Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Camino: Lessons for Life...?

I mentioned this a few days ago in a post about The Universe. Several people have asked me to repeat it so here it is. Every day I find its lessons more and more relevant to how I want to see life, and perhaps to how I want to be seen.

Here is the original post from August 2009 post Camino Portuguese:

Insights and a Serious Attempt at Introspection...

What have I truly learned from this Camino?

I have learned, once again, that the Camino is a microcosm of the world that could be. Those who have walked it, (or within whatever transport they took it) already know this. Those who have yet to experience it, will, in one way or another learn this: that much is guaranteed.

I have learned as the I Ching counsels “not to put too much trust into those with whom we have recently become acquainted”: sad but true.

I have learned that there are angels on the Camino. Usually where you least expect them (and I am still not totally convinced about angels anyway.)

I have learned to ask for what you truly need, for it will be provided.

I have learned that sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.

I have learned that the distance is not something we need to really concern ourselves with: it is about putting one foot in front of the other.

I have learned that blisters go away; in fact most annoying things go away eventually.

I have learned that you can speak Spanish in Portugal and be more or less understood, but that you may not have the slightest idea of the response believe me, it doesn’t really matter, the Portuguese are the most helpful people on earth.

I have learned that parrots have a sense of humour, pigeons don't like peanuts, and that I can raise swallows from the dead.

I have learned that sometimes I have to let myself be taken care of.

I have learned that what “the church” has told you is very much open to question.

I have learned to open myself up to others: if you can master this you may find that the ones around you can help you move further upon your journey. This, I have found, is very important.

A corollary to the above would be not to let a moment pass by: sometimes an instinct which says “Do this Now!” can lead to contacts which can help you further your quest I was to find this time and again...: There is no such thing as “luck”.

I have learned that I am quite content with my own company, especially in the rain.

I have learned that most of the times the things that annoy us are part of ourselves and anyway, they don’t count for much in the overall scheme of thing. Learn to forgive and forget. see http://www.headstartcentres.org

I have learned that whatever religious path you may have been taught we all come together in the most fundamental things.

I have learned that life is a beautiful gift: you only have to open your eyes to the “ordinary”and accept it to recognise how lucky you really are.

Perhaps most of all, I have learned that I need to wage war against “righteous indignation”: those moments when the world provides us with idiots and you know you are right. It is easily spotted: it begins with these words:...they should..., why don’t they... you would think that they... it’s not right that...But it’s counter-productive and only increases the frustration. I’m working very hard on a Live and Let Live philosophy. But it’s not always so easy.

Now 18 months later I find myself wondering what I would add to this. I was asked a couple of days ago what my "objectives" in life were. The question pulled me up short. I answered: To maintain a reasonable level of contentment.

But is that it? It's easily misconstrued. It is not that I want to lack challenges: far from it! It isn't that I want to lead a dull, uneventful, unproductive life. Heaven forbid. What I want is to see each opportunity as a challenge to take me further and further to my own core of contentment; accepting what "the Universe" provides as steps to an eventual realisation of exactly what and who I am, and by that implication, I suppose, exactly "who" and "what" God is.

I've mistakenly fought for it, and missed it by looking too hard...now I just want it to manifest itself in everything I do: the hard and the simple; the extrasensory and the very, very ordinary.

Socrates said: "The unexamined life is not worth living". Perhaps. But I would rather say that the unlived life is not worth examining.

I would rather live life ... and examine trees.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tracy,
    Just now another bell rang...
    about the discovery of meaning...
    The Discovery of Meaning in "Babette's Feast"