“Centuries of travel lore suggest that when we no longer know where to turn our real journey has begun…At that crossroads moment, a voice calls to our pilgrim soul.”
Cousineau, Phil. (1998). The Art of Pilgrimage. The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred. Berkeley, CA: Conari Press.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton (1915-1968) “Thoughts in Solitude.”
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you? You feel the separation from the Beloved. Invite [the Beloved] to fill you up, embrace the fire. Remind those who tell you otherwise that Love comes to you of its own accord… From: Hush: Don’t Say Anything to God. Passionate Poems by Rumi. Shahram Shiva. Jain, 2000.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue. Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear… Kahlil Gibran, “On Talking” in The Prophet.
I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding. John O’Donohue “Fluent” (Conamara Blues)
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. Rumi (1207 – 1273)
“Maybe at the heart of all our traveling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.” Frederick Buechner
Help us to be always hopeful gardeners of the spirit who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth. As without light nothing flowers. May Sarton
Keep walking, though there is nowhere to get to. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.” Rumi in Coleman Barks, The Illulminated Rumi, 31.
You must have a room or certain hour of the day or so, where you do not know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody or what they owe you— but a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be… At first, you may find nothing’s happening…but if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.” Joseph Campbell
A legendary story tells of a visitor who came to the cathedral while it was being built. She saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. Puzzled, she asked, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the worker replied, “Because God sees.”
On Talking Kahlil Gibran
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.
And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.
In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the color is forgotten and the vessel is no more.
It is no use walking anywhere to preach if our walking is not our preaching. St. Francis of Assissi
What in your life is calling you, When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned…the lists laid aside, and the Wild Iris blooms by itself in the dark forest…
What still pulls on your soul?” Rumi (1207 – 1273)
Hello. This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. Have a miraculous day!
For the Traveler by John O’Donohue
Every time you leave home, another road takes you into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await. New places that have never seen you will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well will pretend nothing changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself alone in a different way More attentive now to the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching you abroad; and how what meets you touches that part of the heart that lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune to the timbre in some voice, Opening in conversation you want to take in to where your longing
has pressed hard enough inward, on some unsaid dark, to create a crystal of insight
You could not have known you needed to illuminate your way.
When you travel, anew silence goes with you, And if you listen, you will hear what your heart would love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing: make sure, before you go, to take the time to bless your going forth,
to free your heart of ballast so that the compass of your soul might direct you toward the territories of spirit
where you will discover more of your hidden life, And the urgencies that deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way, gathered wisely into your inner ground; that you may not waste the invitations which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, and live your time away to its fullest; return home more enriched, and free to balance the gift of days which call you.
Part of the work of a pilgrim is to be surprised.
Jim Forest.. (2007). The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life”. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis) 11.
Pilgrims, why are you turning round in circles, what are you looking for?
The Beloved is here, why search in the desert?
If you look deep in your heart you will find Him within yourself.
You have made the pilgrimage and trod the path to Mecca many times.
You rave about the holy place and say you’ve visited God’s garden,
But where is your bunch of flowers?
You tell stories about diving deep into the ocean, but where is your pearl?
There is some merit in the suffering you have endured,
But what a pity you have not discovered the Mecca that’s inside.
Rumi: Hidden Music. Translated by Maryam Mafi. (2002) 127.