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5 Joseph Campbell Quotes for Initiating a Personal Hero’s Journey

Statue-of-Dante-Alighieri Statue of Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, an exemplary model of Campbell’s hero’s journey. Florence, Italy

One needn’t study Joseph Campbell quotes for long to see how myth is universal—not merely “fake,” but representative of higher truths.

In the context of mythology and sacred journeys (such as those led by Sacred Earth Journeys), the hero’s journey or “monomyth” comes to mind. The hero’s journey is a vast psychological, mythological template of stories involving sets of protagonistic “heroes” that are called to adventure, undergo a set of trials, and return home victorious and thus with boons to bestow on their community or world. The idea of the hero’s journey was spread by various scholars and was eventually popularized by Joseph Campbell via his popular book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, after studying Jungian analytical psychology.

Phil Cousineau, a Sacred Earth Journeys leader and author of The Art of Pilgrimage, drew inspiration from Campbell’s work. The two even worked together in the mid-’80s before Campbell’s death in 1987. Cousineau was a co-screenwriter for The Hero’s Journey documentary film about the life of Joseph Campbell. It won several international awards and was a longtime favorite for PBS viewers. Campbell remains an important influence on Cousineau’s work.

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The Surreal Landscape of Ladakh, India

beautiful-landscape-in-norther-part-of-india-picture-id471925925 Ladakh is one of the most elevated and coldest regions in the world

Ladakh is a mountainous, Tibetan Buddhist haven located in northern India, bordered by the Himalayas in the south and the Kunlun mountains to the north. Ladakh is nestled closely between Pakistan, China, and of course, India. It is in very close proximity to Tibet, hence the large population of Tibetan Buddhists in the area. 

As described by UNESCO, “The region constitutes a Cold Desert biome with harsh climatic conditions, which can be attributed to two factors. One is its location on the leeward side of the Himalayas, which makes it a rain-shadow zone inaccessible to the annual southeastern monsoon winds that sweep the rest of the country, thus creating desert conditions with low levels of precipitation. . .These physiographic peculiarities and ensuing harsh climatic conditions have led to the emergence of a unique Cold Desert ecosystem as well as Culture of the community, which is unlike any other in the world.”

While many might be aware that India contains a cold desert cultural landscape, it’s incredibly beautiful, and even surreal as compared to the rest of India, a country often noted as hot, humid, and overall, tropical. 

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How to Travel Sacredly

back-to-nature-solo-traveler-a-happy-young-woman-tourist-walking-in-picture-id1169892688 How to Travel Sacredly
In the Words of our Sacred Earth Journeys Leaders . . .

There are different levels of experience that are possible while taking the leap and heading abroad as a traveler into this world full of castles, temples, home-stays, and ancient cities. We the travelers ultimately decide whether or not our journeys are sacred. Our level of experience may start with where we stay and the sites we choose to see, yes, but there are other important components than just those. Here’s some advice surrounding how to, in general, travel sacredly.

This advice comes in the form of quotes by none other than the leaders of our Sacred Earth Journeys. Make sure to click the links to check out our journeys videos through which our leaders speak these words!

The first quote is by Freddy Silva. Freddy is a bestselling author and a leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites, and their interaction with consciousness. He has led journeys for us through Mexico, Egypt, and Peru. His words charge our longing for journeys full of ancient mysteries and hidden secrets.

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How to Connect With the Soul of India

ganesha-picture-id536777947 How to Connect With the Soul of India

In India, spiritual seekers come across the Sanskrit term sacchidānanda, that is,consciousness, existence, and bliss as experienced when encountering Ultimate Reality, or Brahman.

In our journey overview video for our February 2021 journey: Shiva Dancing: Sacred South India With Andrew Harvey, Andrew states: “We are children of divine joy. If we build that joy and nourish that joy, it will grow and grow and finally, it will open into total liberation.”

Andrew is the founder of Sacred Activism, a merging of the passion for God and the passion for activism. His statement on being “children of divine joy” is important to think about when considering a journey through India, a foolproof way to water this divine joy so might it blossom into “total liberation.”

Here’s how to best connect with the soul of India. This is critical for connecting with the soul of who we ought to become if we are to cast light through the perilous shadows currently pervading the world.

