My Camino – The Podcast ~

Podcasts are cool.

They’re the new way of accessing information that you won’t find on more traditional media.

To say they’re new though is fake news. They’ve been around a while, quite a while in fact – but lately it seems they’ve made a big shift into the zeitgeist.

I listen to podcasts on my walk to the editing room each morning. I listen to This American Life, which launched Serial, the true crime podcast that started a worldwide interest in podcasting. I also listen to Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing, and Real Time with Bill Maher, and lately I’ve been listening to Crimetown. 

love podcasts.

So when Dan Mullins contacted me to see if I’d be interested in being interviewed for his new podcast show – My Camino – I was really chuffed.

Dan is a Sydney based radio producer. Each morning for the past seventeen years he’s produced a news-based talk show that consistently tops the ratings for the breakfast slot – a highly competitive time slot. This must make Dan Mullins one of the most successful radio producers in the country – if not the most successful.

Last year he walked the Camino, and it affected him deeply. He came back home to his wife and children and took up yoga and meditation. Like many before him, the obsession with the Camino didn’t end with the walk though, it was just the beginning. He wanted to “keep an engagement” with the Camino, as he said, and so he began a podcast.

Dan interviewed me late last year, before the podcast was launched. I was in Los Angeles at the time, working on PGS – my film on intuition.

As the interview progressed I noticed a couple of things about Dan –

#1  He’d done his homework. He was well researched and well prepared. You’d think this is Journalism 101, but too often it’s not the case. Too often interviewers try to “wing it” with sketchy research pulled from a cursory glance at Wikipedia.

#2  As an interviewer, he listened, and followed up on what I said. Once again, this is a skill sadly lacking in many less experienced journalists. It makes for a more organic interview.

#3  He subordinated himself to the interview. Again, particularly in podcasts, this doesn’t happen often. Often the podcaster uses the platform to spruik themselves. It’s their show after all. Not Dan.

The result was a well informed and lively chat about everything from the weight of my backpack to the underlying spiritual imprint of the Camino – and how it can change you.

I also spoke about how I walked the Camino intuitively, using my PGS – my Personal Guidance System – to lead me along The Way, from day to day. And I spoke about the alchemy of the Camino – how it can unlock the potential for transformation, if you allow it.

Dan very generously allocated two podcasts to our talk – two half hour shows. (weeks three and four on the podcast…)

As Dan says, you don’t do these kind of podcasts to make money. It’s a passion project – and even after just four weeks from the launch, he’s finding the reaction from around the world has been extraordinary. And he’s already lined up plenty of amazing characters, and wonderful stories, for future podcasts.

Here is a link to the podcast –
https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/my-camino-the-podcast

You can also get it from your regular podcast app.
It’s called My Camino – The Podcast 

Subscribe to it – it’s a weekly half hour show – because it promises to be a fabulous resource to further your understanding and appreciation of one of the great pilgrimage walks on this planet we call Earth.

dan-mullins-on-camino

Dan Mullins – My Camino, the Podcast

The Soul Imprint of the Camino explained ~

While walking my first Camino in 2013, on this blog I talked about the “soul imprint” of the Camino.

What does this mean?

It means that all those millions of pilgrims who have walked the Camino since even before the time of Christ – because it was a pagan pilgrimage before it became a religious pilgrimage – that all those people who walked with intention left a soul residue on the path they walked. An energetic imprint.

Why is it that the Camino heals? Why is it that people as old as 90 can walk the Camino – defying all physical and medical logic?

It’s because of this energetic soul imprint.

I was listening to Lee Carroll channel Kryon the other day while I walked to the editing room, where I’m working on my film on intuition. I’ve interviewed Lee as part of the film – he’s regarded as one of the world’s great channels – and he travels extensively, channeling to sell-out audiences. He later puts all these channellings up on his website for free, and these are what I listen to as I walk to work.

The other day I listened to a channel he did at the beginning of the year, in Boulder Colorado. He was talking about the Akash – the energetic history of everything you have experienced on the planet earth, spanning all your lifetimes.

