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).
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- It is much better if the place is not overwhelmed with industrial noises.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.