Personal Pilgrimage


Personal Pilgrimages

Interior pilgrimage describes the inner spiritual journey of the pilgrim. It is the foundation and inspiration for all other journeys and is rewarded by their fruit. It is the journey of a lifetime, the journey of a season, the journey of a day, and the journey of a moment."

 Traditional pilgrimages include journeying to a sacred site where a holy person was born, achieved enlightenment, professed their teachings, performed a miracle or were witnessed doing so, and where they died. The journey is usually arduous on some level  - physically or emotionally - and we go on them to get closer to God or Source. There are many of these sacred sites throughout the world for different religions.  For Catholics it would be Rome, or Santiago de Compostella - the Camino.  For Jews one would be the Wailing Wall. For Islam it is Mecca. For Buddhists it might be Sarnath where he delivered his first teaching. The list is long ...


"A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance.
Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's
 beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into
someone's own beliefs.

Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their "calling" or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine,
to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be "housed", or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers.
Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions
answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit." wikipedia


There is another way to achieve the pilgrimage without going to a traditional site.
There is personal pilgrimage and its' equally powerful.
What if we translated these momentous events that happened to spiritual leaders
and prophets into the personal sphere?
What if we  journey to birth places of our grandmothers ? 
What if we visit the place where our fathers were recognised  at work or in their communities?
We could go to a spot where we first awakened to something important, or that of our spouse - a pivotal point in life that coloured our perceptions ever after
Usually we only visit cemeteries to honour the dead but what if we visited the place they last lived ?

Spiritual and moral significance is the objective of a pilgrimage and that can look very different for every person.  Sometimes there's just some inexplicable energy you feel when you see certain regions, hear certain music, feel attached to certain artists, poets, celebrities or local role models. For some people a personal pilgrimage might be a road trip down the Pacific highway to see the California Coast.  For someone else it might be whale watching in Les Isles de la Madeleine. Seeing the Northern Lights may feel momentous and meaningful, or the Grand Canyon. We can often feel the energy in the land, what came there before us, and we want to stand there and be counted - feel it. 


Take a moment to really take stock of your life.
I will bet you've already been on personal pilgrimages you don't make conscious.
Where have you been that was meaningful to you and took some planning or real effort to get there?  What's on that bucket list of yours?
It's all about what's meaningful to you and doing it -
that's how we become more fulfilled.