Tag: Miguel Angel Vergara

Maya Temples of Transformation: Watch our favourite moments from our recent journey

Earlier this year, our founder, Helen Tomei, accompanied our group on the journey: “Maya Temples of Transformation with Freddy Silva & Miguel Angel Vergara: A Sacred Journey from Palenque to Tikal”. She took several videos during the journey on her iPhone that nicely reflect the spirit of this tour.

Maya temples Mexico Guatemala
Helen Tomei (front, 2nd from left) with tour leaders Freddy Silva & Miguel Angel Vergara and our group on our journey to Mexico and Guatemala

It was a journey where participants experienced the timeless Maya knowledge of sacred geometry, number, cosmic correspondence, and ritual encoded in the temples and pyramids of Palenque, Yaxchilan, and Tikal. A sacred sites tour that elevated the seeker to discover their inner temple: the place of the soul.

We are excited to share some of our favourite moments of this transformative journey with you. If you have travelled with us, we hope these videos will bring back wonderful memories of your time in Mexico and Guatemala. If you’re coming here because you’re curious about what a spiritual pilgrimage is really like, or want to know more about Mayan spirituality, these videos will give you an insight into the experience of group travel with such knowledgeable and connected tour leaders as Freddy Silva and Miguel Angel Vergara – and hopefully inspire you to join us on future spiritual journeys.

1. Maya Temples & Temple Building, Palenque, Mexico

“We will go on building temples until people realize they are the temple.” In this video taken at Palenque, Mexico, our tour leader and best-selling author Freddy Silva discusses temple building, the geometry of perfection, and the location of temples as markers of the original energy hot spots.

2. Meditation at Tikal, Guatemala

This video was taken at the Mundo Perdido, “Lost World” ceremonial centre in Tikal – notice the blue light orb, or guardian, visiting us during our meditation here. If you were with us and noticed the orb, or if you’re watching for the first time, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

Tikal is a university that reflects the architecture of the cosmos, a ceremonial centre where the ancient Maya teachers captured the sounds from other realities. The shapes of the pyramids and temples reflect the thorough understanding of mathematics, geometry, and cosmic calendars. They are also designed to act as needles, capturing the telluric energy of the Earth and of the sky, acupuncturing the ground and the human body.

3. Yaxchilan Sounds

We were also interested in capturing sounds while in this sacred land – can you guess (or do you know!) what the sound is in this video taken at the sacred site of Yaxchilan, Mexico? What are your thoughts on it – is it a sound you would be happy waking up to every day or one you’d rather keep a distance from? We’d love to hear from you!

4. Freddy Silva: Power of Stone

In this video you’ll see Freddy Silva discussing the conductive power of the sacred stones near Yaxchilan, and then dowsing for the energy fields that surround them. Learn about energy hot spots, the wisdom of the ancients, and the conscious process of working with intent. Whether you “believe” in dowsing or not, you’ll see that this is a very powerful experience.

5. Miguel Angel Vergara leads a tranquil meditation

Maya Master Teacher Miguel Angel Vergara leads our group in tranquil meditation overlooking the sacred site of Tikal in Guatemala. Imagine a blue stone, the colour of turquoise, listen to the sounds of a jungle meditation and let yourself be transported to this sacred land of Mayan temples…

We hope you enjoyed these 5 videos from our sacred journey to the Maya temples of Mexico and Guatemala. We have published more on our Sacred Earth Journeys YouTube channel, and will continue to upload more over the next little while! If you travelled with us on this journey we’d love to know your own favourite moments!

~ Sacred Earth Journeys

A Ceremony Amid Sun-Dappled Mayan Ruins

Read Sacred Earth Journeys’ participant and travel writer Lori Erickson’s third instalment about her journey to Mexico & Guatemala in this week’s feature guest blog.

When you visit a sacred site, how can you figure out what makes it holy? This challenge is doubly difficult, of course, if the people who built the holy site lived hundreds of years ago.

