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The Inner Journey

#1
This is an attempt to provide some objective factual information to help people be aware of and explore further the inner aspects of the Camino experience. There's lots of expertise on this site devoted to the practical external aspects of the journey, but as we know, one thing that distinguishes the Camino from other walks is that you travel on the inside too, often to places you weren't expecting to get to. Recent discussions of this aspect, though interesting, have tended to become arguments over who's chosen the best route rather than a free sharing of information about them.

Whether you are non-religious or religious, you are going to encounter some movement along the path to self-discovery and personal growth. This often involves meeting difficulties inside yourself, like resistance, fears, grief, grievances and old emotions, that you struggle to overcome. It's a learning experience. We all carry heavy emotional backpacks that we need to unload. Then we grow and find it easier to tune into a broader and deeper consciousness of the beauty around us, the peace within, the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, a benevolent force that seems to guides us, and so on.

John Brierley's Camino Guides provide examples of the interior journey as well as the exterior. His bibliography gives you plenty of books to explore further if you wish. There has been an explosion of spiritual literature unattached to traditional religion in recent years, some of it of very high quality. The non-religious and religious alike can use it to extend their perception and experience of the world.

For those who want to steer clear of the word God, Eckhart Tolle's series of books, The Power of Now, Practising the Power of Now, and A New Earth, together offer you a clear and straightforward inner camino toward fuller consciousness.

For those who prefer a scientific approach, studying the film What the Bleep Do We Know is a good start. The Field by Lynne McTaggart can give you something weightier to get your teeth in to.

For those who would like to engage with a wise, informative, non-judgmental and humorous God, The Conversations With God series of 8 or 9 books offers another camino, that you can dip into or walk all the way.

For those who are serious about taking the road, the self-study programmes given to us in recent times by 'J', as he is referred to in The Disappearance of the Universe, provide a powerful route to taking control of your mind and opening up your heart. Focus on working through the first hundred lessons in the workbook in A Course in Miracles and then you'll probably be ready to move on to the advanced course delivered more recently, The Art of Spiritual Peacemaking.

I'm offering these as an alternative to a choice between religion and atheism with nothing in between. In fact we might do well, as suggested in Tomorrow's God, to abandon the word God altogether, to overcome the limiting beliefs attached to it as a term for the Unlimited; then replace it with the word Life. Then you can says, Life calls you, or you have found Life, or Life guides you and provides for you. What a lot fewer arguments we might have!

Thank you to Vinotinto for raisng this question in other threads - I felt you still hadn't had an answer.
If anyone wants to add further useful information, please feel free.
Charles
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#2
Charles said:
Thank you to Vinotinto for raisng this question in other threads - I felt you still hadn't had an answer.
Well, who really has the answers...? :wink:

I think many people on this board are a bit nervous about revealing too much personal information online to strangers, so on the whole things probably won't go too far beyond pack and load recommendations. I guess I can't blame folks for being cautious in this day and age. But, I do hope for some more dialogue along these lines... :arrow:
 
#3
It would be good if, just as you can ask a technical question about your packing and get a heap of informed answers, you could also ask a question on this forum about your inner journey and get a heap of informed answers as well. Yes that depends on trust, and that in turn depends on being able to rely on not having people attacking you because they have a different opinion. It certainly can't be done in a hot air balloon environment.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#4
Charles said:
Yes that depends on trust, and that in turn depends on being able to rely on not having people attacking you because they have a different opinion.
Well, we also have to have a thick skin - especially online. I'm the type that has a thicker online skin than in real life encounters. After all, few of us would recognize any of the other posters on the street. Indeed, the majority of us probably live quite far from one another. All I have to do to avoid a flamer is log off and go watch TV or something.

I think it was Hegel who was into the "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" way of dialogue. If we all rubberstamp each other's opinions vs. debating them, then what's the point of dialogue - online or otherwise? I'm not knocking validation, because that is important as well.

Even so, I tend to learn more from dissenting opinions than identical ones, because the dissenters challenge me to think through my presuppositions. In the end, I'll either stick with my guns, or else modify my thinking as needed. Either way I grow as a person.

But of course, tact is somewhat important as well - no one likes personal attacks or someone who is always right while claiming you are always wrong... :arrow:
 
#5
I'm afraid I'm going to have to rubberstamp that - I agree!

But it can also be an add-on processs, adding on new perspectives and new information to what has gone before. The important thing is not to get the ego wrapped up in it by identifying with a fixed position.
I have to say that there is something to be said for being agnostic. It's not an intellectually weak position. Socrates claimed to know more than anyone else in Greece, because everyone else thought they knew something, whereas he knew he really didn't know anything at all!
 
