Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Remember my upcoming trip to Spain?

In less than two weeks I will begin my pilgrimage through Spain. It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation—hiking to get in shape, buying new hiking boots, practicing Spanish, changing my money to Euros, booking a hostel in Paris for my first night, getting a voltage converter for my camera and phone, etc. But this is a pilgrimage—what do I do to prepare spiritually? Doubtless on my pilgrimage I will be challenged in many ways, stretched and tested, exposed to all sorts of new experiences, and will ultimately grow as a person. But where do you draw the line between personal growth and spiritual growth? Two people may walk the same path, and for one it’s a pilgrimage while for the other it’s just a hike.

It’s hard to prepare spiritually. It’s easy to push that aspect of my journey to the side.

What I’ve been doing is reading a bit from a couple of my favorite mindfulness books each morning, and noting down passages that resonate with me. I’m trying to be more mindful here, now. I’m trying to feel more connected to the divine—but how does one purposefully make themselves feel connected to the divine? I’m not sure.

So I note down these passages from my favorite mindfulness books. I’m bringing a small notebook with me, and for every day of my trip I’m going to write down a meditation, a prayer, a quotation from one of my mindfulness books, an affirmation: one thought to contemplate each day of my journey. My guidebook has small thoughts and questions for different days of the pilgrimage to go with the spiritual aspect, though I haven’t read these, so I don’t know if I’ll like them.

I realized today that my trip is bookended by Litha (midsummer) and Lughasdah (a celebration of the ripening harvest). They both fall on days I’ll be in Paris, before I head to Spain and when I’m heading back from Spain. I find this wonderful and meaningful. Litha is about growth and blossoming, Lughnasdah is about maturity and abundance.

I’ve considered posting some of these thoughts of mindfulness and spirituality here as I go along my trip (since I’ll be blogging from Spain). But there’s a good chance I won’t, lest I become focused on sharing my spiritual quest and writing about it rather than experiencing my private journey as it happens, being focused on the moment. 

What do you do to feel connected to the divine?


  1. That's amazing! About Litha and Lughnasad.

    To be connected to the Divine...

    - I'm working on this daily "Remembrance" from my Sufi business teacher - I chant the name of the Divine for 15 minutes a day. I think I told you this.
    - Then there's dropping into my heart. I've been doing a course with Hiro Boga and she talks about dropping out of the front of your head and into a middle of head/heart connection. So I raise my awareness a few feet above me, then drop it into my skull, then pull half of it down to my heart. Very good.
    - Honestly, hanging out with David connects me to the Divine. He stops every few minutes to connect with his heart, to connect with my heart.
    - And beauty. Stopping to appreciate beauty. There's been a lot lately.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Rhiannon! Maybe I'll try your suggestions for connecting to the divine.