The Heart of the World The tallest coastal mountain on Earth rises nearly 19,000 feet above the Caribbean in northern Colombia. The people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta escaped the Spanish some five hundred by living in the high country, near the perpetual snows. They live on their ancestral lands of our planet’s highest coastal mountain: The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, whose territory encompasses all of Earth’s climate zones – from tropical to alpine. Thus, their home is known as “the Heart of the World,” so named by virtue of every climatic zone, from tropical to alpine, being represented here. Their territory is roughly the size of Rhode Island. But then, in the late 1980s, these people who consider themselves the caretakers of Nature noticed their glacial snows melting. Something was wrong. And, knowing they were doing their job of upholding and living in harmony with the Great Harmony that we call Nature, they realized that the rest of the world, with whom they had little contact, was wreaking havoc. The people living at the Heart of the World call themselves the Teyuna. Their name – Teyuna – means “clear thinking.” They are clear thinkers by a) their training and b) their largesse of scope. Via their direct contact with the interconnectedness of all living beings – which include Rivers, Mountains, Trees and Rocks – the specially trained Teyuna Mamos (holy men) and Zagas (holy women) train their children from birth to respect, behold and act on behalf of the Great Harmony, which they call Sé. The Teyuna live in ways of balance, so as to walk as part of Sé. This balanced way of life, along with their remarkable training from infancy in the ways of Sé have won them the powers of healing – of returning balance to aspect of Nature that have gone out of balance. The Teyuna of The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta The Teyuna of northern Colombia have the necessary skills to restore the great Rivers of our world, even if those Rivers have been polluted. These marvelously trained People of Balance see the entirety of Nature, each piece interconnected in a vast tapestry of intelligent and creative light. The four Families/Tribes of the Teyuna – The Kogi, the Arhuaco, the Wiwa and the Kanquamo – are the last pre-Columbian people on Earth. Their culture goes back 12,000 years of unbroken community. The Teyuna speak of themselves as the caretakers of Mother Earth. This is their station. It is an office they execute capably. Hence, they consider themselves “the Elder Brother,” with the rest of humanity referred to as “Younger Brother.” However, in the 1980s, the permanent snows of their alpine mountain began to melt. Currently only one of their seven peaks has snow. The Teyuna knew that they were doing their job, and realized that it is the Younger Brother who was acting in ways of disrespect in denial of the Great Harmony, thereby bringing injury to the holographic intelligence of Mother Earth. In this regard, two films [From the Heart of the World (1990) and Aluna (2014)] were made as a clarion call from Elder Brother to the Little Brother in these potentially catastrophic times. BBC film producer, Alan Ereira, was invited by the Kogi to make a film released in 1992, still available on YouTube (, called From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brother’s Warning, about the Teyuna’s plea for ecological sanity in a time when the earth is being ravaged by so- called civilized people. Their cry must now be heard, and to this end this proposal to the MacArthur Foundation is now being submitted. These unparalleled people, the Teyuna, devote every facet of their lives to being the harmonious keepers of the ways of Nature. They live simply, dress in off-white cotton clothing that is basic in design, a clothing they always wear so that Mother Earth will have no problem in recognizing them, a clothing that, amazingly, is impenetrable to the x-rays of the security searches in airports, a strange fact that points to the mysterious depth of their connection and devotion to Mother Nature. Not only dedicated, but uniquely and permanently educated, trained Teyuna can commune with Nature and, in that pure alignment, merge the need (the enlivenment of a dying river, for example) of Mother Earth with their direct perception of the Great Harmony (Aluna). The result is perhaps like a prayer certain to be answered for the great enlivenment and protection of a mountain (Mt. Shasta) or a mountain chain (the Sangres de Cristos), a River, even a Seacoast. Pagamento – Repaying Nature for Countless Continual Kindnesses The Mamos and Zagas, in order to do their duty to life and to care for Mother Earth, offer pagamentos for the purpose of repaying Mother Earth for her constant and abundant gifts, gifts that have been misused and overlooked by those members of our human family who are self-centered and careless. Pagamentos are not rituals, but consultations with Mother Nature and then taking action on such advice. Pagamento means to ‘pay back’ – to make an energetic exchange -- and this is what the Teyuna Water experts do: They offer these intimate ‘conversations’ so as to return to Mother Earth some of the energy that Mother Earth freely and without judgment bestows on all of humanity. The Teyuna are also without judgment, a quality required in performing pagamento. When a few Teyuna journeyed to the United States in September of 2019, they made pagamentos for all 1865 miles of the Rio Grande River, the 2341 miles of the Missouri River and the 2348 miles of the Mississippi River, as well as the entire Atlantic Seaboard). What about the rest of the world, especially the ancient sacred sites? To this question this grant proposal offers a very accomplishable methodology. It is no surprise that our proposal focuses on the Teyuna (also called the Tayrona), for, by their remarkable dedication to serving Mother Earth and by their long history of humble and well-developed intimacy with Nature’s potencies, they have developed abilities that are not found in any other culture on Earth. They have long cherished this subtly potent closeness, by which they have been gifted with abilities to bring healing to rivers and all bodies of water, to mountain ranges and to repair the harms done by mining and the ruin of so many of the sacred places of our abundant world. In order to effect change in the environment, the Teyuna Water Experts will do pagamento for the great Rivers of the world, but will also offer pagamento to the local mountain(s), trees and rocks in each respective location. In this holistic way, the Rivers will be blessed in a context of the entire ecosystem…and the whole of the