#6
Charles - thank you for a most interesting post in which you mention a range of alternative resources. I don't think talking about the "Inner journey" is at all controversial - those who walk the Camino Frances will be commissioned to make the most of the interior pilgrimage at the Mass for Pilgrims in Roncesvalles and at every Pilgrims' Mass I have attended in Santiago Cathedral much is made of the perigrinacion interior.

It seems to me that in order to talk about these subjects we try to define the terms and is so doing end up being divisive. Some would argue that what makes a journey to Santiago into a pilgrimage is faith: faith in God and a reverence for one of Christ's apostles St James whose remains, at least symbolically, lie in the Cathedral. Some people get caught up in what behaviour makes a pilgrim a pilgrim and argue that you have to do certain things like sleep in albergues to be a "true" pilgrim; others argue that this is nonsense and it is prayer which turns a journey to a holy place into a pilgrimage no matter the mode of transport.

As I've said before one of the great lessons for me was to keep my nose out of other people's Caminos through the realisation that everyone makes the journey for different reasons, with different motives and expectations. As for me I recognise that the journey to Santiago is an undeniably Christian tradition but in terms of faith I vacillate. What I do know is that I have discovered the meditative effect of the walking alone or in peaceful companionship is amongst the most spiritually refreshing things I have ever done. The sense of accomplishment in overcoming physical challenges outweighs the cost. The encounters with other pilgrims sometimes when deep things are shared and more often where simple friendship is exchanged are the jewels of the journey for me. The respectful encouragement of Spaniards waving from the fields and the raised arm of a lone shepherd on the hill are points of sincere human contact to be cherished....and yes going to Mass, exchanging the sign of peace, breaking bread with others.

Nowadays I rarely debate. I no longer believe that one faith journey is right and another less so. I've stopped arguing with priests and ministers and rebelling against the established church - and I am in church a lot, believe me, and there is lots of provocation! :) My views have changed as I have realised that in life we have to find our own road - Christmas in Church is a bit like the Camino - it is the time of the year when the faithful who sit in the seats all year are joined by the curious, the nostalgic, the carol singing agnostics. I have Jewish and Muslim friends who learned Christmas Carols at school and even although they don't believe a word of the story love the fellowship of Christmas - like the roads to Santiago, there is room for everyone.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#7
We all prepare for the outer, physical journey, but don't pay too much attention to preparing for the inner journey.
This is a short document we hand out at our local Camino workshops and St James' Feast Day celebrations. Although it is based on religion, it is relevant to all pilgrims searching for an inner journey.

“Happy are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage”.

A pilgrimage is a journey of purification of the heart and mind, a journey into the sacred and a search for our heavenly home. We are taught that to enter heaven we must become like children, giving up all the worldly trappings of adulthood, sacrificing the ego.

You must then, prepare to go as children, with pure intentions, without material richness, motivated by caritas not cupiditas, by humility not pride. You must let go of trying to control each day trusting that ‘The Lord makes man's steps firm and guides his ways with love’ (Psalm 27,23).

Are you ready to give up the comforts that you have become dependant upon and face the test of this journey, or will you test God and say, “I will do this, if I have enough money, the right gear, an easy path, comfortable places to stay and good food every day?”
The baggage of your interior life can become so heavy that it prevents you from opening up to the opportunities to serve others. Pilgrimage strips you of exterior and interior baggage.

Pilgrimage is a test. You must prepare your body and your soul for the test. You must embark upon this journey with joyful anticipation, willingness to temporarily separate yourself from the world. Remember to walk with humility and compassion. Whilst on the journey, follow the living parable of our Lord by offering yourself in humble service to others. Remember that love and faith are shown by one's actions. Strive to be a good witness by showing your fellow pilgrims, “You are precious in my sight, and I love you.” Can you be an evangelical light for others or will you walk in darkness?

Embrace the challenges of the pilgrimage. Leaving your old life behind you will experience a physically challenging but new, simple, uncomplicated life. In this environment you will have the opportunity to find your true self – not the self corrupted by worldly possessions, prideful achievements or self importance. In so doing, you will find your divine companion.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Sil's quoted document ends: In so doing, you will find your divine companion.
The Divine Companion

If you search your dictionary
And Divine is what you seek
You’ll see; superb, Godlike and Deity
Yet, nowhere is there…Meek

Likewise, you choose Companion
Once more you’ll find it there
Companion: comrade, rascal…company
Someone who’ll likely care

What moves us to Camino
Why take this step in time
Who says it’s just for Christians
When will I know it’s mine

I’m a loner, I’m a follower
I need people everywhere
I have faith, yet I’m a sinner
I love God, But He’s not there

So I’ll search within my being
Or, not damn well search at all
Till that moment when it touches me
And I hear His clarion call

Call it faith, or unsought Blessing
When your Divine Companion He doth Speak
One more step, a league, a lifetime
He is there for those who seek

Buen Camino is our watchword
As we trudge the miles away
Making friends and new beginnings
Every step a brighter day

We go home, our trial behind us
“Weren’t you scared”, some friends might say
No…for every step, I took in darkness
My Divine Companion lit the Way.
 
