Which Andean Tradition?

Is there more than one Andean mystical tradition?


As I travel around the country teaching the Andean tradition as I know it and Elephant compressed Dollarphotoclub_68320463practice it, I have had the honor of meeting wonderful “paqos in training” (of which I consider myself one, as there is always more to learn and we are always deepening our practice). However, over and over I have come across a potential stumbling block to the tradition. It’s the elephant in the room that few people seem willing to discuss openly. Not doing so, to my mind, is third-level thinking, and as paqos we are working to accumulate the personal power to evolve to the fourth level. So I would like to open a fourth-level discussion about this elephant in the room. I invite your comments and questions.

What’s the elephant? Feelings of confusion about what the “real” Andean tradition is or if there even is such a thing. Feelings of competitiveness between some organizations and individual teachers, and among their students.

Let me give you examples. I have run into or heard of situations where teachers of this tradition refused to alert their students that I or another teacher was in the area because what we teach is different and they apparently feel a need to protect their turf or their students’ ability to handle alternative perspectives of the tradition. I have run into a student or two who walked out of a training because what I was saying or doing was too different from what their primary teacher had taught them. These are only two of the many ways the undercurrent of fear, ownership, competitiveness and just plain bad juju is flowing through the community.

At one time these kinds of behaviors bothered me. They no longer do. Because I have come to know, as I hope you have or will, that this tradition is not mine or yours, it is ours.

There is a “flavor” of the tradition that tastes good to each of us, so we choose to colorful of cupcakepartake of it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a tradition that comes in 21 flavors of frosting, as long as the cupcake remains a cupcake.

In every tradition, if it is to remain a living tradition, teachers have to walk a fine line between preserving the integrity of the tradition and making it their own, expressing it through their own personalities, strengths, understandings, preferences and such. Different teachers emphasize different aspects of the tradition. There is nothing wrong with this. It is surely true of the paqos of Peru. I have worked with enough of them to know that the same concept can come across differently according to the paqo offering it. So variations are not something that are unique to non-Peruvian teachers of the tradition.

As a living tradition, the sacred work changes over time. While the fundamentals may remain the same, new practices may be created even as old ones die off. It is a fool’s view to think that a tradition can or should remain static and, thus, Juan Pauqar Flores and don Manuel Q'espi at Raqchi FLIPPEDunchanged. Like kawsay, the living energy whose natural state is flow (and which becomes hucha when it stagnates), the Andean tradition is a living tradition.

These and other factors all come into play when you choose or assess a teacher, so I would suggest that it serves you well to remember that his or her teaching is only one presentation of a multi-faceted living tradition. All of us as paqos are striving to accumulate the personal power to evolve consciously to the fourth level. The fourth level is where we accept our experiences without having to judge them against others. We don’t believe we have “the one and only truth,” so we don’t have to defend it and we feel no need to proselytize. We can find “gold” in every vein of the tradition we mine.

That said, as paqos striving to see “reality as it really is,” we also need to make conscious choices and understand that restriction can cause hucha. For teachers, it is important to let students know of the variations, cross-cultural add-ons, and personal flourishes that are expansions beyond the core tradition. Without such an understanding, students are left confused about what is the cupcake of the tradition and what is the frosting. Fourth-level teaching means cultivating students who “graduate” and go off to new endeavors, further explorations, other teachers, and even become teachers themselves. Fourth-level teachers empower their students, they don’t enslave them. And certainly they don’t need to shield them from alternative views or hinder their personal choices.

As students, it behooves us to choose the teachers and presentations of the tradition that most resonate for us at the time, according to the condition of our energy body, without the wholesale dismissal of other offerings. As students we need to be aware that our current teacher may be perfect at the moment but may not be the best teacher for us two years from now. One teacher is not replacing the other; both are to be honored for their contribution to our personal evolution.

