|Hopi Elders talk about and remind generations after generations; of Hopi oral history including the migration stories of various clans after the flooding of Palatkwapi, a unknown ancient village located somewhere in the south. Exact routes, establish villages, and events have long been forgotten with time. Still, ancient ceremonies remained intact with clans responsible for carrying religious ceremonies through thousands of years of migrations to present day Hopi villages where the ceremonies are still practiced today.|
The Heart of the Andes journey offered an opportunity to connect with ancestral history... Each day I visited archeological sites with our group and host. Visiting the great Titicaca Lake, to hear a local legend of a great city which was flooded thousands of years ago sitting at the bottom of the lake. The more I saw, the more I was reminded of how the structures, stone walls, the land and historical stories is similar in the the Hopi Southwest. The migration symbol is common to the southwest but seeing it in South America help support our Elders stories of Hopi migration from the south: 'Palatkwapi.'
Suhongva Marvin Lalo
Walpi, First Mesa, Arizona
I signed up with the intent of walking a Sacred Pilgrimage. And yet... it was a journey that impacted deeply and the ripples didn't really start flowing till I was on way home. A once in a lifetime journey...
La Crosse, Wisconsin
The venture was very sacred for me. I was praying all throughout the trip. Visiting the shrines were most powerful as we have similar ones. This visit partially confirms the Hopi origin as the floods were mentioned, and the Serpent was included in the Hopi migration symbol at the PumaPunku. The Constellation the Hopi observe are similar to the Incas. I am very, very thankful to the person that made it possible for me to make this venture.
Hotevilla, Hopi, AZ
For myself...I think the Quechua, Maya and Hopi have similar cultures in common...We all need to pray to keep our Mother Earth and Father Sky in balance...
Sunforehead Clan, Shungopavi, Second Mesa
... This trip and experience strengthened me to keep on with my faith, values, traditions, and support for Hopi religion for that is what makes me who I am. It is so important that the Hopi way of Life continues for our children and others still to come.
Coyote Clan, Moencopi, Arizona
From the experiences of these trips, I was able to verify many of our cultural and spiritual connections to the Indigenous people in Mexico and Peru... It is very important that these experiences are shared with our people and also our friends from North America so that we can continue to strengthen our understanding of our history as pueblos of North America.
Harold Joseph, Jr.
Snow Clan, Shungopavi, Second Mesa
These places we have visited are held in great awe by the Hopi. For they are in our stories of creation, which are told to us as youngsters and as we mature into adulthood. Understanding myself was the first lesson I received. Now healing has begun... We should continue the visits to these mystical and sacred places, because it is important that we encourage other Indigenous people to continue to practice their ancient ways for the good of all... Kwak-Kwa!
Bear Clan, Shungopavi, Second Mesa
I am hardly able to put the amazing time into words at the moment. We are still living the experience and that says it all really. Nothing in this reality will ever be the same. My husband who came with no expectations is changed forever (his words). Thanks again for making the Journey such a beautiful experience. It is clear that it was planned with love for the country and its people and genuine commitment to ensuring that we all got everything possible from it. May your work long continue.
I continue to feel the movement of Peru, stirring in the depths of my being, slowly attaching the lessons of a blessed land to my DNA. It gently nudges me, awakening a dormant me, that perhaps was abandoned at birth and now seems to have been found. It's like a beautiful kundalini rising day after day. It's good to be me!
I was blessed to participate in the wonderful experience in Peru! I still feel so connected to others on our journey -- and shall always be through our filaments, experience and love. The Hopi leaders who came on this trip were vital in this connection. Carla's work in bringing the indigenous to the western world and each other is important to each and every one of us. This connection brings harmony and growth; a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, the Cosmos and Pachamama.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Going on the Kenosis trip to Peru put me in touch with this saying in a very deep, transformational, and unforgettable way. The profound lessons I experienced on how to "be the change" revolved around the intent I had at the beginning of the journey... A sense of integrity in who I am and what I do has blossomed in my soul, deepening my commitment to creating a better place for all beings... The splendor of Peru and the incomparable teachings, guidance, support, and friendship from the group and its facilitators have infused magic, wonder, truth, and love into the very atoms of my being. For that, I am filled with overwhelming gratitude for the truly wonderful experience of this spiritual adventure...
