How to Approach Sacred Sites

The experience of a sacred place begins before a pilgrim arrives at the location.


In the months prior to your journey read about the place you will visit, and begin to journey in your imagination.

When you reach the immediate area or city of the pilgrimage site, make the conscious mental effort to approach the shrine with the with the focused intention that you are going to plug into the power of place as you would an electrical appliance into a wall socket. The metaphor is very helpful to embody as it actually predisposes you to a more intense connection with the sacred site. The go to the site with a free and open mind. Maybe you will wander around first and then meditate, or perhaps it will be the other way around. Alternatively, you may take a nap or pray or play. There are no rules. Simply let the spirit of the place and your own presence come into a relationship, and then let it go, letting it be whatever it is.


The energy transference at power places goes both ways: earth to human and human to earth. The wondrously beautiful living earth gives human beings subtle infusions of spirit, and as pilgrims, we give the earth something like planetary acupuncture in return. True, the power places were discovered mostly in the past, but they remain vital today, still emanating a potent field of transformational energy. Open yourself to this power of cosmic grace. Let it touch and teach you, while the planet is in turn graced by your own love.


Excerpted from the book SACRED EARTH, Places of Peace and Power, by Martin Gray