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Lomi Lomi Lokahi- The Lomi of Unity
by Fern Merle-Jones

We have been told of ancient times when massage, called lomi lomi, was used as a means for deep relaxation, transformation and inspiration for the Ali'i (noble class) of old Hawaii Nei. It is said that in those times a session might take up to four days or longer. The lineage and skill of the performer was of utmost importance as the lomi was recognized as sacred ritual. Since those times past, massage has continued to play an important role in Hawaii. The different cultures of peoples who have come to live on the Islands have brought their own forms and styles of bodywork. As the cultures have blended so have the different forms of massage practice. Today we have added things like special tables and pre-recorded music to enhance the experience. Despite the changes, the reverence for lomi lomi continues and people still derive great benefit from receiving as well as performing this ritual.

Lomi Lomi Lokahi was born from the beautiful and spiritual temple style of Lomi Nui massage taught to me by my friend, colleague and mentor Susan Pa'iniu Floyd in her Kino Mana course. I cannot say why I added to that form as it is quite complete in itself. However, several years ago, I became aware in my inner being of a healing ministry that was reaching out to me from the realm of spirit. I was not sure how this would manifest but I knew that it was about transformation and that it would bring body work, which had been my occupation for many years, back into my life. My work as an Alaka`i and teacher with Aloha International involves the use of symbols for manifestation and this came to me as a natural extension of the Lomi Nui bodywork. I started practicing this form of Lomi as a single therapist but soon moved to offering double sessions as well with my dear friend and soul sister Janet who had studied massage with me 17 years ago and has developed her own practice since that time. The most difficult thing about describing Lomi Lomi Lokahi is deciding on what to call the "client" or "recipient" of the work. Those terms seem very clinical and cold for a session which involves so much caring interaction. Susan uses the term, "being" quite often which I like a lot since it implies a person as well as the verb "to be" and by extension, in this case, "to become". Part of that becoming is a melding and intermingling of soul energies and intentions that occur spontaneously in the session. When I perform Lomi Lomi Lokahi, I become transported; I become the nurturing energies of the Goddesses, of Gaia, of the higher self that has directed this being into my care.

The session starts with a sharing that leads the "client" to make a conscious decision toward where to direct the energy of the session. A symbol appears to them as a manifestation of this decision and is shared so that all present may participate in bringing this idea to life.

We move to the table and begin with a prayer that calls forth and acknowledges the presence of the higher self, the gods and goddesses, the teachers and community that lives within and around us all. We ask that this person be blessed with love, with freedom, with peace, inner strength and harmony. The music begins along with sacred movements that start with the anointing of special oils. The dance commences as the movements of the lomi blend with the rhythm of the music, the feel of the body beneath our arms and hands. Movements of the frigate bird soar over the curved landscape of back beginning the journey. The ancient rhythm of Hula settles into my body as I connect with messages coming from the body as well as from the music. An arc of silent communication and understanding emerges, rainbow light connecting us in ritual. The symbol appears to me as cloaked in images and scenes which are softly described to the client, shared as an offering and a reminder of the greater intention. Bodies grow softer and softer as distinctions begin to melt between the being who is receiving and the being who is giving. Everything grows fluid. The energies intertwine, play together and move deeply into the realm of dreams where all time is now and where we are all connected and share the same dream together. Softer and softer- we go deeper and deeper. We become the symbol working on the being- The being becomes the symbol interacting with us. The symbol envelops all present and spreads out to encompass the whole universe which is then absorbed within each of us once again. Long connected circular strokes bring this awareness into the cellular memory of the body as well as into the mental consciousness of the being. Soothing sounds of the stream and the birds calling to us from outside our temple sanctuary gently bring us back.

Using love as the strength and support, we gently turn the body over and experience a new landscape and a new perspective on the intention. We see from a space of greater openness with more confidence and willingness to accept the possibility of actually manifesting the intention. We gently approach delicate areas- the face, the neck, the chest and the belly. Becoming ever more soft, we make deeper contact with the essence. Once again the symbol appears reminding us again of the intentions that have been set deep within the Ku (the subconscious body-mind). Sometimes, the symbols change form or evolve into an even greater design. All is accepted, all is perfect. Slow circular movements of arms and legs brings the awareness into the joints where connections are made in the physical as well as the inner world. I call these, "Harmonic Lomi circles." The music has become softer now and slower to reflect the deep inner movement that is taking place. Time stands still as we experience the power of Now and the desire to stay in the moment. Only, the rhythm moves us on as once again we integrate all that we have experienced and learned through long, loving strokes that envelope the entire body. Over, under, around and within - the energy of transformation is everywhere.

Gently we bring the awareness back into the physical reality through balancing energy points - head, throat, heart, navel, jaws, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, feet. Words are gently spoken, "Come back into the body, come back into this life experience, come back with gratefulness and love." And they do.

We complete the bodywork with a steamed towel and aromatherapy, which brings the relaxation deep, deep into the core of being.

We offer the water of life and as the being sits up to drink there is a most remarkable moment. This magical moment that is exactly the same with each session and with each person is a moment of perfect stillness, of perfect remembrance and oneness with all that is. Each time, I stand in awe as an honored witness to this oneness and I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to facilitate the bringing of this moment into being.

We meet again in a closing ritual where we share impressions of manifestation and expressions of loving connection. A parting gift of a "candle for peace" which goes along with the story of a young man in London who was diagnosed with incurable leukemia but got so busy making candles for peace that he "forgot to die". A candle of his was blessed and lit by the Dalai Lama and each candle lit from a candle that originated from that candle shares in the lineage of peace. It has been our great pleasure to send peace candles around the world to Australia, England, France, Germany, Austria, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Holland, as well as numerous states throughout the USA.

Finally, in looking at what we have achieved and at the people from all parts of the world whom we have served, perhaps the most significant Lomis have been with our own parents who have lovingly accepted this gift of renewed life from the children who were given life by them. Ultimately the gratitude that we have for this precious life brings us back to the recognition of our families as a reflection of our source. As we extend the Aloha Spirit outward, recognizing and strengthening the Aloha family here and abroad, we feel deep respect and appreciation all that has brought us to this moment in our lives. And so we end with "Mahalo a nui loa no ke ola nei, me ka 'ike o ke aloha-wai-ola." We give great thanks for this life and the awareness that love is the water of life.

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