...The most important change that happened was the deconstruction of my socialized conditioning, limitations based on fear, and self-imposed doubts, those things that steal away crucial energy and attention... In breaking the barriers and exposing the illusions, I was truly blessed to be in good company, surrounded by compassionate, wise souls that were like my spiritual family. They helped me to remember what I already knew, gave me kind, loving support when I felt lost and scared, helped me to laugh riotously and shake loose the musty blanket of insecurity, confided their most heart-breaking feelings and thoughts while exposing their most tender vulnerabilities, and in doing so, showed me what real courage is. Without them, I surely would not have been able to process so much in such a short amount of time. The enormous meaning of such a gift is inexpressible, coming from a place that is beyond words, beyond reason, but as vital as the breath. I take with me a renewed sense of my true self, an expanded belief of what I am capable of, a hunger to live wild and free, and a stronger devotion to follow my bliss...
... From my work with Carla, Don Americo, the group, and the Pachamama, I have learned of the delight that comes from being in community, and that there is significance in every moment.
San Francisco, CA
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with all of your Waikis and my family this wonderful experience. I had never experienced the flow of energy as I felt it during our wonderful trip. I always wondered why I loved and enjoyed nature so much and especially mountains since I have always lived in the city at low elevation. Now that I have been in the mountains of Peru and among such warm and loving people I know why. There is so much beautiful energy that flows around us and we don't notice or pay attention to it. As a Hospice volunteer I have had lectures and training on how to touch and pass our energy to our patients but I really didn't feel that I was really doing it right. However, now I know that it can be done and that I can pass a warm and loving energy to my patients. Thanks again for letting this old lady (old in body, not in spirit) have this wonderful experience.
Sonoma, California, USA
... We have walked our path for over 20 years now and we can honestly say that this trip truly opened our hearts more than we thought possible... and gave us the courage and belief in ourselves to continue...
Phoebe and Paul Hoogendyk
New South Wales, Australia
What a gift! The chance to travel to another country at this point in my life, to be exposed to a beautiful culture and have my eyes opened to the world is an incredible gift all in itself. And to take this journey with such amazing people and do such amazing work with the heart and spirit, remains unparalleled. Who does that? Who gets to go and hang out in Peru? I am truly blessed and solid in that knowing because of this experience. Parts of myself have been opened as a result of the work that has and will continue to make my life more fulfilled, and I have the opportunity to carry that with me and share it with those close to me, and I do remember, and I will remember. An incredible gift was given to me, and I remain ever grateful to the ones who allowed me the chance of a lifetime.
San Diego, CA
In June 2006 I was privileged to journey to Peru with a small group of nurse leaders from around the country. The purpose of this vacation journey was spiritual, i.e., to further develop my inner life in order to enhance my personal and professional life. Often one has to travel out of one's comfort zone to learn, and I must admit that this was the case for me...
For 16 days we ate, slept, hiked and meditated together, albeit in the beautiful Andes mountains. The days we spent together were very ordinary, yet in the ordinariness of simple living, extraordinary truths unfolded... A new definition of meditation learned on this journey is "sit and be still and gaze upon the world and others with love". One of my most exquisite experiences was witnessing a mountain sunset accompanied by many children (age 5 to teens) who were able to sit still and hold the silence for over 30 minutes... We had the privilege of experiencing several blessing ceremonies with the Indian healers. These humble village healers, we were reminded, might be gardeners or cooks during the day and healers by night. It was a reminder to not be so impressed by roles or position, a reminder to practice humility in the contribution of our work... (I learned) When we become too serious, we are "ill"; when we become rigid, we are "dead", therefore, learn to be "fluido", i.e., "go with the flow of life" rather than swimming upstream in life. May these simple messages challenge you, as they have me, and bring you peace.
