In our tradition of Andean mysticism, the bedrock energy dynamic is ayni, reciprocity. Energetically, this is the core reciprocal exchange: of taking in sami—the light living energy—and allowing it to freely flow through you and back out, empowering you as it does. We each are always doing this, but sometimes not so well. Your psychological self—your messy and often unconsciousness emotions, beliefs, needs, and the like, coupled with your conscious thoughts, words, deeds, and so on—interfere with your absorption of sami, causing you to slow some of the sami down so you do not absorb it. Some of it may even get stuck on the surface of your energy body (the poq’po), causing you to feel “heaviness” in yourself and the quality of your life.
Your ayni is fueled by your intentions. In fact, our tradition says that the most fundamental “natural law” is that energy follows intention. The problem is that your true intentions may be unknown to you, hiding in the darkness of your “shadow” self, or you may not be paying attention to the quality of your conscious thoughts, words, and actions. Because you are moving so much energy unconsciously, you may wonder, on the conscious level, “What the heck is going on that my life is not matching up to my desires?”
A key to your ayni is awareness—paying attention to your conscious acts/interchanges and bringing your shadow stuff to greater consciousness. Most of the core Andean practices, especially saminchakuy and hucha miqhuy, are directed at helping you to divest yourself of hucha and improve your sami, which in turn helps you grow in awareness and bring clarity and power to your ayni. (And vice versa: by increasing your awareness, the clarity and quality of your thoughts, words, and deeds usually improve as well, and so you create less hucha to begin with, keeping your poq’po in better energetic condition.)
As you increase your conscious awareness and improve your ayni, you will discover that your capacity to influence the living energy cosmos improves, often quite dramatically, because your intentions more effectively and efficiently “push the kawsay.” I came across a beautiful example of this recently while reading Deepak Chopra’s new book, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential. In it he describes an episode that pointedly and dramatically demonstrated to him the power of intention. For us as practitioners of Andean mysticism, this episode also demonstrates ayni—reciprocity—and reveals how your intention is only half of the equation. When you put out an intention, something must respond (or not). So, the other half of the ayni equation is the universe—the living cosmos—or some aspect of it. Its response will be proportional to the quality and clarity of your intention, to what the tradition calls the amount of “personal power” you have. Power is not insistence, dominance, or will. It is simply the effectiveness and efficiency of your intention—how well you can be in ayni with the living cosmos. Here’s the episode, quoting from Chopra’s book and leaving out only a small section that is not important to the point:
“At a recent conference on science and consciousness, a young woman introduced herself, telling me that she was writing her graduate thesis on communicating with birds. I asked her how talking to birds was possible, and she replied that it was easier to show me than to tell me. We went outside. It was a bright day, and we sat quietly on a bench. She looked up at some birds sitting in a tree nearby, and one of them flew down and landed unafraid on her lap.
“How did she do it? Feeling no needs for words, she gave me a look that said, ‘See? It’s very simple.’
“. . . [I]t wasn’t a matter of talking to the birds or of knowing their language—the whole thing had taken place silently. It was a perfect example of going beyond—in this case, going beyond my own expectations. What the young woman did, she explained later, was to have mental clarity and insert an intention for the bird to come to her. In other words, it all happened in consciousness.
“So few people have such experiences that it only magnifies the need to show how much choice we really have to go beyond. My strong feeling is that we have much more control over life than we currently realize.”
In Chopra’s last sentence, I would substitute the word “influence” for “control,” but what this episode illustrates perfectly is how intention can move energy, and that the success of that invisible interchange of ayni is based not on any magical or unusual abilities but on the state of your consciousness.
