SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN by Sara E. Morrow Santiago de Compostela’s name and notoriety both come from Saint James the Apostle. It is most famous for being the site where the remains of St. James were found, where religious pilgrimers flock to each year. coque iphone 8 “St. James of the Starry Field” is the local translation for this small, charming city, set in the hills of the north-western province of Galicia, Spain. It’s believed his remains are buried there under the Cathederal’s altar. The history behind the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is interwoven with the story of Christianity. Saint James became the leader of the church of Jerusalem after Jesus’s resurrection. Tradition states that he also traveled to Spain to share the blessed news, then returned to Jerusalem where he was made a martyr. After his death, his body was taken by his followers to the coast and then put on a ship that came ashore in Spain. The body of St. James and two of his disciples were then buried without much notoriety or fuss. In 1813, a Spanish hermit named Pelayo got a vision – a bright light shining over a spot in the forrest. An investigation led to the uncovering of St. James’s tomb in a field, along with two of his disciples. A church was built on top of the tomb site and around this the city of Santiago de Compostela began to grow. Monuments, churches, monasteries, towns and other cities grew along the route to and from there, as well. Also known as the “Way of St. James”, this trek is thought of as the first great Christian thoroughfare and for many centuries drew both the rich and the poor. Hundreds of pilgrims make the journey each year to the Cathederal St. James, in the heart of the city. coque iphone 8 Regarded as a reenactment of the journey to Christ, the hardships along the way welcomed as tests of faith. coque iphone xs max Every year around ten thousand make this arduous journey, which is not easy. It’s a beautiful trek, yet rugged. This ‘camino’ is done by many different religious, including Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists – even those with no religious affiliation but a spiritual desire and curiosity. The trek is done by walking, biking or horseback on the paths of the historic Camino de Santiago. Each year St. James’s day is celebrated on July 25 and when this is on a Sunday, it’s considered an especially special year. coque iphone 2019 What to See: Plaza del Obradoiro – The cathedral’s facade forms part of an extended architectural composition on the a grand square surrounded by public buildings. To the north and south, and in a line with the west front, are dependent buildings of the 18th century, grouping well with it. Those to the south contain a light and elegant arcade to the upper windows, serving as a screen to the late Gothic cloisters. Built in 1533 by the future archbishop of Toledo, the cloisters are said to be the largest in Spain. Obradoiro façade – The spectacular Baroque facade of the cathedral, known as the was added between 1738 and 1750 by an obscure local architect, Fernando de Casas. Made of granite, it is flanked by huge bell towers and adorned everywhere with statues of St. James as the pilgrim, with staff, broad hat and scallop-shell badge. The ground rises to the cathedral, which is reached by a magnificent quadruple flight of steps, flanked by statues of David and Solomon. Access to the staircase is through fine wrought-iron gates marked with a seashell. Romanesque chapel – In the centre, on the level of the Plaza, is the entrance to a the Iglesia Baja (Lower Church), constructed under the portico and contemporary with the cathedral. Pórtico de la Gloria – Entrance to the cathedral is through the magnificent, carved in 1188 by Maestro Mateo and considered one of the finest works of medieval art. The shafts, tympana and archivolts of the three doorways are a mass of sculpture depicting the Last Judgment. On either side of the portal are Prophets of the Old Testament, including Daniel, who seems to be smiling. The arches over the side doors represent Purgatory and the Last Judgment, with Christ in glory presiding in the center. Statue of St. James – This status is below the Christ figure on the central column. coque iphone Since the Middle Ages it has been the custom of pilgrims to pray with their fingers pressed into the roots of the Tree of Jesse below Saint James, and five deep indentations have been worn into the marble as a result. The altar – A blend of Gothic simplicity and 18th-century Churrigueresque exuberance. A bejeweled medieval statue of the saint stands at the altar, which pilgrims greet with a hug upon arrival at the shrine. Those who have travelled over 100km on foot are handed a certificate in Latin called a Compostela. Relics of St. James – The sacred lie beneath the cathedral’s high altar in a silver coffer; they can be viewed from the crypt. Capilla del Relicario (Chapel of the Reliquary) is a gold crucifix, dated 874, containing a piece of the True Cross.
