Castilblanco – Almaden – El Real de la Jara – because he accepts himself

In Castilblanco, we visit a church with storks on the roof. We watch them as the bell rings. Inside, people are preparing the floats/pasos.


We look at the floats.


The men are practicing lifting and moving the float and they come out from underneath it, one at a time.

They do this as a way of repenting. They will perform a feat of strength, working together. Karen and I are doing something similar — walking to Santiago as a kind of prayer.

Inside this church, I pray for you, that your problem will be resolved. We learn that there will be no bus to Almaden. We cannot walk the 18 miles because we are still exhausted. Karen became dizzy from the heat.

I buy a dessert for Karen. I explain to her that we must hitch-hike — there will be no buses for the next two days because of the festival. We must have faith that some good person will give us a ride. Karen is anxious because we will be going out in the hot sun again without knowing if we will make it to our destination. Karen worries about the future — our country is bombing other countries and she worries about our grandchildren; now she worries about surviving each day.

I read Chapter 30 from the Tao te Ching:

“Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn’t try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.”

It is the Thursday before Good Friday and they are bringing out the floats which are carried by men underneath. They wear special weight-lifting garb.

“For every force there is a counterforce.”

“Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.”

In the morning, we begin walking. It is very foggy. We stick out our thumbs when a car approaches. We walk four miles but no one stops. I tell Karen about a Buddhist friend who tried chanting while hitch-hiking. A Buddhist stopped and gave him a ride.

“That will not work here,” she said.

We tried singing a Beatles’ song:
“When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.”

The Tao te Ching says:
“The Master does his job
and then stops.”

A taxi came by and offered to take us to Almaden. That is how we were saved. By paying money, we rode to Almaden de la Plata — the town where the silver mines used to be.

We went to the church to give thanks. When the Mother Mary offers a taxi, take it.

“He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,”

I pray for the people reading this blog.

“and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.”

We go inside later in the afternoon. Karen utters the word, “Maybe.”

The shrine has a silver image of Jesus — but you cannot see it very well because it is too bright. If you want to see it, look inside yourself.

We leave Almaden in the morning — on the Camino. The trail goes past the bull ring.

This is not a big town — but it has a bull ring. We walk toward El Real de la Jara.

“Because he believes in himself,
he doesn’t try to convince others.”

“Because he is content with himself,
he doesn’t need others’ approval.”

“Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.”

This is the ancient Roman Road.

We see the town of Real de la Jara — in the distance, is the castle above the town.

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