Tag: Sacred Travel

Sacred Pilgrimage & The Essence of Spiritual Travel

Have you ever longed to embark on a journey of pure wonder and transformation, a journey that may stretch your personal boundaries and open your heart, mind, and spirit to new possibilities and new insights? If so, a sacred pilgrimage is the trip for you. Spiritual journeys, pilgrimages, and sacred sites tours are becoming more and more popular – here we explore their importance.

sacred pilgrimage
Phil Cousineau on a sacred pilgrimage to Ireland

What Is Sacred Pilgrimage?

For centuries, people of all cultures have gone on pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world. These journeys acted as rites of passage, an expression of faith and devotion, an answer to a sacred call, or merely a seeking of spirit. In his book, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred, Phil Cousineau writes that, “in each of us dwells a pilgrim. It is the part of us that longs to have direct contact with the sacred… What is sacred is what is worthy of our reverence, what evokes awe and wonder in the human heart, and what, when contemplated, transforms us utterly”.

hill of tara
The Hill of Tara in Ireland – a powerful sacred site

“For millennia, the cry in the heart for embarking upon a meaningful journey has been answered by pilgrimage, a transformative journey to a sacred center. It calls for a journey to a holy site associated with gods, saints, or heroes, or to a natural setting imbued with spiritual power, or to a revered temple to seek counsel. To people the world over, pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, an act of devotion to find a source of healing, or even to perform a penance. Always, it is a journey of risk and renewal. For a journey without challenge has no meaning; one without purpose has no soul…”

machu picchu peru
Machu Picchu in Peru draws thousands of pilgrims

Why Go on a Sacred Pilgrimage?

The reasons why modern day pilgrims embark on such a journey are very personal and individual. For many, there is a deep desire to touch and connect with the sacred energies that are palpable at sacred sites. Perhaps one has a lingering question and feels drawn to a certain place for answers, or perhaps one wishes to find a community of like-minded spirits by venturing on a pilgrimage with others.

There are many soulful reasons why one chooses to go on a sacred journey rather than just travel some place new. Essentially, pilgrims are spiritual seekers, people who are searching for the divine, a force which can be found in a myriad of spaces. Cousineau describes a pilgrim as a “poetic traveler, one who believes that there is poetry on the road, at the heart of everything”.

spiritual travel mexico
Sacred ceremonies like this one in Mayapan, Mexico are part of a sacred pilgrimage

Soulful Travel: Becoming a Pilgrim

He also explains how the sacred can be found all around us if we travel with a certain mindset. “The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.” If you are able to see, feel, and experience the sacred even in the most mundane of things and places, then you are already on your way, you have already become a pilgrim.

In the Global Spirit program, “Sacred Travel: The Pilgrimage Experience”, Cousineau further explores this ancient spiritual phenomenon, addressing questions such as, “What can the ritual of Pilgrimage tell us about deepening the sacred dimension of life?”; “What spiritual state or benefit are pilgrims ultimately looking for?” and “How do they know and express it, if and when they find it?” With invited guests Pico Iyer and Peruvian anthropologist Zoila Mendoza, as well as compelling footage of pilgrimages to India, Peru, and more, this new program is a must-see for anyone interested in spiritual travel. Enjoy a short excerpt from the program below!

There is no better time to begin your own sacred pilgrimage experience than the present. If you have been drawn here and are reading this article, then you have already been called. It is now in your hands to heed this call and respond as you will. We wish you an exciting, enlightening, and transformational journey, wherever the road may lead you.

Browse our current sacred journeys and find your own unique calling today!

