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Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Tag: intent (page 1 of 2)

Las Estrellas (The Stars)

“When we are born we have a star connected to our wisdom (yachay), a star connected to our heart (munay), and a star connected to our physical body (llankay). Everyone has their own three stars.” Don Americo Yabar.

The meditation that I would like to share in this post is one that two or three people can do together. I like it quite a bit. It is a rather advanced meditation, in the sense that it builds upon the experiences that are available in other meditations, and it also involves a larger than usual number of steps.

I think you’ll get more out of this meditation if you have already had some experience in getting in touch with your three centers of Being. The Tuning the Three Centers of Being meditation is a good place to start. It might also be nice to have already had the experience of touching the stars connected to each of your centers, which is available through the Saiwachakuy (Upward) meditation. It is not like some part of your body is going to fall off if you do this meditation without those experiences, it is just that I think you will get more out of it if you have had those other experiences first. But then maybe that is just because that is the sequence in which I learned these things. We are all explorers.

As usual I recommend that you first prepare your energy by doing the Touching Pachamama meditation and then the Releasing Hucha meditation, these take just a few minutes.

I will describe this meditation as if two people are doing it, then I’ll describe how it can be adapted for three people. In this meditation the two people take different roles, one person has the more active role of going through the steps and serving as a conduit for the flow of energy, the other person simply receives the energy. When you are finished you switch roles and go through it again.  The meditation is done with you both standing.  In the description below I use the term waiki, which is an affectionate way to refer to a friend (it is an Anglicized form of a Quechua term that Americo uses to refer with fondness to people of both sexes).

Before you start notice how you feel, what your energy is like, how it feels to be you. This serves as the baseline for understanding the effect of the meditation.

If you are the recipient, then with your intent (sincere pretending) connect to Pachamama through your feet and to the Cosmos through the top of your head, and attend to your experience during the meditation.  That is all you need to do.

Now on to what the other person does:

  1. Place both of your hands on Pachamama and with your intent (sincere pretending) connect with her energy.
  2. Reach up with either hand and with intent connect to the star that is connected to your waiki’s llankay. Place your other hand on your waiki’s  llankay (a couple of inches below the navel). Let the energy flow from the star down through you and into the llankay. Hold that intent for a minute or so, feeling the flow of the energy.
  3. Connect with Pachamama again.
  4. Reach up with one hand and connect to the star that is connected to your waiki’s munay. Place your other hand on your waiki’s munay (heart). When working with a woman I usually ask her to place my hand on her munay so that she may place it where she feels comfortable being touched. Let the energy flow from the star down through you and into your waiki’s munay. Hold that intent for a minute or so.
  5. Connect with Pachamama again.
  6. Reach up with one hand and connect to the star that is connected to your waiki’s yachay. Place you other hand on your waiki’s yachay (very top of the forehead). Continue with the intent of being a conduit to this energy, and feel it flowing through you. Hold that intent for a minute or so.
  7. Connect with Pachamama again.
  8. Reach up with both hands and connect to the energy of all the stars. When you have collected that energy gently take your waiki’s hands in yours and blow that energy into both of your waiki’s palms.
  9. Connect with Pachamama again.
  10. Position yourself between your waiki and Tai Tai Inti (the great Being who is our sun) and face Tai Tai Inti. Connect with his energy through your hands. Kneel and blow that energy into Pachamama, as if into a small hole, into the uju pacha, honoring the star that is closest to us all.
  11. Both of you now take a moment to notice what your energy is like, what it is like to be you right now. The shift in your experience from before the meditation to how you are now is the sole meaning of this meditation.

Now switch roles and go through the process again.

If you are doing this as a trio simply have two people in the active role, working in unison, one works with the three energy centers on the front of the recipient’s body and the other on the back of the recipient’s body.

I pulled this meditation from memory one day while my waiki’s and I were meditating in the woods and I was trying to remember a process I hadn’t shared with them yet that we could do while standing up (to keep out of the mud). We valued the experience (blown away may be a better term) and revisited it a few times over the next couple of months. When I later went back through my notes from my workshops with don Americo I discovered that I hadn’t remembered it exactly like he taught it. He had the waiki who is receiving the energy lie on the ground on his or her back. When the other waiki gathered the energy from each star, rather than raising one hand and putting the other on an energy center, don Americo had us gather that star’s energy with both hands and then lean over and blow that energy into the waiki’s corresponding energy center. If you try one of these two ways of doing the meditation and value the experience, then you might want to explore the other way as well.

