Through my extensive research into all things that give life energy, I was drawn to the teachings of ancient Mayan civilizations, specifically the Nahuatl and Toltec people of Mesoamerica. The Toltec believed that in order to find peace in this world and find a place in the afterlife, one must cast off the attachments and domestications binding their energy. The Nahuatl found this energy radiated from the body through three entities: The Tonalli, Teyolía, and Ihíyotl, the three souls in the body. Tonalli is located in the fontanel area of the skull, within the mind and subconsciousness. Teyolía is located in the heart and Ihíyotl is in the liver.
After travelling through the region and meeting inhabitants in the northern Sierra de Puebla, I discovered Tonalli to be the soul that enters and leaves the body during life. Some even believed it travels while sleeping, leaves during a sneeze or a yawn, or even when startled. It was common knowledge that one must wait a period of time before Tonalli returned and during that time, anything could enter the body. By focusing mindfulness and meditation directly on Tonalli, I understood that it is the protector of one’s mind and energy, and that through a deepening of one’s energy, understanding and vibrations, one can join consciousness and unconsciousness and leave the body by joining directly with Tonalli.
Conversely, the soul of the heart and liver do not leave the body during life, but rather at the exact moment of death. However, through a deepening of Teyolía and Ihíyotl, one can refine and enhance one’s relationship with Tonalli.
One theme manifested itself during these experiences and thus became apparent as both the meaning of life and the afterlife.
By deepening, we live.
Walking a path of enlightenment, searching for profound energy, joining physically and spiritually with others, meditating and connecting with Tonalli, all these things deepened the mind, energy and soul and worked to connect our conscious with our unconscious.
In 2012, Ta’amism was born. And now, on the day of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, sitting on the west coast of Oregon as the moon passes in front of the sun, we begin our venture into a web space that will provide a new outlet for deepening and sharing with others.
In ancient Mayan, Ta’am refers to the profound and deep. Within Ta’amism, our deity is internal. All gods, heavens and hells exist within us. Each member of the Ta’amist community is connected through their Tonalli, their soul of the mind. The Ta’am exists in each of our three souls and the goal of the Ta’amist is to deepen each and connect with Tonalli. To worship within the Ta’am is to celebrate the energy of each member, to feel their presence through meditation, ritual and ceremony. There is no prayer for the Ta’amist, for there is no being higher than each of us. Rather, there is fellowship within the Ta’am.
The Ta’amist believes in energy above all things, and uses that energy to deepen. Energy connects each of us, and connects us to the universe. The manner and breadth of energy we put into the universe will manifest in return. By meditating, showing gratitude, respect, tolerance, peace, forgiveness and love, the Ta’amist will deepen and realize on these vibrations. Conversely, by expending the energy of negativity, anger, intolerance, judgment and hate, the Ta’amist has shallowed, she has lost her connection with Tonalli and has separated from the community.