Are You an Andean Healer?

In a recent workshop, where participants were learning about cleansing hucha and the specifics of hucha mikhuy, there was a palpable reaction of discomfort when I Healing Hands Ayni Compresssed Dollarphotoclub_67573261said that according to Andean healing, you don’t have to ask permission to work on another person’s poq’po. Most people are so used to honoring other people’s privacy, and rightfully so, that doing anonymous healing work seems like an invasion of that privacy.

Here is the Andean answer to that concern. You can never interfere with the interior of another person’s poq’po, so there is no issue about violating someone’s privacy. Hucha accumulates mostly on the “skin” of the poq’po and that is where cleansing takes place. So you are not invading anyone’s personal space because you are not entering his or her poq’po.

According to the Andean view, the only thing that is truly yours in this life is your poq’po. It is absolutely inviolate. No one can enter your energy body without your conscious or unconscious permission. Not even God!

The key word here is “enter.” When it comes to the skin of your bubble, that meeting place between the “outside” and “inside” of the self, well . . . that’s another story. We accumulate hucha there like a tabletop accumulates dust. If we don’t cleanse it, it builds up, and our beauty becomes disguised, our well-being Hand wiping surface with pink rag isolated on whitediminished, and our ability to push the kawsay compromised.

Hucha can enter the poq’po, but that interior cleansing work is for the individual, not another person. If you are working on someone else, you are working at the skin level—unless the other person has invited you to enter his or her bubble.

So, 99% of the cleansing we do on others is at the skin level and we do not need permission to undertake it. Ask yourself these questions. Do you ask another person’s permission to send him or her positive thoughts? Do you require permission to put a person in “the light” in meditation? Do you refrain from praying for a person because you haven’t received permission to do so? Probably not. Hucha cleansing is the same. You can only “heal” another person through munay, compassion, empathy. Those are the feelings and energies that create the space for healing. They are gifts freely given. You do not need permission to give such gifts.

Another question came up concerning karma. What if that sickness, disease or emotional problem is in the “best interest” of the person’s karma? Who are we as healers to try to affect it? First, I have never heard of an Andean belief in karma, so to my knowledge this is likely a moot concern. However, even if it were a concern, it would not require you to refrain from healing because in the Andean view no one heals anyone else. All a healer can do is create the energetic space within which to support or help activate the self-healing capacities of the person who is undergoing the healing. Put another way, we can only heal ourselves. Others can assist, but they cannot force anything on us, even healing.

Dealing with Helpess, turn it offNotice that above I wrote “self-healing capacities.” As a healer, all you can do is create the opportunity for a person to increase his or her own well-being. You can only provide a trigger for that person to enlist his or her own will. Healers cannot affect a person’s free will. If the person does not have the will, desire, and capacity (personal power) to heal, he or she won’t. (Unless a fifth-level healer is working on them. But that is another story!). Thus, in the Andean view, healers are primarily working the energies (cleansing hucha) to create conditions supportive of the other person’s self-healing.

As Andean paqos we understand our responsibilities, one of which is to use our personal power/sami to increase the well-being of those around us and the world in general. It is understood that humans create hucha (slow kawsay down so it gets stuck on our poq’po), so if a paqo has the personal power to be useful, it is his or her duty to be useful. As paqos we are obligated to use our power for the well-being of ourselves and to increase another person’s capacity for well-being.

But as a healer in the Andean tradition, you must be willing to touch another person’s hucha. You must have no fear of contamination because, in truth, the efficacy of the cleansing is proportional to your capacity to connect with the other person. Fear shuts down connection, so there can be no real healing interaction. Plus, fear is entirely uncalled for, because there is nothing harmful or contaminating about hucha. Thus, there is never any reason for a healer to cleanse him- or herself after a healing session.

