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Tag: hucha (page 1 of 2)

Back-to-Back

So far in this blog I have mainly focused on meditations that we can do on our own (well…in the company of Pachamama and the Apus and stars and the trees and the stream tumbling down the mountain side…). I would like to now turn to sharing some meditations that can be done with a group of people.

The Back-to-Back meditation is an example of a practice in the Andes that is known as yanachakuy, the touching and sharing of energy between two Beings. I’ll be describing some other forms of yanachakuy in future posts. I like them all.

Since the essence of this meditation is the connection and sharing of energy between two people I recommend that everyone do a little spring cleaning of their energy before they start. When I am leading the group I have us all begin by first doing the Touching Pachamama meditation followed by getting rid of hucha (see the meditations Releasing Hucha (my favorite), Shedding Hucha, and Cleaning Hucha). Following getting rid of hucha with the Cosmic Circle meditation is rather nice as well as if fires up the old munay.

I will describe the Back-to-Back meditation as if you are the teacher who is directing everyone through the process. First, have the group divide into pairs. Suggest to everyone that they not pair up with someone whose energy they already know really well (e.g. a spouse or significant other). There are several reasons for that, including that they know that energy already, and that personal history and habitual emotions and thoughts are more likely to arise and cloud the perception of the energy.

Direct them to let their hands hang to their sides so that they can then clasp hands with their waiki (friend).  Have them clasp hands. Explain that the goal is to stand back-to-back in such a way as to create as much contact as they comfortably can with the spine of their waiki. It is important, however, that they not lean against each other as that leads to a constant shifting of weight that gets really tiring really quickly. The idea is to make comfortable contact spine to spine.

Now they are set up and ready to go. Ask them all to use their intent (sincere pretending) to connect to the Pachamama through the soles of their feet, and to the energy of the Cosmos through the top of their heads. Give them several seconds to do that. I do it myself, getting a sense of how long to give them to do it too.

Next, ask them to use their intent to send their very finest energy to their waiki through where their spines touch, and to receive their waiki’s energy in return. Pause for a bit to give them time to sense what this is like, and then invite them to let the energy flow however it wants back and forth. Pause a bit, and invite them to experience what their waiki’s energy is like.

Let them go on with the process for a while. If there is an even number of people including me then I participate as well, if there is an odd number of people then I don’t partner up, but I use my intent to invite the experience to enter me anyway, as if I was doing it with the group.  I find that I enter a very nice state that feels connected with what is going on. Usually after two or three minutes, I start to feel like it is time to close the experience, that they have had sufficient time to get into it, I don’t want them to withdraw from the experience from doing it for too long, and I want to have time to move on to the next step. I call everyone back, if I’m paired up with someone I usually feel inclined to give them a hug when we are finished.

The next step is to ask everyone to pair up with someone new. I then lead them through the process again. After they have gotten into the yanachakuy I like to invite them to just notice how their experience of their new waiki’s energy may differ from their previous waiki’s energy.

I like to repeat the process a third time with new partners, and sometimes a fourth time. There is so much to be gained by doing this with more than one or two waikis, which is why I describe this as a group meditation rather than as a meditation for two people. It is very nice to have enough people for everyone to pair up with three or four different waikis before the meditation is called to an end.

Ok, that’s it. It is particularly nice to follow this meditation with an opportunity for people to share their experiences, what don Americo calls ‘opening the mesa (table)’.

What people experience in this meditation is the only true meaning of the meditation for them. I never try to talk them into experiencing what I want them to experience. For you, however, as the guide of this meditation I would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences.

This is a great meditation for a group of people. I almost always include it in my first or second class with a new group. Here is what I think it does for many people.

