Browsing Category "Camino"
3 Apr
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Buen Camino

More from the Intro to the Guidebook of Maps for the Camino de Santiago, by John Brierley:

“We have been asleep a long time. Despite the chaotic world around us, or perhaps because of it, something is stirring us to awaken from our collective amnesia.

“A sign of this awakening is the number of people drawn to walk the camino. The hectic pace of modern life, experienced not only in our work but also our family and social lives, spins us ever outwards away from our center. We have allowed ourselves to be thrown onto the surface of our lives — mistaking busyness for aliveness, but this superficial existence is inherently unsatisfying.

“The camino offers us an opportunity to slow down and allow some spaciousness into our lives. In this quieter space we can reflect on the deeper significance of our lives and the reasons why we came…

“The camino encourages us to ask the perennial question — who am I? And, crucially, it provides time for answers to be understood and integrated.”

20 Mar
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Walking to the End of the Earth

It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In my case, the journey of 500 miles (the Camino de Santiago) begins with a stack of books.

This one, by John Brierley, is a set of 36 maps broken up into day-long walks, each between 12 and 20 miles long, starting at St. Jean Pied de Port (in the southeast corner of France) and ending at the Atlantic Ocean, on the western-most edge of Spain, in a town called Finisterre (trans: End of the Earth).

The Camino actually ends at Santiago de Compostela (trans: St. James of the Field of Stars), at the Cathedral where James, the Apostle, is said to be buried, but many people….myself included….plan to continue walking on to Finisterre (about 35 miles farther), which seems a more poetic destination.

I love the idea of walking to the end of the earth.

Especially by way of the Camino, which itself is a kind of poem. And which seems to evoke the poetic, whenever anyone talks about it. Even in this book of maps, for example. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

We all have too much paraphernalia in our lives. In an effort to lighten the load, we have produced this slim lightweight volume of basic maps….

“All of us travel two paths simultaneously — the outer path along which we haul our body and the inner pathway of soul. We need to be mindful of both and take time to prepare ourselves accordingly. The traditional way of the pilgrim is to travel alone, by foot, carrying all the material possessions we might need for the journey ahead. This provides the first lesson of the pilgrim — to leave behind all that is superfluous and to travel with only the barest necessities.

“Preparation for the inner path is similar — we need to start by letting go of psychic waste accumulated over the years such as resentments, prejudice and outmoded belief systems. With an emptied mind we will more readily assimilate the lessons that come our way…”

Buen Camino.

12 Mar
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April 2014

One of my new Dharma Buddies, Pamela, was at the Dharma Seed KM group last night, and before we started listening to the tape, I asked her how the training was going for the Camino de Santiago (the 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain) because I thought she was planning to walk it this spring. Turns out, she’s planning to walk it with Deborah, who was also there last night….and they plan to walk it NEXT SPRING (starting in April of 2014).

Which means I could go with them!!!

I’ve already started training. Sort of. That 45-minute hike up and around the hills at the retreat outside of Tucson was my “official” start. (Because it was such an inspiring landscape….and because the path was challenging enough to require a walking stick.)

And of course, I’ve been mentally “training” by pouring over maps, reading books and watching YouTube videos. There are a dozens of them! Here’s one in particular I like: On the Path.

(image: “A Whole World,” by Couprie and Louchard)