“Be open my brother”, Mau the eternal pilgrim tells me as we met in near the church of the nuns.
He was sitting on a bench, in deep meditation, feeling the sun on his face. Looking at him baught tremendous peace within me. I went and sat nearby under a tree not wanting to disturb him. Later he described that when he saw me sitting in silence he felt the same.
“Be like a pilgrim in life” he continued further, “we are constantly moving inside, to be with it and be open in receiving it is a practice.” Mau has been a pilgrim most of his life, traveling various countries, doing service and walking and now he opened his home for anyone to walk in and experience silence. He calls it ‘Hospital de Alma’ or Hospital for the soul. It is really an experience to visit his home and if lucky to meet him.
I walked the road to Santiago in 2014 and now coming back as a visitor feels quite different. There’s a certain energy or spirit guides you and moves you when you walk the path. I feel nostalgic thinking about it and miss it. But then you also learn to let it go and see life as a pilgrimage itself, with every moment creating a new experience.
I came to Spain on 20th July after the global friends retreat in Switzerland. First in Madrid I met and stayed with Miki, a dear friend who had recently volunteered in Ahmedabad, India. A free spirit living in trust. Making his own soap, avoiding super markets, offering yoga classes in gift and receding humbly whatever life offers without much external needs. He would go and ask the local store owners if they had any food which they are going to throw away, receive them humbly and would often go back and tag the store owners with small gifts. He reminded me of the quote ‘live simply so that others can simply live.’
After two days in Madrid, I reached Burgos via a shared car ride, now very common in Europe. A beautiful way to save money and also connect with strangers.
Burgos is a small town on the road to Santiago with an incredibly majestic and beautiful cathedral. Passion of Joserra to create a community of gift and abundance locally was contagious and inspiring to witness. And this year as they had their first Moved by Love retreat, the fruits of seeds planted in these last several years seemed to be visible.
Many friends from Spain had been recently volunteering in India with Manav Sadhna in Ahmedabad and together they bought the spirit of Gandhi ji and gift back to Spain. They started Awakin Meditation circles , Karma Kitchen (A restaurant run by volunteers offering food as a sacred offering as a gift) and now their first full retreat.
Two days in the Retreat we spent in Castrokariz village. 30 people, mostly from local community in Spain came together, with also a surprise visit by Rose Maria and Mukesh Bhai from Switzerland.
It was a beautiful gathering filled with love, silence, joy and moving towards new ways for a living community.
There’s something about seeing a dream manifested, it gives wings to your own aspirations and hope to keep working towards them.
May our highest intention and possibility manifest and we move towards oneness.