Walking to Villafranca de los Barros – Chapter 36

“I hope you have a plan for today,” I say to Karen.

“I plan to get up and start walking,” she says.

We leave at 7:00 AM and see La Torre de San Francisco – the only structure that remains in Zafra from the 15th century. There are other pilgrims on the Camino.
We will walk more than 12 miles today.

I read chapter 36 of the Tao the Ching:

“If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.”

We climb the Sierra de los Olivos and look down at the town of Los Santos de Maimonides.

“If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.”


We see the church. At first, it seems as if all the cafes are closed, but eventually we find coffee.

We walk through fields of olive trees.

“If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.”

“This is called the subtle perception
of the way things are.”

We pass some ruins.

“The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.”

We catch our first sight of the city of Villafranca de los Barros.
We know that we have more than three miles still to walk.

More than an hour later, we enter the city.

“Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.”

The true journey is an inner process, something hidden. I understand that most people are not interested in this but it us something for you to ponder — Lao Tsu, the author of the Tao te Ching presents paradoxes to you (the soft overcomes the hard) and most people turn away from this — but when the difficult thing comes to you, the unsolvable problem, remember that the Inner Way is available to you.

Practice, practice, practice. I pray that you find your Way.

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