#9
I speak from my heart when I say I love all these divine people in the forum. You have given and created a sense of community that has supported all those before and those yet to do their camino. The stories, funny and serious, poetry, information, advice, the philosophy of each of you are all to cherish. I am grateful for this forum and want to thank Ivar for creating and supporting it. This came after reading some of the above comments....thanks everyone.
happily,
Lillian
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#10

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Perfect...Sil!

Thanks for all your well received guidance and info.

To ALL...Thank you for making the effort to be part of something that will remain with us for a lifetime! Ivar...you're the man!

Merry Christmas!

Arn
 
#12
I like the verses, Arn, clever and thoughtful.

The phrase 'Divine Companion' must signify what in Sufi literature is called the Beloved. Someone recently gave me a copy of The Gift by Hafiz: it's amazing. A bit too big for carrying on the Camino. I wonder if some of the editions of Rumi's poems are quite slim. I've never bought one, though have been impressed by bits of Coleman Barks translations. I gather Rumi is the best selling poet in America.

Yes, happy Christmas everyone and thanks for being so giving!
Charles
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#13
When you only have an idea, then a poem...it seems right at the time. Thus, when you actually speak the words...inflection, pause, etc can make it work. Enter Sil...

Sil wrote: Beautiful poem/lyrics Arn. You can set it to music here to the song written by J. van Dyke in 1909. Jesus, Thou divine Companion, http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/e/jethoudc.htm
Now there's a buzzing in my head and the words of the poem just don't fit, the sentiment remains but the words haven't morphed into lyrics.

So for those of you that might care...here's a revision that fits the music...or pretty close.

The Divine Companion

If you search your dictionary
And Divine is what you seek
You’ll see; superb, Godlike, Deity
Yet, nowhere is there…Meek

Likewise, should you choose Companion
Once more you will find it there
Be it comrade, friend, or company
Someone who’ll likely care

What then moves us to Camino
Why now take this step in time
Who says that it’s just for Christians
When will I know it’s mine

I’m a loner, I’m a follower
I need people everywhere
I have faith, yet I’m a sinner
I love God, But He’s not there

So I’ll search within my being
Or, not damn well search at all
Till that moment when it touches me
And I can hear His call

Call it faith, or unsought Blessing
When He doth then choose to Speak
One more step, a league, a lifetime
He is there for those who seek

Buen Camino is our watchword
As we trudge the miles away
Making friends and new beginnings
Every step a brighter day

We go home, our trial behind us
“Weren’t you scared”, some friends might say
No…for every step in darkness
My Companion lit the Way.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#14
Bravo Arn!!
A new camino song to march to on those long stages between overnight stops.
Now... if you can fit in a few timeless, medieval words such as, Ultreïa! Ultreïa e sus eia, Deus adjuva nos ! you might be joined by the voices of pilgrims past as you near Santiago!
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#15
sillydoll said:
A new camino song to march to on those long stages between overnight stops.
I sang Tea in the Sahara by the Police, and Pink Floyd songs like Comfortably Numb while I was on the meseta...that place brings out some interesting stuff... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Sil requested: if you can fit in a few timeless, medieval words such as, Ultreïa! Ultreïa e sus eia, Deus adjuva nos !
Sil...your wish is my command...with some apologies: (1) the Latin was hard, very hard (2) the additions are taken from the Ultreia Poem. And, this is the final revision!

The Divine Companion

If you search your dictionary
And Divine is what you seek
You’ll see; superb, Godlike, Deity
Yet, nowhere is there…Meek

Likewise, should you choose Companion
Once more you will find it there
Be it comrade, friend, or company
Someone who’ll likely care

What then moves us to Camino
Why now take this step in time
Who then says it’s just for Christians
When will I know it’s mine

I’m a loner, I’m a follower
I need people everywhere
I have faith, yet I’m a sinner
I love God, But He’s not there

So I’ll search within my being
Or, not damn well search at all
Till that moment when it touches me
And I can hear His call

Call it faith, or unsought Blessing
When He doth then choose to Speak
One more step, a league, a lifetime
He is there for those who seek

I will stand upon the road of time
This path I have to climb;
My Companion’s striding next to me
Each step toward heights sublime:

Ultreya friend, keep up the pace.
No traveling on your own:
When we’re caught up in the spirit
We're no longer flesh and bone

Buen Camino is our watchword
As we trudge the miles away
Making friends and new beginnings
Every step a brighter day

