Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Tag: meditations (page 2 of 8)

Sole to Sole

Hi, here is a nice salka meditation that involves working with a partner.  This is another very simple meditation that can be quite profound. As usual I recommend that you first tune your energy using the Touching Pachamama and Releasing Hucha meditations (particularly because you will be working with another person).

To do this meditation take off your shoes. Lie down with the soles of your feet in comfortable contact with the soles of your partner’s feet.  Using your intent (sincere pretending), as you breathe in draw the energy from the Cosmos through your partner’s head, through your connection at your feet, and up through your head into the Cosmos.  As you breathe out send the energy in the opposite direction, from the Cosmos through your head through the two of you and out into the Cosmos through your partner’s head.

Do this for several minutes and then bring the meditation to a gentle close.

As with all of the salka meditations, the meaning of this meditation is simply the experience that you have while doing it.  We are all explorers on this path.

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Heart-to-Heart

Up until fairly recently in this blog I have 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…).  Beginning with the Back-to-Back meditation I have begun to share more meditations that can be done with a group of people. The Heart-to-Heart and Back-to-Back meditations are examples of a practice in the Andes that is known as yanachakuy, the touching and sharing of energy between two Beings.  Like the Back-to-Back meditation, the Heart-to-Heart meditation is best done with a group of at least four people, so that you can switch partners a few times to see how everyone’s energy is different.

It is a little complicated for me to continue to write this blog as I would like to assume that you have read the earlier posts, but I know that may not be the case.  If you haven’t already, I recommend that you at least read the posts that cover the three centers of being, starting with the aptly named Three Centers of Being post, which ends with some links to subsequent posts on the topic.  Everyone doing this meditation at least needs to have some idea of what the munay is.

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 one of the meditations that help us get rid of our hucha (my favorite is the Releasing Hucha meditation). After getting rid of hucha I recommend moving on to the Cosmic Circle meditation as it enlivens the munay, and the Heart-to-Heart meditation is all about the munay.  That is more than the usual amount of preparation for a salka meditation, but this beautiful meditation is worth it.

With the preparations complete, let’s move on to the Heart-to-Heart meditation itself.  I will describe it as if you are leading some waikis (friends / fellow adventurers) through the process.  I believe that it really helps me to guide other people into a meditation if I enter that energy as well.  If there is an even number of people (including me) I can have a partner as I talk everyone through this.  If not, then I find I can enter into this state anyway.  I set my hands (as described below) and then it is as if I am doing this with the nature around me.

First, have everyone pair-up.  I recommend when possible that the waikis don’t pair up with someone they know really well (e.g. a significant other) as they already know that person’s energy so well, and also because close relationships have a lot of other things going on that may muddle the waters.

Anyway, after people pair-up have them face each other, close enough to clasp hands.  Now have them clasp hands with their partner, palm to palm.  The goal is to be able to gently press the back of one of your waiki’s hands to your munay (heart area) while your waiki presses the back of your other hand to his or her munay.  An easy way to set this up is for one waiki to put both hands forward, one palm up and one palm down, and then have the other waiki grasp those hands palm to palm.  Or…just play around until you get it.  Again, the goal is that you are pressing the back of your waiki’s hand to your heart while your waiki does the same with your other hand.

When everyone is arranged correctly with their waiki then suggest that they close their eyes (pause for a moment)…and then connect with the Pachamama through the souls of their feet (pause while they do this)…and then open up the energy center at the top of their head to connect with the energy of the cosmos (pause while they do this, then pause a little longer for them to enter more fully into both connections).

Now, invite them to gently open their eyes, and with soft eyes look into the eyes of their partner. Invite them to look with soft eyes until they get the sense that they are perceiving the essence (beyond the personality) of the other waiki.  Then gently close their eyes again. I usually give them about 5 seconds for this before going on to the next step. It is my experience that I can get at least a hint of my partner’s essence in that amount of time and I get concerned that going much longer might raise defenses.

Now invite them (still with eyes closed) to use their intent (sincere pretending) to send their munay energy into the back of their waiki’s hand that is pressed against their munay, and to receive their waiki’s munay energy through the back of their hand that is pressed against their waiki’s munay. After they have had enough time to start to experience the flow of energy I like to add that they can just let the energy flow between the two of them however it wants to.

I like to give them a couple of minutes or so to fully experience this. Then, I thank them (to let them know it is the end of the round).  This is a very personal and deep experience, and I usually hug my waiki when we are finished.  Then have people pair up with someone new and repeat the meditation.  Repeat again so that everyone has a chance to work with three or so partners before ending.

At the end of all this I like to form a circle with everyone and open the table (so to speak) for comments and experiences.  People often comment on how everyone’s energy is different.  Like the Back-to-Back meditation, this meditation accomplishes a lot.  Detecting other people’s energy seems to be pretty easy in this meditation, and this opens the door for people to have a deeper experience with the salka path.  Also, it just takes us right there to what this is all about, connecting through the munay with other Beings, interacting at another level beyond the confines of our Western, domesticated worldview.  Or not…as always, the meaning of the meditation is the effect it has on you…not what I say it is.  When I write these posts I vacillate between wanting to share what I get from these meditations and keeping quiet so that I don’t get in the way of how you might experience them.

This is one of the ways don Americo has had us do this meditation.  It was in my notes this way and this is how I usually do it in my salka meditation classes.  I consistently find it to be a beautiful experience.   I have also been with him when he had us do different variations on this meditation, perhaps you have one that you like better.  Feel free to share that by commenting on this post.

One last idea.  When we do this out in Nature, when we are done working with each other, I like to then invite everyone to disperse and go spend several minutes carrying out the essence of this meditation with some aspect of Nature; with the river flowing by, or with the trees, or with Pachamama, or Mama Killa, or Mama Tuta.  Something is learned in this meditation that transcends having to be in contact back-of-hand-to-munay, and this is a great time to explore that.

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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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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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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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