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Though there are many aspects of, and definitions for Yoga, I have always loved the simplicity of the one most of my yoga teachers have offered: a conscious union of body and mind, creating more harmony in our being. When I became introduced to the work of Ancient Lomi Lomi (also known as Ke Ala Hoku — Pathway to the Stars), I was surprised to find that most of the work was not at all about bodywork, but about the awakening of our own cellular consciousness. One method used to explore the Great Mystery inside of our bodies is called ‘Ho’omanamana’. In the words of my teacher, Kahu Abraham Kawai’i, Ho’omanamana is “stretching as awareness of physical, psychological and energetic body and its' connection to breath. Ho’omanamana is taking old, ancient or unused energies and converting them in to contributing functions.”
As I dived into this powerful work, I came to view Ho’omanamana very much like a form of Ancient Yoga. Consciously making gentle circular, or stretching movements throughout the joints, muscles, liquids and connective tissues of the body, I discovered an experience of deep interconnection between tissues, breath, awareness, emotions, memories, thoughts and expanded consciousness. Beginning stages of Ho’omanamana allow us to begin to listen deeply to the many layers of our being by paying particular attention to breath and sensation as we move.
As a dancer, used to pushing my body to (and past) its’ limits, I was fascinated by the gentleness of the practice and it’s encouragement to honor the early boundaries of my range of motion. The slow movements felt deeply comfortable to me and I would wake up early to give myself plenty of time for the practice. For over three years, I practiced Ho’omanamana for a minimum of 3 hours each morning. To my surprise, I found it to be full of emotion. Anger, sadness and fear would emerge unexpectedly as I moved towards different positions. I spent much of that time in tears, as layers of sadness, trapped in my tissues, came rising to the surface. Most of the time, I had no idea why I was crying, but felt great relief emotionally as well as more and more freedom in my body. After each session, I felt as if I had more ‘space’ to breathe, think, feel and move. As it evolves, Ho’omanamana begins to include practices to develop strength, deeper flexibility and build Mana (life force energy).
Like Yoga, this Ancient body of work approaches the moving body as a foundation for awareness to arise and for consciousness to flow more freely through all of us, structure included. In the paradigm of Ancient Lomi Lomi, the body is recognized as a huge part of the subconscious mind, holding within it, every experience we were unable to ‘metabolize’ consciously. As we are able to ‘let go’ and be guided by the wisdom of our sensations, we are shown various pathways, through the complexity of our being, which result in deep healing. In this way, Ho’omanamana is like an ‘adaptogen’ — an herb which responds uniquely to each person’s particular needs. One persons’ trajectory of healing from a car accident or a broken arm, will be very different from anothers’. As we start listening on a cellular level, we realize that our own unique pathway of healing is already here, waiting for our open attention. Our cellular consciousness knows how deeply to breathe, which positions to hold, how quickly to move in any given moment, what emotions may need to be released, what awarenesses need to be uncovered, etc.
Listening and following, in this Ancient practice, gave me a potent and grounded pathway to access all aspects of my system, and promote a profound, and ever-deepening, sense of well-being. I have found Ho’omanaamana to be, Like Yoga, a union of the vast dimensions of our being, allowing us to approach Life with more wholeness. Mahalo to Kahu and all who came before him, for bringing this profound work to the modern world.
Published with Living Aloha Magazine, Maui, September 2016.
Heaven is here
When I can see with a Clear Heart.
When I remember
Heaven is here
When Fear is my Friend
Instead of my Enemy.
When I recognize all enemies
As my own longing
Heaven is here
When I forget to remember
That I'm supposed to be
Heaven is here
When I remember
That I am Life,
And that All Life
Is my Family.
Heaven is here
When my Family
As One Heart
Holding each other close
Half an Earth
We cannot be apart.
As i open my eyes,
Heaven remembers Itself.
There is a revolution going on — almost on every level — environmentally, socially, politically and, quite possibly, inside each of us. We are at the brink of the unknown. Crises of different natures may be happening on national, global and personal levels.
Some of us may be feeling pressure, a sense that we need to do something, or a desire to ‘escape.’ We may feel overwhelmed with circumstances or afraid for the future.
It’s a good time to remember that in the midst of this growing momentum, you can stop, take a breath, and remember that All of You is still here. In the paradigm of Ancient Lomi Lomi from pre-Polynesian Hawai’i, every moment of your life is part of your ‘Ohana, your family; and the energy – the mana – of each of these moments has gathered to make you who you are today.
In addition, your body is made up of around 100 trillion wise, conscious beings (or ‘cells,’ in modern terminology). You also share an energetic and, in some cases, genetic connection with all who have come before you – somewhere between 3 billion and 15 billion people!
Imagine, in the time it takes for that single breath, that you bring with you a Life Force energy, from many different sources, all culminating in you, to meet this moment. “How will this change anything?” you might ask. At first glance, it may not ‘change’ the outer circumstances, but it may change the quality of your perceptions.
As you meet the world with the energy, support, wisdom and embrace of your ‘Ohana, notice what happens. As you welcome your 'Ohana, it may not change what you’re looking at, but it will change where you are seeing from, revealing a different view or a greater spectrum...... and that could change everything!
Is there any aspect of your life that is in a 'holding pattern', anywhere you just can't seem to make the next step? Do you come to the brink of 'moving on' and find yourself backing up.....with all the good reasons why moving forward is just not a good idea? Are you aware of mental or emotional patterns that seem to rise over and over again, keeping you in the same responses to life? I think at some point in our lives, we all have felt stuck. From large decisions like changing jobs, or moving to another city, to small daily tasks like getting around to cleaning out your 'junk drawer', blockages can sometimes seem to run our lives.
