In Valenca, there is a huge fortress, Fortaleza, which guards the Rio Minho. It has been a major military structure from early times but the main design took shape in the17th century. It’s cannons are aimed at Spain. We descend on the north face and approach the international bridge that leads to Spain.
We cross the bridge.
We enter Spain.
Lao tsu talks about travel without leaving home. He refers to meditation and the fantasies that emerge when you cross from the outer to the inner realm. You can see images in the mind. The mind is a traveler but, from ancient times, people have found that the Inner Path involves stillness rather than movement. The true inner path is toward stillness.
We walk past a row of crosses. The mind is restless. It goes in all different directions but it has a fixed physiological structure. We note the way sign and continue along the Caminho (Portuguese), which now has the name “Camino” — “Way” in Spanish…..the Camino Portugues.
We walk over a medieval stone bridge. Meditation allows seeing thoughts flow by.
We walk beside a track, filled with water. The stone path has survived for over a thousand years. Lao tsu was not opposed to travel. He was walking to Tibet. When he talks about travel without leaving home he refers to what can be seen inside when the mind is still.
Karen attracts the attention of a horse. I watch some geese.
Lao tsu writes (chapter 26):
“The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Thus, the master travels all day
without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the Lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let your restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.”
We arrived in an industrial area and searched for a room. We found that the place described in our guidebook had gone out-of-business. My Spanish was good enough that I could ask around until we found another place to stay.
On the surface, everything is changing. Inside, there is stillness. You can travel without leaving home by staying still and going within. This is the Inner Way.