Mombuey – Chapter 74

We walk to Mombuey, on our way to Santiago.

I read Chapter 74 of the Tao te Ching (translated by Steven Mitchell):

“If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.”

We pass through a small town.

“If you aren’t afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can’t achieve.”


The Camino passes alongside the highway.

“Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.”



“When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
chances are that you’ll cut your hand.”



Lao tsu suggests not trying to change the future — this is poor advice. Those who plan for the future are better off than those who do not.

This chapter advocates realizing that things change, overcoming the fear of death, and not planning for the future. How can these things be done?


Our hotel is a kind of truck stop — with plenty of room for the trucks to park. Karen reads in her guide book that the paneria (bread store), across from our hotel, sells the best bread in the world.

I go there and buy a croissant — then return to our hotel.

Lao tsu’s Taoist tradition suggests “doing nothing” — which means meditation. When meditating, thoughts come up and you practice letting them go — fears, planning, worries, sadness. You may be planning for the future — take note of this and return your attention to your breath. By doing this you will increase your ability to focus your mind.


When it is time to plan for the future, plan for the future.


When it is time to meditate, meditate.


Sometimes useful ideas will come up — solutions to problems may emerge. Take note of these ideas and return you focus to your breath. Meditation enhances creativity.


Karen has coffee in front of a mural inside our hotel. Is this a fantasy or something that the truck drivers see? I eat the croissant. It tasted like every other croissant, but the mural was magnificent.

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