To Soar Within
(a poem that emerged from her journey)
A moment of glory; so bittersweet.
A wounded bird soaring, soaring beneath our feet.
Reflections passed that mirror our eyes
Love, alas; such a strange mystery in that which truth abides.
Lessons so fragile, so vulnerable, so deep
A secret pearl: a precious discovery, so tempting to keep.
And gentle rays doeth the cosmos spin
A silent unfolding of a wondrous, warmth within.
A common language not to speak
A pathway anew for hearts and souls that yearn to seek.
Alas, the spirit of Salk'awasi spreads its wings
A sacred surrender in that which the eagle's falling feather sings.
God's servants at every post
With Madonna's beauty as the gracious host.
The changing of the guard serves in sweet ceremony, celebration and song
A witness to the wind; a caring, compassionate love story, where you and I belong.
Deborah A. Burlage
What happened for me during the trip was that many open loops came to a close. Many of them open for a couple of years. I felt like I had reached a new platform within my personal journey... Last year this time I was still absolutely ignorant about Peru. It is not even a year and I have been there twice. When I look back to that journey and what it did to me I am speechless. I am so full of joy...
Thank you for doing what you do... I am a different person returning from Peru because of you creating the experience and walking with me. You and your work are a gift to the world. I am so full of joy and freedom and so on purpose without fear. I have been listening to the wind and the eagles are showing up and traveling with me even here in Michigan. I have never seen them here before...
What an honor to have experienced the magical journey with all of you! I loved all the diverse parts... I feel that the service work we all participated in Peru has transformed our lives for the better as well as helping to raise the frequency of certain stuck parts of our beloved planet. My life is going so much more smoothly than before. There is less wasted energy. Some things that used to bother me no longer do so anymore. I feel blessed to be a part of such a loving, wonderful group.
The mystery journey is just partly possible as a group trip. Reasons to go as a group are: having someone who can show a way, having some people to share the experiences so that one can believe what one experienced -- "it really happened" -- and be together with people of the same tribe.
My first trip in 2004 was very much like that. My basic feeling was that I was thankful that I finally found the something I was looking for... My second (trip) in 2005 was different. In the circle one Q'ero said, "Don't be lazy." I felt the urge to (run) and I cried. Addressing the Apu I felt... what? Like being in class: I don't like it but I do what I have to and after that I go home. And I felt a calling. The group was something to go from and to come back to.
My third trip this year (2006) what I felt was fear. In a way the group was there, but for me not. Standing in the circle I felt alone. There was no group to go back to. I am not complaining! A part of this path you have to go alone. Don Américo said that it is important to learn how to connect. And as soon as you can do (that), you have to learn how to disconnect. Why? Because sometimes you need to be disconnected from other people. For we are both, a thread in the weaving and a solitary unit.
The scholarship provided to me by Kenosis, allowed me the opportunity to take part on an adventure in Peru that will stay with me forever. The trip itself was life-changing and helped me to learn more about myself as well as others. I got to travel with about fifteen other people, of various ages, who not only traveled together, but worked together to form many life-long relationships.
The trip for me came at an opportune time. Having just graduated from college, it was my first summer in the "real world". The time in Peru allowed me to step back and really take in all that was around me and the many challenges I face every day back home. I was able to see my life from many different perspectives.
Upon return to the States I realized how blessed I was to have taken part in such an amazing adventure. The experience is different for everyone but rewarding for each individual, no doubt. I am certain I will go back to visit Peru again some day. This was my first trip to South America and is not only unforgettable, but in many ways, extremely unique.
