Ten Precepts of Andean Mysticism

Someone once asked me to put together a list of what I consider the top-ten mishas compressed IMG_4625principles and practices of Andean mysticism. It took a while for me to get to it, but here it is. These are the precepts and energy dynamics that I think are absolutely core to the tradition through the Inkari and Waskar lineages in which I was trained. Of course, there are others aspects of the tradition I could have chosen, but these are, to my mind, absolutely fundamental to living the tradition. It’s impossible to order them from most important to less important, because everything is integrated. So this list should be understood as horizontal in nature of importance rather than as a vertical hierarchy.

Also, I see the Andean mystical tradition as a path of conscious evolution—a path toward becoming a sixth-level human being. So while there are many energy dynamics and other aspects of the cosmovision that are fundamental to the tradition, I have chosen the ones I feel are of the highest usefulness for our development into the most glorious, joyful, fully realized human beings we can be. My selection is based on how this tradition helps us accumulate the personal power to achieve this lofty goal.

1. Energy is just energy with no moral overlay. There is nothing at the energetic level of the cosmos or of nature that can harm you, so you never have to protect yourself from energy. Although human psychology drives people to say and do things that range from hurtful to evil, the energy of creation is beyond moral overlay. Everything in the material world is made of llanthu kawsay—the light living energy, and at that level of energy you want to be able to interact with all the diverse expressions of energy in the world and cosmos. This is what it means to be a master of your poq’po, your energy body.

2. Intention moves energy, and the core energy dynamic and natural “law” is ayni. Ayni is energetic reciprocity in myriad manifestations, from your ability to absorb and radiate kawsay as the life-force energy, to how you treat others and expect to be treated by others, to how well you are able to manifest an intention or desire. Everything is connected and in energetic interchange, whether you are conscious or unconscious to those energy dynamics. Your ayni is dependent on the clarity of your intention and the state of your energy body (how much sami versus hucha you have), so work your poq’po to release hucha and use whatever strategies resonate with you to increase your level of self-awareness. The most important aspect of improving your ayni is to “Know Thyself” as both a human being and an energy/spiritual being because ayni is inherently personal to your own state of energy.

3. Hucha is only slowed sami. Hucha is not bad, negative, contaminating, or even evil energy. It is sami (the light living energy), but it is sami that humans (through our less than perfect ayni) have slowed down so that it feels heavy. Hucha is sami that has lost some of its transformative power. Our emotions, inner conflicts, self-delusions, projections, and such (both conscious and unconscious, as in the “shadow” aspects of the self) cause us to degrade our ayni and so create hucha. Over time, having a lot of hucha will lessen the quality of your experience of life.

4. Saminchakuy is the primary energy practice. To release hucha—to speed it back up to its natural state as sami that moves unimpeded and so is highly life-enhancing and transformative—use saminchakuy, which is a kind of pichay, a sweeping of your poq’po. This hucha-transforming technique is the core daily practice for restoring the integrity and energetic coherence of your poq’po. As you reduce hucha and increase sami, you will increase your capacity for ayni, come to better know yourself, and can more easily and swiftly evolve toward your fullest expression of self.

5. Use hucha mikhuy to cleanse relational hucha. For heaviness you feel in relation to other people, or events and situations (even from your past), use hucha mikhuy to cleanse the flow between you and the other person or situation. The perception of hucha is always in relation to the state of your own energy body, so release your judgments about and projections onto the other person and deal with the relational energy as you perceive it from your current state of being. You can also use hucha mikuy on yourself to perform a deeper “cleansing” of hucha from your poq’po.

6. Harmonize your three human powers. Understand the three human powers of yachay (reason, intellect, thought), munay (love under your will), and llank’ay (action, ability to do things in the world, to use opportunities). Most of us are overdeveloped in one or more of our human powers and underdeveloped in one or more. Both our over-reliance and under-reliance on one or a few of our human powers prevents us from living as a fully developed human being. To be all that we can be, we have to use everything we are capable of to its fullest extent and in the most integrated, coherent, and harmonious ways.

