Here We Go…Again
Our last blog post was in March, 2014. We had just ended our 14 month journey through the US and Canada and finally settled in San Luis Obispo, California. After all that traveling around from place to place, we have loved having our own bed every night and our daily routines. We love our new community and our new friends. Already we’ve grown quite comfortable in our somewhat predictable lives. But, for some reason, we seem to not be able to sit still for long. The title of that last blog was “Is the Journey Ever Over?” And, of course, the answer is never.
The time has come for yet another adventure. This trip won’t be a year in our SUV, this time we are going on a six-week spiritual pilgrimage to Bali and India. And just like on our last adventure, we invite you to travel along with us. We intend to share with those of you at home (still in your comfortable beds) our adventures as we travel by planes, trains, and automobiles around Bali and India. Part of the joy of the journey is sharing it with others. Won’t you come along?
A Spiritual Pilgrimage
Note: This is not a tourist trip or a vacation. This is a spiritual pilgrimage.
A spiritual pilgrimage is a trip taken to physical or spiritual spaces which causes the traveler to grow, change, and/or evolve in some fashion. It is undertaken with a measure of faith that the universe will provide, with the intention that the person will not return unchanged, and with awareness that everything encountered on the path is relevant. ~ www.kelliesparta.com
This journey is for the purpose of deep personal growth via visiting and learning about great sacred and spiritual sites. Throughout most of our journey we will be traveling with Atum O’Kane, a spiritual teacher who leads pilgrimages throughout the world. Atum holds a doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology and has focused his work on the depth psychology of Carl Jung. He is a senior teacher in the Sufi Order International where he served as the Secretary General for twelve years and he has co-taught with Zen Buddhist teachers in an interfaith dialog for over ten years. He was mentored by Reb Zalman Schachter, founder of the Spiritual Eldering Institute.
On this pilgrimage, under Atum’s guidance, we will first visit the enchanted island of Bali. Not only will we see some of the beautiful temples of this Hindu country, we will also closely and reverently observe the daily practices of the people of this deeply spiritual land.
Next we will travel to India, where we will visit the tombs of great Sufi masters in Delhi. In Bodh Gaya we will sit under the bodhi tree where Buddha found enlightenment, and then we will wade into the Ganges River in Varanasi – a site that some consider one of the holiest places in the world. We will also travel to Agra, the site of the majestic Taj Mahal,
In each of these sacred places, we will participate in meditations, teachings, spiritual practices, and creative exercises designed to deepen and enrich the experience. So you see, a grand journey awaits. And it’s not just a journey to a distant land, it’s a journey to find the sacred – a journey to find the soul of a land, of a people, and maybe even our own.
Finally, We’ve Arrived
Yesterday we arrived in Bali. The trip was difficult. A one hour flight to LAX, a fifteen hour flight to Hong Kong, a five hour flight to Dempensar, Bali, and a two hour car ride to Ubud where we will be staying for the next two weeks. I already dread the return flight to SLO. However, the arduous journey was worth it. Bali is magical.
We arrived a few days early before we begin our program with Atum. We wanted some time to recover from traveling and to acclimate ourselves to the area. (Of course, this means a couple of massages and some shopping at the local vendors.)
We actually aren’t staying in Ubud. Though a wonderful city, it is bustling and crowded with tourist and tourist prices. Instead we are staying at the Melati Cottages in Penestanan in the Ubud district. It’s an exhilarating 20 minute walk into Ubud. At first glance, it feels dangerous with the narrow roads, many cars and scooters, and no sidewalks. But after awhile, you begin to notice there is a rhythm to the chaos. It all just seems to work.
This area feels a bit more authentic and charming than downtown Ubud. I am having reverse sticker shock here. Imagine this: A 90 minute massage costs $12 US dollars (including tip). Our cottage including breakfast is $40 US dollars per day. Our evening meals have been averaging about $10 for the two of us. And local clothing and jewelry are just a few dollars. One could get carried away with all the shopping and the dining.
But that’s not why we’re here. This is a pilgrimage.
Tomorrow we begin our journey into the sacred. Along with about twenty other pilgrims, we will start a 12 day immersion into the soul and the spirit of Bali. This adventure promises to be quite meaningful and beautiful. Look for our future blog posts. We will share pictures, experiences, teachings and personal insights. We hope you enjoy what we share and we would love to hear back from you in the comments below.
