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something in me has changed

#1
Have You experienced any kind of personal transformation during Your Camino?
Was it related with solitude or other things?
What makes Camino important personal experience for You that makes a difference when You come back home?

I had my own transformative experience on Camino and met couple of pilgrims who shared some of their experience. I wonder how nowadays essence of Camino is related with inner change, how it goes, how that experience is/can be integrated into everyday life later on?

Dear Pilgrims, if anyone would like to share the experience, mutually as well, (best would be skype talk or just write) that would be great. I wonder how we can root positive impact of Camino into everyday life and what constitues the inner change experience.
 

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Dorpie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#2
Wow, that's a big question.

I definitely did feel a change in myself while on the camino but the hard thing is translating that change into something that's applicable when you return to the real world.

I tried in London to embrace the openness of the camino and made sure I greeted people as I passed them while walking in the morning but must admit that the overwhelming lack of reciprocation mostly forced me back into silence, but every once in a while I give it a go just for old time's sake.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#3
Many of us remember and hope to give back a part of what has been gleaned. Some may serve as hospitaleros offering physical assistance to fellow pilgrims. Others share their journeys anew offering tips/advice by writing to unknown readers as for example in blogs, books or on this forum....Every morning I wake and wonder how it might be walking that day in such heat or rain or snow. Every evening when offering silent thanks for the gift of the present day I give special thanks for many years of personal camino memories and hope that I may "wear", a pilgrim shell until the end.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#4
Wow, that's a big question.

I definitely did feel a change in myself while on the camino but the hard thing is translating that change into something that's applicable when you return to the real world.

I tried in London to embrace the openness of the camino and made sure I greeted people as I passed them while walking in the morning but must admit that the overwhelming lack of reciprocation mostly forced me back into silence, but every once in a while I give it a go just for old time's sake.
I love to annoy people in London simply by saying hello to them,work's 99% of the time :)
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#5
The Camino, imo, provides the laboratory or environment to allow an introspective evaluation of ones self. That said, when you go home and drop back into an environment full of distractions it is more challenging to maintain or implement Camino values. I just try to imbed small changes. Therefore, the need to keep coming back. ;-)

Ultreya,
Joe
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Completed CF in Oct 2016
#7
I found the camino to be the most challenging at the beginning as the climbs were more than anticipated from reviewing the guidebooks and that focused me completely on accomplishing the task at hand, and my mind began to slow down and I gained a degree of peacefulness from this process. This was augmented by the positive support given and received from everyone doing the same task, (the absence of skepticism and individuality) were clearly part of the existential experience, not often found in competitive and challenging environments. What I think you can hope for is to bring back and hang onto a piece of that experience that brings a greater degree of inner peace.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
#8
Something has changed alright.

Ever since my first Camino, where I did a longish solo stretch before meeting up with lively the CF, I've felt this constant pull towards getting back on the Camino.

Doing a short Camino, like C. Inglés and on to the coast last year, barely slakes the longing. Or was it because I had (good) company and no solitude most of the way?

Contrasts? Contrast between the daily life and the Camino? Contrasts between the peace of doing stretches in relative solitude and the ruckus of the albergues and eateries?

Is it the open, no-strings friendliness and the surprisingly strong friendships that can develop?

Is it the warm acceptance of the locals, if you remain humble and respectful?

Is it the physical activity?

Something old and powerful?

Magic?

Or all of the above?
 
#9
Wow! It's amazing how differently change is happening and at the same how the same conditions that Camino gives - facilitates somehow how we do change. I belive it is much related with present moment in life, needs and longings and as well something 'magical' or mysterious, which is base for all of surprising and unintentionall events and experiences.

My Camino was a turning point in my life, couple of years ago. It gave me my new self, my - I would say - clear perception of reality and feeling of love and peace. I got some tips from that experience how to direct my life later on. Till Today - I would say: Finisterre experience is like a basic compass in helping with decisions, recognition of what is more important and what is artificial. It is a journey to bury the masks, we all _ i beliove - to some degree - wear all the time. It is also always a challenge to be ready to drop them, but at the same time it is a huge relief, a breath that can go through all things and make them new again.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#10
The changes wrought by five Caminos are limited only by my domestic responsibilities. Were it not for them, I would have moved to Spain years ago to live in the Camino, not just walk on it annually... perhaps in another lifetime...
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#12
From the very first day, I try to empty myself out. I try to become an empty vessel to be filled with each new camino experience. I leave all my judgements, opinions and problems behind. Each day, I try to simply BE in the moment. It is not difficult, and folks who know me may say that I suffer from OCD, but I am very much a work in progress...even after nearly 65 years...:eek:

If I have a meditation, prayer, or other psychic burden, I try to to dispose of that as soon as possible to lighten my 'emotional load.' I do my personal prayer and mediation either at a nightly pilgrim Mass, or first thing each morning. My working philosophy is that, the sooner I jettison 'the bad,' the sooner I can fill up with the good that one finds each day along the Camino.