Here is a Youtube audio of Kryon explaining what the Akash is…
Structure, Keys to the Akash – Kryon channelling.

It was interesting. From a spiritual perspective, Kryon doesn’t refer to our “past lives,” he refers to them as “expressions of energy.” He says:

“To you, life is everything. To us, we see life as passing, as you in transition constantly, from one to another to another. We never see a life, we see a system. There is no death. You just move from one system to another, from one paradigm to another.

“The very essence, the soul – all that you think is gone and lost isn’t. It’s all still there, and the beauty of the system is that some of it literally goes into the veil of the earth. Every life expression you’ve ever had, part of your soul goes back into the planet and the grid when you leave, and it stays here. 

“How does it make you feel to know that you’re part of the dirt of the earth? That’s part of the grid that starts to work with other human beings. Your wisdom, and what you’ve learned, stays here, and works with your next incarnation.

“Don’t be shocked and surprised when you walk into the forest and you feel family. You’re feeling you!”

When I heard this, I went wow! That’s what I’ve been saying about the Camino’s energetic soul imprint. You walk the Camino and, if you let it, if you are open to it, you can take in the soul energy of those who have walked before you, who have allowed a part of themselves to seep into the earth’s energetic grid.

You may choose to believe this or not believe it.
I happen to believe it.
I’ve felt it – I’ve experienced it.

If you’re interested, here is Kryon’s full 26 minute channeling… it’s fascinating listening.
Kryon at Boulder, January 2017 

 

 

Fake News! Australian Camino Festival…

Yikes!

I published some fake news last post on the inaugural Australian Camino Festival.

I indicated that it was a joint effort between Tony Jacques, and Rowan & Margaret at Glenella. In fact it was Rowan’s baby from the get-go – his brainchild and his and Margaret’s organisation behind it all.

Rowan had noticed how Parkes, a small town further west, had created a huge annual festival celebrating Elvis Presley – and he twigged that maybe he could do the same thing with a Camino festival in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains behind Sydney.

The pilgrim dinners that Tony and Ce had established, and are always held at Glenella, had become a big hit, and Rowan thought that maybe he could do something larger, such as a four day festival and expo that’s Camino-centric.

His instincts were sound because already, even a couple of weeks before it kicks off, it looks like it’s going to be a big success. Registrations are strong – and they’ve run out of speaking slots.

My apologies to all concerned for the fake news. I’d made an assumption, and I should know from my previous incarnation as a journalist that you never make assumptions.

(Maybe that’s why I sashayed into being a dramatist… !)

Here are the details again:

Dates: February 23rd to 26th
Where: Blackheath, Blue Mountains (Glenella Guesthouse & Restaurant)
Registration & info: www.auscamino.com.au
Contact Rowan: festival@auscamino.com.au
Accommodation: auscamino.com.au/accommodation

margaret-rowan-photo-glenella

Rowan & Margaret / Glenella, Blackheath NSW

The first Camino Festival in Australia!

I met Tony Jacques at a desultory Camino dinner gathering in Sydney.

I say desultory because everyone at the dinner was happy in their own self-appointed cliques. Newcomers like Tony and Ce were greeted cursorily, then ignored.

Jennifer and I didn’t ignore them.

We chatted to them throughout the evening  – and they told us they wanted to walk the Camino. Tony had Sleep Apnea, which would require him carrying heavy medical gear. Ce had two bad knees which would require replacements.

We gave them some advice, and encouragement, and we wished them luck!

We kept in touch later and Tony and Ce did walk the Camino. As I was to learn later, what Tony says he’s going to do, he does. Quietly, steadily, without fuss.

Tony doesn’t present as a go-getter. He’s quiet, deferential, self-effacing – but that belies an intensity, a keen-eyed focus and a grit that, I discovered later, made him one of the military’s top bomb disposal experts, both in the UK then later in Australia.

Military life also instilled in him formidable organisational skills.

