Spirituality and Money: Don’t Confuse Ayni and Ch’allay

If there is one persistent belief in the metaphysical community, it is that money is not human hand watering money treecompatible with spiritual pursuits. From an energetic perspective, nothing could be more untrue. Material wealth or possessions may be way down your list of priorities within your ethical belief system, but there is nothing unspiritual about material bounty from an energetic perspective.

We can all agree that money is an energy, just as everything is. But if you have any conscious or unconscious limiting beliefs, it’s worth your while to take a look within to see if you are confusing your ethical beliefs with your spiritual beliefs or beliefs about energy. You can be a mega millionaire and a fantastic paqo with no contradiction! In fact, your goal as a paqo is to grow in all ways—material, spiritual, energetic.

You might think that in the Andean tradition the exchange of money for services, goods, or work is ayni, or reciprocity.

It’s not!

It’s ch’allay. And it pays to know the difference between ayni and ch’allay (pun intended!).

  • Ayni is a selfless exchange, such as helping a friend in need or offering a prayer. Ch’allay is a self-directed and self-interested exchange, such as making a purchase in a store or trading a massage for a bag of fresh produce from a neighbor’s garden or a monetary payment.
  • Ayni is “spiritual” reciprocity that extends beyond the immediate return, although by definition it guarantees a return, so you often receive in greater measure than you gave. Ch’allay is a mundane, mercantile exchange. A shop owner marks a book for sale for $19.95, and that’s what you pay.
  • Ayni in its fundamental spirit, as the evolutionary force of the natural world and the energetic law of the cosmos, includes the material world and extends beyond it. No matter how small the act of ayni, it is cosmic in its reverberations. Ch’allay is rooted in the material world, limited in its effects to the people involved in the exchange.

The point is that the service you offer, whether in a healing clinic or a boutique, is offeredBuying with Credit Card for the exchange medium of the marketplace, which in our society is money. It’s a ch’allay exchange. As a human being with human needs—food, shelter, clothing, etc.—you need money to survive. You may have a family to support, and you certainly want to take good care of them. You also may want to create such abundance that you can freely assist others, support worthy causes, and have the leisure to enjoy life in all its wonders.

While the trade of goods and services for money is ch’allay, that monetary payment is not all that is involved in such an exchange. There is also the spirit in which you offer your goods or service—fairness, kindness, good value, caring and compassion, etc. That spirit has its own energetic value, separate from the material value. It is an energetic exchange beyond yourself and your material needs, so it is ayni. In this way, you can see how ayni and ch’allay are correlated—the actual goods or services and the spirit by which you offer your goods or services go hand in hand.

There is absolutely no shame in making a living from your gifts—and not just an adequate living but a phenomenal one. According to the Andean tradition, the cosmos of living energy—the kawsay pacha—is overly abundant. There is more than enough for everyone. Man about to walk over precipice on SUCCESS word bridgeYou can take whatever you want and it is given freely according to your personal power, which is your energetic ability to push the kawsay to follow your intentions. The fact that you take a lot does not ever mean that someone else has to get less. That is a falsehood perpetuated by scarcity thinkers. Energy is just energy. It has no moral overlay. Your ethical and moral system guide you in choosing what you desire and how much you want to manifest. But make no mistake about it—energetically you can have as much as want.

So, strive for and expect success at both levels of being—material and energetic. It is up to you both to value yourself enough to prosper bountifully in the material plane and to consciously evolve as a human being to increase beauty and joy in the immaterial plane.


Why Are You a Paqo?

“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”
―Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

How’s that quotation for a statement of your energy potential! You have the force of 30 hydrogen bombs within! Bryson is talking about the energy contained within your physical Abs_backogr_01body. When you add in your poq’po, your potential energy is unlimited.  In the Andean mystical tradition, you learn how to both liberate and harness your “personal power,” but Bryson’s question remains: What “point” do you wish to make through your energy exchanges?

In other words, Why are you a paqo?

