Written by Dorothy Cunha (D’oro)
Sometime in 2001, I met Kurt Johnson. We were about eight people sitting in a circle sharing our spiritual interests and loves. Kurt talked of Brother Wayne Teasdale and Brother Wayne’s vision of interspirituality. From this first gathering, the Interspiritual Dialogue group (ISD) was born as the first of many communities exploring interspirituality – a movement (my word) where people of different spiritual paths come together and share their spiritual insights in heart-centered dialogue creating a deeper consciousness bigger than the sum of its parts.
A movement that views each “belief system” as having a valuable piece to contribute to the larger whole and the greater good. We’re all exploring just one part of the proverbial elephant. Together, with open hearts and open minds, we can find a deeper exploration of those beliefs enhancing them beyond what we could do staying within the boundaries of a single vision of the divine and all the questions that go with it. Interspirituality does not ask you to change your beliefs, only to share in heart-centered dialogue.
My contribution to the conversation is the Shamanic arts. Shaman see their place as another manifestation of nature, like trees, mountains and stars. Shaman open to dialogue with these relations.
In current times, our survival needs are met through a give-and-take relationship with manmade power structures like corporations and governments. That primary relationship supports and informs all other relationships – that to Self, to Others, and to Nature. Before these structures evolved, our give-and-take relationship was with the natural world. It was the natural world that satisfied our needs for food, shelter and clothing. Our world consisted of this planet, along with the sun, the moon and the stars. These were living entities like the cashier at the A&P or the corporation you work for. Similarly, it was that primary relationship that supported and informed our relationship to Self, Community and Nature. This was the way for all of our ancestors.
The shamanic path is unique in that its practice requires a mindshift to the heart, a change in how we see ourselves and our relations. Physically and metaphorically, our ancestors saw differently; they looked out at the world differently. Their vision was long sighted seeing miles of open terrain and water; far off vistas of mountains and plains, sky and stars allowing them to see cycles of 26,000 years. Today we typically look a short distance in front of us to the car ahead or the buildings on the block you’re walking on or the subway station that takes you downtown or the living room where the TV is. We rarely take note of the position of the sun in the sky in favor of the movement of the clock on our wrist. These physical changes in how we see things translate to metaphorical and psychological and spiritual shifts in our consciousness. The shamanic path encourages us to remember that this was not always how we lived and how we saw.
In 1993, my journey of self-exploration and evolution led me to studying the shamanic arts. In 1999 I met don Oscar Miro-Quesada who has been my teacher since. Working single-handedly, don Oscar has been steadfast and devout in sharing what he was taught by elders carrying the ancient wisdom of the native peoples of Peru – the Chavin, the Aymara, Lambayeque, Chimu, to name a few. His commitment to reminding us of our ancient roots has been act of love and compassion for our earth and our place in the universe. Don Oscar teaches his Pachakuti Mesa Tradition (PMT; see heartofthehealer.org). Pachakuti is Quechua (the language of the ancient Peruvian cultures) for world reversal – a time of a great shift, the great turning. Don Oscar’s teachings remind us of this. He would more appropriately say that the Mesa and the Pachakuti Mesa practices help us re-member our Self, and in doing so, reconnecting/rewiring our relationship to the world beyond what we in our near-sighted focus. The PMT reminds us of the importance of community and ceremony from the heart.
In this excerpt from the five-part Pachakuti Mesa Tradition apprenticeship we contrast the cultural mindset of original peoples and where the human journey has taken it.
[ezcol_1half]Original Cultures[/ezcol_1half]Hybrid / Majority Cultures
[ezcol_1half]Educated “to be”[/ezcol_1half]Educated “to have/possess”
[ezcol_1half]Alliance through interdependent relationships with nature and cosmos (Coherent Pragmatism)[/ezcol_1half]Followers of the ideals of one or more individuals upon which they become independent (Dogmatists)
[ezcol_1half]Practice Spirituality[/ezcol_1half]Devoted to a Religion
[ezcol_1half]Community as life focus[/ezcol_1half]Self as life focus
Communal narrative/myth Individual biography
Work as purposeful Work as finitive
Looking at these different perspectives, as world consciousness evolves to Oneness, you may feel an affinity for the perspective and values of the original cultures.
When the world’s religions sit around the table, it’s called interfaith. Add shamanic arts, nature-based cultures and other paths coloring outside the lines, and we have interspiritual dialogue – the vision of Brother Wayne Teasdale. ISDNA.Org is a beautiful website with more information on interspiritiuality as envisioned by Brother Wayne.
The five directions of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition offer a very rich, deep and multi-faceted organizing principle for life. In one of these interpretations of the spiral intrinsic to the Mesa is: the South – industriousness or right action, the West – compassionate feeling, the North – great Spirit, the East – higher mind, the Center – unity. Put together, the Pachakuti Mesa contributes a teaching that can help where interspiritual dialogue and action meet: Right action born of compassionate spiritual wisdom unites.
Thank you Brother Wayne for bringing interspirituality to our consciousness and for bringing our consciousness to interspirituality. The circle continues.
Dorothy Cunha (D’oro) is ceremonialist and sanctioned teacher of the five-part Pachakuti Mesa Tradition apprenticeship – a wisdom path based in Peruvian curanderismo, originated and shared by don Oscar Miro-Quesada. She is co-founder of multiple organizations based on the principles of interspirituality as voiced by Brother Wayne Teasdale including Interspiritual Dialogue Group and Community of the Mystic Heart. D’oro is an ordained minister in Order of Universal Interfaith. Her email address is ShamanicArts@hotmail.com.