Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sacred Sojourns: Photos & Ponderings from Holy Places

While I have never been an overtly religious person, somehow a deep sense of spiritualty, or perhaps mysticism, has always been an integral part of my personality.
I have always been hungry for a sense of connection with the divine, and am drawn to ancient religious sites as well as religious rituals.
Although raised in a Protestant (Lutheran ELCA) church, during my teenage years I became drawn to older traditions, not necessarily limited to Christianity...and more to the rituals than the beliefs, for some unknown reason.
Perhaps I have always drawn a sense of comfort from them?
I liked the idea of burning incense to send prayers to heaven, the use of icons and medals bearing images of holy personages.
On several extended trips to Ireland and the UK, I visited numerous early Christian sites...abbeys, cloisters, early well as pagan sites including stone circles and Neolithic tombs.
In the silent presence of stone, I felt something "greater than"...a sense of continuity and purpose, if not a plan. Perhaps a connection with people who actually DID believe.

And now, just over a week from my 41st birthday, I am embarking on a quest to seek out spiritual places from foreign cultures.
I don't know exactly what I am looking for and can't even begin to guess what I will find.
I do not hope to find God.
Perhaps I am looking for a deeper faith in humanity, having had a long string of negative experiences with my fellow man.

And due to a string of apparent coincidences, the first stop on my journey is among some of the oldest cultures on the planet...the Hindus and Buddhists of India.
You can read some of the planning details and dates for this trip in my most recent entries at Just Real Life

This blog will be dedicated to my plans and preparations for this journey as well as my observations on spirituality, images of holy places, and links to relevant websites.
And, of course, to what happens to me when I actually reach my destinations, and, perhaps evn destiny.