Walking in Joy
Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain each day for 13 days now, 279km (174 miles), I begin to feel its deeper, more subtle power. It grows on me. It becomes me. I become one with it. In the last few days, walking alone, I entered the world of walking mediation. I am one with the sky, the fields, the medieval villages; feeling uplifted by the wind in my face, cleansed by the rain. My soul soars in freedom and joy. As the dirty track moves from in-front of me to behind me my inner song continues. I sing to the wind.
Short video on Youtube of walking in the morning sunrise and wind. There is a saying we express often: “The Camino provides.” This force, this God, this Spirit or Universe, always providing for us in each moment, is a steady constant if we take inner pause to notice. Stop. Listen. Trust. The magic is all around.
Each step brings more gratitude: for family, friends, nature, health, and a song in my heart. As my spiritual teacher would say, “God smiles in the flowers.” I see many Divine smiles: in the pilgrims, Spanish shopkeepers, flowers, landscape. I make a point to stop each day and pick a few wild blackberries along the walking path, appreciating this regular Camino gift. What’s the rush? The next bar, albergue, church and rocky footpath will wait for me.
While walking today a Spanish man heading in the opposite direction abruptly held out his hand and offered me some of his own fresh-picked blackberries! I thanked him, we exchanged warm smiles, he wished me Buen Camino. I said a prayer of gratitude and continued on.
I sing! Today’s walk included reciting in song the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 108 times. This ancient Mantra is to Lord Shiva, The Great Destroyer of Delusion, and is recited for spiritual liberation. Chanting this ancient Manta affects all the health temperaments: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. I visualize releasing attachments! I bless the earth and every creatures living on it as I walk; in turn I am also blessed by it.
Om Tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanam Urvārukam-iva bandhanātmṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt
I promised to pray daily for everyone who has sponsored my walk, and I include each of these generous souls in my walking prayers. Often I pass through small villages with tiny churches that are closed in the day; to receive the living energy from the ancient closed churches I drag my hand along the outside stones and add to the stones my blessings. A closed church won’t stop my prayers!
I am invigorated to imagine that my legs also carry you along this 1200-year-old devotion-imbued Walk. Like a Peace Pilgrim, each step I take adds more Light.
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