Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Search results: "ayni" (page 1 of 6)

Ayni Revisited

Ayni is, perhaps, the most fundamental principle of the Andean Cosmovision (please read the earlier post on ayni). It does not fall easily into Western thought, for it is essentially about relationship while we in the West tend to focus on outcomes. Ayni is about a balance between giving and receiving; between people, between people and Nature, and between people and the Cosmos (in a way that is hardly conceivable within the Western world-view of the basic inanimate nature of the Cosmos). Ayni is the organizing principle for the flow of energy in the expanded view of reality of the Andes.

In this post I would like to focus on the ayni between you and me, and between our culture and the Andean people. Let’s first consider ayni between you and me. It would be great for me to receive something back for the effort I put into this web site, but only if it has value for you. If you would like to participate in a relationship of ayni please make a donation on the Salka Wind Donate page. I have no recommended amount in mind, it rather depends on the value to you of what I have made available on this site and your financial circumstances.

After covering the minimal costs of maintaining the domain name and having Salka Wind hosted on a server I give 50% of what I get from my classes and presentations, and from donations, to the people of the Andes as ayni for what they have given us. I usually give the money in person to people in Peru, in ways that I think will nourish the traditional Andean culture and our relationship with that culture. This is almost always done in a context where asking for a receipt just wouldn’t be appropriate. I have hesitated on this web site to be so specific about what percent of the donations I give back to the people of Peru for ayni as I have no receipts to back it up, nor will I in the future, so please be aware of that.  The other 50% I use to defer my costs for going to Peru, or to have a beer, but mainly it is the effect it has on me to receive support for sharing what I can of the Andean Cosmovision with the people of my culture.

Giving to the Andean people in a way that both benefits them personally and nourishes their culture is a very important practice of ayni. You can bypass me and do this in a number of ways if you would like. Please see the Resources page of Salka Wind for a couple of options.

To keep this post from being too serious I would like to share a snippet from the delightful book Zen Without Zen Masters by Camden Benares (already referenced in the earlier post ‘Fallacies‘). Ho Chi Zen used to keep a careful watch on which of his students put money in the donation bowl before each of his classes. Any student who donated three times in a row was dismissed for being too gullible.

Oakley and the Club of Mothers

Oakley and friends and the Club of Mothers

 

 

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Ayni

I would like to turn now to what may be the most fundamental aspect of the Andean Cosmovision, ‘ayni‘.  Ayni is the principle of reciprocity. The essence of ayni is that when you receive something you give something back in return. This keeps balance in the relationship, but it also does more than that, it nourishes the relationship as well.

Ayni informs the Andean people’s relationships with each other, and in that context it can be easily understood. It is when the Andean people apply ayni to their relationship with Nature and the Cosmos that we move into mysterious territory and begin to glimpse the profound beauty of their Cosmovision. To understand how ayni works in this context we first need to understand their very different view of Nature and the Cosmos. It is not possible to have a true relationship with inert, mindless, matter, and in the Western view of reality that is how rivers, and stones, and trees, and the Cosmos itself are basically seen. We can love a forest, or the Earth, but within our world view it is hard to conceive of them loving us back. The Andean people have a very different experience of reality, one that allows true relationships with Nature and the Cosmos. This was covered in the earlier post  Andean Cosmovision: The Basics and I recommend that if you haven’t already that you read it and the post Barefoot in the Mountains before proceeding so that you will be better able to understand what I am going to say about ayni.

Village men threshing wheat

Village men threshing wheat.

Let us begin by looking at ayni in the context of the Andean people and their relationships with each other. Ayni shows up clearly in the work that the people in a village perform together. When it is time to work a family’s field the men and women in the community unite to work it as a community. The sowing of a field, for example, involves a line of men working foot plows to overturn the soil, followed by a line of women who plant the seeds. When such communal work is done the recipients rarely express thanks, for it is just part of life that they will then establish balance by working their neighbor’s fields in turn. When you give you receive, and when you receive you give, balance is maintained, both sides are nourished, and the community is healthy.

Reciprocity is like a pump at the heart of Andean life. The constant give-and-take of ayni…maintains a flow of energy throughout the ayllu [community]. Allen, 2002, pg 73.

