8 January 2007


This beautiful quote from the writings of the South American writer Paulo Coelho brilliantly explains the working of the process of pilgrimage.

'When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don't even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends upon them. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favour from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you remember for the rest of your life.

At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. That's why a religious pilgrimage has always been one of the most objective ways of achieving insight. The world "peccadillo," which means a "small sin," comes from pecus, which means "defective foot," a foot that is incapable of walking a road. The way to correct the "peccadillo" is always to walk forward, adapting oneself to new situations and receiving in return all of the thousand blessings that life generously offers to those who seek them.'

[Paulo Coelho]

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