Category Archives: Hawaiian Spirituality

Return to the Ha

Return to the Ha

Returning to the Ha

Always return to the ha. The ha is the breath of life.  It is spirit. During your day, as you work, especially as you face difficult situations, notice your breathing. Don’t try to control your breath. Simply notice it. You can do this by silently saying in when inhaling, and out when exhaling, by feel the air against your throat or in your nose, or by being aware of the rise and fall of your belly or chest. Saying in and out is less thinking and more like repeating a mantra or oli (chant).

In Hawaii we notice the breath as being connected to the na’au. The na’au is located in the lower belly below the navel. Na is a plural form in the Hawaiian language, Au means I, me, myself. Na’au can be interpreted as from where I am connected to everything. With your awareness to your na’au silently say na on the inhale and au on the exhale. You are returning to the awareness of breath and body. This reunites body and mind. It brings you back to yourself and your connection to spirit and life.

Don’t struggle with it or try to perfect it. Just return to awareness of the ha. This is not a method for ignoring or running away from discomfort, instead it is for holding the discomfort or struggle in a peaceful presence of mind. Over time you will become stronger in ha or spirit.

Pono Presence

Pono Presence

1920299_524425357667120_1472862191_aIn the most strictly spiritual sense, when you ask yourself the question, “what am I doing this for?”, about your job, studies, or any other activity, at that moment, you are asking yourself how to live spiritually.  To live spiritually is to live without desiring an outcome or reward, and yet contrary to popular belief the act itself is not the reward.   Spirituality is in the way an action is done.  Our normal way of thinking is, I wash the dishes to clean the dishes, and the reward is relaxing afterward.  To wash the dishes spiritually is to wash the dishes peacefully and present; to completely engage and enjoy the moment.

Many of us go to work to earn a paycheck to pay the bills and hopefully to have a little extra for fun.  On this level we are no different from animals fighting for survival.  To be a complete human being is to involve our physical, spiritual, and intellectual natures in balance, to go to work in a state of enthusiasm.  If we don’t like our particular job spirituality would help us understand the circumstances, the karma, that created the unfavorable situation which would lead us to know how to take a different path.

The idea of doing something to be a good person is results driven rather than rooted in doing the action because it is from your heart.  If you were rooted in your warm heart all the time, every action you do would produce a good result.  This is what the Hawaiians mean by being Pono, the Buddhist mean by being present and awake, Christians mean by being one with God, and Taoist mean by being one with the Tao.  Trying to be good means that you are not simply because you are trying.

To be fully present is to have a calm clear mind and warm heart.  It is difficult to be present if the heart and mind are crowded, it’s like driving in traffic.  It is through calmness that we are able to have clarity, much like the smooth surface of a lake.  Yet calmness is not a static or ridged state.

When is the present moment?  Now?  The instant you say now, now has passed.  It is impossible to capture the present moment as a measure of time.  Presence on the other hand is a quality of timelessness, of dynamic flow, like a surfer on a wave.  Imagine that you have presence, aware and fluid.  Such presence automatically produces grace and that is what we awaken to when we become enlightened.  Grace is already there as a part of you.

The Dalai Lama is often addressed as Kundun or Presence; he is also known as The Ocean of Wisdom.  In the Christain bible it is written, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Quite your mind, like when you are trying hard to listen for a sound, feel with your whole being like when feeling your way in the dark, focus you attention calmly on a spot four fingers widths directly below your navel to know powerful balance, and you will become familiar with what I am saying.  This is Pono.  Mahalo.

Warm Heart Magic

Warm Heart Magic

I recently scheduled three meetings in separate locations too close together for me to make each one on time.  One was in Aiea which a town close to my home, a Skype session at home for a woman in Japan, and two readings in down town Honolulu.  At first I panicked wondering how I was going to make it all work.  Then I stopped, prayed, and asked God to fix it.  While waiting for a reply I simply kept my heart warm and loving and trusted on the words of Jesus, “God is love,” and applied my faith to the love God put inside me versus the anxiety I had created.


I went about my business as usual all the while keeping my heart warm as an act of faith.  I reasoned it out like this; if I take Christ at his word, that God is love, then by connecting to the love in my own being by keeping a warm and loving heart, I am performing an act of faith.


It takes practice to hold a warm heart while doing other activities, but just as we are able to drive and listen to music, we are also capable of keeping a warm heart while doing other activities.  In fact, many of us are keeping a state of anxiety or anger while driving, which are a practices just the same as keeping a warm heart.


Keeping a warm heart is a form of meditation, but so is being constantly anxious or angry.  Any focus of attention we place our mind on, and become more familiar with, is a meditation whether we do choose that focus consciously or not.  The word meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition means to become familiar with.  In our wonderfully modern society with all its comforts and conveniences, we humans still live predominantly from the primitive survival area of our brains.  This is why many of us are in constant states of anxiety.  We taught anxiety because we have created a society of competition based in survival of the fittest based on Darwin’s scientific observation of nature.  But human nature is not predominantly animal nature.  In fact I’m not sure even animal nature is predominantly animal nature according to Darwin’s observations.  I don’t think Darwin was ever rescued by a dolphin as many swimmers and divers have been.  In any case, human nature, in fact if we take the Bible creation story at its word then all of nature, originates from a divine source, and is therefore predominantly divine.  By keeping a warm heart we stay consciously connected to our divine nature.


Suddenly I got inspired to call the resturant in Aiea where I was having the first meeting to see if they had wifi.  They did, so instead of going home for the Skype session as I had planned I could do the session there with plenty of time for my down town sessions.  A small miracle, but to me a miracle none the less.