I would like to share some of my own experiences with ayni, from the perspective of a Westerner entering into a relationship with the Andean people. My trips to Peru involve working with various paqos and healers, and this ‘working with’ often involves my participation in the ceremonies and healing rituals that they provide. What I can give them in return to balance our relationship, what they really need that I have, is money.

At the beginning of my exploration of the Andean Cosmovision I felt uncomfortable about giving money in reciprocity. From my Western perspective it just didn’t seem quite right to give money for a sacred experience. There is a lot of cultural background to those feelings, tied to our views about the relationship between the sacred and the secular and how– when the two are mixed in the wrong way–the sacred becomes profane. Ayni, however, is not the same thing as payment. Ayni brings people closer together, the goal is balance rather than gain, mutual support rather than advantage. When I was able to shift from my culture’s Cosmovision to the Andean Cosmovision I was able to enter into the true ayni of the relationship. On their side they were willing to do the same, to interact with me in ayni within the context of the ceremony, rather than slipping into the Western capitalistic relationship that is encroaching into their culture. It is interesting that when the ceremony is over, and ayni has been completed by my giving them money, then the context usually does shift, the sense of the sacred evaporates, they pull out their goods-for-sale, and some hard haggling begins. The two ways of being in relationship, one of ayni within the context of the sacred, and one within the context of selling, could not be more different.

I would now like to share another context where I experienced how ayni works in Peru. This specific instance occurred in one of my more recent trips. I had brought along some extra money to give to the people of the Andes, not much, but it doesn’t take much to really help out someone who lives in the high Andes. The challenge was to find a context where the money could be given in ayni, for it is so easy for it to shift into a context of “the (comparatively) rich Westerner giving money to the poor and needy indigenous person” which is not ayni at all.

I was able to proceed with the help of an Andean friend (who is a genius at getting around my misled but well-intentioned efforts and helping me to do something even more beautiful than I anticipated). In this case we were in a very small village high in the Andes, which was probably important as there the people still lived a life governed by ayni. The following story is perhaps the best way I can share how ayni works.

Women of a village Club of Mothers

Club of Mothers

I was introduced to several people whom my friend knew could use some help. First I was introduced to a middle-aged man who was suffering from severe diarrhea, he asked if I had anything to help. Being the well-prepared gringo that I am of course I had some medication that is good for diarrhea, and I gave him some with instructions on how to take it. He thanked me most sincerely, and a few minutes later he returned to give me three eggs from his hens, which of course I thought was pretty nice of him. Then I was introduced to two young girls who were orphans and needed some money to get school supplies (in the small villages there are few resources for people who are outside of any family). They smiled and looked shy. I gave them some money and with big smiles they each gave me a hug, then one ran out and returned with a belt she had made to give to me as a present. The village Club of Mothers (who meet weekly to pursue activities for the benefit of the children in the village) gave me a live chicken in ayni for my support. I contemplated texting my sons that I was bringing them home a sister but we ate the chicken that night instead. And at the end of the day I was introduced to a very old woman whose family were all gone and I gave her the rest of what I had. She gently grasped my hand with both of hers and looked into my eyes with a gentle smile and said something to me in Quechua, which my friend translated for me. She said that she had nothing she could give me, so she would pray for me instead. It was a beautiful day.

While ayni in the relationships among humans may be easy for us to understand from our own cultural perspective, when we look at the Andean people’s ayni with the animals upon which they depend then we start to move into territory that is both different and beautiful. I would like to talk about the relationship between the Andean people and their traditional domesticated animals, specifically alpacas and llamas. The following description pertains to people who live in isolated villages in the high Andes, at or above the tree line, and who still live the Andean Cosmovision. These people, and their animals, and their plants, eek out a living at altitudes as high as 15,000 feet, in villages that may be a good two-day walk from the nearest road.