Ancient Wisdom gives us new perspectives on how to unlock the patterns that keep us stuck.
1. Listen with new ears
Instead of falling into the familiar pattern of condemning our blockage, lack of motivation or 'stuckness', pause and listen to what you're really feeling. Go into slow motion inside and notice what else is there besides your repetitive thoughts. Let your resistance unfold itself and really listen to the nature of it. You may feel things like heaviness, fear, fatigue, overwhelm, sadness or ......?
2. Welcome the Unknown
Whatever you discover, even if it's an unfamiliar or undefinable feeling, see if you can bring it closer to you. In other words, treat it like a small child of yours that has something to say. Let whatever is bubbling up inside of you speak and welcome whatever is expressed.
3. Don't Judge
See if you can accept whatever arises as valid. So often we discount parts of ourselves, or judge them as 'bad', 'wrong', undesirable or unacceptable. The truth is that all parts of you belong to you and deserve a voice. Our frustration, anger, sadness and pain all have the right to be heard. The magic of allowing them is we then diffuse their power. A recurring pattern can be seen simply as a part of us that is rising again and again to be heard. If we can embrace, instead of pushing them away or down, they will no longer keep demanding recognition, and we will be free of the pattern!
4. Stay in the Present Moment
See if you can stay simply here, now. In doing so, you'll let your mind take a break from all the reasons why you can't move forward. You've likely been using your mind to solve this problem, and it hasn't worked, or there wouldn't be a recurring pattern. This Ancient pathway is not for your mind. Keep coming back to this moment and what you're feeling right now. I know this is often easier said than done, however there is a super simple and easy way to do it: Keep your attention on your body. As you feel your feelings, notice the sensation of your breathing, your feet against the floor, the air on your skin, the saliva in your mouth, the beating of your heart........ Anytime you want to drift into the past or the future, come back to your sensations. Your body is always here now.
5. Envoke 'Natural Order'
In this Paradigm, everything inside of you is part of your family. As you listen to each aspect (each 'child') arise in you, be aware of who is listening. The One who can hear all the children and listen to their woes with full attention, is 'The Head of the Household'. This being is the grounding of your internal family, and reflects the Natural Order of the Family. In all of Life there is a foundational, organizing principle, of which we are all expressions. inside of us, the Head of the Household serves as the organizing principle for all of our thoughts, emotions & actions. In evoking Natural Order, you allow the Head of the Household to emerge, and thereby ensure that none of the 'children' have taken over the whole being. When this happens, the rest of us becomes lost in one focus. For example, if we allow the child Anger to take over, there is no other choice with which to respond, except Anger. When the Head of the Household is in charge and Anger arises, it can be felt & honored within the context of the whole family. In this way, we expand the choices of how to respond.
Once you have allowed your feelings underneath the stuckness to speak, and you have welcomed them without judgement, make a decision to take at least One Step towards completing your goal. If it can't be done right now, give yourself a timeline. After this process of bringing closer what seems to be holding to you back, you may notice more freedom as you begin to move forward. Taking actual steps may very well become easier.
7. Make a plan
If it's a more complex area, like moving to another city. or finding another job, map out a list of tasks that need to be done, set aside specific times, and put them in your calendar. Even if it's only one....just do it. A wise man once said to me: "A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing!"
No matter how small your steps, celebrate each one. Small steps add up. They can lead to big steps, and even to quantum leaps. Let yourself really feel what's true as you begin to move in places that have not been easy in the past. Do your best to keep attention on the nature of your forward movement, as well what has actually been done. Give yourself a pat on the back. Do a 'Happy Dance'! You are coming into Harmony with more and more of your Infinite Self!
Finding a successful way to navigate our blockages helps us to discover and to keep unfolding our unique gifts. There is some expression that each of us came to blossom into.....and keep blossoming! I believe that each of our gifts is here to bring more beauty, compassion, healing and love to all the creatures of this Earth. But it starts with us. These gifts are pouring through us, exactly as we are. These Ancient Principles give us ways to meet the reality of where we are now, and to uncover our gifts in the face of whatever is happening: stuckness, fear, overwhelm, or tragedy. Life can only get better as we are able to expand with whatever we meet.
Below, Jim Carrey offers inspiration on meeting our potential in his video Dream Up a Good Life. May the Ancient Principles assist you on your way! Enjoy!
Please feel free to post comments about how this article may have been helpful, or questions that it brings up in you! To accelerate an embodied experience of coming back to your essential self, Register for one of our Residential Retreats held internationally. See you somewhere in the world!
As a species, we seem to have forgotten that we are made of Stars. The brilliant minds at Physics Central have demonstrated that on a molecular and atomic level, 93% of the mass in our bodies is comprised of Stardust. We embody the stars! If we look into a kaona (level of perception or interpretation) of this amazing fact, we might note that the stars are the light of of the heavens. Exploding Stars create unfathomable light, energy & the building blocks of entire worlds. Nestled in the majority of our cellular structure lies a potential of Infinite Creation, Infinite Light. This body — 'taken for granted' as a vehicle to move us around life — may in fact be a doorway to Creation itself inside of us.
Ancient Peoples knew of their intimate relationship to the Stars, often tracing their ancestral line to heavenly bodies. The Ancient Hawaiians, Ancient Celts, and many other cultures, find their origins in the Pleiades or 'Seven Sisters' constellation. In a very tangible way, we are descendants of the Stars, and therefore, directly related to every fellow human being, as well as every known life form on Earth. The Life that moves us, moves every living thing, Coming from this magnificent common ancestry, we are One family.
