“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -Jesus
One of the many ways aloha is defined is alo – touching face to face, and sharing ha – the breath of life in a spirit of love. When was the last time you really came face to face with yourself. I’m not taking about looking in a mirror, but rather about reflecting on your being. Can you recall the last time you deeply took in the moon, wind, rain, a stream, the sea, a rock, flower, plant, or animal? Huna, the secret of Hawaiian spirituality, begins with ha – spirit and life force in all things. From this perspective seemingly lifeless matter like a rock is alive. Weird? Consider the way minerals in a body are a part of your life and relate that to the way rocks are a part of the living earth. Where does organic soil and stone begin and end? Recognizing our composition being of, respecting our make up, and it’s connection to the earth and the earth to the cosmos allows us to experience our connection to all of creation. It is not a secret in the sense of something to be kept from others. Huna is a secret because it is not obvious Huna is hidden in plain sight, but it takes insight to reveal it. This sounds mystical, but as with maturity some things are obscured by a lack of experience or education. Experience cannot always be be directly conveyed, but sharing my education my allowyou to have your own experience. If anything I write allows that to happen I will consider this blog a success.
Let’s begin with you. Take a breath and be aware that every breath is a rebirth for you, not just you, but also the air. You exchange yourself with the air and the air exchanges itself for you. The air that was in you reincarnated as the atmosphere around you and the air around you reincarnates as you. You are the air and the air is you. The same can be observed about the water in your body and the water in the world. Stone elements like minerals that make up your body are the same elements that make up the earth.
The word for land in Hawaiian is aina. I like to remind people that they are the aina and the aina is them. When we speak about taking care of the land we are also saying we take care of yourselves. When you see yourself this way you are aware that you are already a part of everything and everything is a part of you.
Awareness of oneness naturally evokes compassion, kindness, and joyfulness. A deeper meaning of aloha is living the oneness that reveals joy. This is why aloha has the meaning of coming face to face in the breath of life. Life being all of creation. So breath is not simply air but every energy that sustains life. The ultimate aim of life is joy. No one wakes up hoping for a bad day. There are many people who give up their right and power to have a good day by expecting and in a sense hoping, for a bad day. From the view of oneness it is easy to see that you are not born and you do not die, you don’t even transform, you are everything.
In Hawaii we greet with the honi. Honi by touching nose to nose and forehead to forehead with another person. You could even honi an object like a tree or a rock. Then inhale sharing the breath of life and the awareness of oneness with all of creation. The honi makes it easy to stay joyful because you are less tightly closed into yourself. A good handshake or hug will often do the same thing. An open heart and mind is a more relaxed atmosphere due to openness being less tight than being closed.
Recall the last time you conversed or argued with someone who was closed minded. Then recall a conversation or argument you had with someone who was open minded. You will easily recall extra tension with the closed minded person and an unusually relaxed atmosphere with the open minded person, even if the conversation or argument got a little heated.
With an open heart the potential for the intellect to turn cold is prevented. A warmhearted person will always have clearer mind contributing to increased competence than a closed hearted person. The reason is that a broader view allows more information to be taken into consideration when making decisions. So there are very practical reasons for having an open heart and mind. While there is nothing wrong with being sentimental, sentimentality is not effective when a person is focused on satisfying their feelings instead of engaging the person or situation at hand.
The causes of happiness or suffering in any situation in your life are you and your thoughts. In fact you and your thoughts contribute as much or more than other people or persons. Facing yourself allows you to consider your thoughts. Are your thoughts constructive, positive, kind, loving, and compassionate to all involved? Remember you are included in all involved. If you feel upset or hurt, stop, calm and refresh yourself in the moment by drinking ha consciously. Say to yourself, ‘I am taking in life.’ When calm give yourself time to reflect. Time is space. Openness. Kindness. Decide the way you want to exist regardless of the way the situation, or other people, seem to influence you. Don’t let anything eclipse your ha and aloha.
Remain aware of the ha and the way it keeps you connected to life. Breathing provides you with refreshment, a constant sense of renewal, and feel good energy. This is the huna, or secret, I discovered for living life rather than being distracted from it. Being open is the only way to receive fullness. I joyfully share with you my huna. If you stay with your ha, you too will discover your own huna about yourself and life. When you discover your huna, share it with me, and we will honi wisdom. Aloha