Traditionally, the Yogas of Pilgrimage are carried out at the end of a long training to mark a transition from one state into another and to put to the test everything which has been learned and integrated. This stage is often misunderstood as just wandering from sacred place to place taking a break from ordinary routines. Nothing could be further from reality.
The Yogas of Pilgrimage begin with finishing in a graceful way all the unfinished situations in our lives. One pays all debts, clears misunderstandings with family and friends, lets go of all attachments to property, relationships and places. One prepares for death leaving all affairs in order before setting out on the journey. The pilgrimage begins when all the cords of attachment having been cut.
The goal of the Yogas of Pilgrimage is freeing all energy caught in unfinished cycles and thus experience fully conscious, ultimate freedom from limitations. An important aspect of freeing energy is freeing oneself from the fear of death and dying. The pilgrim makes the decision to go on the journey even if it means dying in the process. We stand by our decision and beliefs with our whole being. Before setting out the pilgrim transcends the paralyzing fear of dying and goes forward with its plans. The fear of dying may remain, but it is no longer a deciding factor on whether we do something or not. From that moment onwards a space of limitless freedom opens and a milestone in personal development is crossed. Nothing stops the pilgrim now. This is the theme of hexagram 28 in the I Ching.
The Yogas of Pilgrimage are a preparation for death. A preparation for letting go of the familiar and venturing into the unknown regardless of the consequences. It is the practice for going from a familiar structure into no structure at all. With this perspective it can be said that the Yogas of Pilgrimage are the most difficult and demanding of all the stages of energy work. It is not a holiday vacation!