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Integration in the Andes

As I headed out the door in the wee hours of my 61st Birthday, on October 20th, 2008, I knew I was leaving with an assignment to bring together a group of souls who somewhere in their hearts remembered their connection to Pachamama and the Andes Mountains. We are The Children of the Sun who had come from the future back in time to awaken important codes in ourselves and in the human consciousness as a whole.  It wasn't such an easy mission at all, I realized as I pulled into the Airport parking lot. It was, however, a calling to integrate opposites during the time of the US Elections. Here was an interracial man (integration) running for President at a time when the world seemed more polarized than ever before emotionally, socially, economically and mentally.  I reminded myself that it was time to move beyond labels. We are not Republicans or Democrats; terrorist or victims; pro-life or pro-choice; evil doers or righteous.  In the heart of God which lights our way, we are integrated beings with parts of all the opposites alive within our own cellular composite.  We are creative, integrated, magical beings who have forgotten our own uniqueness as we separated from Creator and became imprisoned by two sides of the same brain competing for control.

In my heart, as I waited in the TSA line to board the plane for the first part of the journey, I felt magic in my breath and in myself.  I knew that to truly activate the grid of integration on our planet we would need to create a group template that could ride through our differences, journey challenges, and feelings as we seek to create the gentle power of the humming bird integrated with the strength and wisdom of the condor. As the plane left the runway, I pushed a 'go' button in my consciousness and then sat back and, for the most part, allowed the journey to unfold'and unfold it did in all kinds of unexpected ways.

The first inklings I had that this trip would be different happened before it even got off the ground. Mallku and I usually have a rhythm of sorts for the name and purpose of the journey from the onset of the planning.  With this journey, I already knew we were to end the journey around Election Day and I named it The Children of the Sun Return. When Mallku sent me the itinerary, he had named it The Expanded Heart'so both titles were integrated in the final tour information.  Every time I have gone to Peru the trip has wandered in a similar pattern usually adding a new place each time. As I read Mallku's itinerary, I realized that this trip would essentially unfold 'backwards' so to speak beginning at high altitude in the valley of the Condors (Colca Canyon) and then onto Lake Titikaka which has always been the final destination on my previous tours. We were to end on Election Day in Machu Picchu (his decision as I had that ceremony slated for the Island of the Sun in Lake Titikaka) so from the onset, our souls journeys were shifting and integrating.

With less than one week to go before lift-off we received information that would make the trip into Bolivia to reach the Island of the Sun almost impossible so'we shifted.  Mallku suggested we travel to the Island of Amantani on the Peruvian side of Lake Titikaka where the vortexes of the male and female energy of the planet meet near the top of the Island between the Temples of Pachamama (the mother) and Pachatata (the father). This happens to be the very place where I had my near death experience in 2004. Ok'more integration.  Obviously it was time to return and integrate that fear.

As the group from different locations all over the country met that first day in Lima, the magic to me was palpable.  This was an incredible group of travelers who had been called. I felt the potential and possibilities but also knew from my many group experiences that each one would have a choice whether to ride the waves of integration to create a group heart that could come into compassion with all their differences or'as in some cases'fracture apart unable to beat as one heart.  I felt a new power surging within me, one that recognized my own beauty to hold a field of compassion that could accept everyone's 'stuff' and still know beyond any differences lay the memory of the children of the sun and their heartfelt desire to activate the grid of integration in the sacred Apu (Mountains) in the arms of Pachamama. I felt that they absolutely could and most probably would if I could myself keep from falling into my own duality and judgment'and'that is the dance I did in my own private world as the journey ebbed along.

We journeyed first to Arequipa aptly called the white city because it is entirely built of volcanic rock from the area where the volcanoes originally gave birth to the two deepest canyons in the world, one being Colca Canyon where we hoped to encounter the Andean symbol of power and connection to Spirit'the condor. As we deplaned in Arequipa, we were blessed with the most extraordinary sunset blazing its hues of red, orange, pink, purple and a beautiful pool of aqua shimmering within. Everyone just stopped and took it in, some of us with tears in our eyes for the majesty and beauty we saw reflected in our own hearts.

The next morning as we continued to adjust to the altitude, taking things slowly we gazed out over the canyon at three beautiful condors doing a dance of integration as two male and one female spiraled throughout the mountains dancing with their own beauty and knowing. Soon Mallku urged us onward for a hike asking us, 'Do you like surprises?' Well little did any of us realize how many there would be on our 17 day journey into the heart of Pachamama.  Soon we left the groups of tourists behind as we hiked along a ridge with only an occasional visitor or two and before long a beautiful, young female condor flew into our hearts spiraling up, down and around all of us coming ever closer until it seemed like she looked everyone right in the eye.  To me this began the awakening of the ancient codes we carried in our cellular memory to the mountains. To me I heard her say, 'Thank you for hearing the call of the condor and welcome home.'

