|Edward and Kevin Viljoen on Machu Picchu|
Dear Dr Edward Viljoen,
It is with great pleasure that I write to thank you for helping make my trip with Spirit Tours to Peru this past summer both heart warming and memorable. As you may remember, I joined the Center for Spiritual Living, Palm Desert under the leadership of Dr Joe Hooper at a time when my life seemed to have been shrouded in darkness. My sister had passed away after a long and painful battle with cancer and my personal and professional relationships had suffered in the process.
When Dr Joe recommended that I join his group on this trip, at first, I was hesitant. Visions of sitting around a candle and chanting almost kept me from calling to book the travel. Had I sat in my ignorance, I would have missed the tremendous gift that was waiting for me in Peru. The effortless travel in the most idyllic settings of ancient cultures lended itself to a nurturing environment that helped me start the process of forgiveness and spiritual growth. I remember sitting in our group meditation practices, peeking through one eye at fellow travelers who I later got to befriend and share in their own spiritual journey, thinking I'm not alone in my pain. There were others from all walks of life who sought comfort and guidance in their times of need. Some had lost a husband, a father, a career. Some had a void that needed to be filled, a wound that needed healing or something that needed to be addressed and mended.
|Ara and Dr. Joe in Peru|
You, Dr Joe and the family at Spirit Tours made me feel at ease in sharing my challenges. The daily group spiritual growth practices helped set the stage for several life lessons that I was about to learn and that I keep with me to this day. Most of all, I remember the release and levity I felt when I realized that just like the giant granite stones that were perched on top of mountains at soaring altitudes, there are structures and circumstance in my life that are both unexplainable and unknowable; but also, that not knowing how or why things are, doesn't keep us from basking in its beauty and sharing in wonderment of how we are all connected.
So, to anybody who is hesitating in joining us in this shared spiritual journey, please consider my first experience in making your decision. If you want to take a spiritual vacation at a leisurely pace along people who seek a connection with beautiful places in the world, then, all you have to do is pack lightly and show up, the rest will be taken care of by Spirit Tours and the amazing practitioners that come along. I look forward to walking with you in your journey.