The alpacas and llamas make it possible for the Andeans to live at such altitudes. Unlike other ruminants, alpacas and llamas can graze upon the sparse, high-altitude, grass without damaging it . Llamas carry loads to and from the fields, and from one village to another. They can carry 70 – 90 pound packs, up to 16 miles a day. The hides and wool from both llamas and alpacas are used for clothing. Wool from the alpacas is sold in market towns to obtain sugar, and flour and other materials that cannot be produced in the village. When an animal is slaughtered or offered in a sacrifice every part of the animal is either consumed or used to make things. Dung from the animals fertilize the high-altitude fields or when dried can be used as fuel (it is not a very hot fuel, one time we decided to make hot chocolate at 17,000 feet and it took over an hour for the water to get kind of warm).

The Andean people recognize that their alpacas and llamas cannot survive without human protection, and they equally recognize that humans cannot survive without the alpacas and llamas. The people and their animals share the same resources, and the same weather, and the same hardships of life at high altitudes. The llamas and alpacas are not seen as resources to be managed, they are seen as partners in a mutually supportive dance of reciprocity among beings.

The llamas and alpacas are treated with love and respect, an Andean herder knows every llama and alpaca by sight and all are given names. The llamas and alpacas participate–adorned–in sacred ceremonies, so that the ceremonies may make them happy too. They join the people in appealing to Nature and the Cosmos in times of need.  Special ceremonies are held in honor of the llamas and alpacas. In the llama ch’allay ceremony, for example, the llamas are given chicha (locally brewed corn beer) to thank them for all of their work in carrying the harvests up the mountain. During the ceremony a small bell is rung near the llama’s ear to clean its energy.

When an alpaca or llama is sacrificed or slaughtered the event calls for a special ritual. The animal’s feet are tied together and it is laid upon the ground with it’s head in a person’s lap. The person sings to the animal and strokes its head and gently feeds it coca leaves. At the appropriate moment the animal is killed swiftly, and as it dies its feet are untied so that its spirit may begin its run to the sacred mountain Apu Asungate, accompanied by prayers by the people that Asungate may receive the spirit and send it back to be born again in the same corral. Through its death the animal’s spirit is a gift to the Apu who returns the spirit back to the herd in ayni.

As the life force [of the animal] flows towards the mountains and back in perfect reciprocity, the cosmic balance is maintained. (Bolin, 1998, pg 56).

Market at Pisac

Bounty from the Pachamama and her daughters

Now we will take a step yet further away from the Western view of reality to consider ayni in the relationship of humans with the Cosmos when it comes to raising crops. As the Pachamama (the great mother who is the planet Earth) is but a part of the conscious Cosmos yet has her own consciousness, and the Apus (majestic mountain peaks) are but part of the Pachamama yet have their own consciousness, the chakras (fields in which crops are grown) are daughters of the Pachamama and have their own consciousness as well. Each chakra is responsible for the crop that is grown upon her, and each chakra has a name given by the people who work that field. Before entering a chakra to work a brief ritual of gratitude and respect is given to the Pachamama and her daughter. A little chicha (corn beer) may be poured upon the ground to slake their thirsts. Upon leaving the field another brief ritual may given to thank them for their generosity, in this way ayni is nourished. At that time a little thanks may also be given to Illapa, the god of thunder, thanking him for sending the rain (and for not sending lightning).

Patchwork quilt of chakras on the lap of the Pachamama

Patchwork quilt on the lap of the Pachamama

On one of my trips to Peru we stopped to watch the people gather a harvest of potatoes. It was in the high Andes, on the land between Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The numerous plots were all small, and at different stages of ripeness and containing various crops. The ground stretching up to the mountains looked like a patchwork quilt upon the lap of the Pachamama. Thin trails of smoke rose from a dozen small camp fires scattered across the land. The fires were tended by young mothers and older women. The first potatoes taken out of the ground in the morning had been placed back into holes dug in the Pachamama, covered with earth, and then a fire was lit above them, cooking the potatoes for a meal later in the day. The custom is both practical and sacred, honoring the Pachamama, nourishing her children, and maintaining the relationship between the earth and those that live off of her bounty.

After appreciating this sight, we piled back into our van to continue on our way. As we pulled out my gaze fell upon a young woman tending a fire near the road, perhaps 20 yards away. She looked to be in her early twenties. She was wearing the traditional full skirt and sweater of the Andes made of a woven fabric dyed in colorful shades of green and brown, and a tan hat with a rounded top and a wide flat brim. She was sitting on the ground, in contact with the Pachamama, and nursing her child. As the van pulled away she looked up and for a moment our eyes met, and she smiled. It was the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, a smile that conveyed an absolute contentment with life-at-that-moment, a smile from the heart of the Pachamama.

