Huna In Mundane Places
I am sometimes asked whether Huna is only relevant in a specific context, i.e., whether the real benefit of Huna would only be gained by someone who took some time out from everyday life to relax and focus in Hawaii. My answer is "absolutely not." While learning and practicing Huna in Hawaii provides a unique experience, learning and practicing Huna in any other environment provides its own unique experience. It must be remembered that Huna was not developed to be used in some rarified idealised situation such as might be considered beyond normal life. The ancient Hawaiians were extremely practical people. Indeed, the basis of the Huna that I have learned is exactly rooted in practical day to day living and the seven principles are transferable to any context. If this were not the case, Huna would just be a cultural and historical artifact, but clearly it is not - it is something evolving and very much alive.
So, what does Huna look like in everyday use? When I was first introduced to Huna this is a common thought I had. In his book Huna: Ancient Hawaiian Secrets for Modern Living, Serge Kahili King refers to the parallel between ancient and modern shamanic work. The latter is demonstrated by the example of a woman on a plane flying to a business meeting and the shamanistic techniques she uses to reduce the turbulence the plane experiences on the journey.
As an example, I would like to share an experience from last night that situates for me the use of Huna in an everyday urban setting. I am fully aware that this is a very mundane example, but let's face it, while I have been blessed with visits to Hawaii, I ultimately live in a large city in the UK and use Huna in that context. Reader, you have been warned!
What happened? Last night I awoke just after 3 am to the sound of heavy rain. This in itself was not surprising as we had been experiencing some heavy downpours over the previous few days. What had caught my attention was a localised noise which sounded like the rain was in the same room as I was. After looking out of the window I saw that some of the gutter had broken, releasing the rain water directly onto a part of the roof which had already suffered some damage in the past. After checking which dream I was in (an essential shamanistic practice), my immediate reaction in my semi-awake state was one of frustration and thoughts of possible damage to the roof and the potential size of the associated repair bill. I then had the thought that this problem was literally keeping me awake at night. This made me chuckle and prompted me to remember that in an infinite universe there are infinite possibilities - we are never helpless. At this point I took a few simple steps using Huna techniques to address the situation I found myself in.
Firstly, I decided I needed to get into a more resourceful and inspired state. This involved a few rounds of gentle pikopiko breathing whilst being careful not to wake my partner. It also involved putting my focus on things in my present surroundings. For this I actually followed a hypnotic technique which involves focusing on three sights, three sounds and three feelings and then reducing to two of each and then to one. This did indeed put me in an altered state - one of being anchored firmly in the present moment. This moved my thoughts away from considering the possible negative possibilities to the now - a calm, focussed place from where I could act and build expectations of a good outcome.
I then began to consider my options and chose to work with the wind. I used a process of relaxation, focus and identification with the wind, also known as grokking. I had as my intent to move the rain clouds away from the house. After about 10 minutes the rain had reduced from a torrent to a trickle and in my mind I visualised the rain beginning to dance off into the distance. After about another 10 minutes the rain outside had stopped completely.
Next I chose to work with the roof to help prevent it from leaking. To do this i worked with the dream of the house. The symbol that came to me was that of a middle-aged man struggling with a backpack. On closer investigation I noticed that one strap of the backpack on the right hand side (the side of the flat roof in relation to my house) had come loose. On seeing this I helped to refix the strap and the man thanked me and walked on much happier.
At this point I felt wonderfully centered and felt that all was good. Contented, I then proceeded with the intention to fall into a deep relaxed sleep....
Upon awaking that morning I was pleased to discover that the roof had held up and there was no more sign of rain. The daily morning routines of life began - getting the children ready for school, responding to emails etc and of course making a call to a local contractor to fix the broken gutter!
Pete 'Ike' Dalton is an Alakai of Huna International living in the UK. For more information on his work visit his website, Learn Ancient Magic for Modern Living.