He and Ce live in the Blue Mountains, 2hrs drive west of Sydney. The next thing I know, Tony has invited Jennifer and myself to the  inaugural Blue Mountains Supporters of the Camino dinner. They’d joined forces with a couple, Rowan and Margaret, who run the iconic Glenella – one of the Blue Mountains’ top restaurants/guesthouses, at Blackheath.

Here is the Blue Mountain Supporters of the Camino website:
http://bluemountainscamino.com

And here is their mission statement:

We are here in the Blue Mountains to support all Caminos in Spain and we exist only to share the wonderful spirit of the Camino that so many of us call – life changing, wonderful and amazing…We try to emulate the dinners, conduct training walks in our local, beautiful Blue Mountains and help those who dream of walking and those who have walked and just want to know more, to understand the power and the healing that can be derived from this ancient pilgrimage. Join us to learn, listen, give back or get involved – everyone welcome!

The evening was spectacular – it was informative, inclusive, and friendly. And it was supported by a yummy pilgrim meal, ala the Camino – prepared by Rowan and Margaret and their team of very talented cooks and servers.

Word quickly got around the New South Wales Camino community, and the dinners became regular events. And soon they were sell-outs. Not only were they convivial opportunities to meet others with the “Camino Virus,” but Tony and Ce structured the evenings to include speakers who gave informative talks about their experiences, and for those wanting to walk the Camino, there was always plenty of information available.

During this period I started to get a greater understanding of Tony’s personal qualities. He’s quite a remarkable man. But very low key. And humble. He and Ce walked a few more Caminos, and they began to broaden their Blue Mountain endeavours beyond just dinners – to training walks in the mountains, to informal get-togethers with pilgrims, and now…the first Australian Camino Festival!

It’s a four day event, from February 23rd to 26th at Blackheath, Blue Mountains.

Here is a link to the Festival website:
http://bluemountainscamino.com/16-what-s-on/14-auscamino-festival.html

Here is the blurb:

Celebrating all things Camino:
Walks, talks, photography, workshops, food, wine, art & music of Spain and surrounding countries. There will also be opportunities to attend mass at local churches plus to meet with many other pilgrims or future pilgrims. The event will run over FOUR days and will include an EXPO on the Saturday where various people and organisations will showcase things enabling that camino experience.

Jennifer and I will be holding a half hour talk on how the Camino can change you – that’s on the Saturday afternoon – then I’ll be doing a photographic workshop on the Sunday morning, concentrating on those particular challenges that will confront anyone wanting to take half decent photos whilst walking the Camino.

The workshop will be based on my book, Photo Camino.

If you’re even vaguely interested in the Camino, come along. It should be informative and fun. And there will be great Spanish-pilgrim styled food!

It will be a wonderful opportunity for you to talk to those who have walked it – and find out what you need to know; everything from what to pack to how to handle blisters.

Here are the details:
Registration & info: www.auscamino.com.au
Contact Rowan: festival@auscamino.com.au
Accommodation: auscamino.com.au/accommodation

Frannie + Lucy

PGS – the film has finally found me ~

I started back in editing this week on my mammoth undertaking – a film on intuition. I’m calling it: PGS: Intuition is your Personal Guidance System. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been making this film since 1999. At the time, I was in New Orleans working on a movie, and I was driving to the airport very early one morning when a voice told me to slow down.

I was approaching an intersection – it was before dawn – there were no cars on the road at that time of the morning, so there was no sense of impending danger. But this voice was insistent, so I slowed down.

As I entered the intersection, on a green light, a truck suddenly hurtled through running the red light on the cross street. Had I not listened to that voice, I would have been killed.

My intuition saved my life.

Ever since, I have been determined to find out what that voice was, and why it saved my life. And being a filmmaker, that determination has expressed itself in the making of a film.

After years and years of researching, then trying to get the film financed in a traditional way, without luck, I started shooting in September 2014. I went out and bought a camera and started shooting it myself.

That’s not as crazy as it might seem, because I have been a professional photographer since the age of 17 – I’ve shot second unit on most of my movies – I’m an Associate Member of the Australian Cinematographers Society as well as an Accredited Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers. Plus I’ve been directing feature films since 1983. So I know my way around a camera.

