GS-Pilgrimage-Conversation-Guide-ImageThe following resources are designed to support a deeper exploration of the themes presented in SACRED TRAVEL: THE PILGRIMAGE EXPERIENCE. Video clips, questions, and other resources are offered to invite conversation and to encourage users to explore and add their own insight into the program’s many themes. Use these resources as a package or in part, in facilitated environments (such as viewing parties and classrooms) or in more informal contexts, in small groups, or, on your own.

PILGRIMAGE AND THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

  • When you think of pilgrimage, what key characteristics come to mind for you?
  • Do you see yourself making a pilgrimage in the near future? If so, to what and why?
  • If you’ve experienced a personal pilgrimage in your life and/or travels, what was it like? Describe any particularly poignant moments.

PILGRIMAGE AND INTENTION

  • Of the many intentions to set for pilgrimage, which resonate with you and why (homage, penance, gratitude, reverence, health, fortune, connecting with the transcendent, community, or other)?
  • How might you express your intention for sacred travel in writing, by sharing with others, or through prayer, meditation, or other practice?
  • Why might it be important to set an intention in advance of a pilgrimage?

PILGRIMAGE AND THE UNKNOWN

  • What types of challenges might you encounter on a sacred journey? What can these challenges teach you?
  • How might facing the unknown in the context of a pilgrimage contribute to transformation?
  • Is it a pilgrimage if you do not encounter an obstacle, a fear, or uncertainty?

PILGRIMAGE: SACRED DESTINATIONS

  • Pilgrimage sites can be natural, spiritual, historic, religious, sacred, and mythical.
  • What are the most sacred spaces or places to you, and what qualities make them so?
  • What do you experience when you feel you’ve come to a sacred place? What practices, remembrances, or rituals might you perform in a sacred space?
  • If you were to make a pilgrimage because of your nationality, faith tradition, personal passions, or your family, where might that be?

PILGRIMAGE: TRAVELING INWARD

  • What aspects of pilgrimage take you “inside” and “outside” yourself, or do you find them intertwined?
  • In your life or travels, have you experienced a pilgrimage that shifted something inside you? Can you describe that shift?
  • How have or might personal pilgrimages affect your core values or beliefs?
  • How would you describe an inner sense of the sacred?

PILGRIMAGE: A JOURNEY INTO COMMUNITY

  • Sacred travel can be both an individual journey and a collective experience.
  • How might an individual pilgrimage become a communal experience? in time? in space?
  • If you’ve experienced a profound sense of connection, what do you think triggered that feeling? Try to describe this experience through your senses.
  • If you were to join others on a pilgrimage, what would you consider essential for the group’s journey and why?