Zilong Wang - Cycling for Awakening
In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
- Dao De Jing, Ch. 48
Via SpiritualEcologyFellowship.org --
Zilong Wang grew up in Shanghai, China, and first came to the U.S. for college. After graduation he bicycled solo across the country, relying on the generosity of strangers to provide lodging. He recently gave up his job at a firm specializing in corporate environmental sustainability to undertake an around-the-world bicycle pilgrimage to help raise ecological and spiritual awareness, especially in China.
From the Bicycling.com's 2015 feature -
Zilong Wang was not an avid cyclist in college. "I never got into cycling for its own sake," Zilong says. "I think the longest ride I ever took in college was around 20 miles." But, as graduation approached in the spring of 2013, Zilong dealt with a quiet but intense sort of intellectual crisis. After years of study, he'd grown obsessed by the scientific method and worldview. He wrote in his blog: It's as if a parasite of rationality has taken over my brain, siphoning off the vital energy and humanity. "I was having trouble sleeping. I needed a break from logic. I needed to explore the spiritual, artistic dimensions. I also needed a physical challenge and release. That's when I hit on the idea of the bike trip."
Wang bicycled 3,400 miles across America in the summer of 2013.
"He said he stayed with Christians, Mormons, atheists and a lot of farmers, and did not encounter a single malicious or bad person."
From the SFGate article --
"I wanted to see America from the ground up, to feel it and smell it," he said. "I wanted to go on a personal, spiritual journey as a cleansing." Wang passed the time on his cross-country pedal listening to audiobooks of the Bible, the Quran, "Moby-Dick" and the Book of Mormon. "I didn't know where I would end up at night," he said, "so I knocked on doors and asked if I could stay in people's backyards." He said 1 in 5 people allowed him to sleep on their property and half - about 60 families - put him up inside their homes and then served him dinner and breakfast. He said he stayed with Christians, Mormons, atheists and a lot of farmers, and did not encounter a single malicious or bad person."
In this 2011 interview, Zilong describes his feeling, "all the luxury that i enjoy, i haven't really earned it." In this 2016 interview Zilong tell the story of his journeys thus far. Currently Zilong is working on Journey to the East, a bicycling pilgrimage from London to Shanghai, to explore and amplify the ecological and spiritual awakening. Zilong's Pilgrimage is expected to take 2 to 3 years. A couple of core aspects of Zilong's pilgrimage:
- To cultivate peace and service inside and out
- To explore and amplify the ecological and spiritual awakening of our time
- To engage the young generation, especially in China, in working toward a life-affirming civilization
- Ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century
- China in the world: the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China's inter-connected-ness with the world