In each moment, we can choose to source ourselves in this expansive knowing instead of more narrow perspectives, If I value my beliefs, religion or race above anything else, I can come into frequent conflict with those who are also limited to these priorities. However when I value the foundation of connectivity, our collective ancestry, our commonality above all else, I will likely find more unity, harmony and expansiveness in my experience. We can recognize that we are all connected at the Source.
.Ancient Wisdom gives us the tools to pay deeper attention to this kaona (level of perception). As we listen, in an open attention, to the sensations, rhythms, textures and shapes of our own body, we open a pathway to the very same molecular and atomic elements within us that originated in the Stars. We begin to access this ancient, common ancestry. We begin to re-member our perceptions of ourselves: the worlds within us and the worlds around us.
Knowing our origins to be in the vast power and brilliance of exploding stars, we contain within us a deeper and higher potential than we might have ever imagined. We can choose to align with this vast expanse, to see from this place, to honor each living being as our relative, to honor Life above all else.
Tonight, before you go to sleep, remember that star stuff lives comprises most of you.....is alive in you.......and listen.
We wake up to realize
That we are not who we thought we were,
Nor who we wanted to be,
But who we are — unimaginable.
What if we wake to realize
That any definition of ourselves
That we are made of The Limitless
The same Life we honor
In the Eagle, The Ocean, The Land
Is inside of us
To be seen
To be heard
To inhabit us fully.
What if we could
in Surrender To Life.
What if it didn't matter
What I want,
But what Life wants
Ancient Indigenous peoples lived as one with the land. Their harmonious and synergistic relationship in nature was seamless. Food, clothing, recreation, healing and spirituality was experienced within a harmonious whole. What we perceive today as separate healing modalities: Lomi Lomi Massage, La’au Lapa’au (Plant Medicine), Pule (prayer) and even Lua (Hawaiian Martial Art) were, in various forms, a part of daily life. Growing up with the land, it was a natural learning to discover what parts of the ‘Ohana (family) could assist when faced with imbalance or illness. Since every form of Life was considered family by the Ancient Hawaiians, this would include the body, emotions, thoughts, spirit, plants, rocks, elements, motion, touch and attention. In this way, plant remedies, healing touch, massage tools, and the energetics of attention was uncovered and nurtured. According to the earliest records, everyone grew up absorbing aspects of healing from the land, elders, and their own experience.
Kahuna Lomi Lomi
Often families would gravitate towards specific conditions or techniques such as pregnancy & birthing, skeletal manipulation, muscular strains, sprains and bone setting. Some traditions included cleansing sauna therapies, poultices, purging, prayer, topical or internal herbs, spiritual counseling, or ho’oponopono, in preparation, or as part of the healing session.
While everyday applications were part of the fabric of society, those who were chosen for in-depth study, or who mastered certain aspects of the healing arts, became Kahuna (experts in their field). The Kahuna would embody a broader, deeper spectrum in their area of expertise. They were connected with all aspects of the illness, remedy, environment and particular method needed for restoring balance in the whole person. Kahuna Lomi Lomi specializing in the art of bone setting, for example, were often knowledgeable in ‘Lua’, the Hawaiian martial art — absorbing a relationship with the bones, joints and deeper body structures, both for battle and healing.
Kahuna Lomi Lomi specialized in a wide range of modalities, derived from the need for therapeutic application. Their fields of knowledge were vast and results could be stunningly effective. Lomi Lomi covered a wide range of ailments from digestive disorders, convulsions, fractures, chills, fever, swelling, to pain and poor eyesight. The healing experts of Ancient Hawai’i offered methods and protocol too numerous to list here, applicable at every stage of Life, some even possessing the knowledge of how to bring a person back from the brink of death.
Ke Ala Hoku — Pathway to the Stars
While Lomi Lomi was practiced seamlessly with herbal medicine, in its even more ancient origins, it was also performed as a spiritual practice. 'Lomi Lomi Nui', ('The Great Massage'), was a rite of passage practiced exclusively in designated he’iau or temples for a minimum of 10 hours. This sacred form of bodywork comes primarily from the Spiritual traditions of the pre-Polynesian Hawaiians, who inhabited the islands for thousands of years. These mystical people held the belief that Spirit inhabits all kaona (levels) of matter, including the human body.
Kahuna practitioners would refine their ability to work with the various access points of energy, spirit, light and information in their own bodies, allowing a pathway of transformation to open. This was reflected in one of it’s original names: ‘Ke Ala Hoku’ (Pathway to the Stars). In addition to its many therapeutic effects, this sacred rite was designed to bring initiates to an expanded experience of their place in the Universe, creating more possibility of living in the best possible alignment with themselves, their families, communities and environment.
Lost for hundreds of years, this profound work was revived by Kahuna Nui Abraham Kawai’i of Big Island and Kaua’i. It was practiced and taught by at least one other Kahuna on the Big Island, only after all other Kahuna training had been completed.
Therapeutic Lomi Lomi Today
Though few true Kupuna (elders) with the old knowledge survive, some in the younger generations have preserved what they could of this ancient art. As a result, many versions of Lomi Lomi are now practiced throughout the islands and worldwide. Most forms of Lomi Lomi, have been put in to two or three different ‘schools', distilled from the knowledge of hundreds of family lines.
Lomi Lomi today is generally thought of as a soothing, flowing and relaxing massage, consisting of long, smooth strokes with the forearms and hands, and deeper work with the elbows or fingers. Certain techniques will be applied for specific conditions such as the various stages of birth including pre-natal care, labor, childbirth, after birth and infant care. The surviving body of knowledge also includes common ailments such as sciatic pain, migraine headache, digestive disorders, and fractures among others.