Finally, healing energy is proportional to a paqo’s capacity to create and drive munay. Munay is love grounded in will. You can generate it within yourself using Natural healingcertain energy practices, and you can drive it as a healing energy on behalf of the well-being of others. Generating and sharing munay is always empowering to everyone within the ayni exchange.

Having the munay to connect deeply and compassionately while touching another person’s hucha allows you as healer to gather information about the cause of the hucha. This knowledge combined with your munay-filled connection can heighten your personal power to be a great hucha cleanser or hucha eater! But as an Andean-style healer, you also realize that you are not working alone. You are working together with Father Cosmos and Mother Earth to cleanse hucha and give it to the universe as a gift. The kawspay pacha turns that hucha into sami, thereby increasing the well-being of the person you were working on, of yourself, and of the collective. Healing is always about more than the healer and the healee. As with any ayni, its effects are cosmic.

[Note: I am traveling teaching, so it will be two weeks until the next post.]

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Your Soul, Sami, and Hucha

According to the Andean tradition, you have a body, soul and spirit. Your spirit is You Body Spirit Soul Mindyour essence, your original self, your connection with the Mystery. As such, it is perfect. It contains no hucha, ever. Your spirit is encoded in the physical in your Inka Seed.

Your soul is aligned with your mind and human identity. It is the expression of many influences—familial, cultural, social—and is molded by these and other aspects of your human relationships and experiences. Unlike your spirit, your soul can be both heavy and light. When you cleanse your poq’po of hucha and fill it with sami, you are, in effect, getting deeper in touch with your soul and healing or developing aspects of your humanness.

As a paqo you have the energetic tools to live in well-being, but as a human being, you sometimes feel exactly the opposite. Challenges and difficulties brew feelings of  worry, anger, powerlessness, defeat and a whole host of other emotions. At such times, you, like most of us, may lose the feeling of connection with your spirit and experience your soul as awash in chaos. It is at these times that you are most likely to create hucha in your bubble because you constrict your poq’po, pulling it in and closing it off to energetic influence.

But here’s the good news. When your poq’po constricts, it can also squeeze out hucha, rather like you were squeezing dirty water from a sponge. (Although, huchaSqueezing a sponge compressed Dollarphotoclub_32026680 is not “dirty, ” just heavy.)

What’s more, your poq’po can also propel sami to places within you that lack it. Some Andean exercises, such as tawantin and taqe, have this effect. Energy is propelled “ahead” of you, to places and aspects of the self where you are not yet consciously working. This sami preps your poq’po and soul for cleansing, and helps energetically strengthen you, so the inner terrain is seeded for easier psychological and emotional, and perhaps even physical, healing.

Andean energetics are rarely oppositional. It’s not the case that either you create hucha or you pull in sami. Instead, through certain practices you can create both, even pulling sami directly from hucha (as is done in hucha mikhuy). Remember, hucha is kawsay/sami, just slowed down or blocked. A loss of well-being can also be an opportunity for personal evolution. Andean paqos would remind you that the very fact that you are alive makes you a survivor, and every day you live makes you a winner. The Andean perspective is almost always encouraging and supportive, uplifting and life-affirming, even as the paqos acknowledge the hardships and difficulties of human life.

The Andean view of life and its energetic system helps you to understand that even hardships and challenges are opportunities. They are windows to your inner contradictions, disconnects, ambiguities and incongruities. Energetically, when In light of successyou bring awareness to your human “soul stuff”—which often is best brought into high relief by difficulties—you not only can squeeze out hucha, you also open space within yourself for more sami. Thus you can actually facilitate increasing both your lightness and your personal power by facing your challenges consciously and energetically working them.

