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The Strategic Monk’s Pilgrimage

It is my honor to introduce Greg Richardson (@strategicmonk) as my guest on my blog today. Greg and I are part of several communities on Twitter and share some interests and passions. Whenever I sign into a chat and Greg is there first, I am greeted with a resounding, “PEG!” It always makes me feel welcome. After several chats and “getting to know Greg” in the Twitter world, I became intrigued by his Twitter handle. I followed his website link to find out if there were any clues as to why he was a strategic monk. He in fact spends time at a monastic community. While on my restorative and sacred Harley trip this summer, I noticed that Greg was spending time at the Benedictine Hermitage and Monastery. I was intrigued. In an effort to understand what that meant and how Greg’s journey in life got him to that monastery, I agreed to a Blog Post exchange. Greg is a fascinating man who has had many journeys already! Enjoy his post and follow the link to his website to find some refreshing nuggets of pure wisdom and insight!

Pilgrimage by Greg Richardson

Guest Post

By Greg Richardson

I am not good at stopping to ask for directions. I want to figure it out for myself. I want to show myself that I can do it.
Besides, if I am lost I probably need to go faster to make up some time.
I am learning. More than anyone else, monks have shown me the value of stopping to find the way.
I am a lay oblate at a Benedictine monastery, New Camaldoli in Big Sur, California. An oblate is a person who lives outside the monastery and lives by a rule of life based on the rule that the monks follow in the monastery. Once each year, at least, I spend a few days there in silence and rest, finding the way.
The first time I visited New Camaldoli, several hours up the coast from where I live, I got lost. I needed to stop, go back, and find the way.
Several times each day, the monks at New Camaldoli and their guests stop what they are doing and gather for prayer. Even as I spend my time looking for the way ahead, I stopped to listen in a different way.
New Camaldoli is a place of beauty and silence. The monks live in a community of hermits. On the side of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the sunsets are amazing. At night, the stars are spectacular. Even the foggy days are stunning. There are deer and foxes, and condors fly in the sky overhead. It is a beautiful place to learn to ask for directions.
It is a challenge for me to put what I learn into practice. Though I stop to find the way when I go to New Camaldoli, I need directions more than once a year. Each day, I practice stopping to breathe and find the way.
Greg Richardson is a spiritual mentor, and leadership and organizational coach, in Pasadena, California. Greg has served as a criminal prosecutor, an executive, and a university professor. Greg’s website is




  1. Edward Colozzi

    Well, my Twitter friends,
    It’s just as I have experienced in the past, reading both your posts…you both have similar ways of weaving within the fabric of your posts, a sacred, quiet elegance that draws the reader into your world and creates a sense of calmness that is refreshing. Pilgrimige to discover Truth and know God more fully, the sacred and quiet beauty of nature, simplicity, and a willingness to quiet the mind to experience life more fully, seem to be themes you both share eloquently and authentically.

    Despite the first four sentences Greg wirtes above, that would lead one to belive he would be the LAST person to be on Noah’s Ark (re Lolly Daskal’s new post at her #leadwithin blog), I think Greg would be an IDEAL person to be on that wild and amazing boat trip with all those animals, all the ‘stuff ‘ of feeding them and cleaning their cages, and NO sails or motor to move the Ark in the right direction (who would even really KNOW what the right direction might have been with no land in sight?:)

    And, Greg would have been able to brew some delicious beverages throught the trip for everyone to enjoy!

    Seriously, briefly putting on my career-life counselor hat for you both, I think you should collaborte and write a book, one that focuses on some of the observatons I have noted, and many others that you both know in your hearts, make you feel you matter and count and are connected to God and this Sacred Universe. Your words will offer a calming pause of reflection for readers, and draw them into themselves, where Spirit resides. Nature can be referenced throughout, including some photographs, to help people connect with the multi-faceted God who creates with unconditional love.

    Perhaps some day or weekend retreats can be provide a physical context for community to gather and celebrate sacred solitude and convergence of souls into ONESpirit with meditation, quiet discussion, and sufficient nourishment from both nature and simple food. Anyway, two beautiful post written by two beautiful people:) Thank you for sharing. EdC

    • As always, my friend, you have honored me with your visit! Greg has offered such a beautifully crafted prayer to stopping to breathe and look for the heart of the way. I appreciate your support as always Ed. Truly blessed by your insights and support. Peg

  2. Excellent post, a pleasure to read and the words, and comments ring so true. Yes, you should write a book.

    • Thank you David! Really appreciate your feedback and support. Maybe we will write a book! It would be a fun project (and a lot of work).

  3. Greg, I laughed out loud at your comment about not stopping to ask for directions. I knew I was in for a great read. Thank you for sharing. You are so right, stopping to listen is a challenge.

    • Thank you D’Anne for visiting my blog and writing a post about it on your blog! What a wonderful surprise! How often do any of us stop to ask directions, especially on those pilgrimages where we are truly trying to “find our way” and don’t know where we are going enough to be able to express our directional needs. I find and I believe Greg would agree, that I don’t mind being lost some of that time. It is part of the pilgrimage to stumble upon a lesson, a piece of AWE and wonderment, a challenge or triumph. I look forward to being a part of your blog audience!


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  2. Listly List - StrategicMonk Guest Posts #contemplative #depth #pilgrimage #leadership

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