A few forms of Lomi Lomi using the feet have also survived, imparting a different quality of energy and pressure for skeletal alignment, muscle and connective tissue tension. Some practitioners today, with additional training, also combine herbal medicine with the practice of Lomi Lomi.
Ke Ala Hoku Today
Ke Ala Hoku is probably the rarest surviving form of Lomi Lomi today. While it maintains the essence of it’s ancient roots, sessions are typically 2 to 3 hours instead of 10. Therapeutic Lomi Lomi techniques might be included, however these are applied with no intention to heal or fix. Ke Ala Hoku creates a container allowing the Life Spirit Force in the cells of both giver and receiver, to be the healer. This form is appropriate for those in emotional, mental, or physical transition — from jobs, relationships & deaths, among others -— and works with the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, ancestral, and energetic bodies in motions which inhabit the resonance of Life Itself. The session is conducted to ancient chant as well as music from the recipient’s ancestral lineage. Working with music, breath, movement and attention, this work becomes a vehicle for deep transformation on all levels of being.
Each type of Lomi Lomi, just like each individual technique, is appropriate depending on the need.
Mahalo Nui Loa
If we are lucky enough to live with the profoundly special Life which is Hawai’i, we will likely have a natural gratitude for the healing that it offers in so many ways. Mahalo Nui Loa to the land, to the ancient cultures which came before us, the healing practitioners who awakened such potent knowledge and those who bring it into the present day. We are blessed by all of you.
The voices of our Indigenous brothers and sisters ring clear. These are the voices which guide us to a remembrance of what is important, guide us back to Life. As many of us drown ourselves in 'conceptual reality', we have become immersed in expectations, obligations, demands and desires. Those who still remember what lies beneath it all — communion with Life Itself — cry out all over the world. if we listen with open attention, and open hearts, we may recognize a resonance of truth. We may be called to 'give up' what we thought was important, what we were taught was valuable, and feel our Original Nature once again.
As a native person, I feel the Earth, the Ocean, the Sun, the rocks and rivers as if they were alive with consciousness, because they are. The Life in me and the Life in all are one and the same. In placing itself at the pinnacle of evolution, modern man has shot himself in the foot. In perceiving itself as the most advanced being on the evolutionary scale, the Western mind has developed a fatal case of 'entitlement'. Throughout time, humankind has manipulated land, people and resources for it's own gain, because each conqueror thought that this was their due.. We have been lost in separation, and the momentum of that mana has catapulted us to the brink of the ultimate separation: our own extinction as a species.
As we re-member the Life in our bodies, the Life in the Land, the Stars, the Oceans we open the floodgates for Life to respond, to blossom, and maybe even to be healed.
We are Mauna Kea
We are Haleakala
We are the desert of Qumran
We are the Amazon
We are the River Lee
We are the Blue Mountains
We are the Arctic Sea
We are the Tundra
We are the shining Stars
.....and the Light in each other's eyes.
To join the alliance for the sacred mountain, Mauna A Wakea, on The Big Island of Hawai'i,
please visit: Kahea
The modern Western mind has stopped listening to Life. We have insulated ourselves with walls of many dimensions: including physical walls that separate us from the environment and mental walls that separate our ideas of who we are from the simple truth that we are Life Itself, in living, breathing Unity with all of Life.
Although our science, knowledge and philosophies may have a place, they are no substitute for Life. When we are on our death bed, I doubt we will care about the knowledge we gained. We will likely be more concerned that there is someone there to hold our hand, touch us with love, laugh and cry with us.
My Hawaiian teacher taught that Life, in all it's infinite forms, is to be met, recognized and honored. In the ways of many Indigenous people, we respect the Life in all things. Mauna Kea (Mauna A Wakea) on the Big Island of Hawai'i is such a Life Force, a Mountain sacred to the Hawaiian people.
The Mountain has spoken. The people are listening. It is time for all of us to honor Life over economics, politics, power or ownership. Add your voice to protect Mauna Kea from desecration: Sign The Move-On.Org Petition. Join the Facebook Page for Idle No More and look for the Facebook Page: Stand for Mauna A Wakea.
It's possible that many of us have separated ourselves from the Sacred inside of us..........and that Humanity may be on it's death bed. We are being shown what is truly important by our Indigenous 'Ohana (family).
It might be a great relief to know that no matter what you've been through, the Light that runs through you at the deepest levels, remains pure. You were born that way. The only reason you exist is because Creation itself was ignited, and continues to manifest in every cell, membrane, sinew, tissue and nerve cell of your being. At our 'common denominator' we human beings are the spark of Life in the midst of continuous Creation. Everything we consciously learn and experience is layered on top of this essential Being. Eventually, we get so caught up with our personalities, jobs, 'obligations', and struggles, we forget that a deeper movement is happening inside of us that is inextricably fused with Creation itself......or whatever you want to call it: God, The Universe, Life, Great Spirit, Allah, Jehovah, The Infinite. Life is awake in us every second of our lives — in the mundane as well as the transcendent moments.
Some prominent religions have taught us that we are born with 'original sin', and that we're lucky if we can gain enough favor with the Divine to be forgiven and allowed into 'Heaven'. Ancient Wisdom tells us that we are manifestations of the Sacred, and that nothing can change that fact. No matter how many lies we tell, or how many heinous crimes we commit, we are, at our essence made of Spirit. If we have followed misguided paths of our own creation, we can always return to that which remains, that which we are made of. Who you think you are cannot be sustained as it is a creation of your thoughts and conditioning. Living from our personality can be exhausting. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to create a persona and maintain it. This can be an unconscious choice based on our conditioning. Life, however, eventually makes itself known, 'pushing' us, in a way, to discover more of who we are. We may begin to feel uneasy, claustrophobic, unsettled or increasingly unhappy in our seemingly chosen existence. Often, we are being asked to let go of who we 'know' ourselves to be, and open to a wider horizon of Self.
