“O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli.”
If you’re going nowhere, you’re guaranteed to get there.
The ancient beliefs and practices of the Hawaiian people have been practiced for a very long time. They were brought into the mainstream by Max Freedom Long who went to Hawaii in 1917 as an elementary school teacher.
During the course of his stay there as a school teacher, Long got interested in the ancient beliefs of the local shamanic “kahunas” but was not allowed to study with them.
The kahunas had practiced the ancient beliefs and practices for a long time but none of them wanted to speak to Long.
After his departure from Hawaii in 1931, Long had a revelation and realized that the secrets of the ancient practices of the Kahunas were encoded within the language.
Huna is a Hawaiian word that means secret and was originally described by Max Freedom Long in 1936.
Huna incorporated Long’s new age beliefs and the timeless wisdom of the kahunas to create an endearing system that stood the tests of time.
According to Long, the Kahunas believed in the existence of three selves: an inner sub-conscious or emotional self that is intuitive in nature, a rational inner consciousness and a superconscious or the connection with the divine.
The wisdom of Long’s ideas of Huna was distilled into seven principles by Serge Kahlil King:
1. IKE – The world is what you think it is.
2. KALA – There are no limits.
3. MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes.
4. MANAWA – Now is the moment of power.
5. ALOHA – To love is to be happy with.
6. MANA – All power comes from within.
7. PONO – Effectiveness is the measure of truth.
There is some difference in opinion about the alignment of the modern Huna principles with ancient Hawaiian teachings and wisdom. Whether Huna aligns completely with the ancient teachings or not is beyond the scope of this post.
I certainly do like and resonate with the Huna principles and believe that we can enjoy the wisdom of Huna without making it a discussion about how much they align with ancient teachings.
1. IKE – The world is what you think it is.
“Lawe i ka ma’alea a ku’ono’ono.”
If you want to become good at something and become successful, you have to put in hard work and practice for a while until it gets deep and becomes a part of who you are.
There has been considerable importance placed on the power of thought both in the ancient time and in the new age movement.
The efficacy of thought as a medium for transformation has been documented since the ancient times when the Buddha said:
“You become what you think.”
You might have also come across inspirational phrases such as “thoughts are things” and famous books such as Napoleon Hill’s Think and grow rich.
This Huna principle of IKE reminds us that the world and our reality and experiences are open to interpretation based on the dominant filters that use to view it with.
The idea that your conscious creates your reality is not very easy to refute since how you view the world determines your willingness to engage and take action. Action and enthusiastic engagement create results.
If you think of the world as a wonderful, co-operative place with opportunities, your beliefs and actions will rush in to match that self-concept.
If you think of the world as an unsafe and hostile place, you will get different results based on your filter.
Become aware of: Do you look at the world as a co-operative and dynamic place or do you look at it as a hostile and unsafe place and how are your thoughts, beliefs and actions influencing that opinion?
Find bright spots and evidence of how the world can be a supportive and co-operative place.
Stop the snowball of thoughts that make you anxious and stressed out and replace with thoughts that give you a sense of comfort and relief.
2. KALA – There are no limits
“Kulia i ka nu’u.”
Go for excellence, strive to reach the summit or the top of the mountain of life. Go for the very best.
Do you feel like your life has options and that the limits that you have set on yourself are your own construction?
Or do you feel like life is getting constricting, the choices narrowing and all types of limitations are restricting your life and your true freedom?
I am a strong believer of the idea that when you relentlessly argue for your limitations, they embrace you and present situations to prove the limited nature of your life and achievements.
When you hold an image of hope, a feeling of possibility and refuse to box yourself into pre-made limits that others or even that you have set for you, you stay open to the field of all possibilities.
In the book Decisive, Chip and Dan Heath warn us about the possible tunnel visioning of our choices while making important decisions.
I believe that this tunneling or making up your mind of your limits and your own ideas is one of the most significant things that keeps us glued to our current situations.
Instead of finite limits, why not believe that great things are possible and also self-excellence and happiness and flourishing can indeed be limitless.
You begin smelling and experiencing a strong whiff of true freedom when you allow self imposed prisons and limits to fall apart.
Have and hold an attitude of great expectation and hope.
Re-examine all the limits that you have inadvertently set on your life.
Dream BIG…you might as well have big goals and dreams because we tend to achieve what we expect and aim for.
Daily: Think a little bigger than your comfort zone, stretch and take actions that allow you to discover and expand into bigger and better things.
3. MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes
Be like the waves. Go with the flow.
I have always deeply and intuitively loved and felt this principle even though I was not able to verbalize it very well.
Some people are known to talk to their plants while taking care of them. In reality, it is not woo-woo stuff that makes them have a green thumb but the caring and the attention to detail that they are willing to place on their hobby.
After all, every experienced gardener knows that weeding out the weeds, nourishing the plants at the right time and at right amounts and even being just right with the water is key to good growth. All these are qualities of a discerning attention.
