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by Jim Brinkley

Even without religious training or influence I have always known that there was a spiritual side to life. As a young man, I sought out a number of religions in an attempt to access it. I was unsuccessful. Much later I discovered the Huna wisdom, or perhaps it found me. It has profoundly changed my life for the better and I enjoy sharing it with others. However, Huna is not the only path to spiritual enlightenment. There are many. I have the utmost regard for anyone who strives to make spiritual wisdom a part of his or her life, regardless of the path they choose. Many spiritual masters have pointed out that if you want to know if a spiritual teaching is on the right track, look for similar wisdom in other philosophies.

One of the most important spiritual concepts for me personally is that of harmony. In Hawaiian, harmony is lokahi ("to obtain oneness"), which means harmony in the sense of agreement. But for me the word pono more appropriately expresses the kind of harmony I have sought since becoming a student of Huna. Pono is often translated as "righteousness" as in the state motto of Hawaii: "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono o Hawaii." However, other translations given by Pukui and Elbert¹ include "true condition or nature," "correct or proper procedure," "morality," and "in perfect order." These come closer to my conception of harmony, which involves treating every living thing with respect and dignity, realizing that it has an important place in the scheme of things, and recognizing its right to live to its utmost potential. Since in the Huna philosophy everything is alive, these attitudes extend to everything.

In the past, Aloha International has referred to some of its Huna courses as Hawaiian Shaman Training. Graduates of the training have been called adventurer shamans to distinguish them from the warrior shaman tradition. I prefer to think of myself as a harmonizer shaman because harmony seems to be both the goal and the result of the Huna wisdom and techniques.

Huna teaches that everything is real but that there are different types or aspects of reality. Everything is separate. This is the physical reality of things. Everything is connected. This is the emotional reality of feelings. Everything is a reflection. This is the mental reality of thoughts. Everything is one. This is the spiritual reality of unity.

Although I do not participate in any organized religion, I have for many years subscribed to "Daily Word," a small monthly magazine published by the Unity School of Christianity. It contains a brief inspirational reading for each day of the month. I enjoy it because so much of what it contains is reflective of Huna wisdom. Over the past several months, there have been several messages that have spoken to the various aspects of reality as outlined in the Kahili Huna tradition. I would like to share quotations from four of these readings, which appear to reinforce this aspect of Huna teaching.

"I choose to live simply, peacefully, and fully." Everything is separate, but this little article emphasized that one can maintain harmony even in the face of the complicated physical universe in which we live, enjoying our physical blessings without being consumed or driven by them. Harmony is appreciating and expecting all the simple blessings that are here for us to receive in abundance daily.

"There is no such thing as a divine solution that benefits me at the expense of someone else." Everything (and everyone) is connected. Harmony is achieving a goal in a way that benefits all. If fear, anger, or greed is allowed to be my guide others will be hurt, so I enlist love as my guide.

"Whatever beliefs I am holding, life seems to bring about those results." Everything is a reflection. All that exists in the physical universe exists first in thought. Our dreams are a reflection of our lives but our lives are also a reflection of our dreams. So one way to change your life is to change your dreams. Harmony is being aware of, ready for, and in sync with all the messages and opportunities life has to offer and fully realizing that the world is what we think it is.

"There is one body and one Spirit." Everything is one. We are all part of a unified whole. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all soul mates. Any injury done to one is done to all. Conversely, any act of kindness benefits all.

In Hawaiian, reduplication is often used for emphasis. Thus ponopono means "in order, arranged, cared for" and ho'oponopono, the powerful system of Hawaiian spiritual counseling, literally means "to put to rights." It seems to me that when we each recognize our rightful place as a "child of God" or as an integral part of the whole, and when we recognize the same for every other, we have started on the path to spiritual awareness: the path to harmony.

1. Pukui, M.K. and Elbert, S.H., Hawaiian Dictionary, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1986.

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