NW Coastal Pilgrimage with Ben Lindwall and Stephanie Escher, Oregon USA

Religion is at the heart of some of the most conflicted places of violence and hatred in our world. Peace between us as nations and the healing of the earth will be served by peace and healing between us as religious traditions.

IMG_3390Our 2017 Northwest Coastal Interfaith Pilgrimage, will consist of 14 people (intergenerational) from many religious traditions and spiritual backgrounds walking 35 miles from Astoria to Arch Cape, Oregon as a sign of peace.

Each day will include various spiritual practices (yoga, salat, or meditation), hearing each other’s stories, and about 10-18 mi/16-29 km of walking. There will also be short periods of time set aside for silence as we walk along the coast.

Application fee:  $10

Standard registration fee: $449 (due upon notification of your acceptance by the selection committee)

 A reference form must be completed by a mentor, teacher, advisor, or religious/spiritual leader as soon as possible.

Scholarships Available!

Scholarships in the amount of $400 are available for those unable to pay the full amount. If applicable, please indicate your need for a scholarship in the application form. Scholarship recipients will be required to pay a $49 registration fee.

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Walking 35 miles from Astoria to Arch Cape in Northern Oregon, this pilgrimage will traverse rainforest, sand dunes, and many miles of picturesque beaches. Included in the registration fee and scholarship are guided walking along Oregon’s North Coast, guided contemplative exercises, spiritual accompaniment, meals, lodging, and van shuttle to the coast and back from Portland, OR. Lodging will include yurts, a hostel, and a church community room. Showers are available at each location. Most of the meals will be prepared by the group (gluten free and vegetarian options available upon request).

Our days will begin with morning prayer before settling into a rhythm of sharing meals, holding space for contemplative practice, and intentional group discussion which will focus on exploring our participation in meaningful action towards healing and transformation in the world. Registered participants and scholarship recipients will meet in Portland, OR at 12pm on September 21. A van and trailer shuttle will be provided for ferry to the coast, making some food and supply drops along our route. Our walk will conclude in Arch Cape, OR and we will shuttle back to Portland, OR on September 25, returning around 11:00am. FullSizeRender

Facilitators

photoBen Lindwall lives in Portland, Oregon USA where he and his family experiment with sustainable living inside their tiny home. He has been leading group experiences in various capacities for over a decade. Ben has been mentored by John Philip and Ali Newell since 2011 and is a certified Spiritual Director. He has been the Executive Director at Heartbeat since 2013, working with people from all over the world to advance a vision of healing, transformation, and peace. Coming from an evangelical Christian background and now like many of his generation, Ben considers himself spiritual (and a Christian) without any formal church membership. He and his wife Jen have been married since 2003 and have two young children.

“A pilgrimage is always an opportunity to be re-born. I’ve seen and experienced the impact of leaving behind the safety and comfort of home on a quest for deeper understanding, awareness, and connection. The act of moving our bodies, moving our feet gently upon the earth in unison can be a kind of soul-march. It reminds us of our true identity, our oneness, and creates liminal space to hear and know our calling. In co-leading this pilgrimage I hope to cultivate an environment for each of us to learn and grow.”  -Ben Lindwall

IMG_1973Rev. Stephanie Escher, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, lives in St Paul, MN where she presently serves as a Hospice Chaplain and engages in faith-based ministry on a volunteer basis at Hennepin Ave UMC in Minneapolis. Stephanie is a pastor in the United Methodist Church via a colorful and delightful route as a banker, IT analyst, church choir director, and keyboardist in an all female R&B band in Atlanta. Stephanie has lived in Alaska, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Boulder, Chicago and Madison, WI. She received her undergrad in Boulder, CO and her master’s degree in Evanston, IL. Stephanie is a Native American and a former pilgrim from the 2015 Camino peace pilgrimage in Spain.

“Heartbeat’s interfaith Camino pilgrimage in 2015 changed my life. It was all about exploring our diverse cultures, sharing our broad spectrum of faith and spiritual foundations, and celebrating our individual journeys as unique human beings and carriers of the divine spark, through the intentional art and practice of both storytelling and storycatching. All the while, we were moving: feet on the earth, sun at our backs, wind swirling about. Talk about embodiment; shared breath with each other and Spirit; a creaturely approach to the nuances of a struggling planet; the integration of the sacred and the profane; and practical approaches to peace and justice and good stewardship of the earth…one step at a time, one connection at a time, one shared meal at a time…and yes, even one blister at a time.”

Expectations and Requirements

  • Bring a water proof rain jacket and pants, as well as any gear needed to complete packing list below.
  • Access to restrooms will be minimal while walking – at times trees, shrubs, and beach grass may be the only available coverage.
  • While usually sunny this time of year, the possibility always exists for high winds and rain. Our group will be expected to walk rain or shine unless dangerous conditions are present.
  • The route consists of approximately 65% beach walking, 30% state park forest trail, and up to 5% roadside walking on scenic Hwy 101.
  • Some of the hiking will enter forested areas with an approximate 1000 ft climb, going up and over Tillamook Head.
  • A couple creek and stream crossings will be necessary.
  • To maximize walking during low tides, some mornings may begin as early as 5:00am.
  • Each participant will be required to sign Heartbeat’s release and indemnification waiver.
  • Each participant will be required to carry up to 3 lbs of group food and supplies in their backpack.
  • Each participant must be able to walk up to 20 miles in a day and must train for a brisk walking pace beforehand with a loaded pack.

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Packing list:

*Please be mindful that the packing list includes what you will be wearing (for instance, you will wear one pair of socks and pack two— three total). You may plan to leave some luggage locked up in the trailer to avoid excess carrying on the trail.

Socks (3) light wool for hiking

Sock liner (3) prevents blisters (optional)

Underwear (2) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Shorts (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Pants (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Shirts (2) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Long sleeve shirt (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Lightweight hiking shoes

Light sandal (like these or these)

Waterproof rain jacket

Hat

Moleskin (or other blister treatment)

Earplugs

Sunscreen

Sunglasses

Toothbrush

Laundry detergent

Toothpaste (small tube)

Soap (small all purpose bar for body and hair, if possible)

Water bottle (at least 900ml/32oz)

5 safety pins (for hanging wet laundry – sometimes on your pack while walking)

Plastic plate, bowl, fork, and spoon

Hiking towel (small quick dry)

Toiletries (optional: biodegradable toilet paper)

Medication

Backpack

Pillow

Journal

Pen or pencil

Necessary travel documents if arriving from outside the USA

Camera phone and waterproof container

*sleeping sheet bag liner and blanket (for first and last night’s accommodation)

*Sleeping bag and sleeping pad (for third nigh’s accommodation)

*items will be dropped at a specific site and will note be carried in backpack

Cancellation policy

A full refund is available up to 45 days before the event. After the 45-day deadline, a refund will be available if the spot can be filled.

In case of injury or fatigue

If you are unable to walk with the group for any reason, transportation to the next destination on the itinerary will be arranged at the participant’s expense. If for any reason a participant needs to leave the group, transportation to Portland, OR will be arranged at the participant’s expense. Before registering please have emergency contact and personal medical insurance information available.