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Sharing Energy

Hi, it has been a while between blog posts. I am working on connecting to a wider audience, sharing salka with more people. My new book (‘The Andean Cosmovision’), of course, is a major piece of that. If you would spread the word on it I would really appreciate it. I have also begun to reconnect with academia about all of this. I have a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and I am a part time associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah. Last week I gave a presentation entitled ‘The Andean Cosmovision: A Path to a Deeper Connection with Nature’ at an ecopsychology conference. On October 28th I will be giving a presentation entitled ‘The Andean Cosmovision: An Ancient Path to a New Reality’ as the inaugural speaker in the Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences here at the university. I mention this because I want to be planting seeds that may blossom into more opportunities in the future.

The meditative process I would like to share in this post is so simple. In the Andes, when a waiki (friend/sister/brother) is very low in energy he or she may ask another waiki if they can borrow some energy, to be paid back at some point in the future (e.g. at the next full moon). If this is agreed upon then they will sit on the ground, gently leaning against each other, touching shoulders. The one waiki uses intent to give energy to the other, who uses intent to receive that energy. They continue this until the process is complete. That is it.

This seems so simple, but the times I have tried it (either as the giver or the receiver) it has worked like a charm (but please see the post on ‘Fallacies‘). There are times when I have lots of energy and can share some with my waikis, there are times when my energy is really low and I could use some. The Andean meditations provide numerous ways for conserving and recharging energy on our own, and I generally rely upon them, but there are times when it is really nice to get a hand up from a friend.

I find it interesting that don Americo presented this as a loan of energy rather than as a gift of energy (although it can be a gift, of course, if you prefer). I may be reading too much into that but it does fit my general sense of the Andean Cosmovision where everything is kept in balance. This is not a moralistic path, there is nothing ‘wrong’ about always being a source of energy for others or always drawing energy from others, but either stance seems fraught with consequences and neither fits my ideal of how I want to dance through my life.

Thanks Angela for reminding me of this meditation.

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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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Energy Shield

In the meditation Inside/Outside I shared a way of disengaging from what is going on around us to retreat into a sanctuary within ourselves. This sanctuary is a place where we can rest from our dance with the world. In that post I said that this is not like putting up a siege barrier, it is more like entering a haven where you can recuperate. The meditative-like process I would like to cover in this post is like putting up a siege barrier, it can be used to protect yourself from unwelcome energy being directed at you from others. This process is meant to be completed before you actually need it.

Begin by picking up a stick or pebble, hold it in your right hand, and put that hand out straight in front of you as if holding a shield. Now, hold the intent that this stick or pebble radiates a barrier that other energy cannot cross. While holding that intent rotate your body in the following manner…keep your left foot where it is as if it is in the center of a circle, using your right foot turn you body all the way around in a counter-clockwise direction, your right foot will be defining the circumference of the circle. As you rotate 360 degrees keep your hand out with the impeccable intent of this stick or pebble serving as a shield to protect you from outside energy. Go all the way around seven times. This charges the stick or pebble with that intent, you then take it with you where you will need it and when the time comes activate the intent again and hold it out as a shield.

The first time I used this process was after I returned home from my second trip to Peru. Particularly for the first few trips to Peru, when I returned home I wanted to hide in the basement for a few days. One of the beautiful things about Peru is that my acceptance by the people there has been based upon my willingness to open my heart to them, they respond to that deeply, and I love that. When I come back to the U.S. everyone seems so cold, and particularly because I am a man, being openhearted is not really tolerated or all that safe. When I came home from Peru after my second trip I knew that the next day I had to attend what was going to be a very hostile faculty meeting. The faculty would be considering a topic that many felt very strongly about, I would be representing one side of the issue, and so some of the hostility would be directed at me. It was like a worse case scenario for an open-hearted person who has let down all of his barriers.