 ~ Sacred Earth Journeys

Temples of Transformation: An Interview with Freddy Silva

We’re very excited to welcome Freddy Silva as a tour leader on our “Maya Temples of Transformation with Freddy Silva & Miguel Angel Vergara: Yucatan: Ancient Academy of the Spirit”, December 5 – 13, 2015, journey this year. Freddy is one of the world’s leading researchers of sacred sites, ancient systems of knowledge and the interaction between temples and consciousness. He is also the best-selling author of several books including The Lost Art of Resurrection, First Templar Nation, and The Divine Blueprint. He generously answered a few questions for us about the importance of transformative travel, temple sites, and what participants can expect from this profound journey to the Yucatan.

kabah chaak mask
kabah chaak mask

Kim Bridgett: How important is it, in your opinion, that we each walk the path of a seeker and undertake a journey of personal transformation, especially in our, as you put it, “discombobulated modern culture”? How will our individual journey impact us, and then the communities and world in which we live? 

Freddy Silva: Simple. You are here as a seeker undertaking a journey of exploration. You incarnate to have an experience of this plane. Therefore your experience and how you handle it shapes you as a soul. That is the sole purpose of incarnation in a nutshell. So, if you follow your self, and your experience is also an example to others, it follows that, by your example others begin to change around you, and from that local change follows the rest of the world. Of course everyone else is also here on a personal journey, which is why the world will never “be saved”, nor will it ever be perfect. It is what it is because it is an experimental station for billions of souls, all of them at different levels of evolution.

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Top Sacred Journeys for 2015

Whether your yard is still buried deep under snow or those first buds of spring are starting to peek though, February is a perfect month to start your vacation planning.  Here we round up our 2015 sacred journeys: from a writer’s retreat in Ireland to an Ayurveda program in India, we’re sure to have something to nourish your spirit.

Women’s Spiritual Art Journey in Bali with Mooh Hood and Lori Goldberg: A Transformative Travel Gift to Yourself, March 12 – 23, 2015

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Women’s Spiritual Art Journey is a rare opportunity to participate with a small group of women to engage with the local Balinese, explore the lush landscapes, pray at the Mother Temple, immerse in the Holy Springs and tap into your creative process and create a daily art journal (no experience needed). You will be travelling with Bali expert Mooh Hood and artist Lori Goldberg on this journey of profound connection and discovery. Read the full journey details on our website. 

There are a couple of spots remaining on this life-changing journey – book now to secure your place! 

A Spiral Journey into the Heart of Ireland with Phil Cousineau: Explore the Mythology, Arts and Spirituality of the Ancient and Modern Celtic World, September 19 – 30, 2015 (with a Dublin Extension, Sep 30 – Oct 3)

Ireland_men

Join writer and filmmaker Phil Cousineau as he leads you on a journey that spirals into the heart and soul of one of the most unique cultures in the world seeking the presence of Ireland’s great trilogy of “myth, poetry and magic” through its incantatory storytelling, hypnotic music, and the sheer beauty of glorious countryside. The journey includes visits to the Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, Yeats’ Tower, Galway, Croagh Patrick and Donegal Castle as well as the vibrant cities of Belfast and Dublin (extension). With special guest appearances by local writers scholars and cultural leaders, and dedicated time for daily discussions and journal writing, this is a culturally and spiritually rich tour not to be missed. Discover more here.

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Looking to practice more Yoga in 2014? Start here!

Here in Canada we’ve had quite the start to 2014! Where I live in Newfoundland, we’ve experienced the effects of the Polar Vortex that hit much of North America and, as well as the frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall, we’ve had rolling blackouts, fierce blizzards, full-day power outages and a delayed start to the school year, with many businesses still closed as they continue to repair the winter damage.  We turned the outages into opportunities for family board games by flashlight as best we could, and I’ll admit that reading by candlelight was a nice respite from the to-do list.
But, the weather has certainly taken its toll and I’ve definitely noticed the stress of the rolling blackouts in my body, the muscle twinges and the sugar cravings, and, with my routine disrupted, I’ve also neglected my yoga practice.
 
One of my intentions for 2014 is to increase my fitness levels for my physical and mental health and, for me, that starts with yoga. I notice that when I practice yoga and meditation several times a week, I feel more able to cope with everyday stress, have increased energy and am just a nicer person! My yoga mat is a home to come back to when I need to figure things out but don’t know where to start, a place where my body remembers how to be strong, and a place where I can re-connect with my core values and instinctively know those areas in my life that are out of balance.  

