Camino de Santiago - Day 13

My posts from this point on will be uncensored thoughts that I am recording as I walk...

Last night we ate dinner with a young gentleman from Brazil who walked the Camino in 2004 and he is doing it a second time. He said "the Camino changed me the first time..." I was thinking of his comment and how the Camino experience is one of unpeeling the layers of the onion ... we're not adding anything to our lives - but rather we are letting go step by step - we bring ourselves back to our true nature. We feel ourselves as we are - giant sensory organisms... somas.

Walking through a lot of mud and a lot of mud puddles today.... there are opportunities to walk around them - but often they are difficult navigational choices. At one point I just decided to walk right through them and it reminded me of Sensory Motor Amnesia, and how we keep going around the thing that is creating tension physically, mentally, emotionally in our lives - when really we just need to walk right up to it and let ourselves feel it completely - even if it seems like the most over-whelming sensation ... I've experienced this with the terror of panic - where it feels impossible and yet there is always something in me that remembers another possibility. I'm not sure why I have to feel such strong sensations... maybe for me, that's what it has taken for life to get my attention in the past and choose a different path - walk through the mud puddle - let the water start to wash the truth over me. I'm feeling quite introspective today... we've now moved on to a stretch of paved road which is bit of a pleasant relief - not to be slipping and sliding in the mud. That's how life is - right - there are times where we are slipping and sliding in the mud and there are times where is feels easy and light to step forward...

Another thing I want to remember about this trip is that I have spent most of my life diverting myself away from myself - we don't realize this at the time... I didn't realize this at the time. We do it sometimes in a way that looks pleasant - even admirable, by helping other people - by taking on other people's stories. I am carrying a rock for a friend to leave at the end of the trail - she told me it was about "leaving old stories behind." It's true that we can only experience compassion for another to the degree that we can experience it for ourselves - for myself... otherwise, it's not full circle. When you know compassion, spaciousness, peacefulness from within yourself, you are continually being replenished as you are available for others, but when we don't know this experience and we feel forced to or compelled to give away more than we have, then we start to experience the effects as resentment, and tension. This is hard because we have built an entire culture based on certain values such as caring for each other and I think that those are - that is the way that we are meant to live - in support of each other... but we forget the first step which is to know ourselves. How can we possibly be available for someone else if we don't even know ourselves ... how can I possibly be available for another unless I know myself. So - I've made it a point to be open and friendly and exchange greetings with other Pilgrims, but not to share my story - which at this point is really just my imagination - and not to listen to other people's stories... but rather to let the stories fade away and let the steps, let the vista, let the never-ending sky bring us back to that place of spaciousness that as somas we already know.