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I met the Q'ero, indigenous wisdom keepers from the high Andes in Peru, 30 years ago. Their cosmovision changed my life and altered my path. How? Why?
For one thing, the Q’ero livethe dream of connection and reciprocity with everything alive. Living energy was embedded in culture, farming, community, ceremony, and language.
There were no lectures or Powerpoints. We learned the ancient way, by observing and participating. This felt so right to me, so deeply moving: by allowing me in, indigenous people offered a way to change the dream (cultural trance) we’re living in the West.
Still, there was always the laundry following the ecstasy: returning home felt overwhelming, noisy, crazy busy. Remembering the vast silence of the stars or palpable energy shifts during ceremony took dedication. Changing lifestyle to honor the spirits, and interact with the trees and other living beings daily, required strong intent.
Over the years my fellow travelers on the Andean path and I focused on five main ways to renew and deepen our learning. May they guide you as you follow your own path:
Most of my longtime shamanic journey group members are involved in “protecting the source, inspiring the future” with the Pachamama Alliance, so when one of us dreamed a shamanic immersion trip to Ecuador, Pachamama organized it for us.
Spending eight days with the Sápara and Achuar, two tribes whose survival is threatened by oil and mineral extraction, was beautiful and illuminating.
Morning dream interpretation time, after healings and a river swim, offered much insight into their ways of being, acting, and responding to external threats. Manari told us,
“Corporations and oil companies want us to believe they have lots of power. We need to change that. You can choose to emphasize the harrowing parts of your dream—the buffalos massacred on the plains, the oil spills polluting water in the Amazon basin—or the beautiful images of all the birds and insects singing, all the humans dancing. Remembering the beauty gives you power.”
He continued.“Indigenous people don’t want to aggravate others. We just want to share our life ways, guided by a principle. We look for ways not to cause harm. Our way is not to curse or confront, but to create reality in creative way. We want to bring our message without causing harm.”
In Sapara, he explained, “we create the present as we want. This is dreaming.”
In other words, it’s up to us to live in parallel universe or not. It’s up to us to transform destructive stories into creative, loving ones.
We all know that our thought process (intent) proceeds action: the second we focus our intent, messages are sent throughout the body. Most of us try, also, to avoid negative and critical language. The Sápara had more to say…
Shimanu, the community’s shaman, told us “People who believe Trump have lost connection with the natural world. Their thoughts can create much harm. It is a different perception when we see ourselves as part of the whole.”
He reminded us that thoughts do not last forever. We can be very powerful, yet also must be humble.
His brother Manari added, “It’s better not to speak or think about Trump: that dissipates our power. We can neutralize his power by notdrawing attention to him.”
This is certainly a reflection I have had almost daily, wondering why news media report every tweet. If everyone ignored the tweets and the back flips, life would be saner and he would be more isolated. Food for thought!
We came away with two ongoing questions for our dreaming, questions I share with you to use in your own dreaming:
Who am I in relationship to humans? How do I communicate, how do I relate to and work with others? How is my structure unfolding?
What am I internally, spiritually? What is my spirit here to do? How do I integrate my two parts, brain and torso/heart, as I walk my spiritual path?
Ask your body to connect with the true essence of the questions, to find a new perspective to interpret what’s around you. Listening to your body’s intuition is listening to spirit.
The true context of our dreaming is that family spirit is one. We’re all part of it, part of the family. We are dreaming a communal experience. Manari reminded us,“Humans think they are special, more intelligent. But this comes from our mind, out thoughts. We are not special, we are a part of all.”
“As you may go to church or temple or mosques to connect with your deity, we grow up listening to the messages that come from our symphony of trees and plants, the oldest and most original species still living on Earth. Think of us as the first responders who arrive before an impending catastrophe."
Learn more about indigenous response to climate change here.
Meg Beeler—Author, Shamanic Guide, and Spiritual Mentor—helps you heal your spirit and find your luminous presence through mentoring, training, healing, and community ceremony. A lifelong explorer of shamanic, animist, and meditative consciousness, Meg is the creator of Energy AlchemyTM, founder of Earth Caretakers, and author of Weave the Heart of the Universe into Your Life: Aligning with Cosmic Energy. She works with clients worldwide and lives on Sonoma Mountain in the San Francisco Bay Area. www.megbeeler.com
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