In the Andean Cosmovision humans are not distinct from Nature, nor is Nature distinct from the Cosmos. The role of humans is not to use Nature for our own good, nor to serve as stewards over it, but instead to interact with Nature in a dance of respect and mutual support. We are but part of the fabric of life, not its apex; children of the Pachamama, but not her special children. Is it any wonder that the fields that the Andeans have cultivated for thousands of years feel as wild and natural as our National Parks?

In the Andes ayni goes beyond the people’s relationships with each other, and with animals, and with fields, to inform their relationships with the Cosmos. When the Andeans gather together socially, or in ceremony, or to do communal work, they perform brief ceremonies to invite into their circle the Pachamama and the Apus and other great Beings of the Cosmos, to honor them and to express respect and gratitude. In their sacred ceremonies, the Andean people offer gifts to the Pachamama, to the Apus, and to the various other Beings of Nature and the Cosmos. This is all done as ayni, to nourish a relationship of mutual support, of mutual service. They serve the Cosmos and the Cosmos serves them, and from this their sense of relationship becomes stronger.

Inge Bolin (1998) summarizes a night of ceremony among the Andeans as follows:

These ancient rites reconfirm a close interdependence among humans, animals, and nature. This night, through a dialog with gods and spirits, we entered the realms of the sacred. We wove threads which symbolically bound us to our physical, social, and spiritual worlds. We reinforced ties with the past, with the Apus, with those ancestral spirits living in mountain peaks, and we looked toward the future, hoping for the aid and compassion of the deities from whom we requested health, prosperity, and peaceful coexistence. We engaged in reciprocity, the hallmark of Andean life; we were offering and asking, giving and taking.

Every gesture and movement was performed with great dignity and elegance. Every ritual carried an expression of respect for others—for gods, humans, animals, plants, and the spirit world. On this night and in the days to follow, the message of the rituals is clear. Only where there is respect can we find a way to live and act together. We must adjust and readjust to accommodate the various benevolent and malevolent forces within the cosmos. Pachamama, the giver of life, is also responsible for earthquakes and other disasters. The Apus are protectors of the herds, but they also send malevolent winds which can bring disease and death. There is no trace of aggression or hostility, domination, or subjugation in any of the rituals. Our offerings, our thoughts, our efforts in dedicating this night to a spiritual dialog among humans, animals, and the powers of nature are meant to reinforce the positive,, to give hope to a life so harmonic and serene, yet so vulnerable in this marginal environment. (pg 43)

This I believe is the heart of the Andean Cosmovision.  Ayni is the pump that sends the energy flowing through the people and their Cosmos. There is a mistake, I think, in our culture to remove the Andean meditations from their context, to see them only as a technology for personal transformation. The meditations, however, are fundamentally about our relationship with Nature and the Cosmos. The benefits of the meditations come from this relationship, and being a relationship we need to attend to our side of the relationship as well, with love and mutual support and respect.

There is one level of ayni I have not talked about yet that I would like to mention. The Andean people are willing to share their Cosmovision with the West and many of us feel that we have benefited greatly by their willingness to do so. For the circle of ayni to be completed, so that not only balance is achieved but that both sides may be nourished by the exchange, we need to give back to the Andean people, particularly those who have given this gift to us. I recommend that if you pursue more knowledge about the Andean approach from various authors and workshop presenters that you look to see if any of the money you give them goes back to the Andean people.

If you find this Salka Wind web site to be of value to you and would like to donate some money as ayni you can do so at the Donate page. This nourishes my efforts in this work and leaves me feeling like we are on this path together and that this project is the best thing since puffed rice. I always give a goodly chunk of any money I receive from my Salka Wind work to the Andean people to insure there is ayni at that level as well. If you would like to give some money to nonprofit organizations that work to benefit the Andean people–in a way that is guided with wisdom so that their lives and their culture are nourished rather than damaged–you will find links in the Resources page of this web site, there are undoubtably other good nonprofit organizations working to help the Andean people out there as well.

