Pilgrimage from You to Yourself

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You could bring back with you a lasting memory of an encounter with the Living God. Be on your knees at apparition time. Man knows how to give honor to earthly kings, dignitaries, and presidents. Everyone would agree that certain etiquette is required and expected of us when we are invited into the presence of royalty. If this is true of human creatures, what must then be our response to an invitation to be in the presence of the Queen of all Heaven and Earth?

Is it too much to bend our knee to this Woman who bore the world its Savior?

There would be no question of receiving Our Lady on our knees if we truly understood Who She is in the eyes of God. Be at Church for the Evening Services. Even if you have already been to the English Mass in the morning, we strongly encourage you to participate in the Evening Services at St. Our Lady calls for penance and sacrifice.

During your time in Medjugorje, move your spirit towards sacrifice. Go up the mountains barefoot.

BÖNPO CHÖD PILGRIMAGE: The Sacrifice of the Self

Get up early in the morning to go up the mountains. Spend the night on the mountain.

7 secular pilgrimages that could change your life

There is a special grace, while in Medjugorje, if you fast. The more you give of yourself for Our Lady, the more open your heart becomes to receive the grace She desires to give you. Come with a spirit of abandonment and surrender. Accept inconveniences and irritations with peace and offer them up to Our Lady.

Maybe a Pilgrimage Can Save Your Life…

In fact, you should be prepared to have your patience tested. There will be moments that satan will strive to destroy your peace and tranquility. Winchester is one hour from London by train. There are stunning views along the west of Ireland if you make the steep ascent up this meter 2, feet high mountain.

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This is where St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is said to have spent 40 days and nights praying and fasting and to have banished snakes from the country. More than a million people from around the world make the journey every year to follow in St. Patrick's footsteps -- many of them barefoot.

Pilgrimages - The journey to yourself

Even though it takes only a couple of hours to reach the top, it's not an easy climb. At the peak, you can attend mass in a modern chapel or enjoy the views before making your way back down for a pint of Guinness in a local pub. Hikers can also a walk along the kilometer-long 38 miles St. Best time to go is April through September, but traditional pilgrimage days are the last Friday and Sunday of July, and August Croagh Patrick is eight kilometers five miles from Westport town, which is accessible by both bus and train from Dublin and Galway.

Char Dham refers to four pilgrimage sites in the Uttaranchal state at the foot of the Himalayas. These sites are particularly important to Hindus, who aim to visit them at least once in their lifetime. For the non-religious, this journey is an excellent way to learn more about Indian culture and tradition and to experience the natural beauty of the country.

More than , visitors from around the globe make the trip annually. Most of them start their journey in the temple town of Haridwar, while others leave from Rishikesh or Dehra Duhn, the capital of Uttaranchal. Tradition dictates visiting the sites from east to west in the following order: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Allow approximately two weeks to visit all four or visit one only in three or four days.

Best time to go is May-June and September-October, avoiding monsoon season.

Links to the most famous pilgrimages in the world:

Fly to New Delhi and take a train to Haridwar. The best pilgrimage is one that requires difficulty to reach, either by walking or by rough and inaccessible roads. The spiritual journey is not the same if you can saunter up to it with minimal effort. This is why I pilgrimage to mountaintops.

It keeps me in the moment, requires effort that is more than physical and puts life and its problems in perspective when you reach that glorious summit. The journey to the mountaintop is a spiritual metaphor for life. But then, isn't all travel a metaphor for your life's experience? Especially when you remove yourself from your ordinary existence to encourage something new to manifest?

And what better way to stretch your personal experiences and take you out of your comfort zone than through pilgrimage travel? The seeker is seeking to discover something out of the ordinary, something that is missing in his or her life. Traveling to foreign places and foreign lands jolts one out of the everyday, the routine and the mundane. It is perceptually seeing with new eyes, hearing with new ears, feeling in a new way, and spending the amount of time needed to open to these new experiences of the holy place.

For the pilgrim, the purpose is the search for personal transformation. In fact, one of the most insightful experiences of my life came when I discovered that you can have a spiritual journey and personal transformation, without ever going anywhere! This is a pilgrimage-in-place and can be just as effective as an actual journey. But can you truly learn to see more than just the physical site itself? Are you willing to use all of your senses, to feel the energy of the place?

Are you a mere tourist, passing through, snapping a quick photo of the place and then rushing to the next "sacred site? If a journey is truly a spiritual journey, what happens if you set your camera aside for awhile? What happens when you arrive at the spiritual site at sunrise or sunset? What if you meditated at a site, or did Yoga? What if you read extensively about the history of the sacred place and the human experiences there, both past and present? There are many more questions that can be asked, when you ask yourself, how it is that this most holy place can be experienced with a new lens.

And that lens does not always come attached to a camera. And if it is attached to a camera, the shots are unique and open to a new way of seeing the subject matter. I traveled to the Santuario de Chimayo , a tiny Catholic mission church deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos, New Mexico, where the dirt is believed to contain special healing powers. As I toured the grounds, and the chapel, seeing all the offerings of talismans, rosaries, and crosses, how could I not feel the energy and emotions of the thousands of supplicants over the years who cried to God for healing, through eating the holy dirt, drinking it in water, or smearing the holy dirt on themselves?

I did not care what my belief was, I just basked in this energy of faith.