Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 6)

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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Milestone

In December of 2016 I reached a milestone for me, I sold my 1000th copy of my book, “The Andean Cosmovision: A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos“.  In addition to just announcing that remarkable (to me) fact I would like to share a little about the book and my process and what I hoped to accomplish by writing it.

As a young man I used to be a voracious reader of books about consciousness, Taoism, Sufism, Buddhism, meditation, lucid dreaming, altered states of consciousness, and many other related topics. I developed an intellectual understanding of those topics that was both deep and broad. When I met don Américo Yábar in 1994 and he invited me to be his student I realized that I was embarking upon an exploration where words and concepts would be of no avail. I completely stopped reading about consciousness. I wanted to enter into a new way of experiencing reality and I did not want my thoughts (so steeped in the Western world) and the thoughts of others to shape and distort my experinces. I decided to simply experience the Andean Cosmovision, and then eventually, perhaps, I could write about those experiences. I wanted the experiences to inform my thinking and writing and not the other way around.

For roughly 18 years I let my heart and my body and perhaps my spirit lead me in this exploration. When I would return to Peru I would try to make sense of my experiences after the fact, as I worked to integrate this new experience of reality with my continuing life in the West. For several years Américo encouraged me to write a book but I knew I wasn’t ready. Finally I did. I had a hard time starting as the ‘book project’ seemed so huge and massively tricky to pull off while remaining true to the experiences. A friend of mine suggested that I begin by writing a blog where I could get my ideas out piece by piece and then write my book. So I did, and it worked.

My goal in writing the book is to help nourish salka on this planet. It is not a message that “should” be heard, it is a message that might touch others as deeply as it has touched me. I also believe that the path described in the book, the path of heart into the Andean Cosmovision, could help change the trajectory of our society toward a future of greater health and beauty. I self-published the book to get it out more quickly and to insure that it would say exactly what I wanted it to say. I hope each copy is a like a pebble tossed into a pond, with ripples of influence spreading out.

When I went the route of self-publishing I knew the number of books sold might be small. As some sort of marker I thought that if I could sell 100 copies then I would feel that the extensive effort I put into the book (and innumerable lattes) would be worth it. I am more than gratified to have sold 1000 copies, with almost no advertising, just word of mouth. No path works for everyone, nor does this book, some people have reported that they stopped reading it part way through, but more have been along the lines of a reviewer who said that he keeps a copy of the book strapped to his body. That’s how I feel! Thank you to all of my friends and to those who have bought the book and told others. I really appreciate it. Love, Oakley

Don Américo and me in Peru.

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Introduction to the Andean Cosmovision

With the holidays coming up I hope you won’t mind if I post another plug for my book, The Andean Cosmovision:  A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos.  I have included below the introduction to the book as a way of perhaps wetting your appetite.  More information about the book, including the table of contents, reviews, and how to purchase it are available at http://salkawind.com/Book.

Introduction

This is a guidebook. It is not a philosophy book (although there is a little bit of philosophy in it), nor is it primarily a description of the Andean way of understanding reality (although there is a fair amount of description in it). It is instead a guide to help you explore new facets of yourself, of Nature, and of the Cosmos. I can’t describe what you will find. You will need to go there and discover that for yourself. I can say that this is a path with a heart, that it will touch the part of you that delights in beauty and laughter, that it is an adventure, and that it nourishes a more loving and mutually supportive relationship between yourself and Nature and the Cosmos.

You don’t need a guru for this path. You need the Pachamama (the great Being who is the mother earth), you need the Apus (the great Beings who are the majestic mountain peaks), you need the stars, the wind, the trees, the rivers, the sun. This book can only open the door to new territory and give you a map and some advice. It is up to you to determine whether what you find is in harmony with your deepest values. If this path touches something beautiful deep inside of you, then keep going, it only gets better.

For the past twenty years, I have been exploring the Andean way of experiencing reality (which I call the Andean Cosmovision) under the tutelage of my Peruvian mentor and friend don Américo Yábar. In my trips to Peru don Américo has also arranged for me to work with numerous other paqos (Andean mystics/shamans) including his son, Gayle Yábar. From don Américo and the other paqos I have learned how to explore the Andean Cosmovision but most of the actual exploration of this Cosmovision has occurred while I have been back home in the United States.

