An Eclectic Pilgrim

An eclectic pilgrim

Research into religious pluralism

I travelled extensively through India as an eclectic pilgrim. Eventually investigating the many schools of yoga in 1996 as well as getting to observe and even participate in two Kumba mela festivals: 1989 Alahabad and 2003 Ujain.

Kumbamela
Ujain 2003

The very sense of pilgrimage seemed odd from living in a secular advanced consumer based society. The default was to consume ashrams. A correlate might be a shopping mall experience. As a seeker of rarefied conscious states I began to admire the pilgrim. It opened up a mode of authentic enquiry into the nature of consciousness.

I happened on a pilgrimage in Vrindavan whist traveling the sub continent. The mass of travellers who trod a path for a mysterious experience suggested a novel approach. Consciousness from a humanistic perspective rather than a purely deterministic yogic approach adds a set of variables. I had begun to read widely again after my years as a Brahma Kumaris (wiki) and so trans-personal psychology and anthropology of religion were on the radar to further investigate academically the possibility of life as an eclectic pilgrim.

An eclectic pilgrim.

Upon return from my Indian eclectic ashram odyssey the spirit of Indian travel was running through my veins. It was soon after arrival in Brisbane that I soon moved to Kuranda and set up a studio on a hippy styled community. It was at that time I became aware of a Indian styled spiritual community based on Sathya Sia baba at Marry farms about an hour from where I set up a base camp. The financier was a young man that due to an insurance claim on an accident could fund the project. It was from there that I met people who were into travels through India. There were a mixed set of ideologies under the banner of Hindu fraternity of seekers including ISKON (WIKI) advocating sacred songs, members of Osho advocating conscious awareness, heath naturalists of the plethora of Hatha yoga masters, and those who followed Hindu visionary advocates like Vivekananda . The contrast to my years in Brisbane doing sonic harmonics (biographical page) with seekers who were more in line with Tibet Buddhism and zen. These were hard core seekers with elements of Hindu national sentiments that had a similar style to the time I was a member of the Brahma Kumaris (biographical page).

It was at that time I decided to further explore the options of a pilgrimage lifestyle. An opportunity presented itself in the form of taking a donkey with a pack (key travel blog)

The journey was undefined in terms of a clear end point. It was more in line with the day to day sense of place and living a nomadic life off the beaten track. Eventually I tired of the quest and settled back in Brisbane taking up a degree course, philosophy/religion (1998-2003). It was after this time that in 2004 I set off to India again in search for authentic styled pilgrimage (key biographical page).