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What do you do to remain mindful?

Year of past OR future Camino
1340
It’s a truism that not all pilgrims walk for the same reasons. As a consequence not all pilgrims have time to consider their rate of walking. I have often read about how fast some try to travel, but not as often about how slowly or how leisurely. To be sure there are practical reasons for moving fast: time is tight for those who only get at most a few weeks off work for vacation. Very few employers (at least in the US) grant more all at once, so for the employed, getting as much distance in on each trip to Spain becomes a reality. Then there’s the bed race, and those walkers who measure success by the distance they’ve covered in a day.

I find that when I walk alone my pace is generally much faster than walking alongside another. Once, though, I joined with a nice German woman who wanted to practice her English. She was a marathon runner, a self-avowed atheist, and was in terrific shape. She set a torrid pace that I found hard to modulate even after we parted ways.

I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace and not be stressed by external worries, such as, say, finding a place to sleep, or, “Do I have enough time to make it to Santiago if I slow down?”

I remember a three-language conversation at dawn in Murias de Rechivaldo with an Italian pilgrim: I asked if he knew of a place to eat breakfast. He just wanted me to stop talking so he could “get over the mountains,” and practically ran away.

Thomas Merton once said that busyness and hurriedness are forms of aggression:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.”

Do we bring this rush and pressure to the Camino? How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?

In the most practical sense it matters to me as I age in terms of the exhaustion and bodily wear and tear I feel after walking too fast with a young and tireless marathon runner.

All the best,
Paul
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace and not be stressed by external worries, such as, say, finding a place to sleep, or, “Do I have enough time to make it to Santiago if I slow down?”

Do we bring this rush and pressure to the Camino? How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?

In the most practical sense it matters to me as I age in terms of the exhaustion and bodily wear and tear I feel after walking too fast with a young and tireless marathon runner.
Interesting concept equating speed with mindfulness @Paul McAmino.
I am by nature, apparently a fast walker. I don't think I am particularly speedy & I have certainly slowed down with age & experience walking long distances, but my pace is commented on frequently on the trail.
I always give my walks the maximum time I have available. I never rush to 'get ahead' or 'get it done' & if you're familiar with any of my posts, you'll know I'm not in danger of clocking up any 'fastests'! eg; I took 93 days to walk the VF (incl PWC) from London to Rome whereas some Forum members have done it in under 70 days. Also the Way of 88 Temples in Japan; I had 58 days so thats what I took but others do it in the 40-45 day range.
So, if I'm a fast walker, why does it take me so long? Because there's a big difference between daily pace & overall length of time taken to reach journey's end. My style is to walk 20-25kms per day & get to my nightly destination with time to spare for exploring, errands, re-supply, etc. To others, I walk quickly & yet when I look through my photos, it's the small details I capture; a ladybug on a leaf, a cloud formation, a perfect flower, dew drops on a spider web.
This is a long-winded way of saying you can be mindful without going at a snail's pace (another critter I have plenty of pics of). It's all about individual attitude, preferences/likes & choices. I walk solo & don't have the distraction (pleasant or otherwise!) of another person so I can focus fully on what is around me at every given moment. So many times I've witnessed people walking together, heads down, engrossed in their conversations & completely oblivious to what is around them. I may pass them with that super-speed of mine 🤭 but I can give far more detail of the area just travelled through than they can.

Thanks for your post Paul, it's given me the opportunity to think about whether the two concepts, speed & mindfulness, are inter-related....I personally don't think they are. 🤗
Happy trails.
👣 🌏
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Interesting question. I think you are mixing together a number of things that may not be related, and making things complicated. Please excuse me while I challenge some of the terminology! 🙃
I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace
I guess I am one of those people - I don't really understand how "presence and mindfulness" are different from "attention and awareness". I am very aware of my comfortable pace, by having walked a lot of km in recent years, and I try to respond to my body's aches and pains and tiredness, by adjusting my pace.
In the most practical sense it matters to me as I age in terms of the exhaustion and bodily wear and tear I feel after walking too fast with a young and tireless marathon runner.
I learned some time ago that I should not walk too fast with anyone, especially not young and tireless marathon runners. 😬
How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?
I don't know what this means, other than "pacing" myself so I don't crash and burn before I get as far as I hoped.