Negative thoughts, guilt, or some other bad feeling may not weigh anything, but it DOES wear you down. Just let it go.

Hope this helps.
 
#13
After couple of years reflecting on my own experience and others, I've realized that it might be inspiring and helpful - especially to appreciate Camino experience as a gift for us - to try to relate to Camino in a very instinctive and intuitive way :) ....
Camino is a journey of primal participation in the reality, participation of self in more natural way-of-being in the world and discovering paths to real self. From that perspective - the essence of Camino might be simply about the change, getting back to authentic self (to real self from false self(s) or self(s) composed more or less by different kinds of masks) or letting new self being born (through discovering, accepting and following personal calling).

When I am talking about that change I mean basically:
1. change of self;
2. change of world and;
3. change of present situation (understood as 'space' between self and the world).
What makes that change happen? The flow of the journey, nature of reality, less conscious aspect of psyche which knocks to the door 'asking' to be integrated (ex. suffering, loss of direction, deep longing of different kinds, peace, love, etc.), God trying to meet me. Whatever terms or concepts would be used, personal experience itself will speak for itself, only more or less accurately to be ‘found’ or described using contemporary language.

One of the most powerful ‘pieces’ of Camino is that it ‘calls you’ to be yourself, it provokes you to just be simple, present and free (not attached with what’s already behind). In other words it requests only present time from you. While you’re truly present in the journey, nothing can stop you ;) Outer conditions (physical walking, direction always forward, not getting attached to one or other place, nature and it’s authentic way-of-being in the world, and many others….) do influence inner conditions, creating specific inner space.

Camino is offering that space, in which what is needed, longed for and important can be better welcomed, accepted and appreciated.
I believe that Camino re-discovered might be more about inner journey. Only that inner journey can be taken back, home, or to another chapter in life, or another chapter in life will start naturally from the foundations of Camino experience itself. It can be (realistically from psychological perspective) ‘used’ as ‘new eyes’ to look at reality and re-read that reality from deeper grounds. That’s why Camino might be a journey of primal participation in the reality, especially taking into account that normal-everyday-life-self is shaped very often by all sorts of conditioning, self-deceptions, fear and lots of stuff which modern world doesn’t have problem to infect us with.
 

Priscilla NC

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#14
My decision to walk the Camino emerged from the spiritual path I was already on. And it was a part of my transformation. I think the act of walking each day, not knowing exactly what to expect (though I had a pretty good idea how long I would walk on a particular day and where I'd stop) was part of it.

Another part was 'life at the speed of walking' through a foreign (to me) country. And another part was meeting people from all over the world and experiencing a new way of being in the world because of this.

What I've tried to put into practice 'back in the real world' has been seeing each day as the Camino: not knowing how the day will unfold, even though I usually have plans for the day. Slowing down and savoring as much of the day as I can. And being open to the people who cross my path and learning from them.

I've found the need to get away from the Standard US Lifestyle. My spiritual path continues: I've not returned to the Camino since my walk 2 years ago, but I hope to in 2019. I've spent several months of the past 2 years at a retreat place in the desert. And now I'm living in a monastery for a year.

I have no idea how my life will unfold when I leave this monastery. But I trust that the Way will continue to open in front of me.

Oh, yes, I do need to get back to the Camino next year!
 

Fifty5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2016
#15
I love to annoy people in London simply by saying hello to them,work's 99% of the time :)
London! A lonely place. In amongst so many people I’ve never felt so alienated. The place of my birth but not of my growth. Australia is the place where I grew up. I’m walking the Camino portugues with my daughter who is an Australian in April.
 

Lynne B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
#16
Wow! It's amazing how differently change is happening and at the same how the same conditions that Camino gives - facilitates somehow how we do change. I belive it is much related with present moment in life, needs and longings and as well something 'magical' or mysterious, which is base for all of surprising and unintentionall events and experiences.