  1. Connecting with another person’s energy like this creates a pretty noticeable experience. It may be stronger than the first time we connect, say, with the Pachamama or  Tai Tai Inti. It can be a ‘convincer’ that there is something available for us to notice and play with on this path, useful for people like me who entered the path with little if any experience of connecting to an energy other than our own.
  2. A lot of people report that they can feel a difference in the energies of the various waikis they partnered with. Again, for people like me, this is an amazing and eye-opening experience.
  3. Something very special and beautiful happens to the people, and to the group, when we connect in this way. It is like, ‘oh, there is a very different way of interacting in the world, outside of ego, outside of personality, and it is beautiful’. It is a great introduction to the way we interact with each other and with the Cosmos on this path. We move to the level of the essence of who we are and we get to know the essence of others.

Option: perhaps after the second or third time the group has done this in a class, invite them at the end of the meditation to go back-to-back with a tree. Suggest that they first exchange their energy with the tree, and then connect their consciousness with the consciousness of the tree. You need, of course, to be in a place where there are trees. In my experience, doing yanachakuy with a tree is more subtle than with another person, which is why it is good for the group to have had some experience doing back-to-back with people first. But…wow.

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Connecting with the River

Two world views (both are valuable in the appropriate context): ask an engineer and a paqo to define pure water. The engineer may point at distilled water, a liquid that consists of nothing but H2O. The paqo may point at a spring where it bubbles out of the mountain slope; clear, cold, with dissolved minerals and perhaps bits of plants and insects.*

Go to a river, a river of pure water without industrial pollutants, flowing in its natural river bed. With intent greet your waiki (brother/sister) the river. Get in a comfortable position, for in this meditation being comfortable fits what we are about to do. Now, with your intent, open up your energy field and let your filaments commingle with the filaments of the river. Then just relax, let the flowing energy of the river cleanse your energy of any hucha you may have, and let the river teach you about the flow of energy.

When you are finished remember, not out of obligation but out of love, to complete the circle of ayni. Pour a little alcohol into the river, or toss three red and three white flowers into the river, and thank it for being your waiki. The first time I did this the sense I received back was, ‘Oh! Wow! Thanks, it’s been a long time since anyone has done that.’ and the river sparkled a little more brightly in the light of Tai Tai Inti.

All over the Andes, the people stretch out like lizards on the rocks next to the river, cleaning their energy.

* From a story told to me by don Americo.

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Cleaning Hucha (From Others)

As a reminder, hucha is the Quechua term for heavy or chaotic energy. Hucha is a natural byproduct of living in a society where we sometimes need to act in ways that don’t fit our own true nature. So far I have shared a couple of meditations for getting rid of hucha in yourself (see the chapters ‘Releasing Hucha‘ and ‘Shedding Hucha‘). Now I would like to share a process for cleaning the hucha from others. As we move to processes that involve working with other people we seem to stray particularly far from the normal use of the term meditation but all of the meditative-processes in the Andean Cosmovision ultimately involve working with energy through intent and meditation is simply the closest term I can come up with in the English language.

Cleaning the hucha from someone is one of the functions of a paqo in Andean society. There are many ways to clean hucha from another person, some involve the use of quyas (special stones), others involve mesas, the process I would like to share now is simply accomplished with your intent and your hands and your relationship with Nature and the Cosmos.

In Preparation. Before cleaning the hucha from another person I first like to get rid of my own hucha using one of the meditations mentioned above. I do this before I work with anyone else’s energy to make sure I don’t pass any hucha I may have on to them.

This process can be done with your waiki (friend) lying on the Pachamama but I will describe it in the context of your waiki standing while you do this.

As you begin invite your waiki to use their intent to connect with the Pachamama through their feet and with the energy of the Cosmos through the top of their head.

