'One of the main reasons for taking a pilgrimage to holy places is to make connection with our own innate enlightened nature, through accumulation of merit and wisdom. Merit is accumulated through keeping our mind free of ego-clinging emotions yet fully engaged in our living through awareness; and dedicating this happiness of freedom and awareness to all the suffering beings. Wisdom is accumulated through contemplating in the vastness of nature and understanding our ability to utilize our human body to experience the beauty of nature and the nature of our engaging mind.
In the daily motion of our life, we whisk through details and take quick chances, without paying attention to the environment and the beings around us. We need to give our restless mind a break. While a car can take you kilometres an hour to a physical destination, your feet can take you much closer to your spiritual home.
A pilgrimage on foot is not uncommon among believers of different spiritual traditions. Hindus walk to the different sacred sites related to their gods, such as Shiva, Krishna and others; Christian pilgrims walk from their homes to Jerusalem; Muslim pilgrims walk to Mecca; and Buddhist pilgrims to the different holy sites blessed by the presence of the Buddha and the generations of enlightened masters.
A walking pilgrimage is like a journey from self to selflessness. We are able to observe the reality of life at a gradual pace and to realize the beauty of life in its simplicity. Planning a proper schedule is not necessary, we just had to accept whatever came our way.
In the beginning we may be forced to face the moments of our experience with difficultly, and then we will grow to enjoy the spontaneous moments of the unexpected and the unknown. Instead of pressing on the accelerator and absent-mindedly rushing through the details of life, we will be able to look around us at the way others live, the way people interact, and the way the sun rises and sets. We may be forced to look at the material poverty around us, and may be surprised by the simple and happy way in which others are living in their externally difficult situations.
In fact we may even realize that it is we from the developed world who are poor, and we may suddenly realize our own lack of spiritual happiness. In the end, it would just be myself and my consciousness looking at each other, without fabrication. The walking pilgrimage or Pad Yatra would become a free play of mind with nature.'