Many religious people pray to the Virgin Mary, regarding her as the blessed Mother who helps us through life’s tough times. coque iphone According to the Bible, she was the mother of Jesus, son of God, thousands of years ago. But what if Mary chose to reappear – where would she do so? According to legend, it would be Lourdes, France in 1858 and this sighting would put Lourdes on the map for both pilgrimers and tourists, alike. Lourdes is a small town in the Hautes-Pyrénées département in southwest France, home of the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France and one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the world – Our Lady of Lourdes. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes incorporates 128 acres of property and 22 places of worship, including a sacred grotto, two basilicas, and a variety of buildings for pilgrims and the sick. Outside the sanctuary, many pilgrims also visit the home of the young visionary, St. Bernadette. coque iphone 8 The small town of only 17,000 inhabitants receives more than 5 million pilgrims and tourists each year due to visions of the Virgin Mother Mary reported by a young girl named Bernadette on February 11, 1858 at what is now called the Grotto of Massabielle. As the story goes, Bernadette had been walking along the River Gave de Pau and got separated from her sisters. Upon seeing Mary, she was initially frightened and grabbed her rosary and began to pray. coque iphone Mary prayed with her. At first, Bernadette was too scared to respond to Mary’s beckoning gestures. coque iphone Three days later, Bernadette returned to the same spot and began a series of what would turn out to be 18 sightings within the next weeks. Mary began to communicate with Bernadette, created a stream from a puddle Bernadette drank from and eventually healed her paralyzed arm. Thus was the first of now many said ‘miracles’ of this spot in Lourdes, France. On Bernadette’s 16th sighting, Mary asked her to request that local priests build a chapel on the site where she and Bernadette had been communing. coque iphone By the final 18th apparition, Bernadette had around 8000 followers who believed, as she did, that indeed Mary, Mother of God, had appeared. coque iphone 8 Finally, in 1871, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was established and a chapel built on the site where Bernadette had her visions. Since then, visitors and religious pilgrimers flock by the millions every year. When the crowds of pilgrims get too much, you can take refuge on the rocky 94m-high pinnacle of the Pic du Jer, which offers panoramic views of Lourdes and the central Pyrenees.
Despite political and religious unrest between Israel and Palestine for over 60 years, they agree on one thing – the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is a sacred space and must be spared from destruction due to their ongoing wars. Temple Mount, on Mount Moriah, is one of the most hallowed religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and is considered a holy site for several different religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all assign special, sacred meaning. Accordingly, Temple Mount is also highly contested as to its exact relevance by each. The Jewish faith considers Temple Mount (Mount Moriah) to be the place where God chose the Divine Presence to rest. According to Rabbi sages and the Talmud, from here the world as we know it expanded into its current form and also God gathered the dust to create the first man – Adam. Christianity believes the Temple had a tremendous role in the life of Jesus. It was at the Temple that Jesus was found and he confounded the Jewish theologians with his knowledge of the Torah. Jesus was said to have propehsized the Temple’s destruction, which happened in AD 70. During the Byzantine era, Jerusalem was a place Christians would pilgrimage to by the tens of thousands to experience the place where Jesus walked. Sunni Muslims consider the Mount to be the third holiest site in Islam. Thought of as the Noble Sanctuary, this is considered to be the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem an ascent to heaven. The Mount is also associated with Jewish biblical prophets that are also venerated in Islam. Temple Mount itself encompasses about 100 different structures from various time periods, such as great works of art, Muslim prayer spots, ached porticos, Muslim religious schools, minarets, and fountains (for both drinking and to wash up before prayer). Beneath the present-day Mount are also substructures, the most well known and largest of which being ‘Solomon’s stables’. Highlights include: • The Western Wall (also