It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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The Surreal Landscape of Ladakh, India

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

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

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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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

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

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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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…

“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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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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5 Ways Peru can heal your Mind, Body and Soul

What makes a journey to Peru so satisfying and perfect for natural healing? How does a vacation help heal and transform us? Here we look at some of the vital ingredients that make Peru such an important place for sacred travel, healing, and transformation.

1. The Sacred Medicine of the Andes

San Pedro (also known as Wachuma) is a sacred cactus native to the Andean mountains of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Along with Tobacco, Ayahuasca, and Coca, it is one of Peru’s most sacred plants and has been used since 1300 B.C. to heal and expand consciousness. The medicine is typically prepared as a tea; pieces of the stem are boiled for a few hours, and once the liquid is cooled it is taken orally. It is known as a gentle but powerful plant and can be used as a tool for meditation and self-awareness. It is very important to work with this medicine as part of a sacred ceremony led by an experienced Healer or Medicine Man/Woman, and with the protection of the ancestral spirits.

Read the Medicine Hunter’s account of using San Pedro

Our group at the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

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Five Benefits of Spiritual Travel

The world and our lives can rush past us at remarkable speeds. We strive to find time to meditate, read, pray and learn but it can be hard to carve out time for these important spiritual practices as the demands from day to day life keep propelling us forward.

When was the last time you were able to sit in peace and feel connected to the universe? To relax without the interrupting pings of electronic notifications and constant pull of responsibilities? Taking time for yourself and embarking on a spiritual journey can give you back that feeling of connectedness and peace. A spiritual guide can help you discover some of the most sacred places that this beautiful earth has to offer can aide you in reconnecting with your inner self and all the peace the world has to offer. Read on to discover five benefits of spiritual travel.


Embark on a Sacred Earth Journey to discover new cultures and customs.

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History and Mystery of Peru’s Sacred Grounds

Peru has a deep pool of intricate history that was born by turmoil and the beauty of its people. Anyone fortunate enough to visit this country can witness some of the precious remains of a time and a people dedicated to their higher being and spiritual journeys. These were the Inca people. Travel to this beautiful land to discover hidden portals to the gods, underwater cities, and a secret oasis

A History of Turmoil and Preservation

The earliest Inca empire dates back to the 1400’s and may have been the largest and most sophisticated early empire in the Pre-Columbia Americas. The Incas had developed the largest military, administrative, and architectural systems in the world. They worshipped the elements and their lives were ruled by the gods of the earth.

In 1542 the Spanish invaded the Inca territory and so began the early days of the crumbling of an empire. During this invasion, the Spanish sought out as many Inca monuments, villages, and holy places to destroy them in an effort to diminish their beliefs and customs. However, to enter a land without understanding the culture meant they could not possibly diminish the Incas deep-rooted beliefs nor stomp out the undeniable magic of the land.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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