Voie de Vézelay: a Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela





When a single feather and a thousand worlds

are equally this Space,

Who can say which contains which?

Who can find limits

to life’s richness?

                                                                        Tharthang Tulku


In the summer 2014, I went on a six week pilgrimage through France, one of the three major French pilgrimage ways to Santiago de Compostela. I started in Vézelay and went to Saint-Jean–Pied-de-Port, the popular starting point of the Camino Frances in Spain. The whole distance was about 560 miles. The walk is also known under the name Via Lemovicensis. I walked alone.


As part of the pilgrimage, I did a one weeklong creative writing workshop with Natalie Goldberg. The workshop was located near La Souterraine, a town on the Voie de Vézelay. “Closing the Gap” was the theme of the workshop. This was also the intention of my walk – to live in the present moment, closing the gap between body and mind. With this walk, I also closed the gap between the Camino Frances I did with my daughter four years ago and the Via Lemovicensis, the walk from Vézelay to St. Jean–Pied-de-Port. Like always, I took poems, haiku’s and Dharma sayings with me. Often, I pulled one of the sayings for the day. I will include these in my report.


I am very happy that I can share my experiences with you. Thank you very much for walking with me.







Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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