“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself” – Rumi
Even as I settle back home from my own recent pilgrimage to France and Italy, I continue to reflect on Christine Valters Paintner’s book, “The Soul of a Pilgrim – Eight Practices for the Journey Within,” where she shares, “… God is never a set of concepts to be understood but a relationship to encounter.”
My pilgrimage was a spiritual journey walking many miles each day for 10 days through well-worn holy territory. Paintner’s book is an ancient call to a pilgrimage process, not walking, but reflecting on a personal journey within.
After I returned home with blistered feet and better questions than answers, I applied her eight central spiritual practices. I reflected mostly on one of her exercises called Creative Contemplative Photography as I browsed through hundreds of my photographs selecting just the right one to see and sense it more deeply.
“The Soul of a Pilgrim’s” spiritual practice exercises, provided at the end of each central practice chapter, are broken down into your own easy-to-do pilgrimage process:
1. Reflection by John Valters Paintner – along with a story from the Bible.
2. Invitation to Lectio – read, meditate, pray, contemplate on the story
3. Writing Exploration through Midrash – ancient Jewish practice of commentary on the story
4. Midrash explanation – sensing and writing prose or poetry
5. Creative Exploration through Photography – receive images as gifts not just taking photos
6. Closing Blessing – your own prayer or one you find elsewhere
One way, out of many ways she provides, teaches you to integrate what you are discovering by:
– Opening up yourself …
– Imagining yourself …
– Seeing the world around you …
– Getting in touch with you …
– Hearing the call …
This is a wonderfully inspiring book with more intensity than provided in this write-up. The author invites you to rest into the mystery of an ancient call to pilgrimage.
And you? When will you cultivate your inner self and experience in greater depth the reality that is you?
FTC Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Ave Maria Press for review purposes. Moment to Moment, Inc. is a professional review site that receives commission from the companies whose products we review only if the product is purchased. We review each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.