Our travels had begun in earnest.  Soon we encountered 'hot water' issues as many of our group were left to shower in the cold.  Several in the group were already experiencing roommate issues and to some extent I realized the deep inner tests had begun. Then, I noticed everyone began to loose things...cell phones, money, passports, coats, purchases, and sacred items for ceremony.  I felt with each loss, whether the items were found or gone for good ' a letting go and acceptance. As our boat pulled up on the shores of the Island of Amantani, I knew my letting go and accepting was to follow.  After a beautiful afternoon in a primitive but lovely home where we were lodged, we enjoyed some Peruvian food, great soup and wonderful sharing followed by a sacred fire (Willkanina) teaching us the alchemy of transmutation as clouds parted and millions of incredible stars lit the night sky.

We awoke in the wee hours to the sound of a storm and hail but by the time we were out of bed and ready to begin our climb up the mountains to the Temple of Pachamama there was a beautiful sunrise and it seemed as if the day would be clear and lovely. As we climbed further the clouds moved in creating a gray landscape all around us.  The wind picked up and held in its early spring grasp a bitter chill. I was struggling with my breath during the climb and staying focused on moving with consciousness but I did notice the beauty of the group heart evolving.  Those more adapted to the altitude were helping those of us lagging behind. There was hand holding, encouragement, patience and lots of love.  One man in the group actually rented a 'horse' taxi for one of our group exhibiting the biggest challenge.

As we reached the vortex high on the mountain where the male and female vortexes met we paused a moment and I had a chance to remember my pounding erratic heartbeat as I slid onto the ground at that very point in 2004.  I never did reach the Temple of the Pachamama that year.  As I finally made the last leg of the journey I was filled with an incredible tense emotion. Right near the vortex blocking the energy of male lay line from the female lay line was a horrendous building (new this year Mallku told us) called an artisan center but its true purpose was to block the integration of the male and female. As I walked around Pachamama I discovered to my dismay that the temple had been locked with a make-shift wooden door and a pad lock!  Locked out of the divine mother. Unbelievable.  I had a good cry and one of the men just held me as I felt the pain of the feminine being so locked up and blocked for many hundreds of years. Right about then a tremendous hail storm broke loose pelting us all with not only icy wet winds but stinging little balls of ice.  As we all turned to scurry down to the 'artisan's center' for shelter we were again locked out. We took a moment there to feel and understand.  I had moved through my fear, nurtured my heart and allowed the sadness and the pain to help me remember the most important thing'We were the group heart. We were the integration of the male and female'we were the consciousness that felt and knew beyond the illusion.  We were the real temple.  It seemed then a peace descended upon our hearts even as we made our way down the slippery, cold and very wet pathway of Amantani. My wet body, spent emotions and expanded heart sang.  I knew we had passed some kind of test.

Many initiations followed over the next week as we climbed difficult rock formations, experienced the Dimensional Door Way of the Ajayu Marka, balanced high up as we walked along the spine of the serpent and continued to work on personal issues and judgments we encountered along the way. When it was time to board the bus from Puno to Cusco, normally a four hour journey, we learned that the locals along the way were striking and demonstrating by blocking the main road (the only real paved road) to Cusco. We teamed up with other tourists on a large buss and began the very slow, off-road trek winding up and down mountains, along very narrow dirt roadways. It was rough but also a view of Peru most visitors never get to see.  Rather than being upset and negative, the folks on the bus began to integrate the adventure and shared food, songs and stories with folks from many different countries. (Integration once again.)

Just a few hours outside of Cusco with about 13 bus hours under our belts, we ended up stopped behind many other buses and trucks along a beautiful lake as the sky headed toward sunset.  Word was that the locals had burned the main bridge along the road as well as blocked the highway with huge boulders. We heard that the military was being called in.  Tempers seemed a bit hot and it was appearing as if there was some sort of show-down in the making. We finally gathered back on the bus as our group heart went into meditation to hold the space for compassion and integration on all levels. After only 20 minutes in that space, everything shifted. A group of Russian tourists who had been blocked on the roadway for hours had taken matters into their own hands and were pushing the boulders off the road.  Encouraged now, other tourists joined in and an international road clearing project was underway. The locals stood above on the hillside just watching, making no move to intervene.

The soldiers arrived and they had also called in the SWAT teams as well. Although this looked threatening with the plastic shields, guns and so forth the soldiers, face-to-face, were not menacing at all.  They began to bring in planks to place over the burned parts of the bridge and there was no confrontational energy present at all. In the darkening night we were lead off our buses and went single file from one soldier's hand to the next over the smoldering bridge. It all felt somehow familiar to us as if we were repeating something very ancient.  Once on the other side of the bridge, one by one came the buses and trucks that had been held up for hours as tourists cheered them onward. As I took a deep breath, I realized that what was missing in this situation was the usual duality. I truly felt the soldiers understood the plight of the locals and each accepted the job of the other.  This seemed to be integration at the highest level'one step at a time to our destiny. None of us will ever forget the magic of our long day's journey into night.

