A desire to connect with the Divine is a part of the human experience--and how we make that connection personally is our spiritual practice; how we access something larger than ourselves as a collective creates a culture. The ways in which the world’s faiths and spiritual movements are enacted is often a window into a country or region’s culture and history--as well as a thread that ties together far-flung places. And common to many religions are sacred sites of deep cultural heritage, places that inspire journeys of pilgrimage.
This collection of stories tells of Spiritual Practices from around the world - from Slovenia to New Orleans, to Ireland to India, we follow those who undertake inner and outer Pilgrimages in their quest for learning. These stories are not merely about spiritual tourism or religious tourism, but rather inspirational tales of the journey to enlightenment and connection to a place of profound cultural meaning..
In this series we uncover the secrets of Mayan healing and Energy; take a look at what a Pilgrimage really is; explore Celtic mythology; and examine the universal human longings and principles that unite different faiths of the world...as well as what divides us.
We hope that these stories of transformation inspire you, as much as they have us in the process of sharing them.
The Maya are a people with rich culture, history, traditions, and a way of life that we can learn much from today. I learned more about Mayan healing as well as the culture in my interview with Jose Santos Tamay who I met at Hacienda Chichen in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. My own journey has shown how much wisdom cultures such as the Maya have to teach us about our lives and how we see them today.
The villagers of San Juan Chamula in Mexico's Chiapas Highlands are skilled textile artists and practice a faith that that mixes Mayan mythology with Catholic tradition. Get a virtual introduction to Chamulan beliefs, which include a strong commitment to community service & tradition that considers pine to have sacred properties. Saint John the Baptist church is a spiritual home for the devoted residents who put no price tag on their beliefs. Travel opens our eyes to both the cultural differences between us and others, as well as the bond of human connection.
Did you know Jewish heritage in the Americas began in the Caribbean island of Curacao? Curacao Synagogue Mikve Israel-Emanuel is the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Western hemisphere.
Guest writer Patricia Ferrer shares her voluntourism experiences in Mexico's San Cristóbal de Las Casas, working with "big man" Sergio Castro, known by locals as “heroe de Chiapas.” Don Sergio is a humanitarian, an ethnologist, a collector of Maya costumes, textile and artifacts, museum curator and a polyglot. Patricia takes us on his life journey, diving into the history and culture of many of the villages in which he has positively impacted.
One of BCD's guiding ideals is the power of listening--to ourselves, to others and to the Universe. In the tiny village of Ullapool on Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands, locals share stories of powerful instances of serendipity. Meet Collen & Richard Lindsay, co-owners of West House, who describe the happy accident behind their B & B & launching the Ullapool Guitar Festival. Be amazed by the incredible story of Polly Hoad, owner of textile shop Unlimited Colour, who weaves a story of devastation, miracles & paying it forward. Be reminded of the power of chance encounters!
Read about the Puerto Rico Santos tradition of Saint Ursula & 11,000 Virgins, the Powerful Hand, and Anima Sola. Delve into the mindset of collectors through visits to Museo de los Santos, the Museum of the Americas & Galeria Botello.
Take a tour of Lafayette Cemetery # 1 in the Garden District with local Sarah, who offers a primer on unique New Orleans' traditions like the ‘second line'. BCD found Lafayette Cemetery # 1 to be unexpectedly fertile ground for fresh ways to look at life. Read on for how New Orleans celebrates & inspires individuality.
In Mexico's Yucatan, near the ancient Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza, ancient rituals are still practiced by J'men, or shaman. In this revealing and inspiring interview, Mayan healer Jose Santos Tamay debunks myths about Mayan beliefs and offers insight on cultural and spiritual concepts that are both profound and exceedingly practical.
Become a part of Malta's colorful celebration of the traditional Catholic holiday of Good Friday. The Maltese express their spiritual beliefs on this occasion with an elaborately-costumed parade in Zebbbug that is filled with purple pageantry and an experience to behold! Let BCD guide you other local Good Friday traditions being practiced in Vittoriosa, one of Malta's 'Three Cities.' BCD scouts out the most authentic experiences for you!
