Sunday Service: Experiments in Pilgrimage

Peter Kowalke

Week of Oct 11 – 17, 2015

I’m really excited about American Vedanta’s 2016 tour. If you live in Ohio, Seattle, India, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Thailand or Vietnam, make sure you check out our tour schedule and reach out so we can connect while in town.

Normally we publish spiritual talks here from New York City, but once a year we visit other parts of the world. Our roadshow starts soon, and it should be the best one yet.

Speaking of travel, this week we bring you a spiritual talk about pilgrimage. Experiments in pilgrimage to be specific. I wrote this in 2012 while in West Bengal.


Peter Kowalke


KamarpukurThis Week’s Spiritual Talk

Pilgrim Power

By Peter Kowalke

What is holy?

I’ve been visiting lots of “holy” places in and around Calcutta the past few weeks, mostly related to the Ramakrishna movement. Initially I thought of them as historically significant sites with a religious character. A spiritualized Gettysburg or Valley Forge, so to speak. But then I had a moment in one of the holy places. Ideas came into my mind from nowhere, the kind of spiritual insight you imagine the angel Gabriel whispering in the ear of Muhammad, or the kind of insight that spontaneously came to the Buddha under the bodhi tree.

I’m not comparing myself with Muhammad or the Buddha, and there were no fantastical “visions.” But there was a moment. It got me thinking.

(read more)


Video of the Week

Which Reality Are You Choosing?

Finding lasting happiness. Applying the Bhagavad Gita to daily life. Learning about the history of Vedanta in the U.S. These are some of the topics covered at American Vedanta’s YouTube channel. We curate a list of spiritual videos that will help advance your spirituality and expand your mind. When wanting spiritual videos, give our YouTube channel a look.

We also recommend other resources such as Booksaudio lectures and web sites, among other resources.


Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

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