My advice is to become a comfortable walker and know your comfort zone. Then leave your comfort zone occasionally!
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I remember a three-language conversation at dawn in Murias de Rechivaldo with an Italian pilgrim: I asked if he knew of a place to eat breakfast. He just wanted me to stop talking so he could “get over the mountains,” and practically ran away.

Thomas Merton once said that busyness and hurriedness are forms of aggression:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.”
Hi Paul, can you also imagine that this Italian pilgrim was in his own zone? With his own thoughts and his natural pace?
And maybe he had some worries or merely wanted to enjoy the landscape that morning and he just wanted to keep walking and stay in his " flow " ( lack of a better word ) . IMO that is not a form of agression but of assertiveness.

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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
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(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I'm sorry but I've never understood what 'mindfulness' is.
It seems to be another modern fad, where we like to give perfectly natural things, a tag ;)

"Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment without judgment"

And that's a 'thing'....... ? :rolleyes:

Aren't we all like that when walking a Camino? :)
 

Stroller

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Part of the problem seems to me to be that if, at the start, you have a limit to your time on camino you have already put yourself under pressure, if in addition you cannot say "well OK I will only make to XXXXX and not Santiago and that is OK" you are still working to a schedule and are actually still in the rat race.

Since retiring, a blessed state, and with an understanding wife, although she may be pleased to see the back of me for a while, I have been privileged to have all the time in the world to walk. I do not book accommodation, I do not book a flight home, I rarely communicate electronically and I simply let serendipity take me as it will. I am free to walk fast, walk slow or not walk at all. So a sense of freedom and peace envelopes me. Some days are hard some easy, some I walk long distances with no effort some days it is hard to walk 10kM. I go with the flow and do not attempt to keep up with others. Walking, as a process, ceases to exist and becomes instead a meditation, an effect I have also noticed when swimming and cycling.

So to sum up this ramble the mindfulness comes from release from the normal stresses of day to day existence and a surrender to, if you like, fate.

Yes I am aware that I am privileged to have the time, finance and health to walk like this but it seems to me that a lot of pilgrims carry much baggage with them which they cannot shift for many reasons and thus cannot disconnect from normal life sufficiently to experience the camino in this way.

As I said I am privileged, possibly blessed, and I wish you all the best camino life can give you.
 
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Stroller

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
As an addendum to the above ramble by a much better hand than mine I offer:

Ithaca

Constantine P. Cavafy


When you set out for Ithaca
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy -
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaca always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don't in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to give you wealth.
Ithaca gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn't anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca hasn't deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you'll have understood what these Ithacas mean.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace and not be stressed by external worries, such as, say, finding a place to sleep, or, “Do I have enough time to make it to Santiago if I slow down?”

Who says you can't do both? Be mindful and worry (though I would call it just being pragmatic). Measure a good day by amount of kilometers AND be present.

Mindfulness/awareness/presence (pick your poison) can take many shapes and forms. And it's not a constant state of mind, more like you dip in and out of it.

Some days my body decided it needs a chill day, other days my body called for a challenge i.e. "let's do this!" And those "busy", hard days were some of the most rewarding days on the camino. My last day on the camino, I walked 38 km from Arzua to Santiago, and it was sort of a fluke I walked that much. It was Nov 2019 and I had been walking since late August from Le Puy. The last 10 days I had walked in soggy Galicia and I was SO tired of the cold and rain, tired of sleeping in albergues, ready for the next chapter. That day was the only sunny day on my weather app for weeks, so I decided to go for it. When I walked into Santiago at 8pm it was one of the best days of my life. I nearly keeled over as I checked into Hospederia San Martin, had a cold beer in the lounge and slept for 2 days. Was I rushed? Not necessarily. Was I on a mission? Yes. Did I challenge myself to get from point A to point B? Yes. Was I mindful (or aware/present) that day? Absolutely.

And yeah, that Italian pilgrim is me. I am "that" pilgrim who is a buffalo, who needs massive amounts of space, who cannot walk with people. Morning coffees, lunch, afternoon beer and dinner is where I connect with people. Like another comment stated, lots of folks bring their worries to work out on the camino. Some days are bliss, other days...not so much.

