This year we've decided to highlight the 12 values that best represent the adventure that is the Camino de Santiago. On the Camino de Santiago there are new stories every day about overcoming, good deeds, joy, strength and pain. Everything ends in indescribable satisfaction upon arrival, but also a feeling of loss having finished the journey. The Camino de Santiago is one of those places where the most important thing is to enjoy the ride, without worrying about lofty goals.
This is the key to the value that we're highlighting this March, Peace. Because on this journey, harmony between pilgrims is linked to self-reconciliation to reach a state of inner peace. On this subject, we want to introduce you to a person who has experienced this, changing his life. She is Mony Dojeiji and she is an ambassador of a very special medicine: Walking as a remedy to all of our evils.
Mony Dojeiji. Walking for Peace
This experience motivated her to write a book. Walking for Peace, an inner journey, in which she tells how the pilgrimage changed her spirit and character. "I quickly realized that pilgrimage is not merely the act of walking to a sacred place, but to a more sacred destiny: my own inner self.”
“To me, Peace is an inner state of being where, no matter what happens in my outside world, I am able to maintain an inner calm and respond in consequence". Mony Dojeiji tells us about Peace. For her, it is an inner value and a state that must be reached. Its method of attainment is pilgrimage.
Thus, walking 5,000 kilometres from Rome to Jerusalem and travelling the Camino de Santiago leave fear aside and seek love: "Opening my heart to love was to allow Peace to enter and take root." Her way of doing this was: "trusting the path to lead me to the people and experiences that would serve my emotional, mental and spiritual growth”.
Mony walked 5000 kms from Rome to Jerusalén
The Camino de Santiago is unique
Mony Dojeiji agrees with us on this: "The Camino is unique in its ability to bring pilgrims together from around the world, to share a common experience. No matter where you come from or what you do, on the Camino you are a pilgrim, taking one step at a time, like any other pilgrim"
“On the Camino, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you do”
Another aspect of the Jacobean Route is to unite all kinds of people and allow us to get to know them while sharing the road: "It creates an immediate intimacy and shared experience, allowing for strangers to open up to each other and to bond over this experience of walking”.
The Camino dissolves borders
"There is a universal feeling of brotherhood, of strangers helping one another, the dissolving of borders and identities that define the pilgrim back in their homes, and of walking in appreciation of all that surrounds us. These are the foundations of peace which pilgrims get to live on the Camino"
On the other hand, although the Camino has very religious origins, it attracts persons from all faiths and belief systems, which, despite everything, synchronise harmoniously: “No matter the spiritual belief, each pilgrim is touched by a special magic that pervades its paths, its cathedrals, its sacred spaces. They all invite introspection, and connect us with something much grander than ourselves”. Mony tells us, recalling the origins of the Camino: "The footsteps of pilgrims long gone are in the very foundations of this path, and I believe those ancient ones imbue today's pilgrim with their faith, energy and love to continue the journey".
Advice from an expert pilgrim
To achieve this inner peace that we've discussed, Mony advises us: "It is good to have plans and goals, but let go of the need to control every step of the way. Trust a little more in yourself, in others, and in the path you are walking. There is great love on the Camino, and it reveals itself when we have the courage to open ourselves to receive it. Trust that you will know how to handle a situation when it comes up. You are much more resilient and courageous than you believe. The path, its pilgrims, hospitaleros, volunteers and Spanish people are there to support you. You do not walk alone”.
Mony is one of those pilgrims who prefers to leave technology at home: "Leave your devices and electronic equipment at home. Use your time to look inwards, to reflect on who you are as a person and how you can grow into an even grander version of yourself, one that is anchored ever deeper in love and peace than in fear or anger.”
Lastly, she tells us: “Slow down, and breathe deeply. All answers, and most definitely peace, are found when we focus our attention on where we are in the moment, and focusing our minds on what is before us. When we are present to ourselves, we are at peace, and can transmit that peace to others."
Definitely, the Camino has changed Mony’s life and her character at the same time, which has been developing with pilgrimage. "I live the pilgrim values in my everyday life. I smile at strangers and say good morning. I lend a helping hand without expectation or fear. I give thanks in every moment for the gifts I have been given and the opportunity to share my experiences of pilgrimage with the world". She adds: "I also met the man who would become my husband on the Camino. Together, we have a pilgrim daughter. So the Camino has added much to my life."
Buen Camino to all pilgrims!!
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¡Buen Camino! This is our wish at Correos! – that pilgrims can fully enjoy their Camino and discover new places, histories, people and experiences through our postcards.