The Reluctant Paco

Published under: Shamanism

I once read that we should pay atten­tion to what peo­ple tease us about – because what we’re being teased about could actu­ally be one of our great­est gifts.  I’m refer­ring to good-natured teas­ing, of course — not bullying.

I’ve been teased through­out my life for talk­ing too much and for being a social but­ter­fly. And, in fact, one of my strengths is my abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate and deal with all sorts of peo­ple.  My suc­cess­ful career in cor­po­rate sales is a tes­ta­ment to that.

I was reminded of this dur­ing a recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.   I attended a work­shop given by Eliz­a­beth Jenk­ins on Inkan mys­ti­cism.  Dur­ing this week­long adven­ture, Eliz­a­beth taught us the tech­niques that she had gath­ered from the many years study­ing with the Q’ero com­mu­nity of Peru.   We did a lot cer­e­mony and sev­eral of the ini­ti­a­tions included jump­ing into freez­ing cold pools of water and walk­ing bare­foot across an old a’a lava flow.

One of the par­tic­i­pants, notic­ing my ret­i­cence to jump head­long into these exer­cises, began teas­ing me – and call­ing me “The Reluc­tant Paco.” The term “paco” in this case refers to an ini­ti­ate of the Andean mys­ti­cal tra­di­tions.  And, I real­ized right away that this was a moniker that I could wear proudly.

Hav­ing been involved in far too many to remem­ber spir­i­tual retreats and classes over the years – I’ve learned that it’s good to look before you leap.   Putting a lit­tle space between myself and what’s being taught allows me the oppor­tu­nity to judge whether what’s being given out is worth tak­ing in or not.  And, if that looks like reluc­tance — well then, so be it. ;-)

Here’s a video taken shortly after our bare­foot walk across the a’a lava flow near the Black Sand Beach.   Aloha.

For more infor­ma­tion on Eliz­a­beth Jenk­ins’ work­shops and classes, check out her web­site at

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