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Vision Walks – Pilgrimage

I have always found that my clearest visions come from the simple act of walking. Whether it is to see clearer and further in my work or whether it is for deeper soul-searching. I am passionate about guiding and supporting others on such walks.

Glossary

Pilgrimage : walking long distances in a sacred – or religious – way for soul searching. Practised by many religions, spiritualities and cutlures around the world.

Vision Quest: ancient rites of passage practised by indigenous people. Typically this refers to the Lakota tradition of going into the wild alone and fasting 3 or 4 days solo.

Leadership Walk: walking in nature with a guide to unearth fresh insights and crystalise vision

Vision Walk: my signature approach of combining the ancient art of pilgrimage and vision quest. OF course, many cultures would have had both movement and moments of stillness. This seems like a more natural approach.

My Approach

Leading a Quest through Mt Cadir Idris, Snowdonia

JRR Tolkien said that “not all who wander are lost”

In fact, Bill Plotkin wrote that as a wander, you must be true to yourself. You cannot continue to follow the crowd”

This is why we do Vision Walks or Pilgrimages to find your own truth. 

Since antiquity we have gone into nature to seek insight and vision whether to climb mountains, wander  forests or to spend time in the desert. Sometimes we walked to sacred sites, and sometimes we wandered until nature claimed us back. 

Indigenous people across all continents considered it was critical to have rites of passage at important junctures of one’s lives

In the 21st Century there is a renaissance of rites of passage including pilgrimage. Half a million people now walk the Camino across Northern Spain to Santiago, but others are also becoming popular including the Shikoku in Japan , the Olle in Korea or a plethora of ones across Europe. 

The ancient act of walking across the land has both benefits for finding clarity and insights as well as the health benefits of being in nature. In fact pilgrimage is listed as one of the top 10 wellness trends in 2024

Having a guide or someone who designs your vision walk can amplify your experience and raise the chance of a breakthrough. 

My own rites of passage came at the age 16 and 17 trekking across the Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and Southern France. Since then I have done solo or led vision walks – or pilgrimage-  around the world including  the mountains of Korea and Japan, the rainforests of Mexico, and Guatemala, the jungle in Hong Kong, the St Francis Way in Italy, and now regularly in Snowdonia, Eryri, in Wales. 

There are many teachers of meditation around the world, uncountable numbers of yoga teachers and other forms of spirituality. But there are few who guide vision walks or pilgrimage.  I now offer Leadership Walks for leaders seeking foresight  to Vision Walks and Pigrimages , deeper rites of passage for soul-searching. 

Offerings

All walks can be tailor made to the individual.

  1. Leadership and Foresight

I can take leaders away for 3 full days to create visions for their future. 

There will be time to converse with this futurist about the future . And time to reflect, journal and dream. 

Designed into the program might include a physical challenge such as ascending a mountain, and the possibility to do other physical practices like wild water immersion/ swimming.

Typical program

Thursday night: settle in and do some preparatory work

Friday: Climb mountain such as Snowdon (the quiet side). Reflecting on your life and what needs to be let go of and what you are seeking. Journal at the top of the mountain.

Saturday : Morning walk along the coast. Over brunch: conversations about where the world is heading 

Afternoon: Going deeper into the forest to reflect.

Sunday: Crystallization and new vision: mark with a ritual such as an immersion into a cold water lake.

2. Vision Walk

The Vision Walk I offer is a deeper and more gruelling rites of passage – a mixture of a pilgrimage and an indigenous vision quest.

This is 8 days or more and is designed to maximise the possibility that this rites of passage will have a long lasting and irrevocable impact on your life. It could be described as a blend of a Pilgrimage and an indigenous Vision Quest It is designed for soul searching – to crack open the shell of your old life and begin to open yourself to a new story. It is especially useful at  times of large change and thereby potential transformation. 

Rather than just walking from A to B the process can be enhanced by  doing any of the following practices: silent meditative walking, meditation, solo time in nature, fasting, immersion into wild rivers or lakes, meditation, journaling, dream work, storytelling and working with the myths of the land and deep dialogue.

3. Three Day Vision Walk 

This is a shortened version of the Vision Walk but can still have a powerful impact when guided 1-1. 

4. Pilgrimage

I can join you on an established pilgrimage route often to sacred sites. Along the way I support you with some of the practices above, and to hold space for you as you go through your transformative process. 

Availability

I will post group events on this website. Otherwise please enquire about 1-1 walks

If you come to my base in Eryri or Snowdonia, we will be able to also immerse into the local mythology of the landscape here. 

However, I am available to travel internationally. We can walk along an existing pilgrimage path or if it is a country about which I am familiar, I can design a program.       

