"I am doing the Camino once again, looking for something I left behind or perhaps never found. It’s like coming home”. —A Pilgrim from New Mexico
From student gap year to retirement, pilgrimage is an idea whose time has come around again. In the past decade the numbers have more than doubled from 93,924 in 2015 to a staggering 262,458 in 2015.
What is even more extraordinary is that this phenomenal increase is witnessed at a time of unprecedented decline in religious observance in many church communities. The Anglican church has seen numbers plummet by 30% in the past 20 years. Even within Spain recent surveys indicate that practising Catholics now form less than 20% of the population.
How can we explain this paradox? It seems there is a hunger for personal spiritual experience and this is no longer being met from religious ritual that can appear empty. Traditional dogma can also be divisive and create separation within communities and schism in society. On the other hand, pilgrimage creates a community of souls fashioned from the eclectic band of pilgrims drawn together from many different faiths and cultures. Prejudice begins to break down and even skeptics find themselves falling into the mystery of the Path of Enquiry. The very act of walking engenders direct experience of journeying towards some higher, common goal. An invisible alchemy takes place that burns away the dross we have accumulated over the course of our lives, allowing new vision to formulate within a mind now purified of bigotry and bias. A mind freed of its limited past conditioning is open to spiritual sight and knowledge of Higher Worlds.
Since first stepping out on the pilgrim paths known collectively the as The Ways of Saint James Caminos de Santiago author John Brierley (“J.B.”) has notched up thousands of miles of physical and soul stretching pilgrimage all around the world. While not walking his talk he is found talking his walks. The idea of business sabbaticals as an antidote to burn out, and pilgrimage as a way to reappraise life’s purpose, is an abiding passion with him. Pilgrimage provides a wonderful salve for the soul and his books and talks administer it beautifully
An inspirational and lively speaker, John Brierley is driven by a passion to encourage others to embark upon their own inner quests, to take ‘life checks’ and to discover the limitless potential and beauty that resides at the heart of each one of us. His books contain all that is necessary when embarking upon such a journey, balancing practical information for the physical route with pointers to the path of soul. They are the perfect companion for the inner and outer journey ahead.
For further information or to arrange talks, please contact:
Mieke Wik, Camino Guides, Kaminn Media, Delft Cottage, Dyke, Forres, Moray IV36 2TF, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44 (0)1309 690582
Fax: +44 (0)131 777 2711