Note there is a subsequent post on ayni called ‘Ayni Revisited‘.

This post on ayni draws heavily from the work (cited and uncited) of Inge Bolin. I strongly recommend her beautiful book Rituals of Respect: The Secret of Survival in the High Peruvian Andes. I would also like to thank Monique Duphily whose dissertation-in-process on the topic of ayni also contributed to the writing of this post.

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Workshop Details

In my previous post (Wildflower Seeds) I expressed my desire to begin giving  workshops in more areas of the globe, and I mentioned that I am going to Europe in August.  For those of you who have expressed some interest (and those who might) I thought it would be helpful for me to provide more details about my workshop.

Content:  The Andean Cosmovision

The Andean Cosmovision is a beautiful and mysterious way of perceiving and interacting with reality that comes from the ancient culture of the high Andes. It is fundamentally different than the Western worldview. The Andean Cosmovision is not a set of concepts of beliefs. It cannot be described or encompassed by words. It can, however, be experienced and it can be explored

Simple Andean meditations serve as portals for entering into and exploring the Andean Cosmovision. On this path we come into contact with profound facets of ourselves and the Cosmos. The meditations also nourish a more loving and mutually-supportive relationship between ourselves and nature, a relationship that may be exactly what our species needs to head toward a more beautiful and healthy future for our planet.

You do not need a guru to follow this path. You need the Pachamama (the great being who is our mother Earth), the Apus (the great beings who are the majestic mountain peaks), you need the stars the wind, the trees the rivers, the sun. These beings serve as co-creators of our conscious experience first within the meditations and then within our lives. The effect on us is that we begin to blossom into the full beauty of who we each uniquely are.

In his presentations and workshops Oakley opens the door to this new territory, introducing you to some of the meditations, giving you a taste of what you may find, and sharing some advice on how to proceed to explore it on your own.  After each meditation you notice its effect on you, and then you decide whether or not to add the meditation to your repertoire of ways to dance with the great mystery that is the Cosmos and our existence within in. There is no moral imperative that this path be taken. If you like the experiences then proceed, it only gets better. If not, then turn to some other path, for there are many beautiful paths available to us and no path works for everyone.

About Oakley Gordon

I received my doctorate in cognitive psychology (the study of perception, learning, memory, and consciousness). For the past twenty two years I have been exploring the Andean Cosmovision under the tutelage of my Peruvian mentor and friend don Américo Yábar and Américo’s son don Gayle Yábar. In my many trips to Peru I have also worked with numerous other Andean paqos (mystics/shamans) and healers. I have shared the Andean Cosmovision with Western society through papers at academic conferences, presentations to the public, published articles, an extensive blog, my book (The Andean Cosmovision: A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos), and several hundred experiential classes and workshops. They come from my heart (with help from my intellect).

Presentations/Workshops/Classes

I have listed below several of the ways I usually share the Andean Cosmovision. They are meant to give you an idea of the sorts of things I usually offer, other options are welcome.

  1. Book signings. Needless to say I am delighted to let people know about my book The Andean Cosmovision: A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos. The book is a how-to guide for exploring the Andean Cosmovision. It also addresses how to integrate what we discover there with our life here in the West. I am happy to include with the book signing a short presentation on the Andean Cosmovision.
  2. Introductory Presentation (usually 60 or 90 minutes). In this amount of time I can give a fairly thorough presentation on the Andean Cosmovision .  If the context is appropriate I will lead everyone through a short meditation they can do while sitting in their chairs. If the participants would like to then proceed to actually explore the Andean Cosmovision on their own the meditations are available in my book or for free on my blog.
  3. Introductory Presentation with Meditations (usually 90 minutes). As the Andean Cosmovision cannot be encompassed or described with words, but can be explored experientially, my presentations become fundamentally deeper and richer when combined with the opportunity for us to engage in some of the meditations. I like to include three or four short meditations with the presentation.

These specific meditations are best done while sitting on the floor or (even better) on the earth. For those who cannot sit on the floor the meditations can also be done while sitting in a chair, but they are “juicier” when sitting on the ground. Many people cannot sit comfortably on the ground for 90 minutes, so it is nice to be able to move from sitting in chairs during the talking part to sitting on the ground for the meditations.

