Salka Wind Blog

Posts on the Andean Cosmovision

Category: Snippets (page 1 of 4)

A Path of Heart

A Path of Heart

[There are] a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question….Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere…In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere… Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”  Don Juan Matus .

The teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui way of knowledge.  Carlos Castaneda. 1968.  Ballentine Books: New York.  pp 105-106.

I have been posting so rarely in the past year or more that I feel inclined to provide a context for this post so that it does not seem like a non sequitur.  As I move into my retirement (see the post Leaving the Village)  I find I have, at least for a while, turned from producing (e.g. writing posts) to Being (e.g. getting in touch with my own Presence).  I used to joke that I was afraid that I was turning into Bilbo Baggins in his later years, puttering around his study writing bits of what he called poetry.  Now I am rather relishing that.  Still, keep an eye out, if you would like, for more posts, ‘especially at unlikely times’ (Gandalf).

The quote above from don Juan has long been one of my favorites, it has shaped my life, and led me to the Andes.  Remember that the Path to the Other Side of Reality never reaches a destination, walking the path is all there is.  And there are millions of paths to choose from, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you explore until you find one that connects with your heart.

Muchos abrazos,


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A Few Thoughts

Just a few thoughts I would like to share this morning.

There are ideas, or phrases, or concepts from my readings in the past that still inform my life toward beauty. I find, at times, that when I go back and find the exact words that I read so long ago that my memory of them is not correct, and that I like my memory’s version more than the original words. This, I suppose, is the power of an oral tradition over a written one. The following two thoughts originate in the writings of Carlos Castaneda.

  • Humility, the sense that we are less than others, is as much a product of our ego as the sense of being superior. Rather than having humility as a goal, seek instead for humbleness. Bow your head to no one, and let no one bow their head to you.
  • When it really counts, when you really need it, words (and concepts and beliefs) will let you down.

One semester when I was teaching a class in the psychology department there was a student with whom I had a very difficult time communicating. It was as if we were from two different planets, it was obvious to me that I didn’t understand his questions and it appeared that he didn’t understand my answers. At one point he mentioned he was a philosophy major and I replied that I personally would never trust a philosophy that could be put into words. That was a defining moment for us.

Today, like everyday, I wake up lonely and afraid. Pass by the door to the study. Take down a musical instrument. Let what you love be what you do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth. (my paraphrase of a poem by Rumi)

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A Great Mystery

For a context for these cryptic quotes please see the post ‘The Flower of Experience’

Love your body as a great mystery.

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In Darkness and Confined

For a context for these cryptic quotes please see the post ‘The Flower of Experience’

The seed may feel that it is a prisoner in the earth, encased in darkness and confined, but it is being guarded while it germinates.

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The Delicate Flower

There is a delicate flower of freedom within each of us that must be protected and nourished if it is to blossom. Our society does not know of this flower. Nature does. You nourish this flower when you sit next to the river, or connect your energy to the stars, or fly with the condors, or talk to the Pachamama.

I just got back from Peru, and this is all I can say right now.

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