We go home, our trial behind us
“Weren’t you scared”, some friends might say
No…for every step in darkness
My Companion lit the Way.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#17
I posted a topic called words to ultreya a while ago asking if any one knew the words-nobody responded which is a shame as I would like to have the words learned for my next camino. On the topic at hand I read somewhere that some people seem to think that it is necessary to stay in albergues to have the true pilgrim experience. I've never seen any post expressing this opinion-probably because it is rubbish. I don't see how accommodation is related to a camino experience except in a superficial way. I am not religious but did meet someone just out of le puy who emailed me when she returned to London(she had injuries and sometimes caught a taxi/bus)for whom it was a profound experience due mainly to her catholic faith. Mind you she was VERY disappointed the nearer she got SDC due to the, as she put it, unfriendly people and mad rush for beds. To me the camino frances is a bit like those 18-24 year olds tours of europe where the emphasis is on other than the culture or history. I found the VDLP much more conducive to reflection-most of the time the small churches were empty so sitting inside alone was more beneficial.
I also wonder a bit at the modern camino-apparently it is common for spanish families with adolescent children to do the last 100km with sole intention of obtaining a compostela because it looks good for potential employment prospects.To others it just seemed like a mindless competition to be the first at the next albergue. The 'mantra' I have often read on this site is 'well that's their camino'-true but that does not mean that everyone on the camino are pilgrims. I often have trouble with seeing everyone, regardless of motivation, as a 'pilgrim'-surely a pilgrim has a deep religious motivation. It is after all supposed to be to visit, pray at the tomb of,venerate St James.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#18
Which Ultreya song did you want Omar?
I have posted the words to the Dum Paterfamilas (Codex Calixtinus) before and also have the music and words for Ad Honorem Regis Summi as well as the French Ultreia! songs.
Let me try to attach them here as word and pdf files.
The only one that won't link is a WAV file with French women singing their Ultreia! song - but the words are on the same document as the Dam Paterfamilias. If you would like the singing file, please mail me and I will send it to you.
 

Attachments

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#19
Hi Omar,

You have posted a lot of different issues here:

Firstly, if you read somewhere that
some people seem to think that it is necessary to stay in albergues to have the true pilgrim experience
then that is someone’s opinion and should be accepted as such – for them. Perhaps that person has done it both ways, staying in albergues and not staying in albergues and, in their opinion, the former was the more spiritual experience for them. Their opinion is not to them!

Secondly, you say
I've never seen any post expressing this opinion-probably because it is rubbish. I don't see how accommodation is related to a camino experience except in a superficial way.”
Of course, it isn’t the accommodation per se that makes for a different experience, it could be the camaraderie, fellowship, hospitality, sharing, breaking bread together that staying in the albergues provide. In September we stayed in four hotels along the way and each time it felt odd, as though I had stepped off the camino and into an alternate universe!
Did you see “Within the Way Without”? In some scenes you see the Japanese pilgrim sitting around a dinner table with other pilgrims, singing, laughing, passing the wine, sharing her poetry. In the next scene she books into a Parador. She is alone in the room and alone at breakfast. It is a telling contrast.

You have raised that old chestnut again, “What is a pilgrim?”
It’s been done to death – by Chaucer in the 14thC right up to this Santiago-Today Forum!
The 'mantra' I have often read on this site is 'well that's their camino'-true but that does not mean that everyone on the camino are pilgrims.
There are as many reasons for walking el camino as there are pilgrims and for many, including me, the old saying that it is the journey that is important not the destination rings true.
I often have trouble with seeing everyone, regardless of motivation, as a 'pilgrim'-surely a pilgrim has a deep religious motivation. It is after all supposed to be to visit, pray at the tomb of, venerate St James.
I think you know that many people do not have a religious reason for walking el camino and if this means that they are not pilgrims in your eyes, then so be it. They are people on a pilgrimage, to heal after a loss, to find answers in their lives, to restore their souls, or just with a need to go walk-about - they are the pilgrimage.
un abrazo,
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#20
Of course what is a pilgrim has been done to death but I found it odd that most of the people I spoke just before receiving my compostela in SDC said they did it for other than religious reasons yet when asked their reason in the office said religious and when I looked down the list of names and reasons every single one had the same reason. Call me old fashioned but calling yourself a name does not make you that name-I could say I'm James Bond,but I'm not. The Oxford dictionary has this definition :pilgrim
• noun a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons
Isn't that the whole point?-for religious purposes? Of course everyone's camino is personal but does that make everyone a pilgrim regardless of motivation?
As for the accommodation bit I was referring to those who do stay only in albergues saying those who occasionally stay in hostals/hotels are not 'true'pilgrims-which is rubbish and frankly 60 days of close communual living can be tiresome.
Yes I do have the video and I also recall the Dutch fellow in a restaurant trying to write his diary while some obtrusive chattering bloke wouldn't leave him alone.
The Ultreya song I was after would be the one in the video. Thanks forb the links Sil-I will now try and learn it!
 