One to One Coaching

Together we work on removing any obstacles within which are blocking your innate creativity, imagination and life force. With the world in so much flux, as we enter the edge of chaos, these are the superpowers of the future – and by coincidence they make us happier as well. Life should be an adventure, an odyssey, and we all need support, a guide who can step in occasionally.

At the deepest level we will work on your

a). holistic intelligence including physical, intellectual, social, emotional, intuitive and imaginative intelligence.

b). Finding your life purpose: what is your soul beckoning to do in this one life?

c). Addressing any crises or obstacles which emerge. I also have experience supporting those with addictive tendencies or substance abuse – I believe that the cause is fear and not living the life which for which your heart yearns.

Zen Meditation in Chiapas, Mexico

The journey is the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know.” 

— Phil Cousineau

How It Works

Inspired by my 22 years living in East Asia and the influence of Zen, I don’t have a cookie-cutter model of self-development. Everyone is different and so all the work is honed to the individual and where they are in their journey.

Our conversations might sometimes be informative, but more often than not they will be a dance, where we work together to find answers. As every person is different, every session is different. For those seriously striving for transformation in their life, and with whom I prefer to work, there would be work in between sessions in order to amplify what we do together. My experience is that merely counselling is not enough, it needs to include action. This might include things such as:

My Influences

My approach is grounded in the experience of my own adventures and fighting my own demons, Eastern philosophy (especially Zen and Taoism), depth psychology and the work of Carl Jung, research on creativity and consciousness, Greek philosophy, Western esoteric traditions, sports psychology and anything else that I’ve found useful. My experience has led me to believe that there are 2 important dimensions to the human odyssey: presence/self mastery and purpose. Sometimes I call it Mastery (yang) and Mystery (yin).

Awareness and Intelligence : Zen Mind, Triathlon Mind

“Keep your mind vast and clear as space, and act as precisely as the tip of a needle.”

Zen Master Seung Sahn

“All the prophets sent from Above have spoken of the death that can manifest in this life, that is the death of the ‘tyrant’ from which the slavery which affects us in this life stems, a death on which man’s first and principal freedom depends.”

Gurdjieff

The tyrant that afflicts us all is the mind of course. They say the mind makes a wonderful servant but a cruel and tyrannical master. One of the key’s to life is self-discipline, and this requires mastery of the mind and the ability to drop old beliefs. My life changed in my mid twenties when I gave up alcohol, red meat and sugar and eventually started training twice per day with an Olympian triathlete. Within five years I was earning several million dollars per year, although money isnt necessarily a good barometer of success. I’ve also learnt a lot from the Zen teachers of Asia, weeks of meditation, and high performance athletes.

If your goal is to lead a meaningful and successful life, then you’ll also need to master or even transcend the mind. 

Purpose: Your Soul’s Code

“Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path… this is what I must do, this is what I’ve got to have. This is who I am.”

James Hillman

“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential. ” 

Joseph Campbell

I think that their is an innate calling, or song within us all. And I think that this very song IS the purpose of life, as I write in my favourite blog. Joseph Campbell once said “the privilege of a lifetime is to be you.” In this world its easy and unfortunate that we put masks on and attempt copy others.

The epic journey we are truly on is to re-discover ourselves. This is the apotheosis that the sages have alluded to, the discovery that you are far more powerful, creative and compassionate than you thought was imaginable. Rather than some intellectual , therapeutic or executive coaching model I prefer to use the Odyssey or the Hero’s Journey which was well explained by the likes of Joseph Campbell or even Paolo Coello in the Alchemist.

“I hugely appreciate my sessions with Benjamin. Taking on the Managing Director role for BRIDGE Hong Kong [a consulting firm] was a big gear shift for me and juggling the role and a young family meant I really needed to take the time to reflect on how to make it work, get big picture, get perspective, think abductively and at times get extra support. We needed to make a lot of change and working with Benjamin has really catalyzed this change and my own leadership development. Benjamin is a calm, wise, sometimes unpredictable  sounding board. I love that I am not sure where the sessions will take me but I always know the time and take aways will be valuable.

The learnings, reading advice, quotes, poems, perspectives and suggestions have all been a keen part of the successes I am proud to have achieved over the last 6 months.

I would highly recommend Benjamin’s coaching to anyone looking to think differently, adapt their leadership or future-proof their business in these times of significant change.

Abigail Croft, Consultant
Managing Director, BRIDGE Partnership – Hong Kong”

“Benjamin provided me with deep insight and reflection on my journey to be the best version of myself. His feedback and guidance has been beneficial for me to understand and dig deeper into the meaning of what makes us all unique. “

Country CEO of major Asian Corporation and Founder of major Asia-based festival likened to Burning Man
.