Mexico tour leader Miguel Angel Vergara
Miguel Angel Vergara leads a prayer at one of the Mayan sites on our tour with Sacred Earth Journeys. (Bob Sessions photo)

On our Maya Temples of Transformation tour with Sacred Earth Journeys (see my previous posts on Palenque and Exploring Sacred Mayan Sites), we were fortunate to have Miguel Angel Vergara and Freddy Silva as our guides. I especially appreciated how Miguel–who is a living link to ancient Maya traditions–led ceremonies at each of the sites we visited. He helped us enter a very different spiritual world.

Of the three major Mayan sites we visited, Yaxchilan was the smallest, but in some ways it was my favorite. This was partly because of the Indiana-Jones-style in which we traveled to it: a 45-minute boat ride on the Usamacinta River on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Along the way we passed mile after mile of dense rainforest, with occasional crocodiles sunning themselves on the river banks. At the end of our river trip, we hiked up a steep hill and then walked down a winding forest path until we finally arrived at the archeological site.

It was worth the effort.

boat ride in Mexico
The Mexican archeological site of Yaxchilan is accessible only by boat or airplane. (Bob Sessions photo)

Yaxchilan was the capital of a jungle kingdom that reached its height during the reigns of Lord Shield Jaguar and his son Bird Jaguar, two evocatively named Mayan leaders of the eighth century. More than 120 structures were built here, though only a small fraction have been excavated. Surrounded by forest, the site has a central plaza area flanked by a mixture of ruins and partially reconstructed buildings.

As we approached the entrance to Yaxchilan, Miguel gathered our group of 15 people into a circle and filled our cupped hands with a small amount of scented water. As we splashed the water over our heads, I recognized a classic rite of purification, a common feature of nearly all religions. Next Miguel gave us a few drops of an aromatic oil, which we used to anoint our foreheads–again, something I was familiar with in my own Christian tradition.

Yaxchillan in Mexico
Temple 33 at Yaxchilan is reached by climbing a steep flight of narrow stairs. (Bob Sessions photo)

Miguel then directed us to put out our hands once again. “We will make an offering to the spirits of this place as we enter their home,” he said, going around the circle to pour a small mound of corn kernels into our hands “As you walk into Yaxchilan, you can honor them by the throwing the kernels along the path.”

Then we filed, one by one, into a shadowed passageway of stone, which wound around in the darkness for a number of yards before we climbed a small flight of steps. As we ascended, I could see the brilliant green of the jungle framed by a doorway ahead of us. The transition from darkness into light felt mythic and ancient.

At last we emerged into the full expanse of Yaxchilan. Though much smaller in size than Palenque, it nevertheless had a similar air of grandeur. With each step we took, the sounds of the forest became louder: the shrill caws and melodic twittering of birds and the rasp of insects. The greenery pressed close to the buildings, as if it was eager to overtake them once again.

After passing by several sets of low-lying ruins, we saw a temple on a hill above us, a landmark reached by a set of narrow, steep steps.

“Before we explore, let us gather together for a ceremony,” Miguel said.

stone mayan tablet
Elaborately carved stone tablets hint of the complex society that created Yaxchilan. (Bob Sessions photo)

We formed a circle around him, close to the base of the large temple, and watched as he took out the elements of the ritual–small wooden bowls that he filled with water, a drum, incense, pieces of brightly patterned cloth. He invited us to place our own sacred offerings in the center of the circle. People came forward with stones, crystals, and other symbolic items.

I looked around at my fellow travelers, most dressed in the white clothing that Miguel had suggested we wear that day. I could see how seriously people were taking this ritual, though for many of us it was likely a departure from our own traditions. I was struck, too, by the silence that had fallen upon us–a sure sign of the holy approaching.

