I have never had to fight for my freedom, independence and peace. This absence has shaped who I am, just as this fight has shaped Slovenians. I sit here on the banks of the Ljubljana River which dissects the capital Ljubljana in the sunshine under the trees wondering about our sameness and difference. I sense self confidence and pride in the people. There is gentleness, a softness here yet strength. I feel there is more sameness which makes me feel so comfortable.
Pilgrims offer each other mutual respect born of understanding the common yearning to realise our Buddha nature. I bow my head as I pass each one and greet "konnichiwa". This creates a sense of family. We are concerned for each other and interested in each other's experience. Walking pilgrims empathise with the physical endurance required. It is the pure oneness with our physicality that enables and releases us to connect more deeply with Kukai (Kobo Daishi), the pilgrimage'