Zen on the Trail: Hiking as Pilgrimage

Zen on the Trail draws on the Christopher Ives’s expertise in Zen, global pilgrimage traditions, and backpacking to offer an approach to hiking—and, more generally, all forms of walking in nature—as a form of pilgrimage, as a spiritual practice that can deepen one’s connection to nature, both in the woods and back at home. The manuscript is organized around a two-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains, and it draws from anthropologist Victor Turner’s theory of pilgrimage as consisting of three stages: separation from ordinary social life, liminality, and return to society. In addition to describing Buddhist contemplative practices on the trail and an array of pilgrimage traditions around the world, Zen on the Trail highlights lessons that can be brought home from the trail and offers reflections on pilgrimage in a broad sense. In particular, it describes how one can wake up in nature as nature. This book has attracted the attention of not only those who venture out into nature but those who are interested in meditation, pilgrimage, sacred mountains, Asian approaches to nature, and simpler, more mindful ways of living.


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