“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
The world—the material universe we call Pachamama in the Andean tradition—has a grandeur we can hardly fathom. It is rich in diversity beyond the scope of our imaginations. But its grandeur and fecundity are not beyond our means of experience.
Rather than simply noticing the material world, as a paqo you want to have the personal power to be able to “taste” it—to perceive it energetically—as if it were a smorgasbord of goodies laid out to satisfy your personal appetite.
When I teach the tradition, after helping people perceive their poq’po (energy bubble) and locate their qosqo (primary energy center at the belly), I have them practice sending out seqes of energy like tongues to “taste” the world of living energy.
What does the grass taste like? That cloud? That patch of sand? How about a daisy? Does that daisy taste differently from the wisteria vine? From that patch of poison ivy? What do you perceive when you taste that plastic lawn chair? Is the flavor of its plastic different from the plastic of the child’s beach bucket? Does a Cadillac taste different from a Subaru? And on and on. I even ask multiple people to taste the same thing—say, a particular tree—to see if their energetic sense of the tree is similar or not. It may not be since we perceive the universe through the condition of our own energy body, but it often is.
“Taste” is a metaphor the paqos use, because they also use the metaphor of the energetic “stomach” for your qosqo. You are not really tasting energy as you would taste food. If you send a seqe out to a lemon tree, your taste buds won’t protest at the acidity. Instead, you perceive the energetic signature, or “personality” if you will, of that lemon tree. Does it feel light, heavy, healthy, sick, coherent, dissonant, or a host of other possible perceptions? According the Andean tradition, and to many other energy traditions, everything in the universe—even those things that are inorganic—has some semblance of sentience, of consciousness. So it may well be that you also perceive the consciousness of that lemon tree. It might even “talk” to you!
As an example, I once tasted a white plastic lawn chair. My preconceived expectation was that it would feel stiff and hard. It didn’t. It felt malleable, porous, and even a bit spongy. What most surprised me though is that once I had established an energetic connection with it, I felt that chair had emotions! It felt immensely happy, even giddy! What I perceived was a “being” of plastic that was happy to have been molded into a chair, not a handle or a hose or something else. It was delighted that it was an object that could be close to human beings. It loved human energy, and was proud to be an object they regularly used. Call me crazy. . .
Even if you pick up a “story” from the object, perceiving in the Andean tradition is not the same as using your intuition. Perception goes beyond intuitive knowing to a visceral perception—it is a feeling at the level of the body, although it also can be of the mind and emotions.
When you taste an object, you may also pick up the energy imprint of people or animals or others who interact with that object all the time. For example, I said above that you might try tasting different kinds of cars. I actually tried that as an experiment. After doing this exercise or training hundreds of times, I realized I had never tasted cars. Beyond its basic “isness” as a metal and plastic and rubber object, I wondered if different models tasted differently. I tasted a Cadillac (metallic, sinuous almost like flowing mercury, and more) and a Subaru (felt like a weave of wires, or mesh, and of wood and smokiness, and more. I ended the exercise by “tasting” a Nissan sedan. When I connected my seqe to the Nissan I was overwhelmed with visions of candy and the taste of sweetness. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get past those perceptions. When I talked about this in the class after we regrouped from doing this exercise, one young woman smiled and look conspiratorially at her Mom, who was sitting next to her with a look of surprise on her face. Turns out the Nissan was the young woman’s car—and she was a candy maker! She delivered a lot of chocolates and other confections from that car. That was an intuitive overlay, but it was so strong that I never really got a perception of that Nissan.
As you practice tasting the world of living energy, remember that your ability is proportional to the state of your energy body. Keep your energy body “clean” and empowered by doing saminchakuy every day. If you have clarity of energy, you can pick up an amazing amount of information through your perceptions. There is a hypothesis in physics called Phase-Conjugate-Adaptive-Resonance, or PCAR. It says that everything is made of energy and information fields. Information rides on energy. When you connect energetically, you can, if you have the power and sensitivity, extract information from that energy field. There is an ayni exchange, from you to the object and from the object back to you, and the more concentrated your attention and coherent your energy, the more information-rich the interchange will be. I think PCAR is a great way to think of both natural and manmade objects and landscapes as “beings.” It helps us understand what we are doing when we “taste” all the various aspects of the Pachamama. When our practice is refined, we can go deeper than just “tasting” the energy; we can delve into the pool of information contained in that object’s field.
If you are not now playing in the field of living energy, I urge you to immediately make a play date! Get out and notice the glory of the Pachamama, and then plunge in and taste, taste, taste!