  1. Andean Meditation Workshops (2 hours to 2 days). While there is a lot that can be said about the Andean Cosmovision, it can only be understood and explored experientially, and not through words (“the Tao that can be talked about is not the Tao”). The Andean meditations provide a means for experiencing and exploring the Andean Cosmovision. Each meditation serves as a portal into a fascinating corner of the Cosmos.

My Andean meditation workshops have three basic aspects. First, I like to talk to people about the Andean Cosmovision and introduce some concepts and terms that serve as a bridge from the Western worldview to the Andean Cosmovision. Second, I lead us all through some of the meditations. This is the heart of the matter, for this is when we actually enter into the Cosmovision, even if just a few steps. This is usually sufficient for a person to decide whether this meditation is something they may want to explore further. And third, I think it is important that we learn how to integrate what we experience in the meditations with our lives here in the West, for then we begin to see how to move our society toward a future of greater beauty and health for this planet.

The length of the workshop determines how deeply we go together into the Andean Cosmovision and how many meditations I can lead us through. It is not, however, about quantity. My intent is to teach you how to do the meditations and to give you some advice on how to continue to explore on your own. After that the adventure is yours. As each meditation is a portal into a different neighborhood of the Cosmos, even just a few meditations can provide a lifetime’s worth of adventure. I can understand the desire to know more and more meditations, for that is why I know as many as I do, I kept asking. I have found, however, that I have turned to the simplest and first Andean meditations I learned to serve as the foundation of my meditative practice. My book and my blog provide many more meditations for people to explore.

Duration. The meditations change our energy. It is possible and desirable to string together two or three meditations that harmonize together. Too many different types of meditations in a short period of time, however, just scrambles our energy in an inharmonious way. Therefore there is some wisdom that needs to be applied in the workshops. I usually organize workshops into 90 minute segments, with a short break in the middle of the segment, and a good 20 minute break or so between segments. After three hours of workshop it is good to take a long break, at least two hours, to have a meal and rest. A total of six hours of workshop in one day is pushing what people can do, and I don’t advise trying to go over that.

Within those limits all kinds of options arise. A two-hour workshop, or a three-hour workshop, which can be in the morning, afternoon, or evening. A three-hour workshop in the morning or afternoon, followed by a two or three-hour workshop after lunch or dinner. I am sometimes asked to give a 90 minute presentation one night and then a workshop the next day. Whatever, we are free to play.

Location. This is really important. The heart of the Andean meditations involves our relationship with nature and the Cosmos. Most of the meditations are best done outdoors and some can only be done outdoors. I can give a 90 minute or perhaps a two-hour workshop indoors, but to really touch the heart of the path, and for any workshop longer than two-hours, we really need to be outdoors for most of the time if at all possible. This is not always easy, I know. I’ve had to organize many a workshop around this central point. Here is what we need:

  1. A natural setting outdoors. It is better if it is salka (undomesticated). In other words, a natural meadow or woods is better than a park that has been shaped by the human mind.
  2. People can be self-conscious when meditating in public, so a place for us to be that is somewhat out of the public way is good.
  3. It is much better if the place is not overwhelmed with industrial noises.
  4. People cannot meditative when they are being rained on, baking in the sun, or being bitten by bugs. They need to be protected from these. One possibility is to move to an alternative indoor setting if it rains.
  5. Some of the meditations involve sitting on the ground, some involve lying on the ground and some involve standing. Most people can’t sit on the ground for a long time. What I have found works well is for everyone to have a camp chair they can sit in while we are talking, a blanket for when we are lying on the ground, and a sitting pad for when we are sitting on the ground to meditate.
  6. There is a beautiful meditation that can only be done while sitting next to a (not very polluted) river, and another one that can only be done near trees tall enough to lean against. If that can be arranged it is great. If not then those meditations can be skipped. Traveling to various natural spots during a workshop is fun and also provides a beneficial change in energy.

My compensation for giving a workshop or presentation (in other words my ayni) is open to discussion.

If there is any more information you would like regarding my workshops please feel free to contact me, Oakley Gordon, at info@SalkaWind.com.

