Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Meeting Jeremy Gilley, very exciting!

Jeremy Gilley and Peace Day Pilgrim
Guess who I met this week?

Yep, that's right...I finally got to have a huge hug and chat with the inspiration for Peace Day Pilgrim, Jeremy Gilley

Jeremy is the founder of Peace One Day and the main reason why I am walking 1200 miles this summer to raise awareness for Global Truce 2012.

I was invited by Peace One Day to attend the Global Truce Student Campaign launch in London on Monday. The launch event marked the formation of a worldwide student coalition of unions and academic bodies across each continent.

It was introduced by Jude Law (Peace One Day Ambassador - who I failed miserably to get a photo with) and Liam Burns (President of the UK's National Union of Students). There were representatives of student unions from around the world including Yannick Du Pont (SPARK), Rabi Arayal (Asia Pacific Youth & Students Association), Prashan De Visser (Sri Lanka Unites), Karina Ufert (European Students' Union).

Jeremy Gilley & Jude Law
It was wonderfully exciting to think that this is the first time for over 50 years that students around the world have united for a single gathering of minds in the name of peace for Global Truce 2012 on 21 September.

Students have always been at the frontier for social change and as a student with the Open University I am pleased to stand among them.

It was great to chat with Liam Burns about how I can get the news of Peace Day Pilgrim through the union networks and we provisionally discussed some university events for September on my way from Cardiff to London. Watch this space for more on this.

Jo Antoniadis (Peace One Day)
It was also great to meet my contact at Peace One Day, Jo Antoniadis, who is the wonderful woman who gave my walk the green light and is being so helpful and supportive. Great to meet Fernanda, Richard and Sacha all from the POD team too.

Strange who else you get to meet at these things. Happen to get chatting to the man sitting next to me and it turns out to be Dermot Carty who is the Deputy Director of UNICEF! Also met representatives from the United Nations and UNHCR. Ideas floated about the next walk....across Afghanistan? 

Also managed to speak with a number of people about video blogs and social networking and all that jazz. Had a go at taking some film and uploading (no editing yet!!). I find it really difficult to film myself but I need to get good at capturing things on film so that I can do video blogs on the walk. Have a look at these and send your comments (positive criticism please!). If you wanna give me some one to one advice or training then please get in touch on

Buzzing from all the London excitement. Getting Jeremy's blessing and support makes the whole venture suddenly very real. This is really happening now! I better get training...there is certainly a few lbs I could do without carrying the whole way!!

More anon. Peace.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday update: P&O offer ferry crossing and meal

Word of the walk is spreading fast.

Offers of help are coming in from all over the UK and across the globe.

Key highlight this week is that P&O Ferries have offered me a free ferry crossing from Larne (N.Ireland) to Troon (Scotland) on whatever day I get there.

This is particularly good news because up until this point I only had the swimming option and me thinks this would have been a bad idea. Now there's no need to carry the lard and speedos...good times.

They have also kindly offered a free meal on board, which is my first confirmed meal on the N.Ireland/Eire sections of the walk.

So a BIG THANK YOU to the team at P&O Ferries.

Also a MASSIVE THANK YOU to James Steer who took time to support the Peace Day Pilgrim Facebook page and completely out of the kindness of his heart organised the link with P&O. Cheers James.

What a wonderful dynamic between the kindness of strangers and social networking.

If you have read this and got inspired, why not Get Involved or Contact me with your ideas?

More anon. Peace.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

More music for the road...

A Pilgrim’s Meditation, by Toni Flynn

"Somewhere there is the Pilgrim ۰ Somewhere the Wanderer ۰ Somewhere Lostness ۰ Darkness ۰ Somewhere there is the Void ۰ The Abyss ۰ Emptiness ۰ Somewhere there is the Lotus Petal, the Buddha & the Bodhi Tree ۰ Somewhere there is a Blinding Light ۰ Illumination ۰ Nirvana ۰ Bliss ۰ A Face on the Moon ۰ The Tao ۰

Friday, 17 February 2012

Friday update: Students unite!

