I received a profound gift yesterday, and it came via Zoom from three humble wise-women from a small village in Peru.
My monthly Qoya teacher continuing education class was a virtual meeting with three Q’ero Nusta Pacos, or female elders, who provided this simple insight for our chaotic times—listen. The Q’ero people are direct descendants of the Inka and have lived for the last 500 years at 14,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. Many have recently relocated to the city of Cusco in order to bring their teaching and healing to a wider audience.
The Q’ero people believe in the primacy of nature. They do not see nature as something to be used, or even something to be enjoyed. Nature to them is living energy. The earth, the ocean, the sun, the wind, moon and stars all have essential wisdom that humans need to survive. So, when they say listen, they mean listen to the nature beings.
Imagine how different our lives would be if we were all as intimately intertwined with nature as these wise people. Imagine our planet! We like to talk about Mother Earth, but what if we listened to Mother Earth’s advice in the same way that we listen to advice from our human mother? What insight might we hear from the ocean waves or the brilliant stars?
For those of us who are not Q’ero, this listening might require some imagination, some suspension of disbelief, some trust that what we receive is indeed real. In this time that feels so uncertain, I’m willing to try! Well, actually, I have.
Here’s what I’ve learned: listening to the nature beings only works when I can get out of my busy head space. Some days that’s easier than others, and I have gotten better at it with practice. One technique I use is to give my mind something to do. For example, earlier this summer on a trip to Montana, I sat with my feet in a river. I closed my eyes and focused on every sound I could possibly hear from the river. Soon enough, I could detect all kinds of different sounds the water made, almost like layers of sound. This mind exercise of listening for the layers pushed out all random thoughts, I relaxed and then was able to “hear” the wisdom the river had for me, which was about learning to let go of the illusion of control.
Another piece of Q’ero wisdom is sacred reciprocity—we may only receive when we have given. They make physical offerings to the nature beings. I sometimes do this, and if you do, I would ask that you please make sure your offering is something 100% natural and native to the area. Another way to make an offering is to simply express your heartfelt gratitude to the nature being before asking for advice. This way, you can be certain that you are not inadvertently causing harm.
So, was the profound gift I received from the Nusta Pacos yesterday this idea of listening? Yes, but there was more. It was their entire outlook about the times we are in. Instead of caution to be safe or counsel to stand up for our beliefs, this was their guidance:
“Put all your trust and belief from the depths of your heart into to all that you do. We are arriving to times of abundance, balance and love. We must be ready!”
For more information about the Q’ero people and their teachings visit Elizabethbjenkins.com.