Monthly Archives: August 2016

Lessons learned on the Camino

Why walk several hundred kilometres on a path in Spain with a back pack? For an outsider it seems difficult to understand why thousands of people from all walks of life are resdiscovering this ancient pilgrimage route as a personal journey of self-discovery.

After walking the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Finisterre this year I would like to share some of the insights that might motivate you to put the Camino on your bucket list. First and foremost I see a walk on the Camino as a fast-track opportunity of learning many of life’s important lessons:


  • Walking alone for hours a day in nature is the perfect opportunity for self reflection and to disengage from daily distractions that under normal circumstances prevent you from looking deep inside of you. You will go into sync with your own rhythm at a deeper level. What thoughts, fears, emotions are you dealing with at this moment in time?img_3781
  • Walking with a back pack forces you to slow down. If you go too fast you will lose your way and you will take much longer to get to your destination.You might even have to end your journey because your feet, back and knees have been over-exerted.
  • If you see it as a mere physical exercise of doing so many kilometres each day and reaching a certain destination by a certain time, you won’t see and discover any of the miracles around you.┬áIts the difference between head-mind and heart-mind.
  • Every day is walking into an unknown territory. You don’t know what will come around the next bend and what you will have to deal with. The weather sometimes changes every hour and you just have to deal with the situation that is at hand and that you don’t have any control over.
  • There are Highs- and Lows every day in life. You just have to accept this as a natural order of ebb and flow. Attachment to either is a cause of unhappiness.
  • The more you carry with you the harder your walk. Free yourself of the clutter that you don’t really need. Focus on the essentials.
  • If you get lost don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most people are only too willing to be of assistance.
  • Be humble and the Path will lead you.

Last but not least: Why are you here? What is your soul purpose and what are you doing for the rest of the days in your life that is of service to the bigger WHOLE? You have all the time in the world and yet no time to lose!

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author



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Winding Down

I met an interesting character walking the Camino between Muxia and Lires on the way to Fisterra. The guy is offering refreshments to Peregrinos for a small donation in a makeshift tent.

He coined the term ‘Turbo-Grinos’ – those guys in such a hurry to reach their destination that they have no time to really enjoy the Path or to stop for a conversation.

They are up in the morning at 4 a.m hurrying to secure a place in the next Albergue or even worse – racing the Camino on a bicycle and you better jump fast to get out of their way.

One of my Taiji teachers once said: ‘If you’re in a hurry you are out of alignment and need to practise more.’

When you walk longer distances – 25 to 30 km a day with a back pack – you are forced to slow down. If you don’t you end up with sore knees and feet.

The Camino forces you to wind down to a natural walking rhythm. And, wow there is a world of chirping birds, crickets and rushing streams to be discovered. You just don’t know what you will found around the next bend.

 Staying in the moment is perhaps the hardest practise in a world of distraction.

But as an old Zen Koan goes: ‘You have all the time in the world but no time to lose.’

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author


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Heart Mind – Head Mind

There is a difference between religion and spirituality. While religion is based on a set belief system or theology, spirituality is a much broader concept leaving room for many different perspectives.

I would see it as the difference between ‘head mind’ and ‘heart mind’

During a break in a cafe along the Camino I was talking to a fellow Peregrino on the reasons why the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela has become so popular in recent times. In the past it was mainly a Catholic tradition. But today people of all religious traditions, natonalities and age groups can be seen walking the Camino.


Cathedral of Santiago – God infusing Eve with heart energy

One young woman, who describes herself as non-religious, said she made a point of stopping in every chapel, church or cathedral on the Camino, moved at times to tears in feeling the ‘heart mind’

My fellow Peregrino in the cafe said experiencing Bach’s Cantata 140 in a live concert felt each time like a ‘tremor vibrating through my body.’

Belief structured only by a ‘head mind’ can be imposed by institutions but will never have the power of individual experience as felt by the ‘heart mind’

With the devastation caused by intolerant fundamentalist religion – not only in the Islamic form – I have the feeling that more and more people are becoming seekers and in the process discovering the ‘heart mind’

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author

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Camino Primitivo – in Santiago

Its always an amazing experience to walk into Santiago de Compostela from Monte de Gozo in the early hours of the morning. 


Monto Gozo

Centuries ago there was a clear view of the Cathedral from the mountain and I can well imagine how pilgrims must have felt walking step-by-step toward this awesome building after being on the road for months and overcoming enormous hardship.

The view today has mainly been obscured by modern buildings and the front is currently being renovated so that one has to enter through a side door.

If you arrive in the Pilgrims Office prior to 11 am to receive your certificate that you have walked the Camino, the country you come from will be read out during the Mass. Some of the pilgrims today  were from afar as Ecuador and South Korea.

The Pilgrims Mass itself is a very moving and individual experience as all the images, the highs and lows and conversations with fellow pilgrims during the past two weeks on the Camino Primitivo come to mind. 

Our group of pilgrims who bonded on this challenging Camino met one last time outside the Cathedral to say farewell. Even the Czech guy, Frans, who nobody thought would make it, was there -proudly holding his certificate!

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author

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