Embrace the Soul With Monastic Life In an Ashram 

From our past journey at Shantivanam Ashram: taking food in silence
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Healing With Wachuma: Science and Tradition

Flowering Wachuma cacti at dusk. Healing With Wachuma: Science and Tradition

Wachuma is a plant cactus medicine with origins in the ancient Andean Mountains of Peru. The medicine is considered a masculine, Father plant teacher. The journey Wachuma inscribes onto our souls is one that brings us through to our darkest shadows so might we transcend our inner barriers and reach Heaven on Earth. Due to experiences of healing with Wachuma (but also religious subjugation), the Spanish renamed the medicine upon their arrival. They called it San Pedro, “Saint Peter” in English. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus declares to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Wachuma was named after Saint Peter because the Catholics viewed Wachuma as the key to the gates of Heaven. Pilgrims who undergo sacred journeys with Wachuma report dealing with emotional baggage unknown previous to their journeys. They return from these journeys feeling lighter and better able to transcend the weight of their lingering afflictions. 

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How Travelling connects you with your soul

soultravel How Travelling connects you with your soul

The first thing that comes to your mind when someone talks about ‘holidays’, is traveling. People have different hobbies and passions. Some people like to relax at home and play video games, some like to listen to music to relax and others like to take a walk in the park. And then there are some people who live their lives out of a suitcase. These people have to do so because of work related commitments and some do so because of personal love for traveling. 

Not everyone loves to travel but people who have a genuine love for traveling might not always need a reason or even a companion to set their foot out of their home. They find comfort in being uncomfortable and might plan an impromptu trip. Apart from physical and mental benefits, traveling helps you to connect with your soul. The health of the soul is linked with mental strength. To be able to maintain it, you must involve yourself in creative and constructive activities. It requires you to maintain a healthy lifestyle where you are happy, social, and take efforts to make it constructive. The health of your soul is the key to your mental health, and it is directly linked with your life’s endurance.

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Going on a Pilgrimage to Redefine Travel

Soulful Journey Going on a Pilgrimage to Redefine Travel

It was over 600 years ago when Dante, the prolific Italian epic poet and pilgrim, decided on going on a pilgrimage from the mythological forest of his mind into the unknown. In the process, he ventured through the terrifying underworld, yet also acquainted himself with the heavenly spheres. This was all with the guidance of the poets and heroes who helped him become a hero himself. 

And although Dante’s literary pilgrimage resides in the layer of reality we call “myth,” it has much to teach us about going on a pilgrimage ourselves

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A Love Letter from Andrew Harvey to His Most Sacred Places

varanasi-at-sunrise-picture-id905049262 A Love Letter from Andrew Harvey to His Most Sacred Places

I hope everyone has a chance to travel the world and see places that feed them spiritually. Two places very sacred to me, influencing my life and spiritual path, are India and Sri Lanka. My early years in India shaped my sense of unity with all religions. The sights, smells, and sounds of India are like no others. It is quite simply the most transformative place on earth.

My favorite place is Benares, also known as Varanasi. It is on the banks of the Ganges river and a major religious hub. Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here when he gave his first sermon in nearby Samath. Varanasi has been my sacred home for 40 years. Hindus believe that dying here and getting cremated along the banks of the holy Ganges river allows one to break the cycle of life, death, and rebirth and attain salvation. Varanasi is also an important cultural and creative center in India, well known for its silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.

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How yoga refreshes your mind while traveling

holidayyoga How yoga refreshes your mind while traveling

Traveling can be for leisure or work related but in both cases it may create havoc in your daily routine. Frequent traveling is often associated with negative health and mental effects which includes aches and pain in the body, stress, anxiety, exhaustion and sleepless nights. It can be caused due to the change in time zone and daily routine. It takes a toll on your body and you feel less energetic. It takes quite a while to shrug off the jet lag and come into your normal self to enjoy the travel. 

Stopping yourself to indulge in binge eating or eating the unhealthy street food becomes a task. This results in disruption of our healthy habits too, which might lead to weight gain. 

Traveling helps you push your boundaries and break free from the bubble of your comfort zone, therefore, creating many opportunities to evolve as a person and widen your worldview. As it is unlikely that you can hit the gym while traveling, this is where yoga can be of utmost importance as it does not require any equipment. Even if you are not carrying a yoga mat, you can perform some yoga asanas. Yoga helps you to find peace and calm in the chaos. By integrating yoga with your traveling you can have an experience of both worlds and emerge as a transformed person. 

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La Dolce Vita: A Sacred Journey Through Italy

olditaly La Dolce Vita: A Sacred Journey Through Italy

Few other places in the world offer a unique blend of rich history and culture and in such an immensely beautiful setting like Italy does. With the array of endless encounters of historic sites and experiencing la dolce vita, the sweet life, as you wander through markets and taste the local cuisine; we can think of no other place better suited for a spiritual journey like Italy.

