Why Paqos Don’t Wear Rose-Colored Glasses

There is a clear path to personal development in the Andean tradition as I have learned it ladder up to skiesand teach it. It’s a path of conscious evolution, both for each of us individually and for us collectively as a species. According to the prophecies of the tradition, we are accumulating the personal power to birth a grander self and the “new humanity.”

As metaphysical as this goal seems, it is actually a path of sobriety. It requires that we do our sacred inner work. And that begins with a commitment to our practices as paqos.

Let me review some of the core practices.

1) Ensure your energetic “cleanliness.” Bring coherence to your energy body to accumulate personal power, perfect your ayni, and increase your ability to push the kawsay on behalf of yourself and others. The practice is saminchakuy.

2) Practice ayni. Your responsibility as a paqo is to use your personal power on behalf of yourself and others. If you see others in need, address that need, whether that is to foster healing, empowerment, or something else. The practice is saiwachakuy. If you feel hucha in your relations with others, cleanse that stream of energy. The practice is hucha mikhuy.

3) Harmonize the three human powers. To be in harmony within, you must master the three primary human powers—llank’ay, the ability to do work and make an effort; yachay, the ability to reason, use logic and intellect; and munay, making a choice for love, compassion, empathy and non-judgment. The supporting powers are rimay, kanay and atiy.

4) Live your life as the treasure that it is, and live fully and passionately no matter the outward circumstances. Seeing the world as a awe-inducing creative experience is a point of view that comes from the inside and can change everything about the outside. As some Hindu mystics say, you are not in the world, the world is in you. You project awareness out into the world and into your experiences, which colors all the meanings you give to what is happening around you, to you, and through you. In the Andean tradition, the goal is to engage all of life with passion, and the power is khuyay.

To live these principles is not about seeing through rose-colored glasses or living a fairy Rose colored glasses compressed AdobeStock_72645905tale. It is about being the passionate yet sober energetic warrior who lives from his or her Inka Seed. Expanding your personal power may not be easy or comfortable. For whatever reason, we humans tend to learn and grow through challenges. As paqos we strive to “see reality as it really is,” and sometimes reality appears to be a opponent rather than a ally. Our work as paqos is to look beyond appearances to what physicist Bruce A. Schumm calls the “deep down things.” The power is qaway.

Gloria Karpinski, a wise friend of mine (and a gifted author and international teacher and lecturer), provides a pithy way to understand one of the common ways spiritual and energetic intention (ayni) works in the real world. She writes, in her book Where Two Worlds Touch, “Once we start paying attention to what’s happening in our own environment, we begin to see that the universe is giving us all sorts of clues about our path. If we believe in love and we are making a commitment to being love, there’s a good chance the universe will send us thirty people in a row whom we don’t love. Our assignment: Love those thirty people.”

End of Comfort Zone compressed Dollarphotoclub_93918389The law of ayni can be surprising! Using Karpinski’s example, as we develop munay, we may indeed draw to us those we can easily love. But we might just as easily draw to us those whom we struggle to love. Both results fulfill the law of ayni, although the latter is decidedly more difficult a lesson in the ayni of self-awareness and growth. No rose-colored glasses here! But no need for them either, as you, as a paqo, have all the practices and tools you need to meet the challenge (or, more accurately, the opportunity) the kawsya pacha has seen fit to offer you.

You don’t need to be a philosopher to be a paqo, but I do think that you can more easily and quickly master the practices of the tradition if you dive down into the deeper levels of what you are doing and why. When you seek those deep, down things, then you must take off the rose-colored glasses because will not see your life as a paqo as one-dimensional or single-hued. The kawsay pacha is rich in creativity and blessings beyond your wildest imaginings. Why would you think that your life, and indeed our human world, would be any less so? Even your cruelest challenge can be turned to good if you approach the world “as it really is,” which is under the guidance of your munay and ayni.

Woman in praise compressed AdobeStock_53914293The whole point of this post is to urge you to pay attention to more than the surface roads of your work as a paqo along life’s journey. Your destination is certain—you will one day return the gift of your life back to the kawsay pacha. The question is if you will have evolved as much as you can through your practice. Have you discovered and then used all of your gifts? Have you shared them with the world?

I love this quotation from Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” An Andean paqo can speak no truer words than those!