Everyone has do their own camino.
 

NYSE

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
It’s a truism that not all pilgrims walk for the same reasons. As a consequence not all pilgrims have time to consider their rate of walking. I have often read about how fast some try to travel, but not as often about how slowly or how leisurely. To be sure there are practical reasons for moving fast: time is tight for those who only get at most a few weeks off work for vacation. Very few employers (at least in the US) grant more all at once, so for the employed, getting as much distance in on each trip to Spain becomes a reality. Then there’s the bed race, and those walkers who measure success by the distance they’ve covered in a day.

I find that when I walk alone my pace is generally much faster than walking alongside another. Once, though, I joined with a nice German woman who wanted to practice her English. She was a marathon runner, a self-avowed atheist, and was in terrific shape. She set a torrid pace that I found hard to modulate even after we parted ways.

I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace and not be stressed by external worries, such as, say, finding a place to sleep, or, “Do I have enough time to make it to Santiago if I slow down?”

I remember a three-language conversation at dawn in Murias de Rechivaldo with an Italian pilgrim: I asked if he knew of a place to eat breakfast. He just wanted me to stop talking so he could “get over the mountains,” and practically ran away.

Thomas Merton once said that busyness and hurriedness are forms of aggression:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.”

Do we bring this rush and pressure to the Camino? How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?

In the most practical sense it matters to me as I age in terms of the exhaustion and bodily wear and tear I feel after walking too fast with a young and tireless marathon runner.

All the best,
Paul
One must always walk at one's own gait whether it be fast or slow.
 
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ortemio

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances,14,
Frances,15
Madrid,15
Salvador,15
VdlP,Sanabres
Porto,16
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My mantra from day one has been very simple, and remains the same, regardless of speed, weather, company or state of mind

one step, one step, one step, one step, one step, one step

ad infinitum ...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
1340
Thank you to all who commented here. And thank you, Stroller, for Cavafy, one of my favorite of his poems.
I didn’t mean to assume that we all should be “mindful” all the time (it has become such a fraught new-agey concept).
I was trying to articulate a need for myself to slow down and take it easier on my body, so I’m not an aged, hollow-eyed maniac blown out on the trail when I arrive at SdC.
When I did a lot of distance running I found that Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” set my pace. I am now retired and can walk in a less hurried way. Stroller’s suggestion of removing endpoints, such as travel reservations and room reservations is a good practical start that resonates with me.

To be sure we all walk our own Camino. I don’t believe there is any “right” way of proceeding and I don’t want to be judgmental or prescriptive. Just trying to find out how some have worked out the issues of pacing themselves appropriately for themselves, whether it be listening to Gregorian chant, reciting Dante, or singing, for example.
Thanks again for your comments.

All the best,
Paul
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I don't really understand how "presence and mindfulness" are different from "attention and awareness".
They're not, really. These are nothing magical, but natural qualities of the mind.

How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?
I apologize in advance for being glib, but how to be mindful is simply to be mindful: when you realize you've lost a sense of presence, bringing the awareness directly to something (anything) here and now. Again and again. While walking, the sensations of the legs or feet are naturally easy places to focus the attention. Even if you forget and come back to them a thousand times per hour that's creating a habit of presence, as opposed to a habit of absence or stress.

Worried thoughts (like 'Where will I sleep?') or the stress that comes when we feed that worry can be objects of awareness as much as any of the physical senses. Zooming out (away from the content of thinking) and noticing the process of thought itself can be fascinating and eye-opening. Without keenly watching the thinking mind, molehills can become mountains in an eyeblink.

(Longer slightly technical note: The root meaning of the word for mindfulness in the ancient Buddhist texts ('sati') is remembering. And Buddhist psychology posits that the proximate cause of a moment of mindfulness is a previous moment of mindfulness. So if you've paid attention before (you probably have!), relax...it will come back. It's a feedback loop: intentionally inclining to presence is how that builds momentum. Once the habit is developed it maintains itself.)