land will regain integrity. In term of restoring Sacred Sites, some of these sites will be those already well-known, but by virtue of their reputation and popularity, these sites have been embraced too closely, the life having, as it were, been squeezed out. Other sites will be less known, and some will be known only to the Mamos and Zagas. These experts in the Great Balance operate vibrationally, such that the outer presentation of each sacred site may not tell the story of its actual degree of ruin. These Teyuna water experts are not swayed by external appearance, but rather seek the internal aliveness and, to the degree that a given site has lost its liveliness for whatever reasons, the energization is prayerfully provided by virtue of the pagamento being offered. Pagamento Results The necessity of proving results from Teyuna pagamentos is obvious. Western minds and western science are not yet attuned to meta-sensory data and procedure. Understandable. Yet here are Water Eco-Experts who have stunning abilities, abilities unmatched by any culture or community on Earth. Of course, it has taken 12,000 years of transmission from generation to generation, plus a great deal of purity, devotion and humility to be able to ‘speak’ with clear thoughts (the meaning of Teyuna) to Mother Nature, the source of all-natural solutions. Here are some examples of gifts returned for pagamento repayments to Mother Earth. Example: Native peoples are often sent to lands undesirable to the powers who are sending them. How can anyone live on land without water? THE PUDDLE Mamo Rodrigo heard of a place (Yuimke…’ju-ma-kay’) abandoned by the people who used to live there because there was no water. They would walk to another location in order to bring water – not easy. Mamo Rodrigo’s father did a consultation to see if there was a chance that water could be called there. The answer was ‘yes’. He knew that, if people were going to stay, they needed water. Mamo Rodrigo’s father did pagamento to call the water. One day, it rained a lot, and created a puddle. The puddle never dried. Example: When a negative influence from the land begins to be dangerous to the population, what can be done? KISSING BUGS The Colombian government realized that a pesky insect, called pito (‘pea-toe’ – Kissing Bugs) was having a big year, its population growing and growing to dangerous levels. Obviously, government – using military personnel -- began spraying poisons to control the infestation... at considerable cost. However, when the Teyuna saw one of their children being noxiously affected and growing ill (Chagas disease), the four Families met together in Council to ask what to do. The result was to get the Colombian government officials to halt the spraying, while Teyuna Mamos offered pagamento to Mother Earth regarding these bugs. Within three days all the Kissing Bugs were gone and no more poisons were spread upon the land. Example: When a weather consequence grows dire, who can be counted on to offer effective assistance? DROUGHT Crestone, a small town home to a number of friends of the Teyuna, had been in a drought since 2004. Fifteen years is a very long time without normal moisture. It’s “the new normal,” citizens were told. Trees still were falling from the lack of rain and snow, to name only an obvious consequence of the continuing drought. Three Teyuna Mamos came to visit in September of last year, doing three pagamentos in the local area. This winter has witnessed a significant snowfall, with snows still lasting Into July – almost unheard of in the last three decades. And, in the generous way of Nature, the entire western slope of the Colorado Rockies had their first above-average snowfall in many years. By doing pagamentos to mosquitoes and other pests, the Teyuna control infestation. By offering pagamento, the Teyuna avoid infections. The Great Harmony The Teyuna live according to the principles of life – the laws by which Nature flows in her orderly, harmonious ways. Principle Three: As the Teyuna Mamos and Zagas know of and perceive the holographic inter-relatedness of all beings and all things, such that everything is interconnected, the Teyuna do not violate the principle of Always act in ways of harmony, attend to the wholeness of life, and give no power to negativity. Thus, in carrying out their work in fulfillment of this 100&Change Grant, the Teyuna will not violate the ways of Nature, will not injure the ecological harmonies. Moreover, the Teyuna understand that the Rivers are part of an ecological wholeness, such that the entirety of each respective ecosystem will require pagamento. What is the authenticity of such a statement? When a Mamo, one of the Teyuna holy men, and a Zaga, one of the Teyuna holy women, unite in marriage and have a child, that offspring is brought up more carefully than any other infants on Earth. Such children are raised by wise parents who constantly are whispering to their child the teachings of the Great Harmony (Sé), the interconnectedness of all things. At the age of nine to fourteen, such fortunate children behold the holographic essence of the the natural realm and actually perceive the interconnections therein. With such profound experience underlying their consciousness, such Teyuna children then are mentored by elder Mamos and Zagas, and learn how to minister to the Waters, or guard against negativity, or enter the realm of sacred Music, for example. The Teyuna Scientists For hundreds of generations, the Teyuna have been devoting their lives to serving Nature and the great harmony that they perceive is everywhere intelligent and abundant. Their millennia-honed skills have resulted in their ability to work on the very subtle – and, therefore, very wide-reaching – levels of natural organization and interconnectivity. Ergo, the Teyuna are super-scientists, among the finest scientists in the world in their capabilities to affect change. And what other scientists have the ability to address water pollution and deadness, land toxicity, air quality, soil depletion? They are the David to slay the Goliath of world carelessness. The secret to their unparalleled ability is, paradoxically and yet heroically, their millennia of cumulative humility, respect, love and patience with the ways of human desire meeting the desireless Way of Nature. Indeed, the Teyuna focus, care and capability arises precisely because they bring no ego to their devotion to Nature and our precious Planet, and it is their egolessness that is the sole cure for the devastations brought about by that central egoic aspect of human beings.
The Teyuna of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
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