 7. Develop the capacities of the nawis. Understand your ñawis not only as your perceptual eyes, but also as full perceptual organs. Each allows us to develop a different human capacity: qaway, the ability to see holistically and to understand reality as it really is rather than as you would like it to be; rimay, expressing your human powers, especially how you communicate your thoughts and feelings; kanay, knowing who you really are and developing the personal power to live as who you really are; munay, love and compassion beyond the needs of the self offered with awareness and purpose; khuyay, passionate yet mindful engagement in the world; atiy, knowing the state of your personal power and using it well and at the right time, and also bringing your impulses under your will.

8. Weave the chunpis to integrate your ñawis. The ñawis are not “hooked up” as an integrated system until you weave the belts of power, called chunpis. By weaving the chunpis, you can mediate power more efficiently and productively through all your ñawis instead of only through one or a few at a time. This increases your self-awareness and enlarges the scope of possible energetic and psychological responses available to you, so you create less hucha and have more sami.

 9. Understand and work the four core energy dynamics. There are all kinds of energy flows in the universe and world but, to my mind, there are only four primary energy dynamics you have to learn to work or mediate in relation to yourself: an energy is either compatible or incompatible with your own state of energy, and you are always in masintin or yanantin relationship with an energy. You can only know the world perceptually in relation to yourself, and how an energy feels to you may say more about the state of your own energy than about the state of the other’s energy. You want to learn to be in harmonious energetic relationship with everything. So when you feel an energy that is incompatible with yours, use your tools (saminchakuy or hucha mikuy) to make the relational flow compatible. Also pay attention to energies that are or feel similar (masintin) to or different (yanantin) from your own. You can create hucha in any interaction, but you are more likely to when you feel an energy is different from yours. There are all kinds of complex energy dynamics within and among these four “relational flavors” of energy, but you can reduce hucha, and thus improve your ayni, by attending to these four energy dynamics. Mediating these four types of energy within yourself and between yourself and others is working to create a tawantin (harmonizing four factors into a harmonious whole), which is the highest state of energy relationship.

heart- compressed Gerd Altmann Pixabay 1982316_1920 10. To integrate the self, energetically connect your heart and Inka Seed. You are yanantin—you are both a physical being and an energetic being. Your heart is your humanness. Your Inka Seed is your connection to Taytanchis/God, to the energetic realm of your origin. When you integrate the energy of your human heart and energetic Inka Seed, so they function as a synergistic system, you can develop a deeper sense of the fullness and wholeness of your beingness. Through intention, connect your  Inka Seed with your heart using a seqe, or flow of sami in an energetic cord. This connection will foster the process of phutuy, the flowering of the complete self.

Paqos as Protesters

It’s more than two weeks into the demonstrations against racial injustice spurred by the police murder of George Floyd and it is clear that change may finally be imminent. Although regrettably there has been sporadic and sometime intense violence, most of the protest gatherings have been peaceful. Now that the initial intensity of reaction has worn off and those still marching are protesters who are committed to change and so are in it for the long haul, it is timely to consider what stance a paqo might take to protesting or to seeking change of any kind under any people protesting cropped and compressed Pixabay -2575608_1920conditions.

When I say “paqos,” I, of course, mean those of us who are non-Andeans but are practitioners of the Andean mystical tradition. We are a varied group: we are North American and South American paqos, European paqos, African paqos, South East Asian paqos, and on and on. We have adapted the Andean mystical system to our needs, time, and cultures. But we hold dear and we practice the universal core precepts of the Andean tradition. So accounting for these intrinsic cultural distinctions, we can surmise what a paqo might look like as a protestor, as a change agent.

At the heart of our protest we would strive to always be in ayni, which means we would think, speak, and behave in ways that added to the harmony of the world, especially as we seek to bring harmony to the disharmony of the problem. Don Benito said that we know what Taytanchis/God always asks of us: ayninakuychis—practice ayni.

So you can ask yourself, Am I the master of my own energy? What is the condition of my own awareness and the expression of my awareness? Am I speaking and acting from munay, fostering sami rather than hucha? Am I keeping to the forefront of my thoughts the decision to be part of the solution rather than to only be a representative of the problem? Am I rejecting the view that anything but forceful, disruptive, and even violent protest is really a form of appeasement?

