Working with the Teqse Apukuna

A Note About Vocabulary: The suffix “-kuna” designates a word as plural in Quechua: apu is singular, apukuna is plural. Apu can be translated as “superior” and in the mystical tradition is most commonly associated with a mountain that is a spirit being. In this respect, it can elevate that spirit being to a level of greatness—to the appellation “Lord.” Apu Ausangate refers to the Spirit Lord of Ausantage. Among other meanings, the word teqse means “the most fundamental,” and in the mystical system means “universal,” as in the most fundamental energies of the cosmic realm. So, in the post below, the term teqse apukuna can be loosely translated as “the most powerful universal spirit beings” and does not refer specifically to mountain spirits. Taytacha refers to a universal or sacred father, whereas Mamacha refers to a universal or sacred mother.

Sun, moon, wind, water, earth . . . in many mystical traditions, the Nature Elements Graphic compressed Dollarphotoclub_29558349elements are found not only in the material world, but are spirit beings of the metaphysical world. This is true in the Andean tradition, where there is a hierarchy of seven universal spirit beings called the teqse apukuna.

In order, starting from the highest level of these universal beings is the Taytacha, Father God (usually as Father Jesus Christ); Mamacha, Holy Mother Mary; Mama Killa, Mother Moon; Tayta Inti, Father Sun; Tayta Wayra, Father Wind; Mama Allpa, Mother Earth; Mama Unu, Mother Water.

It might appear odd that two Christian figures occupy the top of the teqse apu list. However, the paqos easily took to Christianity because, at least according to the New Testament, the message is one of love—of munay. In the New Testament, Jesus gives three commandments, each about love: love your God with all your heart, mind and strength; love your neighbors as you love yourself; and love your enemies. This is munay—loved grounded in will, love beyond impulse and subject to conscious choice. Christianity’s Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is ayni, the universal law of the cosmos according to the paqos. Jesus and Mary easily represented the core principle of yanantin (the complement of differences), which most fundamentally in the material sacred heart of jesusworld is the universal masculine and feminine.

As teqse apukuna, the Taytacha (Father Jesus) and Mamacha (Mother Mary) are spirit beings we can connect with, learn from, and receive blessings from. As an example, when Q’ero paqo don Manuel Q’espi was ill with kidney problems he went to Wanka, an ancient temple site of healing. There the Taytacha appeared to him and healed him. He also told don Manuel to go to Q’oyllurit’i, a sacred sanctuary in the mountains, and there he would give don Manuel the karpay, or initiation, of the tukuymunaynioq, the karpay of munay. Don Manuel went to Q’oyllurtit’i and there had a vision of Christ, who bestowed the karpay on him.

During the past year I have been working deeply with the Taytacha and Mamacha, and I can attest to how generous they are with their blessings!

The other teqse apukuna also bestow blessings. As a paqo, you can work with them in any number of ways and for various reasons. For example, you can determine what capacities are lacking or undeveloped within you and work with the associated teqse apu to learn those capacities, heal, and grow. If you need flexibility and openness, fluidity and strength, you Webmight work with Tayta Wayra, Father Wind. Or perhaps Mama Unu, Mother Water (she is associated especially with rain).

If you seek to bring light to a dark situation or to an aspect of your unconscious, or if you need to increase your life force and vitality, you could work with Tayta Inti, the sun. You get the picture. You choose the universal elemental being that can fill you with what you lack or strengthen within you what is weak.

How do you work with them? By using saminchakuy or saiwachakuy, respectively the cleansing energy practice or the empowering energy practice. This blog can’t teach you those practices, even though they are simple to learn and you can get an idea of how to do them from the descriptions below. If you know them, use them with the teqse apukuna and see what kind of result you get. Remember, this tradition is practical. We want results! So expect them. If one practice is not working to your expectations, then adjust that practice or try a different one.

