Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Tag: yachay (page 2 of 2)

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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Transforming Energy

Transforming energy…that is paqo work‘. Americo Yabar

This meditation is somewhat advanced in that it would help if you have a basic understanding of certain aspects of the Andean Cosmovision and have played around with some of the other meditations. I recommend–if you haven’t already—that you first read the posts on intent and the Three Centers of Being and explore the three centers of being through the meditations described in the posts Exploring the Three Centers of Being and Tuning the Three Centers of Being.   This meditation for transforming energy is simple enough to comprehend intellectually, but what counts is to understand it experientially, and you well get a juicier experience if you are already familiar with your three centers of being.

Transforming the basic nature of energy is a part of the path of the Andean paq’o. Through the use of intent it is a surprisingly easy thing to do. We transformed energy, for example, in the simple meditation Saiwachakuy. If you haven’t done that meditation you might want to start with it and then come back to this one after you have played around with what it is like to transform energy.

This meditation is an excellent one to dive into when we have too much energy in one of our three centers of being. In our yachay this may take the form of not being able to stop thinking about something (obsessing about it) or having our thoughts race around out of control (this is particularly a problem when trying to get to sleep). In our munay this may take the form of our being all caught up in some whirlpool of emotion and not being able to climb out of it. In our llankay this may take the form of strong sexual arousal. The goal of this meditation is not to get rid of the energy but instead to take advantage of its presence and strength and play around with transforming it, in doing so we learn more about ourselves…and we become transformed as well..

I will describe how to do this meditation within the context of starting with strong energy in our yachay. It will be easy, however, to then see how to modify this if we are starting with strong energy in our llankay or munay instead.

You can do this either sitting down or standing up, just be sure that you are in a posture where you can easily take quick, deep breaths. I also recommend that you be sitting or standing comfortably upright, oriented in a vertical direction rather than a horizontal one (e.g. not laying down).

Ok, once you have yourself situated, begin by immersing yourself into the strong energy you have in your llachay. This should be easy as you are doing this meditation because you can’t get out of your head in the first place. Attend to how the energy in your head is expressing itself through your thought processes.

Then, with intent coupled with a sharp exhalation, toss that energy down into your munay. Experience how the energy is expressed when it is in your munay. Notice how the energy is different when it is in your munay compared to when it is in your head. Immerse yourself for a while in the experience of the energy in your munay. Then, with intent and a sharp inhalation, toss the energy from your munay back into your yachay. Keep it there long enough to experience again what the energy is like when it is in your yachay.

Next, with intent and a sharp exhalation toss the energy from your yachay all the way down into your llankay . Experience how the energy is expressed when it is in your llankay. Immerse yourself in that experience for a while. Then, with a sharp inhalation, toss the energy from your llankay back into your yachay, and notice again what it is like when it is in your yachay.

Finally, with intent couple with a sharp exhalation toss the energy from your yachay into your spiritual realm a little ways above your head. Notice how the energy feels when it is expressed in your spiritual realm. Immerse yourself in that experience. To conclude the meditation you can leave the energy there, or move it down into whatever center you want, or just keep tossing it around for a while to experientially explore your centers of Being.

Believe me, this is not a meditation you will get anything out of by simply reading about it.

Follow the same basic pattern if you are starting with an excess of emotional energy in your munay or an excess of sexual energy in your llankay. I hasten to add that there is nothing ‘bad’ about having a lot of intellectual or emotional or sexual energy. This process doesn’t get rid of the energy, the energy instead becomes a flying carpet for exploring the other ways we have of being in the world…with the volume turned up (to hopelessly mix my metaphors). Wherever you start, toss the energy to one of the other three centers, and then back, and then to the other center, and back, and finally up to the spiritual realm, and then leave the energy where you choose. When I am trying to get to sleep and my mind is racing I may end by giving the energy to the Pachamama when I am done, for leaving it anywhere may be too stimulating for falling asleep.

Some thoughts I’d like to share:

* I find this to be a very juicy way to explore the various aspects of my Being.

* It gives me a way to transform my experience without having to deny or fight or resist the excessive energy I may have in one of my centers of Being. In that way it is a loving response to myself.

