don Oscar Miro-Quesada is a seasoned navigator of non-ordinary states of consciousness who helps people access realms of being where multidimensional powers are available for healing self, others and our beloved Mother Earth. He has been guiding ethno-spiritual apprenticeship expeditions to sacred sites of the world since 1986, with special emphasis on Peru and Bolivia. His work and shamanic training programs have been featured on CNN, Univision, A&E, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
What I especially appreciate about Oscar is not his credentials but the fact that he is an immensely warm, loving human being who deeply cares about people and our planet. He is a master at creating sacred community using his infectious belly laugh and the magic of joy, love and compassion to gently weave people together as a planetary family. He brings keen attention to life-transforming ceremonial detail and group healing dynamics and creates “sacred hoops,” both in person and using virtual teaching formats.
Oscar describes his life as “transforming the world through sacred living.” His unique vision for pragmatic global spiritual regeneration was born from the co-creation of sustainable, earth-honoring, sacred communities worldwide. When I’m with him, my heart gets stronger and deeper.
So often, as planetary citizens, we don’t dare to penetrate the veil of denial of our human ecological predicament, when the living earth, still incredibly alive and beautiful, has begun to show us that she has a fever brought on by the never-ending appetites of human industrial civilization.
I asked Oscar to reflect upon this. How can we best navigate the territory of denial and facing fear, of despair and hope, of grieving and celebrating, of joy and sadness?
Oscar pointed to the Inka concept of Ayni or “sacred reciprocity.” Throughout our lives, we are constantly giving and receiving and often the receiving part seems more important to humans than the giving. Our task, Oscar says, is to find a balance between our true needs and that which we are obligated to pass forward and generously offer others. In the Andean communities, this is reflected in the practice of giving away excess food and wool to those who need it, “today for me, tomorrow for you,” establishing a kind of homeostasis of material well-being that reflects the sacred balance seen in the rhythms of nature.
Oscar laid out his 5 traditional axioms of traditional ritual:
- Consciousness begets matter — This is a psychophysical universe in which interior and exterior realities constantly affect each other, not a dead mechanistic world.
- Language begets reality — the words we speak and the questions we ask help or obstruct our entering into contact with the soul of the earth. It’s part of constructing our shared reality.
- Ritual begets relationship — While ritual is fundamental to all indigenous spirituality, our modern and post-modern culture has lost ritual, and thus relationship with a sentient multiverse and living planet. A daily ritual of Anyi, giving thanks for anything more than our basic survival needs, would serve to give greater humility and a sense of contact with the sacred web of life.
- Nature begets purpose — Knowing our place gives us a sense of what we love and how we can serve.
- Love begets life in a dance between Gaia’s love and grief that gives us appreciation for what we have.
When I first met Oscar, with a group of evolutionary leaders in Ashland, Oregon, the first thing I noticed about him was his deep love of ceremony and ritual and how beautifully he is able to imbue them both with feeling and force. When I asked him to reflect on the centrality of ritual to his path and teaching, he pointed to its fundamental role in restoring sacred trust between humankind and the natural world.
Oscar pointed out that rituals function to overcome the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. When you ritualize the energy behind the split, what emerges is wholeness and middle ground. Rituals are also make whole the broken parts of our dissociated experience of life. Suffering, breakdown and pain become “grist for the mill,” allowing us to enter into relationship with the purpose of disorder and disease in our lives.
The efficacy of ritual also depends on our freedom from self and our willingness to be still, within and without. The more we can open up as a hollow bone, and allow the wisdom of Source to open through us as ritual, the less contaminated we will be by aggressive agendas. We are able to maintain the tension between health and sickness, opening up a deep appreciation for this miraculous moment, for what is.
The most profound moment of our dialogue came when Oscar went into ceremony with our listeners, using the language of the highland people of South America, “the descendants of the Inka,” a powerful onomatopoeia that conjured the unseen forces that inhabit the mythic soul-infused powers of his people. Oscar says this language mirrors the subtle expressions of the earth and the big bang postulated by the great thinkers of our modern world.
During the ceremony, he guided us from profane space to sacred space, and from from profane clock time to sacred cyclical time. His soul came alive, resonating with everyone present for the ceremony and opening up a powerful energetic field.
I invite you to listen to the full recording. You’ll also hear Oscar’s suggestions for creating personal meditative ritual in your life, including the simple act of walking, and the daily and nightly practice of connecting with and giving thanks to the Mystery. In this way, we can continue learning, being of service, and transforming ourselves and our world.
You can listen to the entire dialogue with Oscar here.
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