My Camino was a turning point in my life, couple of years ago. It gave me my new self, my - I would say - clear perception of reality and feeling of love and peace. I got some tips from that experience how to direct my life later on. Till Today - I would say: Finisterre experience is like a basic compass in helping with decisions, recognition of what is more important and what is artificial. It is a journey to bury the masks, we all _ i beliove - to some degree - wear all the time. It is also always a challenge to be ready to drop them, but at the same time it is a huge relief, a breath that can go through all things and make them new again.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
October 2017 Francés
#18
Something has changed. I left behind some negative self-critical attitudes and also became more open and natural with people. Everyone always thinks I make friends easily and that I'm extrovert, but I find it quite difficult and see myself as being more of an introvert who forces themselves to socialise (sometimes). That thing got somehow a bit easier after the camino.

However looking back at the diaries I have to admit it has been rather hard to bring the deeper lessons of the camino back into my daily life - positive outlook and trusting that God/Something Divine will provide for you as and when you need things. I'm still easily dragged back down into lower modes of thought by problems in the so-called "real world"..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2017
#19
I found the camino to be the most challenging at the beginning as the climbs were more than anticipated from reviewing the guidebooks and that focused me completely on accomplishing the task at hand, and my mind began to slow down and I gained a degree of peacefulness from this process. This was augmented by the positive support given and received from everyone doing the same task, (the absence of skepticism and individuality) were clearly part of the existential experience, not often found in competitive and challenging environments. What I think you can hope for is to bring back and hang onto a piece of that experience that brings a greater degree of inner peace.
Well said!
 

Rdorekens

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#20
Have You experienced any kind of personal transformation during Your Camino?
Was it related with solitude or other things?
What makes Camino important personal experience for You that makes a difference when You come back home?

I had my own transformative experience on Camino and met couple of pilgrims who shared some of their experience. I wonder how nowadays essence of Camino is related with inner change, how it goes, how that experience is/can be integrated into everyday life later on?

Dear Pilgrims, if anyone would like to share the experience, mutually as well, (best would be skype talk or just write) that would be great. I wonder how we can root positive impact of Camino into everyday life and what constitues the inner change experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#22
Walking solo for about 90 days on the Via Francigena in 2013 was..interesting. I got to know myself in a whole new level. At some point I felt closer to animals than humans. Is that weird? Humans just looked so strange to me. They were so distracted and they never seemed to slow down. They made so much noise too. I tried to avoid cities as much as I could, in the woods everything was calm and I was able to take it all in. Walking gave me the time and space to really think and not be distracted by unnatural things like electronics. I think that when you walk for a long time (especially on something like the camino) you go back to humans original rythm. You slow down. I liked that and try to take moments in my 'normal' live to make sure I don't loose that feeling. That is what keeps me grounded and feel like part of the natural world. I hope this made sense..
I can't wait, only 31 days away from the new adventure, hopefully this time I won't start talking to myself (being on your own for 90 days is not always good for your sanity :) ..)
 

Fifty5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2016
#23
I’ve enjoyed reading posts preparing for my Camino portugues in early April. It’s been a long time for me to make it a reality. Since I changed my job three years ago. Back when I would while away the day at work dreaming of Spain. I hated my job and wanted to escape but a friend advised me to change my job first then go. She said nothing would change and when I came back I’d still be depressed. So I changed my job and kept thinking that one day I would go and walk. That day is now upon me and I thank my friend because I can go and focus on a part of me that’s not about Work. See you on the path! Andrew.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francais end to end in 2018
#24
Have You experienced any kind of personal transformation during Your Camino?
Was it related with solitude or other things?
What makes Camino important personal experience for You that makes a difference when You come back home?

I had my own transformative experience on Camino and met couple of pilgrims who shared some of their experience. I wonder how nowadays essence of Camino is related with inner change, how it goes, how that experience is/can be integrated into everyday life later on?

