The Camino, a Catholic pilgrimage, increasingly draws the spiritual but not religious

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Religion

(RNS) — In her early 30s, Rachael Sanborn found herself in a bad relationship and dreaming of an escape to the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a pilgrimage her father had undertaken that had profoundly changed his life. Sanborn, a rebel and adventurer by nature (she dropped out of college to meditate in India for a year), quit her job, gave up health insurance and pooled her savings to take two months to walk the Camino. By the third day of her walk, she promised herself she’d return every year. Nine months later, she was back, guiding her first group of eight pilgrims.
A decade later, now 45 and residing in the Bay Area, she leads grief walks and walking meditations on the Camino with the travel company she founded, Red Monkey Walking Travel. The red monkey is a nod to Hanuman, the Hindu god of joyful service. Raised Tibetan Buddhist, Christian and Jewish, Sanborn considers herself all three. She believes everyone can find a way for the Camino to work for their religion.
“We have had everyone from devout Catholics to atheist Chinese nationals,” said Sanborn. “The Camino for the last 1,000 years was always open to everyone from all religions. Some of my first Camino friends walked from Iran. Iran! And stopped in or outs …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn(RNS) — In her early 30s, Rachael Sanborn found herself in a bad relationship and dreaming of an escape to the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a pilgrimage her father had undertaken that had profoundly changed his life. Sanborn, a rebel and adventurer by nature (she dropped out of college to meditate in India for a year), quit her job, gave up health insurance and pooled her savings to take two months to walk the Camino. By the third day of her walk, she promised herself she’d return every year. Nine months later, she was back, guiding her first group of eight pilgrims.
A decade later, now 45 and residing in the Bay Area, she leads grief walks and walking meditations on the Camino with the travel company she founded, Red Monkey Walking Travel. The red monkey is a nod to Hanuman, the Hindu god of joyful service. Raised Tibetan Buddhist, Christian and Jewish, Sanborn considers herself all three. She believes everyone can find a way for the Camino to work for their religion.
“We have had everyone from devout Catholics to atheist Chinese nationals,” said Sanborn. “The Camino for the last 1,000 years was always open to everyone from all religions. Some of my first Camino friends walked from Iran. Iran! And stopped in or outs …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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