Interestingly enough, we were told that their had been a huge national demonstration and strike planned for November 4th (Election Day) so we would be unable to be at Machu Picchu that day for our final integration ceremony as planned. November 4th this year in Peru was called The Day of the Zenith. This is when the sun is directly overhead at Noon and no shadows are casts. Mallku explained that this is a most powerful and unusual time as we become the bridges between heaven and earth.  That then soon became our understanding.  We were just that, our group heart, a bridge of integration between heaven and earth.  Our final ceremony on Election Day/Zenith Day was switched to the hills surrounding Cusco rather than on Machu Picchu as originally planned.

In the meantime, we were cradled in the arms of the Sacred Valley through which flows the ancient waters of the Willkamaya (Urabama) River.  We grew ever deeper during that time together.  It was as if we were in an enchanted land of beauty and light.  The sun was warm and the sky was crystal blue as we enjoyed a powerful ceremony at Pisac, discovered the fountains of integration at Ollantaytambo and the heart of Pachamama in the magical circles of Moray.  It was in Moray were Mallku asked us to clear our intentions as bridges of integration.  While I cannot recall what everyone said I recalled several and little did we know at the time that those intentions echoed through the heart of Pachamama and into our consciousness during the ceremony in Cusco on Election Day.

We journeyed by train onto Machu Picchu when it was time and spent a beautiful sunny afternoon exploring the ancient and magnificent crystal city. Although I have been to Peru many times now, I am always excited as my travelers catch their first glimpses of the mystical city. The awe is thick and real.  Tears come to many eyes and the wonder in the sounds escaping through our emotions is always precious and special. We stayed as late as possible that afternoon as Mallku guided us around to his favorite and most powerful places explaining the purpose and layout of the different temples that dot her landscape.  Early the next morning we headed out in a down pour for our final initiations and ceremony before returning to Cusco for Election Day.  At least this time it was a warmer rain.  We climbed part way up Wayno Picchu to experience the mists shrouding and moving about the magical city creating veils of mystery and feeling other-worldy.   It was here that Mallku guided us into trust as we met the challenge of the Condor to fly free.  One-by-one, (prefaced by, 'Do you like surprises?) we stepped with eyes closed out onto a narrow stone ledge protruding maybe nine feet out over a drop off hundreds of feet below exposing the beauty of the crystal city.  This is frightening even with your eyes open I might add. Each member of the group closed their eyes and journeyed into the unknown with Mallku as their guide. When they went as far as they were able, they spread their arms like wings, like the condor, and opened their eyes to look out on the beauty and experience their own courage.

The day ended with a meditation in the crystal cave which is 'knock- your-socks-off' powerful!  We all listened to Mallku share one of his many teaching stories and then moved into our own quiet spaces. Every time I am in this cave, the experience is different for me. This time I was just peaceful and filled, content.  Some of the group birthed themselves through the cave and we were then ready to descend the mountain back down to Aquas Calientes to catch the train back to The Sacred Valley.  The next morning was November 3 and we returned to Cusco to prepare for our sacred ceremony to activate the integration grid from the powerful space of our much expanded group heart.

Toward the beginning of our journey, Mallku had discussed with us the possibility of doing a fire-walk and also a scared Wachuma Ceremony. A fire-walk as some of you know, involves bringing your consciousness into a knowing place discerning illusion from realty and in sacred reference walking along a short pathway of hot, burning red coals in your bare feet. Master Wachuma is a cactus found in the mountains of the Northern Andes and used to journey deeper into your being during a time of sacred ceremony and ritual. Because of the twists and integrations of our journey, the fire-walk remained unwalked but on the morning of November 4th we rose before sunset and our bus took us up into the hillside above Cusco to begin our Wachuma journey and complete the activation. Several in the group chose not to participate in the Wachuma and, each in their own way, had the experience that was perfect for them.  One of the women came with us and held a field for the group experience.  The other two joined us later at different times to integrate back into the experience. In past groups I have facilitated, this could have easily become a polarized issue but I watched with an expanded heart as this group open heartedly accepted one another and their ways to walk the path. As far as I was concerned, it was a greater magic and triumph then if all had walked the same pathway to arrive at the destination.

During our ceremony on the hillside, some tourist's police seemed to latch onto to our behavior and I noticed early on that they were observing us from a distance. Each person of the expanded heart reacted in their own sacred way with Master Wachuma and it was as a different an experience as we were different people'again integration and magic. We were meditating on the sacred stones of a more isolated part of the ruins of Q'enqo. We spread out where we were guided to be and just sat in our experiences. Mallku's wife Alanna began a beautiful sacred dance across the hillside. Over time it became apparent to me that a few of our group were in the midst of dramatic shifts integrating their experiences.

