Yes, just a few days ago I announced my big plans…
Some people say the time you first think you want to walk the Camino, you’ve started your Camino. Others say that once you commit to walking, your Camino begins. I don’t know if anyone believes it starts the day you begin your walk. Clearly my experience is following the middle thought as the Camino is already teaching me about patience, trust, and listening to my heart (the Universe)…not my head.
Last Saturday I published a post about my plan/commitment to go on sabbatical so I might fully develop my mindfulness practice, deeper my understanding of the Buddha’s path, and make pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, September through October 2016. The following Monday I registered for my first Camino training (the hiking portion) at REI and Monday afternoon I received a sweet sign from the Universe, letting me know my intentions were heard. I opened up a new bath salt to discover an unexpected shell, the Camino Pilgrim’s shell. And this I believe was also my sign that my Camino had begun.
So I was thrilled and at first a little baffled when the opportunity to enter a two year mindfulness training program presented itself. The program, Asheville Insight Meditation (AIM) Facilitator Program trains facilitators to: “(1) make the Buddha’s teachings in the Buddhist Theravada tradition available to all those who seek it (2) develop and support a Buddhist spiritual community for the integration of Buddhist meditation and related practices in every day life and (3) inspire the growth of wisdom, compassion, and morality through the application of mindfulness for the deepening of awareness.” Wow! JUST WHAT I’VE WANTED FOR A VERY LONG TIME and oh by the way, the last class is in October, 2016.
Of course I accepted right away and immediately thought I’d have to move my Camino to the following spring. But why? I mean, I really have no idea what the Camino is like in October/November. My big concern was walking over the Pyrenees – will there be snow – and I’ve heard of a fall rainy season.
I posted the question to the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) group on FB and while I got several responses, two were my favorites, “You won’t be able to foresee it. I walked this past October/November, and we really only had a few cold and rainy days in the middle (and NO rainy days in Galicia). Locals did keep telling us it was unusually warm and dry for that time of year. By the time we got to Finisterre on November 1st, it was warm enough to jump in the water for a swim! You will definitely get some beautiful colors and delicious fruit that time of year!” and “We walked just from Santiago to Finisterre left in November (mid November) Galicia was cold but not freezing – rain was abundant on the walk, but really only 1 ( all day non stop) downpour. Finisterre was very cold but the walk from Santiago to the end of the world was truly beautiful. Scenery of the countryside and mountains and all of it was just like a dream.”
So there you have it…my new plan is to leave around the 10th of October 2016. I still plan to take two full months. Planning will be very different because who knows what kind of weather I will meet. But I’ll cross that section of the road when it’s time. For now, I am deeply, deeply committed and humbled to enter into the Facilitator Program which I believe was another response from the Universe, “your intention is heard and you’re going to get all the support you need – just say, “Yes!””
So I say, “YES!” and watch it unfold. More to follow so stay tuned!
With metta, Kate