Ruins of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
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Deep in the Great Smoky Mountains…

smokeyMt Deep in the Great Smoky Mountains…

“Those who tell the stories rule the world.” — Hopi American Indian proverb

I love striking up conversations with people from all walks of life, especially those who have walked down paths I know nothing about. I try to have these conversations as often as I can, because I am always struck by the wisdom I discover in each and every one.

Earlier this week as my family vacationed at Blackberry Farm in the Great Smoky Mountains, I met a forest ranger named Dwight. Dwight taught me the history of the forests, the wisdom of the plants, and how to remain calm if I ever lost my way in the woods. (He’s got a book called “Lost!: A Ranger’s Journal of Search and Rescue” that I look forward to reading.)

I also met a vegetable gardener named John. John fell in love with vegetable drawings when he was a young boy and parlayed his interest into becoming one of the greatest gardeners in our country. (He’s also got a new book coming out that’s all about his journey to preserve our roots.) Ask John about tomatoes or garlic or seeds and he will give you a history lesson on each and tell you what to eat, when. (Only eat tomatoes when they’re in season, which is right now, he said. Otherwise, you’re eating engineered food.)

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5 Ways Taking a Sacred Journey Inspires Sacred Activism

sacredactivism 5 Ways Taking a Sacred Journey Inspires Sacred Activism

Sacred Journeys are so much more than an opportunity to explore other countries and cities, they often include sacred site tours and are a means for a spiritual travel experience that allows for the exploration of self. Sacred journeys often provoke participants to reflect on not only themselves but their contribution to global civilization.

This marriage of spirituality and action is a concept one of our journey leaders, Andrew Harvey has spent much of his life working around. Andrew uses the term Sacred Activism to describe this concept of compassion-in-action that is the combination of spiritual knowledge, and meaningful action to create positive change in the world.

Here are 5 Ways Sacred Journeys Inspire Sacred Activism:

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The Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Mystery of Portal Tombs

poulnabrone-dolmen-the-burren-county-clare-ireland-picture-id133617331 The Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Mystery of Portal Tombs

Poulnabrone dolmen is an example of a portal dolmen or portal tomb, not to be confused with passage tombs such as Newgrange! Dolmens are found in Ireland and throughout the world and are generally characterized as a single-chamber megalithic tomb, often consisting of three or more upright stones (megaliths) supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table). (1)


Poulnabrone dolmen on the Burren plateau in Ireland is a classic example of a portal tomb. Photo: Sacred Earth Journeys participant David Chasis

What is a dolmen?

Dolmens are thought to have been ancient tombs or burial markers and also served as places for ritual and worship although their exact purpose and significance is still debated by scholars and researchers. There are dolmen sites throughout Europe and Asia, including the dolmen Er Roc’h Feutet (Roch-Feutet) in Carnac, France, the Monte Bubbonia in Sicily, several in Gochang, South Korea and in Kerala, India.

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Japanese Zen – An Inward Journey

fuji-mountain-and-kawaguchiko-lake-in-morning-autumn-seasons-fuji-at-picture-id932561100 Japanese Zen – An Inward Journey

We’re looking forward to sharing our Scenic Zen Journey to Japan with Craig Marshall: Explore Japan’s Spiritual Traditions and Natural Fall Beauty with you this autumn. There is no better place to look inward, discover personal insights, and experience a calm reverence than the Land of the Rising Sun. Our journey has been planned to take you inward as you explore the vast landscapes and ancient traditions of this beautiful, storied island nation.

Before you embark on this enlightening experience, we thought it would be fitting to dive into the school of Zen, it’s historic routes in Asia, and how it is best appreciated in the majesty only found in Japan.


Zen is a school of thought that originated in Asia from the teachings of the Buddha and his meditation principles. For over two thousand years it has been a practice allowing people to explore their inner potential through meditation, self-control, and appreciation for the beauty of our world. The Buddha developed the practice in order to end suffering and help people find happiness, not through the material world, but from a focus on the self-actualized through daily experiences. As tradition has it, the practice represents a direct bloodline of spirituality between the Buddha and ourselves today.


