New Day Herald

Traveler John Morton on Day 5 of the PTS Tour to the Holy Land of Israel, July 2023

Day 5 PTS Tour of Israel

OK, the spiritual energy is really starting to cook now. The first days are usually the hardest, as karma is cleared so that the group energy can come into one accord—lost luggage, illnesses, minor accidents, scheduling snafus, disorganization.

Now the fun part starts, the part that we came for, as that loving, all-permeating energy percolates through the group, making people more pliable and flexible, either quieter or louder depending on circumstances, with softer eyes and deeper immersion in whatever moment presents itself.

There are as many indicators of this shift as there are perceivers, but one that I notice is that the number of poignant and beautiful moments increases. It feels more and more like you’re in a movie—(“and though she feels as if she’s in a play, she is anyway”), but all that’s really happening is that we’re getting a glimpse of the author, and the interrelationships and inter-dependencies of all the parts become more transparent. We’re undressing God. People break into singing happy birthday to various people at lunch. We send love to a stray kitty and a pet turtle in the churches.

The One Accord PAT training has also begun, with processes and sharing with John in the evening. Morning and afternoon are an excursion into Nazareth (google it)—churches, the Basilica of the Annunciation, the something-or-other of Joseph, etc. (I go down rows of our group as we wait outside a church asking what the name of it is, and only one person can tell me.)

I love these “church days”. The buses let us off somewhere on a city street, we turn on our radios and get everyone tuned into the right channel, we make sure everyone is accounted for, and then we wander through alleyways and markets until the scene opens up on some sunny, sky-canopied architectural wonder, with a bright exterior and huge, dark, domed or arched interior, with the occasional priest or nun in the shadows monitoring the parade of tourists and devotees. People sit with closed eyes, meditating, or amble slowly with heads tilted back and mouths slightly open.

I especially enjoy watching the Latin people on these trips because they’ve grown up in this Jesus tradition and you can see the accumulated moments of their whole devotional life story come awake in them. You can see them as little kids listening to Jesus stories, you can hear the sounds of family life on Sundays, the weddings, the funerals, the christenings. They often kneel to pray and they look like they’re at home and know what to do there, like a cook in a kitchen or a sailor boarding a boat. There’s something soothing about observing the ease with which they slip into a meditative state because of their lifetime of absorption of external cues and rituals.

John gives a couple of short seminars at the churches and everyone gathers around listening on their radios. I hear the eternal teachings of the Traveler echoing through him: the Spirit is in you, not in some outer location or building.  At the Basilica of the Annunciation I love the way he turns the experience of Mary at the annunciation into a universal story by relating it to John-Roger’s experience of being told he’s going to carry the keys to soul transcendence—the reluctance, the “why me?” and ultimately the acceptance and commitment.

At one point as we gather in a crowded market area John plants a light column and starts us singing and chanting, and the energy crescendos into a kind of celebration as we decide to greet some random tourist group with cheers as they walk past us, as though they’re returning from battle. It’s interesting to watch their reactions. Some are taken aback, some recoil a bit, some smile bemusedly, and the more positive ones have the biggest smiles, showing no resistance and participating fully and enthusiastically, high-fiving us as though the event were entirely natural, ordinary and expected. As J-R has said so often, this world has something for everyone.

The last stop is the Church of the Transfiguration on top of Mt. Tabor, and then back to the kibbutz for dinner and PAT processes.

View the Photos from PTS Israel Tour Day 5

1 thought on “Day 5 PTS Tour of Israel”

  1. Diane Botticelli

    amazing pics and story telling. Feels like we are there. Light and Blessings to each of you and the intercessory work you are doing for yourselves and humankind. Continued Light and grace to traveler and all involved.
    Loving and healing Grace now and all-ways,
    Special thanks to David Sand
    Philip and Diane

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