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Spiritual Healing Retreat in The Way of St. James

Spiritual Healing Retreat in The Way of St. James

In this modern day of technology, social media, and emails, sometimes people need to get away from it all. It is important to "unplug" every so often. In other cases, perhaps people have suffered trauma, everyday stressors like anxiety and depression. These people need healing in some way, right? They need to heal from the daily afflictions that stress cases, and there is no better way than a retreat. A spiritual healing retreat is often the best remedy for those seeking to unwind from the common reality. There are many ways to go about doing this, but perhaps the best way is to pack up the bags and head out for a retreat somewhere very far from the reality that is life. A spiritual pilgrimage, if you will.

Breaking Away From the Modern Reality


While this is not a commonality for many people today, perhaps it should be. Everyone could use a good dip out of their normal worlds for a bit and experience a moment, or several days, of transcendence in the form of a healing retreat. There are many different kinds of retreats that are spiritual and healing in nature. Often, when someone mentions the word "retreat", especially a spiritual retreat, they often envision a small community tucked away into the hills. Usually, a place like this includes saunas, massages, meditation circles, and various other stereotypically spiritual experiences and exercises.

Connection With the Divine or Higher Self


However, there are more ways in which to become closer to the Divine. Although the aforementioned means are very useful and helpful, there are ways for anyone to take a more radical approach to fully cleanse themselves of the day-to-day activities. More importantly, there are other means to spiritually center themselves. There are spiritual healing retreats that come in the form of pilgrimages, or journeys. While to some, this may feel less like a retreat and more like a European backpacking experience, it is still considered a spiritual healing retreat. It is a spiritual healing retreat in the way of St. James. It is a pilgrimage from one form of self to another form of self. Pilgrimages are spiritual retreats because they allow the traveler a means to connect with the Divine.

Camino de Santiago


While these pilgrimages are not necessarily the Pacific Crest Trail in their level of intensity, they don't have to be incredibly grueling for the traveler to feel like they have gained something in their spiritual journey. An example is the Camino de Santiago, found https://santiagoways.com/en in Spain. It also has trails in Europe that cut through countries like France, Portugal, and Finisterre. These trails are an amazing way to get back to the Source and inspire divinity in those who have either lost it or are seeking it. While these trails are not for everyone, especially those who are more interested in meditation or messages, these trails are a highly gratifying experience for those daring enough to go.

Explore the Spanish Countryside and Expand Your Consciousness


Many of the trails in Europe go through spiritually significant areas. As in the case of Camino de Santiago, pilgrims cut through the Spanish countryside, in beautiful coastal cities and through ancient spiritual and religious areas. Some are guided by spiritual leaders but there is the option to self-guide, which is often a time for self-reflection and connecting to the higher Self. Along the trail in Camino De Santiago, there are many places to see. As it will pass through the Galician countryside, there will be many sites along the way rich in cultural and religious history. Places such as Madrid, Ávila, Astorga, Portomarín, Melide, Arzúa, Santiago de Compostela, Muxía, Finisterre, Noia and many small villages along the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Route

A Cultural Journey


The journey takes an average of eleven days to complete. That is if the person walks an average of five to seven miles a day. There are several rest-stops along the way to regather strength and get food. Much to the traveler's delight, these rest-stops are far from ordinary. These stops are not ordinary, as oftentimes the traveler will notice, that these places are ancient holy places. Food is provided at rest stops and at the beginning and ending. Typically the food is vegetarian and often selected by the religious and spiritual leaders who are in charge of the program. Many cathedrals can be seen along the way, as well as petroglyphs, Castros and dolmens. At the end of the trek, the traveler is rewarded. In the case of the Camino in Spain, the traveler is rewarded with a shell at the "Camino de Finisterre" beach to signify the end of their personal journey. To that end, not only will the pilgrimage be a spiritual journey but it will be a journey deeply seated in the rich culture of Spain's ancient past. Anyone who takes the journey will appreciate this aspect. Even if they did not benefit spiritually or learn anything, which is quite rare, but they will find that there is much to know about the world around them.

Takeaways


While there is no cure for the way technology has shaped our society today, it is always important to take a moment and entertain the idea of taking a pilgrimage. Modern life can be hectic and bizarre at times. No matter what the person has in mind, whether it be spiritual or personal, it is always good to unplug from the modern day and try to connect with a higher power. Whether that higher power is a god or the inner power of the self, everyone should take the opportunity to challenge themselves to a pilgrimage. This journey is taxing and not for the faint of heart, however, it is important to note that there is knowledge everywhere and that to learn one must take a long journey into the unknown to truly uncover who they are. Only then will they find lessons they never knew were in them. Spain's history will uncurl before them and they will have a deeper understanding of not only cultural and historical significance but a deeper understanding of the world around them. The Way of St. James is a journey not soon forgotten by those who take it.


This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.

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