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The relationship between Buddhism and food in Sri Lanka

Traditional fishermen at the evening near Galle in Sri Lanka. The relationship between Buddhism and food in Sri Lanka

If you stand in the middle of a market in Sri Lanka your senses will be dancing. The dry heat and brightness of the sun radiate off the bright colours of fabrics. Merchants voices ring out over the crowds promoting their wares. Amongst this buzz of the market, the spices are the real star of the show.

Cloves, cardamoms, nutmeg, pepper, vanilla, ginger, lemongrass, citronella, turmeric, and curry leaves will be laid out in colourful displays that fill the air with their heavenly aromas. What you may also see is the sight of silent monks doing what appears to be begging for food. In the religion of Buddhism, monks relieve themselves of wealth and worldly possessions and commit their life to the spiritual paths of their community. What we may see as begging is actually a sacred and respected practice of giving and receiving. In Buddhist communities, monks are responsible for the spiritual well being of the community members and the community is responsible for the physical well being of the monks.

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5 Tips on How to Journal While Travelling

traveljournal 5 Tips on How to Journal While Travelling

Documenting a trip makes for a great keepsake, but it can also be a powerful tool for self-reflection, turning any journey into a spiritual one. In this article, we share 5 tips on how to journal while travelling.

As best-selling author, filmmaker, and tour leader Phil Cousineau reminds us in his book to the Art of Pilgrimage, The Art of Travel: Journal, “by honoring our travel experiences through writing stories, poems, songs or creating sketches or other artwork, we can transform virtually all our travels, whether around the world or around our backyard, and make them more meaningful.”

How will you remember your travels? As a blur or as a vision?


In this blog, we share 5 tips to make a meaningful travel journal.

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The Benefits of Going on a Spiritual Healing Vacation

afro-girl-meditating-with-glow-over-her-head-picture-id874146814 Take time from your busy schedule to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.
This guest blog post features Harper Reid. Harper is a content writer and has a great passion for travel. Her work includes articles such as ‘Five Ideas for Every Traveller on How to Enjoy India’. In this post, Haper shares with us the benefits of going on a spiritual healing vacation.


Take time from your busy schedule to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.
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How to Pack for Travel Bliss: A Guide to Worry-Free Travel Through Packing Versatile Essentials.

That’s it. You’ve finally booked that relaxing vacation and now it’s just a week away. The question of what to pack makes you a bit nervous and you’re wondering what to do. How will you pack for the possible weather changes and all the activities you may want to do when you’re there? What if you pack too much and you’re lugging around all these extra items? Fear not, this article will teach you what to do to achieve that feeling of bliss before you even arrive at your destination. 

Yes, you can travel with just a carry-on. This requires a little extra planning but it can be a true luxury if you’re traveling to more than one destination. A sturdy and comfortable backpack isn’t just for jumping from hostel to hostel. It is easier on your back and often has more space than a typical carry on suitcase. There are lots of second-hand options that will serve just as well as getting a brand new one. This all depends on where you want to allocate your travel budget. Find a thin, small day bag to use when you’re out exploring during the day so you can leave that backpack where ever you’re staying.

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10 Tips to Care for Your Soul: At Home and on the Road

woman-sitting-on-her-suitcase-waiting-for-the-sunset-picture-id515672638 10 Tips to Care for Your Soul: At Home and on the Road

Often our plans for our days are full of errands, chores, don’t-forgets, and the usual chaos that makes up everyday life.

How many times have you been right in the middle of a hectic day and longed to be back at your favorite travel destination where you felt calm and your soul was at peace? We so often mistake this feeling for wanderlust, or a need to get away from it all. What if you were able to experience that feeling of peace from your last journey and bring it into your everyday life and all your future travels?

The reason that we often feel more at peace while traveling is because we are nourishing our soul. Filling it full of love and appreciation. We begin to feel more in balance with the world as a whole and appreciate what we have at home. This is just one of the many benefits of travel and spiritual journeys alike. Here are 10 ways you can tap into that feeling of happiness and peace in your soul when you’re at home and next time you are traveling.

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7 Tips for More Sustainable Travel

woman-holding-picture-of-airplane-in-sky-picture-id142021204 7 Tips for More Sustainable Travel

Do you worry about the impact of your travel?

According to National Geographic, sustainable tourism is based on three main pillars:

  • Employing environmentally friendly practices, such as reduce, reuse, recycle;
  • Protecting cultural and natural heritage, such as reducing our impact on historic buildings and endangered species
  • Providing tangible social and economic benefits for local communities, such as buying local and upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples

Our efforts now can have a lasting effect to preserve our environment and cultures

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