In my last few posts, I have been culling the scientific literature in support of the cosmology and practices of the Andean mystical tradition. I am returning to Dawson Church’s book Mind Into Matter in this post to talk about coherence.
When teaching the Andean mystical tradition, I stress that all of our practices help us become more energetically coherent. We are turning what are separate, and often chaotic, aspects of our energy, mind, and matter (human bodies) into a interconnected system. We are harmonizing our three human powers of yachay (knowledge), llank’ay (action) and munay (love). We are awakening, strengthening and perfecting our “magical” capacities, such as qaway, rimay, kanay, and atiy. As our poq’po increases in coherence, we can be in more effortless and efficient ayni, interacting with the living energies with greater power and grace.
But what exactly is coherence? How does science support the benefits of coherence?
Both the science of consciousness and Andean mysticism support the notion that intention (consciously directed mind) is foundational to what is created in the material world (in Andean terms, the Pachamama). Stressed and chaotic mind/intention equals stressed and chaotic life, and even a stressed and chaotic biology. In his book, Dawson Church states unequivocally, as do Andean paqos, that “energy directs matter.” He writes, “Energy fields are the templates around which matter condenses. Change the field and you change matter.”
But the effect of coherence goes beyond matter. Dawson says, as do I (based on my years of Andean practice), that “we can . . . choose the path of energy.” Echoing paqos, he declares: “As we free our attention from fascination with matter, we perceive the intelligence innate in energy. Shifting to the level of detached consciousness opens us to the infinite possibilities contained in the nonlocal field of infinite intelligence.” In the Andean tradition, we would call this field of intelligence “the field of living energy,” or the kawsay pacha. Once we habituate ourselves to living consciously connected to the kawsay pacha, we can, as Dawson says, “create entirely different lives than are possible when we remain bound by the limitations of material thinking.”
As paqos, we know that we are always in ayni (interacting with the kawsay pacha/nonlocal field of infinite intelligence), but what Dawson, other scientists, and the paqos tell us is that there is a huge difference between being in ayni and being in conscious ayni.
We are always in interchange with the kawsay pacha. However, most of us are oblivious to how we are making these energy exchanges. They are mostly unconscious. As a result, the chaos of our mental field (reactive emotions, unruly thought processes, lack of focus, diminished self-awareness, etc.) expresses itself outwardly in the condition of our health, our family and social life, our ability to know and express our gifts, and on and on. In Andean terms, we have a lot of hucha (heaviness, slowed life-force energy).
However, once we are in conscious ayni, then we can begin to bring coherence to our energy field (poq’po), which influences everything from the function of our physical bodies, to the emotional harmony we feel in our relationships, to the productive expression of our talents, to the power with which we can manifest desires (for a baby, a house, a car, more love, greater prosperity) into material reality. In Andean terms, we have more sami (lightness, life-force energy) than hucha.
In Andean terms, hucha is dissonance; sami is coherence.
Let’s now look at just what coherence is. For this, I turn to a scientist with whom I have spent time at conferences and whom I interviewed for an article: Rollin McCraty. McCraty is the head of research at the Institute of HeartMath, where some of the most ground-breaking research into coherence has been conducted, especially heart coherence. Coherence is a state of awareness, but it is mostly measured scientifically via its affects on the body: heart-rate variability, respiration, blood pressure and other physical parameters. When the mind/consciousness enters a more coherent state, the body follows. As McCraty writes in one research paper, “Coherence implies order, structure, harmony, and alignment within and amongst systems—whether in atoms, organisms, social groups, planets, or galaxies.” As he points out, coherence of mind and body means one has entered what other psychologists and human performance researchers call “flow,” the “zone,” “oneness.” When you are coherent, you are more connected with everything, including the field of infinite intelligence (kawsay pacha).
This image from the Institute of HeartMath shows what just a few minutes of a coherence-inducing practice does to biological markers. The baseline measures start on the left and the shift to coherence that occurs after only a five minutes of undertaking a coherence-inducing technique is apparent in waves forms.
You can train yourself to be in greater conscious and biological coherence. HeartMath and others have developed practices, as have Andean paqos. We use saminchakuy as our basic practice to reduce hucha and increase sami, which is another way of saying to increase the coherence of our poq’po. But we have other, advanced practices, too. In Andean terms, when we do the work of increasing our coherence—of shifting from energetic dissonance to energetic harmony—we call this the process of undertaking a personal mast’ay—a restructuring or reorganization of the self.
As paqos, we know that when we are in greater coherence (have more sami, less hucha), we accumulate personal power, which is a way of saying our intent can more easily influence energy. We can be in a more powerful, effortless, and efficient ayni exchange with the kawsay pacha. Scientists agree, for as Dawson Church says, “In the scientific literature, the word for efficiency is coherence.”
If there is one word that describes Andean practices it is “efficient.” They are simple, elegant, and direct. There is no fluff, no ceremony, no fetishes (feather, crystal, drum, rattle, whatever) needed—not even your misha. Your misha is a symbol of your power, but itself has no magical power. Your power is your directed intention, expressed from the field of a coherence energy body/poq’po.
Unknowingly echoing the basic tenet of Andean mysticism, Dawson says that coherence makes everything in life work better. There is no wasted effort or energy. He says, “In highly coherent states, our minds are able to create effects in the physical world that are astonishing.” And, “A coherent mind focuses the power of attention the way a laser focuses the power of light. People who achieve high levels of coherence are able to do extraordinary things. Remarkable research now shows that a coherent mind can literally bend the forces of the material universe.” In Andean parlance, when our poq’po (energy state) is coherent, the influence of our ayni can be astonishing.