MOVING FROM ILLNESS TO BLESSINGS

“It is a blessing and a spiritual cleansing… otherwise it would not be happening…” said my dear lady friend, and well-known spiritual teacher.

She told me this two months ago while I was dealing with a very debilitating and scary pneumonia that lasted with strong symptoms for three months ~ cough, weight loss, intense pain, difficulty breathing, and lost of strength ~.

After more than two decades dedicated to spiritual growth and the deconstruction of my Ego, I could very easily agree with the “spiritual cleansing” part, as I found myself having to put “my life” on hold to find “my life” in each breath I took with a before unknown effort.

But for me to see the real blessing I knew I would have to do some dedicated and careful inquiry. And today as I breath with ease and contentment I am delighted to share four beautiful blessings!!!

1) I peeled a good layer of “pretense and pretends”. I am sure that there is a lot more, but I can feel a new sense of ease with who I am and with my path as it is in this life. Having to content myself with just one more breath, anything else felt like such a gift from life. I had a few dreams like the following one: I was in a yoga competition in which the winner was not the most pretty, flexible, or strong, but the one who was most faithful to her own body and her own breath; the one who moved with the most authenticity.

2) I entered a new dimension of love with my beloved husband. My vulnerable self gave him the opportunity to be present for me in an unprecedented way since the time we came together thirteen years ago. He flew ten thousand miles to come back home to take care of me. He canceled and postponed all kinds of “important” personal and professional engagements to make sure I got three meals a day and the right health care. I tasted a kind of motherly and compassionate love from him I did not know he possessed to the extent he now showed. Of course, this had a deep natural effect on my own heart melting so much deeper in my commitment to love and cherish him in his own unique expression of being.

3) I had a lucid and tangible experience of my own precious tribe. In those moments of fear, discomfort, and doubt of recovery I felt the unconditional love and prayers of so many. I did not intentionally spread the word of my pneumonia, but the word got out to those who needed to know. My Tibetan teacher, my Machi, my shaman friends, my witch doctors, my immediate and extended family, my old best friends, and my new best friends, they all offered prayers by their altars or simply by candle light. Even people who I encounter for a short moment during my illness gave their blessings. So in the one hand I could see death peeking through my meditation room window and in the other hand I had angelic beings lifting me up to a cloud of tremendous peace, love, trust, comfort, and joy.

4) I recently came out of this experience like a bear coming out of his cave after a long winter… And as I look at life in front of me like the bear looks at the spring sun for the first time in the season, I feel a deep commitment to share my medicine, my wisdom, and myself with those who are open and willing to receive. I am still tender in my new skin, and from this place of deep sensitivity I feel that I cannot give anything that I do not offer to myself first. So as I kindly take care of my being, I kindly offer what has matured in me like a tree that offers its fruits but not its branches.

As I fully embrace these four blessings I offer them to you.

With all my love,

Marcela Lobos

 

 

THE HOLIDAY’S WRAPPINGS AND TRAPPINGS

There is much frenzy when the holidays are near and the year is about to change. There is a sense of rush in the air amid the Christmas Carols, and relentless stress.

This high octane energy combined with the hollowness (not holiness) can swallow us and spit us out days later in the mall –physical or virtual- or in a family dinner, trying to make everything “perfect” as in a Martha Stewart magazine, or simply because “it has always been done like that in the family”.

This year we can go with the same old pattern at the cost of our nerves, values, and savings, or we can choose a more conscious approach and nurture our soul and the spirit of our family and community.

To follow the more profound route we can tune in to nature and its cycles, as they have a direct impact on our psyche and moods.

December 21st is winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice in the southern hemisphere.

In the north we are approaching the shortest day and the longest night of a year after which we celebrate the return of the light.

Find a quiet space to honor the transformative qualities of the dark and reflect on the attainments and regrets of the past year. Afterwards light a candle or make a fire to burn what no longer serves you. Once you finish, meditate on the flames and bring forth your soul’s longing for the new solar year and beyond. You can anchor this new beginning by adding a symbolic object in your altar, and offering a prayer or song to the light and the coming Spring!

As a holiday gift invite your loved ones to do the same on any of these holy days.

In the southern hemisphere it means we are approaching the longest day and the shortest night of the year after which we’ll welcome the dark of the fall and winter and the time of renewal.