And then–I kid you not–the howler monkeys began a chorus. From the treetops nearby they began to vocalize, a primal and wild sound unlike any I’d heard before. I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of church services would be greatly enhanced by the addition of some howler monkeys in the choir.

During the next half hour, Miguel led us in a ceremony that had echoes of shamanic ceremonies from around the world. He invoked the four directions and then the power of sky and earth. He led us in prayers and chanting, our songs accompanied by the rhythmic beat of the drum, which formed a hypnotic counterpoint to the sounds of the monkeys and the other forest creatures. He invited us to enter into the spirit of the place with our hearts, not just with our minds.

It was one of the most powerful ceremonies I’ve ever attended (and I’ve been part of a lot of rituals). It made me think, too, of the many holy sites I’ve been to where the sacred takes a back seat to tourism. It was a rare privilege to be led by Miguel into a deeper experience in this isolated forest oasis. His quiet wisdom helped us see that while Yaxchilan’s glory has faded, it is still a living spiritual site.

sacred site of Yaxchillan Mexico
The sun-dappled ruins of Yaxchilan are surrounded by dense jungle. (photo by Bob Sessions)

For the rest of the afternoon as I wandered amid the ruins of Yaxchilan, the ceremony led by Miguel framed my experience. It gave me a glimpse of why the Mayans created these remarkable landmarks of stone, here in this forest inhabited by creatures seen and unseen.

~ Lori Erickson

This blog was first published on www.patheos.com

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/holyrover/2017/02/22/12517/

 

Top Sacred Journeys for 2015

Whether your yard is still buried deep under snow or those first buds of spring are starting to peek though, February is a perfect month to start your vacation planning.  Here we round up our 2015 sacred journeys: from a writer’s retreat in Ireland to an Ayurveda program in India, we’re sure to have something to nourish your spirit.

Women’s Spiritual Art Journey in Bali with Mooh Hood and Lori Goldberg: A Transformative Travel Gift to Yourself, March 12 – 23, 2015

Group-2Bin-2BBali

Women’s Spiritual Art Journey is a rare opportunity to participate with a small group of women to engage with the local Balinese, explore the lush landscapes, pray at the Mother Temple, immerse in the Holy Springs and tap into your creative process and create a daily art journal (no experience needed). You will be travelling with Bali expert Mooh Hood and artist Lori Goldberg on this journey of profound connection and discovery. Read the full journey details on our website. 

There are a couple of spots remaining on this life-changing journey – book now to secure your place! 

A Spiral Journey into the Heart of Ireland with Phil Cousineau: Explore the Mythology, Arts and Spirituality of the Ancient and Modern Celtic World, September 19 – 30, 2015 (with a Dublin Extension, Sep 30 – Oct 3)

Ireland_men

Join writer and filmmaker Phil Cousineau as he leads you on a journey that spirals into the heart and soul of one of the most unique cultures in the world seeking the presence of Ireland’s great trilogy of “myth, poetry and magic” through its incantatory storytelling, hypnotic music, and the sheer beauty of glorious countryside. The journey includes visits to the Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, Yeats’ Tower, Galway, Croagh Patrick and Donegal Castle as well as the vibrant cities of Belfast and Dublin (extension). With special guest appearances by local writers scholars and cultural leaders, and dedicated time for daily discussions and journal writing, this is a culturally and spiritually rich tour not to be missed. Discover more here.

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Applying the 13 Principles of KuKuulKaan

A New Message from Miguel Angel Vergara ahead of our journey, December 1-9 2014: “Sacred Path Of Quetzalcoatl-Kukuulkaan with Miguel Angel Vergara: A Journey to Discover Your Potential in the Land of the Toltec & Maya”.

Quetzalcoatl-Kukuulkaan

When the Spanish arrived in Yucatan, the Maya had many books telling of their history, science, medicine, and spiritual beliefs and practices written in Maya hieroglyphs. Most were destroyed but some were first transcribed in Maya using the European script taught to them by the Spanish in the 16th century.

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