Meditative Explorations of the Self


Image of Don Oscar

Image of Don Oscar

 “By doing one learns; with study one refines; through dreaming one creates; in loving one fulfills—such is the secret art for tending to the perennial garden of our soul.”

– don Oscar Miro-Quesada

What do you think of when you think of religion? Is it distinct from spirituality?

Or, are these just meaningless words?

Are you atheistic? I am a-theistic. To be a-theistic is to be non-theistic with theistic meaning a particular religious philosophy. It’s the same with being a-philosophical. It’s to be without a conditioned mindset towards the world. To be a-theistic or a-philosophical is to be empty of preconditioned thoughts. This is the most spiritual and religious of experiences. Indeed, for those who dive deeply into spiritual matters, virginity is ultimately a state of emptiness. It is the mind in an unconditioned state.

For example, Jesus Christ says to be like a newborn infant. This is to be a virgin. It is also about expressing an a-theistic mindset. Does an infant have a philosophical or theological outlook on life? No, he or she is a-philosophical, a-theoretical and a-theological or a-theistic.

Philosophical, theoretical and theological as I am using the terms here are one and the same. They are ideal-isms, meaning they are ideas. The idea(l)s we call isms are particularly dangerous. Isms breed schisms every time! (Maybe that’s what’s wrong with humanism!)

Ideas define the way you look at life. They are simply your thoughts about reality. Thoughts in relation to the Psyche (Mind or Soul) are like clouds in the atmosphere. They arise, sustain and dissolve into a clear sky or pour forth to nourish the earth. They also block your view of the immensity of the cosmos.

When do you get the best view of the universe? Clearly, it’s at night when the light doesn’t blind you to all that lies beyond. Is it on a cloudy night or one that is cloudless?

Again, thoughts are your clouds. Your ego is the sun. Could you go beyond these clouds, or allow them to dissolve into a clear black sky and discover that infinity is within you?

Ah, now you know the real purpose of meditation! It’s to get rid of your cloudy mind! “Be newborn be free of yourself,” Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching. “Be like an infant”, Jesus Christ responds upon seeing a woman breastfeeding a baby. Therein lies the first step in changing the world.

Being like an infant is the same as being a-philosophical or a-theistic. Most people are conditioned to see an a-theist as being a person who is not spiritual, or does not believe in God. This is mistaken. Since the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh or I AM, then can a person truly deny that he or she exists? God is the Self or Nature. As such, the word atheistic simply means being beyond thought or theology.

Can one say Nature or the Self is non-existent? Or could we say in our contrary mode, “If Nature/Self doesn’t exist, how can you be reading this?”

The ramifications of believing in an ideology are huge. Ideologies lock us into a prejudicial ways of looking at life. They place clouds upon a mind that in its clarity gazes upon and beyond an infinite sky.

Perhaps, then, being a-theistic is the most foundational means towards being spiritually connected to Nature or the Self? Could it be atheism is the deepest of religious experience? Most folks who claim atheism are still locked into the dogma of western philosophy and thus are in the same boat as dogmatic Christians, Jews and Muslims. They have developed a reactive “ism” that mirrors the very thing they abhor. (One more thought trap to move beyond if we want to be at peace with Earth!)

Ah, let’s explore Goethe to make the point more clear: “Give them the stone of Sophia (Wisdom) and you’ll find philosophy gone, and what’s left? The stone.” He’s got it! Indeed, he’s one of the ones that gave it to me! I’d answer Goethe this way, “Yes! Philosophy as idealism goes away and what happens is we become Philo (Lovers, Eros) of Sophia (Wisdom).

A person trapped in ideologies is simply all talk. Who wants to talk about lovemaking when one can experience it and shout in ecstatic joy, “YES!”?

Are our definitions of terms like religion and philosophy the result of conditioned thoughts, our “ologies?” We could do a horror movie on this: “The Ology that destroyed the world!” Perhaps this would give people a visual to understand how our ways of looking at life are destroying it?

Aren’t our “Ologies” participants that keep us stuck in wars and abusive relationships between nations, people, men, women, children and Nature? Can you see the “Ologies” behind greed for oil, money, power, etc? Isn’t this greed for money and power also the ground for abuse?

What if we did a major reframe on what these terms mean? What would you say?

Yes, our power has been externalized. Thus we put our God on a stage behind a podium while us “sheep” sit below on hard benches soaking in his sunshine. And, if you go into a courtroom, how do the judges sit? Are they, too, gods?

“We are sheep,” the man on the pulpit speaks. Aren’t they passive creatures that are easy to lead to slaughter?

But what if the Son of Wisdom shines from within us, and is not externalized as the Man Behind the Curtain, the CEO at the head of a huge polished table, the President in the Oval Office, or on the corporate owned court bench? Are we the ones destined to truly turn over the tables of the “money handlers”? Are the actions of Christ truly ours?

Do you ever contemplate that in a church you are sitting on a wooden anal splintering bench listening to a preacher standing high above you on a heavenly stage? Yes, he explodes an orgasmic thundering of “Praise da Lord” as he preaches about ways to be saved.

Very entertaining.

And what are all these theatrics about? It’s all about getting you to ascribe to a particular way of viewing the world. And, this way is often described as being righteous while other ways are described as being wrong, or evil. They are excuses for all our wars upon “the evil empire” of all, including wilderness; that is different from “us.”

But, wait a minute. Isn’t what I say before that Nature is Essence? Who is our war truly against?

Thus, it is said, “if you don’t believe what I’m telling you; then, you will spend an eternity being tortured and fried in Hell.” In other words, don’t trust in your Self.

