Ayni (Eye-knee) is a Quechua word for Sacred Reciprocity. And to be very clear, Reciprocity is not just given and taking of things in equal value. Sacred reciprocity is about you gifting what you can without expectation of return, and how it gives people a feeling of joy that allows them to feel generosity in their own spirit.
My work as a Paqo is done on the Gift Economy. Which makes me endless happy for several reasons:
- It allows me to use my privilege to assure that those with less do not have to do without my aid.
- It allows people to be helped, and if they choose to give a gift in return, it can be something that means a lot to them, and allows their soul to feel that there is an equitable exchange. To elaborate, if I charged $60 an hour for my services, my work becomes transactional, and they value of it ends once the check is written. If I don’t charge, and a person decides that they would like to give me a monetary gift so they can offer me something of value in exchange… The exchange has happened, both people are happy, but there is a remaining feeling of I appreciate you, and I feel slightly indebted to you (in a positive way). But it also allows for someone to gift me a piece of handmade art. Which has value that our capitalistic market doesn’t recognize. Handmade art carries the Kawsay (Cow-ss-eye) or life energy of the piece.
- It allows people to be helped, and just accept it for the gift it is, and not feel the need to return something.
- It honors the wonders of Ayni: which is an essential aspect of all things for a Paqo.
- I have also noticed that with the Gift Economy, the transaction doesn’t end. Many of my clients become friends and we build strong relationships ~ which is also an essential aspect of all things for a Paqo.
Ayni is such an essential thing for me personally as well as my work as a Paqo. I realized today while I was taking a walk around our neighborhood on this lovely Equinox day, that I feel indebted to my mentor, my Ayllu, and the lineage, history, and care of the Q’ero people.
I work hard to hold a balance of Ayni with both my mentor and Ayllu, but I was trying to figure out how I can aid the Q’ero. I was recently turned onto an organization, by a friend Tami, called The Heart Walk Foundation. The goal of this US Non-Profit is to aid the Q’ero people in their lives high in the Mountains. You can donate to the Q’ero directly through their site, or, you can purchase some of the beautiful hand-woven textiles that carry both: their history, as well as the Kawsay of the people.
Through the Heart Walk Foundation, you can donate to help the lives of Alpaca’s (which are essential to the way of life), Directly to the Education of Children, Health, Food, and Security.
I have spoken directly with a member of the board of this organization, and I fully support what they are doing.
I would ask two things of you:
- Consider the power of your money.
- If you wish to offer a gift to me, you may do so in submitting your support for either of these two organization.