Dear Pilgrims, if anyone would like to share the experience, mutually as well, (best would be skype talk or just write) that would be great. I wonder how we can root positive impact of Camino into everyday life and what constitues the inner change experience.
I have read many of the interesting and deep answers to this question. Although i have not walked the walk (depart sjpp in sept 2081), i can offer, based on past experience elsewhere, that part of the transformation comes simply from being out of doors in nature for days at a time. I have found this in itself to be a spiritual experience that transforms me, makes my mind sharper, my senses more acute, etc. this may lend to our overall transformative
experience of walking, making new friends, trusting, going without, praying, being stressless, etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
april 4 - 14-6 2014 From perigeux to santiago
18-5- 3-6 2015 from Villa Franca del Biedrzo to santiago
#25
After my first camino in 2014, he's "nested under my skin"(don't know if this a correct English expression).
Still, after 4 years now, i get pimples when i meet someone walking the camino in my neighbourhood, and even can get emotional. Although i did my best not looking too far ahead in the future before that first camino, on that camino it was one of my first 'mental training' themes that helped me going the real long ways(30-38 km), by simply not looking at the distance signs and not think about the distance to go. The first sign i saw was in France:Santiago de Compostela 1100 km, and i remember the thoughts coming up: "wow,that's hard to imagine", and then i went on to delete that thought. Another thing the camino teached me was draw up at someones table and get to know the stranger. It's not common in my province to draw up at a table on a pavement cafe. This seems to be something trivial or simple, but it isn't if its not done at all in a culture. Now that i ask people if it's ok joining them at their table, i experience that they too like it to get to know a stranger.
The camino has become a healthy,harmless and also mysterious addiction to me. Maybe we meet at the camino del Norte. I start walking from the aiport of Bilbao the 9th of april this year. Buen camino a todos
 
Camino(s) past & future
april 4 - 14-6 2014 From perigeux to santiago
18-5- 3-6 2015 from Villa Franca del Biedrzo to santiago
#26
I don't know why I booked to do this Camino. I am so busy right now. I did not train and I feel I should be home and not running away from my problems. Yet I booked! And I am starting on March 30th. Please pray for me.
You did a good job by going the camino. Just go for it and let the camino guide you. Welcome to the club:)
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF011, CF012, CP013, CF014, CA015, S.Anton015, CF015, CI015
Ditch Pig016, CF017, CP017, CdN(018)
#27
The changes wrought by five Caminos are limited only by my domestic responsibilities. Were it not for them, I would have moved to Spain years ago to live in the Camino, not just walk on it annually... perhaps in another lifetime...
I know t2a very well and appreciate his amazing openness in this thread. I transported him from Bayonne to SJPdP for his first Camino and I have shared bread with him numerous times in SdC and Moratinos.
My story is very different and frankly I really do not wish to share much of it in an open forum, bur allow me this synopsis.
I was involved in a terrible military conflict in Cote d'Ivoire in 2002 while I was a PC volunteer (age 58) and my life began to change/spin out of control. I downsized everything in my life in 2005 after I returned from my extended PC volunteer service in Togo for 3 years.
I returned as an MFS volunteer in northern Nigeria in 2008 to rebuild a hospital but my service was cut short due to serious health issues.
Then the worst thing in my life happened; my daughter committed suicide.
We had driven along much of the Camino route prior to that in 2010, and my comments to her many times were, "We are going to walk that together someday." We have been walking it together since 2011.
 
Last edited:

HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#28
After couple of years reflecting on my own experience and others, I've realized that it might be inspiring and helpful - especially to appreciate Camino experience as a gift for us - to try to relate to Camino in a very instinctive and intuitive way :) ....
Camino is a journey of primal participation in the reality, participation of self in more natural way-of-being in the world and discovering paths to real self. From that perspective - the essence of Camino might be simply about the change, getting back to authentic self (to real self from false self(s) or self(s) composed more or less by different kinds of masks) or letting new self being born (through discovering, accepting and following personal calling).

When I am talking about that change I mean basically:
1. change of self;
2. change of world and;
3. change of present situation (understood as 'space' between self and the world).
What makes that change happen? The flow of the journey, nature of reality, less conscious aspect of psyche which knocks to the door 'asking' to be integrated (ex. suffering, loss of direction, deep longing of different kinds, peace, love, etc.), God trying to meet me. Whatever terms or concepts would be used, personal experience itself will speak for itself, only more or less accurately to be ‘found’ or described using contemporary language.

One of the most powerful ‘pieces’ of Camino is that it ‘calls you’ to be yourself, it provokes you to just be simple, present and free (not attached with what’s already behind). In other words it requests only present time from you. While you’re truly present in the journey, nothing can stop you ;) Outer conditions (physical walking, direction always forward, not getting attached to one or other place, nature and it’s authentic way-of-being in the world, and many others….) do influence inner conditions, creating specific inner space.

