Pilgrimage: Ancient tourism for a modern Urbanite. 

To be a Pilgrim is to be transported beyond your known life – a journey of shifting reality. We invite you to take a Pilgrimage on Vancouver Island : a World Away from the Everyday. 

 

In exploring the labyrinths found in the soulful landscapes of Vancouver Island, you can take a step outside stress and arrive into the centre of a nurturing world. As in a genuine pilgrimage, the wisdom you will bring home is completely unexpected.

 

QUEST:

 

Every pilgrimage begins with a quest. Your quest is to find stillness within yourself. A restorative stillness; one that arises from savoring experiences for mind, body and spirit ( for an hour, a day , a week or even forever for those of us who live on Vancouver Island) and to take home with you the treasures found in these quiet moments.

 

SELF IMPOSED HARDSHIP:

 

You are encouraged to embrace a self-imposed hardship. Only one... a seemingly small one... to "unplug" for an hour, a day, or a week, so you may then experience fully and mindfully the time and places that you have chosen to experience. Start small, and increase your capacity to be without. Can you actually do it?

 

LANDSCAPE WITH MEANING: Vancouver Island

 

A convenient Pacific Island – with 400 km to explore- a fairy tale island where the miraculous is ordinary. You will discover more than 50 labyrinths embedded in stunning vistas of mountains, oceans and lush forests, modern cities and vast wilderness. Experience the vibrant culture of the First Nations, the thriving arts and artisans,  the abundance of organic foods, fresh seafood , wineries and breweries, the many festivals, and the incredible and diverse wildlife we have to offer.

 

PREPARATION:

 

To prepare for your pilgrimage, we suggest that you take some time to recognize the role of the technologies in your life and consider their interruptions. Think about who you are without your "inbox", texts, or pages. Foster a desire to regain a sense of control, purpose and well being. A drive to reclaim creativity, health, and connectivity to the natural world around you. Choose a moveable retreat, so that you may go within while moving about various landscapes and the easy ways we define ourselves.  

 

PORTALS OR THRESHOLDS:

 

There are several ways to reach the island. You may arrive by plane through one of our airports , or take a ferry from the USA or Vancouver. Upon arriving, you can choose to take your first step into the world away from your everyday via a labyrinth, a kayak , whale watching, meandering a seaside village, picking blueberries , biking a trail or hiking oceanside , or lingering in a spa.

 

WHOLISTIC IMMERSION OF MIND, BODY , SPIRIT:

 

Pay attention to what calls to you – resonates as your still point. What will you choose as your immersion in stillness, in the quiet of a tech cleanse. You may enjoy a day of golf, kayaking, wine tasting , shopping or a labyrinth walk after a jazz concert or before a wine tasting- but it must  be an unplugged  experience that is NOT interrupted by an electronic device.

 

EXPERIENCES:

 

Eat, gaze, ride, linger , watch, breathe , taste, feel, wonder, be still... and walk at least one labyrinth a day! This is easy to do on an island with more than 50 of them!

 

REFLECTIONS /CONNECTIONS:

 

Infuse a sense of grace to your journey. Be, walk, sit, linger as long as you wish –this journey is yours to create.  Journal, sketch, write, compose, hold conversations with other “pilgrims' or friendly locals.

 

METAPHOR:

 

Once you recognize that your “trip” is a pilgrimage away from your everyday, you can give it as much meaning as you wish. Perhaps it is a light hearted adventure or experiment, or you may approach it with the seriousness of those going to the Medieval Holy Land, Mecca or any other of the world's well know pilgrimages.

 

AVATAR/INSPIRATION:

 

It's your choice; at least as you start ... sometimes an unexpected force shows up in the midst of the journey and changes everything... books can bring your avatar with you. The avatar can reside in your memory. Maybe a vision of your own best self is your avatar that inspires you..Who have other pilgrims chosen? What literature and stories already exist from others' experiences?

 

LIFE AND DEATH:

 

Think about  where life, green and happiness thrive? What issues arise from the world of connected technology and stress ( blood pressure, medications, sleep deprivation, debts )

 

ACCEPTANCE OF CHANGE:

 

By venturing on your pilgrimage, you have elevated “tourist” to a journey of meaningful well being. Write down the thoughts and ideas that come to you on your trip.  What insights will follow you home, what in your life will you keep, what will you let go of ?

 

RETURN:

 

Once the body arrives home , the mind may be in sync – you feel in a state of embodied bliss -how will you transfer it to your everyday life? What practices will you use when you return  to  help you sustain your intentions and values?

 

SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES:

 

Following your pilgrimage, you may find that the depth of your understanding is difficult to share. Let your behaviours in the future speak for you and  become an advocate for unplugged moments and experiences.

 

INTEGRATE:

 

Once settled in at home, be explicit with yourself. Show patience, allowing the lessons of your pilgrimage to arise in your daily living.

Repeat the pilgrimage process in another time and place; walk labyrinths in your own community and look for opportunites to unplug and reconnect with your self.

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