Honor the sun as it’s light has brought nature to full ripeness and blossom. Create time to reflect on all the ways your life has flourished and notice the aspects of your life that still remain in the dreary dark. Light a candle or a sacred fire and illuminate those places in you that need to germinate and evolve. Bow to the sun in gratitude for its rays and welcome its perfect mate, the dark: open yourself to the mystery of the night and its transformative power as we start our six month journey to the longest night.

As a gift invite your loved ones to do the same on any of these holy days.

Many blessings!

Marcela Lobos

Deep Gratitude

Since ancient times humans have felt the need to commune with the intelligence that created us, and the world we live in. We refer to this intelligence as Spirit.

 

Often, we feel driven to influence the will of Spirit so creation can favor us.  The longing to gain favor with Spirit is nothing new; in primeval times it was customary to prepare offerings to the manifestations of gods, goddesses, or the source of all life. Both simple and intricate rituals originated in societies around the world.

 

The Himalayan offering ceremony is called Puja, which ranges from daily home rituals like burning incense for a deity, to intricate ceremonies in temples, to large festivals where foods such as cooked rice, fruit, clarified butter, sugar, and betel leaves are offered and later shared among worshipers.

 

Our students are well familiar with the wisdom keepers from the Peruvian Andes and their “despacho” offering, regularly invoked in the Light Body School classes.

 

A common element in all these ceremonies is gratitude, the most fertile soil from which to present any requests to Spirit.

 

The medicine women of the Chilean Andes believe in a step prior to gratitude, acknowledging that we might have stepped out of right relationship with Spirit.  At the start of prayers they say: “I am sorry for not being impeccable,” even absent any conscious recollection of having acted without integrity. It is a practice of “humbleness” meant to deepen their connection, and mindful that the word “humble” derives its roots from “humus,” the Latin word for earth.

 

From the standpoint of humility, the feeling of gratitude comes in a most natural way. As we feel grateful, our hearts fill with love – the most precious vehicle to carry our requests to Spirit.

 

The three components of a ceremonial offering are: humbleness, gratitude, and a request.

 

The first two steps are vital, as they ensure you’ll experience more grace in your life by becoming a better vessel for the Grace that always is.  A personal request is optional.

 

Tangible offerings enhance the feelings and intentions of our prayers and are of great importance when praying for a community or humanity.

 

At this time of giving thanks, we invite you to step into grace, gratitude and humility, as we pray together for love, light and beauty for our loved ones, and all creations.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, and many blessings to all!

Returning to Mt. Salkantay

Returning to Mt. Salkantay

The Andes Mountains were the backdrop of my childhood in Chile.  As a teen I had conquered a few peaks above 15,000 feet, and by age 23 I broke a world record for snowboarding Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world -23,000 feet-.

In my early twenties I was sponsored to snowboard the towering Wasatch range in Utah. And at the top of my sports career I was invited to heli-snowboard the extreme ridges of Valdez in Alaska.

Snowboarding and mountaineering seemed to be my life’s path.

In the mean time, Alberto Villoldo had chosen three sacred mountains for the Four Winds journeys to Perú: Ausangate, Salkantay and Pachatusan. The first one is the grandfather; the one that inspires us to look at our dreams and who helps us manifest those. Salkantay holds a wild energy and feels like the untamable feminine. It connects you with your raw self and helps you channel your pure potential. Pachatusan literally means the “axis of the world” and at the top it feels like you are in a holy landscape polarized by masculine and feminine energies.

The first time I went to Peru with The Four Winds twelve years ago, I was signed up for Ausangate. I had read in one of Alberto’s books how he kissed the bottom of a glacier at a sacred lagoon and how that gave him power. Immediately I knew that I wanted to do that, and also be one of the only two students he would allow to hike through a dangerous moraine to perform a ceremony by a powerful ‘huaca’ at the belly of the glacier.

I had met Alberto a year prior. After sharing about each other’s mountain adventures I wanted to show him what I could do.

There were about sixty students and I on this expedition and half of them were signed up for Ausangate and the other half to Salkantay. Everyday we would go on different hikes to sacred sites in preparation for the holy mountain. Everyday Alberto and I would find a moment in our walks to speak in Spanish just for fun. Without noticing it, my heart felt warmer towards him each day and my excitement about the possibility of becoming a heroine in Ausangate grew each moment.

