''I have been asked about my forty-five day period of prayer and fasting. I undertook it as a prayer discipline, to keep me concentrated on my prayer for peace. It was in the second year of my pilgrimage when I was coming slowly back across the country and I wasn't walking extensively.
Fasting can have a great deal of spiritual significance, and though I had already found inner peace, it may have been that the fast helped me to learn to pray without ceasing.
While I fasted I was at the home of a chiropractor who used fasting for healing. He wanted to see how a well person would react to a fast because he had never fasted a well person. I talked to him as a friend; he just observed me, he didn't examine me. (There are many doctors, including medical doctors, who are my friends -- but none of them have ever treated me or even examined me. Although occasionally a dentist friend will repair an old cavity which came from my poor eating habits in younger days.) The last meal before my fast was a grapefruit and two oranges, so I wasn't thirsty. The first three days were undertaken without food or water. After that I took distilled water at room temperature. Nothing else. And when I broke my fast it was not unusual -- it was the regular way to break a fast. The juice of one freshly squeezed orange every hour the first day. The juice of two freshly squeezed oranges, alternating with the juice of one grapefruit, every two hours the second day. A grapefruit and two oranges three times the third day, and after that adding a little bit until in a week I was able to eat full rations.
It was no different from the usual pattern of fasting. I did obey the laws of fasting: no extreme exertion. I did not walk long distances, though I did walk some. I did some typing for the doctor. I typed until he took the typewriter away about a month along in the fast. He didn't think I ought to handle it anymore, so then I wrote by hand, which was really harder than typing. But I do the best I can with these things.
I didn't go in and talk to his patients as much as I would have liked to because he didn't want me to move around that much. I did go to see them occasionally to help keep up their spirits.
Once during my fast -- I remember I was in a state between wakefulness and sleep -- I looked up and saw a dismal cross above me. It was just hanging there, and I knew someone must take up the burden. I reached up to accept it and I was immediately lifted above the cross where all was light and beauty. All that was needed was the willingness to accept the burden -- and then I was raised above it. Instead of hardships, I found a wonderful sense of peace and joy.''
From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.
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