Day 50 and Day 51 – Walking the Via Francigena – Sightseeing In Lausanne, Switzerland, My Previous Incarnations, And The Four Cardinal Virtues According to Classical Antiquity

Day 50 and Day 51 – Walking the Via Francigena – Sightseeing In Lausanne, Switzerland, My Previous Incarnations, And The Four Cardinal Virtues According to Classical Antiquity

I slept very well last night.
It was a restful sleep, with no dreams to engage my consciousness.

Breakfast was a feast of fresh produce that you are only served in really luxurious hotels.
It was included in our room rate, but normally it would have been very pricy, at about $40 per person.

Sitting in the elegant dining room and eating carefully selected cheeses and artisanal honeys was such a lovely start to the day.
We lingered over soy lattes sweetened with aromatic honey and talked about our pilgrimage, how it has unfolded and what we wanted to see today.

I wanted to understand why it is that we felt so miserable walking all day in the rain.
After all, beside having wet shoes and socks, we are dressed well, we are not cold, and it is just rain, water falling from the sky….. why does it make us feel miserable?

We decided to try out ‘Hiking Galoshes’ before our next pilgrimage.
These waterproof galoshes can be worn over our trekking shoes, and will provide protection on rainy days.
They can be folded when we do not need to wear them, but unfortunately not to a very small package, because they do have a fairly thick sole.

We will have to give up something else to make sure we can fit them, because we cannot avoid walking on rainy days in a pilgrimage.

Beside the practical solution of the galoshes, we most definitely need to improve our negative associations with walking in the cold rain.

As part of my awakening process, I have come to remember three of my past lifetimes.

I was a Buddhist nun in Japan, writing poetry, making ink drawings and working with ceramics.

I was also a Maiko, (a young Geisha in training) living on the Izumo Peninsula in Japan, in a town called Shimoda.
I had a bitter constitution, resulting from a hard life and not being allowed much freedom of choice.
I was fond of drinking, had a restaurant which failed and I wound up killing myself by drowning in the river.

Unrelated to these two lifetimes, I have past life memories of dying in a tsunami that flooded my village.
I also remember that as a child growing up in Israel, I sometimes thought about how i could escape my room in case it became flooded with water up to the ceiling.
Before falling asleep, I would think that I could dive down and open the window, and that the water would spill out and that I could escape.

These were very unlikely thoughts, because we did not live by the water, my bedroom was high up, on the second floor of our house, and a tsunami had not hit our area in recorded history.
Could any of this be related to why I feel miserable walking while being wet and cold?

In the old Lausanne Cathedral, constructed between 1170-1215 and dedicated to Mother Mary, we learned about Virtue, as defined by the Bible.
The walls of the cathedral were decorated with stone figures, each symbolizing qualities and virtues.

Aristotle wrote: “The forms of Virtue are: justice, courage, temperance, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, prudence and wisdom.”

The Roman philosopher Cicero (106–43 BC), like Plato, narrowed the list to only four virtues:

* Prudence, defined as inner wisdom and the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.

* Courage or fortitude, meaning forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront your fears, face uncertainty and intimidation.

* Temperance, also meaning restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, moderation and tempering one’s appetite and having sound-mindedness.

* Justice, also meaning fairness, considered to be the most important virtue. The Greek word means ‘righteousness.’

A Virtue is defined as a positive habit of mind (animi), which is in harmony with common sense and reason, and with the harmonious order of nature.

In spiritual teachings, these virtues are the code of the warrior.
A warrior is anyone who takes it as her or his mission in life to overcome the lower-self, and to fully embody our Higher-Godly-Self.

We walked to the water’s edge in Ouchy, to see beautiful lake Geneva.
For many decades people have come to vacation here in the summertime.
We saw the vast marina, the ducks and swans swimming in the lake, the outdoor sunny cafes and the luxury hotels by the water.
These hotels had beautiful gardens and are magnificent palaces and chateaus.

We also visited a photography museum, and saw an exhibition of an American Photographer named Jan Groover.
I really liked her large format still life compositions, and seeing how her work had evolved through the years and in particular after she left her urban New York life and moved to France.

On our return back to the center of the city, we walked by a street full of North African shops.
We stopped at one to buy me fresh cactus pears, and I even found a cactus pear facial cream, which I had never seen before.

In a small busy eatery full of Tunisians, Algerians and Moroccan people, we ate a late lunch of falafel and veg couscous.
It wasn’t great, despite being a very busy and popular place.

We have spent three very relaxing days in Lausanne.
Because we did not plan to cross the Great Saint Bernard Pass on this leg of the pilgrimage, we have time to walk through Switzerland in a leisurely way and spend extra time getting to know the places we walk through.

This is actually part of the way I would ultimately like to continue traveling and doing pilgrimages.
The cost of traveling, of flights and accommodations is so high, that we might as well take the time to see and enjoy the places we walk through, instead of planning to come back again in the future.

It is also not so easy to find the time required to travel, when there are so many great places around the world to see.
The likelihood of my revisiting Orbe, or Besançon or Pontarlier or many of the places we have walked through, is very slim.

The city is full of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Ethiopian and North African eateries, and there is lots of art and cafes to stroll around.

It is a very, very hilly city, with streets that climb up or down and curve around.
But after a few days of walking, it becomes easier to figure out how to walk around the neighborhoods.

In the center of the city, an old warehouse area has been converted to an art, retail shopping and restaurant district.
It is called the Flon district and after a lovely lunch in the upscale Chinese restaurant called Au Canard Pekinois, we spent a few hours walking around Flon.

Tomorrow we leave Lausanne and continue our walk along the lake.
We have rested well and soaked daily in the spa, and I feel ready to continue our walk.

With love and blessings,

The stats that I am adding at the bottom are the total kilometers we walked over the days we saw the sights of Lausanne.

Today’s Stats:
Seeing Lausanne, in Kilometers – 20 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 1086 km

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