... When I tell people about choosing to go to Peru when I did and not years ago... I say, "Now I am ready." I know I was right and am so grateful to have been a part of our July (2006) trip. Wow, what a birthday present to myself! My life since I returned has been richer, not monetarily, but in all ways: spiritually, emotionally, awake and aware of nature, connections with friends, and longing for more. It isn't easy to describe, but I think you know what I mean... So as you can tell, I am happy with my life because of Peru, you, all the waikis and Don Américo. Thank you for providing such a journey.
I have studied the Andean approach to mysticism under the tutelage of
Américo Yábar for the past 12 years. During that time I've been to Peru
on a number of occasions to work with Américo, his son Gayle, and other
Andean paq'os (mystics). As you might guess from this, I greatly value
what I have experienced there. In my most recent trip to Peru I decided
to go as a member of a group that was being led by Carla Woody. It was a
careful decision on my part, as this work is quite important to me, and
it was an excellent decision. I was very impressed with the quality and
the integrity that Carla brings to this work. Thanks Carla.
Oakley E. Gordon, Ph.D.
Salt Lake City, UT
We came to Peru as students and seekers -- with a healthy dose of humility. Without overstating the degree to which we have been able to balance ancient wisdom and modern... The more I explain this trip to friends back here (or at least try to explain), the more I realize that this was a defining moment in my life... Like learning how to swim, all sorts of possibilities are now presenting themselves...
During the 2005 trip with Carla Woody and Don Américo to Cusco, Salk'a Wasi, Manu and all places in between, I had a healing from asthma. This healing has allowed me to strengthen my body and live with more gusto. I've had some asthma since I was a child and was using medication for the previous 14 years.
While we were in Salk'a Wasi, Miguelito, a dear shaman, gave us stone healings. As soon as Miguelito announced that one of us had received a healing from a chronic illness of the soul, I understood that as my own truth. It was not until the next day I noticed my asthma had gone. This was the day we "jumped" from the dry thin air of the mountain tops to the moist jungle. A jungle atmosphere has usually been a significant challenge to my breathing. I nearly had a panic attack the first morning as we began a walk into the jungle. I really considered not going on the walk for fear of loosing my ability to breathe. I was not carrying my inhaler. I walked through the fear while encountering the inescapable humidity, the decaying and ever-renewing jungle floor, and the all enveloping flora and fauna. It seems the jungle absorbed my fears and cleansed me through the process of the meditative walk. In retrospect many fears and old ways were left behind.
The journey to Peru, the learning with the spirit of the mountains and the spiritual ways of the Peru is part of me now. My life is richer and my adventure more in tune with my own drum as I walk the mountains, hills and valleys of home. The knowing and feelings activated by this journey continues to blossom.
... my time in Peru presented a beautiful window through which I could see myself and others. We all experience moments of clarity in which aspects of the life we create for ourselves snap into perspective and reveal themselves in new ways. The laughter, camaraderie, and sincerity of those that facilitated and shared in this trip helped me to extend that moment. I was able to focus on cultivating the strength and direction I need to live from that space all the time. That is my heart's desire. I have no doubt our journey yielded different gifts for different individuals based on their own dreams. The opportunity to do this work in a place like Peru can not be overstated. The natural beauty and history of the region provided the ultimate backdrop for fun, reflection and more fun. Don Américo's open heart and welcoming nature invited heartfelt discussions and meaningful exchanges while gently reminding us never to take ourselves too seriously. Most importantly, the friendships that grew from this trip will be with me the rest of my life.
Young Adult Scholarship Recipient
The experiences I had in Peru were definitely life changing, To know what it feels like to be in salk'a energy is one of the greatest gifts. The cleansing of old wounds is a miracle...
I think of the wonderful journey that we all shared together, something that I will never forget -- the special people that I was lucky enough to travel with and meet along the way, and that extraordinary mountain which I still see in my dreams, in stark contrast to the restful, yet salk'a setting of Don Américo's wonderful hacienda...