known as the ‘Wailing Wall) – One of the four remaining walls surrounding Temple Mount that has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage. The sages state that anyone who prays in the Temple in Jerusalem, “it is as if he has prayed before the throne of glory because the gate of heaven is situated there and it is open to hear prayer” • Dome of the Rock – One of the most outstanding architectural accomplishments in the world and the third holiest place in all of Islam. coque iphone It currently sits in the middle, occupying or close to the area where the Bible mandates the Holy Temple be rebuilt.According to Muslim legend, the Prophet Muhammad ascended from here into heaven and met all the prophets that had preceded him, as well as seeing God sitting on His throne surrounded by angels. coque iphone 2019 • Kas Fountain – Muslims perform ritual ceremonial self-washings before entering the holy sites. The Muslim community of Jerusalem has managed the city since the Crusades, without interruption. Yet Temple Mount is part of the Old City, controlled by Israel since 1967. Both Israel and Palestine claim sovereignty over it and it remains a major source of conflict. As such, freedom to visit the site for all faiths is upheld by law, but for those of the Jewish faith, it’s a touchy subject. soldes coque iphone The Israeli government enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslim visitors. coque iphone 8 Arabs may only enter through one of ten specific, Muslim-only gates in the Old City. coque iphone xs max Today, both Muslims and those of the Jewish faith share responsibility for its safety and preservation – the Islamic community manages the site and Israel provides security. Because of the sensitivity of the site, those of both the Jewish and Muslim faith must follow strict guidelines to times and places for visitation (best to check first if this applies).
Shasta Abbey located at Mt. Shasta, California, is a Soto Zen Buddhist Monastery where I had my inspirational experience that has changed my life. I have been self-studying Buddhism for about 11 years before coming to Mt. Shasta. I was first introduced to Buddhism while in my senior year in high school when we read Siddhartha. I was interested in discovering whether it was possible for one to alleviate suffering in their life and live an existence full of compassion and loving kindness towards others. I did not set a definite course of path to take to Buddhism; I read books by various monks and nuns from a wide-range of sects. I wanted my journey to be all inclusive, so I would take what I liked from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Thich Naht Hahn, Nishitani Keiji, and Aung San Suu Kyi, to name a few. I took vows of refuge in the Tibetan tradition at Columbus KTC Columbus, OH from Lama Kathy Wesley back in March of 2006. My time at the center although brief made me feel as if my choice in Buddhism was the correct one for me and how I wanted to view the world. Whatever was spoken about that I could not quite wrap my head around; I would discard it, because from my viewpoint, as long as I do not hurt another sentient being and I strive to do well, I’m on the right track. That all changed once I discovered Mt. Shasta.
I needed to get away for a bit and reassess my life and figure out a way to deal with the stresses of my life through my spirituality. I searched on line using “Buddhist retreats” as my keywords. I found many, but the reason why I chose Mt. Shasta was because of the fact that they did not charge for participating in their retreats! I was amazed to say the least. The reason for this was that the monks of Mt. Shasta practice and believe in the spirit of Dana-giving and receiving which underlies the true spirit of generosity. I applied on line to go to one of their beginner’s retreat and I was set to go at the end of February.
I took a long bus trip from Albuquerque, NM to Weed, CA were one of the monks came to the visitor’s center in town to pick up myself and a couple of retreatants who happened to be on the bus. The retreat was for 3 days, we stayed at the Abbey’s guest house, had meals together with the guest master and lay residence who were living at the Abbey and participated in assisting monks various activities from helping in the kitchen to preparing meals generously donated by the community (Dana), helping in the guest house, or work in the temple. Our days began at 4:30 a.m. and ended around 7:30 p.m. We had our days planned after the 5 a.m. meditation period, which included the aforementioned activities. Retreats are open to all who earnestly want to learn about the Abbey and the work of the monks.