Maybe this is the Andean equivalent of the mystical/spiritual adage to “Go into your pain.” As a paqo you have plenty of tools to help you negotiate this landscape consciously and skillfully: saminchakuy, saiwachakuy, hucha mikhuy,  despachos and misha work. You have access to the spirit beings. And you have your qawaq abilities: your clear-seeing through your seven energetic and mystical eyes (if you have been through the Ñawi K’ichay and Chunpi Away  karpay, which opens the ñawis and weaves the chunpis into a coherent system). While your physical eyes and emotional eyes may be seeing only pain, defeat and challenge, your mystical eyes are seeing the play of hucha and sami, they are witnessing the possible faster germination of your Inka Seed, and they are recording the victory that comes with greater self-revelation and self-awareness.

So as paqos, while neither you nor I may be ready to say “Hooray for this challenge!” we also are prepared to call our challenges opportunities, and to seize them as gateway energetic experiences to further our soul’s development.

Becoming Who You Really Are

In many posts I have talked about being “who you really are.” That phrase sounds rather New Age, somewhat ambiguous, even a bit hokey.  I mean, how can you be anything other than who you are? Truthfully, you can’t. The key word is “really.” Who you are right now can be spot-on true to your soul and spirit. Or it can be a jigsaw puzzle creation of influences that have little to do with your soul and spirit. You can literally be the creation of what others want you to be—succumbing to the pressures of parental, social, religious, cultural, professional or other expectations, caving in to the routine of what you’ve always known or what demands the least effort of you, deferring goals to the expediency of current circumstances, sacrificing unexplored capacities because of self-delusions of inadequacies. If that is the case for you, then you are not likely living as “who you really are.”

I remember a dream I had back in 2001, while I was in the Amazon jungle for three weeks. I was barefoot pushing a shopping cart through a big-box store. I knew I had to fill my cart, but there was nothing I wanted or felt I needed. So I pushed the empty cart out to the parking lot. Suddenly, all these people showed up. They came at me from every direction, not threateningly, but certainly purposefully. They started putting things in my cart until it was filled to almost overflowing. As the pile grew, I felt more and more frustrated, because there was nothing anyone was putting in my cart that I wanted or chose but I felt helpless to prevent the deposit into my cart.

To me this dream is about identity. Who am I? After self-scrutiny, I came to admit that my life was mostly a response to my insecurities. I was someone who tried to please family, coworkers and friends, and to fulfill my expectations of what I thought I should be in response to society, media, spirituality, and so on. I was a jigsaw puzzle and I felt most of the pieces of me had been pushed into place with little self-consciousness, despite my years of spiritual and shamanic work. I was only sure of one thing—I was not “who I really am.”

It has taken me fourteen years to become more of who I really am. It has been only in the past three or four years, and especially during the past year, that I feel I have stripped away many of my delusions and illusions and had the courage to be “me.” And what a difference that has made!

I suspect that the same struggle to be your “authentic” self is true for many of you.

I acknowledge that “who I really am” is not static. Life moves, and the “I” moves along with it—and vice versa. The dramatic movement toward greater authenticity comes with the reversal in who is leading and who is following. Before, life moved and I followed, often unconsciously, or with resistance, or because I was too afraid or unsure of myself to chart my own course. Now my “I” leads, and my life responds accordingly. And that makes all the difference.

Who you really are is encoded in your Inka Seed. Don Benito said that at the moment your father’s sperm and mother’s egg joined, the animating force of the universe reached out into the cosmos and pulled a Drop of the Mystery down and into that fertilized egg. That Drop of the Mystery is you. Truly unique. One of a kind. Compete and whole, with everything you need within to be “who you really hands and plantare.” You already have everything you need to express your deepest, most sacred nature and to live your one-of-a-kind life.

The question is if you are ready to believe that, and then to claim it and realize it. This alchemical process of transmuting the lead of “almost but not quite who you really are” to the gold of “who you really are” is not a science, but an art. It’s not a single formula that everyone can follow to a guaranteed result, but a personal journey of learning to know, trust, honor, and express your Drop of the Mystery. As such, your journey’s timetable is unique to you. It may take ten hours, ten months, ten years.

