Easter weekend draws nearly 40,000 people walking a holy pilgrimage to the El Santuario de Chimayo church in northern New Mexico, just outside the town of Espanola.
A pilgrimage is a journey of the body and soul. Regardless of religion, it is an effort to become closer to God. A pilgrimage is sometimes undertaken to pray for God’s intercession in our lives or as thanks for an intercession that has been granted. Often, though, a pilgrimage represents nothing more (or less) than our desire to let God guide our footsteps and nourish our souls. A pilgrimage should not be undertaken lightly but neither should it be undertaken in fear. It is intended to be a journey of joy and fulfillment.
Since I am new Santa Fe, it was a delight to see the dedication these people have walking toward El Santuario de Chimayo on Friday for many, many miles along the highway as part of their devotion and tribute to God.
The Santa Fe area has been a spiritual mecca since Native Americans arrived in AD900. The wide open spaces and beautiful landscapes surrounding Santa Fe are conducive to feeling connected to the earth and skies and therefore, God. In Ana Pacheco’s newest book, A History of Spirituality in Santa Fe, The City of Holy Faith, I learned how over 60 different religions and their spiritual beginnings found their way into what has become a high-mountain metaphysical community. This is an easy read and if you enjoy reading about the history of this area, I recommend it highly.
As of late, I have been studying meditation techniques from Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship. I love the calmness and clearness that comes with constant meditation while reaching out for God’s guidance. I may not be participating in the pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo this weekend, but I am following my inner wisdom toward wholeness and a sense of well-being that only arrives when one is at peace.
Sri Mrinalini Mata, of Self-Realization, adds, “Easter, if celebrated according to its true spiritual significance, is therefore a time for greatest joy, for realizing anew that a divinely joy-filled life is the result of practicing resurrection daily– in our attitudes, actions, and the way we relate to others.”
After all, it is the journey of feeling God’s love that is the first step toward becoming a better person. Treating others with kindness and respect go a long way toward making your life more peaceful and enjoyable. I hope you take the time to listen to the beautiful song below by Scott Kalechstein- The Eyes of God and may this Easter weekend bring you the magic of love and a clearer, healthier perspective into your life.