“Thank you for saving my Soul,” I respond. Yet, I ask: “Is this truly for my sake or even the sake of God and Nature? Or is it for the sake of the money handlers behind the curtain standing upon a pedestal? Or, perhaps, I’m here to serve YOUR ego by surrendering to your desire to control me and the world?”

If you want money for minds that hate, all I can tell you brother is you have to wait,” sings John Lennon in “Revolution,” a song written by him and Paul McCartney.

Perhaps true service is to the world, and not any theoretical, theological, or philosophical system.

Do you ever truly wonder about that man up there on the pulpit? Who gave him the authority to stand there and tell you what is right and wrong; or what will get you into heaven or hell?

“But, he’s the authority on God!” you chime in.

So, he authors (creates) God?

God in Hebrew is Yahweh, or I AM and I AM is who I am. I AM I AM. I have to be I AM otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here writing an article for I AM to read. The Lord speaks and writes this and the Lord listens to and reads this.

Who has the right to write your life? Does your I AM tell you these words are foolish, or does (S)He tell you they are wise? Or, is your I AM purely silent on the matter and just sits back and enjoys the drama?

Ultimately, what I am asking is: “Who has the right to author you in your Nature? Who is truly expressed by your Nature? The CEO’s, teachers and Preachers, or Gurus who are self-proclaimed authorities? Or is it YOU who is the authority in your I AM ness.”

Here I would take your I AMness and say, “don’t confuse who you are by your conditioning. Rather, your I AMness is totally naked in that (S)HE wears no clothing underneath the story you are living. The story you live is your clothing. You and I AM taking part in a Play. I AM is the author and partaker of the Story, but ultimately is transcendent of it.  

Where has our focus been? On I AM? No, not really. More on EGO as it has developed through our enculturation and indoctrination; more on our separate distinction and classification than on our participation in BEING! After all, throughout the world, we have allowed our lives to be authored by external authorities. Our focus has been on the “Man Behind the Curtain.” But the true authority, I AM, is within us, the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Wait, does this mean we can change the direction of the Play?

So, Dorothy, do you remember in your Soul-Story that the Man Behind the Curtain is a farce? He just wants to get back to Kansas (Heaven) just like the rest of us.

In the “Gospel of Thomas,” Jesus Christ says, “If you bring forth that which is within you; then that which is within you will save you. If you DO NOT bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will kill you.”

Geeze, no wonder Thomas was not chosen to be a part of the Christian Bible’s New Testament. Those staged behind the pulpit preachers and priests do not want you to realize that which is within you. How could they make money if you realized your Self? Alienation from Nature, from the Self, is simply not profitable.

Is the death we need to suffer a surrendering of the externalized authorities of church, state and corporation? Is our rebirth a reclaiming of our Self? Our God/dess? Our Nature.

There are teachers, or educators; who, like Christ, are here to help us unfold our potential, our true Nature. One such teacher is Peruvian Shaman don Oscar Miro-Quesada.

Don Oscar calls all of us who have an earnest desire to walk a path as spiritual pioneershis “cherished shamanic bodhisattva kin.”  He wholeheartedly welcomes us to The Heart of the Healer:Your presence in the unfolding of a spiritually evolved humanity is being celebrated throughout all worlds.“

We are all in this together. We human beings alongside the birds, bees, atmosphere and seas of our Earth operate as one ecosystem—one organism. Together we are all participants. Thus we transcend our alienating view of ourselves as particles. Wholeness or Holiness is simply what we are in our ground.

My wife and I last interviewed don Oscar regarding his book, Lessons In Courage: Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life.  We barely touched on his other accomplishments.He is also a visionary founder of The Heart of the Healer Alliance, originator of Pachakuti Mesa Tradition cross-cultural shamanism, and leader of extraordinary journeys intoto the Amazon Rainforest, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Challwanka, and Nazca. He is also a founder of Sipapu, a beautiful Retreat Center in the heart of the beautiful Madre de Dios rainforest in Peru.

            The vision of Sipapu is to regenerate earth-honoring communities by demonstrating       ecological sustainability and cultivating the ceremonial arts of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition.  The mission of Sipapu is to serve individuals and communities through educational and experiential residential experiences and field programs that nurture deep connections between earth, sacred community, and spiritual growth.   

How you interact with the world and what you say does matter. A true spiritual leader is not one to hand you a theology or philosophy and say “believe this way.” No, a true spiritual leader helps to foster you giving birth to what’s within you. This is the work of a Shaman like don Oscar.

Do you not know that the Kingdom is within you?” Jesus Christ says. Interestingly, the term sin originally meant to “miss the mark.” If we focus our powers externally on the Man dressed up in corporate garb, then are we, indeed, missing the mark and not tapping into the Cosmic Wisdom or Sophia that is within us?

I again want to repeat: In the “Gospel of Thomas,” Jesus Christ says, “If you bring forth that which is within you; then that which is within you will save you. If you DO NOT bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will kill you.”

Deep change begins in you.

Who, then, is the Savior? People like Don Oscar can counsel you in opening up to that power within yourself. A true Shaman is not so much an author-ity. Rather, he is more like a midwife. He is simply a facilitator of the Birth that you are destined to give.

Our labor is not for the man, nor is it by the man. Our labor is for the sake of all, including our selves.

The fostering of our labor—our vision, passion, and mission—is the labor of Don Oscar!

To listen to an interview of Don Oscar, visit:

Don Oscar’s website is at:



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