Have you ever asked yourself this question, never mind definitively answered it?  I mean, what’s the point of choosing to practice this tradition if you have not ever wondered, “Why this and not that?”

Without at least meditating upon this question, you are likely following a whim, because there can be no commitment to that which you don’t consciously choose. Practicing as a paqo presupposes not only having a commitment but also following through on it.

It’s perfectly okay if you are exploring the mystical terrain. A little Andean romp today, a foray into Buddhism tomorrow, a detour into Celtic magic next week. Roaming the inner landscape without a map or destination can be fun, and occasionally it’s even useful. It’s perfectly desirable to satisfy your spiritual and metaphysical curiosity. But making a commitment is making a point. You expect a result. And you undertake that practice to benefit from that result.

So what’s the point of your Andean practice?

If you don’t have one, you might want to spend some time deciding upon one. Or two or Spiral Mindthree. . . .

If I had to declare one overall goal of the tradition, I would say it is:

  • Perceiving, experiencing, and become a master of your energy body so that you can direct your intentions to drive energy consciously and with predictable outcomes.

Encapsulated in this thematic statement are all the subgoals of the tradition:

  • Learning ayni (reciprocity), which is the organizing force of the universe.
  • Consciously evolving to become a more fully realized (enlightened) human being.
  • Fostering well-being in your own life and in the lives of others. Living with greater joy, health, creativity, awareness and whatever else you deem necessary to your well-being.

If we reduce each of these statements down to a single word, it would be ayni. Ayni is the “golden rule” of the universe and, thus, of human life. Don Benito Qoriwaman said that we don’t have to wonder what Christ will say to us when he returns in the Second Coming. We know what he will say because the metaphysical God has always given humankind the same message no matter what guise he takes when he makes a physical appearance in our world. That message is ayninaquichis, or “Practice ayni.” Making ayni is not only a results-Healing Hands Ayni Compresssed Dollarphotoclub_67573261driven materialistic undertaking, but a spiritual pursuit and an energetic practice.

Ayni is an energy exchange. Energy is driven by intention. So we come full circle back to the question of what “point” you want to make in your practice—of the Andean tradition or any other mystical or spiritual tradition. I can’t answer that question for you, but I do urge you to spend some time thinking about it. Here are some questions to help you drill down to your underlying desires:

  • Why did you choose the Andean tradition over other traditions?
  • How committed are you to the practices of this path?
  • What results do you expect from your practice? Your intentions drive energy, so examine if your intentions are coming to fruition.
  • Are you experiencing those results? If not, why not?
  • What in yourself and your life is still “heavy?”
  • If there is hucha (heaviness) in yourself or your life, where is it coming from? What are you doing about it?
  • What in yourself or your life is “light”?
  • If there is sami (lightness) in your life, where is it coming from? What are you doing to maintain or increase it? Where else do you want to bring that light?
  • What about the tradition or its practices don’t you understand? Where can you find answers to your questions? Do you trust the answers?
  • What are the most compatible (masintin) relationships and energy flows in your life?
  • What are the most incompatible (yanantin) relationships and energy flows in your life?
  • Is there hucha around the yanantin relationships and energy flows? If so, what can you do to get that stuck energy going again? Do you know the practices that can help?
  • How are you consciously evolving? If you track the evolution of the self, what are the most significant changes you have experienced? What within you or your life is not evolving? Do you know what to do to re-energetize your inner evolutionary process?
  • Do you have an ayllu (community) to share your practice with? If not, how can you create one?

These are only a few of the many questions you can ask yourself about the “point” of your practice. At the launch of this new year, I invite you to do some internal housekeeping about your Andean practice and your life in general. The benefits can be enormous not only for you, but, since we are all connected energetically, for your family, community and the world as well.

Rimay: Speaking with Power

(Note: To work with the chunpis and ñawis, you have to have undergone the Chunpi Away and Ñawi K’ichay karpay.)

