Pilgrim Writings

  • The Edge of Transformation: Wrestling with the Transition from Knowing to Doing

    The Edge of Transformation: Wrestling with the Transition from Knowing to Doing

    “Just jump in! The water feels exhilarating”, my best friends shouted up at me as I eyed the chilly surface of the water. I finally jumped in, and my friends were right. Looking out from the 50-degree water the world appeared a little different. Not just because I had done something that my body protested…


  • Do you think prayers, ceremonies, and rituals are useless? Prayer in Buddhism

    Do you think prayers, ceremonies, and rituals are useless? Prayer in Buddhism

    I was reading Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh and the following passage made the Buddhist view of prayer very clear. Old Path White Clouds is a beautifully written historical-fiction of Buddha’s life. Leading up to the scene that caught my attention, Gautama has already found the way to enlightenment and has become…


  • War and Hate from a Buddhist Rebirth Point of View

    War and Hate from a Buddhist Rebirth Point of View

    I was at my weekly group meditation session when the topic of rebirth surfaced. There was not enough time to explore the topic in much depth, but the venerable participating in the discussion pointed out a fairly obvious implication if one believes in rebirth. If rebirth is true, then one should never participate in violence.…


  • A Secular Interpretation of Past Lives in Buddhism

    A Secular Interpretation of Past Lives in Buddhism

    During a recent group meditation session at the Buddhist temple I attend, a question arose regarding the nature of the seemingly random thoughts that often emerge during meditation. The questioner referred to these thoughts as “illusory,” prompting the venerable nun leading the meditation to ask, “How do you know these are illusory thoughts?” This exchange…


  • Native American Music: Reaching The Spiritual Plane

    Native American Music: Reaching The Spiritual Plane

    Introduction: Exploring the Significance of Music in Native American Cultures I’d like to start with a quote that sets the scene stage for how some Native American’s viewed music: The Maidu Native Americans of Northern California believed that the world was created when the Earthmaker sang over a lump of clay. The Keres of Laguna…


  • How Nature Is Viewed Across Buddhism, Taoism, Native Americans, & Christianity

    How Nature Is Viewed Across Buddhism, Taoism, Native Americans, & Christianity

    I strongly believe that nature is one of the most fundamental guides we have in this life. In fact, when I use the word nature, I’m almost always including myself in that word. The idea that humans or our “self” is somehow outside of nature is a false sense of importance. I was curious to…


  • How To Get Started Reading Buddhist Texts

    How To Get Started Reading Buddhist Texts

    Introduction to Buddhist texts: Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, is often defined by its ancient and extensive collection of sacred texts, which provide the foundation for its beliefs, practices, and philosophies. Just as the Bible is to Christianity, or the Quran is to Islam, Buddhist texts are revered as a guiding light for…


  • A Survey of Music and Chants in Buddhist Sects

    A Survey of Music and Chants in Buddhist Sects

    Introduction Buddhism, known for its remarkable diversity with various sects, each possessing its own unique musical and chant traditions, presents a fascinating interplay of music and spirituality. Against the backdrop of the Buddha’s critical stance towards music, this article explores how music and chants hold significance within the practice of Buddhism. As we traverse the…


  • What Did Buddha Say About Music? A Look at Early Buddhist Music

    What Did Buddha Say About Music? A Look at Early Buddhist Music

    This article will provide a brief historical perspective on the role of music during Siddhartha Gautama’s lifetime and its influence on the early Buddhist community, offering insights into the roots of musical practices within Buddhism. I. Introduction During the lifetime of Siddhartha Gautama, whom we now know as the Buddha, the world was a very…


  • Detachment: A Path to Fulfillment and Compassion

    Detachment: A Path to Fulfillment and Compassion

    I. Introduction II. The Essence of Detachment III. Detachment in Everyday Life IV. The Compassionate Heart of Detachment V. Dispelling Misconceptions VI. Detachment in Relationships VII. Detachment and Society VIII. Practical Steps Towards Detachment IX. Conclusion X. Additional Resources Introduction to Detachment (non-clinging) Picture this: You’re standing at the edge of a serene lake, the…


  • Prayer: it’s why I lost faith

    Prayer: it’s why I lost faith

    Perhaps like many who have left Christianity or other theistic religions, I found that prayer was a major reason I could no longer believe. I was raised in a non-denominational Christian church. My parents fought every Sunday to get four kids to church by 8am. We had morning breakfast, children’s church, worship songs, and the…


  • Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths vs The 10 Commandments

    Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths vs The 10 Commandments

    I was raised Christian – children’s church, youth groups, the works – but came to see other paths offering wiser guidance. In this article I’ll be giving a brief comparison of the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and the Christian 10 Commandments. Both of these systems offer distinct compasses through the intricate landscape of human existence.…


  • Following Your Nature Doesn’t Justify All Behaviors

    Following Your Nature Doesn’t Justify All Behaviors

    I was reading some Taoist lines (more about my understanding of Taoism here) and, the notion of following one’s nature emerged repeatedly. It prompted me to reflect on the idea that while following your nature can be enlightening, it doesn’t inherently justify all your behaviors. If your natural inclination leans toward harm, it becomes essential…


  • Buddha’s Right View Leads to Simpler Decisions

    Buddha’s Right View Leads to Simpler Decisions

    Decisions in the age of unlimited information are tricky, right? I’m a fortunate person. I’ve got a lot of freedom to make many decisions in my life. But with that sense of freedom, I’m constantly looking up what it’s like to live in different places and honestly, it’s not so good for me to do…


  • Inspired Living: Rethinking Efficiency

    Inspired Living: Rethinking Efficiency

    Introduction: Embracing the Art of Living Welcome, fellow seekers of wisdom and meaning. I am Pilgrim Solarrson, a musician and writer who has recently discovered I’m on the wrong path and I’m trying to right the ship. In this writing, I strive to rediscover the path aligned with my true nature, I invite you on…


  • Embracing the Hero’s Journey: Navigating Life’s Adventure with Purpose and Passion

    Embracing the Hero’s Journey: Navigating Life’s Adventure with Purpose and Passion

    I’m hearing it again. Something that was once so loud but had been tamped down is rearing up and roaring once again! It’s a call to move away from “just okay,” “just getting by” – mediocrity. It’s an itch poking around in my mind, telling me, “Get up! It’s time to heed the feelings of…


  • From Shelter to Sanctuary

    From Shelter to Sanctuary

    Sacred Homes to Efficient Modules Throughout much of early history and prehistory, human dwellings have served as more than mere shelters. Homes have been repositories of culture, vessels of spirituality, and embodiments of myths. In the ancient world, communities constructed their homes in harmony with their beliefs, resulting in dwellings that fostered a profound connection…


  • Rediscovering Our Bond with Nature: Reconnecting with Our Evolutionary Roots

    Rediscovering Our Bond with Nature: Reconnecting with Our Evolutionary Roots

    Begin With the Sun In our modern cities, it’s easy to overlook the profound impact of our disconnection from our evolutionary past. As a 38-year-old living in the heart of a concrete jungle, I’ve become acutely aware of the ways in which we’ve lost touch with the rhythms of the natural world that once shaped…