Easy does it; just let it be.
Beautiful!
The harder we try the harder it is. It's just a matter of resting back. Just paying attention when we remember to do that - allowing the natural function of awareness to do its thing without us getting in the way by trying to be what we naturally are already.

Edit to add...
I don't really understand how "presence and mindfulness" are different from "attention and awareness".
They're not, really. These are nothing magical, but natural qualities of the mind.

How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?
I apologize in advance for being glib, but how to be mindful is simply to be mindful: when you realize you've lost a sense of presence, bringing the awareness directly to something (anything) here and now. Again and again. While walking, the sensations of the legs or feet are naturally easy places to focus the attention. Even if you forget and come back to them a thousand times per hour that's creating a habit of presence, as opposed to a habit of absence or stress.

Worried thoughts (like 'Where will I sleep?') or the stress that comes when we feed that worry can be objects of awareness as much as any of the physical senses. Zooming out (away from the content of thinking) and noticing the process of thought itself can be fascinating and eye-opening. Without keenly watching the thinking mind, molehills can become mountains in an eyeblink.

(Longer slightly technical note: The root meaning of the word for mindfulness in the ancient Buddhist texts ('sati') is remembering. And Buddhist psychology posits that the proximate cause of a moment of mindfulness is a previous moment of mindfulness. So if you've paid attention before (you probably have!), relax...it will come back. It's a feedback loop: intentionally inclining to presence is how that builds momentum. Once the habit is developed it maintains itself.)

Easy does it; just let it be.
Beautiful!
The harder we try the harder it is. It's just a matter of resting back. Just paying attention when we remember to do that - allowing the natural function of awareness to do its thing without us getting in the way by trying to be what we naturally are already.

Edit to add:
Just trying to find out how some have worked out the issues of pacing themselves appropriately for themselves, whether it be listening to Gregorian chant, reciting Dante, or singing, for example.
I listen to my legs, heart, and lungs. That's where my innate 'best' pace starts. That said, there's a favorite chant that fits my 'right rhythm' perfectly, and I chant it sometimes (out loud or silently, depending).
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
As an addendum to the above ramble by a much better hand than mine I offer:

Ithaca

Constantine P. Cavafy


When you set out for Ithaca
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy -
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaca always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don't in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to give you wealth.
Ithaca gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn't anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca hasn't deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you'll have understood what these Ithacas mean.
I have Ithaca always on my mind as I am a proud graduate of Ithaca College. I am still friends with my pals from Freshman year. This year we celebrate 50 years of friendship. Next year 5 of us will walk the Camino together. Can't wait. I will be cutting and pasting this poem to my boys. Thanks!
 

cbacino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
It’s a truism that not all pilgrims walk for the same reasons. As a consequence not all pilgrims have time to consider their rate of walking. I have often read about how fast some try to travel, but not as often about how slowly or how leisurely. To be sure there are practical reasons for moving fast: time is tight for those who only get at most a few weeks off work for vacation. Very few employers (at least in the US) grant more all at once, so for the employed, getting as much distance in on each trip to Spain becomes a reality. Then there’s the bed race, and those walkers who measure success by the distance they’ve covered in a day.

I find that when I walk alone my pace is generally much faster than walking alongside another. Once, though, I joined with a nice German woman who wanted to practice her English. She was a marathon runner, a self-avowed atheist, and was in terrific shape. She set a torrid pace that I found hard to modulate even after we parted ways.

I’m aware that some people aren’t interested in presence and mindfulness, but for those who are, how you remain mindful of a comfortable pace and not be stressed by external worries, such as, say, finding a place to sleep, or, “Do I have enough time to make it to Santiago if I slow down?”

I remember a three-language conversation at dawn in Murias de Rechivaldo with an Italian pilgrim: I asked if he knew of a place to eat breakfast. He just wanted me to stop talking so he could “get over the mountains,” and practically ran away.

Thomas Merton once said that busyness and hurriedness are forms of aggression:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.”

Do we bring this rush and pressure to the Camino? How can we be mindful of our steps? How we can sustain this presence over the long, long walk to Santiago?

In the most practical sense it matters to me as I age in terms of the exhaustion and bodily wear and tear I feel after walking too fast with a young and tireless marathon runner.