If, like me, you’re looking to improve your fitness levels this year or are keen to start or continue a yoga practice, Sacred Earth Journeys has journeys and retreats planned for 2014 to help you with your quest. Our tour and retreat leaders are experts in their fields and can offer you so much whether you are completely new to yoga and just want to give it a go or you are an experienced yoga teacher looking to take your practice to the next level. Our tours and retreats are very holistic in nature so you are getting the chance to spend time with inspiring leaders and experience new cultures, sites, foods, spiritual traditions, fauna, and so much more.

Here is a snapshot of the retreats and journeys that will interest you if you’re looking for a getaway this year that involves yoga and meditation.

Sacred Journey to India with Jeffrey Armstrong:
A 2-week Immersion into Vedic Wisdom and Yoga Philosophy,
March 1 – 15, 2014

Jeffrey Armstrong is a truly inspiring and inspirational leader. A 40-year practitioner of yoga, he is also an author, philosopher, accomplished public speaker, and scholar of the Vedas. With Sandi Graham he co-founded VASA – the Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts. Journeying to India with Jeffrey and Sandi will most certainly be a life-enhancing voyage. Highlights of this incredible journey include temple visits (not those on the usual tourist trails!), participation in the International Yoga Festival, a cycle rickshaw ride around the 300-year-old Chandni Chowk market, a sunset tongo horse and carriage ride to the magnificient Taj Mahal, an elephant ride to the Amber Fort in Jaipur, and the list goes on! Read more about this must-do journey on our website.

Epic Kauai Goddess Retreat with Dr. Alexina Mehta
An Adventure of Healing and Self-Discovery in Breathtaking Hawaii,
April 18 – 25, 2014

A springtime retreat on divine Kauai, Hawaii; daily yoga and meditation practice and healing words of wisdom from the fabulous Dr. Alexina Mehta, ND; the most delicious food prepared by chef and holistic nutritionist Celina Archambault; visits to the magnificent Hanakapi’ai Falls, Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, the Kadavul Hindu Temple, opportunities for kayaking, snorkelling, hiking, and so much more. This retreat will be truly unforgettable.

In the words of a past participant:

“To say my Kauai retreat was life changing sounds melodramatic but I don’t know how else to explain the impact that the sacred island and the sacred journey had on me. I’m so grateful for the wise, gentle, powerful and respectful guidance of Alexina… many years my junior but many life-times my elder, both at the same time.” ~Judy Dickens, Aurora, Ontario

Read full details of this retreat on our website.

Yoga Isla Ibiza with Karen Heaps
A Magical Holiday & Yoga Retreat on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza, Spain, September 13 – 20, 2014

If you’re starting to plan a little further ahead, consider our September retreat to Ibiza, Spain. Enjoy 7 days of yoga next to the healing Mediterranean, guided walks to some of Ibiza’s hidden gems, beaches, sunshine, opportunities for spa visits and excursions – in sum, a perfect yoga retreat.  Read full details on our website.

Yoga Retreats in the Baja Mexico & Tofino BC!
Join Milagro Retreats on an amazing yoga retreat in Baja Mexico or Tofino BC!,
Year Round

Sacred Earth Journeys also takes bookings for Milagro Retreats run by Shani Cranston and her team, a Vancouver Island based wellness company, offering all-inclusive surf and yoga retreat and yoga travel packages, interactive seasonal cooking classes and vegetarian and living food catering on Vancouver Island, BC and in Baja, Mexico. Read full details on our website.

Bali Bliss Retreat with Michele Labelle

Nov 3-12, 2014

Full details of this transformational yoga retreat, offering a unique and enchanting experience of Bali, will be up on our website soon. Read about the 2013 retreat here.

Whatever your intentions for 2014, I wish you a healthful, joyful and adventurous year, full of travel and sacred moments.

~ Kim Bridget