The following excerpt is from:
The Power of Aloha:
Ola Pono: Whole-body Health
We've seen that our beliefs, attitudes and expectations about ourselves and the outside world directly influence how people relate to us, and we've learned how events evolve to bring us that which we're broadcasting as our intent. In this chapter, we're going to explore how we can positively influence our physical health - the functioning of our own bodies - through the haipule ceremony and related Huna practices. Since we've already covered most of the conceptual fundamentals, we can jump right into the heart of the Huna approach to health.
The traditional Polynesian extended family or regional community had a number of different Huna experts dedicated to helping everyone maintain optimum health. There was the kauka ha'iha'i iwi, or the bone-setter; the lomi lomi, or massage expert; the la'au lapa'au, or herbal doctor; the niho, or tooth doctor; the haha, or health diagnostician; the ho'o hanau keiki, or midwife; the la'au kahea, or faith healer; and there were probably others as well. In the early days of the Hawaiian civilization, it seems there was little physical illness in local extended-family communities. "Before the Tahitian ali'i came to the Hawaiian islands (around 1200 AD)," Kaili'ohe Kame'ekua once said in her oral history (see Tales from the Night Rainbow) "our powers were great. Our koa bowls were full of light and we could do all things. Our only law was that all are one. Anything said to hurt another would hurt you also."
Illnesses increased when there was conflict with the foreign rulers, and that conflict increased as the centuries went by - and so did the need for Huna action on many fronts to help those who were sick to achieve renewed harmony and, thus, heal. From the Huna understanding, physical illness develops when we lose the feeling of harmony or resonance with those around us and with ourselves. We've seen how important it is to accept and love ourselves just as we are in order to have successful relationships with others. Now we're exploring how vital it is to be in harmony with ourselves in order to maintain optimum health.
In the Polynesian tradition, there is no abstract word for the state of sickness - there's only the word for "being sick" or the behavior of being sick, which was called ma'i, or with chronic behavior of being sick, ma'i ma'i. And as you might guess, the Huna path to better health is a path of changing one's beliefs about oneself so that increased harmony and love prevail, and the body experiences the change that the mind intends. Put quite simply by Serge Kahili King, "Healing is an effect of changing beliefs. Change the mind to change the body."
Certainly from the Huna viewpoint and increasingly from the viewpoint of modern medicine as well, the heart of sickness is stress, which results from a conflict between how the world is and how we want it to be or between who we are and who we want ourselves to be.
Very often, an illness is a blessing in disguise because the physical condition makes us stop, reflect and reassess our lives, and emerge from the illness as a new person with new visions of life. Rather than judging illness as bad, we do best to accept illness as a teacher and be open to new insights through the experience of falling ill and consciously recovering.
Kala recounts a personal story of the gifts she received from an experience with a deadly illness:
"At the age of twenty-six I was a vibrant and healthy young woman, employed for several years as a flight attendant on international routes. On a particularly difficult overseas flight, I injured my back while pulling a heavy meal trolley up the aisle. As a "twist of fate" would have it, this led to an illness known as ankylosing spondilitis, which is a potentially fatal arthritic/rheumatic disease with extremely debilitating effects and with no known cure. Unable to work, I learned to cope with ongoing pain and frustration.
One self-revelatory weekend, during a human potential seminar, I suddenly discovered why I had chosen to experience the illness I had been suffering with for three years. For the first time I realized the close relationship between mental and emotional states and physical health. Once I saw the mind-body connection, I knew that I did have the power to change my mind and, thus, change the state of my body. I had to take action; the alternative was to end up without a job and without hope.
I set about to create my healing. Rallying all my mental, emotional and physical resources, I shifted my attention to the idea and experience of health. Since the disease was detectable in my blood, and the airline determined that I was not physically fit to fly while that was the case, I decided to find ways to cleanse my bloodstream. I remember attending a symphony performance during which I used the inspiration and energy of the music to focus my imagination on purifying my blood. I visualized it shooting up from the center of a beautiful white fountain in front of me, then cascading down in a pure, healthy red hue. The powerful music seemed to intensify my desire and conviction. As I left the concert that evening, I felt I had taken significant strides toward health and might actually have altered my own physical reality.