All the best,

One thing is certain: everyone has their own way of long-distance hiking. But some seem to have found the “right“ way to do it and wonder why others haven’t. The others walk too slow or fast, carry too much or too little, have the wrong type of equipment, are too spiritual or too profane. As I learned thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail a few years ago: hike your own hike (HYOH). I had heard the saying before but only grasped the meaning while on the trail. That’s way I now go solo. And that’s the difference between you and me. Cheers.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Thank you to all who commented here. And thank you, Stroller, for Cavafy, one of my favorite of his poems.
I didn’t mean to assume that we all should be “mindful” all the time (it has become such a fraught new-agey concept).
I was trying to articulate a need for myself to slow down and take it easier on my body, so I’m not an aged, hollow-eyed maniac blown out on the trail when I arrive at SdC.
When I did a lot of distance running I found that Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” set my pace. I am now retired and can walk in a less hurried way. Stroller’s suggestion of removing endpoints, such as travel reservations and room reservations is a good practical start that resonates with me.

To be sure we all walk our own Camino. I don’t believe there is any “right” way of proceeding and I don’t want to be judgmental or prescriptive. Just trying to find out how some have worked out the issues of pacing themselves appropriately for themselves, whether it be listening to Gregorian chant, reciting Dante, or singing, for example.
Thanks again for your comments.

All the best,
Paul
Paul I see you have gained from the advice you have given. I will add one final idea that repeats what everyone says. I think instead of thinking about mindfulness make it easy on yourself and do what I do. Walk with mindlessness. Practice letting thoughts go in and out and not fixate on anything at all. Thinking and pondering life is what got you on the Camino in the first place so get rid of all that crap. That Italian guy was 100% walking his own camino. I am guessing that he gave you a clue that he wanted his silence but you may have missed the cues. Only a guess though. If you walk mindlessly you will have the conversations and meetings that nature and the Camino want you to have instead of forced encounters. The German woman was a forced encounter that lingered with you. You want to find bliss. Walk your own pace after your body finds its rhythm without being interfered with by what your brain is telling it. Why even bring up what others limitations of time, money or physical ailments may be. They are not important. You have time. You have health and I assume you have the resources to walk when and as long as you want.
So just do that. Mindlessness is having no attachments. To people, to thoughts, or to plans. The old saying is the Camino provides. As someone here wrote the Camino is step, step, step. That is it! It isn't complicated but it is hard because we make it hard. Remember you have the luxury to walk and the good fortune. It is just wake up eat, walk, eat, walk, eat, walk, shower, wash clothes, eat, sleep repeat. Burt the bottom line is you have to figure it out for yourself. The best part of the Camino is figuring out that just like you, every pilgrim has their own reason for walking, every pilgrim has their own way of walking.
WHAT IS BETTER THAN THAT FEELING EARLY IN YOUR CAMINO THAT THE MOMENT STRIKES AGAIN THAT YOU JUST AS YOU KNOW THAT THE SUN IS RISING YOU WILL IN JUST A FEW STEPS BE IN YOUR CAMINO RYTHM AND ALL INSIDE AND OUT IS WHERE IT SHOULD BE. AT PEACE.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Simply put MIndfulness is an awareness of the present...what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.


For me, these things help me to be mindful when walking a camino.

1) Knowing where I will stay allows me to be carefree regarding accommodations. No pressure to get there.

2). Knowing, for me, what is a reasonable amount of walking for that day. I don't want to arrive exhausted, and I want time to stop, rest, relax, breathe in the beauty and have time to experience where I am.

3) Absolutely no unnecessary multitasking while I walk. I stop to drink and snack even if it is just for a minute. I don’t listen to books on tape, or to music that is not already present where I am, I do not try to problem solve a reason for coming on a camino, or work through other issues.. All-of these actions take me, personally, out of where I presently am when I walk.

4) I thoroughly research my camino and feel secure enough about resources available, including, food, toilets, directions, pharmacies,clinics, public transportation, taxis, and hiking equipment stores. We carry a cell phone with 112 programmed in and a list of all pertinent numbers. We travel prepared so can let go as we walk.

