On February 13, 2021, I posted an interview with don Juan Nuñez del Prado and don Ivan [don Juan’s son] titled “Interview About Perceiving Energy.” After going through my transcripts of many of our recent conversations, I found that there is quite a bit of material scattered here and there in different conversations about energy and healing. So, I thought I would pull together some of that material into a three-part interview. Fellow paqo and teacher of Andean mysticism Christina Allen was also part of these discussions, and her questions for don Juan and don Ivan are included here along with mine.
Joan: Let’s talk about energy and healing. What is it a paqo is doing as a healer?
Don Juan: When you are a healer, what you are trying to use is your personal power. To be a healer is not a training. It’s the practical use of the power you have achieved before [during your development]. When you become a healer, you take the whole responsibility [for the healing session], through your personal power, in yourself.
Don Ivan: The very definition of personal power is the sum of your capacities and skills. So, it’s all your munay, all your llank’ay and all your yachay together, plus your connections, which means all possible help you can find around you, crystallized around you and then flowing through yourself. That’s personal power. And for that, all your connections count. Not only your family history, your collective history, your group, your religion, the Apus, all the spirits, Pachamama, Wiraqocha—everything. In the moment of a healing, you become a channel for all the connections from your life. That’s your personal power.
Joan: Is there a structured process a paqo typically uses in a healing?
Don Juan: What I saw are four processes: One is hucha miqhuy. If you are a healer, probably the first thing you would like to do with your clients when they arrive is a very big hucha miqhuy, to make a deep connection with your client, because this is very important. Another is saminchakuy, a pichay that you do with your misha on your client. The third is saiwachakuy, which you also do with the misha. It’s hoqari, a pulling up, or a kallpachi, a reinforcement [of the client’s energy/sami]. And the fourth process is animu waqyai, the soul retrieval if you want to call it that. These are the four ways in which you perform healings.
Don Ivan: [In other discussions] we have talked about how don Benito healed, and how we heal, because we learned from him. If you take it analytically, you will go through several steps. The first step is to create a connection with your patient. This can be done through trust, because they trust you; it can be done through hucha miqhuy, making the deep connection. This connection even has a name in medicine. It’s called rapport. This bond between you and your client is actually what allows a healing to take place. For that there is a lot of talking involved: you need to scan the person by talking, trying to decide what the problem is. And when you decide what the problem is, you ask for feedback. You check with the person: “I am seeing this. Is this what you are feeling too? Is this correct? Is this what we need to address?” Then you work together to heal it, to fix it. That’s a lot of talking, but the connection is the most important thing, the most critical thing. And then after that, you address the problem with anything you want: cleaning, empowering, the animu waqyai, the collecting of [a part of] the soul. Whatever you want. Some people use a coca leaf reading, to see what the problem is. We don’t do that.
After using the healing techniques that you know and think are right . . . then we and don Benito used one more step. We always ask the person to take action. We advise the person to make a little ritual by themselves to take control of their own healing, in certain ways to catalyze the healing. So, to make a little ritual, a little offering, maybe with candles or making a k’intu, or something. We always ask the person to take some action in order to take responsibility for their healing. Some people will do it, and some people will not. They may return back [for additional healing], and the first thing you are going to ask is, “Did you do what I told you to do?” It’s always like that—that process. You build a connection, do your healing, ask the person to do something to take responsibility for their healing, and then you start all over again! That’s the cycle of the healing.
Don Juan: Something that is very, very important is what happens when you become really familiar with the levels [of consciousness], when you start to perceive the levels. At a certain point, you are going to perceive what is first-, second-, third-, fourth-level person. This is an important teaching of my master [don Benito Qoriwaman] . . . don Benito started by working with the client and giving him the whole benefit of the doubt. He started by dealing with him as if he were his equal: he dealt with him as if the person was at the fourth level. Then, if the person was not able to engage at that level, don Benito came down a level, to the third level. If the person is still not able to connect, he came down another level to the second. And if not that, he even would come down to the first. The practical aspect is always working at the level [of consciousness] your client is at, but always starting at the fourth.
Joan: What would that look like? How would you approach your client from the fourth, and then come to the third, or lower levels? What kinds of things would you do?
Don Juan: I would say to my client [treating him/her as fourth level], “Okay, take three coca [or other kind of] leaves, go in front of Mount Shasta [or turn in that direction] and blow. You are going to feel the feedback of Mount Shasta [its ayni] and you are going to be healed.” Then your client might start to argue, “I am feeling so bad. You know I am suffering.” Okay, then you tell them to do something else [come down to treat them at the third level of consciousness]. “You are going to make a half despacho.” And if the client starts to argue again, you come down another level and tell him he must make and offer a complete despacho. If he continues arguing that this is not going to be enough to heal him, then [coming down to the first level] send them to do a ritual that lasts the whole night, with smoke or palo santo cleaning himself, pulling a blanket over himself and filling it with the smoke, and so on. If that isn’t enough, if that doesn’t work, then the extreme healing, which was used by my master, is to have the person dig a hole in the ground and get in it and fill it up to the neck and spend the whole night there to try to make a connection with Pachamama. If a client feels that, then you can move up [the levels] again. Make the adjustment for your client, but never start by taking for granted that your client is at a lower level than you.
Joan: One of the things you told me once was that when someone came to don Benito for healing he would first ask, “Is this person for my hand?” Meaning that don Benito asked himself if he was the right healer for this client. That’s not a mindset common to Western healing or medicine, or even common among energy healers. For the most part, doctors or healers usually think they can handle any client, see any client who comes to them. Would you speak to that please?