Let’s say you want to bring clarity to a situation that is confusing, that is stopping you from moving forward with well-being and joy. You might decide to connect with Tayta Inti, Father Sun, and bring his light into the situation through a saminchakuy practice. Really, what you are doing is Sun rays design.bringing his sami into your bubble and pushing out hucha, the result of which is a cleansing that can heighten your ability to see the situation clearly and deal with it better. To use saminchakuy, you could connect with Tayta Inti through any of your mystical eyes (ñawis) or chunpis (energetic belts) and draw in his sami. As you do, you cleanse your bubble of hucha (heavy energy) down through your lower spine (siki ñawi) or feet and feed it to Mama Allpa, Mother Earth.

You could use saiwachakuy to empower yourself. Perhaps you are up for a promotion or you are unemployed and seeking a new job. In either situation, you might want to empower yourself. You might be seeking stability, strength, focus, concentration, nurturing, and support to grow in new ways and directions. You might then decide to work with Mama Allpa, Mother Earth. In saiwachauy, you connect through your bubble to her and pull up her sami, filling your bubble with her sami.

Saminchakuy is always about cleansing and saiwachakuy about empowering your energy bubble, and you can use these practices with any ladder up to skiesof the teqse apukuna. As in all Andean practices, you use your intention. You intend to connect with a particular teqse apu, you communicate with him or her and ask for what you need or want, and you expect that in the spirit of ayni you will both give and receive. In both saminchahuy and saiwachakuy you give your hucha as a gift and receive the teqse apu’s sami as a gift.

This is just a taste of how you can work with the teqse apukuna. Find your own way of getting to know them, for instance by “tasting” their energies through a seqe you extend from your qosqo. Find your own way of working with them, using the Andean techniques you know and molding them to fit your needs. There are no mistakes in the Andean tradition. There is only the state of your energy and the clarity of your intention. Love is met with love. Giving is met with giving. The teqse apukuna are there, waiting to get to know you. Begin introducing yourself to them today.

Happily Human

In one of my recent blog posts, “Valuing the Body,” I talked about the importance of the body to the Andean tradition. In this post, I extend that topic to discuss our humanness.

People of the world compressed Dollarphotoclub_97025693If you have taken a workshop in the Andean sacred arts with Juan and Ivan, or with me, you know that we stress that everything we are learning as paqos is for one purpose—to live fully in the human world with greater well-being.

Why is that goal so difficult to wrap your mind around?

Of course, I am assuming a lot here, so forgive me if you are not a paqo that constantly forgets that! I know I do. And I see in working with people in trainings that it is a point I have to make over and over. It’s so important that I am stressing it again here.

As paqos we are not striving to develop supernatural powers, to overcome the ties that bind us to our bodies in order to live as “spirit beings,” to drop the mind to reach nirvana, to be shamans who travel the multidimensional realms, or to be anything else except to be exactly who we are!

Who are we? Human beings.

That is definitely not a sexy metaphysical marketing statement or enticing advertising angle, but it’s the teaching of the old masters. It’s what Juan, Ivan, I and other teachers of Juan’s lineage teach. You are human being. Be that first! Fully, fully, fully human. Gloriously human.

Instead of seeing yourself as a spiritual being having a physical experience, try flipping that equation on its head and work toward being a consciously evolved physical being who naturally expresses your spiritual nature.  Making that flip makes all the difference in how you engage the practices of the Andean path, because they are all about—and I really mean all about—developing as a human being.

The focus of the Andean path, including the cosmovision, is on the material world. The kawsay pacha is the infinite field of living, animating planet earth in spaceenergy. It expresses itself in the material as Pachamama. Pachamama is not just the earth. It is the entire material universe. (Mother Earth specifically is called Mama Allpa.) Ayni is what drives the evolution of the Pachamama, the material universe, and everything in it, including our own human evolution both personal and collective.

When we learn to “push the kawsay” (influence the energy of the kawsay pacha), all of our focus is on doing so in a way that matters in the material world, and especially in our human lives. We work the energies to cleanse our poq’pos to evolve to a higher level of consciousness here in the body as a human being. We perform hucha miqhuy to improve our relationships. We foster munay (love grounded in will), hampe munay (healing energy), and khuyay (passion) to improve our relationship with ourselves and with others.

