Monday, June 15, 2015

Buen Camino!


On the eve of my departure, here is what has gone into my backpack. The absolute minimum!!! And it's coming in just below 8 kg. Not too bad, she says hopefully. I'm heading for Biarritz, then two buses (the train is out due to track problems) to St Jean Pied de Port and a comfy wonderful refugio that provides dinner. I'll try to blog from time to time as I make my way across Spain - first the Pyrenees! - but I can't make any promises. I'm nervous and excited and thrilled and nervous. Into the unknown. Now must go stick the Canadian and Irish flags on.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Road of Stars


Only two more days and I am off on pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, the Way of St James. It is also called the Road of Stars as they say it follows the Milky Way. Magical. I'm in the final stages of packing and testing my haversack. The last time I went travelling with a backpack, I was 18 years old, hitch-hiking around Canada and the western seaboard of America. It's been a long time!!! But I shall think of that adventurous young woman as I walk and I shall call on her spirit to keep my much older body going. I'm very excited and also nervous. As Bilbo says, it's a dangerous business going outside your door. You step onto the road and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Strengthening Body and Mind


Here's the heather bed in Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre (www.jampaling.org) where I brought Humpty Dumptina (me) to put herself back together again. It was a great month. I laboured away each morning among the heather: building a rockery, planting new shrubs and plants, weeding, and removing the plastic and rocks that were blocking the older heather from spreading. Took tea and biscuit breaks with the other volunteers and staff (Buddhists Workers Union) and ate the most delicious vegetarian meals cooked by French chef Marie and second chef Zopa. Then I spent the afternoons finishing the script of The Hunter's Moon which I've been trying to finish all year. Done and dusted and already being read by producers! Of course I was also attending and leading the daily pujas/practices and meditations. Last but not least, had wonderful talks with Panchen Otrul Rinpoche, my teacher, and Ani-la, the wonderful nun who founded Jampa Ling. Thank you, my spiritual home!