Why do people travel so far and make so much effort to get to sacred sites?
You don’t have to go to a sacred site in order to have a mystical experience. You don’t even have to leave your home, and yet thousands of people travel to sacred sites every year. Why?
Intrigue is one reason we visit sacred sites. A number of documentaries can be found on various sacred places from India to Europe. We really want to know what mystical events have been purported to take place and what makes them so special. Look at the attention France, Scotland and Ireland are getting right now with so many unanswered questions about the grail legends. Just stepping on the land can take us back into history to explore the questions we rarely give ourselves the opportunity to explore.
Some of us are drawn to visit sacred sites purely out of historical curiosity. Sacred sites are not only designated as spiritually unique places, but most of them have historic significance as well. For someone who loves to understand people and beliefs, sacred sites have often been the center of activity and philosophies that have defined entire cultures. Of course, learning about ancient civilizations-their perspectives about life and spiritual views-can provide us with tremendous insights about ourselves.
Some go seeking mystical experiences. While mystical experiences can and do happen at sacred sites, seeking them engages the ego, which actually causes us to experience greater separation from the mystical. Going with this intent may prove to be disappointing. The very vibration of sacred space practically demands we shed our ego, transcend our limits, and be present in the moment. If we don’t, we usually experience very little. If we do, experiences can be profound and unforeseen.
Healing is one of the reasons we travel to sacred sites. We hear that touching the water, a stone, or sacred object brings people miraculous health, and so we journey to these places in hope that we will find relief from our suffering for ourselves or loved ones. What we may discover as we approach such sacred sites is that the real healing transformation was happening the entire time we prepared for the trip, as we faced our own fears and doubts. When the inner struggle with our concerns is finished and we are fully open to being in complete love, indeed the intense energy of sacred sites can help us fulfill our healing process through the profound loving presence we experience.
Our lives from the past may call us to visit old homes and former lives, so that ancient wisdom can be awakened within us. I have observed people opening to memories of knowledge they once had on sacred site tours. Egypt was perhaps the most profound in this regard as individuals remembered ceremonies they had done, rituals they had performed and ancient promises they had made. Many realized they had come to fulfill significant commitments they made lifetimes ago to bless the sacred sites they once created.
When we honor the spiritual energies of the sacred sites with our gratitude and blessings, we might discover we are awakening latent energies within the land, the spirits and ourselves. The sacred space responds to our touch, our love and our respect for its life force. In these precious moments, the mystical doorways open, and the reason we thought we came to a sacred site disappears. In its place we experience a humble relationship between us and the space, and the vastness of what there is yet to know. We catch a glimmer-just a glimmer-of why the space is called sacred and why we are really there.
Reverend Misa Hopkins is the Spiritual Director of the New Dream Foundation. For more information about their sacred site tours and rituals, visit http://www.NewDreamFoundation.com