Even the spirit beings are material aspects of the Pachamama, the material world. An apu (perhaps not all, but many) is a mountain, such as the Apu Manuel Pinta, into which the local people have invited a great paqo to live after his death. So when we “talk” with certain apus, we are communicating with the energy field of a human being. Likewise, when we tap into the lineage of paqos, we are tapping into the energy field they cropped-willkanusta.jpghave left behind in the Pachamama. A khuya is a stone infused with the energy of human affection. Our energetic anatomy (cones, belts, mystical eyes) are integrated into our physical anatomy and impart increased perceptual abilities. The three “powers” are mind (yachay), body/action (llank’ay) and love (munay), all distinctly physical or emotional human expressions.

Our spirit incorporates energetically as the Inka Seed in our human body. According to the Andean mystical teachings, our spirit is our divinity. It is already and always perfect. So there is nothing we have to do with it—except evolve to express it fully as a human being.

All of our work is at the level of our humanness. I don’t know about you, but evolving my humanness is taking a lot of work! That’s why I love this achievetradition and practice its techniques. They help me evolve as a more conscious human being. They help improve my relationships with others. They help me to more fully engage my immediate environment, nature, and the cosmos on a level both material and energetic. They help me accumulate the personal energetic power to do what I am here to do, as encoded in my spirit.

I invite you to really drop into this core aspect of the teaching. I invite you to eschew the pull of the supernatural, even of the ceremonial, if it distracts you from what matters the most—discovering who you really are and learning to express the fullness of who you really are. You are a human being—and your human life is sacred from the furthest reach of your mind down to the smallest cell of your body. As a paqo, joyously expressing your humanness is your top priority.

Khuyay: Living Life with Passion

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.

— Federico Fellini

Khuyay is passion. It is passionate love, but not necessarily romantic love. It is, according to Juan Nuñez del Prado, the link between two people whose relationship in life takes on the character of a life-enhancing cosmic dance.

Khuyay is the energy that links lovers. It is the connection between a beloved teacher and student. It is the bond between parent and child. It defies easy definition or description, because it cannot be manufactured but it is within our control.

Khuyay  is a passion informed with munay—it is the ayni relationship of munay. Because munay is love grounded in will, khuyay is both a feeling and a choice. It is not passive, but active. Khuyay is the art of life as well as the action of life. Because it involves action, it is one of the primary  expressions of the lloq’e, the left side of the Andean path. (Yachay is a primary goal of the right side.)

As paqos, we seek a life infused by khuyay. We want our relationships— or at least a few of our core relationships—to be partnerships of khuyay. We want to be taken care by others and we want to care of others. We want to be nurtured and we want to nurture. We want to go deep into the experience of the mystery of others and we want others to go deep into the mystery of ourselves. We want to be seen, honored, valued, appreciated, and celebrated not only at the level of our basic human needs but at the level of our creativity, wisdom, joy, and spirit. And we want to see, honor, value appreciate and celebrate others in the same joyful way.

Seem like a tall order? It is! Which is why the energy of khuyay emerges most often far into the  process of self-evolution (energetic evolution) young businessman opening doorthat begins with rimay, expressing the true self; kanay, having the energetic power to know and be your true self; and atiy, having the energetic power to manifest and live as your true self. Only when we have accumulated this kind of personal power can we express the fullness of khuyay—a life infused with passion—because “true” passion presupposes being your “true” self.

