Granja de Moreruela – Chapter 68


We leave Montamarta to walk to Granja de Moreruela.

We pass the church at Montamarta.


We pass some ruins, remains of a fortress.

I read Chapter 68 of the Tao te Ching ( translated by Steven Mitchell):

“The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.”


“The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.”

A police helicopter lands in front of us and asks some bicyclists to show their ID’s. The police say they do not want to see our ID’s and that everything is OK. The bicyclists are allowed to continue.


“The best businessman
serves the communal good.”


The police depart and a Karen waves goodbye.

“The best leader
follows the will of the people.”

We arrive in Granja and decide to spend a second day so that we can visit the Monesterio de Santa Maria de Moreruela, a Cistercian monastery built during the 12 century.

We walk about an hour to the monastery and find that there is a gate that seems locked. The site does not open until 10:00. We wait until 10:00 and no one comes to open the gate. I figure out a way to get in.

We encounter another locked gate but I am able to video the remains of the chapel.

“All of them embody
the virtue of non-competition.”


“Not that they don’t love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of competition.


We see some workers who are restoring the site, a man tells us that the site is closed on Monday and Tuesday. I apologize and we depart.

Karen is upset because she wanted to see all the ruins. I explain to her that we saw everything.

“In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.”

We walk back to our casa rural.

Steven Mitchell has translated Lao tsu’s text so that it has a modern quality — but Lao tsu was not advocating a political position with regard to capitalism. I suggest that the value of the Tao te Ching is in its capacity to stimulate innovative ways of thinking which can be useful for seeing things in a new way — a pathway to mental well-being.


Monks lived in this place — seeking a spiritual life. Our modern life is very different from their life — but the Inner Way is available to everyone.



In harmony with the Tao



In Granja, we take the Camino Santabrés, which goes northwest to Ourense – and on to Santiago. We are leaving the Via de la Plata which goes north to join the Camino Francés at Astoria.

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