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Maui – Day 3 – ‘Iao Park

29 Jul

One of the good things about the Banana Bungalow Hostel (apart from the fact that they are really nice people, if a little crazy, and the cool cats) is that they run free tours.  So today we leapt into a couple of vans and took a trip up to ‘Ilao Park a few minutes away from the hostel.

Our tour guide, Matt, took us up barefoot (him, not us).  He took this photo while holding 20 cameras when all of us wanted a picture at the top.

We started out at the heritage park, commemorating Hawaii’s cultural heritage.  The park has a Filipino home, a Japanese temple, a Polynesian home and more – it’s also a bit of a peace garden – remember that after Pearl Harbor the part of the US population of Japanese origin were herded into concentration camps.

Then, after leaping over a barrier, we took the hike up the mountain.  We were confronted with the foul smelling noni fruit (think gorgonzola only worse) as well as waterfalls of stunning beauty.  I managed to bounce my head of various tree branches – which at least alerted the girl behind me to their presence.  Wailuku means ‘Damned Waters’ – a huge battle there left so many bodies that the waters overflowed.  It’s actually a very fertile region because of the four rivers that flow there.  The valley is actually created by erosion of the volcanic crater.  At the top, a harder rock has been left as a pinnacle, said to be the phallic representation of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean. The peak, known as Kuka`emoku, is the secret burial place of many of the ancient Hawai’ian kings (the kings would be buried in anonymous and hidden graves.  Unlucky for those chosen to bury them, as they were often killed so they couldn’t reveal their whereabouts.

A quiet afternoon in the coffee shop catching up with some stuff….


Pono – effectiveness is the measure of truth

Kahuna (keepers of the huna principles) have a saying ‘if it works, it’s Huna’.  So if we do something and it works, then that is a measure of its effectiveness.  Cause and effect isn’t quite the same out here…. And also, we truly measure something is true or not by how well it works.  If it doesn’t work it isn’t true – at least at that moment.

And a bonus thought.  The word ‘Aloha’ is used for both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Hawai’ian.  Its deeper meaning is ‘love’.  But the root ‘alo’ means both ‘to be present with’ and ‘to be with’ – so our love is based on how we are present with one another – how much attention we pay each other.  Food for thought….


Maui – Day 2 (Wailaku) – eating it up Hawai’ian style

27 Jul

I thought I might mention Hawai’ian culture and food here…

There’s a lot of lovely seafood and all the American staples… historically they would eat a lot of poi (mashed taro, which for them is a spiritual staple.  And very purple).  They also used to farm yams.  The traditional diet was greatly changed by the arrival of westerners and then the immigration of the Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Polynesians to work in the sugar cane fields.

There are some oddities though – for example the high incidence of SPAM based meals including Spam Musubi (apparently the best is in Nagasako Okazu-ya).  Fortunately, as a vegetarian I don’t need to test it.

I came across the local free paper – which, incredibly, has a 3D ‘Best of Maui’ edition this week.  Reading it without the glasses makes me feel as if I’ve had a bad night out on the town.

I could go and see the stage version of ‘The Wedding Singer’ at the local theatre… or attend a traditional leiau with lots of hula, drums and more.  And, before you ask – no, I have not been tempted to dance the hula…. although those of you who are expecting male equivalent to have lots of swaying might find it compares more to the Maori Haka

Some more Huna

Mana – all power comes from within

So, the universe is infinite.  Which means that all its power is at every point…. including you.  They might even go so far as to consider that if the world is a dream, then the only place power CAN be is inside you. You do, in fact, have all the power you need to achieve whatever you want.  And what’s more, no-one has power over you.  No-one can make you unhappy, no-one can make you feel small, no-one can do anything to your internal world – unless you choose for them to.  So, let your power out today.  Speak with confidence, act with authority – energize the power that is within you.

Huna – Day 5 and graduation

24 Jul

Final day, and a final very cool session on the way we integrate and work with the spiritual world.

Serge Kahili King teaching

Lots of hugs, and a few photos on Jen’s Mustang that the three musketeers had been tooling around town in.

Tim, Jen, and Pete…. and the musketeermobile

And then off back to Hilo, where the Hilo Bay Hostel was welcoming and friendly… and I took in a movie for a dollar at the local cinema.

Tomorrow I leave Hawai’i for Maui.  It’s been an amazing, wonderful couple of weeks with incredible sights and experiences, some truly incredible learnings, where I made some wonderful new friends, and experienced the energy held within a volcanic island at first hand.  Wow.

MANAWA – Now is the moment of power

In Hawai’i, there are no words for past or future.  The future is ‘the thing that is happening hasn’t happened yet’ (or something like that… and the past is ‘the thing that is happening that isn’t happening any more’.  And if you think about it – there is no past, there is no future.  The only thing we can experience is right now.  The only moment we have any control over is right now.  The past is gone… we can learn from it, but we can’t change it.  The future isn’t here – we can plan for it but we cannot experience it.  So let’s live NOW, enjoy NOW, and enjoy our power NOW.

