Sunday, November 29, 2015

Magical Thinking, Magical Being

I thought I knew. After exploring numerous religious traditions for nearly 50 years, I thought I had an inkling of what it would be like to live in a culture with spirituality woven through it. After only a few hours in Peru, though, I realized I hadn’t a clue, and I spent the rest of my time there learning from those who did.

My main guide was Puma Quispe Singona. His first name was given at the age of four when, knowing no better, he challenged “a big cat” who had taken one of the lambs he and his mother were shepherding in the high mountains. Two years later, little Puma was struck by lightning, an event which marked him as a potential medicine man. After recuperating, he began learning the old ways from his grandfather, a respected shaman himself.

Peruvians, like Puma, who follow traditional ways experience the cosmos as a benevolent place where everything works together harmoniously and gives of itself for the highest good. They know everything to be alive--plants, mountains, clouds, rocks-- everything! Each has its own place in the whole, with an energetic quality that is in constant exchange with the rest of creation.  

Everything speaks. If your eye is drawn to a small stone on a pathway as you’re thinking of a particular person, that stone is asking to be brought to him. Noticing that a cloud has the shape of a bird or wolf is not mere fancy. It is a message, an offering to the human who saw it, for otherwise she would not have perceived that specific shape. A sudden gust of wind after a verbal point is made or a realization grasped is affirmation. Meaning can be conveyed through all these things, or in the simple arrangement of coca leaves at the bottom of a mug.

First Worlders would refer to this as magical thinking. Peruvians, ever alert for messages from a beneficent universe, would say, "Exactly!" And after only a brief stay in the culture, I have a greater sense of the feeling state such an outlook engenders. Life becomes magical, a continual process of awakening to what is offered.

When little Puma ran to his mother, sobbing about the lost lamb, she explained the concept of ayni, sacred reciprocity. “The puma is hungry and needs food,” she said, “As we give to her, blessings flow back to us.”

What a gift to live within a benevolent universe. Knowing oneself to be held within a larger, sacred flow, everything can be welcomed as blessing. And the appropriate response to such bounty is an unending gratitude. 

To live each day in thanksgiving…it is a practice that has been cultivated throughout time and across this sweet Earth. May it be so for each of us. And may it be now.

With gratitude flowing out to each and every one of you, and for the ayni that connects us,

Leia Marie

View from Sun Gate, the traditional entrance into Machu Picchu


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! May I live in a grateful way every day.

Leia Marie said...

And may we all…

Thanks for reading and for taking the time to write!

Rockie said...

Hi Leia,

Thank you for sharing stories of your journeys with us! If I were a world traveler, Machu Picchu or the great pyramids of Egypt are the 2 places I would most like to experience.

I have used 'magical thinking' for most of my life. From listening to the stories of those who have experienced near death experiences, I have learned that there is a benevolent Source that is most interested in helping us learn one thing, to 'love'. The Source will give us anything needed to equip us as we endeavor to learn this love (to love ourselves and to love others). The Source communicates in subtle ways.

The way my magical thinking works is that when I am seeking direction from the Source, I 'lay down a fleece'. In the Bible, Gideon needed to know what direction to take. He lay out a sheepskin, or a fleece. If there was dew on it in the a.m., he knew to proceed in one direction. Conversely, if the fleece was dry, he would go in a different direction.

Answers come to me in many different ways; yes, thru nature such as rocks and wind but also thru modern amenities. An example would be for me to be wondering, 'What can I do to be physically healthy?' After a period of stillness there may be a big semi-truck from King Soopers with a huge photo of a big spread of freshly picked vegetables plastered on the whole length of the trailer, whiz by, on a road where there would not normally be a semi-truck.

That is just an example. It is really too much to describe my magical thinking in this forum. Using this type of decision making in my life has led me on unconventional paths and often left my more materialistic friends scratching their heads.

Magical thinking, or being still and asking 'The Source' for clues will lead to enrichment and to contentedness. The Source really does care and is always accessible.

The Star Wars folks say, 'Let the Force be with you'. I suppose we could say, 'Let the Source be with you'.

Leia said...

Wow, Rockie! Thanks for giving us a flavor of the many ways to think magically in our daily first world lives. Good to hear from you, as always!

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Leia Marie