Our Western culture has deified the mind, knowledge, intelligence and science. We have come to believe who we think we are and in general, base our self esteem on our accomplishments, the amount of studies we have done, and by our scientific expertise. We have given these far more importance than the very Source which animates us. As in-control as we think we are, our Life, in a very tangible sense, belongs to Creation. If we can come into alignment with this simple fact, our whole experience of living will change. Instead trying to understand and control our existence, we can begin to discover what moves through us. We can even begin to let go of our limited definitions of Spirit.
Listening with an open attention, we are continually widening the horizon of possibility. We are constantly being surprised by Life as it pours to us and through us. At the same time, we are more likely to feel where we stop ourselves from being all we can be. We get to see and feel the edges of the Infinite in our perception. This pivotal moment, coming face to face with our own limitations, is the moment of expansion. Here is the chance to go beyond what we know and into the unknown. Suddenly we are back at 'the beginning', with new vistas about to unfold. In this paradigm, Life is the opposite of boring. It is Alive with Presence, Possibility and Surprise.
You are a living Horizon. Come to the edge of your Self and see what lies beyond...and beyond.....and beyond!
and now closer,
the sound of my foot
stepping into a clear stream.
My eyes on the horizon
of wild things,
The taste in my mouth,
Unbuckling the harness from my heart,
songs before unheard,
keeping rhythm with the cold, clear water,
and the night sky
full of stars.
Ancient cultures all over the world recognize the Sun as a sacred being. We in the modern world perceive it's existence as essential to life on this planet. Its' light has been revered for millennia as Holy partially because Ancient People consider Life Itself to be Holy. The Life in the Earth, in our Bodies, and in the Stars were recognized as the same force. In this world view, humans beings are inseparable from the movement of the cosmos — in the tiniest organisms, to the pulsations of our galaxy and universe.
My teacher, Kahu, was an accomplished master of Hawaiian Geomancy — encompassing study of the flow of the land, the elements, and natural energies' effect on our physical world on many levels. In one of his teachings, he mentioned developing an awareness of the rising sun, and how its light arrives at the Mystical Being of your home. Note what the sun touches before it comes into contact with your home. It's rays, as powerful beams of energy from this massive ball of Light, will bring with it the energy of all it touches. The Suns' rays embody the energy of their journey to us, just as we bring the energy of our Life's Journey to each moment. The more immediate past can have a more pronounced effect. If the Sun's Light reaches you through a clump of bamboo, the Light may be bringing with it qualities of softness, strength, flexibility and gentle movement. If the Light touches a Police Station or Military Facility before reaching your home, you may more readily feel the energies of safety, urgency or precision.
The rising Sun reaches me filtered by the sub-tropical jungle of Maui. I am blessed to feel the Life Force of both the Sun's rays and the abundant green touching me. The shapes and movement of the leaves and sun, in light and shadows on my windows feels strong & enlivening. In kind, my life does seem to be filled with powerful growth through the ever-expanding attention allowed me through this work. I can also feel overwhelmed at times by the many areas of my life which require attention. So the energy of abundance and endless growth reaches me each morning. Welcoming it with awareness, I will be able to use those elemental forces to navigate Life. In other words, if I simply feel overwhelmed I may miss other qualities like 'powerful energy', 'abundance', 'more Life pouring through to me'. Feeling how the Light of the Rising Sun reaches you, can expand your awareness and open up more choice around the movement of Life itself in your home, consciousness and actions.
Ancient Wisdom also tells us that we are emanators of Light. This force of Spirit is present in every iota of our bodies. This is the same Spirit which animates all of Life. It's motion is constantly rising and falling in rhythm with Source. In a sense we are receptors foran endlessly rising Sun from the depths of our being. Like the Sun of our Cosmos touching what lies between us, this Light will touch whatever filters we have put in place, before it reaches our conscious awareness. It can be likened to the 'tiny whispers' we hear from time to time — the whispers of our Soul offering a way that might seem illogical, counter-intuitive or 'unproductive'. You might have followed some or many of these, and found wondrous and unexpected outcomes, or these decisions may have taken you on a path which has brought you even more gifts.
At times, we might also have followed 'whispers' which seemed to result in grief, confusion or complication. And here lies 'the rub'. The filters through which we listen to this constantly rising Spirit Life within, will color our perceptions. Our conditioning, pattering and belief systems are often unseen. Once we have them 'installed' and have been listening to them for so long, like the music of 'white noise', they become, to our awareness, 'Like the Silence'.
If we want to embody Life with more and more clarity and vitality, we must be willing to come face to face with our unseen assumptions. Since we are usually listening to the silent matrix of our subconscious or unconscious conditioning, the mind, as we generally operate, is of little use. It will tell us there is nothing there, or that what is there is pure, clear and accurate. If we stop here, then we may find ourselves operating in a circular motion, where the same or similar outcomes seem to manifest and we don't truly move forward. Through Ancient Wisdom, Kahu offered us work that accesses these embedded patterns in the matrix of the body first — which doesn't lie — and the mind 'catches up' later. This is a natural process in which we can discover that the mind is not 'in charge' after all! It also must submit to Life. When patterning is transmuted in the body, the mind has no choice but to reflect new avenues of freedom which infuse our daily life. Our electromagnetic field is altered and as we interface with ourselves and the world, new opportunities and discoveries are available that were not found in our previous state of being. We recognize a deeper communication with Life itself as it rises and falls through us, as us. We are able to touch, experience and embody the Sacred Rising of the Light within and without.