Huna – Day 4

24 Jul

I wasn’t too impressed with day 3 of the Huna event – but day 4 was great.

We took a ride down to the hot pools in Ahalanui Park.  These hot pools are fed by volcanic activity, and despite the sea continually splashing into the pool, it stays a nice toasty temperature.  We were focussing on our relationship to wind and to water – observing the patterns in wind and in water, and seeing what we can learn from them – how the approach of wind, and the approach of water, can be used in different situations.

I spent a lot of time just staring out to see, enjoying the waves, and the wind, and feeling completely close to the elements as the wind wrapped itself around me.

We also took a few minutes to visit Lava Tree Park – where the lava rushed through so swiftly that the trees didn’t have time to burn, but the lava took the form of the tree that it consumed.  I’m not sure if I was so much impressed by that as the incredible tree canopy though

And then we drove down to the lava fields.  The last time we went, all the security was gone home and tucked up in bed – and we got really close.  This time, we couldn’t really get near the lava – but what amazed us were the buildings, set up on the old lava field.  I guess they’re hoping lightning won’t strike in the same place twice.  I wouldn’t guarantee Pele will be that kind.

Sorry, bad picture in poor light – but I had to put it in.  A way away is a property where the lava from the previous eruption has flowed round and spared the property – there are many of these spots across the island where the lava never flows no matter how many times it erupts.

Huna principle 3

MAKIA – Energy goes where attention flows

If you think about it, that’s true at a very simple level – when we focus on something, then we find that things happen around it.  At a metaphysical level, then the more that we focus on something, the more the strange and wonderful happens around it.

In the evening

Huna – Day 3

24 Jul

Half day today… and a visit to Pana’ewa rainforest zoo. Met a gecko.. and a lemur…and the white tiger

Took a kinda chilled afternoon in Hilo bay though, did a bit of shopping and bought lots of tiki carvings for Jen’s workshop business in Costa Rica – in, of all places, Walmart.  Sometimes the world surprises me.

Note to the careful reader.  This is a large tiki.  The Wal-Mart ones are MUCH smaller

And now for some more Huna..

KALA -There are no limits, everything is possible

In Huna, everything is possible.  The universe is infinite, and anything could happen.  It may not be necessarily ‘easy’ but it’s certainly possible.  If you think about it, if the universe is infinite, then you must be at the centre of it.  And everywhere else, of course, but certainly at the centre of it.  So, how much power does that give you?

Huna – Day 2

21 Jul

One of the really great things about the course I am on is that in order to experience being connected to everything, then we’ve been spending time in nature, experiencing some of the environments and learning how to feel that connection – what Robert Heinlein would call ‘grokking’ – the ability to take on the nature of the animal or plant (or whatever) being looked at.

At one level this might be ‘shapeshifting’ and the ability to take on a different form (if you can let your imagination stretch that far!) and at another level, that might be considering the attributes of a particular animal to see if there is anything to be learned from that animal (I did a bit of research into my favourite animal, the panther, to see what I can learn from the behaviour of the panther)

Yesterday we were looking at plants and at humans, and today at rock and fire.  We’ve also been learning massage techniques based on the different spirits of the elements we are looking at.

So, we took a walk down the petroglyph field where there are 23000 carvings in the rock like this one

(it’s a turtle)

– across a wild, windswept and desolate area.  The theory is that the Hawai’ian people used to create these to provide a focus for manifesting or attracting the subject of the picture (although why someone wants a turtle escapes me).

So.. looking at huna, the first principle is ‘ike’

IKE – the world is what you say it is

basically, our experience of the world is the only one that truly matters (to us). We can only experience ours, we can only influence ours. If we say that everything is working out perfectly – then it is. If we say that it’s a disaster – then it is. We can choose to experience things the way we want to.


20 Jul

A Hawai’ian greeting

Aloha Kakou – let there be love between all of us

– and the response is Aloha Nō (Love indeed)

A shaman is someone who who bridges the gap between the visible and invisible worlds, between human and nature.

A shaman is a healer of relationships: between:

* Mind and Body
* People
* Humans and Nature
* Matter & Spirit

An adventurer shaman works by depersonifying illness, fear or disharmony and healing them through love, cooperation, and harmony – the way Hawai’ian Huna works.  By contrast,  a warrior shaman personifies illness, fear or disharmony and defeats them through power, control and combat

Huna, in a similar way to Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is how I got into Huna in the first place, separates us into heart, mind and spirit, while recognising that in truth there is no separation between us (or, indeed, between us and anything else….

Heart, Mind and Spirit

Heart aspect – Ku

The ku is similar to ‘subconscious’. It learns & remembers, develops skills & habits, keeps our integrity, takes care of the body.