In the Andean tradition, intention drives energy and words have power. Rimay is the energetic capacity that sits at the throat center—the kunka The human body (organs) by X-rays on black backgroundchunpi—and that infuses your words with power. It is “right speech” in the sense that you speak with truth, clarity, and integrity. But it is more than that, too. Rimay is a vibration that can affect the material world.

When you are using your capacity for rimay, you are speaking from personal experience and knowledge, not from second-hand experience or knowledge (called willay). You speak what you know, you express your true nature, you articulate lucidly and precisely. Rimay is not about being polite, socially or politically correct, or overly positive  and inspirational. It is about personal power and energetic integrity. Rimay is an energy that perfectly expresses verbally who you truly are, moment by moment, no matter what the situation or what you are feeling.

Your words have more power when your intentions are clear. If you know who you are and what you believe, then your intentions and spoken words are in alignment. There is little room for ambiguity or misunderstanding.

And, since words have power, rimay can also mean knowing what not to say or when not to speak. Holding your tongue can be an art!

If you have a lot of hucha at the kunka chunpi, your words will not have power. Or they will have a power in opposition to your intent. To discern your own capacity for rimay, pay attention not only to your thoughts but to what comes out of your mouth. Do you tend to be pessimistic? Negative? Judgmental? If that is the vibration you are sending out into the world—if that is the way you are pushing the kawsay through speech—then that is the world you will experience. It is the law of ayni, or reciprocity.

So, pay attention to your verbal tendencies. Do you find yourself saying, “I can’t. . .,” “That won’t work. . .,” “It will never happen. . .,” “I’ll never. . .,” and other self-defeating statements? If so, then you know that you ac30f30e-d2a5-456a-a467-f4e1a78dfbf7have hucha accumulated in your poq’po, and probably a lot of it at your throat center.

Andean paqo Fredy “Puma” Quispe Singona once told me “Words are beings. Be careful who you are calling to sit in council with you.” Those are wise words. Are you calling in the beings of “No,” “Can’t,” “Won’t,” and other potentially defeatist beings?  If so, begin a deep saminchakuy of your poq’po, working especially thoroughly at your kunka chunpi and its mystical “eye,” the qolqe ñawi.

Rimay is not false speech, so it is not about being falsely positive. If you feel down, blue, discouraged, disappointed, angry, it’s in your energetic truth and integrity to express those feelings (without dumping them on others). You have to be who you truly are in the moment, and occasionally that will be someone who is impatient, hurt, troubled. The key here is to be “in the moment.” To get the energy out of you in a timely way so it doesn’t become stuck and create hucha. The problems arise when self-defeating words become a habitual pattern. You can quickly become blind to your habits and, as a result, lose your qawaq ability—the capacity to see yourself and reality as it really is. When that happens, you get stuck in a rut, lose coherence in your energy body, and accumulate hucha.

When you cleanse your poq’po and especially your kunka chunpi, speech and verbalization can be infused with almost miraculous power. Juan Nuñez del Prado tells of walking in the marketplace with one of his teachers, don Melchor Desa, who was carrying a package of goods he had purchased. A thief bumped into him, grabbed his package, and ran off. ImprimirDon Melchor stopped and directed his voice toward the fleeing man, blasting a sound toward him. The thief stopped, frozen in place. Don Melchor walked up to him, took his package back, and then touched the thief on the shoulder. He immediately become reanimated and ran off. This is an example of a master of rimay!

If you have spent any time exploring shamanic and mystical traditions, you have heard a thousand times that words are sacred or that words have power. Too often these sentiments are put into practice through affirmations or incantations, as if it is the words themselves that carry the power. They don’t. It is your energy that empowers the words. Words are one of the vibrational materializations of your energetic self. They can only carry the power that you have to give them. If you have accumulated a lot of hucha in your poq’po and especially at your kunka chunpi, you can say affirmations until the cows come home but they will have only a weak or negligible effect on your life. Pay attention to the state of your energy body, and then as one part of your work see how that condition effects your capacity for rimay. As always, if you don’t like what you find, cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Saminchakuy is always your go-to practice.