This is part five in my series of preparing for my pilgrimage to China.
It is with the strong desire to increase and expand my healing abilities for myself and all sentient beings, that I undertake my 100-day China Pilgrimage.
Preparing for a Spiritual pilgrimage
Now that the financial basics of my China pilgrimage were covered I began to look at what it would take to actually go on the trip… One thing was sure… I was going to have to get into shape on a physical level because Buddhist pilgrimages usually involve great physical intensity.
I would say that in the past 20 years my level of physical fitness has gradually diminished. Though I eat very well – all organic, no processed foods lot’s of veggies, little to no sugar and I try to stay with good food combining principles, my activity level has diminished and I have gained – OK I admit it – 20 lbs of unnecessary weight. I still walk about twice or sometimes 3 times a week but at a stroll, not a focused exercise designed to get the heart pumping. So I began to walk into town and walk for 2 hours at a time. I thought I was doing pretty well until a friend suggested joining her on a 2 hour mostly uphill hike at Armstrong Woods. I immediately agreed and was really looking forward to it and so on the day of our hike I was ready to go. Until we started up the side of the…small mountain I guess you’d call it. Literally with in the first 5 minutes of the hike I felt like my legs were about to give out underneath me, my lungs were heaving and I was having serious difficulty in keeping up. In fact I began to think that maybe I just couldn’t do it and had better turn around and go back to the car. I couldn’t believe it – now the truth of my fitness level was revealed – I was in terrible shape. It was a really tough awakening for me but somehow – through shear dint of will – I made it to the top of the small mountain, hill whatever you want to call it. Oh man… this was not looking good! Part of a traditional pilgrimage in China consists of visiting 5 sacred mountains and placing offerings and prayers at their summit – one of which has over 7000 steps carved into the mountainside. How would I ever do that? I vowed to get to the point that I could at least walk with out stopping to the half way mark of the hike. A week later I went on the hike again. This time I went by myself and though it was every bit as hard as the first time I knew I could do it AND I was able to pace myself better. I felt great by the time I made it back to the car! Two days later I went back again and this time I took my grandson and one of his friends. My 8 year old grandson and his friend ran up the hill that I was slowly, painfully and pantingly struggling up. However it was easier for me that time! I was beginning to notice a definite improvement! Maybe I could pull this off after all.
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