A Call to Quest
The inner journey to truth.
Published: August 2, 2012
by Denise Linn
Get started on a vision quest.
In ancient cultures throughout the world, Quests were used as doorways to enter spiritual realms. A Quest could take the form of a retreat into nature, a Vision Quest, or a pilgrimage. Through these extraordinary inner journeys, sacred visions revealed personal direction and life purpose.
Traditionally, Western culture has had no equivalent rite of passage. We could only imagine how those ancestral people accessed the mystery and wonder that exist at the core of life. However, with the resurgence of interest in spiritual beliefs that are closely interrelated with nature, many people have yearned to return to their spiritual roots. They have felt the call of the Quest.
Over the years, people from 18 nations have come to the Vision Quest seminars that I have led in various locations around the world. The experience has been immensely rewarding and fulfilling. When participants arrive for a Quest, I hear the same heartfelt concerns time and again: “Who am I?”; “What is my purpose?”; “How can I live a life that matters?”; “What can I do to heal my relationships?”; “How can I get closer to Spirit?”; “How can I be happy?” Each person comes wanting to find a sacred space within that is real and honest and true.
As the Quest seekers retreat into nature in solitude, shifts of consciousness begin to occur. Old memories come to the surface to be resolved. Fear is confronted. A sense of purpose emerges. In the heightened state of awareness that a Quest elicits, archetypal images can appear. A tree becomes a sage. A cloud becomes an angel. A power song is received. A voice speaks out of the darkness. The unexplained and mysterious occur. Understanding of self deepens, and remarkable transformations often take place.
Chief Crazy Horse said in 1850: “A very good vision is needed for life, and the man who has it must follow it—as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” It’s important to take time off from your daily life in order to renew and restore yourself, to come into balance with all things. A Vision Quest may be the single most significant thing that you do in your life.
Visions can come in many ways, and calling for a vision can be a lifelong process. However, there’s power in setting aside time in your life for a Quest. Your personal Quest should consist of six parts.
This step entails defining the purpose of your retreat. What is your reason for going on a Quest? Is there an area of your life that needs healing? Where your intention goes, your energy flows; as you define the purpose of your Quest, the universe will propel you in the direction of your intention.
What kind of Quest are you going to do? How long will your Quest be? What location have you chosen? Are you going to use a preparatory program? Have you dealt with all obligations and cleared the time for your Quest? All these questions should be addressed before you go on your Quest.
3. Leaving the World Behind
On a Vision Quest you leave the comfort of the boundaries of your environment and venture beyond what is safe and secure. When one is always in comfortable surroundings, decisions and experiences are often based on repetitive, preconditioned responses. When you take the risk of stepping out of the boundaries of your everyday experiences, a fresh new way of seeing yourself and the world around you can evolve. Life
Who are you? What are you? What really gives meaning to your life? What are your priorities? Are you happy with the way your life is going? During this part of the Quest, you evaluate your personal history and face your fears and your death. This is the time to observe repetitive negative patterns in your life and to step beyond limiting definitions of self. When you take the time to examine your past, it prepares you for your future.
5. Being Open for a Vision
The next step is to let go and be completely open to Spirit. Quieting the mind is important because only when you’re empty can you be filled. In the stillness you can “be” in present time, observe the signs in your surrounding environment, and listen to the whispers of the universe.
6. Returning Home
Endings are as important as beginnings. Give yourself time to reenter your life slowly and to integrate your experiences. You have taken a sacred inner journey, and now you’re returning to your everyday life to give something of what you gained from your experience to each individual you meet and to the world at large. This is the power of the Quest.
Denise Linn, the best-selling author of 16 books, has researched healing traditions from cultures around the world for more than 35 years. As a renowned lecturer, author, and visionary, she regularly gives seminars on six continents, and also appears extensively on television and radio shows.