Apu Salkantay calls me to Peru – Senderos de Luz (Paths of Light)

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Second part of a series

IN OCTOBER 1999, I initiated and became a practitioner of The Frequencies of Brilliance, a powerful, multi-dimensional healing modality. The course began a period of accelerated change, transforming all areas of my life. Every year since, I have reunited with the founder, Christine Day, to initiate into an additional level of the technique. During one such course in 2008, a voice spoke to me, clearly stating that I was to go — by myself — to Peru. I booked my flight to Cusco. Although, I don’t know the identity of this voice, when it speaks to me, I respond without hesitation.

In April 2008, I flew to Lima and spent a night in an airport hotel. The next day, I discovered that all flights had been suspended due to heavy fog. Since the airport was filled to capacity, I retreated into a small bookstore. A book cover caught my attention: Cusco: The Gateway to Inner Wisdom: a Journey to the Energetic Center of the World. The cover notes introduced Diane Dunn with an invitation to share her journey to the Sacred Valley and initiations into the Andean spiritual tradition. I was interested, yet shelved the book, reasoning that I needed to avoid additional weight in my carry-on luggage. All flights continued to be suspended. The only choice was to wait for the fog to clear. I could not stop thinking about the book, so I returned to purchase it and began to read Diane’s fascinating story.

Finally, the fog cleared and flights resumed. Our plane took off and began the steep climb to Cusco’s 11,000 feet. I didn’t mind having an aisle seat without a clear view, as I was content to read. Suddenly, feeling a strong energy to my left, I stood in the aisle in order to have a better view out the window. I was startled by the vision of a huge, snow-covered mountain. A voice spoke: “Hijo, bienvenido de vuelta.” “Welcome back my son.” I was deeply moved and tears began to flow.

Cusco beckons to many, many people. At my hotel in the lovely San Blas neighborhood, I began to meet people from many countries. Any pretense or separation magically dissolved as we chatted affectionately like old friends.

During a conversation the next day with my travel advisor, I mentioned that I was reading Diane Dunn’s book. Smiling, she shared that they were acquaintances and offered to put me in contact. In less than a minute, I was talking with Diane, arranging to visit to her center, Paz y Luz, for a healing session. My first visit with Diane was like returning to a familiar place to visit with an old friend. I felt immediately at ease with her and impressed with the spectacular scenery. Our few hours together were identical to all of my encounters in Peru: gently, joyfully nourishing.

After giving myself a few days to acclimate to the elevation, I boarded the train to Machu Picchu. Before dawn the next day, I met my guide, a gentle man of Incan ancestry. After showing me around the ruins, he explained that the line cued to climb Inka Picchu was very long, and if I preferred, he would guide me up the trail to Machu Picchu mountain, because of the difficulty, a far less-traveled route. I agreed and we climbed for over an hour.

Reaching the summit, I looked to the horizon. In the distance was a luminous, snow-capped mountain. Suddenly, a strong current of energy came from the mountain into my body. Overcome and sobbing, I dropped to my knees. My first response was to bow in reverence, touching my forehead to the ground. There were no words, just a continuous stream of pure energy. After a few minutes, it subsided. I stood up to join my guide. He led me to the edge of the precipice that provides a majestic view of the entire expanse of Machu Picchu. I could see mobs of tourists far below. He asked if I’d like to learn how to honor the Apus with the sacred coca leaves. I accepted. During this ritual, I learned that the name of the snow-capped peak, Apu Salkantay, is one of several sacred mountains that ring Machu Picchu. For centuries, the Incas have honored each mountain — or Apu — as a unique, divine consciousness.

My two-week trip unfolded with graceful orchestration. On the last evening, I was invited by an Incan shaman and his Australian wife to a ritual. After enjoying a dinner they had prepared, they led me inside their small home. At the closing of the ritual, they presented me with a large condor feather. Back home I stored it carefully among my sacred objects, not fully aware of the significance or the honor that had been given me.

I left Peru, deeply touched by the events and by the beauty of the Andes and her people. I imagined that I would return, but did not feel any particular urgency, as my work and the voices of many other places in the world were calling to me.

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