[Written by Angela Eunjin Oh when Pancho visited her community in Los Angeles, California]
The gathering at the so-called “border” of California in the part of the Planet we call the USA and Tijuana, in the part of the Planet we call Mexico, has been troubling in terms of human costs: families seeking refuge from violence are being vilified as criminals; children/infants are being separated from their parents or other adult family members; those seeking recognition of basic human rights as LGBTQ are facing violence in the very place where compassion was believed to exist.
The response of both federal governments has been to advance military resources – both human and hardware. The training of troops sent to the so-called “border” is virtually non-existent, except to reinforce that there is some kind of “crisis” that is forming in this region of the Earth.
This is the context in which a new path is being explored by Pancho Ramos-Stierle, a citizen of the World and a man of heart. He currently lives in Huichin, Ohlone territory in the Mokelumne River watershed –also known as Oakland– in northern California and works in the service of loving kindness to be given to all humanity. On March 12, 2019, he will begin a journey of the greatest distance one can make: the journey from the head to the heart.
While many people fret over the conditions of a world that seems ready to surrender to endless conflict among nation-states and the degradation of the magical natural resources of this planet, Pancho sees a chance to break free and to make the greatest expression of love imaginable.
The Longest Journey, from Head to Heart:
March 12, 2019 is when he will begin walking from the Bay Area to the so-called “border.” His intent is to meditate on the compassion needed to reverse the fear and violence that grips so many creative, hardworking, and caring people along his path. The excavation of a path of peace, a road of harmony between the planet and the person, and a demonstration of the infinite ways in which generosity and kindness manifest is his mission.
His goal is to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit and to share stories with anyone in communities that want to know what it is like to be a farmer/citizen of the world. His mission is to expand the infinite nature of generosity and love that people seem to have forgotten to call upon in times of chaos and confusion.
Q&A – Sharing more:
Why March 12th ? Pancho is inspired and guided by the teachings of Gandhi, and this is the date when the great satyagraha of the Salt March in the part of the Planet we call India began – it opened a way for hundreds of thousands to see self-determination as a possibility. Also, March 12th is the start of the new year in the Mexica Calendar, marking a new beginning in the chapter of his life since he was raised in what it was the Great Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City.
Why walk instead of drive or bike? This is a way to stay connected to Mother Earth – literally, to stay grounded. And, it requires one to go SLOW. It requires contemplation and reveals views that cannot be captured in a car, plane, train, or even bicycle (which is almost exclusively his mode of transit, when in northern California). Also, in this slow connection to earth, we are tending earth as we walk, sowing seeds that may support human and more-than-human life for future generations.
When will he be in your community? The answer is unknown. His pace and his destinations will depend on many things: the heavens, the hospitality of communities he enters, the supplies of food, shower, clothing laundry, unexpected illness, and a myriad of other things that he cannot plan in making such a journey.
What if no one wants to host him? This is not a concern. In more than a decade and a half, Pancho has never had a need unmet. The earth herself will host if humans don’t come through.
How to stay connected on the journey? Pancho will deliver video logs once a week (maybe more depending on whether he can keep his little mobile phone charged). You will know what he feelthinks as he takes this extended walk.
But really, why is he doing this? The answer is another question to anyone who asks such a question: “Why not? What else is there for a single person who feels so much love to do?”
What will children feelthink? Children will be the first ones to understand what this is all about. They never need instruction on how to be compassionate and helpful – until they “get educated.” Pancho is confident that children will be the ones to give the world the courage it needs.
What will Pancho do at the so-called “border”? Serve with unconditional love, celebrate making the journey, follow the law of love, learn new stories that the families and children in the Eagle-Condor caravan have to share, and tell stories about his own journey from head to heart.
Will Pancho stay long in towns that receive him? How long Pancho remains in each community will depend on many things. He knows he wants to plant fruit trees and revitalize the ancient indigenous paths that once were thriving with food forests. He knows that the Monarch butterflies love milkweed. He is feelthinking of dropping these seeds along the camino. In a few generations, he believes, the path he walks could be a Camino de Paz that many thousands of others could walk – and he envisions people being able to be nourished, body, mind, and soul, in their own journey.
From head to heart to hands.
Fractal of motherly love, from Mother Earth to love for our mothers. This walk will be dedicated to Pancho’s mother (Maria Cristina Stierle Orué here’s a tribute he wrote to her), who was a source of inspiration and clarity in raising him to be the human being that he is today. For her guidance, he is ever grateful. And he believes that her guidance will continue as he begins this journey.