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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  377 ratings  ·  57 reviews
First published in 1998 and updated with a new preface by the author, "The Art of Pilgrimage" is a sacred travel guide in book form that is full of inspiration for the spiritual traveler.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker and host of the acclaimed Global Spirits series seen on PBS and Link TV, Phil Cousineau weaves stories, myths, parables, and quotes from famous travelers
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Conari Press (first published 1998)
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Carmen like the opera
This book helped me prepare for the inner journey of the pilgrimage of the camino to Santiago de Compostela. If it weren't for this book, I may not have completed the camino. While I prepared myself physically (training/walking) and mentally (research), the pilgrimage is really about the inner journey. The physical landscape and lessons learned along the way became metaphors for life. I met a lot of people who were better fit or more knowledgable than I, but I found along the way, they quit beca ...more
Fiona Leonard
My husband bought this book last year on the recommendation of a friend and I came across it recently while sorting through our kindle account. In light of my (then upcoming) trip to Morocco I thought I would give it a read. I thoroughly enjoyed and was moved by this book. As I read through I highlighted thirty-nine passages, and each one, when I go back and read now, sets ablaze a host of ideas and reflections.

One of the highlights of travel is attaining those moments of travel nirvana. Turning
If I think about the criteria for a sacred journey as outlined in The Art of Pilgrimage, I have been applying Cousineau’s suggestions for the past decade or so. (1) Ask yourself what would constitute a sacred destination for you. (2) Read deeply on the desired goal. (3) When you get there try to absorb the mystery of the place and the spirits that have preceded you. As a travel writer that is what I do. What he does not emphasize is how important it is to go by yourself so that you may sink into ...more
S. Donovan
"Personal answers to ultimate questions. That is what we seek," said Alexander Eliot.

Sacred travel often starts with an itch. If you listen to the itch, or even begin to scratch it gently, it may lead you to the strangest places. Macchu Picchu. A cafe at the end of the world. Your heart. Home.

Our reasons vary; so do our destinations. But the process of journeying is universal. The man who survives the accident that kills his family wonders why he's left alive. The abuse victim struggles to unde
Nov 03, 2008 Bonny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura, and everyone who wants to travel
Shelves: cultures, travel
I love travelling to places I have never been and to places I have before. There were many passages in this book where I felt like I had experienced the level of being in the mooment, the there and now of a place. And yet, I have learned there are other, time honoured ways I can follow to bring more to each place I go to.

This book is about taking time: time to slow down, time to really see with your inner vision and your soul, time to be there in the moment and place, time to really appreciate t
"The art of Pilgrimage,"is not just for travelers but for seekers. As a life long traveler I would say that this book is a must read. It can be read and re-read because author Cousineau speaks about the adventure. When I travel I often leave before I leave because I begin my journey with the research and the stories and I hear from other travelers.Then when I am traveling I meet my kindred spirits, those who must travel, must see the world, climb to the top, lay on their belly to get that shot s ...more
Keith Skinner
Cousineau gives us something to consider before we start packing and before we start jamming our travel days with popular sites and destinations. He gives us the question to ask ourselves - why - and challenges us to forego the quick answer and dig deeper. It's invaluable insight that I find myself using every time I step out my front door.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
One of my all-time favorites and a very useful framework for considering many sorts of pilgrimage, including literary ones. I wrote a post about this a while back: "The Literary Work as a Place of Pilgrimage."
Not much to say about this book. It started out well, with lots of dog-eared pages. Then went downhill with me just skimming to get it done.
Tandava Brahmachari
[from my blog: ]

Cousineau has a lot of good thoughts about travel, and how to really make it meaningful and get the most out of it. I like this because I do think that travel is as important for the change and effect it has on me as for the simple enjoyment of seeing new and interesting things.

One chapter I particularly liked was about seeing, and how it is affected by photography. Lots of tourists these days let their cameras do their seeing for them. Yo
Chris Lemig
Jun 26, 2008 Chris Lemig rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is planning on or wants to travel
What a compodium of knowledge and wisdom this book is! Phil Cousineau draws from so many sources: Joseph Campbell, Thoreau, Henry Miller, Basho, Thich Nat Hahn, Rumi, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Goethe and (really) countless others. I dogeared and underlined this book more than any other I've read this year.

The essential message of the book is that travel is a sacred inward journey into our soul and spirit as much (or more so than) a journey to the world outside. It has been a great inspiration as I pl
This book was a pleasant surprise. It provided a way of looking at travel from the longing to experience something that will change or inspire you, through the act of leaving, the journey to the destination, and the return home, not only from an historical perspective, but within a modern context as well. These topics are covered in an abundance of quotes, anecdotes and musings on the meaning, relevance and ultimate benefit of soulful travel, whether it be to the other side of the globe or to yo ...more
Beverley Kaye
This is a “how to book” on making a trip, you are planning, into a pilgrimage. It suggests that any trip can be a pilgrimage but most of the examples reference places of spiritual significance, like Santiago de Compostela or Angkor Wat, but he also mentions secular places like Walden’s pond.

