Pilgrimage: Secular Pilgrimages, Are They Possible?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hoverla-forest_path.jpg

 

 

The answer to the question posed in today’s post’s title: YES!

When we think of secular pilgrimages we think of people who are fanatics about a particular thing such as intrepid Elvis fans who visit Graceland with awe and deep reverence.

But there’s more than trips like these for those who want to make a pilgrimage but don’t want to “get involved” with anything religious or spiritual. If this describes you, you’ll be glad to know that you aren’t alone. The travel industry studies report that there is a significant increase in secular travelers making pilgrimages to holy sites across the globe.

In fact, I have a co-worker who loves to visit holy places because of the stained glass windows and other works of art at these sites. Even she, a firm non-believer, appreciates that these shrines  seem to be infused with a  sacredness that keeps the racket of the world at bay.

Still sound kind of iffy? Consider this: going on a pilgrimage may not give you a religious enlightening or any type of epiphany, visiting new places always “broadens your horizons” as my parents were so fond of saying to my siblings and me. For a time, you experience life through the filters of different customs and routines, different foods, different sights, sounds, and smells. Visiting new places has the potential to give you a different perspective that you couldn’t have gotten by staying in your old familiar place and routine.

The important  point about a pilgrimage is it’s to connect with that piece within you that is profound; that is more than, and bigger than, all the rush and hubbub and frenetic activity of the world. It’s a way to reach inside yourself and have a deeper more meaningful experience here on Earth.

Stay tuned for my upcoming post of resources that might help you choose a place to visit.

Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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