Step 1: Ponqos

  1. First prepare your energy. While standing raise both your arms above your head with the palms of your hands facing the sky. With intent connect to the energy of the Cosmos with your right hand and let that energy flow into and accumulate in your right hand. When you feel that energy gathered into your right hand slowly bring your two palms together (still over your head) and when they touch let the energy flow through your right hand into your left hand. From your left hand let the energy flow down your left arm and into your heart (munay). When the energy flows into your munay transform that energy into love and let it radiate out from your munay into the rest of your body.
  2. Starting at the top of your waiki’s head, using both your hands, lightly tap their body by drumming all of your finger tips. Do it as if you are simulating a light rain shower on their body. Your intent, and this is an important piece, is to have each tap create a whirlpool (ponqo) in their energy body. This loosens up their energy field making it easier for them to release their hucha. Work your way down the front of their body, keeping your taps rapid and light, and raising your fingers so they don’t quite touch the body when you are over areas of the body that you waiki may not want to have touched. When you get down to their toes repeat the process top to bottom on the back of their body.

Step 2: Cleaning the Physical Body:

  1. Again prepare your energy. While standing raise both your arms above your head with the palms of your hands facing the sky. With intent connect to the energy of the Cosmos with your right hand and let that energy flow into and accumulate in your right hand. When you feel that energy gathered into your right hand slowly bring your two palms together (still over your head) and when they touch let the energy flow through your right hand into your left hand. From your left hand let the energy flow down your left arm and into your heart (munay). When the energy flows into your heart transform that energy into love and let it radiate out from your munay into the rest of your body.
  2. Starting at the top of your waiki’s head, using both your hands, slowly draw your fingers down the front of their body, gently touching their body with your finger tips Your intent, and again this is important, is to gather or collect all of the hucha from their physical body with your hands. Keep this intent during this whole process. Do this slowly enough to maintain a clear intent. Work your way down the front of their body, raising your fingers so they don’t quite touch the body when you are over areas of the body that you waiki may not want to have touched.
  3. When you get down to their toes place your hands on the Pachamama and with your intent ask her to take all of the hucha you have gathered in your hands. You may notice that she takes the hucha as you begin to form the intent to give it to her.
  4. Repeat the process, this time working down the back of their body.
  5. When you get down to their toes place your hands on the Pachamama and with your intent ask her to take all of the hucha you have gathered in your hands.

Step 3: Clearning the Energetic Body

This is performed exactly like Step 2 but this time you keep your fingers an inch or two away from their physical body and you hold the intent of cleaning the energetic body that emanates from the physical body.

  1. Again prepare your energy. While standing raise both your arms above your head with the palms of your hands facing the sky. With intent connect to the energy of the Cosmos with your right hand and let that energy flow into and accumulate in your right hand. When you feel that energy gathered into your right hand slowly bring your two palms together (still over your head) and when they touch let the energy flow through your right hand into your left hand. From your left hand let the energy flow down your left arm and into your heart (munay). When the energy flows into your heart transform that energy into love and let it radiate out from your munay into the rest of your body.
  2. Starting at the top of your waiki’s head, using both your hands, gently draw your fingers down the front of their body, keeping your finger tips an inch or two from their body. Your intent, and again this is important, is to gather or collect all of the hucha from their energetic body (which emanates from their physical body) with your hands. Do this slowly enough to maintain a clear intent
  3. When you get down to their toes place your hands on the Pachamama and with your intent ask her to take all of the hucha you have gathered in your hands.
  4. Repeat the process this time working down the back of their body.
  5. When you get down to their toes place your hands on the Pachamama and with your intent ask her to take all of the hucha you have gathered in your hands.

Step 4: Welcome (Optional)

Give your waiki a hug and welcome him or her to their new state of being.

Step 5: Take Care of Yourself

In general it is a good idea to take the time after you have worked with someone to rid yourself of any hucha you may have picked up from them. I always keep that in mind as a wise thing to consider. In this particular meditation, however, I have always found that the step of giving their hucha to the Pachamama has taken care of that for me. Still, check out your energy when you are finished.

Options: This can be fun do to in groups of three, one waiki being cleaned of hucha while one waiki works on the front of their body and the other on the back of their body. When finished switch roles.  This can also be done with the waiki laying on the ground and having them turn over as needed to work on their front and back. Actually, there are lots of other ways of doing this as well, some involve the use of quyas or mesas, but this is the one I wanted to share.

