Ayni

by May 16, 2019

The spirit of ayni, or right relationship, emerges from the Peruvian Andes but its qualities are universal.

The spirit of ayni, or right relationship, emerges from the Peruvian Andes but its qualities are universal.

Ayni is a way of life in a world of living energy – kawsay pacha – that embraces sacred reciprocity. What affects me, affects you. The health of the individual is inseparable from the health of the community. There are shades of Jesus quoted by Matthew in such a unified embrace: “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’.”

The separation between giver and receiver, the seen and unseen worlds, breaks down in ayni. We are all connected. The health of the community is inseparable from the health of the world and all living things. To cut oneself off from the life-giving spirit of mutualism, is to withdraw from life itself. No moral or ethical commandment is required when something so obvious informs our cosmology. Right behavior and right intention naturally follow.

Ayni in a reading

When we are in Ayni, life flows. That doesn’t mean it flows according to our whims and desires. The current flows towards mutual and group benefit. If we are in alignment with our higher perspective, there’s no difference anyway. Thine will be mine. There’s nowhere we would rather be than in sacred reciprocity. Our actions, attitudes and relationships are marked by respect, responsibility and engagement.

Ayni in a reading draws our attention to where we might be out of right relationship, or confirms the governing place of interdependence in how we relate to others. It naturally highlights our relationships. When are we mirroring another and when are we projecting our unconscious material? There are fewer feedback mechanisms as affecting and immediate as all our intimate relationships. When we move into right relationship with ourselves and our hidden motivations, we move into Ayni with others – and life flows again.  

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