This week the “PEREGRINART – The art of pilgrimage to transform lives” video collection has premiered on my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, and this article brings the same theme as the video, the act of pilgrimage, based on the question “What does it mean to go on a pilgrimage?”. So, unfasten your seatbelts because here we are going to talk about FREEDOM and TRANSFORMATION!
It’s always very inspiring to share about PILGRIMAGE, because this is something what really changed my life. In 2015, after going through a very difficult personal process, I felt the call and decided to walk the ST JAMES WAY for the first time. When I arrived at FINISTERRE, the end of the path in the ocean, I felt that something had already transformed inside me, and from then on my “old self” no longer made sense, I needed new experiences, and that’s how the world of COACHING, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT and EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE came into my life. At the same time, my SPIRITUALITY was reborn with the daily practice of YOGA, and my diet changed completely when I became a VEGETARIAN. And every year I went back to do at least one pilgrimage path, until 2019, when I went on my biggest pilgrimage to date, where I traveled about 3000 km between Lisbon and Rome, a 7-month walking experience that I called “FREE SPIRIT, TRAVELLING SOUL”. My relationship with the act of pilgrimage became more and more intense, to the point that I started guiding groups on the St James Way – this is how the PEREGRINART project was born.
But after all, Neo, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GO ON A PILGRIMAGE ?
Below I share with you some possible answers to this question:
1. HISTORICAL-CULTURAL MEANING: The act of pilgrimage or going on a pilgrimage consists in walking a path that takes the pilgrim from his starting point (which can be his home) to a place considered sacred, holy or devotional. This place can be a city, such as Santiago de Compostela or Rome, a temple, or even a place in nature, such as the cave where Mary Magdalene lived the last 30 years of her life, which today is considered a sanctuary.
2. PHILOSOPHICAL-SPIRITUAL MEANING: It is a journey in search of oneself, an internal dive into the depths of oneself to find the longed-for answers. In this sense, the pilgrim walks not with a religious motivation, but focused on his own transformation, often asking himself what his role is in the world or what his life mission is. Here, each meeting is sacred, it is as if the Universe were sending messages through other people’s mouths to the pilgrim.
3. EXPERIMENTAL MEANING: In the sense of living the pilgrimage holistically, the pilgrim is open and willing to live a transformative experience and to leave his comfort zone. Each day is a challenge, the pilgrim challenges himself to know himself even more and better by living the experience physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically to the extreme, where each pain or tear can be a great teacher.
When I walk a pilgrimage path, it sounds as “real life” to me, where the connection between people is more pure and sincere, but we will go deeper into this in a future article. I try to be both in the EXPERIMENTAL and in the PHILOSOPHICAL-SPIRITUAL ways, always going deeper and deeper into the experience and into myself.
It is important to point out that there is not only the ST JAMES WAY as a pilgrimage path, although it is the most famous and most traveled one today. Nor is there only one Saint James Way, there is a huge variety of routes, with paths not only crossing Spain, but also crossing Portugal, France, Italy – there are pilgrims who start the way in Poland or Russia, for example. Among other pilgrimage routes I have been on, I would like to highlight the CAMMINO DI ROMA, the JERUSALEM WAY, the CAMINHO DE FATTIMA and VIA FRANCIGENA, the latter starting in England and going all the way to Italy.
Finally, I want to say that going on a pilgrimage is a UNIQUE LIFE EXPERIENCE, where you will have a very satisfactory infrastructure on most of the paths, but this is also subject for a future article here on the WEBSITE and another video on my YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
Check out the first video of the PEREGRINART series below:
I let a kiss in your heart and buen camino!