Sacred Relationship: Living in Ayni
Updated: Nov 15, 2018
\ ˈsā-krəd \ To make holy. \ ri-ˈlā-shən-ˌship \ A sense or state of being related or interrelated; kinship;
Sacred relationship. Two simple words that can have a profound and transformational impact on life when applied in the proper manner. Sacred relationship is an essential ingredient in order to create and sustain a stable and more harmonious way of living, which is what we all desire. The foundational piece to creating and making holy this interrelated way of being is ayni, the sacred art of reciprocity. Ayni is the vital stabilizing force that fosters the ability to cultivate, build, strengthen and deepen relationship to all things personal, interpersonal and transpersonal and also to nature and cosmos. It is simply a reflection of the reality that already exists in the energy world, the Unified Field, where all is mutually connected and interrelated.
This simple yet deeply meaningful equal and mutual exchange of energy is the fabric of the physical reality that we share with all species on this biosphere and beyond. Whether you realize it or not, we are in a constant exchange of energy in every moment. As a matter of fact, everything that you have ever experienced in your life has been an energy exchange. Learning how to manage this by utilizing intention, focus and awareness will determine your experience within this world. We are the ones weaving this fabric into existence with our innate ability to fashion, support, and maintain all of life in a reverent way by making right relationship as Sacred in our own lives and in the lives of others as co-creators of our world. In life, when giving and receiving are in equal proportion, the resulting effect is wholeness. To share and be one with all living things is a prayer, an offering, to Source.
As humans we have a choice to create harmony in the flow of energy by honoring and being one with the living world, or we can block ourselves from the flow of life. Sacred relationship is about sharing your beauty and wisdom, lifting each other up and coming together in community as indigenous humans on this planet. Be a creative force in the world by singing your Soul song, dancing your medicine beauty and breathing your prayers. Be a vessel of love to ignite and inspire the hearts of others. A simple smile for others who cross your path throughout your day, helping an elderly person, playing with a child, smelling the sweet aroma of a flower and expressing your appreciation for it are all offerings of your beauty and love. These practices contribute to the growth of the whole which is sustained by mutual giving and receiving.
Just like tending a garden, in order for plants to grow and thrive we must water, nurture and care for them and the same applies to tending our relationships. This is a responsibility, a sacred duty if we wish to live in a more viable, loving and harmonious world. It is a mutual collaboration of love, devotion, gratitude and reverence that we offer to self, community and all living beings including people, animals, places, plants, trees, rivers, mountains and oceans, and establishes the foundation for all life. This interdependence is in fact crucial for our survival as we navigate these times of Pachakuti.
A great illustration of this mutuality is the exchange we share every day with trees and plants. They produce oxygen needed for our survival, and every time that we exhale we produce carbon dioxide needed for the survival of the trees and plants. Our exhalation is their inhalation and vice versa. This is a beautiful example of a sacred relationship, each supporting the other. Mother Earth is a conscious sentient being and she gives us all of herself in every moment. Of her body she provides us with the food and natural resources we need to not only survive but to thrive. The least we can do is offer our love, gratitude and devotion back to her by caring for her in stewardship and making offerings to feed and sustain her just as she does to us, willingly, selflessly and graciously.
By performing earth honoring ceremonies and ritual feedings, from the simplest act of offering tobacco or a three leaf k’intu, to the most elaborate of despachos, we show our respect to the living world. Honoring what is being gifted and offered to you is what sacred relationship is all about. Nothing is sustained by taking and not giving back in equal measure. In turn nothing is sustained if you are not receiving what is being offered.
This reminds me of the wisdom that don Celso Rojas Palomino and don Benito Corihuaman Vargas so generously passed on to all of us and is essential in its distillation which describes ayni as the ‘foundation for all appropriate behavior’ and ‘deep reverence for all life’. Living in ayni and cultivating sacred relationship affirms the restoration of trust that we so desperately need to bring our world into balance.
The inspiration and information that I have received in these writings are from a three month process of sitting in silence and meditation as I contemplated the inner workings of relationships. By observing in my moments of stillness, I have been able to reverse engineer my own relationships, past and current, and have become enlightened with what I have found. Reviewing my life has shown me how significant living in ayni really is. Without this vital element, all relationship will crumble and die.
This observation can be applied to any relationship in life whether it is between people or the natural world. By becoming more acutely focused, attuned and aware, I have cultivated right relationship with all things in my life. As don Oscar says, “Ritual begets Relationship,” and through the wisdom teachings of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, I have learned how to make any relationship more sacred by composing earth honoring offerings, rituals and making pilgrimages in gratitude for all that I have received.
As evidence of this I will share a process with you that I have been experimenting with. I own a two story apartment and commercial building in the downtown area where I live. A couple of years ago, I remodeled the two commercial spaces that are located downstairs. I have advertised these spaces myself as an inactive realtor and with a broker but had been unable to draw any renters. In my daily spiritual practice I began taking my focus on this particular issue, to the etheric and imaginal realm where I started making offerings to the building itself. Just as everything else in this world of living energy, my building also has its own poq’po (energy body). This building has supported and sustained me monetarily for 28 years by stewardship of the tenants that live and work there. I started by first imagining myself giving offerings, then I went physically to the building and made offerings. The effect was a huge shift. I started getting calls and am happy to share that I now have a tenant. This is just one small example of how honoring something (person, place, thing) that supports you, creates a sacred relationship.
Ayni truly is an ancient art that is a way of life for the Andean people of Peru. Implementing ayni into your own life will gradually bring about transformation. It was the missing ingredient that now makes my life whole and complete and I am eternally grateful for this wisdom. Life is a precious gift. We must honor each other and all of our relations to sustain, harmonize and bring about order in these transformative times. It is imperative that we make sacred relationship with each other and the world that we live in and the time is now. Let us teach others, by example, how to do this so that we can evolve as a global community. This is our bequeathal and a living legacy to the next seven generations on Earth.
With reverent heart, Gabriella
“If the only prayer we ever say in our lives is “Thank You” that will be enough.”
– Meister Eckhart
“I water things now constantly: Water the hearts of dead friends with light, The sores of the living with anything warm, Water the skies with a thousand affections And follow the voices of animals Into grasses that move like ocean.
I eat flowers now and birds come. I eat care and things to love arrive. I eat time and as I age Whatever I swallow grows timeless.
– Mark Nepo