5) If someone we have met-on the camino says hi, we may stay together for a few minutes and then I slow down to a snails pace and indicate I will see them in the next town.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I think it’s a bit of a cheap shot to dismiss ‘mindfulness’ as a fad. It’s really an easy shorthand for an awareness of the benefit of an untroubled mind which has been expressed in various ways for centuries.

Mainstream medicine has adopted the simple practices of focus, relaxation and meditation and packaged them for ease of teaching and communication in programmes like CBT. Whilst I was always open to the principles, I accepted them more readily in a scientific as opposed to religious wrapper and they helped me a great deal.

More cynically, but equally accurately, I’ve seen ‘mindfulness’ described as what in the 70’s, before smartphones, 24/7 news and the always-on culture we used to call ‘being bored’.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
With the passing years I have become much more of a 'flaneur' as I like to wander and stop to have a coffee or a beer, or lunch, or to talk to somebody, or to take photographs, or a drink of water, or to look round an interesting church or castle or somesuch, or just to stop and look. Consequently daily distances walked have reduced but it is a much more enjoyable experience.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
More cynically, but equally accurately, I’ve seen ‘mindfulness’ described as what in the 70’s, before smartphones, 24/7 news and the always-on culture we used to call ‘being bored’
This doesn't seem quite right to me. Maybe it is the alternative to being bored.
My Grandma told me,... you b*ggers think too much. You’d be better just getting on with it”.
I would like to speak up for "thinking". Thinking can be a good thing when it is channeled in a positive and productive way! Persistent angst and churning negative thoughts are not.

Therein lies the beauty of walking and physical labour (which you Grandma may have had in mind) - the churning negativity gets turned into organized and positive thoughts. I enjoy thinking when I walk. I enjoy both the random mind-wandering periods, and the focused problem-solving times.
 
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Jimmy
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Fair enough CC. I’ll buy that too.
Absolutely gorgeous day!
Happy Easter everyone!!!😊
C716DB3D-8BD7-4E30-BA0B-EA259AA4F21F.jpeg
Speaking of “mindfulness,” let’s not forget why many of us walk to Santiago (Saint Iago).

14203AD0-419E-4372-86F6-D90654C9DC35.jpeg 4BE73344-A2A5-4B37-8891-B41A8A97ECF8.jpeg
 

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NYSE

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
My Grandma told me, after listening with care to a lengthy explanation of why my then teenage self was angst ridden, conflicted and confused “...you b*ggers think too much. You’d be better just getting on with it”. I’ve remained mindful of Gran’s advice my whole life 😉
My father often asked, "Why do people want to complicate their lives?"
 

zzotte

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
I find difficult walking with others, I love to keep others in my sight so “I’m not walking alone“ from my caminos I found that lots of people have no concept that el Camino it’s a religious pilgrimage regardless why one it’s walking, believes and whatever, and observing I find that people has they own agenda for walking. I have seen the good the bad and ugly so I walk alone and pray a lot :)
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
A positive to being “mindful” is recognizing you are experiencing pain, assessing your ability to carry on, then shifting your mind from it's focus on the pain to completing the activity. Often, once the pain is acknowledged, it goes away.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I can only speak from my own experience. On camino my best times are those when, if you were to ask me what I am thinking about - I'd have to say "nothing"! I'm aware, but not thinking. My body moves effortlessly, the landscape around me glides past, the breeze plays across my skin, the crunch of gravel underfoot is as natural as breathing. Glorious.

Good feelings also come with physical effort, like climbing a steep hill. For those times I find a mantra helpful. It does not matter what words, as long as it is something repetitive. I've used everything from Bible passages to the more mundane: "more effort means less fat" (and repeat... ).

On the comment about pilgrims who don't want to talk, I recall telling my husband to be quiet once, as I was muttering a mantra to myself while pushing my body up a hill. Sometimes talking is a good distraction but for real effort I need to keep the rhythm and concentrate!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I'm sorry but I've never understood what 'mindfulness' is.
It seems to be another modern fad, where we like to give perfectly natural things, a tag ;)

"Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment without judgment"

And that's a 'thing'....... ? :rolleyes:

Aren't we all like that when walking a Camino? :)
Way to go Robo!
 
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