Karma Kitchen in the Camino de Santiago!

*Booklet with a write up about the Camino, designed and printed by our volunteer Sonia, who offered it to everyone! 

Last Saturday we got together again to experience the spirit of generosity!

The excuse was to serve food with no strings attached, no prize, no greater expectations. The name of the experiment is Karma Kitchen, or, as we say in the part of the planet we call Spain: Cocina con Karma.

Many magical strings were pulled before, during and after the event last Saturday; even if they are not attached (the strings), they are connected to the whole :).

For years, few of us in Burgos have been dreaming of the possibility of mixing local community initiatives with the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage that runs through our land. In one of our last retreats, the idea emerged that we could collaborate with a hostel which has started to be run by a friend! Through Miki (who is working there now) and Quique, who is a friend of Silvia (the person who runs the hostel), we were able to plant the seeds for this to happen! Silvia accepted full of faith and trust, and this showed clearly in the way she allowed space for us, giving us freedom to use the hostel/restaurant in the way Karma Kitchen asks for. We really felt at home, thank you Silvia! :). She didn’t even want to charge us a particular number for the ‘renting’ of the space, which was one of those micro-experiences that gave us a glimpse of what Karma Kitchen is about. That generosity and love is natural to us, but sometimes we are conditioned to relate to each other in a transactional way, and the very nature of Karma Kitchen questions some of those dominant paradigms, as we experienced on and on this time too.

Before the event, few of us gathered to design the menu and buy the food, while others started preparing the online communications and posters and so on.

Always when we do these kinds of events, there is a feeling of uncertainty that starts to melt away into trust when people begin pouring in; people from all walks of life: university teachers, local farmers, volunteers, people from other cities, international servants, neighbors from the village etc! Fear dissolves into trust and into a sense of knowing, knowing that with the right intention in the heart (and the kind efforts of many), everything will just work out perfectly the way it’s supposed to.

In the process of organizing this Karma Kitchen, we kept encountering generosity, like that of Barbel, who has started an organic bakery nearby, and decided she wanted to contribute as well, and not charge us with the normal cost of her fabulous bread! Another very unexpected micro- moment of love! Thank you Barbel!
We also had wonderful volunteers dedicating many hours just for the joy of it, or people coming from other cities just to give a hand and spend their free weekend serving meals with us, or mama Conchi, who dedicated hours and hours to prepare the menu and offer her time as a quiet backbone for all of this to be possible.

Those strings of love kept becoming visible during the event, where we encountered people like Felisa, from the small village of Agés. Felisa has been very sick for a while, and now luckily she is feeling better. She is the person who shows the Agés church to the pilgrims as they go by her village. One of the waitresses realized that Felisa had not eaten dinner and had left the venue. After some time she came back ready to make a contribution. She said: ‘I haven’t eaten because I ate before coming, but I loved the atmosphere and the spirit of this event, and I wanted to contribute my bit for this to keep happening, that’s why I went back home, because I wanted to give some contribution’. It was actually quite glorious to see her reaction, and the way she interacted with everyone at Karma Kitchen! She brought so much joy to us with that little spontaneous act!! I stop saying thank you to everyone, LOL, but yeah, gratitude was everywhere! 🙂

Other people from the village also came to the event, and that really created a wonderfully diverse atmosphere. Pilgrims, locals, people from other towns and cities, all blended beautifully, in a unique offering of one another to each other. A reminder of what’s possible when we hold the intention of love and compassion at the center.
As we closed the evening with a full house, -of people and smiles-, we witnessed yet others small acts of love, like that of Pablo, another local who decided to come silently at the end to help clean the space! He also shared how for him: ‘these events are very necessary. You can explain it to people, but it’s not till you experience it that you will be able to fully understand it, and know what’s possible. I always believed these things were possible’.

After it all, Quique, one of our most committed volunteers also shared how we felt: “The magic was re-lived on the Camino de Santiago at the Albergue Municipal de Agés near Burgos. KarmaKitchen, an experiment in altruism, community, abundance and heart to heart connections ♥️. Another way of relating is possible. From scarcity to abundance, from transaction to trust, from isolation to community, from consumption to contribution.” And Silvia, our host: ‘I was really happy yesterday. You gave me a lot of oxygen, a lot of peace. I trust the universe deeply and yesterday life gave me reasons to keep trusting.’

All of us left the space with messages that will play out their magic as life unfolds! Thanks to the roots and wings that helped this come alive!

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