THE WALKING SANGHA
Welcome to my Dialog Blog!
If you found this, that means you are sharing with me the sojourn I am taking. In about a few days I will start walking in solitude on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, heading from Porto, Portugal into Santiago, Spain. My trek will cover roughly on average between 12 to 14 miles each day for 14 continuous days. When all said and done, I physically would have made roughly 1 million steps. I am reminded of Lao Tzu’s quote, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. How true this will be for me. Never consider myself athletically prone, this certainly will be a test of endurance for me. I cannot think of another activity I have done that is as integral in nature as what I am about to undertake for my body, mind, spirit, and connection to the awesomeness of nature, in its raw state as I could. Many trained for months, I did not. So with humility, I will do this and know that what happens will be the way it is – no more and no less than what is meant for me to receive.
Most folks who visit Santiago look to the reverence of the place where St. James was believed to be buried, as I also look forward to be there and to know my mother, my grandfather, and all the departed and devoted family members are giving me that sweet approval smile up there. While the Cathedral in Santiago is the destination, the destination does not stop here for me in my quest. I look forward to an unending, unfolding experience of what are to come for me.
One of the purposes I decided to blog this pilgrimage is to invite you to walk along with me. Hence, I name this community who join me The Walking Sangha. Why call this a Sangha in the middle of a devout Christian faith’s path? With committed practices and teachings I have been blessed to receive and followed from wisdom of the East and Western spiritual traditions, this makes perfect sense for me. The Sanskrit word Sangha literally means a community that joins and lives together. It implies a sharing of activities and values when together form a whole. On another level, a propos to the Camino path, it refers to finding true sufferings and its causes, true cessations and joys being relieved from the sufferings. In short, it is a community that offers purifications and realizations of the true pathways of the minds and hearts. This walk, in short, is a walk toward discovering the one’s own spiritual awakening. The millions of pilgrims, for centuries, went on this long journey, started from 700 A.D.’s to today, seek this experience.
Walk along with me each day, especially if it has been your aspiration to do this but either you could not, have not done yet, and even if you already done “the Camino” as some will call this. It has been said that we can get some benefit doing the same thing just by visualizing that we are engaging in the same activities.
A group of my friends have given me their intentions to take along with me so that as I walk, I will hold all their intentions and mine. If you wish, you could submit an email to me, comment publicly on the blog, or send them out in your own way to the universe. Together, we will hold each other in our circle of intentions.
In good faith, I will try to blog my insights, feelings, discoveries, experiences of any and all of the special moments as much as I could each day. As you have time and able to do your virtual walk, please share your experience too on the blog. It is no accident that I call this blog the Dialog Blog. I wanted a place where I get to share what is important to me and to be able to hear yours. It is truly an honor for me to have you join me in the walk. You are joining not just me, but with the community of participants and pilgrims who have made it there for millennium.
May all be well.