A

AJ

Guest
#21
In his book "Walking the Camino" Tony Kevin talks about "taking his life for a walk". Does this count as a religious purpose? I think it might.

What is a religious purpose? In the middle ages it was to obtain indulgences. Do people still walk the Camino to obtain indulgences?

Or do they walk it in order to obtain a trophy, like the people that omar refers to.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#22
AJ,

I started a very long explanation on the sordid history of the "giving" of indulgences by the church. About five paragraphs in, I realized that therein lay the problem. As soon as someone "purchased" an indulgence, regardless of what the Priest, Cardinal or Pope may have offered, or promised...God knew the transaction was null and void!

Sure, some folks left the church, Cathedral or the Vatican with a Holier than Thou attitude, but deep inside they knew. And, God knew also.

To me, and I said this in the very first entry I made in this forum...I am doing My Camino as penance for my deeds of the last 60 years. I'm not purchasing an indulgence, rather I am sacrificing in many ways to make My Camino a reality and, its completion will serve to satisfy My belief, that I can go on with my life here on earth, continuing to live as good an existence with my fellows as is possible.

That The Church sees fit to "grant" me an indulgence for my sins is just the icing on the cake of completing My Camino. My God knows and that's all I can ask of Him.

Buen Camino,
Arn
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#23
I don't know whether I will consider myself any sort of pilgrim on the Camino, or merely a 'hiking tourist'. I am a 'lapsed Catholic', just slightly on the fringes of church.

Last year I cycled for five weeks in the Loire area. It was an adventure, and a challenge, but I did it mainly because I wanted to cycle in the countryside. In an unexpected way, it also became a bit of a pilgrimage. In the Loire area, there are many reminders of St Martin. I was soon discovering many different sculptures, paintings etc of St Martin sharing his cloak, and it became clear that he was a beloved early bishop in that area. I visited a beautiful village where the Loire and the river Vienne came together, and found that this was a place St Martin loved to be in, and that he died there. In a nearby village, where I happened to be camping, I discovered a lovely altar scupture, showing people carrying the body of St Martin through local fields of poppies, to Tours. The act of St Martin, sharing his cloak, became very real to me.

I have no idea whether the fact that I will be walking trails, where many thousands of the pious have walked before, will bring me to spiritual thoughts or not. And in many ways, I don't care to define myself as either a 'pilgrim' or a 'tourist'. I will simply be Margaret, on another adventure, living my life.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#24
Hi Omar,
The credential is given to people (pilgrims?) who profess a religious or spiritual motivation to walk the last 100kms to Santiago. In 2002 and 2004 I ticked all four boxes regarding motivation - Religious, Spiritual, Cultural and Tourism. This year I left out religious and asked for the other certificate, not the Compostela.
Webster’s (and most other dictionaries) describe a pilgrim as: a wanderer, a traveler in foreign parts, a person who travels to a shrine of holy place (nothing about motivation).
It is after all supposed to be to visit, pray at the tomb of,venerate St James.
If these were the only reasons then one would not have to walk the camino at all. One could fly directly to Santiago and do just that – pray at the tomb, venerate the relics and earn indulgences. But many people don’t – they walk a long and arduous journey; sometimes, like you, along many different routes. Why? If one merely wanted a certificate – they could walk the last 100kms - why bother with a +800km trek?
Before trains, planes and automobiles, the medieval pilgrim walked because that was the only means of reaching the tomb. Walking wasn’t a prerequisite for earning an indulgence. Many thousands went by sea to Galicia and only had to walk a short distance to reach the tomb.
If you were only going to Spain solely to visit St James, pray at the tomb, venerate the relics - you wouldn't be walking from Granada, the camino norte, the VDLP etc.
Figuratively, pilgrimage is the journey of human life (Webster's) and we are all pilgrims on the same journey.
 
#25
It might be helpful to see the Camino as a high-level educational device. As with most study courses, many people see completing it as an achievement and getting the piece of paper at the end is for them an important prize. Wiser people recognise that it's what they learn in the process of taking the course that is of value. But often the achievers are affected in another way by their journey and may later recognise more of the value the experience has brought them.