* Transforming the energy by moving it into a different center of our Being is an act of volition on our part, another way we have of deciding how to dance with the great mystery of the Cosmos and the great mystery of who we are as Beings in this Cosmos. When the energy moves to another center it transforms us, that aspect of our Being blossoms a bit more. Are we transforming the energy or is it transforming us? To me that is the beauty of the Andean Cosmovision, we don’t control Nature, Nature doesn’t control us. We are instead in relationship with Nature, a relationship directed by ayni and munay, and full of salka. The spin-off of this relationship is that we find ourselves blossoming in beauty, and I believe that Nature does as well.

This meditation (more or less) is from don Americo Yabar.

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Tuning the Three Centers of Being

As background for this meditation I strongly recommend that–if you haven’t already–you read the posts: Andean Cosmovision: The Basics, Intent, and The Three Energy Centers (Part 1).

This is one of the two meditations about which I’ve heard don Americo Yabar say that if we would only do this on a regular basis it would have a very beneficial affect on us (the other meditation was described in the post Bellybutton to the Pachamama). Most people (including myself) hear something like that and say ‘yes, great…..what else can you teach me?’ I wonder what it is about (some of) us that we want more and more rather than to develop and explore what we have? As I have mentioned in other posts I have found myself, after years of learning more and more, returning back to the simpler and earlier things I’ve learned in this approach as being the best way to work this path into my life. Anyway…

For this meditation you need to sit on the ground so that you can comfortably place your hands on the Earth (the Pachamama).

First, notice what your energy feels like before you start. How does it feel to be you right now?

Begin the meditation by placing one of your hands on the Pachamama and the other on your body over your llankay (the center of your physical being, located a few finger breadths below your navel). With intent (sincere pretending) form an energetic connection between your llankay and the Pachamama, and ask her to bring your llankay into harmony with her. Notice the effect of this connection, and continue until you feel that the energy of your llankay is in harmony with the Pachamama (usually a few minutes).

Then, take your hand from your llankay and place it on the Pachamama, and take the hand that was on the Pachamama and place it over your munay (your heart, the center of love). Again, with intent, connect the energy of the two and ask the Pachamama to bring your heart into harmony with her.

When you sense that this harmony has occurred take your hand from your munay and place it on the Pachamama and put the hand that was on the Pachamama on your yachay (the center of thought, the yachay itself is centered at the crown of your head). Continue until your yachay has come into harmony with the Pachamama.

Now follow the same process but this time coming into harmony with the refined energy of the Cosmos. Start by putting one hand over your llankay and raise the other hand toward the sky to connect with the energy of the Cosmos. With intent open a connection between the two and ask the Cosmos to bring your llankay into harmony with it. Repeat with your munay and your yachay, switching hands each time.

When you have finished notice your energy now. How your energy shifts from before the meditation to after the meditation is the true (and only) meaning and significance of the meditation.

I recommend that you do this on a regular basis for a while and see how it affects your experience of the world.  There is a nice follow-up to this meditation that I will be posting soon.

Source of this meditation: don Americo Yabar.

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The Three Centers of Being (Part 2)

If you have yet to read Part 1 on this topic I recommend that you read it first. This post covers the same concepts introduced in the post The Crazy Ape (which I also recommend that you read), but with a slightly different slant that we can now consider given what we have covered in this blog.

The three centers of being (yachay, munay, and llankay), when applied metaphorically to cultures, provide a useful way of thinking about the environmental crisis we face and how we might approach it. Western society has the knowledge (yachay) and the technology (llankay) to head towards a future of greater health and beauty on this planet, not just for we humans but for the diversity of life. We seem, however, to lack the heart (munay) to do so.

The indigenous people of Peru (I am thinking specifically of the Qero because I am most familiar with them) have the heart. The Qero (also spelled Q’ero) are as developed in the munay as the West is in technology and knowledge. Knowledge about our planet’s environmental crisis and the technology to address it are crucial elements to solving the problem, but they may not be enough. The Western view of reality which leads us to being so great at technology and knowledge also tends to disconnect us at a very important and deep experiential level from Nature. The Andean Cosmovision puts us deeply into the experience of our connection with Nature, but it does not lead to the knowledge and the technology to address the problems we have created. My hypothesis is that an important step toward solving the environmental crisis would be to build a bridge between the two Cosmovisions. Americo Yabar and other Andeans are working to build a bridge from the Andes to the West. Other Westerners and I are working to build a bridge from the West to the Andes.

It might be possible to bring together experts from the various cultures, experts on the environment and technology from the West, and on the munay from the indigenous cultures, to map out the course our species needs to take. Or perhaps what we need to do is to develop and integrate the yachay, munay, and llankay within ourselves. That is part of what I am working on within myself. In this Salka Wind site I am endeavoring to give you all I can to help you follow a similar path if you would like. I say ‘part of what I am working on’, for the ‘three centers of being’ are but part of the Andean people’s vision of who we are and what our relationship can be with Nature and the Cosmos. I’ll be covering other aspects of their vision as this blog progresses.

One of the themes of this blog is ‘we can still head toward a future of greater beauty on this planet and this is one way that might work’. This was not my intent going into the study of Andean mysticism, the theme emerged as I was looking for ways of bringing my studies in Peru into my discipline of psychology, and finding that ecopsychology was a good fit. Even if it was not my original intent it is very congruent with my own values, cares, and concerns. I would like, however, to share that thinking of the Andean Cosmovision as a means to a desired end (healing the planet) does not encompass it, there is something more going on (‘means to an end’ is a very yachay thing) that will either connect with your munay through its love and beauty, or not.

There are three things in the universe: 1) those things the yachay (intellect) understands; 2) those things the yachay does not understand but eventually will (e.g. through advancements in science); and 3) those things the yachay will never understand (e.g. the munay and llankay).

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The Three Centers of Being (Part 1)

In the Andes they identify three centers of our being; the yachay, the munay, and the llankay. Each center is located in a different part of the body and each provides a different way of perceiving and understanding reality.

The yachay is located in our head. It is our ability to think, in other words it is the intellect. In our culture, at least in my world of science and academia, logic is viewed as the epitome of thought. In the Andes, however, wisdom as a quality of thought is valued more than logic and intelligence. Wisdom is built upon life experiences, accompanied by an appreciation and understanding of the larger-than-individual and larger-than-humanity systems involved in any action. I would add that wisdom also implies some amount of caring and compassion. Wisdom, it would seem, implies a yachay that acts in accord with the other two centers, which we will turn to next.

The munay is located in our heart. It is the center of love. The ‘love’ associated with the munay, however, is not an emotion. Emotions are tightly connected to our thoughts. How we respond emotionally to an event is largely a product of the meaning we assign to it. But the love of the munay is not an emotion; it has nothing to do with romance or sex or sentimentality, and jealousy does not apply. Our yachay and its ability to analyze (i.e. break things into pieces) gives us the experience of being separate from everything else in the Cosmos. In the Andean Cosmovision the Cosmos is a vast network of interconnected filaments of energy and we, rather than being disconnected things, are part of that network. Through the munay we experience our connection with the rest of the Cosmos. The Cosmos has an underlying frequency, and it is our (beautiful) experience of tuning into that frequency through our munay that gets labelled with the closest available term ‘love’. (This definition of love comes to us from don Americo Yabar).

To experience reality through our munay we need to move our consciousness from our head to the area of our heart, and when we do, we experience a different way of perceiving and understanding the world. It may seem strange to speak of moving our consciousness to our heart (compared to, say, keeping our consciousness in our head and simply being aware of our heart). In my culture it is generally assumed that consciousness is always, must always, be in our head. The best way I have, however, for describing how to experience the munay or the llankay is that all we need to do is to move our consciousness there. I’ll be sharing some meditations for exploring this in later posts .

Now to the llankay. The llankay is located a couple of finger-breadths below our navel and a few inches inside our body. The llankay is the center of our physical being and its ability to come into physical manifestation. It is also described as our ability to work, to use our physical body to alter the world. At the center of the llankay is our ‘not-being’, where we are ‘no-thing’, from which our physical being emerges. The llankay is another location where we can place our consciousness and shift our experience of the Cosmos.

I have found the concept of these three centers (yachay, munay, and llankay) to be helpful in integrating my boy-scientist, Western upbringing (very yachay) with my experiences in Peru (very munay). Science, religion, philosophy are all of the yachay. They are immensely useful…and they cannot possibly understand the munay (and vice versa). The intellect can describe and explain and think about reality all it wants and it still does not overlap with reality as experienced by the munay or by the llankay. The integration of these three centers of being comes from a deeper level of ourselves. For me it was at this deeper level–beyond the distinction of the yachay, munay, and llankay–where the beauty and value of my explorations of munay eventually established a level of credibility that my intellect could acknowledge even if it could not understand.

I’ll be sharing some more thoughts about the yachay, munay, and llankay and providing some meditations related to them in upcoming posts (see below)

July 9, 2011:  The following subsequent posts are available:  The Three Centers of Being (Part 2), Tuning the Three Centers of Being.

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