Til next time…with love, Kathy and Michael
35 Responses to “Here We Go…Again”
Adorable are you two… I’ll very much enjoy taking this spiritual journey with you — tell your 20 pilgrims I’m a loyal “Plus One” in Charleston, SC, eagerly awaiting your word and imagery…
I am loving your adventures and living vicariously through your travel log! Sending you many good blessings on this adventure … and looking forward to the stories!
Sounds like an amazing journey! India was amazing & can only imagine Bali being incredible! Safe travels and live and hugs from C-town!
Miss you already and enjoy enjoy reading about your current adventure!! Xo
Miss you already and enjoy reading about your current adventure!! Xo
Am so grateful to be included in this blog post. Jon & I spent a month in Bali in 2013. We got scuba certified, visited temples, & loved the rhythm, spirituality, & heart & soul of the people. I’m so looking forward to joining you & Atum in India in just 2 weeks. Many blessings on your journey!
Oh so excited to see that you will be sharing your experience with us through your blog. And I am envious of a $12 massage but well deserved after your long travels.
Thanks for including me on your blog so I can follow along on your journey. All the best and looking forward to your stories.
Thanks for including me in your travels.
Thanks for sharing. I will be following along on your amazing journey. Linda
Looking forward to following your next journey! Safe travels
I was just thinking (with my heart) about you both!! What a wonderful adventure to embark on.
When you ‘invited us to travel along with you’ I got excited! …. thinking ‘when?’ ‘Maybe I could make that happen!”I’ve been drawn to go on a pilgrimage!… and one with Atum
and Kathy and Michael! Wow!’ Haha! I guess I take things literally instead I will thoroughly enjoy travelling along with you via your wonderful posts and the place in my heart that you both live! Love and safe journey to you…
Kelly (from hollyhock)
Love that you two are going on this journey together…I’m reading “Walking Home” by Sonia Choquette, a memoir about her own pilgramage on the El Camino. Peaceful wishes and heart openings for you and Michael on your journey.
What a treat to enjoy your trip with you! Thanks!!
Wow..so happy for you both my dear heartfriends . Really excited about joining you in spirit. Thank you for including me…Can’t wait for more. be safe and enjoy all that is given.
Many blessing, Brenda
Oh, so looking forward to you pilgrimage, pictures, experience!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, most auspicious trip!
It is good to hear from you again, and to hear of your adventure. I so look forward to hearing about the pilgrimage, as I travel along with you in spirit. Be safe.
Blessings to the both of you.
Thank you so much for including me! I am thrilled with this news and wish you peace and beauty. Sounds more comfy than where we met!
Kathy, I’ve been thinking about you lately, and hoped we would meet up at the Womens’ Symposium. I’m very excited for you and look forward to hearing more as you journey further. Many blessings.
Dear Kathy and Michael, I look forward to journeying with you again. I know it will provide a pilgrimage for me through your eyes, your heart and your writing. Thanks for inviting me to journey with you…again.
What a TREAT to see this message and invitation from you today! I totally lost you the last time you traveled–had a busy year of my own at that time–good–but busy! Hopefully, since I am RETIRED, I can keep up with you on this adventure! Love you and would love to see you sometime–any chance of traveling to South Carolina again in this lifetime??
Kathy & Michael, I am so excited to hear of your new adventure, sounds amazing…I will join you in heart & spirit. Safe travels and enjoy the ride! Hugs, Barb
I met Kathy and Michael on their first journey. Now I have made a true friend and can live this trip vicariously through her (Kathy but also Michael). It will be great to have her share this experience and maybe some insights. Travel safe…….aloha!
Hi Kathy and Michael–May your spiritual growth encourage others to seek their own spiritual enlightment…Happy Traveling, learning and growing in the spirit.
Again, thanks for sharing your amazing pilgrimage…
With you.. XO
So funny, I have friends that own a winery in Paso Robles and I was just
there a month ago . We went through San Luis a few times. So excited for
all of our travels . I think of you often and wish you well.
Thanks for including us on the ride…It brings me back. Your temple here is being honored…:)
Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences! What a blessing that you can take these trips in your life. Namaste!
This is an area of the world that I will never be able to visit and I love seeing and hearing about your journey. Take all your worries and send them somewhere else where they can worry about themselves!
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