Qasi-kawsay: A Path of Peaceful Living
By don Oscar Miro-Quesada
Peace, tranquility, ease, calm, repose, serenity, stillness, equanimity, bliss, are but a few of the words used to describe what the Inka civilization of Peru experienced as Qasi-kawsay, or ‘peace’ in the Quechua language of the Andes, is understood as a lived experience, an emergent process, intrinsic to human nature, a surrendered flow into being at one with the dance of creation, a merging with the ebb and flow of life itself. Never static, it is encountered, like a bestowal of grace it is a ’touching into’ the pause between activity and rest . . . requiring us to remain experientially connected to the ever changing liminal dreaming between sky and earth, self and other, heart and mind, soul and body.
Among the contemporary descendants of the Inka there still exists a special class of wisdom keeper, the Qasi-kawsay Yachachiq or ‘teacher of peace,’ whose duty, as dharma, is to compose and perpetuate from generation to generation the embodiment of serene living born of munay, best described as compassionate feeling and unlimited love. Teaching this divine expression of love by the way they live, is known to awaken in others the experience of munay as our human birthright.
I thus invite you to join me on a journey of watching quietly and anticipating nothing, of remaining open to all that is here and now, looking deeply into yourself while reading these words. Read them slowly as you feel the way you are sitting, sensing your body, conscious of a co-arising in the movement of thought and feeling, and the way your breath comes and goes—being witness and the witnessed, passively watching and actively being watched. You are now fully attentive that there can be a further letting go, a beginning relationship to an unchanging inner stillness—open, in reverence, to a re-Membering of Self as a luminous strand within the great sacred web of life we lovingly call Home. This, my beloveds, is the lived experience of Qasi-kawsay embraced by the ancestral shamanic lineages of the Andes.
May this offering of word and practice find receptivity in your hearts as a healing catalyst for the blossoming of global peace within our lives.
Listen to don Oscar’s recent free recording: Light of the Incas: Awakening Your Luminous Body for Healing and Guidance -- click here.
Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo is a faculty of the Shift Network and teacher of The Path of the Universal Shaman: Advanced Intensive. don Oscar is a respected kamasqa curandero and altomisayoq adept from Peru, visionary founder of The Heart of the Healer (THOTH), originator of Pachakuti Mesa Tradition cross-cultural shamanism, and co-author of Lessons in Courage: Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life (Amazon.com). Internationally acclaimed as shamanic mentor, ceremonialist and healer, don Oscar is also an Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow in Ethnopsychology, United Nations (UN) Invited Observer to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and member of both the Birth 2012 Welcoming Committee and Evolutionary Leaders Circle convened, respectively, by Barbara Marx Hubbard and Deepak Chopra. He has been guiding ethnospiritual apprenticeship expeditions to sacred sites of the world since 1986, with special emphasis on Peru and Bolivia. To read more about don Oscar, click here.
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This article appears in: 2015 Catalyst, Issue 15: Shamanism, International Forgiveness Day and Atomic Bombs