Even so it was daunting – and I had to skill myself in a lot of areas, particularly sound, in a very short period of time.

I decided I would look at intuition from three viewpoints: science, religion, and spirituality. That took me to India several times, and Italy – to the Vatican, and to Bhutan, to interview the Prince of Bhutan and his Spiritual Advisor (a Buddhist Grand Master), I went to Dharamsala to the Dalai Lama Palace, to Turkey to talk to Sufi Masters and a descendent of Rumi, and several times to America to speak to scientists and psychics and spiritualists.

On some of these trips I took cinematographer extraordinaire Pieter de Vries. He’s better than me at camera stuff…

Anyway, I ended up with about 90 hrs of footage for a 90 minute film.

Last year I started editing, with a wonderful editor, Rishi Shukla. Rishi is a skeptic – which is what I wanted. (During the making of this film though he has become less of a skeptic!) We edited for 20 weeks last year. I ended up with a cut of 87 minutes. It was good – but I wasn’t happy with it.

It didn’t excite me as a piece of cinema.

I went overseas late last year, to do some more filming in America and Germany – and showed the cut to some select people. I got very positive feedback – but some notes too.

Good notes.
Useful notes.

They wanted more of me in the film – more of my journey. I’ve been reluctant to put myself prominently in the film – because I’m no expert, I’m just someone who’s curious.

But I took their notes on board.

I came back just before Christmas, exhausted from all the traveling, but also very confused. What do I do now? I knew I had to finish the film this year – 2017. But I couldn’t see how. I couldn’t see a clear way through the film. I couldn’t see an elegant way through the film.

I knew I had to start editing on Feb 6th – this last Monday – and as the day approached I got more and more panicked.

What was I going to do?

And then things slowly started to come to me. In dreams, and in moments of insight while I was contemplating, and meditating. I started to see the film on two levels – a search for this voice, and a search for myself. My true self.

I immediately started organising a two week shoot out in the desert next month for what I’m calling an existential magic-realism road trip. 

On Monday morning, this Monday past, I walked into the editing room and I said to Rishi:

Let’s play. 

So I played with some stuff. With an unconventional editing technique which I’ve been excited about for a while. Something very bold. Something quite unusual for this kind of film. I haven’t been this excited with an editing technique since coming up with the cutting style for my thriller KISS OR KILL many years ago.

This new approach scares the crap out of me.
I don’t know if it will work.
It’s a painstaking process that is very time consuming –
And it’s in-your-face.
It’s audacious and goes against the grain of films of this type.
Wussy spiritual films.
This won’t be wussy.

I walked to work that first morning listening to Deepak Chopra on my iPod.
I walked home listening to The Who.

I’m excited.
I’m scared, but excited.
Cinema is exciting me again…

And it occurred to me this morning that I’ve spent all this time trying to find the film – when in fact I should have let go and let the film find me.

Which is what’s now happened…
The film has found me.
Finally…

in university church

From a mower in Mudgee to a healing in Mount Shasta / from the healer!

Following on from the last post, Michael Tamura – the healer in Mount Shasta – has sent me this reply, which I thought would make a great Guest Post in its own right.

Michael is a wise soul. Every time we communicate, I learn something immensely valuable from him. As I have done with his writing below. I value his friendship and kindness, and his reminders! I am reminded, in his post below, of what I should do, who I should be – or rather, who I am… Thank you Michael…

*****

Hello, Bill! 

Finally, I have a chance to comment on your wonderful “Mower to Mending” story….or, perhaps, it was the “Shoulder to Spirt” story! As always, you have a most delightful way with words and pictures to tell a story – even a painful one.  I don’t think I’ve ever read one of your blog posts that didn’t bring a smile on my face. 

That, of course, is one of the signs of a real healer, isn’t it? One who consistently brings joy and happiness to those around him or her. In fact, did you know that the word ‘miracle’ has as its root a word that means, “makes one smile”? And a miracle, no matter what kind, is always a healing, isn’t it?  When we are able to have the miracle, we are healed.  

