Alia’s Comments: Posted from Madrid, Spain!
My friend and reader, Sheila, who lives in the Salt Lake area of the USA sent me this beautiful photo journal entitled “Walking the Camino — A Journey to a Place You Never Left.” I have wanted to do this ever since I watched a documentary about it some years ago (probably the video mentioned in this post) and I hope that “someday” I will take the opportunity to make this pilgrimage. As Tomas and I are hanging out in Madrid for a short day, until our flight leaves for the States, I thought I’d post this story, as this is as close to the Camino I’ve been yet and it could be a harbinger of things to come. Thank you Sheila for sending this.
“A pilgrimage is a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place…Today, thousands of “pilgrims” walk the Camino every year, but for many, with a different goal in mind-it is not just about reaching Santiago, it is about the experience gained along the way. It is said that many of those who walk the Camino today do so as a ritual to find a part of themselves they feel they have lost touch with or, in many cases, never knew existed. What could be more sacred than that journey?”
~ Excerpt from, Your (Re)Defining Moments – Becoming Who You Were Born to Be
When was the last time you intentionally set out on a journey with no destination other than to arrive at a deepened sense of inner peace and clarity of mind? At first glance, this may seem a bit
impracticable but when taken seriously it has great purpose. This type of journey might be thought of as a sacred pilgrimage because it is taken with clear intention, immense courage and deep faith. A pilgrimage is defined as a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of spiritual devotion. Perhaps one of the most profound aspects of a sacred pilgrimage is that it can be perceived as a multidimensional experience. How so? It can be taken both outward, on the surface of life in the physical realm where we may traverse the terrain, as well as inward where we divine the depths of the true Self that lies in the silent gap between our lingering thoughts and most mindful breaths. What makes the journey in either direction so compelling is knowing that what needs to be revealed to us will be if we stay the course.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take just such a journey without even putting on my hiking shoes. A few months ago, the Association of Global New Thought (AGNT) hosted the first ever “Awakened World Film Festival” in Santa Barbara, CA, where I enjoyed a viewing of one of the featured films entitled “Walking the Camino; Six Ways to Santiago.” No doubt, it was one of the most well received films at the Festival. Why? Because it spoke to everyone’s heart, inviting each of us to join in the journey right there in our seats.
The Camino is a path that will lead you straight to the center of your heart–the place you never left but may have forgotten about. Also referred to as the “Pilgrim’s Way,” the Camino de Santiago is an ancient trail, dating to the Middle Ages, that runs among a number of countries in Europe to Santiago, Spain. For more than eight centuries, people from all over the world have traversed the trail. At its farthest point, the trail is about 500 miles long, going from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz, France, to Santiago, Spain. It’s a journey that is at once physically challenging, spiritually nourishing, and for those who surrender to it, profoundly enlightening.
And now, thanks to Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, you can walk alongside six modern-day pilgrims as they overcome blisters, exhaustion, loneliness and self-doubt on their way to living happier, more connected and more meaningful lives. You’ll be moved by the gritty yet profoundly transformational experiences of our six pilgrims, and through their experiences drawn to examine your own beliefs, reaffirm your faith and walk your life’s pilgrimage with greater clarity and sense of purpose.