If you’re in my entourage then you are well acquainted with my (other) odd fascination with all things Hawaiian, and for everybody else this is me coming clean.
Magnum PI had a lot to answer for in the early years but as I have supposedly become a grown-up so have surf legends, the appeal of fierce raw Nature, Lomi Lomi massage and Hawaiian shamanism for some.
Serge Kahili King from whom I draw king-sized inspiration describes shamanism as a distinct form of healing and Hawaiian shamanism as a distinct form of shamanism. Whilst most shamans follow the path of the warrior aiming to develop power and combat skills in order to deal with fear, illness or disharmony, Hawaiian shamanism focuses on developing skills of love, cooperation and harmony. In that tradition illness is viewed as a self-generated effect of stress – which is a strong statement for sure but one that would make sense at least to a degree. And all Hawaiian words for healing have undertones of causing energy to flow, implying the release of stress-related tension.
Everything we do creates stress to a level but the patterns become un-natural when we deal with sustained stress. In a natural flow of life the cycles of stress and tension would be followed by relaxation but modern life often cuts us off from that relaxation period and we go from one stress to another building tension in the body and mind without an outlet.
Serge explains that the source of stress is resistance. There is a degree of natural resistance that we live with to function physically and deal with our circumstances but again resisting overly creates undue stress. You resist over and beyond healthy behaviour when you are in fear or anger, when your expectations do not meet what life and others can bring to the table, going into defence mechanisms. Hawaiian shamanism offers a rainbow of tools to re-pattern and create relaxation in the body and mind as well as implement healthier ways of living.
A short relaxation technique for coming back to your core and calm whenever you need it: inhale with your attention on the top of your head, exhale with your attention on your navel. Intend to relax or be energized, whichever calls. Give up trying to move the energy or interfere in any other way, just continue giving your full attention to your breath and the top of your head and navel alternatively. Perfect for a quick energy boost.
Kaulike is a very simple seemingly casual but profoundly caring technique which literally means “balance or harmony” that Serge describes as a Magic Touch.
Simply “stand in front of the receiver and touch him or her with the fingers of alternating hands for about the length of two heartbeats on the crown, throat, chest, solar plexus, and navel. Then use both hands on either side of the body and touch in turn the jaws, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. Finish by raising your arms out to your sides and above your head, and sweeping your hands palm-outward down in front of the receiver to about hip level. That’s it.”
Performed with the right attitude from both the giver and receiver it engages your subtle energies, subconscious and conscious mind and does what it says on the tin.
Tiki is a type of creative meditation – or object of meditation to be more precise – designed to develop powers of concentration and allow you to “journey” within and learn much about yourself as well as give you the opportunity to work on what you don’t like. It uses created images of sight, sound and feelings.
Here is one easy example:
“Imagine yourself in a meadow in springtime. A stream cuts across the meadow and you are seated beside it. Build this image in as detailed a way as possible, using every one of your senses. Feel the grass with your fingers. Dip a hand in the stream. Is there a breeze? Is it cool or warm? Do you hear birds or insects? Are there flowers? Can you smell them? Are you alone in the meadow? Is this a place you have been to before or seen in a picture, or is it brand new? Explore this meadow carefully with all your senses. This is going to be your place for re-attuning yourself to your own nature.
When you are ready, take a deep breath and bring yourself out of meditation to consider the experience. Was it pleasant, or did you experience things you didn’t like? The meadow represents one part of your mind. Your conscious mind creates the overall meadow pattern by design or intent, but your subconscious fills in most of the details. Anything that was imperfect in the meadow is a reflection of imperfections in your thinking.
If you can correct the imperfections in the meadow by using your creative imagination during meditation (e.g. cutting the grass if it’s too high to permit you to see anything) you will be taking a giant step towards correcting the problems they represent in your daily life. A careful analysis of everything in the meadow as if the whole thing were a reflection of yourself will increase your self-knowledge greatly.”
On you go
For those missing Ayurvedic specifics take a look at http://www.halepule.com a website and in-person as well as online programmes in Ayurveda founded by Myra Lewin out of Kaua’i, Hawaii. It is chockablock full of Ayurvedic tips and recipes.
The lovely Clare Raggozino of Vidya Living has also relocated to the islands and is a breathing living example of walking the path of Ayurveda.
And finally for those local to me here in Dorset, England I cannot recommend Alice’s kahuna massage more if I tried for deep bodywork Hawaiian-style. http://www.AliceLilaFlynn.blogspot.co.uk
I leave you with a little sense of fun & adventure but practical solutions too. Hawaiian shamanism is very much of the opinion that if you meet an obstacle, say an animal that bears its teeth at you, you smile back. If that doesn’t work and nothing else does either, let it eat you, be transformed, come out the other side, and keep going. Basically try all the practical solutions and finally evolve with it, come out renewed and stronger.
This is a path of cooperation, community, solution-finding, way-finding, love and a very pragmatic lifestyle in a way that works and brings happiness. Now I’ve gone all Moana on you…
And of course it is very much to do with energy, raising your energy and building abundant Mana which is the Hawaiian equivalent to Prana, the life-force but with an added sense of confidence in yourself and your skills. Nothing wrong with that!
### I pinch a fair amount from Serge this week so if it appeals please do check out his books and his work with Aloha International.