Don Juan: That is a mindset not only of Western healers, but other healers, Indian healers, Eastern healers . . . they think that everyone is for them. For my master [don Benito], it was absolutely clear that if you have a disease for a doctor, he sent you to a doctor first. If you have pneumonia, he is going to send you to a doctor and you are going to have an antibiotic shot. And then you are going to return to don Benito. If you have a broken bone, he is going to send you to a doctor to help you with that and then you can return to him. He was focused on something that we can call the psychological side of the problem, or the spiritual side of the problem. If you have something related to the rational side of medicine [the physical], he put it aside and sent you to the doctor.
Don Ivan: That’s good advice for all of you. Don Benito was super clear about that. He would say that if you have a broken bone and you need a cast, he will not even touch you if you don’t get the cast first. As a paqo we have to be absolutely clear that we are not medical doctors. We don’t do that kind of healing. We are healers of the soul. That is our part, unless you are at the fifth level [the level of consciousness associated with infallible healing]. You can only think in those terms if you are fifth level, and we know there are no fifth-level healers around yet. In the meantime, let the doctor do his job and you stay as the soul doctor, which is what the paqo is. Don’t overlap your duties and responsibilities. That is not your part.
Joan: Thank you. I think that is important for people to hear: to not reject science and Western medicine, because physical healing and energetic healing are different but complementary domains. We are yanantin: physical beings and energetic/spiritual beings.
Don Ivan: The fourth level is about being able to put things together! Of course, as a patient you can do the energy healing, you can do the soul retrieval, but you also do the casting, the antibiotic. You do both. You take everything, but don’t choose between the two. It is not either-or. It’s both. . . And if something doesn’t help you, look for more things. You keep adding. Third-level thinking is choosing between white or black, right or wrong, separating things. Fourth-level thinking is about putting things together. If you have resources, use them all.
Don Juan: I said [before we began recording this session] that I am so happy today. [He got his second Covid vaccination shot on this day.] Because a lot of people who are reluctant about science, about Western medicine, are not learning a lesson. They need to take their vaccine, which is made using rational resources.
The same thing—if you have something, if you are really sick, the first thing you need to do is go to the doctor, the medical doctor. This is my advice.
Don Ivan: Sometimes we’re a bit heavy on that advice with our clients [and students], but they will remember what we say because we are strong in our statements in that direction.
Joan [Actual question is from a student]: When you were just talking about don Benito asking if this was for his hand, obviously I can’t set a bone, but is there also a component where I ask if this client is for my hand as someone I am supposed to work with in an energetic and spiritual way? Maybe we just aren’t a good fit. Could you further clarify that?
Don Ivan: When you talk about something not being for your hands, it means it is out of your power. You don’t have the capacity to heal that. Or you don’t have the capacity to build a connection with that person in order to heal that. Our rule, what we always do with ourselves, we always take responsibility. When you are going to make a declaration like that, or when you make a decision like that [to not accept a client], we say, “It is not under my power. I cannot help you with this.” We have to recognize we have limited power and some things are under our power and some things are not. And this is the best way to do it in terms of ayni. Don’t create false expectations in your client. That’s not good for your own ayni! Don’t make people waste time! If you cannot help them, just let them go. They will try something else, see someone else. So, maybe that person can heal, but you cannot do it. Our rule is that we always put it on ourselves: we are not powerful enough, it’s not under our power. That’s best for your own ayni. That’s the best way to do it.
Don Juan: There is something else here, too. If you cannot heal something, it’s not because your client has that karma, it’s not the will of God. If you cannot heal him, it’s because you don’t have enough personal power. The responsibility for healing is the responsibility of the healer! To say [or think] about one of your clients, “Oh, you have enormous karma! Because of that I cannot heal you.” You are making the situation of the person worse. Or if you say, “You don’t have enough faith.” Or, “It’s not the will of God.” It’s worse for them. If a person comes to you with a terrible disease, you are putting something else on his shoulders because you are telling him has terrible karma or whatever or that God is not willing to help him. This is a bad way to deal with them. And of course ayni is ayni: if you do that kind of thing with your clients, the universe will do the same kind of thing to you.
As a healer don’t take responsibility for those things you really are in ignorance about. Someone has pneumonia, they need a shot of antibiotics. We are not denying the healing power of the energy. When you flow the living energy in yourself or your client, you are reinforcing their vital processes, which could eventually heal them. But don’t ever say, “I am going to heal you.” Eventually, you may be able to heal even terminal cancer, but until you are at the fifth level, where you can be sure you will have results, don’t make that statement. Don’t allow your client to think you can heal him of everything, because you cannot.
That’s why I prefer to be a teacher! I prefer to teach you, to allow you to grow by yourself, to become your own healer. I am not denying the power or vocation of people who want to be healers for others, but my first priority is show you how you can grow and become your own healer. To become a paqo is to become a healer. And of course, if you are a good paqo the first thing you are going to do is to heal yourself.
Don Ivan: Another part of your question was about if paqos get sick what can they do to heal themselves. Of course, you can do things for yourself: do saminchakuy, hucha miqhuy, etc., but it’s also advisable that from time to time you go to a healer yourself. So you go to another paqo, another psychologist, another therapist to help you with that, because if you work as a healer, there are always going to be little things that you are not going to see, not be able to fix in yourself, and somebody else will have to take care of you. It’s very healthy and advisable [as a healer] to take the help of a healer from time to time. You cannot handle everything.