Extreme Pilgrim

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Extreme Pilgrim
Genre Religious television program
Directed by Graham Johnston
Presented by Pete Owen-Jones
Composer(s) Paul Pritchard
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 3
Executive producer(s) Jean-Claude Bragard
Producer(s) Graham Johnston
Editor(s) Steve Stevenson
Camera setup Graham Johnston
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Television
Distributor BBC Manchester
RDF Media
Original network BBC Two
Original release 4 January (2008-01-04) – 18 January 2008 (2008-01-18)
Preceded by The Lost Gospels
Followed by Around the World in 80 Faiths

Extreme Pilgrim is a British television series, first broadcast by the BBC in January 2008. The series is presented by the Anglican vicar, Pete Owen-Jones, who researches and attempts to practice a variety of the world's methods of enlightenment and spirituality, which he sees as having been lost by those in the West.[1]

Episode list[edit]

The series was presented in three episodes:

Episode One: "China: the Mountain"[edit]

The first episode in the series see Peter travelling to the Shaolin Monastery of Henan Province, central China. The Shaolin Monastery, the ancestral home of all martial arts, and considered to be his most physically demanding phase of Peter's search as he looks into the teachings of the Indian Buddhist, Bodhidharma.

Once there, he is introduced to meditation and follows a "punishing" regime of physical exercise. After becoming disenchanted with what he see as a "branding" of life at the monastery and an inability to achieve the levels of meditation required, he travels to a mountain temple located in Sangwan. After a period of time, he manages to feel the stillness of mind he requires through breathing and movement and concludes that he has attained a level of Zen.[1]

Episode Two: "India: the River"[edit]

The second episode is located in Allahabad, India and follows Peter's time with the wandering Sadhu holy men who see themselves as mediums between the Gods and humanity. Whilst there, Peter looks into the Hindu pilgrimage named the Kumbh Mela, which draws people from all over India to the River Ganges.

Once there, Peter attempts to search out a guru who will show the way of the Sadhu's. After the festival, Peter travels to Haridwar to learn more on the Hindu faith and its gods. From there, he travel north and into foothills of the Himalayas to a village where he is to live on the outskirts of in a cave to seek solitude.[1]

Episode Three: "Egypt: the Desert"[edit]

The third and final episode is set in Egypt and looks to gain insight into the teachings of St Anthony of the Desert, the Desert Fathers and the Hermit lifestyle. He visits Coma, the birthplace of Anthony, and the church where he spent 20 years in relative solitude. From there he travels into the desert with a group of Bedouin camel herders to trace Anthony's steps to the site where he established the Monastery of Saint Anthony.

After a stay with the Coptic monks at the monastery Peter goes into one of the hermit caves where St Anthony spent his final 43 years. Under the stewardship of an Australian coptic hermit, Father Lazarus, he is introduced into one of the caves and goes on to spend 21 days there in solitude.[1]


External links[edit]