The important thing for our own inner journey is: when we see people behaving in ignorance, what is our response - righteous superiority and disdain, or compassion and a willingness to guide?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#26
You will get out of your camino journey exactly what you put into it. A kinda - "Reap what you sow".
If you carry too heavy a load and are not walking fit you will struggle, might get blisters, tendonitis, aching shoulders and pulled muscles.
Similarly, if you just want a jolly good hike, with some excellent history thrown in and some good wine, then that is what you will have.
Like many pilgrims, I first walked the camino carrying a load of baggage (besides an overweight backpack) with a lot of expectations and very few intentions. At the end of the journey from Roncesvalles to Santiago, I waited for the miracle, for the baggage to be lifted and for a glimpse of Nirvana.
On the second camino, I decided to just let happen whatever was going to happen, and if it didn’t happen – c’est la vie. Well, not much happened. I had a great walk, met some very nice people and took beautiful photos with my new digital camera but the Karma was still not right. In Buddhism this means that, any action is understood to create "seeds" in the mind that will sprout into the appropriate result and we are all responsible for our own Karma.
This time I decided to walk el camino to celebrate my life, warts and all, to acknowledge my blessings, greet each morning with a positive prayer and give thanks each night. On a physical level I decided to take along my Arnica oils and offer foot massages to other pilgrims as well as Abrazos Gratis to all who needed a hug. On a spiritual level, I decided to reject any negative thoughts, only acknowledging positive, loving, empathetic thought. I posted this on my Blog the day before we left for Spain:
I have no lofty expectations of this camino. No search for the Holy Grail, no burning angst, no unresolved issues. I just want to 'be' so that - as in an ancient Hasidic prayer - I can feel the 'Holy Fire' from all that surrounds me.
What a wonderful camino it was! The right Karma and the right harvest!
There is a verse in the bible about reaping what you sow but my favourite would be this one:
He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifiully shall reap also bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6)
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#27
sillydoll said:
You will get out of your camino journey exactly what you put into it. A kinda - "Reap what you sow".
Yes, I agree. But the Camino has a way of surprising one as well, and working it's own will upon one regardless of their preparations and mindset - like the story of the running Scotsman I posted on an earlier thread. Plus, I have to mention my own example, how the Camino broke my materialism and "be prepared for anything" mentality. :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#28
Vinotinto wrote: "be prepared for anything"
VT...therein was the problem. While "Be Prepared" is just good Scouting...you added the "anything".

Humanly impossible, unless you're the Director of Homeland Security...a mission impossible if there ever was one.

I would be interested though (getting serious here) in reading what changes did take place and where are you now?

If I'm being to intrusive...tell me to pound sand!

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#29
Arn said:
Humanly impossible
You got that right - check out my Equipment list under the Misc Topics forum to see all the stuff I ended up getting rid of. What a mess.

Arn said:
I would be interested though (getting serious here) in reading what changes did take place and where are you now?
Funny you should ask that. I'm in the midst of heavy posting on this topic on the Amazon US Discussion Board, under the "Dawkins and Dangerous Ideas II" thread. Considering that the Camino coincided with my mid-life crisis and backing away from evangelical Christianity, I'd say I went through - and am still experiencing - a bunch of life change. And since I'm still working through it, I'm in a state of flux - a scary and exhilarating place to be.

Right now I'm working on a book about my Camino experience. It would be cool if it had a big impact in the US, like that German guy's book did in his country. And it would be even cooler if I actually finish the darn thing. But as long as I can craft a compelling account of the Way that will inspire others to try it, I'll be happy... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#30
Vinotinto wrote: Right now I'm working on a book
My experiences are such that at times "news people" and freelance writers will come across a reference, a link...something that draws them back to me and my fellows.

There are only four of us left and, we've agreed NOT to write anything.

That said, a very good friend said, "if you decide to...write of what you know and the world will accept or reject, but you will know the truth". He went on to say, that much of what we did will never be known, though the the positive impact will be felt for generations.

VT...many folks have written of their experiences on the Camino...most, have written with a goal in mind...reaffirm their existence, re enforce/put aside preconceptions, add to a weakened self appraisal, or any number of "clichéd" topics with the final goal not to offend, reach the largest audience, and make money.

If you write from your heart...warts and all...and you're happy with what you've written. You're a success!

regards
Arn
 
#31
Returning to the Divine Companion, or the Holy Fire......
I found this gem from Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky):

Like
A pair
Of mismatched newlyweds,
One of whom still feels very insecure,
I keep turning to God
Saying,
'Kiss
Me.'
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#32
Arn said:
If you write from your heart...warts and all...and you're happy with what you've written. You're a success!
Thanks! But I wouldn't mind making a buck or two, if only to walk the Way once more and enjoy some excellent Spanish VINO TINTO!! :wink: :mrgreen:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#33
VT..."making a buck"...is that what it's come down to!

We are falling deep in sin........WWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

All the best Brother!
Arn
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#34
Charles wrote: Returning to the Divine Companion, or the Holy Fire
Charles, you've just proven my initial point!

When we create a thread...we have the most sincere and good intentions that, for at least a time, the thread will remain pure and the discourse on track.

But we are a rebellious folk...our minds are spinning a thousand...no a million miles a second. Sometimes the thread becomes so introspective we shy away from the topic and spin off in a more nonthreatening direction.

