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Camino Contemplation Quotes

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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
When thinking about distance walking, be it Camino or backpacking, I have gathered a some favorite quotations. I am sure many of you might also have some that they would enjoy sharing.
--------------------------------------------

"I find that the three truly great times for thinking thoughts are when I am standing in the shower, sitting on the john, or walking. And the greatest of these, by far, is walking."
- Colin Fletcher

"I had better admit right away that walking can in the end become an addiction ... even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion."
- Colin Fletcher

"We don’t stop hiking because we grow old – we grow old because we stop hiking."
– Finis Mitchel

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
- James Michener

"Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; you have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits."
- Cindy Ross
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” - James Michener
Ah, Michener. Thanks @davebugg for getting me out of my chair and into the book room. I've always been fond of "If you wish an early sight of the Holy Land you must be up at dawn", from the mouth of a character in "Caravans". I love the ambiguous implication.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hardly contemporary but still most relevant is

"Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence
and nothing too much...."
----Ralph Waldo Emerson,
----Country Life, 1858.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Thanks for the invitation to roam my mind. My immediate thought was Ithaca. Then I opened a treasure of a book: Hebridean Altars, to find again this gem. It is an image that can bring a smile to a weary traveller, on or off the path.
(The title is in capitals, so I will use them, although I know capitals are not normally used on forum posts).
A MAN WITH EIGHTY SUMMERS BEHIND HIM WATCHES THE ISLAND CHILDREN PASS ALONG THE SHORE-ROAD ON THEIR WAY FROM SCHOOL
I send my heart to Thee in thanks for these little ones: for the strange uprising of happiness that comes to me as my eye follows them. Sweet is the music of their wind-borne laughter, yea, sweeter than all musics. I listen to them, and am one with the mavis and the dawn and the flower. And then I wonder what Thy thought is of them - Thy children.Yet I need not wonder. For I look upward and lo! Thou art leaning out over the window of Heaven, and Thou art smiling.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014; 2019)
Camino Primitivo (2016)
Camino del Norte (2016-2018)
San Salvador (2018)
"IF WE CAN'T CHANGE THE WORLD WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY WE LIVE." (POLINA THE NOMAD)

I took unexpected pleasure and some motivation from the occasional dose of Polina along the way. Her titbits were on the blue signs, mostly, but I also noticed one or two on trash cans and benches.
 

Attachments

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
John O'Donohue, late Irish poet, priest and philosopher, in "Walking on the Pastures of Wonder"

I love mountains. I feel that mountains are huge contemplatives. They are there and they are in the presence up to their necks and they are still in it and with it within it. One of the lovely ways to pray is to take your body out into the landscape and to be still in it. Your body is made of clay, so your body is actually a miniature landscape that has got up from under the earth and is now walking on the normal landscape. If you go out for several hours into a place that is wild, your mind begins to slow down, down, down. What is happening is that the clay of your body is retrieving its own sense of sisterhood with the great clay of the landscape. Water in a landscape is a fascinating thing as well. I often think that water is the tears of the earth's joy and sadness. Every kind of water in a landscape has a different kind of tonality and a different kind of presence to it. .........So I think landscape is an incredible, mystical teacher, and when you begin to tune into its sacred presence, something shifts inside you. (pp 38-39)
 
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manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013, 2018
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
Along the Camino Sanabrés there were many messages to the Pilgrim from the people of the villages. One that touched me, stayed with me and goes with me is this:

"Caminante sentir la presencia en la ausencia, es compañía. La soledad es vacío con presencia. Que los valores alivien las soledades de tus andaduras."

"Walker feeling the presence in the absence, is company. Loneliness is empty with presence. May (your) values lighten the solitude of your journey."

Ultreïa!
 

Attachments

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). This quote came to mind as I was trying to plan the details of my pilgrimage on the Madrid; from Sahagun to Ponferrada; and on the Invierno to Santiago. It seems to me to be directing me to move from the practical tourist method of planning to the contemplative mode suitable to a pilgrim.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
*Derry-SANT (09/2019)?
I met a Pilgrim along the way, an English man who's name escapes me but we where up a mountain outside a bar enjoying last orders before the albergue curfew. I shared something I carry with me always but what he offered me in return blew my tiny little mind. Mine was simply,
'yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, life is a gift thats why it's called the present'.
He thanked me and before we retired for the evening and with 5 minutes left before doors closed he explained that from a young age he wrote the following quote on the ceiling in his bedroom and he would read it last thing at night and first thing every morning until he was able to memorize verbatim. He explained that he has encouraged his two children too do the same and the entire family can recite the quote word for word and I had the pleasure of experiencing in a starry night in the middle of nowhere with a kindred spirit...(Before continuing don't be put off by its length and fyi he finished it just in time before the door to our nights accommodation was locked and it has resonated with me every day since September and I've been trying to memorize for my next Camino in September so that others can contemplate on the power of the words in Max Ehrmann 'Desiderata'

  • Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy 🤠
 
Last edited:

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
When thinking about distance walking, be it Camino or backpacking, I have gathered a some favorite quotations. I am sure many of you might also have some that they would enjoy sharing.
--------------------------------------------

"I find that the three truly great times for thinking thoughts are when I am standing in the shower, sitting on the john, or walking. And the greatest of these, by far, is walking."
- Colin Fletcher

"I had better admit right away that walking can in the end become an addiction ... even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion."
- Colin Fletcher

"We don’t stop hiking because we grow old – we grow old because we stop hiking."
– Finis Mitchel

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
- James Michener

"Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; you have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits."
- Cindy Ross
I must be related in some way to Colin Fletcher based on your first quote. Lol!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I met a Pilgrim along the way, an English man who's name escapes me but we where up a mountain outside a bar enjoying last orders before the albergue curfew. I shared something I carry with me always but what he offered me in return blew my tiny little mind. Mine was simply,
'yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, life is a gift thats why it's called the present'.
He thanked me and before we retired for the evening and with 5 minutes left before doors closed he explained that from a young age he wrote the following quote on the ceiling in his bedroom and he would read it last thing at night and first thing every morning until he was able to memorize verbatim. He explained that he has encouraged his two children too do the same and the entire family can recite the quote word for word and I had the pleasure of experiencing in a starry night in the middle of nowhere with a kindred spirit...(Before continuing don't be put off by its length and fyi he finished it just in time before the door to our nights accommodation was locked and it has resonated with me every day since September and I've been trying to memorize for my next Camino in September so that others can contemplate on the power of the words in Max Ehrmann 'Desiderata'

  • Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy 🤠
There are other versions...
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
*Derry-SANT (09/2019)?
 
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Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
*Derry-SANT (09/2019)?
There always are other versions... 🤠
 
Last edited:

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
I use this Navajo prayer:

With beauty may I walk
With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With Beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me may I walk
In old age, wandering on the trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.

Decades ago a small snippet of this poem was engraved on a stone near the Indianapolis Museum. Lots of versions on the internet that are longer and more poetic, but I use the above as I walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
There are a couple of phrases in this that may not be in tune with everyone’s approach, but mostly, I think it can serve as a point to ponder.
Thomas Merton wrote: "Our task now is to learn that if we can voyage to the ends of the earth and find ourselves in the aborigine who most differs from ourselves, we will have made a fruitful pilgrimage. That is why pilgrimage is necessary, in some shape or other. Mere sitting at home and meditating on the divine presence is not enough for our time. We have to come to the end of a long journey and see that the stranger we meet there is no other than ourselves – which is the same as saying we find Christ in him."
 

John Gilliland

The Pilgrim Continues
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles June 2017
Camino Portugues May 2019
I just finished Cees Nooteboom's Roads to Santiago (an art and historical exploration of Spain by car) and like this quote from Ernest Jünger: "It is not the churches that are venerable, but the invisible that exists within them."
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
A Buddha quote
"Strive for personal happiness, result - misery
Strive for happiness in others, result - happiness"

Mine "Never take moderation to excess" ;)
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Hardly contemporary but still most relevant is

"Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence
and nothing too much...."
----Ralph Waldo Emerson,
----Country Life, 1858.
Thanks. Emerson is more relevant today than 99% of what is produced in contemporary culture today.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
When thinking about distance walking, be it Camino or backpacking, I have gathered a some favorite quotations. I am sure many of you might also have some that they would enjoy sharing.
--------------------------------------------

"I find that the three truly great times for thinking thoughts are when I am standing in the shower, sitting on the john, or walking. And the greatest of these, by far, is walking."
- Colin Fletcher

"I had better admit right away that walking can in the end become an addiction ... even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion."
- Colin Fletcher

"We don’t stop hiking because we grow old – we grow old because we stop hiking."
– Finis Mitchel

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
- James Michener

"Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; you have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits."
- Cindy Ross
I really loved the four quotes. Especially the one from Cindy Ross. It is something I struggle with and it does not get easier after each Camino. In fact the struggle becomes more difficult and lasts longer and longer. Also with regards to the Michener post. By far one of the most important things we gave our children was travel and not on tours but striking out on our own. By the time both of my girls were 22 Danielle had been on every continent except Antártica. She would have even made it there too except her boat had major engine problems and her trip was cancelled. My
Little one by 20 was just missing Africa (which will change next year) and Antartica. They have both backpacks for over a year each on their own also. But with all the hate and fear that we see all around the world they can step off of a plane anywhere and respect new cultures and are curious to learn more, have no fear of eating local foods and are always respectful and ask about customs of a culture from the friends they meet because they want to learn but more importantly they know they are guests in a foreign land. I am very proud of them.
 

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