Saturday, December 2, 2023

Questions for the Pilgrim at the Start of the Day

Curiosity is an essential posture for the pilgrim and a trademark perspective for any seeker.

It is wondering (pondering) that fuels wonder (awe), after all, and both are necessary to propel us forward on our journeys both at home and abroad. The curious pilgrim is eager to engage their journey’s unfolding and is open to wherever the path might lead. 

To cultivate the curiosity of the pilgrim, begin each day by exploring the following questions:  

1. Where am I located?

When it comes to the practice pilgrimage, location doesn’t simply refer to a pilgrimage destination or the stops that are made along the way. It also includes your inner landscape—where you are located emotionally, spiritually, mentally, relationally, and more. When you begin the day by noticing your inner landscape, you acknowledge your internal terrain in all its complexities with the awareness of the pilgrim, knowing that this terrain always influences the path ahead.

2. What is my quest?

Once you acknowledge where you are internally located, you can more clearly engage your quest. Some days this process might spark questions, indicating that a new quest awaits. At other times, this might be an invitation to realign with a quest you are already on and renew your commitment to the task at hand. When you name your quest, you set your intention for the journey to come. 

3. What do I bring with me?

In naming your quest and setting your intention, it is important to recognize what you are carrying with you as you set out. When it comes to your internal journey, what experiences, longings, and fears accompany you throughout your day?

4. What am I called to leave behind?

As you examine what you bring with you on your journey, now is the ideal time to identify what doesn’t serve you before the day truly begins. Knowing what you carry with you, what can you set aside in order to lighten your load? This surrendering is an essential part of your quest.

5. What lies on the path ahead?

Now that you’ve explored your inner landscape, named your quest, and identified what you bring with you on the journey and what you can leave behind, it’s time to look ahead. Looking forward to what the day might bring helps you to better anticipate any challenges that await.

6. What actions will I take to support my journey?

Knowing what challenges might lie on the path ahead allows you to discern from the start what tools will be useful and what actions might be necessary to help you remain open to the journey and aligned with your quest.

7. How will I greet all that crosses my path?

While we might do our best to prepare for wherever the day—and our journey—might take us, we will always be met with surprises along the way. Though the journey will undoubtedly contain twists, turns, and unexpected encounters, one thing is certain: the pilgrim knows that anything that crosses their path is fodder for the journey. How will you choose to posture yourself in order to view these unexpected encounters instead as informative guides?

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