There can be powerful transmutation that occurs within the container of a Retreat or Training. The following are initial principles that you may choose to explore in your daily life:
• Pay Attention - especially to any level of assumption in any given situation.
• Be As Honest With Yourself As You Can - If you are coming into contact with unconscious beliefs, they may very well feel quite uncomfortable at first, and you may have an impulse to deny, avoid or distract yourself with things like Food, TV, Busyness, Argument, or Hedonism.
• Take time to Nurture your Awareness - Spend regular silent time in a natural environment. If this is not available, lie quietly, breathe and allow your body, attention, and awareness to completely relax. With regular practice, you will succeed in unwinding many levels of tension and holding that can keep us from feeling our Spirit Life Force.
• Take Action that honors the Life inside of you, and therefore All Life. Keep paying deeper and deeper attention to where you source your actions. You will begin to feel more authentic responses vs. those you previously thought were 'right'. Right Action can usually found in Presence of Now, and in support of Life.
Wishing you a profound communion with this Infinite Light that beams from deep inside you. Aloha Nui Loa!
According to Ancient Wisdom, there is a way to perceive yourself, your life and every circumstance without the necessary use of knowledge. We do not need to know the movement of energy systems, spiritual paradigms, psychology, physiology or science to successfully navigate the unfolding motion of our lives. We do not need past experience, insight or logic. We simply need to develop the ability to listen to the Life in our cells, which enables us to listen to the Life in all that exists.
As we attune the outwardly directed mind to the more subtle sensations of the body, we gain awareness of a broader spectrum of Life—and of the vaster intelligence that moves through us. This gives us the opportunity to feel beyond our subconscious assumptions and become more open to what is truly here right now. In listening, with no attempt to understand, our perceptive field changes and we begin to experience a world outside the classifications of reality we have been taught. As we widen our perception, we have the opportunity to increase our Mana (energy) and to live in deeper harmony with the Great Mystery of Life Itself.
The undeniable truth is that, as you read this, your heart is beating, your lungs are delivering oxygen to every cell in your body, your emotions are expressing certain colors, and somewhere in your system, your hopes and dreams are alive. We are a mass of cellular processes, thoughts, emotions, breath, light, water and spirit. All of this together (and more that we don't comprehend) creates the frequency of you, here now.
Your vibration calls out to its match, in many forms. We see, feel and experience that which we are. In each moment, you are creating Mana (energy), gathering energy, and discovering deeper layers of your Self that will either move you forward in your life, or obstruct your own way. In contrast to the prevailing view that we are virtually powerless against the circumstances of life, the Ancients guide us to dissolve the separation between ourselves and the unfolding vision of our lives, and recognize each movement, perception and circumstance, as a resonance coming from deep within.
In some ways, this is similar to "The Law of Attraction", but it includes a wider spectrum in the definition of Self. Far more than just convincing the conscious mind of what we want to experience, The Ancient Ones show us that our subconscious and unconscious existences contribute similarly, if not more than our conscious existence, to our resonant field. When things occur that seem out of alignment with who we are, it may be an invitation to uncover an aspect of ourselves that we may have buried, denied or even tried to destroy.
In this potent time, our subconscious and unconscious resonances seem to be rising to the surface. We are getting to see, feel, and experience anything that has been hidden, repressed, feared or denied. Anything we couldn't deal with or didn't want to deal with in the past now seems to be rising in order to be met, acknowledged, embraced and freed. If we had wanted to believe that bliss was the only frequency at which we were vibrating (or should vibrate), we can see now that we often hold a broader spectrum inside of us — part of our 'Ohana Nui, or Great Family.
It is our job to observe how we pay attention and what we pay attention to. If weare honest with ourselves, we might notice that we often choose to escape this deep attention, distract ourselves from what might turn out to be a painful, or empty moment. The irony is that we can never escape ourselves. We can put a lot of activity, intellect, food, travel or drug use between ourselves and our true experience, but we remain, with all of our bliss and all of our pain, until we learn how to come, unfettered, face to face with this moment.
The Law of Attraction, as it has been presented, encourages us to change situations we don't want by shifting the vibration of our conscious thoughts. Ancient Wisdom shows us that these very situations may be an uncovering of deep imbalances in our system that are crying out to be heard, to be seen and met. This is our moment to listen, and in doing so, welcome more of who we are into our consciousness.
Meeting our own fear, lack, insecurity, sadness and anger, we can allow them to be free, available as energy, taking their rightful place as members of our internal family. As such, they can support us in our forward movement instead of holding the weight of our efforts to keep ourselves separate, or the struggle to keep ourselves 'in the Light'.
Is it possible, in our Judeo-Christian culture, that one of our deep assumptions is the clear existence of 'Light' and 'Dark'? Have we become consumed, on many levels, with getting rid of the 'Darkness' and living in the 'Light'? Listening on subtle and subconscious levels reveals that the Light and Darkness inside of us may not be as polarized and fixed as we imagine. What if we were actually a continuum of light, vibration, choice, frequency, and experience, all continually forming around a central core of Love?
There is nothing to be gained by rejecting or denying any part of this continuum. It is all us, and the sooner we say YES to every part our being, the more rapidly we can access the full spectrum of Sacred Being that lives at our core, and move forward in Life as a True, Beautiful and Unique, Force of Nature.
