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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Making the Most of a Spiritual Vacation

Aug 31, 2023 06:30AM ● By Linda Sechrist
Making the Most of a Spiritual Vacation

The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred

Phil Cousineau, author of The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seekers Guide to Making Travel Sacred, specializes in creating meaningful travel experiences and leading tours to sacred sites. “All pilgrimages are a search for meaning and purpose, which is why I prepare groups on how to travel deliberately, ways to experience it and how to integrate the experiences into daily life so they are not forgotten,” he says.

Cousineau recommends getting off the bus, putting away the video recorder and simply walking into the landscape. “Remind yourself why you traveled to there,” he says. “Take the deepest, most probing question in your life with you. Chronicle your answer for two to five minutes daily. At the site, look for one detail that represents your entire visit that day and take a photo. Use active imagination to open your heart, rather than waiting for something to happen. Don’t compare your travels. When you are comparing where you are with where you’ve been, there's no meaning—it becomes just one more purposeless tour.”

To share the experience with traveling companions, Cousineau says, “I begin mornings over breakfast with a long conversation that includes any stories about where we’re visiting. We’re reminding ourselves that we're forming a small community by traveling together and studying the same stories so that we can continue our long conversation over dinner. This is where the meaning starts to form and deepen.”

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Traveling With Purpose: Nine Destinations for Spiritual Enlightenment

For a trip that fosters mind-body-spirit self-care with a generous portion of adventure, check out these sacred sites. Read More » 



Eco Travel 101

While checking places off the travel bucket list, keep in mind these traveling tips for leaving small footprints across the Earth. Read More » 


5 Top Tips to Finding Your Next Doctor

1 Keep an Open Mind! Healthcare has come a long way. Today, you have access to practitioners that branch outside of traditional medicine and aim to identify the root causes of conditions while using alternative treatments that may help you get the relief you need. Just because it’s not a pill, doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

2 Build Your Health Care Team. There is no one doctor that can be the be-all-end-all for your health needs. Be sure to have a team of practitioners with different “lenses” and areas of expertise who will treat the root cause and not just the symptom(s).

3   Environment Influences Healing. Health is multi-factorial. Your mental and emotional environment plays a pivotal role in your healing potential. Your doctors and their staff should create an office atmosphere filled with positivity so you can get the most out of your care.

4 Your Story Matters.  Before you begin any treatment, be sure to have a comprehensive consultation to discuss your health concerns. Find practitioners who welcome questions and will take the time to listen and treat you with respect.

5 Report of Findings. When it comes to our health, we often make decisions without understanding the risk versus benefits. Knowledge is an important part of the healing process and is essential to make conscious, informed health decisions. Find practitioners who take the time to explain their exam findings and the recommendations for treatment in ways that make sense to you.

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