What follows is a true story relayed to us, a group of shamans on a pilgrimage on Mount Ausangate in Peru in July 2008. The story was being told by Apu Ausangate, a mountain spirit, who spoke in Spanish. His words were being simultaneously translated to us by Jose Luis, an Inca shaman. This is an excerpt from the notes from my trip diary “Conversations with Mountain Spirits.”
THANKSGIVING PEARLS OF WISDOM: QUALITY vs. QUANTITY OF PRAYERS
In answer to one of the questions by other group members about faith and prayers, a male spirit said, “let me answer that question with a story.”
He said there was once a young man who got badly injured up in the mountains. He somehow managed to drag himself down the mountain to a village. He was barely alive. A woman saw him, took him into an empty hut on the edge of the river, across from her home. She nursed his wounds, and cared for him for days, bringing him food and drink every day.
Then one day, there was a violent storm that caused the river to swell up. Flash floods washed away the only bridge. So the woman became very despondent. She was worried that the young man in the cottage across the river may suffer and die without her help. So she prayed very earnestly to God and to the spirits to help her find the way out of her dilemma. In answer to her prayer, she got the message that she should just walk across the river.
So having total faith in God and the spirits, that’s what she did. She crossed the river on foot, without a bridge, literally walking on water. She brought the food and drink to the young man and then walked back.
Now in the same village, there lived a priest who was very dedicated to his job. He would at times serve 10 masses a day, even if only one person attended. So having seen what had just happened with that woman, he thought, “well, is an ordinary peasant woman can do that, surely I can do the same thing. I’ve served the Lord faithfully for so many years.”
So he walked down to the edge of the river, said his usual prayers, and then waded in, expecting also to be able to walk on water. He was washed away and drowned.
The moral of the story, according to the Spirit: It is not the quantity of prayers that counts. And it’s not the prayers that come from your head by rote that matter. It is the quality of prayers, and the depth of the feelings that come from the heart that make the difference. They will reach the Spirit and the Creator.
And then you will be able also to experience miracles, such as walk on water.
That’s Pearls of Wisdom from the Spirit realm for this Thanksgiving 2013.