Khuyay as passion means engaging life as who you really are. But it is not necessarily happiness. It doesn’t mean everything becomes perfect, that you live life without doubt, disappointment, challenge, and even struggle. It does not free you from your humanness, but helps you express it despite circumstances. According to Juan Nuñez del Prado and his Andean teachers, while khuyay is not happiness, it can be the beginning of happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind. One moment we are happy, and the next moment something happens that makes us unhappy. Happiness tends to be transitory. Khuyay is an energetic stance, not an emotional one. It is having munay for life itself, so it always chooses a “live and let live” attitude. When we feel disappointment or discouragement, we can marshal the energy to lift ourselves up. When we feel misunderstood, we can seek reconciliations not blame. When we feel betrayed, we can hate the act but not the actor. When we feel repelled by those wildly different from ourselves or whom we deem hurtful or even evil, we can choose to forgo condemnation even as we choose not to condone them or their behaviors.

Khuyay is munay and passion under our control. This is where we have to delve deeper into consciousness, for in psychology we can talkiceberg with underwater view about both conscious choice and unconscious choice. It is said that our consciousness is like an iceberg, with one-tenth of it above the water line and thus knowable, and nine-tenths below the water line and thus less knowable or even unknowable. The part of consciousness below the water line of the observing self is the unconscious, which informs most of our beliefs, actions, thoughts, and feelings. Falling madly in love at first sight feels largely unconscious. It feels like an energy outside ourselves is in control and we are being swept into its flow. There appears to be a primal energy, something that is generating our impulse as a kind of Platonic first cause.

Here is where will/choice comes into play. Despite our immersion in that wild energy flow that appears to be outside ourselves, we can step back and be witness to ourselves. We can place ourselves inside the scope of our own introspection. In other words, we can become conscious of this impulse. We can bring awareness to ourselves, and through that awareness choose a response. Using the example of passion as falling madly in love at first sight, we can bring our awareness to the impulse to mediate it. We can temper our feelings and behavior. We can ask if it is healthy or wise. We can slow it down or even ignore it. We can seek to test it, explore it, reject it, dive fully into it, or take a host of other actions. The point is that energy must not master us; we must master it, even as we remain open to the richness and surprise of both human and cosmic play.

Khuyay, to my mind, is the difference between pleasure and wisdom. Deepak Chopra talks about this difference in his book The Future of God (pages 108-117). He says, quoting Eastern spiritual texts, that wisdom is the “pathless path.” It is hard to define it and there really is no roadmap. It’s a matter of faith that wisdom exists and can be attained. The way to attainment is self-awareness. The same is true of khuyay, the passion of life.

In terms of khuyay, physical passion is fleeting whereas energetic passion (khuyay) is enduring. Both depend on the self, but are also beyond the self. In this way, khuyay is about passion at the macro level of life itself. It helps us gain a larger perspective, one that allows passion to infuse the scope of our lives even while we are experiencing ennui or unhappiness Stampaduring individual hours of our lives.

We can no more force ourselves  to feel passion for life than we can force ourselves to feel love. But we can learn to generate the impulse both toward khuyay and munay by consciously cleansing our energy body so that we are more truly ourselves. The work of rimay, kanay and atiy are part of the training in the chunpis, the belts of power and the mystical eyes, which are called ñawis. These are deep cleansing practices that help us divest hucha and fill ourselves with sami. Sami helps foster greater self-awareness. Greater self-awareness makes the choice for love and passion more attainable and sustainable. When we bring consciousness to our relationships, we can choose empathy, nurturing, kindness, openness, playfulness, and other life-enhancing emotions and actions that strengthen the bonds of the relationship and, perhaps, even evolve it into one of khuyay. Having khuyay relationships makes all the difference both to our moment-to-moment happiness and, more importantly, to the joy that spans the scope of our lives.


Valuing the Body

Where is the body in the hierarchy of the term “body-mind-spirit?” For many people on a mystical or spiritual path, the body is relegated to the basement of the spiritual house. Mind occupies the first floor, while spirit Body meditation compressed Dollarphotoclub_94264509hangs out in the upper room with a view. But in the Andean tradition, putting spirit first is like putting the cart before the horse. The body matters immensely as does the mind—they are inseparable, since the mind is a function of the physical brain. In the Andes, the mind is associated with the soul. The soul is the sum of your lived experiences, your culture, your beliefs, and so on. The soul is different from the spirit, which is your Inka Seed, your connection with divinity. The spirit is perfect. The body and soul are subject to the influence of both sami and hucha.