Paqos Belly Laugh with God

God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.
― Voltaire

I heard a former military flight engineer, Tony Woody, say in his YouTube video about his spiritually transformative experience that the message he received was plain but powerful: “God is insanely in love with you. He is insanely in love with you.”

That’s a lot of love!


Do you know that? Believe it? Live from it?

That God (Universal Intelligence, Wiraqocha, Great Spirit) loves us is the spiritual message of the Andes. Paqos play at the level of the kawsay pacha—the Godhead revealed in the material world. They play at that level of munay, where love is sacred and the sacred is love—a level that is not solemn and serious but deeply and wildly passionate. This kind of passion is called khuyay (you can learn about it in my past post about it: “Khuyay: Living with Passion”).  It’s a passion that arises from the certainty that you are a Drop of the Mystery, as encoded in your Inka Seed, and you choose to live powered by the sacred thrill of being an integral and participatory part of the living universe, or God if you will.

As I have said so many times in these posts, the Andean tradition is a path of joy. Pukllay is sacred play, which is the spirit of our interaction as paqos with the kawsay pacha. The universe of living energy is woven from the fabric of love and joy; it is overly abundant and we can take from it anything we want with no limits. There is no scarcity at all—not of love, not of joy, not of anything. And it all starts with our relationship with who we really are—which is a part of the Godhead.

You might not be used to hearing a teacher and practitioner of the Andean tradition talk about God (or whatever you want to call the Great Intelligence of the Universe). I am the exception. I talk about God all the time, because the Inka Seed inside me is my energetic connection to God. I am, and you are, a Drop of the Mystery manifest in human form. But how much do you live from that knowing? How does that wildly amazing truth infuse joy into your practice as a paqo?

As paqos we are learning to be at play in this grand, infinite field of energy, knowing that energy must follow intention. It must! That is the law of ayni. Yet as much as I know that, I also know that too often I am shy about marshalling my personal power to meet God on plush-heart compressed -1312909-1919x1460this equal playing field of love, joy, and manifestation.

Sometimes I feel the best thing we can do as paqos is to lighten up—figuratively in terms of our approach to our Andean practices and literally in allowing our individual soul light to shine brilliantly for all the world to witness and share.

Now that I am on the road teaching the Andean mystical tradition, I am aware that if there is one “error” people learning the tradition make it is being too serious. They work so hard! They wonder to the point of worry about images and perceptions they see or feel: What does it mean? How should I interpret this? How should I react? If there something I have to do? Am I being called to Peru or by an Apu? They stress themselves about doing the practices correctly or not. They admonish themselves if they judge that they are not “perceiving” the energy clearly enough or at all.

I say. “Relax!” Yes, practice—and take your practice seriously, as that is the commitment to growth and conscious evolution. But breathe into the practice—play and have fun. Pukllay doesn’t mean you are not being serious about your intent; it’s more about living that intent with joy, playfulness,  self-nurturance, and so on. To put it boldly: Don’t be afraid to laugh your way to enlightenment!

Shining Light (Biblical concept-Hiding your light under a bushel basket)This is a message I have to constantly remind myself of. I am aware that I do not laugh enough in my life. I feel joy, but I tend to keep the expression of that joy inside. Too often my joy is private. That’s like keeping a light under a bushel basket. The glow barely escapes. . .

We can fake a laugh but we can’t manufacture true feelings of joy. We have to cultivate the playful and passionate aspects of ourselves just as we cultivate other skills and talents. The first step is awareness. By observing ourselves we can sit outside ourselves not as critics but as cheerleaders. Heller Keller said, “One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” Our path as paqos is conscious evolution so that we stop creeping and start soaring—and not only as individuals but as a species.

Joy is generated as much from the sacralized world as from the purely human one. Paqos are focused like a laser on the human world—on living as a fully realized human being. The writer and adventurer Jon Krakauer, writes: “You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.”

