Since the dawning of the new millennium, I have immersed myself in the study of the cosmology and practices of energy management that was known to the Inka and is still practiced by indigenous people living in the Andean mountains of Peru. This cosmology or worldview is known as Tiwantinesuyu, and refers to a four-fold map of consciousness.
I have been interested in consciousness since the early 70s. My first explorations were through spiritual traditions and philosophical writings. Later I explored this interest through experiential workshops and conferences. During this period I delved into past life hoods with Valerie Hunt, Ph.D.; Holotropic Breathwork with Jared Rosen; shamanism with Michael Harner and Hank Wesselman; Life Works and Absolute Freedom with Breck Costin, and more. The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and New Dimensions radio program were especially valuable to my insatiable thirst to expand my perception and understanding of my inner and outer reality.
In early 1999, several months after a trip to Peru where I had an opportunity to observe a jungle shaman work with a “client” whose soul was said to be possessed by the spirit of a river dolphin, I was diagnosed with leukemia: CML. One of the first things I did, thanks to my husband’s suggestion, was to participate in the Return to Wholeness program created by the Chopra Center’s medical director Dr. David Simon. It was just what I needed to quiet my mind as family, friends and doctors were, with all good intention, wanting me to make life decisions quickly. One understanding I reached during that life-affirming program was that quality of life, not quantity, would be my guiding star.
Since then I have walked a dual path — allopathic medicine and complementary healing modalities — and soon after, I began my formal shamanic training. First, I examined the circumstances under which I had chosen to die in past lifehoods with Sharon Forest. Next, I embarked on a two-year intensive study in the Inka tradition (Healing the Light Body) with Alberto Villoldo and Lisa Summerlot of The Four Winds Society. This was followed by two more years of advanced study. I then began a still deeper exploration of the cosmology that informs the indigenous healing traditions of Peru with Jose Luis Herrera and Andean medicine people. Along the way I’ve cross-referenced maps of consciousness through The Monroe Institute, both independently and through a training program that was held at the IONS campus in Petaluma, California.
Collectively, this work literally “saved my life” — it allowed me to heal at the psycho-spiritual-emotional levels as well as the most fundamental physical level (DNA). It genuinely reorganized me. Everything I do — from making art to community activism and service, from working energetically with clients to being in relationship with family and friends — is informed by this exquisite and elegant understanding of life.
An unexpected outcome is that I have written two books that are self-published relating to my studies and experience. While I have not written specifically about my own healing journey, some references to it can be found in Alberto Villoldo’s book: Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval. Rather, A Return To Ayni, is a travel narrative about my first experiences working with medicine people in Peru and my initiatory pilgrimage to my benefactor mountain, Ausangate. The other, Joy of Awakening delves into the cosmology that informs the Andean energy medicine tradition.