A Lesson in Love and Power - From a Mayan Abuelo

By Stephen Dinan

Over the New Year’s holiday, we were blessed to spend time in the Yucatan, Mexico, and meet a true man of love who shines with such a divine luminosity - the revered Mayan elder, Abuelo Antonio Oxte.

Abuelo means grandfather in Spanish and there is a way in which Antonio welcomed us into his heart and spiritual family instantly with a bear hug, radiant eyes, and words of such tender appreciation that we felt we’d been family for millennia.

We met him on the beach in Tulum where he was visiting our friend Charlie Gay and I felt an instant sense of recognition.  My inner guidance had been telling me that instead of passing New Year’s in some big beach bash that we were called to a ceremony with Mayan elders.

But until that moment, we hadn’t been able to find anything.  Sure enough, though, Abuelo Antonio invited us to spend New Year’s with him in sacred ceremony.

What even he didn’t know, though, was that HIS elder, an 85-year-old humble but saintly Mayan elder who has spent his life in prayer, would get the message that it was time for him to pass his spiritual powers and authority on to Abuelo Antonio.

We arrived at Antonio’s lovely 125-hectare oasis in the Mayan heartland around 6 pm and we were surprised to find a ceremony already underway.  An old, virtually toothless Mayan elder was speaking his prayers aloud to an altar, talking directly with Spirit and blessing Antonio, who stood there radiant.  On the altar were numerous bowls of chicken that were also being blessed.

Not knowing exactly what was happening, we just stood there for a while, seeing the Mayan elder continue to pray for the ecstatic Antonio.  As the blessing and empowerment completed, Antonio came over to us and explained that his elder had gotten the guidance that it was time for a 12 hour ceremony in which he would pour his spiritual powers into him. During the 12 hours he had put Antonio through his paces, asking this long-time vegetarian to sacrifice two of his prized chickens for the community and also having him drink a fair amount of tequila to soften him up.

After the ritual completed, Abuelo Antonio came over and just sobbed in our arms with the blessing of the moment and his sadness that his elder would not be long for the planet.

While at first Abuelo Antonio said he didn’t fully understand all that was happening, at a certain point the higher dimensions opened up and he could feel all the lineages of saints and guides that were working through the other elder and passing amazing blessings and powers to him.  

He simply described this with, “Woooowwww!”

I learned something profound and important in watching Antonio in the ceremony.  First, he was profoundly, humbly surrendered to what his elder asked of him, including breaking decades of vegetarianism to offer his chickens to the community (a real test of surrender and service).

Second, even though we had already started relating to him as our elder, he was so humble and transparent with us, allowing himself to just sob in our arms.

I asked later in the evening for him to officially be my Abuelo and he said yes, but that I am his Abuelo too.  Each time I tried to put him on a higher level, he would take himself off and welcome me as a brother.

I was also touched by how much love and reverence he had for my wife Devaa, really treating us both with equal regard and love.

A final profound teaching moment came when I asked what he saw the role of each of us in the circle of 10 or so people who were present for this ceremony was for stewarding the spiritual power he’d been blessed with that day.

Gently, without any reproach, he let us all know that the question was coming from an old paradigm and that it wasn’t really about any special role in relationship to him but the whole “family” that was carrying out the deeper healing work.  Any singling out of special roles was not really part of the deep equality we were moving into.

I was also blown away to learn that Abuelo Antonio had gone on a ten year walking pilgrimage, from the Yucatan to the tip of South America, based on his inner guidance.  He did so without any money, just trusting in the divine unfolding, and as a result, he has 100% trust in God and 100% in himself, giving him a kind of joyful peace that is quite remarkable.

In the end, I felt not only deeply blessed to have a beautiful new member of my own spiritual family – a short, beaming Yoda of a Mayan elder – but also a profound example of how to honor elders and lineages with deep surrender and respect while also maintaining a real equality between all beings.

It turned into a truly profound New Year’s that blended laughter, dance, ceremony, and heartfelt conversation with a blessed Abuelo and his circle of family, each of whom also welcomed us with open arms into their family.

I can’t wait to go back!

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This article appears in: 2015 Catalyst, Issue 1: Winter of Wellness