 

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Wildflower Seeds — Workshops — Europe

Tossing salka seeds into the wind.

As part of my (self-directed) participation in the poetic salka movement on this planet I have written this blog, and a book, and have given presentations at academic conferences, and have taught several hundred Andean (salka) meditation classes and workshops in Utah. I would like to also offer presentations, classes, and workshops in other areas of the country and other places on the planet. The only way I can think to nourish this happening is to let you all know that I am available and interested.

Part of the cost in having me come to your area is the expense of transporting me there. But if I happen to be in the neighborhood anyway…..

This August my wife and I will be vacationing in Europe. I would love to connect with waikis in Europe while we are there. If you would be interested in arranging for me to give a presentation on the Andean Cosmovision, or an Andean (salka) meditation class, or a short workshop, please contact me at info@SalkaWind.com. I can let you know the types of presentations/classes/workshops  I offer and if you are interested we can talk dates, logistics, and ayni.

Thanks waikis!

P.S. My academic vita can be found in this blog on the page Oakley’s Vita.

P.P.S.  The poetic salka movement on the planet was founded by don Américo Yábar and don Gayle Yábar who deserve all of the credit for the beauty of the path they have shown me.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. About this Table of Contents
  2. Overview of the Blog
  3. The Meditations
  4. The Book
  5. Integration with the Western Worldview
  6. Feeding Our Intellectual Mode of Thought
  7. Caressing Our Intuitive Mode of Thought
  8. Sharing with Others
About this Table of Contents

The Andean Cosmovision–the way the Andean people perceive and interact with reality–is not a set of beliefs or concepts, it cannot be described or encompassed with words.  The Cosmovision can, however be experienced and thus it can be explored.  The only way I can share this beautiful way of experiencing reality is by sharing the various Andean meditations.  Many of my posts cover these meditations. Each meditation is like a portal into another side of reality. I don’t know what you will find there, that will be yours to discover, but if it is beautiful and touches something deep inside of you then you might choose to keep exploring.

The next step is to figure out how to fit those experiences into the rest of who we are, including our intellect with its thoughts and concepts.  And then possibly go further and explore how to integrate this beauty into our lives in Western society, and in doing so to influence the trajectory of our society toward a future of greater beauty and health on the planet.  Many of my posts cover these aspects of the path as well.

Both types of posts, those that describe the meditations and those that describe how to fit the Andean Cosmovision into our lives, are of value to me.  Most of my more recent posts have been of the latter variety, simply because I have basically shared all of the Andean meditations that I know.  Now that I have written so many posts I have become concerned that the meditations might be hard to find in the larger forest of all of the posts.  So, I decided to make a list with links to all of the meditations.  As I was working on that it occurred to me that it might be useful to you if I made a complete Table of Contents with all of the posts organized into various categories.  I have completed the table and it can be found here, it is also listed in the Pages area of the blog in the right side menu on each page.  Please note that when I separate the posts into various categories they no longer represent the order in which I wrote them.  Still, I hope you find this table of contents to be useful.

Overview of the Blog

  • Welcome (start here).  An overview of this blog and of the Andean Cosmovision which it describes.

The Meditations

The Book

I created this blog as a place to publish rough drafts of the various chapters that would become my book:  The Andean Cosmovision:  A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos.  When I had enough material I selected which posts to include in the book, rewrote them, added a few more chapters, and put them in an order that made (artistic) sense to me.  The book is better but it is important to me that the material remain available for free in this blog.  I would love it if you bought my book as it creates ayni (the Andean concept of reciprocity) into our relationship; anyi flowing back from you to me in reciprocity for my sharing what I know of the Andean Cosmovision, and also ayni between our culture and the Andes, for I have been sharing half the profits from the book with the people of the Andes.

Integration with the Western Worldview

There are two aspects to our exploration of the Andean Cosmovision.  The first aspect is actually entering that way of experiencing reality.  The second aspect is how to then integrate what we find there with our lives back here in the West.  In the following posts I share some of the thoughts have found useful in integrating the Cosmovision into my Western worldview.

Feeding Our Intellectual Mode of Thought

Caressing Our Intuitive Mode of Thought

Sharing with Others

 

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