Last Friday evening I had the great pleasure and honor to sit with and listen to Ajahn Naniko and Tan Thitabho describe some of their adventures on their tudong (loosely, a walking journey). They started from Abhayagiri Monastery (About 13 miles [21 km] north of Ukiah, California) and recently reached their destination right up the road from me (Portland, Oregon) at the Pacific Hermitage near White Salmon, Washington. I was especially impressed that out of the 40 or so days they travelled they only went without a meal once. It's easy to get pessimistic about the U.S. (as I know too well from personal experience), but the way they were recieved by almost everyone they encountered made me feel a little more hopeful. The "outsiders" (Native Americans, bikers, and even one Viet Nam Veteran from the Church of Satan, etc...) they interacted with seemed especially kindred spirits for them. They claimed this was the first tudong of its kind--apparently there was much scepticism that a tudong could be done here--and hope it will inspire more monastics to do the same in the future.
For more information:
Pacific Hermitage Links