This is why I was shocked when the night before our departure, without much of an explanation, Alberto said to me: “I want you to go to Salkantay instead of Ausangate.”

In that moment I felt weakness in my knees and a ball of red heat expand from my solar plexus until my face was completely red. My dream bubble had been burst and I became terribly upset.  After all I had signed up for Ausangate!

The next morning in our bus ride to Salkantay, there was a lake that was completely still. In that moment the waters became a mirror and made me look beyond my anger. I realized that I was inundated with sadness and pain because I wanted to go to Ausangate above all to be close to Alberto. How could he send me to Salkantay instead? Were we not becoming good friends? I sobbed silently in the back of the bus for the rest of the ride.

Three hours later when we got off the bus and it was time to start walking I noticed that the people with me seemed old and out of shape, compared to the athletes I was accustomed to hike with. Though I knew that it would be a physically demanding expedition I thought it would be a piece of cake in contrast to my companions.

By the second day we made it close to the glacier and that night it snowed at our camp. It felt like one of the coldest and saddest nights of my life and I was relieved to see the sunrise.

The third day we would cross the 17,500 feet pass and as I had done the previous days I strived to be in the lead. But for some ‘strange’ reason I was having a hard time keeping up. Nevertheless I made it with the others to our campground in the other side and to our evening ceremonies with the Q’ero shamans.

Again I did not sleep much and before dawn I was wide awake with terrible cramps and diarrhea. I was so dehydrated and weak that I could no longer walk. After crawling out of my tent to relieve my bodily needs, I found myself on hands and knees, my fingers digging into the Earth with an overwhelming sense of surrender which I had never known before. Then in my tears came an unexpected prayer to Mother Earth from the depths of my being. I pleaded to Her to give me the opportunity to walk the mountain with Alberto, but not before I was ready.

Almost a year later back home my phone rang and it was Alberto calling to tell me he would be coming to teach in my hometown. I was not surprise that he called me, but I was shocked of how soon he called. I thought I would have to wait at least five years if not ten years to be spiritually mature for our rendezvous in the mountains.

Since then I have journeyed many times with Alberto to Mt. Ausangate, and I lead our journeys there with his blessing. Yes! I did kiss the glacier at the bottom of the Female Jaguar Lagoon and experienced tremendous power. And yes! I did hike the dangerous moraine to witness a ceremony very few Westerners have witnessed. And, yes! We held our wedding ceremony seven years later with the blessings of Earth Mother.

I did not conquer Salkantay as I had conquered many mountains in my youth. This time the mountain conquered me.

Never again I have gone to climb a mountain. Pilgrimage is my only way now. Every step is a prayer as I commune with the mountain, with Earth, with Spirit.

Salkantay was wild, messy and humbling. During night I heard the roar of the avalanches. Its name means the one that cannot be domesticated. It is raw energy, and it unleashed my pure potential.

I am so excited, curious, happy and open-hearted to go back to Salkantay for the first time after all these years to lead a group for the Four Winds.

If you feel called to explore your undomesticated wild feminine, join me this coming July.

Do you have an authentic prayer?

From the time I was a child and until this day I have been exposed to many
religions and ways of communing with the divine. And I tried many of this
ways to speak to Spirit and other ways until I found my own authentic prayer.
Here is a short story that sets the tone for what I want to further share with you.

