There are thousands of pilgrimages to sacred sites all over the world. We could join a group leaving for some exotic and far away place every day. We can pick up a guide book and find sacred sites all over the world, and in our own country – wherever we are. As tourists we can take any tour and be given marvellous facts and information relating to the interesting social and political History of the place we choose to visit. Or, we can see artefacts in museums and gaze wistfully over the ruins of many an ancient ‘dig’. Millions of tourists do this, all over the world, every day. They are enjoying things that interest them. Soaking it up. Guides will spend up to four years (and often more) learning everything they can about one specific city, or country, and then make a valuable career from leading their tourist groups with great pride and professionalism, giving away everything they know, and in the main enjoying it.
But when it comes to going on a ‘Pilgrimage’ we are not just seeing, listening and taking in the facts, we are feeling it too. We are seeking out the places which for some reason, often unknown, have significance to our spiritual life, and deep meaning to our soul. Some pilgrims are happy just to be in the same place as their hero, or the source of their inspiration. Others are adding something as they go. Those who join me in groups are invited to add our prayers, our energy, our ‘Light’. We share the experience, create a group energy, and use it to bring whatever is needed to wherever we are.
Some people journal their travels, listing all their wonderful experiences, learning that their emotional reactions in certain places is of great significance along their spiritual journey. Others buy souvenirs for themselves, or gifts for others. Of course some people like to save memories by taking natural mementoes like little pebbles from the shore of Galilee, or pink stones from Petra. Some people just take thousands of photographs, capturing a moment in time, for ever!
As in all life there has to be a balance, for everything you take, or accept, you must give back. An exchange of energy maintains a healthy karmic balance between giving and receiving.
Many of my group on this trip could be seen feeling the energy of the rocks, kissing icons, sitting in silence, feeling waves of energy passing through them. All were absorbing, receiving, sharing and adding their energy. Healers were could be seen giving Reiki, and others left special crystals behind, and one lady even bought bottles of water to give to the donkeys and camels in Petra.
Each day at some point either separately, or together, I asked that we ground ourselves, set our intention to serve, open our crown chakra, embody Divine Light, and anchor it into the Earth. We prayed for peace. We prayed for healing.
Early in the morning we were taken to see the Upper Room. This is where the Last Supper took place. Although the dynamics has been altered by a church being built round it the inner part would have been the original room. I felt the courtyard outside held more significance for me, as I was gazing up at the window I found myself sliding into a strange sensation which I cannot describe effectively. I can only say it held some kind of past life remembrance.
A magical moment for us all was in the Garden of Gethsemane where we had been granted a gated section to ourselves for an hour. What a wonderful opportunity. We said the Essene communion prologue together :
” Let us enter the eternal and infinite garden of Mystery. Our spirits in Oneness with the Heavenly Father,
Our bodies in Oneness with our Earthly Mother, and Our minds and hearts in Oneness with each other and all of Creation.”
Then every one found a place to sit for silent connection in this ‘wilderness’ . It was indescribably humbling to be in the same place where Jesus had wandered in prayer, and spent his final meditative hours after the Last Supper and before the morning of his arrest. I don’t think the profound significance of that opportunity passed anyone by. It was awesome. When we walked around the ancient Olive trees and wandered silently out of the garden most of us admitted we could have stayed there for hours, just meditating and taking it all in.
When we went into the Church of Unification where the slab of rock is revered as being where Jesus is said to have sat during that night, some of the group had strong emotional reactions and were drawn to sit by that rock for as long as they could. The last time I was there I couldn’t get near it for crowds, this time we sat around it together as a group. Tears flowed. Why? Because the emotional and empathic reactions to this powerful place are physical. Even to those who consider themselves to be non-religious it has an ‘other-worldly’ tangible energy. People felt, they said, the sorrow, and anticipation of Christ. One of the group experienced such pain in her hands she could hardly bear it. Certainly we had plenty to talk about later.
More from my travels to come. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t any experience of what it would feel like to go any where like the Holy Land as a tourist. I always seem to be on a mission!