I have come to realize there are two aspects to this path. One aspect is to learn how to experience reality through the Andean Cosmovision; this is what I have learned in Peru. The second aspect is to figure out how to integrate this experience of reality into our lives here in the modern, Western world. This integration is something that the Andean people can’t teach us. It is up to us to discover how to do it. My intent in writing this book is to help you do both.

The heart of the book are the “how to” bits, where I lay out the various experiential processes that serve as the doorway for exploring these new facets of reality. These bits are woven into a larger tapestry of thoughts and concepts that support the experiences and that help us to integrate what we learn into our Western view of reality. The Andean Cosmovision moves us into a dance with the vast ineffable mystery of the Cosmos. There is no linear way of proceeding, yet words and thoughts (and books) are linear. I recommend that you read the chapters in the order they are given, as some of the later chapters assume you have read some of the earlier chapters. If you continue to use this book as a guide, however, then you can always come back to reread just the chapters you need at that time. That is how I use this material.

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The Nature of Wisdom

I am pretty sure that I used to be more intelligent than I am now. I am also pretty sure that I am wiser than I used to be. I have always been a lover, someone who loves, and over the years my love has matured, gotten deeper, aged like a fine wine. Love and wisdom come from the same deep place. Intelligence is the froth on the surface of those depths.

These are my thoughts as I sit next to the stream tumbling down Millcreek Canyon. The water spills over the rocks and collects in small pools before cascading on. Flowing, flowing, flowing and river sound. The canyon shadows and rippling surface of the water makes obscure the depths of the stream, but in this late afternoon light narrow beams of sunlight penetrate the pools and I see the rounded stones on the creek’s floor. How beautiful, and look over there!

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Recover the Night

I believe this is the first time I’ve posted something about the Andean Cosmovision that was written by someone else.  This beautiful essay is from my friend Angela Rhinehart.

“Recover something of the night that is within you.” These words from Don Americo Yabar are resonating strongly today. Last night I did recover something of the night that is within me. I was feeling afraid of the dark, curled up, hiding away, aching.

He said, “It is beautiful to fill yourself with night.” I had not been feeling that beauty, I was filled, yet not open. It is as if it was there and I was curled up on the ground, eyes squeezed shut, suffering the oppression of the night. Until the pain of that moved me towards the night. Once I rolled over, began to rock and expand, then I realized that I could find my way in the dark. I could open my eyes and be soothed by the darkness, the cool, expansive night. Once my eyes adjusted, then the soft light of the moon and stars could fill me with the cosmic stars of my mystery.

I am recalling a dark night in The Andes of Peru, next to a river with Don Americo. We were meditating, but there was a light across the way and all of a sudden he invited us to go to a different spot. “Vamanos?!” I arose and began to follow, without a headlamp or flashlight out into the dark, he led us on a meandering path, scrambling through bushes, and finally arriving at the river’s edge once again, this time the night was uninterrupted by the harsh, electric beaming. The expanse of stars danced and swirled.

I recall the cold stone beneath me and the rushing water, the breeze caressing my cheek, silence behind it all. Sitting in the dark, next to my companions, being with the night, filling myself with the night, connecting with my stars. There is always the light within the night. My soul was soothed by the night, expanding, breathing.

My soul craves the dark. Yet, if I am only diving into the depths and don’t allow the expansion into night, then I am buried by the weight of darkness. I may go into the cave to find solace and protection, but I also need to emerge from that and have courage, know that I can find my way through the dark of night. There is a thrill in that, the mystery that my soul knows is important.

If I care for my soul, then I am gifted by wholeness and expansiveness, connection. My whole self includes the night and it is there whether I acknowledge it or not. The night will exert itself. The more I honor the night, the less afraid I become. If I soak in the wet night then the light and warmth of day becomes more welcome.

So, I turn towards the night that is calling me. I welcome the dark, I recover that. I fill myself with the stars of my mystery.

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