It makes me want to redo my travels in a more soulful way. It also reminded me of moments where I became aware of the sublime, or where, by doing something he suggested, I made a particular visit more meaning
R. Patrick
I good book about making pilgrimages, especially sacred pilgrimages. A book full of quotations from other writers, it makes you want to go on a pilgrimage.
I enjoyed this book full of inspirations toward traveling. The book takes the word "pilgrimmage" a little too literally for me - I believe it's possible to have a "sacred" experience in a broader sense, without as much focus on actual religion. Cousinseau mentions that he also believes this, but such an experience is outside the scope of this book. Many of the stories are of pilgrims in history, thus lending the overall story toward heavily religious content. The work is inspiring nonetheless, a ...more
Literally, this is a book about how to make a trip to a foreign location more meaningful and rewarding.
Metaphorically, this is a book about how to live your life everyday - in mindful engagement with your surroundings.
Cousineau's work is heavily influenced by Joespeh Campbell, but it is original in that it takes the ideas in Campbell's books and applies them very concretely.
This book is a good meditation on living and the advice is relevant to the everyday, not just the special-5000-mile-away,
This book gave me the right mindset on how to approach traveling. We're lucky to travel these days, but many of us don't know how to really appreciate this luxury. The average stay at our national parks is 20 minutes. People drive in, snap some photos, empty their bladders, buy a souvenir, then rush home to crow to their neighbors about their wonderful trip. This is like a spiritual guide book for traveling with lots of quotes and stuff to generate some thinking beyond "been there done that."
I loved this book and it made me want to devote many years, weeks, days of the rest of my life to making pilgrimages. A lovely reminder that it is not where we go but how we go...the reverence and intention with which we choose to approach and explore each new place we enter. If you wish to learn of popular pilgrimage places around the world this is also a wonderful guide. I'm excited to learn that a new edition has been published this year; 2012.
I have always been a "researcher" when preparing to travel. I like to read the history and learn everything I can about the destination before arriving. I started to wonder if I was over learning,wondering if it was possible to know too much to the point where you feel like you've already been there. This book helped me to reconcile and encourage the "researching" of travel and offered several other insights on making travel personal and meaningful.
Nancy Rogers
A spiritual journey sort of book. Its thoughtful ideas about travel - travel of any kind, any distance and to any destination - can make a deeper experience out of any journey.
Robin Thomas
A meditation on the journey not just travel.
Phil Cousineau tells the reader that "the object of pilgrimage is not rest and recreation." Rather it is to "throw down a challenge to everyday life. Nothing matters but this adventure." In the Art of Pilgrimage we learn to make everyday life an adventure and a pilgrimage.
Pilgrimas are poets who create by taking journeys.
--Richard R. Niebuhr
Jackie Harrison-jewell
Read this for research on a project and found it so compelling I took pages of notes and had to check it out again a few months later. He waxes a bit metaphysical for my taste but that comes as no surprise given the title. What I loved was the choice of quotes he includes, the organization of the information and the way it made me want to pack up and take off on my own pilgrimage.
Quintessential traveler's book. Challenges one to look at the journey on a deep and introspective level. Such a good reminder of why we do what we do and that it's worth any trouble. In fact, trouble is part of the deal. Not that I needed it, but this book validates my lifelong need to go. Great bib list at the end, to keep the inspiration super-charged.
Jenne Lorraine
Well for the more "spiritually attunded" this book is a little goofy and overly simple. But for the average American person Cousineau does a good job of pointing out simple ways to make travel a journey of the soul. I am for most endeavors that can help Jo Schmo see beyond the worlds illussions.
I have always been a travel reader but never knew qabout Spiritual Pilgrimage until I read a few quotes in an article, by Cousineau. Once I got his book and read it I was hooked. Now my book shelf hold at least 20 more from other authors, some read and others for that perfect time.
Steve Woods
This was a rambling nonsense with little point; of course if it is there I missed it! The book was just a boring self indulgence, just froth with no substance. I just can't see where its ratings acme from. Of course there are always, horses for courses. A waste of time and money for me.
An excellent book. The later chapters become less powerful, starting to feel more like a series of church testimonials than a continuation of the earlier parts, and the book won't be for everyone, but if you read a few pages and get the gist and like it, you'll like the overall work.
Kim Antieau
This is one of my favorite books. I try to read it before every trip I take. I recommend it to everyone who is going on a trip. However, even walking in our backyards can be a pilgrimage, so even if you're not planning on traveling far, I recommend reading this lovely book.
Lisa Garner
This was a really nice read, although I expect it would have made a much better book, had I actually been on a trip at the time. I will probably try this again should I embark on a pilgrimage myself, but ultimately, the overall message can be practised anywhere.
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Phil Cousineau is a writer, teacher, editor, independent scholar, documentary filmmaker, travel leader, and storyteller. The author of more than 30 nonfiction books, Cousineau has more than 15 documentary screenwriting credits to his name, including the 1991 Academy Award-nominated Forever Activists. His life-long fascination with art, literature, and the history of culture has taken him on many j ...more
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