I was talking with a friend yesterday about feeling disconnected from my self and the things I was doing, about falling into a sense of futility and nearing the apathy that sometimes follows. I’m grateful for people in my life open to such conversations.
She talked with me about the concept of Ayni (pronounced ee-nee), loosely translated as reciprocity. In her tradition, it’s enacted as the practice of making an offering before beginning prayer. A thank-you before the please.
I teared up as she spoke, not sure why. As she continued, I realized although I see clear evidence of a higher power all around, I deeply (and unawarely) disbelieve it is there for me. Almost as a child witnessing parents shower siblings with love as she languishes alone. Raised to believe in god’s greatness, as his mercy and kindness are withheld from her.
I then recalled in June before this experiment began, I’d meditated for a time with the instruction of “dedicating this practice to all beings everywhere.” This instruction broke through the sense that I was practicing alone. This instruction made clear the inextricable relationship giving has with receiving.
With this awareness of Ayni has come a new version of Pausing Practice: before beginning something, I can pause and offer it up to all beings everywhere.
I offer this meal, I offer this walk, I offer this writing…