The Andean tradition identifies seven levels of consciousness, from the zero level to the seventh level. One way to think about them is as stepping up a stairway to a more refined level of awareness and consciousness. This stairway of consciousness is called the qanchispatañan. (See my post “The Birds of Consciousness, May 11, 2016). At each level of consciousness, your ayni is more powerful because you have less hucha. Another way of saying that is that you can more perfectly absorb sami, the life-force energy, and radiate it, not slowing it down to the density of hucha. At each level, because you have less and less hucha, your “supernatural” (above the human norm) abilities increase. These enhanced abilities are what Deepak Chopra calls “metahuman” abilities. As examples, in the Andean tradition at the fifth level of consciousness you can become an infallible healer, healing any kind of illness or problem every time. At the sixth level, you will have achieved a state commensurate with the Christed One or Buddha Nature—to what is commonly called enlightenment. At the seventh level, you are equivalent to God in human form.
Chopra explains the primacy of consciousness (and heightened states of consciousness) in his book in a way that neatly accords with some aspects of the Andean mystical tradition. For instance, he writes: “ [T]he pivotal issue isn’t that solid physicality is an illusion. No one can dispute this—we couldn’t exist without buying into the psychological security blanket that the world won’t vanish tomorrow in a puff of subatomic mist. The pivotal issue is whether consciousness, and particularly human consciousness, is the creative force behind ‘something from nothing’.” He says, “. . .we are conscious agents whose potential for creativity and change is unlimited. We become metahuman by making the life-altering choice to be metahuman.”
I can attest that Chopra knows of what he speaks: he is the most metahuman human being I have ever met. My former husband used to work for him, and I know of the amazing intentions he has set and I have witnessed how the universe conspired to put the people and organizations in his path through which, in collaboration, he manifested his ideas and intentions.
Your ayni dynamic starts with motivation (decision or desire): to be something you are not right now, to do something you don’t necessarily know now how to do, to manifest something you desire, and so on. But if you are like most of us, the decision or desire alone is not enough. You have to undertake the practice, or work, of making changes to your state of consciousness, which starts at the level of your energy body. You learn to divest yourself of the hucha you have accumulated over time and learn to more perfectly absorb and radiate sami. Your fundamental practice will be saminchakuy, the “cleansing” of hucha from your poq’po (energy body) and the self-empowerment that comes with taking in more sami.
Chopra and others use Buddhist or other Eastern philosophies and practices to awaken the self. Most of these practices are based on quieting the “monkey mind” and seeing beyond the “illusions” created by the ego, that great and masterful storyteller. They focus on how we “grasp” because of these mind-created stories. This is work that involves energy dynamics, but largely those of the mind. We approach our conscious development from a different perspective, primarily through the energy dynamics of our poq’pos: by reducing your hucha and increasing your sami, you increase your energetic coherence systemwide—everything in the self communicates with everything else, so the elements of your poq’po (energetic anatomy) work together holistically rather than separately. As a result, everything about you can shift, change, and transform, including your state of consciousness. Certainly, though, by coming to know your mind more clearly, you can improve the clarity of your intention, which in turn improves your ayni. One way is not better than another, only different. The bottom line is that everything that matters, regardless of the tradition or school of philosophy and practice you choose, is related to a goal of elevating your level of consciousness. When you do, you interact with the “Great Mystery” of creation in a different way, a way that seems to others to be metanormal.
Matthew Fox, in his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, speaks to this reconnection poetically when he says that reinfusing the world with a mystical perspective and practice “calls for a spiritual awakening to the mystery of the universe and our existence in it. Reenetering that mystery is a fundamentally holy act, a sacred discipline.” Ayni is your “holy act,” for through it you deepen your relationship with the cosmos of living energy, the Earth and everything on it, including with other people. Fox quotes cosmologist Brian Swimme, as I will here, with a reminder of how awareness matters at all levels of manifestation.
“We sometimes fall into the delusion that power is elsewhere, that we are unable to find access to it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The universe oozes with power, waiting for anyone who wishes to embrace it. But because of the powers of cosmic dynamics are invisible, we need to remind ourselves of their universal presence. Who reminds us? The rivers, plains, galaxies, hurricanes, lightning branches, and all our living companions.”