Here's a blessing I offered for my son when he was embarking on a semester abroad a few years ago.  Traveling is not only filled with great excitement and adventure, there is danger, discomfort, and challenge.  It's the challenges that open us to the mystery of our own transformation.  This blessing invites the journeyer into that mystery, conscious of the challenges, but willing, in faith, to receive the gifts that can only come to us when we set sail from the shoreline of the life we know so well.  May it gift others on whatever pilgrimage they face, whether the journey is to other lands or, perhaps, some inner journey of the soul, prompted by loss, crisis, or pain.

When you take that first step forward

from the shoreline of the life you know so well,

something new will open inside you.


With that first step forward into the unknown,

a new energy opens within.

It’s the energy of the cosmos,

ever springing forward and outward

in the universe’s own lust for adventure—

its passion for new lands and planets

new stars and galaxies.


This energy—

the same that burst forth

from that infinitesimally small speck

of dense matter—

continues to expand inexhaustibly.

This is the energy that’s opening in you

as you take your first step forward

toward a new shoreline of discovery.


Your journey,

and the energy it releases,

is a sacred thing,

especially if you journey in an awakened way,

wisely tending the fire within,

gently walking this good earth,

sensing the divine ardor in every blessed thing.

For the fire within you

and the energy beyond you,

are One and the Same.


So may you free your heart

of the baggage it’s borne so long.

May you travel lightly,

trusting the goodness of All

to give you what you need.


May your awareness

of this new opening within you,

become for you the ballast of the Mystery

that holds you in the Center,

that longs to bring into your life

treasures inexpressible,

happiness unexplainable.


And may you travel happily

(your fears notwithstanding)

and arrive home again





a seasoned citizen of the Earth,

because you dared to take


 that first step forward from the shoreline

of the life you’ve known so well

into the Great Unknown.

AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman