Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Right Side / Left Side

The Andean Cosmovision draws distinctions between various aspects of our Being in many overlapping, non-mutually-exclusive ways. In an earlier post we looked at the Three Centers of Being; the llankay, the munay, and the yachay. In this post I would like to examine the distinction between the quality of energy we have on the right side of our body and that on the left.

Our right side (called paña) handles our activities in the everyday, ordinary, realm of our life, in other words, that aspect of our reality which is created by our society. We tap the abilities of our right side when we work, go to the store, get to our kid’s soccer game, balance our check book, watch TV, buy airline tickets to go to Peru, and so on. Our left side (called ‘lloqe’) handles our connection to the vast, ineffable, mystery that is the Cosmos. There is no way to describe that part of the Cosmos, for it is exactly that aspect of reality which exists beyond all the words we have to describe it and beyond all the concepts we have for understanding it. The Andean meditations move us into our left side.

Whether or not we develop the skills and perceptions available on both sides, we all do have both, for they are part of our heritage as human beings. It is my experience that in my western technological culture we place a heavy emphasis on the right side, and we are hardly aware, if at all, of what is available on the left side. If we want to explore more of who we are, and who we can be, and the full potential of our relationship with Nature and the Cosmos, a rich place for us to explore is the vast territory of experience available through our lloqe, the left side of our being. If we want to have dinner, hold a job, raise children, not get run over when we cross the road, enjoy our technology, and get to Peru, then we need to honor and nourish the skills we have on the right side.

Our paña and lloqe are complementary opposite aspects of our Being. In previous posts I’ve written about the role of complementary opposites in the Andean Cosmovision (Yin/Yang of the Andes) and their role in the relationships between women and men (Warmi-Qhari), and between communities and individuals (Remember to Wave Your Warak’as). The distinction between our right and left side takes us into the complementarity of opposites within ourselves. We find that the principles which became evident in the earlier posts apply here as well.

Our right and left side are not two, independent, things but instead are mutually defining aspects of a unified whole (our self). As in the post Yin/Yang of the Andes I will use a Taoist symbol to represent this: For these two mutually defining aspects of our self to exist we need to keep a clear distinction between the two, otherwise we end up with:

The Taoist symbol for Yin/Yang usually contains small circles that convey the concept that each opposite contains a small seed of the other:

This implies that when we are operating on our right, social, side it is good to have a small connection to the great, ineffable, mystery that is the Cosmos, and when we are operating on our left, mysterious, side to have a small connection to the everyday world. I’ve never heard anyone in the Andes say this nor can I speak from my own experiences. This idea arose as I was writing this post and I offer it as something to consider.

Back to the main point. The first principle is to keep a clear distinction between our paña and our lloqe, between our ability to work in the everyday world and our ability to connect with the great ineffable mystery that is the Cosmos. The second principle is to bring these two aspects of our self into yanantin, a state of harmony with each other . When complementary opposites are brought into yanantin then something emerges that is greater than the sum of the two. This something is recognized in the Andes as a new life force, and it is meta to (above) the complementary energies from which it emerges (see the post Warmi-Qhari)

The Andean meditations move us into our left side, as we do the Andean meditations we become more familiar with that facet of our being. Interacting with our society and everyday world moves us into the right side, a facet of our being with which we are very familiar. Instead of being blown by the winds of circumstance into either our right side or our left side, we can choose from which side to operate at any moment, and the ‘you who can choose’ exists at a higher level than either. As we choose one or the other we become more aware of that higher level of our self that can make that choice. That’s really all it takes.

Meditation: After you have some experience with the Andean meditations and have noticed how they affect your experience of the world, and your energy, and how you feel, then there is a simple way you can move into the left side directly. Stand with your weight evenly balanced on both feet, then with a hand, or in your mind’s eye, draw a line down your body from your head to your feet that divides you into your right side and your left side, and while doing this use your intent (sincere pretending) to feel it divide your energy into your right side energy and left side energy. Then, just step sideways to your left and with intent step into your left-side energy and its connection to the non-ordinary, vast, mysterious, Cosmos. Being on the left side is a learned state, this ‘stepping into’ the left side can evoke an experience that is commensurate to what you have experienced in the other meditations.

Source: This differentiation between the right side (paña) and left side (lloqe), and the meditation for stepping into the left side, are from don Americo Yabar.

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  1. Wow. I love this post.

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