Once upon a time, there was a shepherd who spoke directly to Allah while
grazing his sheep. “When I get home I will bathe your feet and rub in them
nice oils, my lord. Then I will cook you rice, and serve you my finest wine.”
All day long he would praise Allah as he felt the love for him in his heart.
One day a mullah was passing by and heard the shepherd’s prayers.
Immediately, he rushed over to reprimand the shepherd: “How can you
speak like that to Allah! That is blasphemy! The true way of prayer is in the
Koran”, and then gave the shepherd the book to learn.
The mullah kept on his way and soon after stopped to eat and then rest
under the shade of a tree. When he entered his most relaxed state, he heard
the deep voice of Allah.
“My son, you acted so harshly towards my beloved servant”.
Alarmed, the mullah sat up quickly and replied “I am sorry, my lord. It was
because he was saying blasphemy!”
“Yes!” Answered Allah, “but it was sweet blasphemy!”
Sorrowful, the mullah went back to apologize to the shepherd. “Please
forgive me, the way you pray it is just the way Allah likes it. Please go back
to your most authentic way”.
“My most authentic way, it is not in the Koran, nor is how I use to pray
before you broke my spell. I have to find it again!” Answered the shepherd…
I resonate deeply with how the most powerful words to say to the divine are
the ones closest to our hearts and not the words taught to us through rigid
religious doctrines. Speaking in our day-to-day language it can be our most
powerful way to pray. Also if there is a mantra or if there are any foreign
words that echo inside of us then we can use them in our divine dialogue.
What really matters is that we infuse our words with love and intent since
which is the fuel that carries our prayers where they need to be heard.
Of course, we can also pray without words by offering a dance or our silence
to the divine.

About my religious and spiritual background

 

After years of feeling reproached by the rest of the family and by a strong
catholic society in Chile, my mother grabbed my two brothers, my youngest
sister, and I, and took us to a priest. I was 13, and my siblings were 14, 12,
and 8, years old.
“Please baptize my children”, she said to him.
Twice a week for three months we had to go and hear about the Holy Spirit
and the word of God in the bible. And to everyone’s satisfaction we were
baptize at last!
Everyone, except my youngest aunt, Isabel, the one I had chosen as my god
mother to keep me in the right path of the church.
At age 15 she took me to a Tibetan Buddhist monk and without my
understanding of what was going to happen, the monk performed a
ceremony in his native language, cut a lock of my hair, and declared that
I was now under the refugee of the Buddha. Further more he gave me the
name Valley of White Tara.
From ages ten through twelve my best friend was a very active member
of the Mormon Church. And since I spent many weekends at her home,
of course, I spent many Sundays at the Mormon temple. This happened
until the Mormon priest wanted me to become a member, and my lay back
mother said: “enough is enough”.
Maybe this contributed to my mother’s impulsive decision to just make us
catholic. By the way, when we were young she had rarely taken us to church,
but after we got baptize, never again. She had gone as far as she could go on that.
Though when I was eleven years old she was having a very rough year
emotionally, and financially. Then the only people that extended a generous
hand to us were our far away relatives, who in that moment and for a whole
year became our closest relatives. I am talking about my grandmother’s
youngest sister, my mother’s outcast aunt, and her husband. Together were
the head of the Witness of Jehovah Church in Chile.
I have very fond memories of our time at their home. Every Wednesday we
were invited to a plentiful lunch followed by a cuddly afternoon in their
living room. For a couple of hours our great-aunt would narrate to us the
wondrous adventures of Jesus and his ancestors all the way to Adam and Eve.
During that year and years after, when my siblings and I would go
visit our maternal grandmother, I would excitedly share with her the
stories her younger sister told us. “Oh no, my love”, she would answer
to my storytelling. “It was not God who handed the tablets with the Ten
Commandments to Moses, it were the extraterrestrials that came down in
their ship. That is why they asked Moses not to look up to the light”. And just
like that, she would correct the facts of every biblical story and give me her
UFO version. In her library she had every book Von Daniker ever wrote.
Through out my childhood and teen years, my siblings and I would also visit
our paternal grandmother. Often she invited us for lunch on Sundays and
in the afternoon she would take us outside to her bare dusty garden and
make a bonfire for us to burn things and play. She also told us stories, but
her stories were not about God and goodness, they were about the Devil and
evil. When I was 15 she pulled me aside and privately confessed her sins to
me, and the many pacts she had done with the devil.
At age 18 I had my first experience with psychedelics in the mountains in
pristine nature with a few dear friends. It was so magical and beautiful; we
had so much energy to play with the river, the trees, the sun, and with each
other; and we did not get hungry or thirsty. “Can we just stay here?” I asked
my friend that gave us the medicine. “I mean right here?” I pleaded, referring
to the perceptual state rather than the physical place.
At that same age I had fallen in love with surfing, and soon after with
snowboarding, and later with paragliding. What did all these sports have in
common? Nature.
By age 21 I was on an epic outdoor adventure journey that lasted many
years and took me to almost every country in the Americas from Alaska
to Patagonia. Waves, snow, and air, became my Church, the place where I
communed with the Divine.
At age 24 I became pregnant with my first son, and my survival instinct
kicked in like never before. The waves became too big, the water too cold,
the mountains too steep, and the air too high. I just wanted a safe nest to
rest, but too much rest made me restless so I started “doing” yoga. And I
“did” yoga until I learnt to stretch more than the calves, but to stretch my
mind and consciously “be” in the moment.
By the time I was 27 and my second son was born I would wake up at 5 am
to enjoy peace and quiet to practice pranayama, chant mantras, study sacred
texts, and salute the rising sun before everybody else in the house woke up.
Of course I got sleep deprived, but my longing to learn was bigger than that!
I did get married with the father of my sons, and also I did get divorce after a
decade of love and play, torments and major pain.
Soon after new love came into my life, and with him a whole new way to
pray. “To the winds of the South” he would call facing that direction, and
then add: “great serpent; come wrap your coils of light around us and help
us shed our past the way you shed your skin, all at once. Teach us the beauty
way. Aho!” Then he would turn to the West and call Jaguar; to the North and
call Hummingbird; to the East and call Eagle/Condor. Then he would touch
the Earth and give thanks and finally reach up to the skies and send a prayer
to the stars. In a nutshell!
He is a shaman, a healer, and a sage who has trained thousand of students
around the world including myself.
Shortly after we met, I headed to the sacred valley and the sacred mountains
of the Incas in Peru. There I received initiations to become part of a lineage
of healers, and wisdom keepers to say the least. And I learned to pray by
making offerings to Pachamama, our Earth Mother, and to Inti Taita, our
Sun Father, and to the stars, the moon, the ocean, and all life. It was the
beginning of my formal training that lasted several years to become the
shaman I am today.
On that trip to Peru I also went to the jungle to work with the master
herbalists that know the ways beyond death. With them I learnt to step
outside of time and to see into the invisible realms as clear as daylight. I was
able to commune with the spirit of the jaguar, the spirit of the forest, the
fairies, among many others that became my allies. Until this day I keep going
back to the Amazon a few times a year to clear my past and dream a greater destiny.
Currently, I am responding to a very personal calling to be and learn with
the machi -medicine women of the Mapuche people- in Chile. Their ways of
prayer are very complex and I am impressed how they play their drums and
use them as an extension of their voice and power.
Soon I’ll write another blog just about my work with the machi. For now
I invite you to come to Chile in November 2014 to pray with me and the
machi and a circle of women from around the globe.
Blessings to all who read these words! Keep praying from your heart!

