It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a Huna retreat: the softness of the warmth of the sun and the healing waters of the Pacific; the hard edge of the surf pounding against the lava rock that shapes the magnificent Big Island of Hawaii; and the presence of the history of this beautiful land and the lineage of its people. We had it all: the soft and the vulnerable, the powerful and the strong, and the palpable presence of past, present and future as we came together to explore who we might become.
The recent Mauna Lani Experience will be with me for a long time to come! As familiar as Huna has become after living it every day for more than 15 years, this was my first experience of creating a Huna journey (for myself and others) on the very land from which it was birthed. With a deep and ever-growing respect for the people of Hawaii and their culture; and with a reverence for what I’ve learned and become because of this context for living, it was a sacred moment for me to find myself in the company of others, the vibration of my voice in chant filling the same space that has been filled for hundreds/thousands of years with the vibrations of connection to that which is much greater than our physical being.
This Huna Retreat in Hawaii was an amazing experience, not just because we were in Paradise but because we were – to a person – willing and able to trust ourselves and each other. Our conversations rolled effortlessly from one topic to the next, allowing ourselves to be led by the deeper pulls to our own accelerated evolution, charting new waters that would come to shape a magical place of their own. Compelling, life-altering, fun and funny, no subject was off limits as we shared our discovery of how else we might live… of how a new paradigm might become a daily way of life. So potent was this experience that plans were already underway for our return before we had left the Island. I’d say that’s a good sign, and a sign of good things to come!
The luxury property of Mauna Lani Bay Resort and Bungalows was a welcoming haven from the pressures of daily living. With oceanfront property that extends over 62 acres, there is always something new to explore and discover. Ancestral lands continue to be the site of managed fish ponds, doing so in the traditions of the ancients. Taking the time to wander the grounds was well worth the exercise.
“Mauna Lani rests on an ancient ‘ili, or land section, known through the centuries as Kalahuipua’a. It was a place where Kings would come for recreation and elders would gather for worship. This was, and is, a special hallowed place. The ancient royal fishponds are preserved on the grounds to this day. And if you somehow sense the importance of this setting as you stroll by them, you have the understanding for what the Hawaiians call The Spirit of Place.” (http://www.maunalanirealty.com/)
Our time on the Big Island coincided with the continued awakening of Kiluea, the active volcano on the Big Island. The power of the Fire energy of the Island was palpable! The ‘vog’ (fog from volcanic emissions of sulpher) was thick in many places, with relief coming from the arrival of the trade winds to blow things around. However, where we stood, the sky was clear and bright, filled with the gleaming sun that Hawaii is famous for. We stood on sacred ground, with the intention to connect to that which sourced us, and we were without anxiety or discomfort. However, the intensity was felt by all, each in his/her own way.
Some of us had difficulty staying asleep! (Is that a metaphor, or what???) Some of us felt the need to move – to walk, to run, to swim, to engage! Others among us were aware of the degree to which our feelings flowed with intensity, coupled with the tears that were part of that journey. And yet others were filled with a sense of excitement and hope; a sense of anticipation of wonderful things to come! No matter what it was, it was perfect – and each of us came to know and to trust that.
Our four-day conversation began in the good company of Danny Akaka, the Cultural Advisor to the Mauna Lani Bay Resort. A truly humble and gifted man, Danny carries the history of the culture in the very tissue of his being. Always willing to take the time to listen to others and to share himself, Danny opened our retreat by sharing his knowledge in conversation, in story, in chant and in song. Not one soul was left untouched by the warmth and sincerity of this man who welcomed us to Hawaii and into a journey of discovery of ourselves, through the gift that is Hawaii. Perhaps his greatest gift to us all was to allow us to know ‘aloha’ in his presence rather than to attempt to ‘know’ it through the understanding of the intellect.
We celebrated the completion of our journey with a special day of ‘ohana’ (family) coming together by choice on the water and to feast. Our snorkel and sail left us watered and refreshed; and our Traditional oceanfront Hawaiian Luau at dusk ensured we were entertained and fed like royalty! It was such fun to have come to know so well those who were in the retreat experience, and to share our evolution with the people they loved. Our small and courageous band grew to include their family and friends, ensuring our journey came to a close with shared memories and the desire to continue to grow.
There are many people around the world who teach Huna, many of whom have been long-established in the world of both spiritual practice and teaching. I am often asked how what I do is the same or different from what others are doing. My response is always the same: I don’t teach the technique and practice of Huna. I create safe and welcoming space within which to share with others how my experience of Huna has allowed me to find my Self. In that moment, others are free to choose the path of their own desire – to seek and to find… or not.
Much of how Huna is taught today relies on and offers strength in its technique and practice. My personal discoveries have taught me that ritual and practice are intended to help us remember who we are. There is little or no value in these things in and of themselves when we forget who we are. In comparison, when we remember who we are, ritual and technique become non-essential – sometimes entertaining and always comforting in their habituation but non-essential, nonetheless.
Over the last 15 years, blending what I’ve learned from ancient wisdom and from the new science, my experience of Huna has shown me how to be ‘human’ and live a magical life! In the simplicity of the Three Selves lies a reliable roadmap from the secular to the sacred; from the material and mundane to mastery and magic. This complex yet simple framework offers an accessible gateway of much more. Whether or not we choose to discover, the invitation is always there. It is up to us to determine who and how we will become.
I know we will return to the Big Island and all that it beckons for us to discover. I am grateful and I am humbled. I am awake and enlivened, and I am on Fire with the potential that I carry to create my life in meaningful and abundant ways! And I am a living expression of the intensity that is an essential part of the process of creation and manifestation. As I am all of these, so are you.
To be sure, there is always more….