The counter view is that of non-violent protest, which is a stance in accord with the Andean precept of ayni and so requires that you be a master of your energy. You will be aware of the flow of relational energy between yourself and others, including members of law enforcement and counter-protesters who don’t agree with you or your cause. There are many ways to view the unfolding of relational energy, but a core one is tinkuy, tupay, taqe. Tinkuy is the initial meeting, the touching of poq’po to poq’po. In the flash of a few seconds you have a decide how you will respond, how you will interact with this other energy. Will it be from peace and munay or from hostility and aversion? Your reaction takes you to tupay, the sizing up and response, which in the meaning of tupay usually refers to adopting a competitive or connect-cooperate compressed Pixabay 2777620_1920 (1)confrontational stance. Can you avoid that kind of reaction? Too many law enforcement members and protesters cannot. Too often the relational energy at this second stage of tupay becomes one of opposition. And the relationship stays stuck at this stage of hucha-inducing interaction. But if you can avoid that kind of response, then you can proceed to the third stage of relationship, taqe, which means to join. This is the sharing of energies in a beneficial interchange. Above and beyond the need to oppose injustice to get a message across and spur action toward solutions, it is only when we as change agents assume a stance of taqe (being the joiners of energy) that the two opposing parties can move from competition to cooperation. And from there we can work together to actually find solutions and enact them.

Here’s a simple way to encapsulate the Andean precept of ayni: As human potential leader and author Marianne Williamson has said, as have many others, you cannot be part of a peace march with war in your heart. Or with hate for your opponent, no matter how heinous the crime.

I am reminded of something my primary teacher, don Juan Nuñez del Prado, told me. The Q’ero were marginalized, and worse, for most of their history since the Spanish conquest of Peru, as were all indigenous Andeans. They were treated horribly, as something akin to indentured servants to the Spanish landowners. But when asked where the landowners would go after death, a paqo said they would go to the hanaqpacha. Why? Because, he said, God is merciful. That’s the spirit of ayni—understanding that no matter the state of our human consciousness, we are all children of Taytanchis/God. And God is merciful. So how can we seek to be anything less? We can hate the sin, but we must be merciful to the sinner, understanding that people can only think and act according to their level of consciousness. There are seven levels of consciousness, and most people are at the third or below. We may not condone their behavior, but we don’t condemn the innate spirit of the person, and we work to help raise consciousness. We cannot do that if we are at the same level of consciousness as our tormentors.

Christ, who is a prototype of the sixth level of consciousness, said: “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” In that sixth-level spirit, our message as paqos protesters is, “You oppressed and even murdered because you did not value this life, and now I will help show you the value of every life—even the value of yours.”

Elie Weisel, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, has said something that might at first blush appear to be counter to Christ’s message, but to me it is not. He said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Paqos always have opinions, and so they choose their cause (what Weisel is calling a “side”). They don’t remain silent. But they raise their voices not as counter-oppressors meeting their opponents at the same level of consciousness, but as liberators from habit and entrenched thinking, as stewards of a higher vision.

That said, paqos are not naive. We cultivate our qaway, our ability to see reality as it really is. So the words of former slave and activist Frederick Douglass come to mind: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

But at the fourth and higher levels of consciousness in relation to protest, struggle is demonstration-compressed Pixabay 4473634_1920not violence, power is not domination, demand is not insistence on others’ agreement with you. What Douglass’s words speak of, from a paqo protester’s perspective, is clarity of purpose, perseverance, and patience. Revolution might feel good, as a release of pent-up passion, but the work of revolution takes decades. The work of righting the wrong of systemic racism and other such deeply embedded cultural biases will start after the protests end and everyone goes home to their communities. It really begins in earnest when they get down to the delicate, and often fraught, work of talking and working with those they view as their opponents. So, the question becomes, Will I be there, face to face with those I think caused the problem, in ayni to help eat the hucha and be a bestower of sami? That’s when you truly become a paqo protester.