Is El Camino on your “bucket list”?
Are you in transition and wanting space and time to reflect on “what’s next”?
Are you celebrating a milestone life event?
Are you seeking a travel experience that aligns with your deepest values?
Experience the sacred art and practice of pilgrimage.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James, is the epic pilgrimage route of Europe. Walk in Beauty specializes in preparing you in body, mind, and spirit to join a small, intimate pilgrimage community, to help you discover your own ‘inner wisdom’, to engage travel as an act of mindfulness, and to return home with greater awareness, courage, understanding, and compassion, supporting personal and societal transformation.
Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages are designed to exceed your expectations, with stunning natural scenery, superb accommodations, and exceptional regional-delicious meals. We are specialists in the “Heart of El Camino,” offering a unique process of self-discovery through the Center for Courage & Renewal® Approach to reflect on your deepest values and to lead a more courageous, resilient, and meaningful life. The Approach includes spacious time in solitude and in community, journaling, mindfulness practices, and exploring poetry and prose to life’s big questions. To learn more about the Courage & Renewal Approach: http://www.couragerenewal.org/
Mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition, founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is the basis for daily activity, including mindful breathing, mindful sitting, mindful walking, mindful eating, mindful speaking and listening. To learn more about the Plum Village Approach: https://plumvillage.org/
Preparation is essential. We work with you from the moment you register for a pilgrimage to after you return home, offering you practices grounded in mindfulness and reflection to enhance your journey of transformation.
The crown jewel of Spanish walking trails, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began as an act of faith as Europeans crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of Saint James. One thousand years later, the Camino continues to draw spiritual seekers worldwide to enjoy the beauty of green rolling hills, stunning coastal views, and small hamlets of northern Spain. Come be part of this magical trail, find your authentic voice, and practice mindfulness in daily life. Experience the sacred art and practice of pilgrimage.
Walking El Camino, the path itself, taught me that activism is about the relationships that I cultivate with each person; how I express care, concern, and kindness; and how I offer support to others and for myself. The Way of Saint James helped me to attune to others and to trust my brief moments of clarity and my own intuition.
—-Valerie Brown in Kosmos Journal
What You Will Experience on a Lead Smart Pilgrimage: Walk in Beauty…
Feel grounded and centered inward with quiet self-reflection and reflection in small groups, using poetry, prose, music, and the land itself. Return home deeply touched by the beauty and inspiration of sacred land and culture. Be a force for change in the world.
Savor the present moment. Our pilgrimage journeys are very different from the typical :hiking vacation” or “cultural tour.” You won’t sit on a bus, “touring,” or sleep in a hostel. You won’t rush from one site to another to “get it all in.” You’ll move at a human pace, mindfully, to “allow your soul to catch up to your feet.” Be a pilgrim, not a tourist.
Enjoy connection with community; evening gatherings offer you time to reflect, write, and share from your experience, supporting your integration of this unique adventure. Be part of a community of seekers.
Foster respect and integrity for the land, the people, and the culture. A core value of Walk in Beauty is cultivating deep awareness of people, and of the environment, restoring a sense of integrity to the act of travel. Be connected.
Self-care and self-compassion are companions on the journey. Our private coach is loaded with healthy snacks and cold drinks and is available whenever you want to ride. Luggage is transferred to your hotel. After breakfast and morning reflection, the coach delivers you to the trailhead to begin each day on El Camino. You decide how much (or how little) you want to walk. Be kind to yourself.
What People Are Saying About Walk in Beauty. . . .
“I was surprised by joy, by the deep, authentic connection with those in this group as we shared the beauty and the challenge of the walk.”
“I loved the quality time devoted to hearing each others’ stories.”
“I loved the sense of community.”
“I loved the reflection with poetry.”
“Wonderful accommodations, closeness to nature, and solitude.”
“I learned to reconnect with what is really essential in my life.”
“I was deeply touched by the beauty of the environment we walked through, the silence, the stillness.”
Finding True Love on El Camino
“I joined Walk in Beauty thinking I would reconnect with my love of Spain. Instead, I found family: a “daughter” and “grandsons.”
Read more of Dawn’s story:
“It is just over a year after my pilgrim’s journey of Walk in Beauty in Northern Spain, and so much has happened in one year! My initial draw to the trip was to return to my beloved Spain where I lived as a young college student. Instead, I returned home with so much more. Learning to slow down in my life was a huge take away, but the most beautiful gift was new family. I developed a very special connection with a pilgrim in our group that deepened while walking El Camino and continued to grow into a deep connection when I returned home. Our friendship and relationship continued at a distance. They in Austin, Texas and I and my partner in Portland, Oregon. Even at a distance, I was thrilled to have a “daughter” and “grandsons” for the first time. And then, in a turn of incredible events, my “daughter” was offered her dream job, in Portland, and our new family was united.”
—Dr. Dawn Montgomery, Walk in Beauty, Camino del Norte, 2018 Pilgrim
“The Camino found me in more ways than one. I stumbled into the journey and in doing so I found what I did not know I wanted or needed. I walked the Camino as a part of a fellowship I received based on my work in the non-profit community development sector. I was so busy in my personal and professional life that I did little research about the walk and so I went with only intention: to hold space for others and to be present. The walk was transformative for me personally. In slowing down I was able to see the needs of my boys more clearly and in connecting with Dawn and Shawn on the trip I learned that magic does exist, as it was apparent we were family. Professionally, the Camino gifted me the courage to walk toward a new calling and a new state.”
—Rev. Jenifer Wagley, Walk in Beauty, Camino del Norte, 2018 Pilgrim
Dawn and Jenifer wrote these expressive poems about their Camino experience and their relationship:
I am a pilgrim
My Camino began years ago with
vision quests in Death Valley
and the Northern Cascades
How lost I became rambling
only just finding my way to
eucalyptus and salt-see breezes
yellow arrows and heart-shaped blessings
on the Northern path to Santiago.
You will know me
I am the childless mother
The one who
discovered a daughter
a beacon of hope for our world
while laying down a burden of difficult choices
from an ancient past
in the rocky pasture of a shepherd.
We are connected by love and trail.
I am the one who just let go of time
the chains that strapped me
so tightly to “Do”
I couldn’t find “Be!”
I am the one who wants
to live in the questions
and let go
of having answers.
I am the one who loves
who IS love
who plans to dedicate
a life to love
for the rest of my days.
Dr. Dawn Montgomery
October 30, 2018
On a holy walk,
on an ancient path,
a cathedral of Eucalyptus trees
hold the collective hopes of intention:
Intention to love,
to be found,
Sparkling forests with
embracing and provoking.
Kissing the feet of the grand officiants,
decades of exile turned to belonging.
Holy water sprinkled throughout,
directed by the high priestess,
with an ancient call, and
an outstretched arm
offering a stream of magic.
Found we have been in this sanctuary.
Baptized by the holy ones overseeing our saunter.
A holy moment,
with every ancient religious theme:
Rev. Jenifer Wagley
November 24, 2018