I speak for Juan and Ivan when I say that we love this tradition, and we believe it is the most efficient in terms of energy work and the fastest path to accumulating the personal power to live with greater joy and well-being. We believe we are in the dawning stages of the birth of a New Humanity, and the Andean tradition is front and center in helping foster this evolution. So we want you to learn the tradition, from whomever you want. We want you to share it, with whomever you want. We are honored if you learn from us, but we don’t have any judgment if you don’t. Mostly, we want you to be clear-eyed about the choices you make and why, and we urge you to aspire, as we do, to the fourth-level perception that fear, jealousy, competition, control and restriction serve none of us. Most importantly, they don’t serve the Andean mystical tradition.

So what’d’ya say? Shall we agree to kick the elephant out of the room?

Paqos Are the Flowers of Wiraqocha

In this post I am going to provide you a teaser of a new book, tentatively titled Andean Mystics: The Supernatural World of the Andes. I am working on the life Juan Nunez del Prado 1997story—and full training—of Juan Nuñez del Prado, and some of the story of his son, Ivan. We hope the book will be out late next year, but that depends on the publisher. It is an incredibly detailed record of the entire tradition as passed on to Juan from don Benito Qoriwaman, don Andres Espinosa, and don Melchor Desa, among other paqos. This is the “real deal” of the tradition, and I am honored to be helping Juan preserve the tradition and make it widely available through the written word. Until the book in your hands, here is a little taste of what you will find there. (The “me” refers to Juan. Please note that like all the posts in this blog, this story is copyrighted.)

During the car ride back from Machu Picchu, don Melchor told me the story of the hummingbird as the messenger of God. It went something like this: Once the birds gathered to choose a king. As Andean birds, they called an ayllu meeting. All the different kinds of birds came. Because they were Andean birds, they had no false Big group of different birds. Color vector illustration. Eps 8.modesty! Everyone expressed their powers, capacities and virtues. One by one they talked of their kaypay, their personal power. The last bird to speak was the condor. He said, “I should be king because I can do something none of you can. I can fly the highest—to the very border of the hanaqpacha.”

The other birds were suitably impressed, admitting they could not fly that high. They decided the condor should be king of the birds. But at that moment a tiny bird arrived and spoke up. “Wait! You cannot make him king, because I am capable of flying to the very center of the hanaqpacha. He cannot.” This bird was the hummingbird, and all the birds were amazed that the tiny hummingbird had challenged the condor. But beyond that, being Andean birds, they were skeptical. They did not believe hummingbird could fly farther than the condor. So they asked for proof, for a demonstration, but they decided to do that later. Everyone has tired and hungry. They wanted to rest or have lunch or go home to take care of all the things that must be taken care of. So they decided to postpone the demonstration until the next day.

The next day, early in the morning, the first bird to arrive was the condor. Soon all the other birds arrived. But the hummingbird did not. Because they were Andean birds, they were very patient. They waited and waited, but hummingbird did not show up. It was almost noon, and everyone was getting hungry and they had things they had to do in their homes. So they agreed they wouldn’t wait anymore. But being Andean birds, they were not only skeptical but had given their word, and they would have to follow through on their word. So they told condor that he had to show them how high he could fly.

Condor began a slow flapping of his enormous wings, and then lifted off into the Condor compressed Dollarphotoclub_59379204sky. He flowed with the currents, flying higher and higher. He flapped his wings, and flapped some more. Soon he was very high, but also was very tired, almost exhausted. He was just reaching the border of the hanaqpacha when out from his feathers zoomed the hummingbird. The hummingbird flew off, higher and higher, leaving condor behind, until he reached the center of the hanaqpacha.

At the center of the hanaqpacha was Wiraqocha. He is a great gardener, and he as out gardening—watering the flowers, trimming the bushes, pulling the weeds—when hummingbird arrived flying so fast that he flew right into Wiraqocha, smashing into him. In that moment, he made a direct connection with the energy of Wiraqocha.