The Andean tradition, while a training in mysticism, is about being fully human. It is not about leaping beyond the human. Therefore, everything you do relates in some way to that most human part of yourself: your physical being, including your mind/soul.

All of your energy work goes through the body. All of your mystical senses are extensions of the body. The chunpis, or belts of power, are located in the body. Their eyes, or ñawis, are located in the body. All the other “eyes,” such as the uma (top of the head), chakis (point in the sole of each foot) and makis (point in the palm of each hand), are in the body. The seqes, or cords of energy that you send out to interact energetically with the world, come from the body. The pouyu—the gap where spirit enters and informs you—is part of the body. Your Inka Seed, which is your connection with your divinity, is in the body.

You can see that the body is very important in the Andean practice. So, here’s my question: How much attention do you pay to your body as you practice as a paqo?

As you study and practice as a paqo, you are in essence retraining your Mind energy beams compressed Dollarphotoclub_53649347body. You are acknowledging a non-material aspect of your body: its energy counterpart. But notice that word—counterpart. You have two bodies, a physical one and an energetic one, and they are not separate.

Since the “thing” that drives energy, according to the Andean tradition, is intention, your mind is also a vital aspect of your practice. There is no intention without a brain and mind. Nor is there focus, attention, concentration, each of which are crucial to your energy practices. Your end goal is conscious evolution—with a focus on the word “conscious.”

Therefore, you have to attend to your body-mind-spirit equally if you are to evolve in your practice as a paqo and your growth as a human being. I was recently reading Deepak Chopra’s new book, The Future of God, and as I read the following, I was struck by its relevance to our practices as paqos:

     The brain cannot shape itself; it functions as a mechanism for processing what the mind wants, fears, believes, and dreams about. By becoming more conscious, you automatically begin to lead your brain where you want it to go. . .

Your brain, despite its marvels, requires basic training when you learn any new skill, and finding God is a skill. New neural pathways must be formed, which will happen automatically once you put focus, attention, and intention behind it.

His reasoning about the brain’s part in finding God applies to your practice as a paqo learning to consciously evolve, push the kawsay using only intention, and live with well-being and joy. All of your energy practices both arise from your intention brain/mind and affect it (changing it, repatterning it). And practice makes perfect! Sometimes you are deep in touch with the kawsay pacha and sometimes you feel separate from it. Deepak Chopra calls the kawsay pacha the “subtle world,” and he wisely counsels: “Until the subtle world becomes your home, you can’t help but come and go. Repetition and practice are part of the learning curve.”

So, practice! Saminchakuy, saiwachkauy, hucha mikhuy, sensing through Man gathers a human head as puzzles on the wooden deskyour ñawis, and so on.

But to what end? Yes, you want to live in the subtle world, but Andeans don’t talk about leaping beyond the human. So as a paqo you are striving to express the fullness of your humanness, which goes far beyond what scientific material-realism tells us is possible for us. That’s why we call what we do mystical. But it is not non-human. It is a natural part of who you are and how you can be in the world and the kawsay pacha. And while you are here in human form, the pinnacle of your practice is to reach the sixth level of human consciousness—that of the Christ Consciousness or Buddha Nature. (The seventh is somewhat fuzzy, for while it is still human, it is the human-god/god-human, and we have no idea what that could be. Or, at least, we have no description of it from the Andean masters.)

It’s time to invite your body and mind/soul into that upper room with a view, where your spirit lives. These three aspects of the self are a trinity—three in one, one in three, individual yet inseparable. Together they are “who you really are.”

Perceiving Kawsay: The World Within and Without You

In the Andean tradition, intention drives energy—the kawsay, or light Evolving Microcosmliving energy, of the universe. Our aim is not to imagine or intuit that we are pushing the kawsay, but to actually perceive the flow of energy. Perception comes through your senses, through a visceral experience, so that you know without any doubt you are actually achieving your intention.