After the retreat, I decided to stay 9 more days. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings, the knowledge and wisdom the monks offered in a safe and secure place, and be around sincere individuals that were serious about learning more about Buddhism. Shasta Abbey offered spiritual counseling, where all your questions and concerns about Buddhism or life in general could be answered as fully as it can be by the senior monk available. I participated, asking questions that I found along the way during self-study and my time at the Abbey. Then during meditation, I had an image that I have for years tried to repress. I had a suicide in the family 11 years ago that prompted my search for meaning in life and how could someone so dear to me, suffer in a way that suicide was the answer. I could not get this image out of my head for 11 years. I could not sleep at night, despite prescription anti-depressants, sleeping pills, or anxiety medications. I signed up for spiritual counseling after seeing this image again in meditation and spoke to the monk about what was going through my head. She explained things in a way that let me understand what was needed of me to assist with my guilt, anger, frustration, and pain that I was feeling about the situation. I did what she instructed (which involved meditation) and I worked through the tears, the pain, the anguish, and the distorted memories to see the truth, I loved my brother and he did what he thought was the best way to deal with whatever it was he was going through. After coming to terms with that, that night, I slept. I was not plagued by nightmares, or distorted images that haunted my memories. For the next couple days during meditation periods, I came to those thoughts from time to time and sat with them all, not judging them and not pushing them away. I felt lighter. I felt free to just be okay.
I’m so grateful that I found Mt. Shasta. Even today I can have email spiritual counseling. I do from time to time, to get grounded on some issues that I face in everyday life, and even though the monks are busy, they take time when they can to help. The monks inspired me to see that there is no inadequacy within me or others, it’s true I do lapse from time to time, but I always remind myself of the lessons I learned at Shasta Abbey.
3724 Summit Dr
Mt Shasta, CA 96067-9102
Mount Shasta located in Northern California is renowned for its spiritual and mystical qualities. It is a destination for mystics, gurus, sages and curious people from all over the world. Unexplained stories of miracles and spiritual occurrences are endless. This enormous mountain is endeared by all who come to visit or live near her. This dormant volcano is not part of any mountain range. She’s uniquely her own mountain in many ways. With a summit of 14,125 feet above sea level, Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascade Mountain range. Her slopes rise abruptly nearly 10,000 feet above the surrounding landscape.
Those who live in Mount Shasta the small town located on the base of the mountain, will tell you stories of encounters with beings from other times, galaxies and planets. The most common encounters involve beings who do not currently have a human body, including Saint Germain, The White Brotherhood, Lemurians, the hidden city of Telos,and alien landings. But, by far they sense a certain special feeling that comes with being in the presence of Mt Shasta’s spiritual vortex energy. Our ancient ancestors knew a vortex or a gathering place of the earth’s energy was sacred. This special mountain has such a vortex. Ancient cultures considered these vortexes, portals to a higher dimension of consciousness.
If someone was near a vortex it activated and energized their etheric or energetic bodies making it possible for some to become aware of what mystics have discovered…our existence is multi-dimensional. Mount Shasta as well as Sedona, Arizona contain vortexes the average person is able to feel and sense.
Poet Joaquin Miller describes Shasta like this, “Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California.” Native American Indians in the area profess that the mountain is the home of the spirit chief Skell who descended from heaven to the mountain’s summit.
There are many places to explore, places to stay, and services offering spiritual insights into Mt Shasta. The town of Mt Shasta is the base for most explorations. Enjoy this wonderful mystical mountain so close to Los Angeles.
Kerala, regionally referred to as Keralam, is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast. It was formed on 1 November 1956 as per the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 census, Kerala is the twelfth largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts. Malayalam is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram, other major cities include Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam, and Thrissur.
The region was a prominent spice exporter from 3000 BCE to 3rd century. The Chera Dynasty was the first powerful kingdom based in Kerala, though it frequently struggled against attacks from the neighbouring Cholas and Pandyas. During the Chera period Kerala remained an international spice trading center. Later, in the 15th century, the lucrative spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, and eventually paved the way for the European colonisation of the whole of India. After independence, Travancore and Cochin joined the Republic of India and Travancore-Cochin was given the status of a state. Later, the state was formed in 1956 by merging the Malabar district, Travancore-Cochin (excluding four southern taluks), and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.