For most of us, our Inka Seed lies dormant within, waiting for us to fertilize it, so it can germinate, grow, and flower. Andean practices help us to nurture it to reveal the full bloom of beautiful, stupendous, amazing, incredible you. What more important or valuable “work” is there than to recover the memory of who you really are and then to live it? Like me, it might take almost sixty years for your Inka Seed to flower, but I can testify that it is worth the wait. . . .

Mastering the Ayllu Poq’po

“Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part.”

—Casey Stengel

The modern world is one of connectivity. Even if you are sitting alone at your computer, you are connected with others through cyberspace. Our “group”—in the Andes the ayllu—is ever expanding. But even as our social connections multiply, our social energetics may stay static. So I ask you to take some time to think about how the Andean practices can help you make the most of your connectivity in all its manifestations.

Whether you are physically present with a group or only in energetic connection, your energy affects the group bubble, just as the group bubble, and the individual members’ energies in the bubble, affect you. There are myriad levels of ayni exchange going on. Attending consciously to these group dynamics supports both your well-being (see my last post) and the group’s.

We are all familiar with the various types of group dynamics. The feeling of resistance as you join an already formed task group at work. Or, alternatively, the welcoming energetic embrace of that group. The group where one person emerges as leader, either competitively dominating the group or, alternatively, supporting communal cooperation. The various relational dynamics are almost limitless. But your tools for dealing with them are clear-cut.

First, when in a group dynamic, even if that is just with one other person, be aware of the relational dynamic as seen through Andean eyes. Upon first meeting, tinkuy occurs. This is the energetic touch, the first meeting of energy body to energy body. It happens between you and each individual in the group as well as between you and their combined energies (the ayllu poq’po).

Second, within an instant of that energetic touch, you are flooded with information, and as a three golden eggsconsequence you segue into the next stage of the interchange: tupay. This is the sizing up, and we all do it. You consciously or unconsciously check out both the individuals in the group and the group as a whole, assessing them in relation to yourself—your knowledge, power, looks, status, and more. Usually this competitive or judgmental place is where you stop in your energy dynamics. But the Andean tradition would ask you to continue to the third step in the exchange, the taqe, or union.

If you move to the taqe stage, which is an energetic perceptual stance of the fourth level, you not only seamlessly and amicably join your energy to the group’s, but by doing so you add to its coherence. If you are superior in your abilities, you humbly and tactfully share what you know so that others can achieve your level of knowledge or skill. And you graciously learn from others. You lead or participate by example, fostering communication and cohesion. You eschew becoming competitive or combative while also not being falsely humble or passive. You are a team player, mentor, facilitator and supporter. You allow space for others to contribute and shine. Taqe is about joining energies so that everyone reaches the “top of the mountain” together.

In fact, if (or when) you reach the taqe stage, then the energy can shift again into pukllay, which means play. You and the members of the group flow with joy, lightheartedness, camaraderie. Think of a group of children engaged in play—time stops, creativity flows, effort transforms into effortlessness. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be part of a group that has reached this energetic state?

Another perceptual tool you can use to foster a group’s well-being is to discern the group’s masintin and yanantin dynamics. Remember, masintin is an energy that is similar to yours and yanantin is energy that is dissimilar. You will have multiple masintin and yanantin flows each person within the group and with the group as a whole, and they with you. By being clear-seeing about these types of energy flows, you can deal with them and so head off creating any hucha.

Remember that incompatible energy says nothing about the other person or persons. It is not a condemnation or judgment about them. It is simply a realization that your energy is not flowing in complete ayni with others’ energies. Incompatibility can create hucha, but it doesn’t have to.