It stores memory (genetic and learned). We can find that our memory can be locked up by tension. annot distinguish past, present, future – can only distinguish how ‘real’ something feels. Memory is kinaesthetic (feeling related).  We can use our imagination to create a ‘real’ memory of something – and for example have a skill without learning it.

Ku is not creative though – it works from past experience and is motivated by pain and/or pleasure.

Mind aspect – Lono

This is our conscious awareness internally & externally including hunches, inspiration, ensory impressions. Is the decision maker.  Lono decides where to focus – what to be aware of.

Here’s a thought about choosing : no-one can make a wrong decision about the future, because a present decision does not create a future event – only a present event. It is how you continue thinking about a decision that makes the future turn out how it does. Or as my son put it – there is no such thing as a wrong decision, there is just what happened

Spirit aspect – Kane

This is the soul or god-self, or aumakua, the home of creativity.

Lono generates a pattern by deciding something is true. Ku memorises the pattern. Kane uses the pattern to manifest experience. Kane also gives inspiration to improve the pattern – its primary motivation is harmony.

Your kane decided to accomplish certain things in this lifetime – and you will, one way or another!

And remember – it is easy to be in touch with your own spirit – it is part of you.

Hawai’ian Weather Rock

20 Jul

In the home of my Huna teacher I found an amazing Hawai’ian weather rock that he uses to tell the weather.  I believe that this approach has been used by people in Hawai’i for many generations.

Fortunately for those of us that are not yet such deep shamanistic practitioners, there were some instructions . . .

If rock is dry, then the weather is fair

If rock is wet, then it is raining

If rock is white on top, then it is snowing

If rock is covered in salt water, then there is a tsunami

If rock is shaking, then there is an earthquake

If rock is on one side, then there are high winds

If rock is missing, then there is a hurricane

Will be posting some more from my adventures yesterday once I recover….

A brief course in Huna

18 Jul

One of the reasons I am over in Hawai’i is to study Hawai’ian Huna, the ancient yet modern native shamanism of the island.  Core to Huna is the concept of Aloha – love – which instantly set up a connection with me.

So I am not sure how many photographic posts I am going to make over the next few days, but I thought I might start off with some principles of Huna for all my interested readers…

Huna grew out of Polynesian kahuna knowledge (kahuna meaning ‘keeper of the secret’) and really is an attitude of mind, an approach to the world, that blends us with the environment, whether that’s nature or technology (I, for example, have a real connection to technology, to the point that things often ‘fix’ themselves when I am around.  Sometimes, they go loopy when I am around, so it’s not an exact science!

Huna is intensely pragmatic, and doesn’t require a system of belief – in fact, they say ‘if it works, it must be Huna’ thus extending the base of knowledge rather than restricting it.  Key to the system is that the world is alive, and that we can influence that world by our behaviour, our beliefs, and our attitudes.

So, the seven principles of Huna: these are my notes, not a class in Huna – but in keeping with the Huna approach of ‘the world is what you say it is’ – how do YOU perceive these principles?

IKE – the world is what you say it is

Our experience determines how we perceive our world – AND our thoughts determine what we attract.

Everything is a dream – we dream our lives into being

All systems are arbitrary – absolute truth is whatever you decide it is. What matters is how well it works for you.

KALA -There are no limits, everything is possible

The universe is infinite → infinite experience. We can change the rules of the game.

Everything is connected. Influence at a distance

Anything is possible – believe it to experience it

Separation is a useful illusion – we are connected, but thinking of yourself as separate can help you take action

MAKIA -Energy flows where attention goes

Meditation is simply focussed energy.

If you don;’t like what you’ve got – then shift your attention into a new pattern (meditation and hypnosis work well for this)

Attention goes where energy flows – we are attracted to any strong source of energy

Everything is energy

MANAWA -Now is the moment of power

Karma exists only in the moment – your circumstances depend on what you believe NOW.

Everything is relative – we can broaden our scope of ‘now’ and bring past and future in… and so we can change them.

Power increases with sensory attention – focus on the sensory present, be consciously aware

ALOHA -To love is to be happy with

Alo” – to share an experience, to be with & “oha” – affection, joy. Happy comes from love, unhappy comes from fear

Love increases as judgement decrease – when we cease to judge, love increases. Focus on the positive, on the stuff that is good. Praise that.

Everything is alive, aware and responsive – don’t criticise yourself, or the world around you – your ku will take it personally and defend itself creating tension.

MANA -All power comes from within

We have the power. If the universe is infinite, then all of its power is at every point – including the point that is you. Every event is creatively attracted by you – and then you react to it or respond to it. Noone can make you unhappy.

Everything has power – everyone, and everything. Learn the power of the rain, of nature, of animals

Power comes from authority – speak with confidence

PONO -Effectiveness is the measure of truth

The means determines the end. A positive approach yields positive results.

There is always another way to do anything – do something different.

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