My world right now moves in ways that are beyond definition. I can no longer say I am ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘confused’, ‘excited’, ‘angry’ or ‘joyful’. As I receive the subtle and stronger undulations of events, frequencies, sensations, emotions and thoughts, I am challenged to let go and allow it all to rise and fall, arrive and depart, swirl and explode, run and lie still. I take each step and surrender at the same time. I am shown what is true and am continually challenged to empty my cup, and be ready for the unknown. The ‘truth’ greeting each moment like the wind passing over the land: high then low, gently and with tornadoes, whispering through the leaves or rolling down the mountainside, changing in deep partnership with what is. I feel that more than ever, I am being called to listen without parameters, judgements, or expectations, and be willing to stop in my tracks or glide into a sprint at any moment. There seems to be lots of ‘letting go’ around me, death and news of death — Patterns changing, sturdy clothes disintegrating, people leaving in all kinds of ways. Inside, more of me seems available to let go. It’s a funny feeling gathering more of my ‘self’ only to cast it into the fire - though it feels more like transformation than burning. Working with others, I observe the ‘finish lines’, the places where our core identity becomes challenged, the places where we stop believing we are infinite, in order to hold on to something ‘sure’. We all have a border at the edge of our willingness. This work brings us continually to this place. Will we step across the line? Will we allow ourselves to know what else waits across the edge? The trouble is that until we step, we can know nothing of the terrain. There are no more reference points. How will we manage without ‘knowing’? How will we know who we are when we know nothing all over again? We are faced again with the question the Ancient Kahuna would ask before each sacred session: ‘Are you prepared to die?‘ Are we prepared to let go of our limited perception of self so that a greater wisdom can expand in us? And at each turn, each revelation, each renewal, are we willing to die again? I feel blessed to be a part of this profound and sacred work which guides me back to the beginning, back to ground zero, constantly stepping, falling, flying, disappearing and reappearing ‘across the line’, into the unknown. Right now, there is such a convergence of Life in me. I have never been in this place before, where seemingly all things are ‘true’. Past, Present and Future converge. My Ancient breath flies through me like a hurricane, and the wind seems to dance in and out of my cells. This Universe has come back to the beginning — again.
Fuerteventura, May 24, 2014
After what seems like endless amounts of airplane rides, take off, after landing, after take off, and getting lost in the haze of security lines and jet lag, I arrive on Fuerteventura to clear, open skies, an undulating landscape of dry and shapely mountains, and stillness.
I am dropped at the small rental of a friend of a friend. It is made of stone and plaster, powered by solar and windmill. I am either lucky or cursed that almost everywhere I go, I feel I have come home. How many homes can a person have? I’m still counting.
Settling into Fuerteventura, I am settling in to space - the vast terrain and the endless sky speak with the space inside me. Blessed in the middle of nowhere, with no car, telephone or wifi, I tackle the initially daunting task of just being here, now. Nothing to do, and no one to engage except myself and this vast new home.
The land here has a powerful resonance. There is a rolling softness to it, and a heightened intelligence — at least these are my visceral perceptions.
I walk along the gravel road towards a nearby set of twin volcanos. Sitting on a short stone wall, it feels good to be still with these two giant presences. After a while, it feels as if I am breathing with them. It feels as if they are gazing back at me. It feels as if we are remembering each other. I am once again in awe of this sacred space of Life meeting Life, and so grateful for the blood of my ancestors that guides me to recognize the Life in all things.
The thought floats through my brain that it is important to remember, on a visceral level, our origins. At the same time, the already present wind picks up to mini tornado for a few seconds....my thought confirmed by the wind....perhaps.
I am aware that I can’t try to remember, can’t think my way home, can’t create scenarios of my origins and then make the logical choice. I start at the place of truth: that I don’t know, that maybe no one knows, and that I am open to the discovery.
Ancient Indigenous wisdom, including Kahuna Sciences, recognize the intelligence and interconnectedness of the whole. We are guided to come back into contact with parts of ourselves that have been banished as less-than or unimportant: sensations, emotions, hopes, dreams, impressions. In these less defined aspects of ourselves are shades of our expanded identity, waiting to be experienced. I have had the honorable opportunity to feel the ever expanding edges of these often overlooked doorways and dive below, deeper and deeper, uncovering new dimensions of my Self, new opportunities for growth, awarenesses that expand in my daily life without effort.
To the uninitiated, this may sound like nonsense. However, there is a reason that legends of myth and magic are found in every indigenous culture. It is because vast possibilities exist, far beyond our perceptions. These new vistas make sense in the context of the awakening whole, but from a modern ‘Western-Mind’ perspective, they seem ‘magical’ or impossible.
If we were to present cell phones to our ancestors of only 100 years ago, this too would seem like some kind of impossible phenomenon. Ancient Wisdom guides us to pay attention to the matrix of our being, the background in which our beliefs are set. The beginnings of these can be found in the rhythms, sensations, feelings and shapes inside the body which we generally take for granted, or ignore. If we can open to this different, and even opposite perspective, we are ushered into a world beyond our current perception, which is informing how we perceive on every level. Here is where subconscious and unconscious beliefs can rapidly change and resonate into daily life.
For me, this is the path guiding me to my Original Self. As my teacher has said, ‘it is a path beyond time.’
On this small stone wall on the edge of the Atlantic, I am struck once again by the profundity of this Ancient Magic which is ‘closer than breath’ in all of us. And I am grateful for this land which has welcomed me home.
Remember the way. It is inside of you. It is born of your Ancient Soul, and it cries out to be heard. All the yearning to be in harmony, in connection, in union, is a shadow of this memory. No matter where you find yourself, in what condition or situation, The Wholeness of Who You Are remains intact. It cannot be dismantled, it cannot be torn. Even if your heart is breaking, even through all you may have endured, something lives inside of you that cannot be touched.
