Geared toward modern-day pilgrims looking for inspiration and a few spiritual tools for the road, this book combines stories, myths, parables and quotes from famous travelers of the past (and insights from travel guru Cousineau) to help them focus on the purpose and intention at every stage of their journey. (Hardcover & paperback editions, Conari Press; Audio: Dove Audio; also available in Spanish, Portuguese and Korean editions.)
"I am convinced that pilgrimage is still a bona finde spirit-renewing ritual. But I also believe in pilgrimage as a powerful metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler. With a deepening of focus, keen prepartion, attention to the path below our feet, and respect for the destination at hand, it is possible to transform, even the most ordinary journey into a sacred journey, a pligrimage."
--Phil Cousineau, from THE ART OF PILGRIMAGE
"Thinking of those who intend to embark on a journey with a deep purpose, Cousineau explores why travelers plan trips and then, upon getting to their destination, have a sense of unfulfilled expectation. Cousineau suggests that this disappointment results from the way travelers engage with the place, not the site itself. Stories, anecdotes, quotes, vignettes, and practical suggestions from travelers and pilgrims throughout history create a guide to building a personal journey by learning to slow down and linger, savor, and absorb each stage--from the first strands of desire to travel through the journey to the return. To help the reader get involved, Cousineau includes a series of meditations and imagination exercises." --Gail Hudson, Library Journal
"Cousineau shares details of his inspirational vision of travel, which is that every trip should be thought of as a pilgrimage, or "soulful travel." The author insists it is possible to "transform even the most ordinary trip into a sacred journey"; and by "sacred," he means a personal value or ideal that is held close to one's heart and mind and thus elevates the consciousness. In seven chapters, Cousineau describes the "common rites" of a classic pilgrimage as adhered to through the ages, and in the process he suggests ways in which a contemporary traveler can ensure that a trip is a pilgrimage, a life-changing ritual that entails "a deepening of focus, keen preparation, attention to the path below our feet, and respect for the destination at hand." Seeking answers to one's own existence? Cousineau guarantees that the pilgrimage approach is the right path for obtaining those answers." --Brad Hooper, Booklist
"Centuries of travel lore suggest that when we no longer know where to turn our real journey has begun," writes author Phil Cousineau. "At that crossroads moment, a voice calls to our pilgrim soul." Many have embarked upon a pilgrimage, but few have understood its mysteries and possibilities as well as Phil Cousineau does. On one level this is a highly useful guidebook packed with great ideas for enlightened traveling--tape recording local voices, music, and sounds; asking contemplative questions to waitresses and bookstore owners; lighting a traveling candle every morning; making an offering to the local deity. But most compelling is Cousineau's ability to expertly map the interior landscape of a pilgrimage--the sights that lead to insights and the borders that lead to breakthroughs as we trek the exterior landscape of our planet." --Amazon Reviews
Phil Cousineau at Yeats Tower in County Clare, Ireland.
Jack C. visits the Oracle at Delphi, Greece, June 2008.