I often feel the need for spiritual pilgrimages. When I feel like I am becoming too imbalanced from day to day life and problems, there is a part of me that seeks a restorer. I have been blessed with the ability to disappear and go seek what it is that I need, no matter where that may be. I have traveled to other countries to seek spiritual balancing.
A spiritual pilgrimage is my own quest for truth, rebalancing, reviving, and personal evolution. This is a time where I can nurture my spirituality. I am not surrounded by many people who share the same spiritual views as I do and there is nothing more important to me than my spirituality. The people most intimately in my life have completely different beliefs. I am not mainstream. My views are not dependant on a religion or on religious teachings, but appears to parallel many religious and spiritual beliefs without prior instruction. My views come from what was and continues to be placed in my heart. My views are simple: love, peace, unity and the fact that we are all connected. Each one of our thoughts and actions affects the whole. This is similar to the butterfly effect. The flutter of butterfly wings; such a seemingly innocent act, yet do we know if that is not the catalyst that causes the tidal wave across the world?
One of my recent spiritual pilgrimages took me to New Mexico, where I found el Santuario de Chimayó. There is something very special about the town of Chimayó. The town name is derived from Tsi-Mayoh, the Tewa Indian name for one of four sacred hills that soar above the valley and mark the cardinal directions. This town, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is located in the fertile valley of the Holy Cross River. Chimayó is home to two famous churches that are the source of constant healing pilgrimages.
My focus was the Santuario de Chimayó, also known as the Lourdes of America. This is a little church famous for spontaneous healings. Stepping onto the land where the church resides, the energy is apparent. This is an attractive spot for people in the physical and spirit. Being inside the church, there is a feeling of reverence. Statues and pictures of Jesus on the cross are abundant. In 1814, a man named El Potrero discovered a crucifix buried near the place where people freely gathered the magical healing dirt. Every time the crucifix was removed, it was mysteriously returned to the same spot originally found. The church was then constructed on that site. No matter where your belief is about Jesus and the cross, there is an energy that calls for reverence surrounding these images.
Walking through the rooms, discarded crutches from people that experienced spontaneous healing line the walls. The holy dirt in the far back room is where many healings take place. While it is said that the red dirt in this room never runs out, it is common knowledge from the locals that the dirt is brought in from the mountain and blessed to replenish the room. This does not appear to detract from the power of belief in people experiencing healings. While I am not sure that I experienced any apparent healing, and not all people do, I do feel stronger in who I am, and maybe that is a healing all on it’s own.
I will end this with a saying displayed on a wall of the church,
“If you are a stranger, if you are weary from the struggles in life, whether you have a handicap, whether you have a broken heart, follow the long mountain road, find a home in Chimayó.”