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Kate Grant is on a pilgrimage, and you’re welcome to come along too. A mitra at the London Buddhist Centre, her plan is to walk from Tooting in south London, where Sangharakshita spent his boyhood, to Adhisthana, where he lives now. She’s doing this over the course of 17 days, roughly 2 days a month, arriving at Adhisthana on 6th September.
She says, “Each walk will take 3-6 hours. Companions welcome! Four walks down, I’ll be leaving London behind this Saturday, with a little flock of us. I started at Tooting Public Library, where Bhante got so much information and access to the wider world as a child. I walked via Clapham Common, Battersea Park, St. James’ Park and Trafalgar Square, to Watkins Esoteric Book Shop, where Bhante got information about Buddhism in his youth, and on to the Monmouth Coffee House, where the FWBO met in its very early days.
I have wanted to go on a walking pilgrimage for a long time, but was at a loss as to a destination I placed my heart on sufficiently to to be inspired to make the journey. It turns out that Adhisthana, with Bhante and now his library, is that place. What better starting point than Tooting Public Library? All religions seemed to sit side by side on the shelves there - and orange and maroon robes flash from front covers but sadly no books by Bhante. I wonder if they realise this was his starting place?”
Her journey now follows the River Thames to Oxford. From Oxford she’ll go cross country through the Cotswolds, the Vale of Evesham and finally, the Malvern Hills.
She says, “I’m making this pilgrimage in the spirit of gratitude to Bhante for spreading the Dharma, and in of appreciation of my own health, having recently finished treatment for cancer; also of openness to change and the learning which is part of journeying. If people join me for any part of the way at all, that will be sangha, and if I walk alone, that’s fine too; it will be mindfulness practice.
Here are the dates below. If you intend to join me slanty [at] live.co.uk (drop me an email) so I can confirm the exact details.”
London stages completed
13th February Tooting to Soho (7 miles)
22nd February Monmouth Street, Soho to Archway (7-8 miles)
1st March Archway to Hammersmith (8-9 miles)
28th March Hammersmith to Richmond (7 miles)
Stages to come
4th April Richmond to Hampton court (8 miles)
26th April Hampton Court to Staines (12 miles)
9th May Staines to Windsor (8 miles)
23rd May Windsor to Cookham (12 miles)
6th June Cookham to Henley (12 miles)
20th June Henley to Cholsey (13 miles)
4th July Cholsey to Appleford (12 miles)
18th July Appleford to Oxford (12 miles)
1st August Oxford to Charlbury (16 miles)
2nd August Charlbury to Morton in Marsh (14 miles)
4th September Moreton in Marsh to Evesham (14 miles)
5th September Evesham to Worcester (15 miles)
6th September Worcester to Adhisthana (13 miles)
slanty [at] live.co.uk (Email Kate) if you would like to join her.