Iona is sacred land and people make pilgrimage here to soak of these stories, hoping that something of this sacred soil will stick and have a profound impact on their personal lives. And my hunch is that there are many more sacred sites all around us, even in our own urban neighborhoods, if only we would pay attention.Read More
The journey itself to Iona makes this place unique; it is long, quite complicated and even relatively uncomfortable for the urbanite who is accustomed to quick and easy travel. This distance provides the perfect pilgrimage process, for it truly requires a removal of oneself from all that is familiar and supplies a lengthy trek-full of obstacles, no doubt! Once there, one finds a sparsely populated island, with almost no cars and a large abbey, whose structure appears to have dropped from the heavens onto this topographically small and relatively insignificant place. Sheep outnumber the residents and the sunlight plays on the hillsides in the most magical ways. One senses almost immediately Iona is indeed a "thin space" – that brushing up against the Divine is inevitable.Read More
It has been a joyful opportunity to share about my pilgrimages to Iona, Scotland and further reflections on the Arrival stage of pilgrimage. It always blesses and challenges me to see not just these trips as sacred, but every day of our life. Read on for a piece I wrote for A Sacred Journey that goes deeply into what meets you at the place of your dreams and your desires.
The Sacred Island of Iona is riddled with fables, legends and lore. Around every bend you encounter places that are linked to a history deeper than our own and stories that reverberate with both the whisking wind and the beat of angels wings. While we came here keenly aware of the mysteries that shroud this island, our time on Iona was strengthened by opportunities to pull apart the veiled sacred sagas and see behind the curtain the very real people and relationships that have curated all that Iona is known for today.Read More
The pilgrimage around Iona visits places of sacred significance and historical importance on the island. There are 18 sites in all and can take nearly all day to get to each one. Our group broke the pilgrimage up in a few days-hitting the Abbey's specific spots while we did our tour and hiking up Dun I on a quiet afternoon-so that we could enjoy the heft of the hiking down to the south end of the island to really spend some meaningful time at St. Columba's Bay and enjoy the reflections at holy sites along the way.Read More