Before the meeting I went outside and found a pebble and did this process. I put the pebble into my pocket and went to the meeting. As it started I pulled the pebble out and held it in my fist resting on the table in front of me, and using my intent I turned it on. It was beautiful. I sat there with what was probably an annoyingly pleasant smile on my face while all the hostility just bounced off or flowed around me. I was able to give my contribution to the discussion without feeling hurt or threatened.

Upon reflection, you might ask, ‘when would you want to use a stick?’ For that I would like to relate the story that don Americo told when he taught us this process. When Americo was a young man his teacher sent him to spend the night in a cave in the Andes. It turns out that the cave was the home to a puma, and when it returned to find Americo there it wasn’t very happy about it. Americo grabbed a stick and went through this process and putting all of his intent into it was able to turn the puma away. When the puma left Americo tossed the stick aside in relief. A while later, however, the puma returned to have another say in the matter, and Americo found himself scrambling around in the cave before he found the same stick. It is hard to forget a story like that.

My right side is tapping me on the shoulder asking me to add that this was performed by a professional paqo and should not be attempted in a lion cave near your home.

This process is quite different from the others I have shared in that its purpose is to put a barrier between ourselves and some part of the Cosmos. This can be useful but when possible I prefer to step around rather then step into situations where I may need it. I have really only had to use it a few times in the almost twenty years since I learned it. The Andean Cosmovision is a way to develop a loving and mutually supportive relationship with ourselves and the rest of the Cosmos. It is not a path of power or domination, its underlying metaphor is not war. It is a path of heart, its underlying metaphors are to explore and to blossom. For all of that it is not a path for the timid it is a path for the brave, it is risky and scarey to open your heart to the world, for along with the uttermost joy we may find great pain. It calls for the courage and impeccability of a warrior, but we are warriors of the heart. The true confrontation is to stand naked in front of the incredible power and mystery of the Cosmos, and ask it if it would like to dance.

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On the Left Side: Setting Intent

I am going down to Peru with some friends who have been walking the salka path with me. As the tutelary leader of this adventure I thought I should say something about the importance of each person setting their intent for the trip. What I wrote when I sat down to do this surprised me. I would like to share it with you for it applies not just to going to Peru but to the path with a heart in general, and while I wrote it with those friends in mind I would like to include you in the bubble of for whom it is meant.  Note that it refers to concepts covered in earlier posts, such as the difference between the right and left side, and the yachay.

On the Left Side: Setting Intent

As we get ready to head off to Peru I invite you to set your intent for your experiences there. I am referring to the use of ‘intent’ that is distinct from ‘intention’. ‘Intention’ is a mental thing, an idea or goal that we will try to obtain, maybe we will obtain it and maybe we won’t. ‘Intent’, on the other hand, is something way beyond the intellect, way beyond the yachay.

In the meditations I define ‘intent’ as ‘sincere pretending’, a very useful definition which I like a whole lot. That is just the surface of intent, deep down it is something vastly mysterious and powerful. Here is my understanding and experience of the nature of intent.

As we go further and further inside ourselves we get bigger and bigger until we eventually reach the consciousness of the Cosmos itself, and there lies the true origin of our intent. When the pathway is open the consciousness of the Cosmos expresses itself through us, it informs our experiences and our behavior and our understanding of who we are, and we each blossom in the beauty of our unique way of being in this world.

For some people setting intent is to form a goal, to think of a desired outcome. For me it is getting in touch with the deepest level of my existence and giving it permission to flow out and change me, trusting that the underlying vibrational energy of the Cosmos is love.

All of us are walking down the paths of our lives. We are no longer novices, we have been here for a while, we have explored the deeper aspects of our Being for years, and we have the wisdom we have gained from this. I am not speaking of specific things we have come to understand but instead what we have learned from our experiences that have taught us how we can best explore new territory. I have just shared how I approach it, you are the authority on what works best for you, what leaves you feeling secure in what really matters to you, and at the same time opens you to change in ways that come from your deepest self with beauty.

While I am all wrapped up in the right side of my life, including getting ready for our trip to Peru, I am viewing today as a point to start ‘really getting ready to go’ on the left side. I invite you to do the same.

Love,

Oakley

 

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