Gina Marie Mammano is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and host of the public radio show Ear Candy. Her work has been featured in many magazines and journals including Dos Passos Review, Pilgrimage Journal, and Poetica Magazine.
She defines "camino divina" as "a form of walking meditation [that] encourages the practitioner to sacredly run amok with word associations, imagination, histories, and enlightenings that emerge during the walk. As in other forms of meditation, we're engaging in a deep and focused listening, alongside deep rivers of acceptance and freedom." These are journeys to both outer and inner landscapes.
In this paperback, Mammano presents twelve adventures exploring themes such as Amazement, Wildness, Darkness, the Liminal, the Surprising, and the Familiar. Each chapter includes a biography of a featured "saint," followed by a reflection on the journey taken, a "sitting meditation," and a camino divina adventure where you can join the dance. "The Longer Walk" sections include exercises to expand the walk taken and the meanings engendered. Each adventure ends with some suggested readings.
One of the best things about this devotional work is who the author has included on her list of 12 saints or "spiritual luminaries": Wendell Berry, Hildegard of Bingen, Mary Oliver, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, John Muir, Rainer Maria Rilke, T. S. Eliot, John O'Donohue, Joy Harjo, Flannery O'Connor, Chief Seattle, and Annie Dillard. We were quite taken with her treatment of Hildegard of Bingen's notable contributions to the spiritual practice of wonder. The eleventh- century mystic is lauded for her creative vitality, her image of herself as a begging bowl, her reverence for the many Divine mysteries, and her sense of herself as "a feather on the breath of God."