Mastering the Ayllu Poq’po

“Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part.”

—Casey Stengel

The modern world is one of connectivity. Even if you are sitting alone at your computer, you are connected with others through cyberspace. Our “group”—in the Andes the ayllu—is ever expanding. But even as our social connections multiply, our social energetics may stay static. So I ask you to take some time to think about how the Andean practices can help you make the most of your connectivity in all its manifestations.

Whether you are physically present with a group or only in energetic connection, your energy affects the group bubble, just as the group bubble, and the individual members’ energies in the bubble, affect you. There are myriad levels of ayni exchange going on. Attending consciously to these group dynamics supports both your well-being (see my last post) and the group’s.

We are all familiar with the various types of group dynamics. The feeling of resistance as you join an already formed task group at work. Or, alternatively, the welcoming energetic embrace of that group. The group where one person emerges as leader, either competitively dominating the group or, alternatively, supporting communal cooperation. The various relational dynamics are almost limitless. But your tools for dealing with them are clear-cut.

First, when in a group dynamic, even if that is just with one other person, be aware of the relational dynamic as seen through Andean eyes. Upon first meeting, tinkuy occurs. This is the energetic touch, the first meeting of energy body to energy body. It happens between you and each individual in the group as well as between you and their combined energies (the ayllu poq’po).

Second, within an instant of that energetic touch, you are flooded with information, and as a three golden eggsconsequence you segue into the next stage of the interchange: tupay. This is the sizing up, and we all do it. You consciously or unconsciously check out both the individuals in the group and the group as a whole, assessing them in relation to yourself—your knowledge, power, looks, status, and more. Usually this competitive or judgmental place is where you stop in your energy dynamics. But the Andean tradition would ask you to continue to the third step in the exchange, the taqe, or union.

If you move to the taqe stage, which is an energetic perceptual stance of the fourth level, you not only seamlessly and amicably join your energy to the group’s, but by doing so you add to its coherence. If you are superior in your abilities, you humbly and tactfully share what you know so that others can achieve your level of knowledge or skill. And you graciously learn from others. You lead or participate by example, fostering communication and cohesion. You eschew becoming competitive or combative while also not being falsely humble or passive. You are a team player, mentor, facilitator and supporter. You allow space for others to contribute and shine. Taqe is about joining energies so that everyone reaches the “top of the mountain” together.

In fact, if (or when) you reach the taqe stage, then the energy can shift again into pukllay, which means play. You and the members of the group flow with joy, lightheartedness, camaraderie. Think of a group of children engaged in play—time stops, creativity flows, effort transforms into effortlessness. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be part of a group that has reached this energetic state?

Another perceptual tool you can use to foster a group’s well-being is to discern the group’s masintin and yanantin dynamics. Remember, masintin is an energy that is similar to yours and yanantin is energy that is dissimilar. You will have multiple masintin and yanantin flows each person within the group and with the group as a whole, and they with you. By being clear-seeing about these types of energy flows, you can deal with them and so head off creating any hucha.

Remember that incompatible energy says nothing about the other person or persons. It is not a condemnation or judgment about them. It is simply a realization that your energy is not flowing in complete ayni with others’ energies. Incompatibility can create hucha, but it doesn’t have to.

To transform any incompatible energy into compatible energy, you can use hucha mikhuy, the deep form of cleansing that is actually an “eating” and “digesting” of hucha. You work through your qosqo with individuals in the group or the group as a whole, taking the energy into your qosqo, where you filter the sami from the hucha (that’s right, you can get sami from hucha!), pulling the sami up into your bubble and feeding the hucha down to Mother Earth. Feeling the split stream of energy is a marker that you are performing hucha mikhuy properly. However, one word of caution. The masters cautioned that you should learn and practice hucha mikhuy carefully and in a specific way before using it on someone or a group with which you are having difficulty. You start with someone close to you emotionally, then practice on someone emotionally neutral, then someone with whom you have a minor difficulty, and only then do you work the “hard cases” in your life. Please take this caution to heart!

Our practices as paqos are about getting along with everyone. That doesn’t mean we give up our individuality, lose our voice, squelch our opinions. . . . It means we show up in our personal power utilizing all three of the core human energetics—munay (love and will), llank’ay (action), and yachay (intellect)—while allowing everyone else the space to share their humanness as well.


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