People often ask me, "Why walk the Camino de Santiago?" I received the following in an email from The Center for Action and Contemplation and this sums it up quite well!
Practice: Walking Meditation
Jonathon Stalls, a Living School student and founder of Walk2Connect, writes about learning how “we share a common journey of wanting to love and be loved; that we want to feel safe, comfortable, and connected; that we want to belong—somewhere. . . . We’re afraid of exposure and vulnerability. We’re afraid of the unknown. We’re afraid to be wrong. We’re afraid of abandonment. We’re afraid of weakness, of truly trusting, and the fragility of letting go.”
Stalls offers this wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh:
"When we practice [mindfulness], we are liberated from fear, sorrow, and the fires burning inside of us. When mindfulness embraces our joy, our sadness, and all our other mental formations, sooner or later we will see their deep roots. With every mindful step and every mindful breath, we see the roots of our mental formations. Mindfulness shines its light upon them and helps them to transform."
"I can’t think of a better way to bring mindfulness practice into our body and into the outside world than through walking, strolling, or rolling at one to three miles an hour. It changes everything. It trains us, both on the inside and the outside, to begin seeing God, the Great Spirit, in ourselves and in others in such foundational ways. This humble posture invites us into the fragile details behind our own breath, the curious creatures high in the trees, and the struggle in being a pedestrian in today’s time. Whether it’s twenty minutes or four hours, mindful walking can invite new ideas, new ways of seeing, and new ways of understanding with every step."
I invite you to step outside and walk mindfully, present to God’s presence in all things.
Join us on a Prayerful Path pilgrimage to walk mindfully on the Camino de Santiago! Liberate yourself from fear, sorrow and the fires burning inside and embrace your joy!
Your fellow pilgrim, Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen