THE WAY OF ALOHA
The word "Hawai'i" is not only the name of several islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it is also the name of an ancient people. As all Hawaiian words are conceptual in nature and have many meanings, what they mean is determined by the context in which they are used. Let's break the word Ha-wai-i into some of it's root meanings. Ha is the sacred breath of creation of life; wai is the sacred water that sustains life and a symbol of great abundance; i emphasizes what comes before it. So, a very simplified translation of Hawaii is an abundance of the forces that create and sustain life--within these people and their islands called Hawaii, and Aloha is their way of life.
The people of old Hawaii were very romantic. They wrote songs and chants about the moon and the stars, the rivers and the flowers, the wind and the creatures of the sea and their beautiful island paradise. The children were given names of things in Nature, which came to them on the wind. The Hawaiians wrote songs about women and love as it related to the rhythm and the movements of Nature, in Heaven and Earth. A woman was thought of as a kind of nature goddess, because her thought processes were more from her heart with concern for others, and for our beloved Haumea --Earth mother. For the most part the early Hawaiians were a peaceful people with a gift of how to interact with Nature to influence their circumstances and live in harmony-- pono . They had a deep respect for Nature and the Akua --spirit--of all things. They knew compassion , patience and joy, and they had a belief that the center of the universe exists in all beings.
In Hawaii today you can find the Spirit of Aloha hidden in the most practical place...in plain sight. If you go to Hawaii as a tourist you might feel Aloha from the locals at the Luau hula show, or on the interisland airplane flight, but you'll have to look much deeper to find the roots of their spiritual philosophy called Huna , or "secret knowledge." Much is revealed through the study of their language. The word Aloha means much more than words could ever express, and certainly much more than "hello" and "goodbye" or "love." Aloha is a concept that is all encompassing as a way of being in the presence of Spirit. One meaning given to it by Serge Kahili King is "the joyful sharing of life energy in the present." Aloha is used as a greeting and parting because it is also said to mean..."love surrounds us," or "may love be with you," to present an atmosphere of friendly acceptance and blessings.
Until the middle of the thirteenth century before a man named Pa'ao came to conquer and rule, the islands old Hawaii were a very peaceful place to be, a garden of Eden, where each child was raised by the entire village. The Ohana --family tradition is still carried on in some places throughout the islands, where the child regards all the male adults as "Uncles,² all the female adults as "Aunties" and all the elders as "Tutu" (grandmother/grandfather). This open system provides a wide body of relationships, knowledge and skills for the growth and enrichment of the child.
When a boy was becoming a man, and a girl becoming a woman, the Kupuna --elders would send them to a sacred temple to be transformed with a deep-tissue massage called Lomilomi . This work would continue day and night until their sexual, spiritual and creative energies were fully integrated and aligned. The Hawaiians had the wisdom to know, and the skills to perform this ancient "rite-of-passage." It is a ritual dance to help young adults adjust to, and accept the joining of Heaven and Earth in their bodies. When the Kahuna -master saw the youth was ready, he would send them back to the village, a more fully integrated human being, ready to assume the responsibilities of a young adult.
This sacred "Temple Style" massage is in fact helping many adults today all over the world move gracefully through major personal and spiritual transitions, by getting them in touch with the deep Aloha in their soul. In 1986 a kahuna named Abraham Kawai'i brought this sacred knowledge out of the Hawaiian temples and into the global mainstream, and now it is possible to study this incredibly beautiful and powerful system at many places throughout the world.
Living Aloha is a way of life that all the great masters have taught us in their own language throughout time. The problem is that we have all been trained to respond to things as warriors rather than with Aloha . "The world is a dangerous place," is the root belief of the warrior. "The world is a loving place" is the belief in Aloha . Reacting to things in a warrior fashion is by far easier because it is our cultural heritage. It takes less effort, and we are more familiar with thinking in this way.."an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." As warriors we emphasize danger, the destruction of enemies and the cultivation of allies, the ethic of which is; "conquer or be conquered." This is accomplished through the development of inner strength, survival/fighting skills, hyper-alertness and various methods of protection. The "Way of the Warrior" is a path followed by many aboriginal peoples and shamans alike because it prooves to be effective. However, there is another path which arose out of the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific and requires the seeker to develop entirely different skills.
"The Way of Aloha" is a path that emphisizes acceptance, forgiveness and cooperation through the development of hyper-awareness, the cultivation of Mana --inner power, friendship and unity, the practice of survival/exploring skills, and an ethic of "love and be loved." The typical ideal is to act in such a way as to get the best results for everyone in a given situation with the emphasis on enjoyment and creating peace and harmony. Aloha is a very active, nonviolent path. We practice nonjudgement, and an attitude of "what can I give?" rather than "what can I get?" Aloha also neatly encompasses the golden rule..."do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The Way of Aloha is to perceive all life as a series of circumstances we attract to ourselves so that we'll have lots of opportunities to make choices of how to act more consciously and effectively than before. To ask ourselves continually "what would Aloha do now?' becomes a life in service to all humanity. Chances are that if you do not ask yourself this question, you will act as you always have before, and the situation will go the way it has always gone before. If this gets you the results you want, then GREAT! Because a re-action requires little or no thinking. In order to do what Aloha would do now, you will want to bring a new response to your life that creates Pono --harmony and balance in your relationships. Pono is the idea of being open and flexible in your thinking of how you will receive the answer to a prayer or a desired out come. Sometimes it rquires that you don't think, and you just hold the focus lovingly, then give it up (or pray about it), and let the universe do it's thing! It seems that we are all so busy getting in the way of the miracle with our old ways of thinking and re-acting. To effectively make a change in our behavior that is lasting takes a contant monitoring of our thought/action processes. Through practicing this we learn the great value of not dragging the past into the prasent, and the huge value in forgiveness to set us all free from the past.
Mana is the principle of inner power that is essential to the Aloha philosophy. It encompasses the idea that each one of us has the authority to think for ourselves, live our own truth, and there is no power outside of us. There isn't a need for protection when one's root belief about life is "the world is a loving place." Each of us can choose to refuse anything or anyone into our personal space to which we do not resonate with. Within us is the center of the universe and this is where we find the living God, or Aumakua , and when we truly tune into this Source, we find it to be without limits. Now, once again we have the choice of how to use this awesome power once we find it within us. The warrior will use it to destroy enemies, within and without. The way of Aloha is to find or create ways to use it for the benefit of society, and to heal ourselves and others. Interestingly enough the way of the warrior and the way of Aloha can accomplish the same goals using entirely different approaches. If you were to meet the highest masters of each path you could not tell them apart.
Essential to creating a life of loving cooperation is the idea of Kahi --Oneness... To practice Aloha , we need to give up our deeply rooted assumption that "we are all separate," in order to feel our inner connections with all people, places and things. If a hunter felt his inner connection with the deer or any other wild life, he could not kill it. If a logger felt his inner connection to the trees, he would not slaughter them. It's this belief that we are all seperate that enables us to dump raw sewage into our beloved oceans, and spill each others blood in wars fighting over boundaries or differences of religious beliefs. Hate and war is our ultimate miscreation because it goes against the basic truth of our abundance in all that we are, and all that we have. It goes against our most basic human need; to love and be loved, which is the spiritual law of Aloha
Aloha is that feeling of a smile so big it cracks your face from your heart, the fragrance and color of a beautiful flower, the sound of children laughing and playing, and the taste of ripe tropical fruit and their juices. Aloha is also the Spirit behind all creation. The Way of Aloha can be practiced and experienced anywhere, anytime and with anyone. It is a path of love , harmony and appreciation for the beauty in all things and people, and it's available only in this eternal moment of NOW! There is a saying in the book Conversations with God -book 1, that helps me to remember where to find paradise: "When I don't go within, I go without!".
Let's take a moment now and just say the word slowly; Aloha . Say it again slower.. A-L-O-H-A . Taste it in your mouth, and feel it in your heart. Close your eyes and feel your energy change as you say it again and meditate on it for one full minute. Feel the warmth! The sun is shinning in your heart! This is the great gift of Aloha!
E ho'omaika'i i kea la'a kea me ke aloha mau loa
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Copyright by Aloha International 2001