Fascinated by Celtic spirituality? Meet Dara Molloy, a Celtic priest and author who gives you the lay of the land of his adopted home of Inis Mor, one of Ireland’s three Aran Islands. Discover the legends behind the sites & traditions of Inis Mor such as Dun Aengus, Na Seacht dTeampaill & St John’s festival. Let BCD take you on a spiritual journey informing you of local people and sharing their wisdom with you!
Searching for breathtaking natural beauty? Interested in Mayan culture? A fan of hand-made textiles? Let BCD give you the highlights of Guatemala's Lake Atitlan! Meet Rilaj Mam, the spirit guardian of the Tz'utuhil people. Discover the Tz’utuhil legend with a Romeo and Juliet-esque plot! Connect with Angelina, who shares the story behind her art! BCD's insightful reporting gives you the lay of the cultural landscape in a way no other site does.
On the shores of Lake Peipsi in southeastern Estonia, the Old Believers live on the Onion Route; the history behind their chief crop on the Russian/Estonia border has roots in religious reforms. The Old Believer faith is in rich in traditions: clean & dirty sides of the house, sweet tea ceremony, patterns that tell life stories, symbolic grave markers & cherished Slavonic texts.
Can a UNESCO World Heritage site be off-the-beaten-path? Enjoy the peace & tranquility of the ten painted churches of the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus! The village of Pedoulas is home to the Church of the Archangel Michael, rich with ancient iconographic murals. At nearby Kykkos Monastery, meet Father Benidiktos, and learn about a day in the life of a a young monk. Let BCD's in-depth coverage offer you a unique encounter with Cyrpus' cultural and heritage before you travel!
Have you ever sang to meditate? Experience the soul-moving power of singing meditation at the Findhorn spiritual community and eco-village on Scotland’s Moray Firth coast. Within the walls of its Nature Sanctuary, the power of sound, intention and prayer reverberate. The building itself was made with whimsical and wonderful acoustics that helps the daily meditation sound so loud and perfect. Connect with the members of the Findhorn community & let them share their stories of their Taize practice.
To everyone, places of pilgrimage are something different, but for so many Pilgrimage offers a way to connect: to one’s past, to one’s future, to a spiritual meaning, or to a place. We may not always call spiritual journeys a Pilgrimage, but
When we reflect on what spiritual journeys are, these can be a journey inside as much as it is to an outside destination. We hear from those who have been on those spiritual journeys, in all directions.
Our journey through the Troodos Mountains to the Kykkos Monastery, Cyprus was one full of visits to beautiful old Cypriot churches, allowing a glimpse into the heritage of religion and some of the secrets of Kykkos
New Delhi Photographer and Film Maker Benoy Behl shares his adventures across India in search of history and meaning behind art in India, and the incredible discoveries at the Ajanta caves
Ever wonder how other countries celebrate Easter? Or how and where certain universally-practiced traditions originate from? Let BCD share with you Slovenia’s Easter traditions. Get a tour of Tuštanj Castle, owned by Pirnat Family since 1874; learn about the castle’s rich heritage before heading to its 17th century chapel where Easter service is conducted and the traditional Easter baskets of the local townspeople are blessed.
El Camino de Santiago is perhaps one of Spain’s greatest walks, but it’s more than that to Eva Michaelsen: for her El Camino de Santiago has been a teacher in meditation, mindfulness and her purpose in life too, as each journey has new wisdom to reveal.
What is a Pilgrimage? From the mighty Hajj, to Hindu and Buddhist practices of devotion, to the Catholic paths of Europe we explore how a pilgrimage can take many forms, and not always in the ways we might think.
In search of art in Cyprus we found the studio of Myranthi Constantinidou, a beautiful painter in Limassol, specialising in the art of iconography - and of feeling through art
In this interview with author Eric Weiner we asked him about spiritual adventure, searching for god, and the quest to find a meaningful life
On the Island of Aran, Ireland, I met Dara Malloy - a Celtic Priest who helped me discover the world of Celtic Rituals, Traditions, Mythology and even Celtic ceremonies that take place today. This beautiful and wild part of Ireland is home to a rich history, and plenty of examples of forging stronger connections through a tangible sense of connection.
The South East of France is home to Cathar Country, perhaps most famous for its Cathar Castles! France is home to about 20 Cathar Castles in total, and the region is rich in culture and nature too. This is a fabulous place to step back in time and stand in awe of what generations before us witnessed