Ever since I was a small child, when I should have been interested in dolls and make believe, I have been intrigued by the overlap of spiritual traditions. One of my favorite places to wander around was the hilly cemetery in Jacksonville, Oregon where I would pas through the military section, Christian section, pauper section and eventually sit for hours in the Jewish section, contemplating life and death and all the big questions.
Now, many years later as a life coach and yoga teacher in Denver, Colorado, I continue to contemplate and invite my clients and students to do so also. Together, we examine what makes their life unique and how to live purposefully, knowing that they are the only they who will ever be on this planet at any time. We reframe old stories, creating new ones that are more empowering. We talk about birth and death, and breath and the thread of spirit, or life force, that animates them throughout it all.
Recently, in preparation for my October ’19 yoga retreat to Peru, I’ve been dipping my awareness into the Peruvian shamanistic traditions. On first glance I was delighted, although not surprised, to see the overlap of Peruvian shamanism with many other traditions when it comes to this concept of life force. In yoga, we call it “prana.” In Taoism and Chinese medicine, it is “qi.” In Hebrew, the language of my ancestors, the word is “ruach.” And for the Peruvian shamans, this life force is “huaca.”
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the company leading my retreat in Peru is called The Life Force Project. Because of their strong ties to the people of the Sacred Valley (near Cusco), Life Force Project has arranged for us to take part in ancient shamanic ceremonies to connect to and increase our “huaca.” I’m so honored to be given this gift and once again I’m intrigued to witness the similarities and differences between Shamanism and Taoism and Judaism and Hinduism, for we are all one human race and yet also distinct and beautiful in our own cultures.
Please join me on this incredible eco-adventure to Peru this October. It will be nothing short of life-changing!