Charles wrote: It certainly can't be done in a hot air balloon environment.
My hope was that, once we (the unwashed)realized we'd gone beyond the initial intent of a thread, we'd recognize that fact and move over to THAB to continue along our merry way, while leaving the previous thread (in this case: The Inner Journey) in tact.

I applaud you're starting this thread and consider it the genesis and inspiration of my poor offering:

The Divine Companion

Buen Camino, Charles.
Arn
 
#35
Thank you, Arn, and it wasn't meant as a criticism for wandering off track - just a back reference for something I wanted to say. I've yet to try the quote system, I'm sure it's very simple. I find the various meanderings of discussion on these threads to be diverting in both senses.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#36
Charles,

Hey, my friend, we are all in this together!

As to the "Quote" option, here's how it works:

1. On the bar above this box...tap Quote

2. You'll see: appear

3. Find the line you want to quote, Hey, my friend, we are all in this together!, highlight it, copy, then:

paste it here
Hey, my friend, we are all in this together!
4. if you want to attribute it...then just add:
Arn wrote:Hey, my friend, we are all in this together!
Hope that helps

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#37
Arn said:
VT..."making a buck"...is that what it's come down to!
Well, you can't even walk across the street, much less down the Camino, w/out some ducats, my friend. And with the Euro at 1.47US - well, you'd better have your ducats in line... ;-)

Arn said:
We are falling deep in sin
What else is new? The falling part is OK - it's the landing that's a doozy... :mrgreen:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#38
Vinotinto wrote: you'd better have your ducats in line
My kids have know for a long time I wanted to walk the Camino. They're very supportive as I am of them. In fact when my Son Christopher departs Afghanistan, he's taking two weeks and going to Tibet with a few of his Gurkha's to hike up the Himalayas to about 14,000 ft. Where does he get these wild and crazy ideas from?

Back to my point, when asked by them how I was going to afford this trip of a lifetime..I said...well, I'm spending your inheritance...that's how!

They seemed OK with that...gotta love them.

Arn
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#39
Sil
If a pilgrim is also 'a traveller in foriegn parts' then any tourist/hiker/walker/trekker/transient who travels to foreign parts is a pilgrim. I dont think the general opinion of most people of a pilgrim would be 'a traveller in foreign parts' otherwise going to Las Vegas could be classed as a pilgrimage. You also say that if the religious aspect (to pray/venerate at the tomb) was all that was necessary you could fly to Santiago-well, yes you could because amongst other things it fulfills your definition of 'foreign parts'. The Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan is often accomplished by pilgrims doing the entire circuit by bus and I'm sure that pilgrims of past ages would certainly take the easiest option available to them (unless the pilgrimage was a penance when the arduousness and inconvenience were the punishment) as surely the whole point of those pilgrims was to reach the tomb and the distance they walked often had more to do with their geographical location.
I'm sure there are many who do fly into Santiago and pray at the tomb and consider that they have completed a pilgrimage. The Pope has recently said that those who visit Lourdes earn an indulgence-he didn't you have to walk so why do people think Santiago is different?
As for why do many walk?-or more specifically me? It is NOT religious and is only on the fringe of spiritual. I wonder how many would say, in all honesty, that there is a large element of 'holiday', 'adventure'or 'novelty' ?
I don't recall 'ticking any boxes' for my credential-last year was different to this year-I seem to remeber being given verbal options which I chose from and wrote on the form.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#40
Omar wrote: I dont think the general opinion of most people of a pilgrim would be 'a traveller in foreign parts' otherwise going to Las Vegas could be classed as a pilgrimage.
One of my top ten “real people” of my life is John Wayne. He is an American icon who, as an actor, had a following around the globe. John Wayne was known to address just about any stranger as “pilgrim”, meaning a stranger, or an “unknown”, as in are you a friend or foe.

Russell Shaw has an article on Catholic Exchange in which he wonders aloud that given the Pope's reputation as timid, overly cautious, and slow to make decisions; after the last few weeks (circa July 2007), if this is the timid and indecisive Pope, one can only wonder (what) a bold risk taker would look like. In reading the piece, I couldn't help but conjure the image of John Wayne. That's right, the Duke.

Like John Wayne, Pope Benedict does not need to make a big scene to be heard. His quiet self-assurance makes his presence felt. When he enters a room, or in the case of the Pope, when he enters a discussion he is heard. When he has made a judgment about the course to be taken, there is no doubt that he will take it.
In all his quiet certitude, in his determination to do the right thing in a gentle voice that seems to say "Follow Me, Pilgrim", Pope Benedict may be remembered as the John Wayne of Popes.

Omar, I understand this to mean, that anyone on a journey into uncharted waters, or in this case dry land, who’s in search of direction…can be called a pilgrim.

God knows, that after I was recently blinded by the night lights of Vegas, I was definitely a pilgrim in search of direction, hoping that John Wayne or the Pope would come along.

