Moving Your Consciousness From Your Head To Your Heart - The Andean Way
This piece comes from a 2004 article in Sacred Hoop by Oakely E. Gordon about Andean Mysticism. It is titled "The Real Heart." One of its key points is how the heart centered approach becomes your way of understanding your reality. Here's a snippet:
The movement of consciousness from the head to the heart is the best description I can give of the effect of the various meditative processes I have learned in the Andes, and of the effect of the ceremonies I have attended with the paq'os. When consciousness moves from the head to the heart a different understanding of reality emerges. Like all ways of understanding--whether it be intellectual, athletic, artistic, or something else--the way of the heart leads into a realm where new distinctions may be learned and new skills developed and where over time the experience becomes richer and deeper. The foundation of this experience is love.
'Love' associated with heart knowledge does not refer to romanticism, or sentimentality, or affection, in fact the term does not refer to an emotion at all. It refers instead to the experience of being interconnected with the rest of the Cosmos, an experience that is available when consciousness is in the heart.
From this sense of interconnectedness the Andean paq'os interact with Nature in a way that is intimate, mutually-supportive, and therapeutic. They interact with the Pachamama (the great spiritual mother who is the planet Earth), with the Apus (the great beings who are the tall mountain peaks), and with other elements of Nature such as the stars and the wind and the rivers and the trees.
It is a relationship that intertwines the sacred into their daily life in a way that is hard for us, those of us who are the philosophical children of Descartes, to understand. The Andean paq'os appear to be as developed in heart knowledge as my culture is in intellectual knowledge.
In the video below, Q'ero shaman don Americo Yabar talks about the heart connection in general and connecting energetically with others and the rest of the universe through the heart. It includes this quote:
"Touch me with love and care. Don't touch me with your mind. I don't need it."
Warning -- The first few seconds of audio do not work. But it does after that. It is worth the wait.
And, Andean Codex gives a great defintion of the Quechua term Munay, which this is really all about -- Have your heart full of love and radiating it out to all:
The first principle of the Andean way is called munay in Quechua. It means to love. I do not mean romantic love but a deep, abiding, impersonal love that comes naturally from the heart. This love does not expect anything in return, but simply radiates emotional warmth and caring. It is a love of acceptance. When one loves in this manner, thoughtfulness and kindness follow as a rainbow follows rain. I think of it as lovingkindness.
Munay not only means a nourishing, all-encompassing love, but also signifies tranquility and beauty and suggests a pleasant experience characterized by harmony, symmetry, correctness, and tranquility, within and without. Beauty is the outer wrapping of munay; inside is kindness and love. When you have these in your heart, you are peaceful.
Munay is inherent in nature. Not only does it manifest through nature as in a stunning sunset or a luscious fruit, it is also a quality within us. When both outer and inner worlds reflect love and beauty, one manifests benevolence in action and character.
To experience munay, we must cultivate it through conscious acts of kindness. Though one can work at clearing the heart, it is impossible to possess munay. When the time is right, munay manifests; like a hummingbird is attracted to blossoms, it comes when the field is fertile. It comes like grace.
When munay becomes an integral part of one’s character, it expresses itself spontaneously. For it to exist in this state, however, it is first necessary to clear the heart.
Image from SundayMay on Flickr