Wednesday, June 5, 2013


      For a traveler with a pilgrim's heart, the journey is every bit as important as the destination.  They celebrate the slowly unfolding narrative of their journey.  With ears and eyes attuned to the moments between as much as to the scheduled moments, no encounter is too insignificant or unworthy.

   Whether you are sitting at the airport with your flight delayed, hurrying to catch a train (or missing it altogether) or finding out they've given your room to someone else...all this is part of the journey.  You can't foresee every eventuality or plan for every circumstance.  It is best to simply set off and know that everything - and I mean everything! - is part of your unique narrative...embrace it all!

   When I walked the trail to the statues at the Abbey of Gethsemani I noticed a little note that had been left along the side of the path.  Had I been hyper-focused on my destination I may have missed it.  I include it here because it says it all so simply...

It is good to have an end
to journey to but it is the
journey, in the end, that
matters most.

   It is also good to celebrate, even in a small way, each threshold you cross...both coming and going.  By making each leg of the journey important in and of itself you will be more open to whatever presents itself.  It also extends the experience of the trip to mean more than just the destination and in so doing, increases your enjoyment.

   Remember that metaphorical scrip you so carefully packed before you set off on your journey?  Once you arrive at your destination it is best to put it all out of your mind and experience the place first hand through your own senses and heart. Bring along, by all means, a special book that can serve as a guided meditation at your destination but all that preparation, all those pre-visit "visits" are only second hand experience.  Now is the time to engage the landscape and people in an authentic and personal way.  The things you see and experience, the people you meet are the seeds of your've tilled the soil with all your preparations, it is now time for you to plant.  What will grow and develop, what fruit it will bear, only time will tell.

   Here is a link to an online magazine about pilgrimage:

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