I have been reading various blogs about the Camino de Santiago with interest as someday I hope to make this journey a part of my journey. In one blog at About.Com, Damian Corrigan writes:
The Camino de Santiago, a 800km trek across northern Spain, is described by anyone who has taken it, considered taking it or met anyone who has taken it, as a Life Changing Experience (© anyone who has ever taken, considered taking or met anyone who has taken the Camino de Santiago). It is said that the combination of long-periods of solitude, combined with the diverse people that you meet, in such a beautiful setting as the Spanish countryside, will Change your Life. – Damian Corrigan
Well, having the idea of making this pilgrimage has been on my mind for a long time. Curiously it re-surfaced with the shift into midlife for me. I had been running for quite a while, road-running, taking part in marathons and other shorter races, when my feet gave out on me – heel spurs. What a time to “grounded,” so-to-speak. The dream of the camino was dismissed and I turned to a more sedentary heroic journey via Jungian psychology. This is a journey of the human psyche that is called individuation. I have been committed to this journey of transformation of the psyche hoping for miracles for almost twenty years.
At some point along the way, I came to realise that I was only doing things in half measures as I had discounted spirituality, an aspect of my integral self that had been present form very early childhood until life got in the way. Twenty-four years ago I was re-awakened to the spiritual centre within me as I sat in a cathedral in Avignon, France for Easter. With the shift to the psychological, I had found that meditation served as a healing balm. I then followed the idea of meditation to reach Buddhism.
Today, I have it all – time (retired), a bit of money (pension), a relatively fit body, a spiritual centre and a desire to walk in search of self-awareness. It appears that I have been on a pilgrim’s journey for a long, long time but not really aware that I was on that journey. The pilgrim’s journey begins when one takes the first step towards healing the soul, the heart.