Camino is offering that space, in which what is needed, longed for and important can be better welcomed, accepted and appreciated.
I believe that Camino re-discovered might be more about inner journey. Only that inner journey can be taken back, home, or to another chapter in life, or another chapter in life will start naturally from the foundations of Camino experience itself. It can be (realistically from psychological perspective) ‘used’ as ‘new eyes’ to look at reality and re-read that reality from deeper grounds. That’s why Camino might be a journey of primal participation in the reality, especially taking into account that normal-everyday-life-self is shaped very often by all sorts of conditioning, self-deceptions, fear and lots of stuff which modern world doesn’t have problem to infect us with.
Hi Radekorion
You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this question. I hope you don’t mind me asking but are you intending to use any of the informaton gathered in your thesis or paper or book or whatever research it is you are doing on camino?
Buen camino
Heda
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#29
I don't know why I booked to do this Camino. I am so busy right now. I did not train and I feel I should be home and not running away from my problems. Yet I booked! And I am starting on March 30th. Please pray for me.
Rdorekens:

Take a deep breath.

Start your walk slowly and ease your body into walking a Half marathon a day for a month. I recommend stopping at Orisson the first night but it may be fully booked.

Pack as light as possible. I know this will be hard but you will be surprised how little you need. The idea is to minimize distractions so you will have the opportunity to explore the reasons you are on the Camino.

Listen to your body, if something hurts or does not feel right address it asap. Blisters and other minor injuries can detract from your journey. Do not aggravate an injury just to keep up.

Let the Camino be your guide. Try not to have any preconceived ideas as to what you will learn here. That can only lead to potential disappointment. The great Philosopher Mick Jagger once said; " You don't always get what you want but you find sometimes you get what you need".

The Camino is a little bit like the movie "Ground Hog Day". You get up everyday and do the same thing until you learn what you are supposed too.

Ultreya and Buen Camino,
Joe
 
#30
Hi Radekorion
You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this question. I hope you don’t mind me asking but are you intending to use any of the informaton gathered in your thesis or paper or book or whatever research it is you are doing on camino?
Buen camino
Heda
If I would plan to use any specific information gathered in research (field work, in-depth interviews, diaries, etc) in an article or thesis I would obviosuly ask for permission. All ethical research rules strictly applied.
 

Convert1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#31
I really like this post! So many great descriptions and ideas that I can relate to.
Honestly, the original decision was more of a "calling", if you will. After randomly coming across the topic on the internet, I researched numerous blogs and articles on routes. The constant pulling of the pilgrimage seemed impossible to ignore. So, I walked the Galicia way last May for two weeks. (Unfortunately all the time I could take off from work) There was a calm that fell over me on the second day that continued throughout my time. The puritan practice of "walk, eat, sleep" "walk, eat, sleep" grounded me. I became keenly aware of truly how simple life can be without all the noise and the chaos. I walked about 16-18 miles per day. By the fourth or fifth mile, my mind would sort of turn inward on itself. (Not sure if that makes sense) I pondered random events, scenes from my childhood, my career, my beliefs, all kinds of deeper thought processes.
I do think I came back different, and friends and family agree. Little things don't really get to me as much. I hug more. Praying involves a lot more listening instead of talking. I observe more than I engage, it seems.
I am heading back to Porto in August for a second route. OK! That's enough talking. Got to get to walking!
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
October 2017 Francés
#32
I don't know why I booked to do this Camino. I am so busy right now. I did not train and I feel I should be home and not running away from my problems. Yet I booked! And I am starting on March 30th. Please pray for me.
You'll be fine. You look young and the training is just doing it. Only the really mountainous caminos really need proper training - the Frances is fine. Go easy at the start and stick to around the 18-22 km a day mark until you feel comfortable to go higher.
 

BarbyLivie

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 28-May 14, 2018
#33
Many of us remember and hope to give back a part of what has been gleaned. Some may serve as hospitaleros offering physical assistance to fellow pilgrims. Others share their journeys anew offering tips/advice by writing to unknown readers as for example in blogs, books or on this forum....Every morning I wake and wonder how it might be walking that day in such heat or rain or snow. Every evening when offering silent thanks for the gift of the present day I give special thanks for many years of personal camino memories and hope that I may "wear", a pilgrim shell until the end.
This is beautiful - thank you for sharing.
 

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