  One member of our group heart had found herself in a beautiful womb of Pachamama among the rocks where, at the entrance of the womb, stood the phallic symbol of the male.  In some ways unknown to her conscious mind, she had nestled in those rocks in the exact place where the male and female vortexes of Q'enqo were located. Mallku shared that the ancients understood the beauty of creation and sexuality and in our modern times there is such shame and judgment attached to sexuality. As I whispered in her ear she began to cry and shake and vibrate all the pain and guilt and shame around our human sexuality as well as all the joy, beauty and power. In her sounds and in her tears I could feel a deep cleansing and healing for all humanity around those very issues. Interestingly enough, in her own family, she had recently taken a journey into the destructive nature of these mind patterns. Suddenly some power within her rose up and she spread her arms and shouted out to the world 'Yes!  Yes! Yes! Yes to life!' This, of course, drew the attention of our police friends.

  I felt waves of activation and healing magic reverberate across the hillside.  Again, I understood the magic of integration healing age old separation. A short time later, another of our group (one who had wished her heart would crack open during the ceremony at Moray) began to cry and feel very sick and uncomfortable. She sobbed because she seemed to feel everyone was having a beautiful experience but her. I reminded her of her intention but she was moving now into the birthing pains.  The pains of cracking open what had previously been guarded and shut. Her mind could not help her now. She had to surrender her will to that of her soul and birth herself a new as the heart cracked open painfully. I held her in front of me on the rock and others in the group gathered around to give support and encouragement. Mallku and his aid Paullo moved in front of her almost as midwives in the process. There were some moments of painful sounds and sobbing and then you could feel a surrender move through her body as well as the rocks of Q'enqo and energize the integration grid. The vibration in my own cells became much enhanced and as I sat their rocking her I felt the shift run so deeply. She activated the cracking of the heart in the grid of integration as it was activated. She represented all of us giving birth to our new open, vulnerable yet centered hearts,

  As we joined hands and began to help each other walk back to our bus through the standing trees which had been our guardians that morning on the hillside,  I saw the potential and knew the grid had been activated making the shift in consciousness easier for everyone on the planet. I walked along with one of the men in the group leading the way back to the bus and we both agreed this all felt so familiar and we both acknowledged the powerful shift.

Well, that wasn't the last of the police interaction either. As we boarded the bus we were aware they were following us down the mountain.  At one point they stopped the bus and again our group went into silent meditation to hold space for the shift. Mallku came back on the bus and in no uncertain terms told us that Cusco Square had been closed for demonstrations and the bus must let us off and we would have to walk quite a ways from the bus, across the square and back to his center on the opposite side.  He was very stern and insisted we get grounded and be present as we walked the needed distance without attracting attention for it seemed our police escort was following us every step of the way.  So began our journey of integration of the expanded heart across the square in ones and twos moving as any tourist might be.  As I walked alone and in front of the rest, I felt a power and strength that was new to me. I had asked for integrated power at Moray that day and now I was in its full experience.  I led the way peacefully and yet focused through the tourists, demonstrators and police lines integrating and honoring all for their roles in our shift as I went. I knew we were completing major grid work as we crossed the Cusco Square on November 4th.

 As we all regrouped bit-by-bit in Mallku and Alanna's center for our final and private ceremony, the police evaporated and the following hours were spent in heart, beauty and awareness as a form of celebration of the highest order.

I would love to share each person's journey through my eyes but I will leave that to each heart to come to their own understanding and participation in this ancient and powerful reactivation of the integration of all duality.  For me, I have never been so clear and so infused with power of our mission and the beautiful unfolding success of our intentions. And, as Ezekiel said during our final group that evening before leaving for Lima and our return home, 'You have succeeded my dear ones.  As a group heart you expanded to such a level of compassion and consciousness that you activated the long dormant grid of integration.  Now the real challenge begins.  Each one of you must now return home and activate this consciousness in your lives through your actions, your compassion and your gentle power.  Where you are in this integrated space your lives will flow and multiply your beauty and wisdom as you share the journey with others.  Where you are in resistance, you will feel blocked and uncomfortable.  Just remember, you know the way through.  You created the pathway in Peru while wrapped in the arms of Pachamama as well as one another.'

I would like to thank each of you for your trust in the call of your hearts and for following it through with me to create a new reality on Election Day, November 4th, 2008.  Please remember this is the story through my eyes and my heart only. Each of yor travel your own road always connected to our group heart. Thank you Mallku, Alanna Aisha, Geraldo, Paulli, Cathy Morrison, Wendy Caesar-Dare, Andy Ferguson, Svetlana Neesh, Matt Folley, Francis Soletto, Patty Luna, Star Charney and Marta Howette.

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Thank you. Nancy Joy