Perceiving kawsay can be a challenge. It can sometimes take months or even years to develop a perception of kawsay and its movements. If you are having trouble perceiving kawsay, here are some tips for improving your perceptual capacities.

Practice More

Whether you are doing saminchakuy, saiwachakuy, hucha mikhuy or some other technique for moving energy in a specific way, practice makes perfect. When you practice, be sure you fully understand the technique—how to do it, what you are intending to achieve, and how the kawsay will move. For example, with saminchakuy, the flow of energy will be downward moving, whereas with saiwachakuy it will be upward. With hucha mikhuy, you can expect to feel a split flow, both upward and downward, within your poq’po.

You don’t need to spend hours practicing. Ten minutes a day on one technique is about right. At first focus not so much of achieving the effect (cleansing, empowering, etc.), but only on perceiving the movement of energy. But don’t try too hard! Sometimes a gentle effort is better than a strong one. Rein in your expectations. Be gentle on yourself. Be patient.

Cleanse Your Poq’po

The more hucha you have, the more difficult it is to develop your qawaq shower with flowing water and steamabilities—both mystical seeing and mystical sensing. The more hucha you have, the less you can perceive and see reality as it really is, because you may be projecting a lot of unconscious “stuff” out into the world. Therefore, use saminchakuy to cleanse your bubble.

Remember, saminchakuy is like taking a shower. It cleanses the skin level of your poq’po, where most of your hucha accumulates. Send the hucha to Mother Earth and pull in sami from the cosmos. Do that for five or ten minutes a day and you should see your ability to sense kawsay improve.


Examine Your Beliefs

If you have erected unconscious (or conscious) boundaries between yourself and the world, it is unlikely you will develop a clear perception of the world, and certainly not of its subtle energies. Fear, feeling the need for protection, anticipation of being hurt or taken advantage of, being overly critical or judgmental, relying too heavily on the egoic voice, and even low self-esteem can create a wall between you and the world, lessening your ability to truly perceive energy flows. When you doubt your own ability to “be” in the world, the world retreats. Do your psychological “shadow work” to draw the world back to you and to learn to embrace it. You will find that your metaphysical perceptual work becomes easier.

Get a Boost from Your Misha

Sometimes an extra punch of sami is all that is needed to crack open your perceptual abilities, and a great place to get that sami is from is your JOan Phukuy with Q'ero whistling vessel trip Croppedmisha. The misha contains only sami, so it is a deep repository from which you can freely draw. Place the misha on your uma (top of your head) and bring its sami into your poq’po. Through it, you will be drawing on the experience of a long line of powerful paqos and the deep ancestry of the Andean tradition. When you work with the misha, you are never alone. Allow the ancestors to help you, and they will.

Learn to Physically See Kawsay

Not everyone can do the following because of the requirements, but if you can, go for it! While we generally learn to perceive kawsay as a visceral feeling and through our metaphysical eyes (the ñawis), it is possible actually to see it with your physical eyes. For this you need a completely dark, or black, room. It must be free of any ambient light.

Don Melchor Desa had such a room in his little house: the walls, floor, and ceiling were painted black, the door was well sealed, and there were no windows. It was in that room that Juan Nuñez del Prado learned to see kawsay—simply sitting and staring into the darkness. It took many, many hours over many days before he first saw kawsay as different sizes of luminous spheres that moved freely through the air. He was even able toEvolving Wave Particle learn to “taste” them—taking them into his qosqo but perceiving an actual physical taste.

This was a training, not a parlor trick. It can be invaluable because of the dynamics of human nature: seeing fosters believing, and believing in the physical reality of kawsay fosters the development of perception at the purely energetic level, which is our ultimate goal. However, a word of caution. Don’t  taste kawsay by taking it into your poq’po (“eating it” and “digesting it” through your qosqo) unless you are skilled at the technique of hucha mikhuy. Instead, send seqes (cords) of energy out from your qosqo to reach out to the living universe to perceive and taste the flavors of kawsay.