With love,

Marcela Lobos

Practices for Enlightenment (July 2011)

I feel very inspired after offering the munay-ki rites in Peru. Sixty people plus a shaman, accompanied me to the Sacred Valley and Mount Pachatusan.

My goal was not to give rites for the first time since most everybody had received them. My goal was to help people germinate and grow what they had received even years ago. Each day we went to a different ancient temple or huaca –place of power- to make an offering to Mother Earth and Spirit. And within the context of our offering or despacho we prayed to have assistance to transmit one of the rites.

We started with the Pampa Mesayok (day keepers) in Moray and finished with the Taitanchis (creator rites) at the top of Mount Pachatusan. Each day also we practiced physical, mental, and energetic exercises to deeply root the seeds of the Munay-Ki. This while I explained that to grow the seeds tall and harvest fruits, we have to go deep. We also practiced a lot of stillness and meditation. On the last day I reminded everyone of what I feel is important to keep germinating and growing the Munay-ki. I said that sometimes life can offer us gorgeous gifts like the Munay-ki, but if we do not do our part to cultivate those gifts, then they remain just as another nice dream we had.

For me it is key to practice awareness of the four levels of reality at all times. For example, when I do my physical exercises I am also working on my energy body, or if I am having an intellectual discussion I am aware of its effects in my soul’s journey. The four levels merge with one another and as you intervene in one you affect the others. In truth is one subtle reality that gets denser as it attains physical form. So we are most efficient when we pay attention to the four levels. And these are some essential ideas for each level:

At the physical:

-Find a practice that motivates you (chi kung, yoga, capoeira, other martial arts, flamenco dance, belly dance, etc.) and dedicate time to it. As you master this practice you will be able to center yourself, still your mind, and build up courage. The right teacher can make all the difference by inspiring you and helping you find the best alignment of your body and therein of your energy body.