To transform any incompatible energy into compatible energy, you can use hucha mikhuy, the deep form of cleansing that is actually an “eating” and “digesting” of hucha. You work through your qosqo with individuals in the group or the group as a whole, taking the energy into your qosqo, where you filter the sami from the hucha (that’s right, you can get sami from hucha!), pulling the sami up into your bubble and feeding the hucha down to Mother Earth. Feeling the split stream of energy is a marker that you are performing hucha mikhuy properly. However, one word of caution. The masters cautioned that you should learn and practice hucha mikhuy carefully and in a specific way before using it on someone or a group with which you are having difficulty. You start with someone close to you emotionally, then practice on someone emotionally neutral, then someone with whom you have a minor difficulty, and only then do you work the “hard cases” in your life. Please take this caution to heart!

Our practices as paqos are about getting along with everyone. That doesn’t mean we give up our individuality, lose our voice, squelch our opinions. . . . It means we show up in our personal power utilizing all three of the core human energetics—munay (love and will), llank’ay (action), and yachay (intellect)—while allowing everyone else the space to share their humanness as well.

What Is Well-Being?

The way I have described the core goal of the Andean mystical tradition is that it is a path of well-being. I have described a paqo as a person of joy. But saying that implies no Pollyanna sentiments. achieveThis is a simple but sober path whose foundational abilities are being in conscious ayni and cultivating qaway—the ability to see reality as it really is. Well-being rides on the wave of our mystical seeing and knowing.

One of the best ways to understand well-being is to make a distinction with what seems like a synonym—happiness. But they are different, and to equate the two is a mistake.

You can be in well-being and not be entirely or even mostly happy. But if you are in well-being, you accept what you feel in the moment for exactly what it is. So you maintain your well-being, even while you acknowledge your current unhappiness.

Happiness or unhappiness is a state of mind. Your state of happiness fluctuates day by day, even hour by hour or moment by moment. I’m happy when I eat a chocolate-covered doughnut, and then, inevitably,  an hour later I chastise myself for my lack of dietary discipline. But whether I indulge or not—and my transitory feelings about that decision—has nothing whatsoever to do with my state of well-being.

When you are in well-being, you are able to ride the waves of emotions, feelings, changing circumstances and such without losing your core energetic coherence. When you are in well-being, you allow kawsay—even the kawsay that expresses itself within you as unhappiness—to flow through you without allowing it to get stuck and become hucha. Your well-being is Teflon—everything slides off it.

Well-being is an indication of personal power. In the Andean tradition, personal power is your ability to see reality as it really is and to take action—to have the energy and clarity of perception to do what you want when you want  without creating hucha.

It takes effort to maintain a stable core of well-being. Think of well-being as a muscle. Just as you have to train your muscles to make them stronger and more capable of undertaking greater effort and action, you have to work to maintain your energetic coherence to solidify well-being within. The more you cleanse your energy bubble of hucha (by doing saminchakuy), the greater your ability (personal power) to maintain your well-being no matter what is going on around you or what you feel in the moment emotionally.

Well-being is rooted in your core because it reflects the state of your poq’po. You can have a weak core or a strong core. Cleansing hucha from your poq’po strengthens your core. As a result, your sense of well-being becomes more and more stable. Over time, it goes from lasting for twenty minutes to lasting two hours, then two days, then two months . . . until your natural state is one of well-being, no matter what emotions you may be feeling or circumstances you are experiencing.

Spa Stones Indicates Healthy Equality And CalmnessAs you generate less hucha, you naturally tend to be both in greater well-being and happier. You flow with life more easily, you understand yourself more deeply, you have more clarity of mind and vision.

Your ability to see through your seven ñawis—the eyes of the chunpi belts—is intimately related to well-being. When you are qawaq—can see with your seven mystical eyes—you are able to accurately perceive our entire being—all you have experienced and felt. You not only can better see who you really are, but you can own who we really are with courage and clarity. You are freed from having to repeat past heavy patterns or mistakes, and you can release their energetic imprints. You perceive less through the lens of self-illusion and enjoy heightened self-awareness.

To recap, well-being isn’t just a word or concept. It’s an energetic consequence of bringing coherence to your poq’po. Now, doesn’t knowing that motivate you to keep up with your daily saminchakuy practice?