Buddhist Monk’s Walk for Peace Brings Him to L.A.


A Buddhist monk, who is walking barefoot from San Francisco to promote world peace, passed through Ventura County Monday en route to Los Angeles for a millennial peace ceremony.

Bhikkhu Buddha Dhatu is walking along the Pacific Rim carrying a message of world peace. His journey is being funded by thousands of followers worldwide, including a number of Hollywood celebrities.

Dhatu started his walk with the Dalai Lama in January 1998 in Bodhigaya, India, the location where believers say the Buddha attained enlightenment. He plans to finish in Sydney, Australia, where he lives, in time for the Olympic Games next summer.


In the company of two Buddhist nuns and a number of lay assistants, Dhatu made his first U.S. stop in San Francisco Nov. 26. Dhatu, who is prohibited by his religious beliefs from handling money, relies on donations of food from supporters and followers. For travel between countries, he usually relies on donated airline tickets.

On Monday the group set off down California 1, with an RV carrying donated supplies driving close behind.

Dhatu, 46, who was seriously injured as a boy in a napalm attack during the Vietnam War, said he hopes his walk will inspire inner peace and then compassion for other people.

“You need to have love in your heart so you will have inner peace, and then world peace,” he said.

The millennial celebration, scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier, will feature a release of doves from a cage and prayers for peace in the next century. A number of celebrities, including actor Billy Zane, who is helping to finance the mission, are expected to attend.