I would add that it is more than circumstance and a desire for the unconventional that facilitate an openness to experiencing joy; it is a developing awareness. It is a way of looking at and perceiving the world, even in its most conventional guise. The Andean tradition can help us cultivate both a new approach to engaging the world and greater levels of awareness to perceive it through. Then we can witness and, more importantly,happy-faces compressed 1057116 experience what Pierre  Teilhard de Chardin says of joy: “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”

We can wait for joy or we can cultivate it. Writer Shauna Niequist gets to the heart of the matter when she says: “I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

Your life is a gift from the kawsay pacha. One day you will have to return that gift. The question is what the “in-between” of that ayni exchange is going to look like, feel like, be like. I propose that we burn the candle of joy from both ends: laughing through this life along with our joyful God and living our joy in honor of God’s gift of our life.

Of all the spiritual traditions that I have studied, I find that the Andean tradition best embodies this dual point of view that we are both recipients and givers of joy. My counsel to those learning the path is to strip Andean mysticism down to this deep playful and passionate core, and from there to develop their practice. All the rest will fall into place more effortlessly and naturally—and joyfully.

Blessings of the Andes

A different kind of post today. . .in this spring season of renewal, a reminder of the blessings of the Andes.

Celebrating you compressed AdobeStock_73874996You are a drop of the Mystery. There is no one else like you. Your life is a gift of the cosmos. In ayni, some day you will give that life back. Your goal as a paqo is to ensure that you return as a grander, more marvelous, and fully realized you.

Questions for contemplation: Are you living the mission of your Inka Seed? Have you taken the quiet time necessary to get in touch with your core divinity? Are you aware that you live in three worlds simultaneously—the upper world of the Godhead, the fully human world in which you often wear many masks, and the inner world of the hidden you. Are you bringing light to the you of each world and integrating these three selves to live as “who you really are”?

Love compresssed AdobeStock_75457961Munay is the treasure of the Andes. Love is not an impulse but a choice. It is under the control of your will. It is an energy in which you are always self-sufficient and that you can make more of at any time. It is beyond the needs of the self. It is a force of personal and natural evolution.

Questions for contemplation: Have you taken an inner and outer love inventory in your life lately? Do you love yourself as the universe loves you? Are you making a choice to move beyond projections, judgments, and unconscious selfish needs to bring loving kindness to your relationships?

Energy of Sacred GeometryThe only thing that is absolutely yours in this lifetime is your poq’po— your energy body. No one can enter it without your permission—not even God. Your intention, through ayni, activates your relationships with all beings, from God and the Spirit Beings (teqse paqos) to your fellow humans to the creatures of this world. Cleansing your poq’po and bringing coherence to it propels your conscious evolution and enhances your capacity to live with khuyay (life passion).

Questions for contemplation: Do you treasure your poq’po as among your most precious possessions and treat it accordingly? Are you maintaining a practice of saminchakuy (releasing hucha and filling with sami) to bring greater coherence to your poq’po? Have you invited God/Creator into your bubble and allowed that Universal energy to touch your Inka Seed and heart?

Don Juan Pauqar Espinosa and Joan Parisi WIlcoxYour responsibility as a paqo is to live with joy and well-being, and to foster joy and well-being in others. A paqo is always striving to be a fully developed being in the human world. So whatever personal power you have accumulated, it is your duty to use that power on behalf of yourself and the world. You don’t have to ask permission to use your power for the well-being of another. Well-being is fueled only by love/munay, and you never have to ask permission to share munay to another.

Questions for contemplation: Are you taking responsibility for your own well-being? Are you working to “heal” yourself before you worry about “healing” others? What’s your inner quotient for joy? Can you increase it for yourself and for others? If you were to examine the ayni flow of joy and well-being between others and yourself, and vice versa, would you be content with the strength of that flow? If not, how can you increase the flow?

the chestThe kawsay pacha is gloriously abundant! Energy has no moral overlay except the ethical and moral code you choose to live by, so you can manifest anything you want from the universe of living energy according to your own values.

What you can manifest is proportional—through the law of ayni—to your personal power. As you increase your personal power by bringing greater coherence to your poq’po, you will increase your ability to influence the kawsay pacha on behalf of yourself and others.

Questions for contemplation: Do you trust the universe? Do you trust your relationship to the universe? Do you believe that everything possible is available to you through the law of ayni? If not, have you spent time clearing both the field of your beliefs and the field of your energy body? If you believe everything is available, are you willing to receive from the kawsay pacha? Are there any hidden blocks to your feelings of deserving and your readiness to receive? When was the last time you expressed gratitude to the living universe for the blessings of your life?