MACHU PICCHU PUJA ( October 25, 1998)
During the month of October I went to Latin America on business for my company. I spent a week in each of four countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. I enjoyed being in each country, and found myself very much at ease in these Latin cultures. This somewhat surprised me, as I have never traveled there before, nor have I spent much time with people from Latin cultures here in the USA.
Most powerful of all my experiences there was my visit to Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incas, high in the Peruvian Andes. This is truly an incredible place – awesome. beautiful, mysterious, and one of the most powerful places of spiritual energy I have ever been in this lifetime. And for someone like me who has traveled all over the world, visited more than 40 countries, and engaged spiritual practice for many years, this is a real testimonial.
Before leaving on my trip, my spiritual mentor at the time, Saniel Bonder, had asked me if I would perform a sacred ceremony there on behalf of himself and our entire Sangha. I readily agreed. Saniel and I met, a few days before my leaving, and decided the ceremony should be completely spontaneous; that I would do whatever I was moved to, when I was actually there.
On Saturday, October 24th, I flew to Cuzco, the ruling city of the Inca Empire when it was in its heyday centuries ago. Cuzco is situated at 11,000 feet above sea level, and is itself a remarkable place to visit with many historical sites within the city, and important temple ruins in the surrounding area. After visiting one of the nearby ruins located at 13,000 feet, I became quite ill with altitude sickness. In fact , I was so sick on Saturday night that I did not think I'd be able to travel to Machu Picchu the next day. Fortunately for me, I was well enough to go.
And so, on Sunday, October 25th, after a three-hour train ride, one hour by bus, and a brisk hike, I arrived at Machu Picchu. I was immediately stunned by the awesome power and beauty of this place, and surprised that it somehow felt very familiar to me.
There is a stone paved trail that goes all the way from Cuzco (about a 3-day walk) to Machu Picchu called the Inca Trail. I hiked back up the trail a ways in order to make a formal approach to the temple city, as it was done in the old days. This is where my puja actually began.
I invoked the Sun God (the primary deity worshipped in this place), and with arms outstretched to the sky, I asked for Protection and Healing for my family, my intimates and for and for all of our Sangha. I invoked each person by name, and asked for personal blessing and healing to be given. All the time I did this initial invocation, the sky was clouded over and mist filled the air. I found a rock with the same shape as the sacred mountain of Machu Picchu itself, and brought it back to Saniel as a talisman of this blessing puja.
From the Inca Trail, I found myself drawn to the sentry house where Inca warriors stood to guard the entrance to the city. And from there to several sites on the periphery of the ruins where I could be alone, and contemplate the mystery of this timeless place.
At one particular spot, on a terraced precipice just below the Temple of the Sun, I found my place of power. I sat there for some time in silent meditation, and invocation of Blessing for all of you.
At one point, I felt as if a voice spoke to me directly, saying that something more was needed to receive the Blessing. My blood was required. At first I resisted this, not wanting to make the painful sacrifice of cutting my body and drawing blood, but the message was clear.
And so with a sharp knife, I drew blood. I then placed three small pools of blood on the rock at the pinnacle of the precipice, and raised my arms again, asking for the Blessing.
What happened then, I'm almost embarrassed to tell, but it was so archtypical, and so immediate that I knew this Blessing had been granted. As I raised my hands in invocation , the clouds and the mist overhead parted briefly. The Sun beamed down on me, directly and strongly. Waves of bliss and powerful energy filled my body, and I stayed in this place for some time.
Then, for the remainder of the day, I entered the city itself, and visited one sacred site after another. A remarkable thing kept recurring. Although there were many visitors there that day, whenever I wished to be alone, I simply invoked that this would be so, and groups of people would soon go elsewhere. It was actually quite humorous, but it happened over and over again, as this place responded to my honoring and invocation of the Divine Power that resides there.
And so, Blessings to all of you from the Inca Spirit Power that dwells in Machu Picchu, a great and wondrous and most sacred place.