Phil Cousineau has led art and literary tours through Ireland, France, Greece, and Turkey. He has also read about every significant book written about pilgrimage in the past 50 years. He defines this spiritual adventure as "a transformative journey to a sacred center." And, of course, pilgrimage has also been seen as an act of devotion or penance to achieve healing and wholeness.

This excellent guidebook is organized into seven chapters that unfold the stages of a sacred journey — the longing, the call, departure, the pilgrim's way, the labyrinth, arrival, and bringing back the boon. Cousineau spices up the proceedings with quotations from noted spiritual teachers, poets, and artists. He also presents imaginative exercises designed to draw out the inner pilgrim in all of us. For example, Cousineau suggests a ceremonial meal before leaving, choosing a theme for your journey, taking along offerings for the shrines you plan to visit, and keeping a pilgrimage journal.

The Vatican has designated 2000 A.D. as "The Year of the Pilgrim." This book is the quintessential traveling companion with its juicy quotations and stories, its ample spiritual insights, its perennial wisdom, and its vibrant enthusiasm for the deep pleasures and rewards of soulful travel.