600km Walking Pilgrimage through Spain

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on September 2 2008

From the moment I discovered an ancient pilgrimage path in Spain in June last year, the attraction of walking hundreds of kilometres towards an assured destination grew on me daily. My eagerness to go on a month-long journey on foot across the steep slopes, lush valleys and forests of the Pyrenees, and through countless small towns and villages, was part of a subconscious quest to find depth and meaning in my life. At the age of 33, I was approaching – prematurely, perhaps – what seemed to be a mid-life crisis.

Straits Times Life! Article,Denise Chng Lisan,Camino de Santiago,Camino Frances

Letter from Quebec: Preserving Heritage

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on November 8 2008

'TRAVEL is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living,' wrote Miriam Beard. Life in Quebec is now my teacher, pointing out my knowledge gaps and honing my ideas of living - be it language, culture, life-skills, or the environment.

Denise Chng Lisan

Day 2-4: Cockfosters Retreat

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Thursday, September 13, 2007
Coming here after a long hectic week of work is haven. The retreat house here is so quiet, making me feel that silence is such a luxury. Every thought becomes magnified and my intuition becomes stronger.

Cockfosters is situated at the last stop on a tube you can possibly get to in London. So it is at the edge of London, close to the nowhere zone.

The guest house is really comfortable, with a room to myself. I can cook in the kitchen - my ideal type of kitchen, where there is high ceiling and lots of light shining through. It is fully equipped too.

We meditate three times a day here - 8am, 11.40pm and 7pm. Essentially, I do nothing here, except read, write, sleep, meditate and Just Be.

In the mornings, as the retreat house is next to Monastary, I can join in the morning prayers where the Benedictine monks sing for praise.

I take walks in the Trent Country Park close by....which is lovely. Vast huge green fields....getting close to the sky. And I love the long road lined by trees on both sides.

To prepare for my camino, I strapped on my full backpack, as I would carry for the next month - and started walking around the park for 1.5 hours. I don't know how many kilometers the walk might be - 4km? 6km? probably less...urgh. But I'm feeling more confident now...the weight seems comfortable enough, at least on flat grounds. I'll need to leave behind more things.

Less needs, less wants.

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    Ave Maria - Lourdes, France

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