As your friend, Susan Morris, says above in her comments, I was merely the facilitator for your healing.  You becoming receptive to the miracle, in other words, being able to validate Spirit, is what healed you. 

Why hadn’t you healed your shoulder before I sat down in front of you in your motel room in Mount Shasta?  Well, before that, you were more intent on getting the things you needed to do done rather than letting a nuisance of a painful shoulder keep you from that.  You didn’t want to resort to going for medical treatment since you knew that often the treatment can be worse than the problem. 

You also knew that given the correct conditions, the body would get well on its own.  But, you were still divided because you had a lot of important work to do on your plate and you didn’t want to “waste” any time or attention on yourself.  

Ah! What makes us decide that what we have to do is more important than tending to ourselves?  In a sense, it’s time and resources, isn’t it?  We decide that we have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of resources to accomplish a certain thing or a certain number of things during that time and we assume that we can’t have both accomplishing them as well as tending to ourselves. 

No, we assume, as the saying goes, “We can’t have our cake and eat it, too.”  Or, we only have this much time in – or this much money and other resources with – which to accomplish one of these two goals.  

I used to tell my teaching students that I meditate every morning to start off my day, but on the days when I know I’m going to have to get a lot more done, I meditate twice as much.  Most of them had a hard time understanding this because they were beholden to time constraints.  Most of them ended up running around like a chicken without a head on their insanely busy days because they not only didn’t have time to meditate twice as long but they believed they didn’t even have time to meditate at all – because they had to get so much done.  A few may have even thought I had a few loose screws in my head.

One day, however, I was redeemed.  I was doing a bit of research on the Protestant Reformation and, naturally, I came across some quotes from Martin Luther.  The one that stuck out was about him saying to people repeatedly, “I start every day on my knees [in prayer and meditation] for one hour, but on those days when my plate is especially full, I stay on my knees for two hours.”  Hahaha!  I found an ally.

I knew that Martin Luther knew what I discovered: Everything Goes Better With Meditation and Prayer!  Hahaha… (That would be the commercial jingle.)  We can live life with more grace when we spend extra time and attention on going within to Spirit especially when times are more challenging or when we need to get important things done. 

I’ve learned that when I take the extra time for going within, even the intense day goes more calmly as well as I end up getting more done.  I’ve also learned that when I didn’t do this, I not only had a much more frustrating day, but I also couldn’t get all that I thought I needed to do done anyway.

We experience miracles only when we make space for them in our busy lives.  I’m a healer only because I give people permission to have them.  You are the same way with other people, but with yourself sometimes you fail to give that same permission.  All of us who are givers and healers tend to have that problem.  We often believe that it is more noble to give to others and take away from ourselves. Yet, when we do that, we are actually being arrogant, not noble. 

After all, God gives to each and every one of us unceasingly.  Who are we to refuse that in favor of others?  In truth, the more we refuse healing for ourselves, the less we are able to give healing to others for healing is one, limitless, eternal and whole.  We cannot divide healing and only give healing to those who we deem worthy or needing it more.  The very nature of healing is restoring that which is divided back into wholeness.  We can’t do that by seeing division, but only by seeing the undivided.

What I did when I gave you that healing was to see more of your true undivided light that you are rather than confirming where you thought you were divided within yourself.  All that I spoke of to you was to bring that awareness to you. 

For example, what I said about your son and your relationship to him was to restore your vision of division within yourself about him to more wholeness.  When we are “stuck” or in doubt or in some form of conflict about someone or something, we are divided within ourselves.  We experience as certainty and clarity and lovingness our increasing wholeness – or healing.  

True intuition comes from having certainty in Divinity, in the limitless, timeless, undividedness of Spirit.  Meditation begins with us remembering ourselves that we are spirit.  Prayer begins as we remember God in everything we experience.  With the practice of meditation and prayer, we hone our certainty in the Divine through direct experience and we begin to live a truly intuitive life.  Our path then becomes one of healing and experiencing the wholeness that is Life, that is Truth, that is Divine Love.

