Walk in a landscape with a specific personal or group intention - as a spiritual practice, way of personal development, artistic expression or activism. You can combine all these in education.
A Pilgrim steps into the unknown and dives into contemplation and dialog with the surrounding environment. The physical effort and rhythm of walking bring him or her into a changed state of consciousness; with the body movement, things start to move also inside.
We did a two-week long pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with a group of twenty youngsters who had grown up in an orphanage or a family with addictions. It was a rite of passage, stepping from childhood to adulthood. We walked as a group, and for the last three days to reach Santiago, we divided for a solo walk. We spent two more days together to share and integrate the experience. Next to the powerful inner journey, the experience of overcoming all the challenges on the way, not giving up and taking care of myself and of others on a practical level was very empowering. A symbolic test of independent life, handling freedom and responsibility.
Half-day walk at the end of a training course – to integrate the experience and find ideas about how to use it back home for my community. Great is to climb a mountain – the overview on the landscape supports also the overview on the topics and outcomes.
Several months pilgrimage to express solidarity with people in a war area, connected with events for local communities along the way.
Pilgrimage can be done even at home – walking in a circular way around something, there and back in line, randomly… This can be introduced online and later there can be space for sharing.
Another way can be recording guidelines for pilgrimage, which can be listened to on the way or guiding people through phone, when they are in nature.
To guide a person or group on a pilgrimage requires not only facilitators skills, but also good logistical preparation - Where do you go? Where do you sleep? What do you eat? It is important to take into consideration who you are walking with and what you want to do on the way so that you choose the proper level of challenge in length and ambition of the route.
In 1993 czech artist František Skála walked 850 km from Prague to Venice to represent Czechia at the 45th Venice Biennale. He exhibited drawings, objects and diaries from this journey.
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