Life lessons in Peru
Recently I was on the Inka trail in Peru.
The Q’eros, native Peruvians, live in the mountains. They are descendants of the Incas who ruled all over South America about 500 years ago.
These people taught my much about out sacred relationship with mother Earth. I saw how the Andean people acknowledges Mother Earth, or Pachamama, as they lovingly call her. In the morning they would pour the first few drops of water from their drinking bottle on the ground, saying “To Pachamama”, before they would take the first sip.
It also fascinated me to see their acknowledging of the mountains and the rivers of mother earth. Despite the strong influence of the Spanish people with their Catholic religion, they would find a way to honour nature in their daily devotion of God.The Q’eros had the task to build the Catholic churches in the mountains. In the different statues the paintings were many deviations to the classic Catholic symbolism.
Efraim pointed out how the Virgin Mary was clothed in a dress that flowed out wide to the bottom. In this way, they would not only have honoured her, but also the mountains.
To them, the different mountains had different characters, and they would seek them according to their personal needs. Some would help you if you need more fun in your life. Others carriesmore authority, while others are raw power.
Our journey on the Inka trail started with a walk through the Sacred Valley, along the Urubamba river. Behind us was an imposing mountain, named Veronica. She is one of the rare female mountains. Our guide stopped occasionally to turn around, having yet another look at this beautiful mountain with snow-capped peaks. He made me look at her as well, and then took another picture, explaining that each picture is different from the other. He cherished the sight of her as long as possible, as he knew that in a few turns we would lose sight of her. To the Andeans, Mountain Veronica is known as a wild partier.
I was reminded how important it is to us to restore that connection in our society where we place so much emphasis on the logical, scientific mind, and on the holy Spirit in our religions. We tend to emphasise the masculine in our Creation. When we look around to the emotional and physical health of our people, we can learn much about finding balance in the female energy of nature. We don’t have to do that in the form of worshiping, but we can go out and enjoy the beauty of nature, put our hands in the soil, walk barefoot on the ground, or take part in a recycling program.
Those who do so will tell you how they benefit from this nurturing and guiding energy that is beneath our feet. When we take time to discover this truth through body centred meditation, we connect to this truly infinite being of love and compassion. We also discover that it is not separate, but One with who we are. In this way we discover our true selves, in contrast to the way we lose ourselves in the ever-so-busy modern world. (Ray, 2016)
Ray, E. A. (2016). Somatic Descent. Sounds True.
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