I am ever grateful to see your light shining in this world.

With love and laughter,
Michael

merry-go-round-lights

The Camino resonates ~

It’s nearly four years since I walked my first Camino, and the impact of that pilgrimage walk continues to resonate.

It resonates in a number of ways.

Physically –

I now walk everywhere. Whereas prior to the Camino I would drive up to the shops, or I would drive from point A to point B, now whenever possible, I walk.

Last week I walked 82kms. That’s not a huge distance, but in amongst my work and everything else I was doing, it’s still a healthy distance. I average about 300kms a month. If I need to go somewhere, my first thought is: can I walk there.

Somehow, I’ve healed my knee.

I’m really not sure how I’ve healed it, but this is a knee that had lost all its cartilage. I was bone-on-bone. My surgeon told me that, quote: “A knee replacement is not a matter of if, but when.”

I didn’t accept that. I bought a brace, wore that on a couple of shorter Caminos, then this last year I walked the Portuguese Camino without the brace at all. My knee was a bit twingey a few days, but basically it was fine. I now don’t wear the brace at all.

How did this happen?

I didn’t accept what the doctor told me. I listened to my body, I took it easy, I exercised it, and gradually my knee improved. Whether the cartilage has grown back, I don’t know. I don’t take vitamin supplements, I haven’t had any injections – I’ve just walked most days, and as I say, I’ve listened to my body, and throttled back when the knee’s got cranky.

Emotionally –

I don’t get het up about things like I used to. On the Camino, I adopted a mantra: What’s the worst that can happen? That mantra has stayed with me.

If I’m faced with an issue that, prior to the Camino, would have caused me concern or anxiety or stress, now I ask myself: What’s the worst that can happen? And invariably, if you honestly consider the worst, then the worst isn’t so bad.

For that to have full benefit though, you have to have your shit together.

For instance, I don’t consider death or disability or ill health to be so bad. I don’t consider loss or lack to be so bad. I trust that I am being guided on my right path, and what falls along that path falls for a very good reason. Those reasons I agreed to before I was born. So if I believe I agreed to them, how can I bitch and moan?

What’s the worst that can happen?
Really, nothing.

When you get to that realisation, life becomes very simple. I’m not there yet fully – in truth – but I’m working at it. I now meditate religiously each day, a minimum of 21 minutes, and that helps a lot.

I don’t let things bother me anymore. Even when I get back to my car and a ranger is writing me up a parking ticket, I figure: Poor bugger, I bet a lot of people yell at you.

I used to.

Also, another thing I’ve brought back from the Camino is the concept of what I call Incremental Achievement. Incremental achievement is walking 800kms across a country by walking 20kms a day, day in, day out. Putting one foot in front of the other, and not giving up till you get there.

I write.
A book is 80,000 words, give or take.

If I apply this Incremental Achievement concept to writing a book, then if I write 1,000 words a day, then in 80 days I’ll have written a book! 80 days is, what? less than three months? Bloody hell. All I have to do is write a 1,000 words a day and in less than three months, I’ll have written a book.

Wow.

That’s the same as if I walk 20kms a day, in 40 days I’ll have walked the Camino Frances. That’s a pretty powerful concept, Incremental Achievement. I’ve brought that back from the Camino, and it’s changed my life.

Spiritually – 

Where do I start?

I’m not the person I was before my first Camino. Period. Before my first Camino I had the potential to be the person I now am – but I needed that experience to bring it into full realisation.

I now am in awe of wonder.
I now am in awe of possibilities.
I now have an inkling – an inkling – of life’s purpose.

And it leaves me in awe.

It’s difficult to bring the Camino back with you, back into your everyday life when you return. You have to work at it.

You have to remember what you learned.
What you experienced.
How you felt.

Maybe for you it was just a walk.
It wasn’t for me.
For me, what I learned continues to resonate.

(By the way, in the photo below, there’s too much headroom)

wpid-Photo-03052013-612-PM.jpg