Camino Meditations > Camino Meditations Excerpt

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Dedication:

For all pilgrims everywhere, who wander their way to the Infinite.

Quote: “…for whenever you begin to wish you begin the pilgrimage. After that, no matter where you are, you are sure to be on the way.”
– Stephen Graham, Tramp’s Sketches (1912)


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Day One: Es Su Camino

At the start of every day in the meditation Ghompa in Nepal, Lama Yeshe would remind us to set our intention. In Tibetan Buddhism, one always says a prayer of motivation before embarking on any endeavour. It’s a bit like saying grace before dinner. It aids spiritual digestion. Also, the more committed we are to our intention the greater chances we have of achieving it. In the Mahayana tradition, we hope that any practices we might do will not only benefit ourselves, but also benefit everyone who comes into contact with us. After all, happiness, like humour, is contagious.

How to start the Camino is one question, but who to walk with is another. While walking The Way I often ran into pilgrims struggling with whether to travel with friends or walk alone. I did both. I walked with my husband for two weeks, then fell in with other meditators who walked as slowly as myself. Along the route, I asked a Dutch woman who had walked the Camino many times this question. She just smiled and nodded sagely.

“Better to walk by yourself and find your own Camino family. Es Su Camino. It’s your walk,” she stressed. “Do it the way you want.”

A woman who worked for years with the dying wrote a list of the top 5 regrets people share on their death beds. The number one regret was not living a life true to themselves. Here’s your chance: It’s your Camino. Make it wild, make it glorious, make it solo and introspective or raucous with new friends, but make it sacred to you.


Simple Breathing Meditation:

Start simply by noticing the air entering your nostrils. Breathe deeply. Relax. You don’t have to do anything special, breathing is automatic. When your mind wanders gently bring it back to the breath at the nostrils, the air gently coming and going, without force, without judgement. Practice this for five minutes. Then five minutes more.


Journal Exercise:

Why are you walking? What is your motivation? What do you hope this walk will do for you?
What in your life is out of control or in crisis? What are you powerless over?
Are you struggling over the recent death of a loved one, a lost desire, a failed dream?
Are you addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, weight loss, unrequited love?
How can you make this truly your Camino?

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