Wellington, New Zealand
It is an understatement to say that the trip was transformational!! I find that there is a 'fluidity' in the way I experience everything since back... When I came to Peru I had a wide open future... and within 4 days after returning, a new direction in life... I do not know or understand how the Universe truly works, but dear friends, the mystery of it all is beautiful beyond measure... One of the big take-away's for me was the deep desire to quit trying to figure things out and living more fully in the experience! Thanks again for showing up in my 'experience' during such a time of transition... and 'resetting' the 'BEING' button in my life.
Sioux Falls, SD
I discovered where I came from and who I am, what I once learned and what I had forgotten. I was called a name I used to be called and then I remembered... I felt the touch of the ancestors and heard their whispering telling me how to connect with the wisdom that is all around us... I was home. I was free.
In Oct 2003 I joined a wonderful group of people, who became my waikis (a Quechua term for cherished friend)... Two months after returning home, I am still, and will probably for quite some time in the future, be becoming conscious of what I came away with...
...For the entire time that I was in Peru, I was aware that this was the most continuously energizing yet peaceful and serene period of time I can ever remember experiencing in my entire 61 years of life. There was... an awareness of, not only the energy surrounding me, but also the conscious awareness of my own energy and the power of that energy that I can make conscious use of for a peaceful world and the well-being of all things.
I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to experience Peru and its wonders... I will be returning soon along with several of my waikis from Prescott.
Malik Paul Gregory
When I decided to join Carla Woody's spiritual journey with Don Américo in Peru, I had just retired from practicing law and wanted to find a spiritual practice that would awaken my heart and connect my body to our Great Mother Earth. I didn't know Carla or anyone in the group, and for that matter, I had not even heard of Don Américo. But upon stepping out of the Cusco Airport, I immediately saw Carla -- she was this incredible presence with a beautiful glow and a captivating and welcoming smile. I immediately knew my journey to Peru would forever change my life, and it did.
My first introduction to Don Américo, his son Gayle and Christian was at the Temple of the Moon just about thirty or forty minutes outside of Cusco. My heart was immediately struck by the power of the location where they had chosen to meet us and the enormous aura of love and compassion surrounding Don Américo, Gayle and Christian. The power of the love emanating from them just about tore down all of the walls around my heart. And by the time I had journeyed to magical Salka Wasi and the mysterious Amazonian Jungle with Carla, Don Américo, Gayle, Christian and our group of glorious souls, any remaining walls around my heart were simply gone and my connection to our Mother Earth was deep and penetrating. The power of my experience in Peru opened an entirely new world for me, and it is a world seen through the eyes of my heart.
Since returning from Peru, I have engaged in subsequent spiritual workshops with the same openness of heart and love as I had discovered in Peru. In fact, by way of example, one of the nights in Salka Wasi a member of our group, started playing a drum. The beat was intoxicating and before long all the women in the group were dancing in a circle together, that is, except for me. However, just a few weeks ago at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, I found myself again confronted by the same situation, intoxicating music and a room full of joyfully dancing women (and men in this case), but to my surprise, I was one of them dancing with a gleefully engaged heart and soul.
My journey in Peru with Carla was the launching pad from which I am now recreating my life in alignment with my heart and mystical path. Carla, Don Américo, Gayle, Christian, our group and Peru will always be a big part of my heart and I look forward to joining Carla on another spiritual journey to Peru next year.
Aimee E. Beldock
...surrounded by the impeccability of nature and the ancient wisdom...
I could feel myself releasing my attachment to the mind's control and opening that precious
heart center... Although I had intellectually realized this insight before this trip, I felt
that I had finally experienced its message at my heart's center...
...(Since my return from Peru) I've felt a sense of peace and calmness that seems to prevail
in spite of my day-to-day challenges. I'm heartened to know that the beautiful sense of freedom
and divinity I experienced in Peru is there for me anywhere, anytime, as long as I remain conscious
of its existence.