Because of his feat of flying so high, to the very center of the hanaqpacha, and Humming bird fliesbecause of his energetic connection with Wiraqocha, hummingbird was elected king of the birds. And he also became the carrier of the Mosoq Karpay—the karpay to the fifth-level of consciousness—to the paqos. Paqos are the flowers of Wiraqocha, and when a paqo produces refined sami—an extremely fine quality of “nectar”—then that paqo will attract the hummingbird, who will come to drink from his or her energy. Through this touch of the hummingbird, the paqo establishes a personal connection with Wiraqocha.

The Secret Behind “The Secret”

“Your personal vibration or energy state is a blend of the contracted or expanded frequencies of your body, emotions, and thoughts at any given moment. The more you allow your soul to shine through you, the higher your personal vibration will be.”
— Penney Peirce from Frequency

I haven’t read the book Frequency, but I came across this quotation from its author and it got me thinking about how often there is almost a chicken-and-egg syndrome when it comes to metaphysical traditions and their conceptions of energy.

The first sentence in the quotation is in alignment with the teachings of the Andean masters. The amount of refined energy (sami) and heavy energy (hucha) you carry in your poq’po (your energy body) does indeed comprise your personal vibration. In the Andes, we would call this vibration your “personal power.”

But the second sentence in the quotation is completely opposite of what the Andeans teach, and I think it is worth our time to consider how your personal vibration and your soul interact.

According to Peirce, by allowing your soul to shine through, you raise your vibration. Sounds good. But how exactly do you let more of your soul shine through? If you knew how, wouldn’t you be letting it shine like a million suns?

In the Andean tradition, the energy equation is completely opposite what Peirce proposes. It’s the condition of your poq’po—the vibration of your energy bubble—that determines how much you live as who you really are—as your wholeness, your soul self.

The soul is complete, whole, coherent, always at maxim “power.” The Inka Seed links your personal energy body and physical body to your soul; it is your connection with the divine.

Your personal energy body, however, acts like a meter or a filter, which lets some, or more, or all of your soul shine through depending on the quality of your poq’po sun rays streaming through the storm clouds(its proportion of sami to hucha).

No matter how much you want more of your soul to illuminate your experience and life, your desire and intention are stymied by the state of your energy body/personal vibration. Maybe Peirce’s book shows how to up that vibration and let more soul through, but even if that is true, it still means that personal vibration comes first. Desire to shine more soul into your life is pointless if your filter is clogged. That’s why I think Peirce has the energy equation backwards.

As I said, in the Andes your personal vibration is called your “personal power.” While your soul has unlimited capacity, your personal power is limited by the state of your energy body. You can only do or manifest what you have the personal power to do or manifest, no matter how much you intend, wish, imagine, or visualize doing more.

This is where the Law of Attraction as it is commonly known falls short. Intent is paramount in the Law of Attraction, as it is in the Andean tradition. But it is only half the equation because intent is fueled by energy. You have to work your energy. You can say affirmations and declare your intentions until the cows come home, Geometry Abstractionbut if you don’t have the energy (personal power), you will not manifest that affirmation or intent.

This is why I feel the Andean practices are the “secret” behind The Secret/Law of Attraction. It teaches energy practices that refine your awareness, cleanse and empower your bubble, and provide the energy to manifest your intentions—to “push the kawsay.”

Really, you don’t have to will more of your soul to shine through. It does so naturally as you raise your vibration by accumulating personal power. Living more fully as “who you really are” (revealing your soul) is a natural consequence of undertaking the practices of the Andes, which is a path of conscious evolution. That’s why I practice and teach the tradition, even as I meditate and pray and use a host of other energy and spiritual tools, all of which are useful. But, for me at least, none are as simple, elegant, and produce as powerful results as the energy practices of the Andes. Andeans truly are masters of the living energy.

Beyond Dogma and Doctrine

There is nothing hidden or exclusionary about the Andean Path. It is not a dogma or a doctrine, so you can practice it while holding a multitude of beliefs. You also Religion Word Magnifying Glass God Spirituality Faith Beliefcan happily practice the Andean energy techniques no matter what other practices you undertake. You can be a Hari Krishna, Protestant, Jew, Catholic, wiccan, shaman, yogi, rishi, atheist, agnostic . . . whatever, and the Andean path
welcomes you.