When you lose your attention on a matter, you leave it to randomness for it to move forward. You lose your valuable focus and your attention gets diffuse.
Diffuse attention on many different things makes sure that none of them get tended well and with great care.
Other forms of this great principle are mindfulness, meditation, stillness and flow.
Focus your undivided attention on a limited set of actions and projects.
Instead of becoming great at everything, shower your attention on the things that matter most to you.
Develop your ability to focus by practicing meditation and sitting in stillness and focusing your attention on your breath.
4. MANAWA – Now is the moment of power.
“Oi kau ka lau, E hana I ola Honua.”
Live your life while the sun’s still shining.
While the past and the future hold powerful lessons, examples and possibilities, there can be little doubt that the power of the now and the current moment holds the greatest key to self-fulfillment and success.
You may have failed at something in the past but the amount of persistence that you will display in this current moment determines yet again if you will be propelled forward or stay static.
The question to ask yourself continually is if you are willing to live in the stress and fears of the past or future or are you willing to cast them aside and take meaningful action in the current moment.
Without any doubt, you may observe that people who receive great results are always taking immediate action in the current moment. They seem to have no hesitation pursuing their excellence or their dreams and make the most of this very powerful “now.”
Are you willing to celebrate, take action and launch your best self in this moment and all the moments of now that will come forth in your life?
Live in the current moment, not in the past or the future.
Bring your attention and engagement back to the current moment of power.
Take action now and completely enjoy this moment of attention.
Allow your mind to let go of the things that are beyond your control and instead make a small meaningful change to the present moment by your attention and action.
5. ALOHA – To love is to be happy with
“E lei kau, e lei ho’oilo i ke Aloha.”
Love is like a wreath through the summers and the winters of our lives. Love is everlasting.
This is one of the most popular terms of the entire group and is also the popular Hawaiian greeting of hello. Literally it means that when you love, you become happy with something or with someone.
I think that this is a very powerful connection between love and happiness. I think that without, the other, they are incomplete. It is impossible to live with passion and love and not experience a deep sense of happiness and the opposite is also true!
I think that every corner and at every moment, we have a choice to make. The choice is to choose love or to choose fear, anger and hatred.
As we allow criticism, fear, judgment to gradually fall apart and increase the incidence of loving joy and happiness to embrace our being, we begin to glow from the inside out. Our happiness becomes infectious and out passion for life unstoppable and the attainment of our goals and dreams a great possibility.
Bless others with your love, your smile and your attention.
6. MANA – All power comes from within
“La’i lua ke kai.”
The sea is very calm. All is peaceful.
I believe that there are two kinds of power. One that is extrinsic or external and may involve itself with the attainment of power and status.
The other form of power is a sense of deep self-efficacy and a feeling of personal power that emanates deep from your belief systems.
The power to not stay still and paralyzed and to move enthusiastically forward also comes from within and from the accumulation of all your experiences and your beliefs about you and your life.
This can be similar to experiencing a deep sense of confidence and self-belief. There are people who doubt every move they make and seek approval for being themselves. There are others who have discovered for themselves the futility of this approach and have cultivated and refined a deep sense of self to the point that they remain unwavering in their “own song.”
When we make the time to be still and cultivate spiritual practices, our spirits get strong and nourished. When we make the time to think empowering thoughts and replace weak thoughts with powerful ones, we are tending the mental garden. When we nourish the physical body with good food and water, we develop the faculties of the body.
Together, all these come together to form a very strong sense of internal strength and confidence. They come together to form a feeling of peace and mana that needs to be experienced for oneself.
To change your external world, change your internal world first.
Practice powerful and beneficial practices such as yoga, meditation, stillness, exercise, eating right, hanging out in nature and taking great care of you.
Start small but make physical, mental and spiritual practices that benefit your body, mind and spirit a priority and make them habitual. Even a few minutes a day is still better than not practicing at all.
7. PONO – Effectiveness is the measure of truth
“A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia.”
No task is too big when done together by all.
Do you believe in the truth of something without looking at the effects of it in your life? This principle is one that echoes the power of wisdom and knowledge and the power of testing things out.
Many people feel like life has left them with little options and that what they do does not result in success.
But they do not consider many options and do not even attempt things because that have already believed in their limited success.
There is a better way that is available with this timeless principle. When in doubt, try it out for yourself and become a sincere life long learner.
When your commitment to learning is strong and your willingness to test out other ways of doing something is present, life becomes a series of adventures and not failures and successes.
Whether you succeed or fail gets subordinate to the excitement of learning and finding out the truth. When you see effectiveness in your own life, you can see which truths ring true and work for your life.
Test everything out for your life and your unique situations.
Become committed to lifelong learning and discovery.
Live your life like a daring adventure of curiosity and change.
Now over to you! Please let me know in the comments below if this post resonated with you.
Photo: Mark Fosh via Flickr CC