Arn
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#41
In the tiny Iglesia de San Andrés in La Faba, I found the following prayer on the wall. The hospitaleros told me that they had imprinted it on cards similar to the picture but that all were gone and more needed to be printed. I took my own photo and superimposed the words on it, but not being very good with Photoshop, it didn't didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. However, I found the prayer compelling and have taken the liberty of translating it into English below.

Aúnque hubiera recorrido todos los caminos,
cruzado montañas y valles desde Oriente a Occidente,
si no he descubierto la libertad de ser yo mismo,
no he llegado a ningún sitio.

Aúnque hubiera compartido todos mis bienes
con gente de otra lengua y cultura,
hecho amistad con peregrinos de mil senderos
o compartido albergue con santos y principes,
si no soy capaz de perdonar mañana a mi vecino,
no he llegdo a ningún sitio.

Aúnque hubiera cargado mi mochila de principio a fin,
y esperado por cada peregrino necesitado de ánimo,
o cedida mi cama a quien llegó después,
y regalado mi botellín de agua a cambio de nada,
si regreso a mi casa y mi trabajo
y no soy capaz de crear fraternidad
y poner alegría, paz y unidad,
no he llegado a ningún sitio.

Aúnque hubiera tenido comida y agua cada día,
y disfrutado de techo y ducha todas las noches,
o hubiera sido bien atendido de mis heridas,
si no he descubierto en todo ello el amor de Diós,
no he llegado a ningún sitio.

Aúnque hubiera visto todos los monumentos
y contemplado las mejores puestas del sol;
Aúnque hubiera aprendido un saludo en cada idioma
o probado el agua limpia de todas las fuentes,
si no he descubierto quien es autor
de tanta belleza gratúita y tanta paz
no he llegado a ningún sitio.

Si a partir de hoy no sigo caminando en tus caminos,
buscando y viviendo según lo aprendido;
Si a partir de hoy no veo en cada persona,
amigo o enemigo, un compañero de Camino;
Si a partir de hoy no reconozco a Diós,
el Diós de Jesús de Nazaret,
como el único Diós de mi vida,
no he llegado a ningún sitio.

Fraydino, La Faba

Although I may have traveled all the roads,
crossed mountains and valleys from East to West,
if I have not discovered the freedom to be myself,
I have arrived nowhere.

Although I may have shared all of my possessions
with people of other languages and cultures;
made friends with Pilgrims of a thousand paths,
or shared albergue with saints and princes,
if I am not capable of forgiving my neighbor tomorrow,
I have arrived nowhere.

Although I may have carried my pack from beginning to end
and waited for every Pilgrim in need of encouragement,
or given my bed to one who arrived later than I,
given my bottle of water in exchange for nothing;
if upon returning to my home and work,
I am not able to create brotherhood
or to make happiness, peace and unity,
I have arrived nowhere.

Although I may have had food and water each day,
and enjoyed a roof and shower every night;
or may have had my injuries well attended,
if I have not discovered in all that the love of God,
I have arrived nowhere.

Although I may have seen all the monuments
and comtemplated the best sunsets;
although I may have learned a greeting in every language
or tried the clean water from every fountain;
if I have not discovered who is the author
of so much free beauty and so much peace,
I have arrived nowhere.

If from today I do not continue walking on your path,
searching for and living according to what I have learned;
if from today I do not see in every person, friend or foe
a companion on the Camino;
if from today I cannot recognize God,
the God of Jesus of Nazareth
as the one God of my life,
I have arrived nowhere.


Buen Camino,
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#43
Hi Charles,
Of course you can put it on your website - I would only ask that you attribute it to Fraydino and say that is came from the Iglesia de San Andrés - Church of Saint Andrew - at La Faba.

Unfortunately I know nothing of Fraydino - all the searches I have done have turned up nothing. There are also a couple of photos of the prayer online and I could email you the one I took.... I think it is too large to post here...

Buen Camino
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#44
Ok I am quoting myself here!!
KiwiNomad06 said:
I don't know whether I will consider myself any sort of pilgrim on the Camino, or merely a 'hiking tourist'. I am a 'lapsed Catholic', just slightly on the fringes of church.
Yesterday I had a wonderful talk with a priest, and I was telling him all about how I see myself more as a walker than a pilgrim, but how I was surprised by St Martin 'popping up' for me all over the Loire, so who knew if I might be 'surprised' again on the Camino.
Little was I to know that the first surprise was just minutes away. I got out a map to show this priest where I would be walking. As soon as he saw the map with Le Puy highlighted, he became very animated: it turns out that Le Puy is where his order, the Marist fathers, had their origins. So now it seems like on Day 1, a day where I plan to explore Le Puy before I start walking, I will be on a kind of pilgrimage, and will pray for this priest there.
Who knows what other surprises lie ahead!
Margaret
 

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