A Seeker of Temples…One Pilgrim’s Journal on The Way to Santiago

A Seeker of Temples…One Pilgrim’s Journal on The Way to Santiago


What’s In the Temple?

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still,
but ready to spring.
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poet speak in obscure terms pointing madly
at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting
their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the
cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here awhile.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.

If I say the word God, people run away.
They’ve been frightened—sat on till the spirit cried “uncle.”
Now they play hide and seek with somebody
they can’t name.
They know he’s out there looking for them,
and they want to be found.
But there is all this stuff in the way.

I can’t talk about God and make any sense.
And I can’t not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are
talking about God.

I miss the old temples where you would hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love
draped in warm fur,
and sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences,
and you feel there the yapping urgency of life
that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense & myrrh.

We don’t build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can’t be contained.
Or maybe it can’t be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It’s the spirit that lives on.

If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

Get there now..

~Tom Barrett~
















“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
George Berkeley Anglo-Irish Philosopher

March 23rd

“Who are you, O God?  And who am I?”    Francis of Assisi

…AND, so it begins (although it began months ago).  A seed planted in the deepest recesses of dark earth pushed, pulled, tugged, cracked and finally died.  It was ONLY then a shoot thrust itself through the soils—
Somehow it knew in which direction to stretch and NOW it has broken ground…

This seed knows this place as if it passed this way countless times and still this moment is a first.

An ‘angel’ uprooted this seed bringing it to the place that would TRANSPORT this lifeform, this human being to its first ‘carrier’ (this would NOT be the destination).

The second ‘angel’ (so sad if you do not believe in them) was from Africa.  He did not wear a suit and tie but his smile was wider than his face, his t-shirt and jeans made him ordinary.  BUT, he was far from this.  He embraced the first angel…she did her take and now he put the vehicle in drive transferring me to the airport.  Now—here I AM.

Soon a silver bird with metal wings will carry me to a foreign place, a foreign land, a foreign people and language—and it is I who am the FOREIGNER.

I will become an angel unto myself and transport my being onto the fertile earth of the Camino de Santiago.

A solitary stem ‘preparing’ to spread its roots like a vine connecting with thousands, millions of ancient ancestors who walked the Way—each on a spiritual quest to discover or perhaps embrace WHO they were, who they ARE in the God who from before beginnings walked into the cosmos and whispered, “THIS IS GOOD.”

Fairytale, myth, mysterious truth, a cloud of unknowing—it hardly matters.

I’m stirred by the words of George Berkeley, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”  Alone, yet far from lonely…I am that tree and I will fall into step each day—500 miles.  My soles will ‘join’ her wet, barren, moist, rocky, carpeted, mossy, muddy, snowy floor AND it will NOT matter if no one else HEARS.

I AM seeking Temples.  Perhaps, I seek a Temple.  I will pass countless stone cathedrals, BUT the Temple I seek to embrace most intimately is the ONE inside my very being.  I hear it pulsating as I pen these words.  I am filled with a HOST of emotions…divine hunger preparing to consume the Source ALREADY meeting me saying NOTHING.  Yet, in the NOTHINGNESS I’m hearing—the seed planted, grown, transplanted, FALLEN from Eden realizes it was NEVER truly cast out of this pregnant womb ONLY it burst—is endlessly becoming the FRUIT of its womb RIPENED by the eternal I AM creating and re-creating NOT only yesterday, BUT NOW, yes—this very moment.

Tomorrow’s labor pains are just feeling the contractions—all original blessings as Matthew Fox dared bring to light—the same light Einstein sought to discover again and again AND when Meister Eckhart echoed, “I pray God to make me free of God that we may gain truth and enjoy it eternally.”  How silly those long ago who missed his deepest desires.

I end this day with a final thought before a NEW beginning.  I heard it said by a Balinese Dancer, “Someone out there is waiting for you, so LIVE your life so they might find you.”  What if the someone IS me waiting for me—silently…without recognition, attention from others, without accolades or applause, without wondering, WHAT WILL I DO WITH THIS, THIS__________________?

I’m waiting for ME to love the me embracing this PRESENT moment.

I heard the tree fall…an orchestrated piece never to be heard in the same beat.

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