) 926-1581

revised 03/23/2009