That’s not to say there is not an accompanying cosmovision. But in terms of practice, the energy techniques are simple and sober ways to add to your energetic “toolbag” without conflict with any other practices.

No matter how many traditions you belong to or are exploring, it helps to commit to one path at a time. If you divide your attention, you tend not to learn well. So it’s best to choose to apply yourself to one path at a time and to commit yourself to learning that path and those techniques. For example, I have followed the Andean Path for more than 20 years. But I also meditate, having learned when I was 17. I also have a deep Christian faith and regularly pray. But I fully immersed myself in each tradition, one at a time, because part of every path is devotion.

Intention is the main tool of the Andean tradition. Our “medicine” is inside Trail of bulbs and man before Keyholeourselves already.  Our practice is not about transcending the human to touch the divine, but about empowering ourselves to be fully human and to unleash the divine within ourselves.

When you are coherent within, you can live with integrity; and integrity in this sense means being exactly who you are to the fullest possible extent in this lifetime. It’s about accessing and living your glory, about releasing or shedding illusions about yourself so you can better know and live as who you really are. In this way, the path applies to all human beings, no matter what their beliefs.

Paqos teach no dogmas, but they do encourage “attitudes” that help you journey along this path. Those attitudes are confidence, courage, respect, and love. But most of all, they encourage you to cultivate joy. The word for the sacred work of the Andes is pukllay, which means play. Play is not a dogma! When we flow with our intention and direct our energies, we experience kuyay, the cosmic dance of Father and son playing on the beachayni that is alive with a sober passion (a directed, life-affirming passion, not a wild, romantic impulse). We are at play in the kawsay pacha, in our lives, in our relationships with others, and with the world at large. Spiritual play, as the Andeans mean it, is not fooling around, goofing off, etc. It is living with a spiritual and energetic passion that deepens the appreciation for the gift of life.

The danger of dogmas and doctrines is that they can trap you. If your doctrine is the “truth” then anyone who doesn’t share it is excluded, deluded, or damned. This is third-level thinking. It restricts your world and can even chain you in place. It’s hard to move forward when you have a belief to defend and protect. Fourth-level thinking involves choosing your beliefs (we all have to have them), and neither imposing them on anyone else nor rejecting others who don’t agree with your choice. You are secure enough in our own beliefs to not be threatened by the choices others make. Fourth-level thinking frees us to new options and opens the world to us.

Here’s an example that illustrates this point in a round-about way. While doing an intuitive reading for a woman, I saw that she had been badly abused as a youngster, and I described her wound like a chain around her ankle that stretched out behind her and was attached to a stake in the ground. She believed that she could only go as far as the length of that chain. She acknowledged this as her current condition—chained to the past and to beliefs about what her life could be chainbased on the tenacious hold of that wound. But she couldn’t figure out how to get that chain off her ankle once and for all.

I told her, “You can’t undo what has been done. And perhaps you can’t remove the chain from your ankle. But you can pull up that stake! Once you do, you can go anywhere you want, as far as you want, even though you still have a chain around your ankle.” She looked startled, as if that thought had never occurred to her. Suddenly she knew that even if she couldn’t fully heal the past, she didn’t have to be immobilized by it. Once her belief shifted, so did her life.

The Andean path is sort of like that—acknowledging that we all have a stake in the ground, and even a chain or two around our ankle, but that we can move anyway. There’s more than enough kawsay for everyone. It doesn’t matter what you believe, which other practices you enjoy and find useful, what your personal history is—you can free your energy to propel yourself as far as you can imagine. When you have little to protect and defend from others, you have almost unrestricted freedom of movement and greater peace of mind and heart.

Of all the sacred traditions I am aware of, the Andean mystical path is the most open and inclusive. So take its illuminating message to heart: there is nothing in this practice that will cause you to exclude anyone, nor can you be excluded. There is nothing that will hold you (or anyone else) back from increasing your human joy and fulfilling your divine nature.