Ponqos. Ponqo is an interested term. Like the term apocheta it has several different interpretations. In this meditation ponqos refer to small whirlpools of energy that are set up in the waiki’s body as you tap. Another use of the term is as a name for that place behind large rocks in a creek where the water slowly eddies and provides a still point in the current. If you look you will often see fish taking refuge there, resting from the current. Those spots of stillness and refuge are called ponqos as well. One time when I was in Peru don Americo suggested that when we return to our homes that we serve as ponqos for our friends.

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Saiwachakuy

While I learned this unnamed meditation from don Americo it seems to fit the definition of a saiwachakuy as described in Joan Wilcox’s excellent book Masters of the Living Energy, so I am calling it that. On the whole, the meditations I have covered in this blog help us explore the full essence of who we are, or nourish the beauty and quality of our dance with Nature and the rest of the Cosmos, or both. This meditation to me feels more like a service to the Cosmos and the Pachamama. It returned to my meditative practice after hurricane Sandy and it feels like something well worth doing both as a response to that as well as for upcoming times of change.

I usually begin with the Touching Pachamama and Releasing Hucha meditations (the latter also fits Wilcox’s description of a saiwachakuy). The meditation then proceeds as described below. I do this while sitting on the Pachamama.

With intent (sincere pretending) open the energy center at the crown of your head and let the refined energy of the Cosmos flow down through your head and into your munay. When the energy enters your munay use your intent to transform the energy into love. Open up the energy center at the bottom of your spine and let the love flow into the Pachamama. For as long as you like sit there and serve as the conduit of energy from the Cosmos to the Pachamama, transforming the energy into love as it flows through your munay.

Joan Wilcox describes a saiwachakuy as a column of energy that connects the the three worlds of the janaq pacha, kay pacha, and uju pacha.  In this meditation I frame it as being the Cosmos, our own body right here and now, and the Pachamama (which is how I learned it from Americo).  Joan describes a saiwachakuy as being an important service we can provide at this time of necessary and inevitable change.  When I do this meditation it feels like an act of love for the Pachamama and the Cosmos. I have an “I’m happy to exist just so I can do this” moment. If you play with it I would appreciate hearing your own experiences.

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Inside / Outside

The Andean path that I have learned from don Americo Yabar has an inherent appreciation for natural balance. There are times, for example, when we want to be fully engaged in the energy of what is going on around us, dancing with it, being influenced by it and influencing it in return. There are also times when we may want to take a break from the dance and withdraw into the sanctuary of our own Being, to be contemplative rather than active, to rest. Here is a simple meditation which gives you that choice.

Begin by standing with your weight evenly balanced on your feet, and notice your present state, how your energy feels, what it is like to be you right now. Then, take one step forward and spread your arms in a gesture of opening up your energy field. Do this with the intent (sincere pretending) of letting your energy flow out and connect with the environment around you. Remain in this position long enough to perceive how this shifts your experience. Then, step back and bring your arms back in to a shielding position (e.g. cross your forearms on your chest). Do this with the intent of drawing in your energetic connections and creating a protective wall between you and your environment. The flavor of this latter position is not that of putting up a siege barrier, it is more that of entering a haven where you can relax within yourself.* Spend some time getting in touch with how this affects your experience.

The movements and gestures are like training wheels that support the corresponding intent, making the shift more obvious and thus easier to learn. You may find that other movements than the ones I described help you to shift into the appropriate state of being. After you have practiced this for a while the supporting physical movement can become more and more subtle until you can work with intent alone.

Source: don Americo Yabar

* This meditation can be used to avoid picking up hucha from what is going on around you, but I don’t want to presuppose that if you don’t like what is going on around you that the best option is to withdraw. There are also different meditations/processes that can serve you when you specifically want to protect yourself from hostile energy in your vicinity.

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