Path of the Friend

Writings related to ‘Pilgrimage’

Becoming a Citizen Diplomat

January 4th, 2010

Becoming a Citizen Diplomat

10 years ago my husband, Elias, and I sold our house and belongings, packed what was left in a small storage container, raised funds from a few friends and set off on an open-ended pilgrimage of direct service and teaching.

Looking for Iran

April 2nd, 2009

ESFAHAN, IRAN The Rally for Ahmadinejad This morning Rabia and I walked out of our small hotel in Esfahan, Iran, and were immediately swept along by a boisterous crowd filling the street—chanting, waving banners—all heading to Imam Square to hear President Ahmadinejad who was due to give a public address there within the hour. Loudspeakers […]

Leaving Our Father’s House

November 2nd, 2006

THE MIDDLE EAST Separation Four years ago at this time my wife and I were in Iraq, on the eve of the invasion. With the members of the Iraq Peace Team we were trying to bring to the attention of world media the enormous mistake the coming invasion was about to enact, and the agony […]

The Neighbor and the Pilgrim

April 2nd, 2006

PALESTINE In the sixties the poet Gary Snyder advised, “Find your place on the planet and dig in.” I took his advice seriously, digging out roots to clear gardens, digging holes to build fences, digging trenches for foundations, drainage pipes, and septic systems. The view from the handle of my shovel helped me love each […]

Walking with Abraham

October 30th, 2005

HARRAN, TURKEY It feels like the middle of nowhere – a rainy night, a poor neighborhood of scattered mud-brick and cement-block houses, puddles forming in the unpaved streets – but it was here in Harran, in what is now southeastern Turkey, that the religions of half of humanity had their beginning. In this place some […]

Our Great Loss

August 2nd, 2004

MEXICO This story must be told. Omar Diop is a finely-built black man, about 45 years old with small laugh lines radiating from his bright eyes. He lives in Dakar, Senegal, where he has spent much of his life working for peace through nonviolence in central Africa. In July I traveled to Mexico to meet […]

The Way of the Bard

June 2nd, 2004

BRAZIL As I sit through this long plane ride back to the States I am flooded with images of my journey to Brazil. How do all these encounters add up? What is being served that is larger than my own desire to serve? * * * A large African-Brazilian woman sits across the table from […]

Showing Up: Notes on Action in the World

January 2nd, 2004

SHOWING UP: Notes on Action in the World Living a spiritual life has always included for me both an intensely inward, contemplative practice of liberation from my identifications and judgments, as well as the challenging aspect of outward service dedicated to justice in the world. No matter how much my own life over the years […]

Crossing Borders

January 2nd, 2004

CROSSING BORDERS . When the pilgrim’s road comes to an end and her goal is reached, she finds she has traveled only from herself to herself, and that the God whom she reached was all the while in her, around her, with her, and beside her.                                                                                                                                                             –Annonymous After these years of pilgrimage we are truly […]

The Believer’s Candle

November 24th, 2003

DAMASCUS, SYRIA Our pilgrimage to Syria left many traces on our hearts of realities deeper than headlines. In this letter I would like to describe three images that particularly touched me during the journey. These are images of people praying. I have always been drawn to the company of people at prayer – Hindu or […]