-Find a diet that provides all the nutrients you need and that gives you energy instead of making you sluggish. To me this means to eat closer to the Earth and sun (less processed) and to supplement if necessary. Consult an experienced and knowledgeable nutritionist.

-Make a difference in your community with your actions.

At the emotional and mind:

I really feel that Alberto has shared very profound practices in our Medicine Wheel training which are clearly explained in his book the Four Insights (so please review from your class notes or with the book): -Non-judgment -Non-suffering -Non-attachment -Beginners mind -Non-engagement -Non-doing -Fearlessness -Certainty -Create beauty Be grateful for the opportunity to experience life. Become an oasis of peace and love while being fearless to act according to your values.

At the soul level:

-Keep soaring with eagle/condor or any winged beings that give you perspective and elevate you higher than your challenges.

– Keep sipping ONLY from the sweetest nectar of life.

-Step outside of time often. Envelope yourself inside your radiant wiracocha and meditate.

-Incorporate your dream-time into your consciousness as oppose to leaving it in the subconscious.

-Work in sacred space and most important become sacred space. Embody and feed the archetypes (serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle) and be a clear conduit between heaven and Earth.

-Practice the journey beyond death to put things in perspective and lighten you up.

-Dream a more loving and peaceful world like the one John Lennon “imagined”, or better.

At the energetics:

– Welcome the sun each morning by gazing at it or bringing the rays into your luminous field. Download the codes of the new day; keep yourself updated. Use the sunlight and your own light to keep your energy field cleansed.

-Discharge heavy and dark energies to the Earth. Ancient Chinese and oriental practices like Chi Kung are designed for this. Learn a few key exercises.

-Do fire ceremony every full moon. Dispense of heavy energies and feed from the fire.

-When challenged, practice mesa mastai (re-organize your world through your mesa) or indigenous alchemy (you learn it at the East class). Dare to imagine what life is beyond our galaxy and present time.

With love always,

Marcela Lobos

Marcela’s Oracle (May 2010)

What happens to planet Earth affects all life that lives on her including the life of each one of us humans. We live in a world where the actions and reactions of all beings are interrelated and also the energy produced and manipulated by their consciousness. We have all been woven together in this fabric of planetary life. Around the globe we share the same mineral and vegetable past, and we share the same reptilian and mammalian brain. Also us humans share the same original African blood; the same biological needs or desires; the same ancient past of war or glory; and with a few variations we share the same empowering or disempowering ideas or belief systems, and the same emotional wounds or grandiose fantasies. We are all connected through threads of light or darkness that fill the energetic matrix.

And it is within that matrix that we collectively create the illusion of a world in crisis. Today we see ourselves in the midst of an economic crisis that has sprung out of a system that created this ecological crisis. There are about 6.8 billion of us living on the Earth today and a vast majority have bought into the paradigm of consumerism. In order to satisfy our “created” “needs” and “desires” our economic system produces massive quantities of goods and most of us do not realize that that is costing us our own physical life in the planet. It is like the story of the frog that is in a pot of cold water and slowly that water is warmed up until it cooks the frog. As opposed to the frog that is put into already hot water and immediately jumps out because it can tell the difference in temperature. I wonder when are we going to jump out, the water is already too hot. If you have recently visited eastern Asia you have seen the cloud of smog that covers the entire region and people go out in the streets with their masks that can filter a little bit of the heavy particles in the air. Why are we acting like that is how normal life should go? Examples of situations that are not agreeable with human life are endless. I highly recommend you to watch a video that perfectly explains the tight relationship between productivity and natural devastation. You can find it at www.storyofstuff.com by Annie Leonard.

Now let me tell you a short story of when we lived in perfect harmony with the Earth and then how we stepped out: Once upon a time we lived in a beautiful garden with clear waters and fresh air that today some religions call Paradise. At that time our “Mother” provided for us in plentiful ways and we had nothing to worry about. We had all the nourishment and shelter that we needed to live “happily ever after” without stressing or causing harm to ourselves. We were very curious beings and had an infinite creative potential that we used to better satisfy our daily needs for food and shelter. So our ways of living gradually changed through out long periods of “time” and so did our brains – our neocortex got activated and we grew frontal lobes- offering us a new intelligence and at the same time new feelings and emotions to explore.