Bringing our attention back to our Sacred Self is not a sterile place of pure bliss. Rather, this Holy place inside of you is an expanded wisdom that can hold all aspects of your pain. Our Sacred Self becomes a crucible in which we can hold, feel, inhabit and transmute all of our unique wounds. Running away will only beget more running away. At some point, we either tire or collapse under the weight of all the ways we run: alcohol, drugs, food, sex, worry, procrastination, fear, and on and on — all the ways we distract ourselves from the raw and immediate truth of what is here in us right now, all the ways we run from the compressed mana of our whole being, all the ways we run from our potential.
Remember that all of us — every aspect of our existence — is here now. Even amongst all the thoughts, emotions, programming and conditioning, it is possible find the Expanded sense of ourselves. Even in our darkest hour, this attention itself will begin the alchemy of transmuting the old. How do we 'find' our Expanded Self? The Ancients guide us to the body. This pathway is so simple, it is easily dismissed: Bring the majority of your attention to your body. Notice the texture under your feet, the feeling of your tongue in your mouth, the moisture around your eyeballs. Notice your breath. Come back to simply what is true right now. This is not the same as the minds interpretation of what is true right now. Once we realize that almost everything we perceive is a construct or interpretation of the mind, we can dive beneath this all the way to Source, which we are, quite tangibly, made of. The road widens and narrows depending on what we choose. It's never too late. Choose to Remember the way. It is inside of you.
Waking up before dawn to a million crickets
Black sky, Bright stars
I gather my few things in an old string bag
And start up the pathway of illumination
The pathway lined with Kukui.
As I step, I feel the earth breathe, lifting my feet on every inhale.
Looking up into the tree tops, the sky is now barely glowing.
My vision feels like it is deep inside my head, and somehow in the trees at the same time.
I walk dumbfounded that my regular sight has disappeared,
And in it's place this kind of multi-sourced seeing.
Disoriented and Intrigued, I walk,
feeling the crunch of stone on the soles of my feet,
Not sure where 'I' am, or am not.
Listening to my vision,
Listening to the forest.
I say a quick prayer, in case anyone is listening,
As I speak, a pitter patter of leaves erupts in the forest right beside me,
Individual leaves shudder and flap wildly, though most of the trees are still.
A sprinkle of rain is the only logical explanation I can come up with.
I look up — no clouds, no breeze
Just the forest, wide awake and listening.
We are in open communion with each other.
We are the breathing green, the waking light, the altered gaze, the damp morning air,
The stone and dirt meeting feet.
We have gazed into each others eyes, this morning and I,
Seeing will never be the same again.
Reflections from a moment in Hana, Maui during our March 9-14th Training at Ala Kukui Hana Retreat.
It's quite possible that I have a special relationship with clouds. I remember being in the midst of commuter trance in downtown Toronto in the middle of the day. For some reason, I glanced up, and in the sky, randomly blocked by skyscrapers, were slow moving, white, fluffy clouds. I moved next to a building to avoid being run over by pedestrians in mid-frenzy, and stopped. I couldn't stop staring at the sky. I was stunned, feeling like I had slipped into another world. I remember thinking that regardless of the rushing masses, skyscrapers, droves of people busy with busyness and commuter traffic, that this slow, 'insignificant' movement was what was really going on. I don't know where I was going, or if I was now late. I didn't care. I was stuck and indelibly struck by the intelligence of this movement. I don't know how long I stayed there, but I can be sure that when I finally moved, my awareness, breath, pace and priorities were different.
Today, over 30 years later, I find myself immersed in a work that continuously brings me back to what is true....what is really going on....the movement of Nature within and without. Something inside me was calling that day, to be recognized and honored. I was lucky enough to listen — to quiet the daily thoughts, emotions and agenda for long enough to realize that the vastness of all of Life remains, no matter what our individual drama or perspective. Notice that each day, whether our relationship is ending, a loved one has died, or we are buried in painful trauma, the sun never fails to rise and set. If we choose to pay attention, we are not only surrounded by the natural world, but we embody it. Each of us is the emanation of an ancient wisdom that is beyond imagination or classification. The synergy, harmony and expansiveness of Nature lives in our every breath. Despite our social and cultural programming, we are not (mostly) our agenda, our lists, priorities, beliefs or demands. We are simply here now, the vast majority of our being comprised of energy, vibration, space and cellular processes. Can we refine our listening to hear more of what is true and less of what is imagined, desired or projected? The mind always wants to know, but what if we choose to attune ourselves to the unknowable? We live in a current world of radical upheaval on many levels. The truth is that many things we easily took for granted 20 years ago are now in a state of flux. The weather is fluctuating wildly in many areas of the earth, political agendas seem to have come into serious question, our food sources have been compromised and, depending on where we live, we remain either under the threat, or in the reality, of war. If we want to thrive in this environment, it seems we will have to become attuned to 'the unknowable'. As less and less is 'predictable' in our world, perhaps we are coming out of the illusion that anything was ever secure. In big, bold letters, 'Uncertainty' has taken center stage.
So how do we navigate this? What is it to be in harmony with the unknown? For me, it begins with welcoming, rather than trying to avoid or control it. We can actually turn uncertainty into discovery. If we can bring more and more of our attention, energy, breath, awareness and willingness to this moment, our world will expand. This requires a willingness to see, as much as possible without the filter of the past. If we can experience what is truly here now, without our preconceived notions, our vision begins to change, and what was unseen, becomes evident. Each moment becomes an adventure of discovery. Even in the most difficult of times, we can come back to the eyes of a child, where everything is new and filled with wonder. So the next time you're able, just stop in your tracks, notice what is true, vs. what you have assumed to be true. Notice your breath, and the air on your skin. Remember that this very moment has never occurred before. It is brand new! Notice that you are smack in the middle of the unknown itself, even in the midst of all you may have previously taken for granted.....and see if you can feel the motion of Life Itself unfolding in you and in everything around you. Every blessing on this infinite journey!