June 9


Commencement – a Brave Step on Your Pilgrimage

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We recently completed another year of the Master Key Experience (MKE) course material.  We call that last webinar our Commencement.  So, this post is all about the Master Key Experience and Commencement (and a little bit about Pilgrimage).

What is Commencement?

Whether it is a pilgrimage or the Master Key Experience, completing the journey can be bittersweet.  But really, Commencement does not mean you are finished.  It just means you are moving to a new phase or a new journey.

My computer gives the following definition for Commencement:

“The word commencement is actually derived from a 13th century French word meaning beginning or start.  You see, commencement isn’t the celebration of an ending it’s the celebration of a new beginning.  As students, when you commence, you actually begin a new chapter in your life.”

Google definition

What about the Master Key Experience Commencement?

The Master Key Experience is a six-month journey of personal development, with the goal of becoming a self-directed thinker.  Now our six months are completed, hence we ‘commence.’  Charles Haanel says we are not even close to being finished:

“This is the science which embraces all sciences.  It is the art which, above all arts, is relevant to human life.  In the mastery of this science and this art there is opportunity for unending progression.  Perfection in this is not acquired in six days, nor in six weeks, nor in six months.  It is the labour of life.  Not to go forward is to go backward.”  Charles Haanel, Master Key System, Part 23 introduction

Charles Haanel, Master Key System, Part 23 introduction

How Does Commencement apply to Pilgrimage?

In 2018, I walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across northern Spain.  Like the Master Key Experience, that is a life changing journey.  For both experiences, there were many Helpers and Mentors, both leading up to the pilgrimage as well as during the journeys. Regarding the Camino pilgrimage, it is often said that the real Camino begins when you arrive home.  I found a great quote in one of the guidebooks I read:

Commencement is a pilgrimage

My Compostela – the Pilgrim Commencement Certificate

“Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished.  Stop being who you were and change into who you are.”

Paulo Coelho

That one sounds a bit like the Hero’s Journey to me.  I have also heard that people become more of who they really are on the Camino.  I would say the same of the Master Key Experience.  All the work we do – either in walking and contemplating, or in studying and learning – all serve to chip away chunks of concrete off our Golden Buddha.

After I walked the Camino de Santiago, I discovered and registered for the Master Key Experience.  I had heard about the MKE before then, but was not ready until after walking a Camino.  My heart was opened to this new experience.

What can You do?

So, on your continuing journey, pause occasionally, and take a look around.  Enjoy the view, see how far you have come.  Consider what you have learned and how you have changed.  Or maybe not changed but become more of your true self. 

Give yourself a moment to celebrate, give yourself credit for a job well done.  Then look around and see where the next journey will take you.  Another year of Master Key Experience, with all the sweet bonus material?  A new Camino pilgrimage (my plan for this fall)?  Where will your life journey take you next?

If the Master Key Experience is new to you, head over to this page to get on the list for notification about the upcoming session in September.

Parting thoughts

As in the Sunday Master Key Experience Commencement webcast, I want to include a few Dr Seuss quotes:

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

commencement step on your pilgrimage

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” 

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Wherever your next journey may be, I wish you a Buen Camino, and Ultreia!  In case you were wondering:

“The word ‘Ultreia’ comes from Latin, and it means ‘beyond’. Ultreia is another pilgrim salute, like the more popular ‘Buen Camino!’. While ‘Buen Camino’ literally means ‘have a good journey, a good Camino’, the meaning of ‘Ultreia!’ goes a bit deeper, implying encouragement to keep going, reaching ‘beyond’, heading onwards.” 


I have had another excellent Master Key Experience year, this time as a new Guide.  I look forward to the coming year with all the treasure that it brings.

Read more articles by Arlene Laskey

About the author

Arlene Laskey is registered nurse, a long-distance walker, and has a home-based business. She loves to learn and improve, and help others to do the same. As a guide with the Master Key Experience Arlene looks forward to reaching more people, helping them to reach their personal goals through the power of positive thinking.

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  • One of my favorite “ah-ha” moments after going through the MKE the first time was that my Hero’s Journey was not just one circumstance. I love how you tell people to stop and look around to see where they are and where they are headed. Commencement truly is the beginning and not the end.

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