Hong Kong: pilgrimage without money

10.01.2015 - Tony Henderson

Hong Kong: pilgrimage without money
Ling, Tomas, Julia in Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong. (Image by Tony Henderson)

The interview was carried out on the porch of our home in the Old Village, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong.



I am Ling, mother of eight month old baby Julia and married to a Bohemian man, Tomas. We decided we would quit our fixed jobs, house and ideas and go on a pilgrimage at the end of January 2015. We want to go on this pilgrimage without money.

Most of the time we will walk, from Hong Kong into China, going via all the indigenous and minority peoples as found in Sichuan and Yunnan. We wish to visit indigenous people and learn from their way of living, especially in child rasing, how they give birth, how they teach children to live in harmony with each other and with nature, especially the women. We hope to empower women and myself as a mother by watching and learning from indigenous women.

We call our walk Bella Mama Walk, Beautiful Mama Walk, it’s from a song of Papua New Guinea. Eventually we hope to create a community called Bella Mama, like an eco-village but its focus is on mothers. We wish that in this centre women can give birth naturally, if they wish, though people in this home can give birth in any way they want as in nature and we can take care of the children together as an eco-community – as in tribes – and share motherhood with nature and get empowerment and nourishment from nature. Also, we want to be animal-loving mothers by being vegetarian, vegan, or meat eaters even but in a way that respects animals and lets them have a good life.

That’s our plan and we wish to walk to raise awareness, to share our stories of giving birth at home, what we are learning from indigenous people. We want to walk as a way to fund-raise for this, for the creation of this community, but fund raising can also mean raising knowledge for people who are interested, for time donation or for land, so it does not need to be money. The most important is to raise awareness because a lot of mothers, especially in mainland China, do not know they have a choice, they do not know they can give birth at home, that they can have a wonderful motherhood, and they can have a wonderful next generation by sharing motherhood, by being more kind to mother nature.

So, in this sense our walk is like a pilgrimage. We were inspired by our mentor Satish Kumar, who was an earth pilgrim who walked around the earth without money in 1962. And we were inspired by him and heard a lot of stories about him so we want to walk without money too because when we are without money we get into a better connection with people. When we are hungry we need to ask for food. Then people will find out that we are vegan and we can explain why – instead of just eating in a restaurant – which helps build more connections with people. We can stimulate more conversation and also we are more grateful when we receive food from someone. So being without money allows us to create those connections with people and we can influence more with our stories. For us walking is the best way for mother earth and our own health and the least violence for mother earth and it makes us slow down to really appreciate everything around us and to be more grateful for everything we have when we reach a place and we will have more relevance there because it will have been difficult for us to get there. It’s more sacred for us.

This pilgrimage is an inner journey as well. To learn to love, ourselves and other people more, and nature; to spread love on this journey and get inspiration from people and hopefully to give inspiration to people as well with our story.

Already over this past four days of walking and living without money we feel so much beauty in humanity, and being so touched we have more motivation to receive love and to give back this love to more people.

I will say this is a walk to celebrate love for humanity, and nature, and being kind and generous is part of our human nature but we have forgotten this because of the conditions of mainstream culture where people just deal in greed and anger and all that kind of thing but I believe as Satish said after his walk, goodness is our human nature. So on this walk I would like to meet people on the level of the human, human to human.

I do not have any religious belief. I want to spread something that is beyond all those so called differences like beliefs, religions, colour of skin, all those kind of things. I want to bring more peace and love into this world and I hope to make people realise we are all one family so to love each other more and nature more and create a better world.

That’s our wish and our baby is absolutely the best for this as she is just spontaneously loving and I believe we are all born like this. Just, we forgot by estranging education, so with her I hope she can help people remember that we are good in nature when we were born and so to go back to our own nature. I believe that when everyone goes back to their own nature we will really live in and love mother nature.


I am Tomas, husband of Ling and father of our wonderful eight month old daughter – so, what I would like to give to this walk … I find in life, how we live normally, well we work and come and go from the job and take a little rest then it happens again, spending money for things but that for me is not the way to live because it did not make me happy, not with that. Like, I make money – I was quite rich – I did not find happiness in that. So I feel our calling – not just as me but as a human being – is to really find humanity in daily life and to be with our children, with babies, and learn from them by really being with them and not working somewhere else and only spend a little time, then again to work and be separate – rather, to live as a family.

To be a family with the love we get from this living together. Also, we feel as a family the most important moment of the human is how we come into this world and how we go from this world – I am talking about giving birth and about dying.

We want to help that this world becomes a better place, by finding nice people and a nice place and to work together to build something in Hong Kong; a giving birth centre where women can feel at home and also together with a meditation centre so those meditating with peaceful heart can help mothers who are giving birth and at the same time if the woman feels that encouragement of those others thinking about her giving birth, she can have a really wonderful experience and be full of love and the experience can be orgasmic even and this power which is around a mother giving birth can help those who are meditating to go more deep inside themselves to find their courage to do things and to find their freedom inside and to have wonderful ideas that come from a fired intuition.

So this is the feeling and the message which I would like to share with the world. Now it is about finding our friends who would like to help with this project and of course with some material things which we need to make it happen. Now is not the time to just think but to really do things and come together and help humanity to become really humanity… Now it is the time to do that.

Another thing is death because as I feel it in the west old people are not really respected and very often it is not easy to pass away from this world… so that is another project to make dying a wonderful experience too when a human can feel the help from others so not to die alone but with friends, and other people.
email: vivian-ling@hotmail.com

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