Sacred reciprocity with indigenous wisdom keepers
Coming from the Western world we feel incredibly grateful to have called the Sacred Valley and the Amazon jungle of Peru our home for so many years. To have lived, healed and learnt from such precious ancient knowledge on this sacred land with so much history and culture, with traditions that hold strong in these great times of change.
There is a beautiful lineage of wisdom keepers in the Sacred Valley of Peru called the Q’ero. They come from very high up in the mountains and are the living descendants of the great Inkan Empire and it's rich culture and connection to spirit and the Earth. They hold the tradition of making offerings to the earth through Despacho. They, and the Andean communities here live by the law of Ayni, which is the Quechua word meaning Reciprocity.
Living by this principle is to live in balance and
harmony with our Mother earth and with each
other. It’s about give and take, and supporting
one another in this great walk of life. When we
live with Ayni we understand that we have to
share, support, and have gratitude for all.
That when we give we will receive, and when we
do receive, to do so with humility and an open
heart. All of us hopefully at at some point have
extended a hand to another in need, and felt the
burst of love that comes from being in service to
each other. Great change could take place on this
planet if all of us practice the law of Ayni.
We at Tree of Light hold this beautiful teaching close to our hearts and are practicing Ayni currently in these ways:
Supporting and Funding cultural and sustainability projects in Shipibo communities since 2012
Tree of Light Retreats has been collaborating with and supporting a diverse range of projects in a number of ways which have supported positive growth and sustainable development in Shipibo communities along the Ucayali River in the Peruvian Amazon. This has been done through volunteering, contributing specialized skills, creating music projects and by contributing a percentage of each Tree of Light Retreat towards the grass roots organization Alianza Arkana. Many of their core team and founding members have been very close friends of ours since 2012 and because we personally know them and have witnessed and collaborated with them on many of their projects over the years, we have always felt that by supporting them as we're able to, that we are genuinely contributing and giving back to the Shipibo people in a respectful and empowering way. We deeply respect this culture, it's people and their traditions, as well as their profound connection to the Earth and the world of the plants. We have personally healed through this ancient system and have seen countless others do the same, and for this we will be eternally grateful to the Shipibo tribe.
Some passed projects which we have co-created, funded or contributed to include;
Educating young shipibo girls in the traditional knowledge of herbalism and natural forms of healing during a series of workshops.
The creation of several medicinal plant gardens in the community of Santa Clara, linked to the
school there to teach the shipibo kids about their plant medicine heritage that many of them have become
disconnected from through the spread of modernization.
Medical care and support for traditional healers and their family members.
The creation of a beautiful musical collaboration album Called Jakon Shama featuring the traditional ikaros of 8 Shipibo healers. This project tastefully combines these ancient healing songs recorded in the Amazon during Ayahuasca ceremonies with a broad and diverse range of musical flavors and accompaniments from around the world.
Providing sound tracks, film scoring and technical support for their documentary films.
As we deepen our connection to the beautiful land of Costa Rica, we look forward to continuing to engage with and support various environmental efforts and conservation projects happening there.