Rest, Peace, Love, Life

In a couple weeks, it will be 7 years since we started our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. In the seven years I have been writing the “We Are All Pilgrims” blog, I have devoted quite a few blog articles on the value of rest in our lives. I know that reading the book called “Sabbath” by Wayne Muller, while I was walking the Camino, did help set my mind to its importance. In addition, rest was big on our minds during the Camino as it is so important to your physical and mental well-being. Each day as we got into our got into our lodging we were pretty well worn out and needed a shower and some dinner and a good nights rest. We needed time to refresh and renew so we were ready to begin again the next day.

I took a class early this year and there was a song and a dance that I learned about rest.

Here are the lyrics:

“Put yourselves on the path of long ago, remember the path of REST,

This ancient path of REST, my friend, this ancient path of REST.

Put yourselves on the path of long ago, remember the path of PEACE.

This ancient path of PEACE, my friend, this ancient path of PEACE.

Put yourselves on the path of long ago, remember the path of LOVE,

This ancient path of LOVE, my friend, this ancient path of LOVE.

Put yourselves on the path of long ago, remember the path of LIFE,

This ancient path of LIFE, my friend, this ancient path of LIFE.”

Jeremiah 6:16

In listening to and dancing this song, I have let it slowly sink into me and its fundamental truths have been seared into me. It all starts with REST. When we “put ourselves in a path” that leads to rest on a regular basis we are on the “ancient path” that will lead on to PEACE and then to LOVE and then to LIFE. Now rest can come in many different ways but it mostly about simply being not doing.

Walking the Camino, we were naturally “resting” from our normal daily lives as we concentrated all our efforts into this walk for 5 weeks. We put aside all the “to do” lists we had at home and let the “ancient path” teach us some lessons. The first was, you better get your rest each night or it will catch up with you quick on the Camino.

Why is it so hard for us to really “put ourselves on this path of REST”? I guess because we are always on the go to somewhere else and doing three things at once. It takes a fundamental mind shift to “put ourselves” on this path of REST. We have to value enough we make it a priority. Everyday!

I am finding that resting my mind is much harder than to physically rest my body. For most of this year, I have been working quieting my mind each day. I do this each morning for only 5 minutes. It is my contemplative prayer time. I deliberately slow down my mind. When thoughts begin to come up, I try and welcome them for a short visit only as I let them pass along without judgment. It is about being gentle with myself and giving my mind a rest. I might repeat a word or phrase that I read or came to me from something. Maybe even something from a song sometimes.

Now I must say this has been a hard practice to keep to everyday and some days I am not as successful in keeping my “doing mind” from intervening and starting on my “to do” list. Yet, keeping it as a priority has been easy as I noticed how much it does lead me in a more peaceful way where love flows more naturally through me. I highly recommend this very simple practice.

Remember, my fellow pilgrims,

It does all begin with REST and from this ancient path we can then put ourselves on the path to PEACE, LOVE and LIFE!

Rest be with you,

John

Photograph of the Month

Butchart Gardens

This is a webpage I created of my photos and videos following a visit to Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island a few weeks ago. I really liked this new platform I discovered to help me easily create this. This creative work literally flowed out of me. I was in the flow of REST, PEACE, LOVE and LIFE. I hope you find some rest in this creative work.