I walked back from the school run today with a friend who is a dog-owner. As we reached a slightly squashed dog poo, she paused and mused, “Ah. I’m not sure, but I think I’ll take responsibility for that one.” And she duly did the deed with the plastic bag.
What I want to share today is a practice that on an energetic level is much the same. It’s about picking up after ourselves, and in the process becoming more radiant, creative and joyful.
In the Inka tradition, which is the shamanic path I am studying, everything in the universe is understood to be made up of energy. The flow of energy of the universe (known as ‘sami’) is light and naturally abundant. If we are in harmony with it, we are also light and joyful. When the flow is blocked, the energy becomes stagnant, and heavy energy (known as ‘hoocha’ is created) As only humans have free will, only we create hoocha, and only we can clear it. Hoocha (like poo) is not evil; we are not sinners for creating it. It’s just that we don’t want it hanging around us. Consciously choosing to give away hoocha is like saying, “I think I’ll take responsbility for that one.” It’s both a duty, and a service to the world. And it also (like decluttering your house, which I also recommend!) clears space for good new things to arrive.
Here is a human with her bubble of energy (‘poqpo’). In our pure state, our energy field is bright and glowing, plugged into the ecstatic flow of the universe. But daily the world impacts our energy with its disappointments, aggression, misery. We also create our own hoocha (our irritations, fear, jealousy etc). This ancient Inka practice allows us to clear our bubble, and return the hoocha to the earth, where it can be transformed.
Standing upright, plant your feet solidly on the earth. Visualise your ‘energy bubble’ around yourself. You can use your hands to help build a sense of how far out your energy extends around yourself. It extends to the front and back, left and right, above your head, and below your feet, as in the picture above.
- Call on a powerful cleansing light or shower of clean rain (Sami) from above to wash away the hoocha from the outside of your bubble. This is the residue from other people and the world: stuff that isn’t yours. See the hoocha dripping off like mud, and seeping into mother earth, with your thanks. (Sometimes, I find a pressure hose is needed . . . )
- Now open a little aperture at the top of your bubble, above your crown. Bring in the light / rain to cleanse this space between the bubble and the outside of your body. This is the hoocha you have created: your fears, jealousies, irritations and so on. Give these away too, with thanks for everything they have taught you.
- Thirdly, bring the light through the crown of your head into your physical body, cleansing every cell, especially your organs, leaving them sparkling and golden. Pay special attention to any part of the body that feels tight or unwell in any way. Send the hoocha to the earth, with thanks.
Finally, fill up with light, and then close the aperture at the top of the bubble and feel yourself clear and bright, relaxed and alert. In this state you are better able to deal with the knocks and bumps of the day, and to stay present to all kinds of suffering, without getting overwhelmed or depressed.
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We live, as the Chinese curse goes, in Interesting Times. Sometimes the news is so Interesting, it’s hard to remember that Life is essentially creative, beautiful, abundant. (And I’m aware that it’s not very British to suggest this. Especially in February.)
The practise of Samin Chakuy reminds me that the fear and gloom is like a dark mist in the atmosphere. It seems like reality, but actually it can be washed away. The truth of life is far more extraordinary and magnificent, unpredictable and magical that it seems.
And there’s more. When we decide to do this practice, we also enter into a giving and receiving relationship with Pachamama, the earth and Sami, the life force. We begin by giving away our hoocha, which Pachamama willingly receives. This makes us ready to receive more from the flow of the universe, staying alert to what opportunities come our way. This principle of reciprocity, known as ‘Ayni’, is fundamental to the Inka world view. See more about it in this wonderful article by Inka World.
I recommend doing Samin Chakuy every morning, after a long journey, after a stressful day . . . as often as you like. Once you get used to it, you can do it in a few breaths anywhere and anytime.