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 can 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
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 ourselves 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 ayni 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 based 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.