What a great week! Have been invited by Peace One Day to attend the launch of the Global Truce 2012 Student Campaign on 27th February in London. Key figures, including Jeremy Gilley (founder of Peace One Day), Jude Law (Peace One Day Ambassador), Liam Burns (National President of the National Union of Students UK) and regional student union leaders from around the world will be there to make a public commitment to mobilise students on Peace Day 21 September 2012 in support of Peace One Day's Global Truce 2012 campaign. As you may know, through the Global Truce 2012 campaign, we hope to bring about the largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally, and the largest ever gathering of individuals in the name of peace on Peace Day 21 September 2012. Students worldwide are being asked to lead this process and come together as one on Peace Day 2012; the launch on 27 February marks the beginning of the student campaign.

Check out what Liam, Jude and Jeremy have to say about Global Truce 2012...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Good morning...

20 minutes of zazen and standing meditation this morning. Shortly followed by coffee and nicotine! I wonder which is a choice and which is not? I wonder which of these useful tools I should be taking with me for the walk?(!) Looks like I will have to give quite a lot up this summer.
Glorious sunshine and pale blue sky this morning. I have missed them both recently. Going to release the news of the Peace Day Pilgrim 'Peace Walks' which we be held during the summer. First date is in London on Peace Day itself, 21 September, to celebrate Global Truce 2012. Most likely to be along the Thames from Richmond to Trafalgar Square. Fancy joining me? If so, contact me by email, facebook or twitter.
More anon. Peacex
Don't forget what Global Truce is all about...

Monday, 6 February 2012

Music for the Road: Bill Wither's "Grandma's Hands"

Going to need some tunes for the road. Wonderful friend reminded me to include this classic..

If you want to recommend some more music then post it on my Facebook Page, Tweet me at @PeaceDayPilgrim, or email
More anon, peace.

Tao Te Ching Chapter 2

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it knows good as good, evil arises
Thus being and nonbeing produce each other
Difficult and easy bring about each other(1)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Join the Challenge to Live Below the Line

The challenge? To feed yourself on £1 per day for 5 days. £1 because that is the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line – a line that no one want to fall below.

The reason? To give a unique glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live like that every day – and have to make £1 cover a lot more than food. 1.4 BILLION – that’s over 20 times the population of the UK – living every day in the most abject poverty. That £1 has to cover far more than food and drink – we’re talking everything – health, housing, transport, food, education… It’s impossible to imagine, but it’s the incomprehensible reality for an incredible number of people.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tao Te Ching Chapter 1

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao(1)
The name that can be named is not the eternal name(2)
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth(3)
The named is the mother of myriad things(4)
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations(5)
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders(6)

Translation and Annotation by Derek Lin

(1) The first line of the Tao Te Ching can be one of the most confusing. Some have interpreted it to mean that we must never speak of the Tao, or that if we try to explain it, then we must have not true understanding of it. What it actually means is that we can never understand the Tao through the intellect alone. We must feel it. Talking about it can be useful but will never replace the actual experience of living it.
(2) Not only is the Tao beyond the power of spoken word to describe, but it is also beyond the power of written words to define. That which can be defined is limited by definition, and the Tao transcends all limitations.
(3) Before the universe came into being, concepts and things did not exist, and no human consciousness was present to perceive and name them. Therefore, the Tao that initiated Creation was the ultimate nameless enigma.
(4) Once the universe came into being, the stage was set for the physical manifestation of everything, including human beings. These humans eventually attained sufficient awareness to observe all things and name them.
(5) Self-serving desires tend to limit us to a superficial level. If we think of other people and not just focus on ourselves, we will find it much easier to connect with the underlying reality. This applies to every aspect of life. It is one of the most powerful teachings of the Tao.
(6) The two refer to manifestations (outer appearance) and essence (inner truth). They represent the material world and the spiritual realm respectively. Both emerge from the Tao, because the Tao encompasses all - not only spirituality but also the physical universe. The basic unity of the two is the mystery that we investigate in Tao cultivation.