It was in this exploring that we kept evolving and moving slowly, but surely, away from Paradise. Eventually we arrived to a new place that those same religions call Hell and that is a place of suffering and punishment where we can be annihilated. For example, recently scorching temperatures and strong winds caused huge fires and the death of hundreds of people near Melbourne, Australia. Last year a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in China left tens of thousands dead, missing or buried under the rubble of crushed communities. We have hurricanes like the one that devastated New Orleans in 2005 bringing mass chaos and over 1500 dead. And let’s not forget the great tsunamis of southeastern Asia in 2004 that obliterated cities and seaside communities killing tens of thousands of people.

But in this new place we have suffer even worse pain than that through the damage that we have caused to each other driven by the new emotions of greed and fear. Throughout history we have declared war on each other to impose our truth; we have killed each other to own the land; we have lied to each other to gain power; we have abused the Earth and destroyed our environment to “have more”.

And here we are in endless suffering now because we still remember how nice it was to live in Paradise where we honored and respected each other and lived in harmony with all our brothers and sisters from all the kingdoms -animal, plant, and mineral- and with our Mother Earth. We are missing our Home. How do we get back?

While most of us are confused about what to do, there are men and women that never left the Garden and that know exactly the way Home. They are the Wisdom Keepers who have witnessed our Journey through rivers of blood, rivers of scorpions, and rivers of pus, to finally arrive to Xibalba, the Mayan Underworld. A place of tests, trials, and traps governed by Lords who worship death and who have domain over various forms of human suffering including sickness, starvation, fear, destitution, humiliation, and pain.

These Lords are making sure that we go through all of that and that we are very confused before sending us to a final test which are 6 houses that we have to visit before we can get out of Xibalba. The first one is the Dark House, a house that is completely devoid of light inside. The second is Rattling House or Cold House, full of bone-chilling cold and rattling hail.

The third is Jaguar House, filled with hungry jaguars. The fourth is Bat House, filled with dangerous shrieking bats. The fifth is Razor House, filled with blades and razors that moved about on their own accord. And the sixth test is Hot House, filled with fires and heat. As we are making our way through these houses our tendency has been to close our eyes and hope that we make it. We do that because we are ignorant about what it means to be there and because we have become narrow minded and can not see the big picture of where we are and we can not see the light at the end of the tunnel. We close our eyes because we are scared to look at what is there and we make ourselves busy with work, television or shopping not to think about it. We also become addicts to alcohol, drugs or sex not to feel the pain.

But the Wisdom Keepers know that if we want to make it through and out of Xibalba we need to do just the opposite which is to keep our eyes wide open to doge the blades or to not fall asleep and freeze. We need to go through those Houses very consciously and breathe through the flames until we reach the fresh air again. And if we make it through Xibalba alive and kicking, they know that we’ll have acquired tremendous Courage, Wisdom, Power, and Compassion to say the least and that we’ll be able to Create any World we want in which to live.

I have a few girlfriends in New York City that live in a World of fashion and they love to wear Givenchy and Prada while a woman in the mountains of China walks 3 miles a day to get one bucket of water to bring to the house and her two sons have to share the one and only pair of pants they own.

Those are two different Worlds in one Earth and I ask you how is the World that you want to Create?

The Earth is a very resilient being with infinite resources to renew herself in a short amount of time. She is made of four powerful elements -Earth, Water, Fire, Air- that alone or combined can destroy, transform, and or create new life. She is also home for infinite different kinds of microorganisms that assist in the mulching of what is dead to make a fertile soil again. She’ll be OK. Are we going to be OK? Our bodies resemble the body of our Earth Mother. Our womb is her Ocean; our veins are her rivers; our bones are her minerals; our digestive system is her fire; our nervous system is the roots of her trees, and our lungs are the branches. If we look after our Mother and keep her healthy then we can have the privilege to remain here longer, perhaps long enough for our children’s children to be born in a body. We have not always lived on the Earth and we will not always remain, but through an act of Love in taking care of Her we can still call Her Home.