Three days earlier we peeled the Wachuma in our outdoor temple area. We then seperated the dark green outerlying parts into chunks. The chunks were then boiled down with a small amount of water to make “quac” or “goo” which was placed in the vitamix to make just the most goo-rific texture.
We sat in our ceremonial circle w/ Jose, we took turns smudging with a large handful of feathers and Palo Santo. A white onyx ceremonial cup flanked by two frogs sculptured into it’s side was produced.
You need to drop the ego mind, just to get the “Quac” down, your thoughts must leave you because this specific “quac” texture, the Wachuma, acts like one huge thick snake, you basically need to take the entire cup down in one sitting, breathing through the nose, selfishly gulping down as the “quac” slithers down to your belly, it tastes like medicine.
After our drinking ceremony we grabbed our backpacks and followed Jose to a beautiful piece of terrace land overlooking the valley. The terraced land was filled with blossoming peach trees and a large avocado tree dominated the terrace of our arrival. Remnants of buildings and walls gave the feeling of being surrounded by ruinas.
We circled up, and began by opening our Wiracocha (sacred space of the 8th chakra) and began our shamanic exercises, starting with yoga. We then moved to our circulatory movement of running in place, getting the blood and circulation flowing, we ran in place for what seemed like an eternity, the medicine began to “kick in” on the walk up to the land, some where already beginning to purge. We moved on to our Shamanic Breathing, inhaling arms up overhead after three pump exchanges with allpamama, I almost hit the ground from the vibration and watched more than one person in our group “Fish Out” as though they had taken too much Nitrous into their body.
We then learned to give energy with our breath and receive with our breath. We were instructed to find our own space and perform a conscious exchange with Earth, a flower, water, a rock, whatever called to us.
I turned and walked up the ruins of the terrace behind me. The blossoming trees growing directly out of a small stream along the walls of the ruin. I began to try the energy exchange with the tree, the feel of the tree was raw and energetic, I could feel the dryness of its age, I looked up to the sun spiraling through the roof of its blossoms. As my senses heightened, as the energy in everything waved and waivered, to and there, I looked into the branched to discover another world seldomly focused on. Teal colored air plants growing out of multicolored moss and lichens, even the dead branches of the tree harbored their own ecosystem of plants and parasites.
Walking along the wall of carefully placed stones, shaping and exchanging with their rock neighbors and the plant life, I jumped down to the brook that made its way on a diagonal transverse across the land. I prepared my good intention to share with the river, I blew intention into my hands and gently placed them below the soft cool moving water. I drew the coolness of the water into my hands, bringing them to meet my breath, I felt cooled and liquified, I repeated this ceremoniously many times, drawing the cooling watery energy up to my breath to enter my body. I then returned to the grass, I grabbed my sketchbook and began to pur ideas and sketches of my surroundings, page after page without stalling, I continued to create images that ment words and words that created imagery, I loved especially, the clouds. The clouds so full of life as they breathed along the sky, following their own path, full and empty, light and dark, the landscape took deep breaths. The rocks, the trees everything alive along the path of the wind.
Without words, we slowly began to descend to a lower terrace, a perfectly flat grassy area, we began as a group but on our own, to practice tai chi and qigong, dance with the earth, dance with the wind, the Qi practice was the most connected I have ever felt, the pulsating land around us, breathing intention, every breath we gave energy, receiving the gifts of the earth, each breath better than the one before, I had to sit.
After sometime had passed or maybe no time at all, I stood again. Moved back to my Qi practice before retreating up to the temple terrace of our arrival. I took out the sketchbook and began to pour into it every thought that came to mind before drawing the image of a dancing blossom tree, set against the steep backdrop of the mountains. The way the tree grew, it seemed to move at the same pace as the girls practicing Tai Chi on the terrace below, my view was filled with connective beauty, the colors and gentle twisting of the tree, the elegance of the dancing girls on the terrace down below.
Coby came to visit and greeted me as “rabbi” the first words I heard in maybe hours sent me into a laugh. He loved the drawing and felt connected to the tree and dancing girls as well. The drawing of the blossom against the mountains, pouring forth from the ruins.
I at some point sat on some stairs and had a stretch deep into my left hip and belly, an obnoxious blockage of energy kept me from fully relaxing my belly and my side.
I gently made my way down to Lacey and we cuddled on a manta, watching the clouds passed across the edgy mountains, enjoying each others breath. Beautiful warm and connected thoughts flooded my minds eye.
Coby appeared again. and sent us all to Jose one by one. Jose had prepared multiple piles of Coca Leaves to give to each one of us as an offering to the Earth and Spirit. I slightly noticed that he had went for one pile of leaves for me and then quickly moved his hands to another pile (the meaning of which I would find out later.) Lacey and I parted ways after kneeling together to receive our Coca offering. I went back towards my original brook that my previous energy exchange took place. I set my intention through my breath and soul, into my Coca leaves, with great care, connectivity and wisdom, I brought the leaves to my third eye, swiped my palms from the tip of the fingers to the wrist and places my Coca leaves gently into my brook. I then enjoyed the healing of the water, splashing it gently onto my face neck and chest.
We once again returned to our original terrace. Jose spoke to our group again, beautiful words of love and nature, connecting, giving, receiving, imagery of tree and roots and fruits.
It was finally time to leave our sacred space. You never take the same path twice on a journey. We began to ascend farther up the mountain, through the ruins and the creeks, past the flowers and trees, the gentle rumble of the creeks and winds surrounding us.
We finally came to a thick part of the forest, which led to an outcrop of rocks, hiding a small pool, fed and drained by the river. Jose took a branch of Blue Eucalyptus, their sweet smelling eaves refresh you to the soul. One at a time we approached the pool, standing on a smooth rock at the pools edge. Jose dipped the branches in the cooling river and gently patted our bodies down, the smell of the Eucalyptus refreshed my senses, the cold water energized my body and soul.
We couldn’t help but sway with the flow of the Tao, as we waited for the rest of the groups baptism. The Wachuma now coming in waves of energy, we hiked up and out. Past cows, past fields of flowers used to feed the honeybees, past beautiful rock structures and breathtaking views of the Valley. Back to the main road, back to the path that led back to home, back to Sacred Mandala, Arin.
We returned in High Spirits, among other things. We grabbed an incredibly tuned and amazing sounding Jimbe and hung in hammocks by the fire. I drummed and we smoked as the sun changed and transformed the color of the sky. A prism of colors ending in darkness and the twinkle of the estrellas.
Around dinner time we returned to the kitchen to eat. We found most of the girls there, the couches and tables abruptly and halfhazrdly moved out of the way. Reggae music was playing as the girls continues to rub honey, bananas and any other sweet foods onto their faces, then rubbing, licking, eating, kissing the face cream between them. Giggles and kisses. There was also dance moves choreographed to embrace the moment.
Dinner! Finally! or should I just skip to dessert, upside down, backwards pineapple sweet cake, Martin the cooks accidental invention that captivated our expression of taste and feel. Ommmazing
*At some point Coby told me that when Jose was picking out the Coca leaves for our offering at the terraced land, he across a set that told him there was an artist in the group, a male, Coby realized it could only be me as I was the only other male, this is why Jose moved his hands to a different pile
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Darin Lehman is a Yoga & Qigong Teacher, Shamanic Guide, Musician, Artist and Writer.