Types of Pilgrimage

“For those of us fascinated with the spiritual quest, the deepening of our journeys begins the moment we begin to ask what is sacred to us: architecture, history, music, books, nature, food, religious heritage, family history, the lives of saints, scholars, heroes, artists?” 
― Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred

            Years ago, I read the book The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau, which transformed how I viewed pilgrimages.  Previously I only viewed a pilgrimage as travelling to a holy land such as Mecca, Jerusalem, or The Ganges River.  I grew up in the Catholic Church and was aware of my extended family members making pilgrimages to places where miracles have occurred such as Fatima and Lourdes.  I thought all of these trips were out of my world, because I didn’t view myself as very religious. But this book changed my perspective.  I realized pilgrimages could be intentional travel.  My first trek to The Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris felt like a pilgrimage. When I read that it was mentioned in Cousineau’s book, I felt validated.  How had I not realized that some of the journeys I was making were pilgrimages?  They were sacred travels, even if they were not religious.  They were sacred to me. 

            And therefore, I began making travel intentional.

            With this I realized the essence of travel was to change something internal.  

            Being a clinical psychologist, writer, yoga instructor, and sound healer I noted there are numerous paths towards contemplation.  I not only enjoyed embarking on ways to deepen my inner journeys, but loved the art of sharing this with others.  Therefore, this blog was born to interweave the variety of ways we pilgrimage in a modern world.  

This blog will focus on three main types of pilgrimages, which have several subcategories:


I. Intentional Travel 

-Religious and Spiritual

-Natural Wonders

-Bespoke Travel

 II. Inner Journeys     


-Music/Sound Healing

-Psychological Reflections             

 III. Collective Creative

-Meaning and Purpose

-Gatherings and Community

-Pursuit of “there”

Check out an example blog post of each type:

Intentional Travel: https://amodernpilgrimage.com/pilgrimage-to-the-best-bookstore-in-paris/

Inner Journeys: http://amodernpilgrimage.com/my-first-sound-healing-journey/

Collective Creative: https://amodernpilgrimage.com/how-do-concerts-make-you-feel/

            I am aware that the types of pilgrimage can be even more extensive than this, but I will try to highlight these areas to the best of my abilities.  All are different aspects of contemplation.  A resource I found to be a beautiful image that integrates some of this together can be found on this website https://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree .  I hope you will join me as we explore ways to embark on a modern pilgrimage together.