From that point on, I continued to direct my attention to the purity of my blood, affirming my wellness and participating in every healing modality I could find that might help my body rejuvenate itself. Finally, after a year of concentrated effort, I fully believed I had replaced illness with health. The airline administration, cautious about returning me to active duty, sent me to three specialists who examined me thoroughly and found not a single trace of the disease in my blood or anywhere else in my body! I was healthy and vital once again. The doctors pronounced this a "spontaneous remission." My own life experience taught me that we create our reality from the inside out. It also taught me the power of directed attention. Little did I know that I had discovered two of the key principles of an ancient esoteric knowledge. . . .Such was the journey that led me to search for the inner causes of outer events. This search later brought me to the doorway of Huna, and once I stepped through, my life was forever changed for the better."
The Proven Power of Prayer (Pule)
In Hawaii's native culture, the word for prayer is pule. The first part of the word haipule, hai, simply means "to say or declare." We can say a pule for ourselves or for others. In both cases, the basic procedure we've already learned in the general haipule ceremony, is fully applicable here with our focus on regaining physical health.
Long before the Princeton studies documented the power of the human mind to influence the world around it, powerful healers around the world were using this power to help others through the vehicle of prayer. In recent years, a large file of scientific experiments has quietly come into existence to offer formal evidence of the efficacy of prayer. Probably the best compendium of this research in a readable format is Dr. Larry Dossey's book Healing Words, published in 1993, wherein he patiently documents a startling number of replicable experiments proving the power of prayer and discussing the best formats for effective prayer.
"Experiments with people showed that prayer positively affected high blood pressure, wounds, heart attacks, headaches, and anxiety," he summarizes. "Subjects in these studies also included enzymes, bacteria, fungi, red blood cells, cancer cells, seeds, plants ... and remarkably, the effects of prayer did not depend on whether the praying person was in the presence of the organism being prayed for or whether he or she was far away. Nothing seemed capable of stopping or blocking prayer. The evidence is simply overwhelming that prayer functions at a distance to change physical processes in a variety of organisms, from bacteria to humans."
Using early Princeton study data as part of his extensive presentation, Dossey goes on to point out that "Prayer is a genuinely nonlocal event - it is not confined to a specific place or a specific moment in time. And since prayer is initiated by a mental action, this implies that there is some aspect of our psyche that also is genuinely nonlocal. If so, then something of ourselves is infinite in space and time - thus omnipresent, eternal and immortal. Empirical evidence of prayer's power, then, is indirect evidence for the soul."
Again, we find science (in this case, medicine) returning to the basic premises of the Huna tradition in order to explain the phenomena being explored. If human beings can, through the power of their own minds, reach out and positively influence the functioning of other organisms (as well as their own), then humans must be more than materialist science has previously assumed they are.
Based on the new medical evidence showing the genuine healing power of prayer, human beings must be intimately connected with the non-local realms of transpersonal consciousness, or spiritual reality. On this level, humans must be one with universal power if they can readily transcend their individual identity and act outside the domain of material science's space/time continuum.
Dossey presents several research findings that startled not only scientists, but religious groups as well. Studies show, for instance, that it doesn't matter what God you pray to for help - the help comes through the act of soulful praying, not because you call upon one particular named God or spiritual source. What does matter are the factors we've already explored in depth for activating the haipule ceremony: that the praying person be momentarily selfless, in a state of being rather than doing, and in a highly- charged, positive emotional state of enthusiasm and earnest desire to encourage the highest good.
Furthermore, the medical studies Dossey documents show that praying for the highest good of someone else is statistically much more effective than praying for a particular outcome.
Psychologist Lawrence LeShawn, noted for his own studies of what makes prayer work, concludes that "one can only be fully in this successful healing mode when one has, if only for a moment, given up all wishes and desires for oneself (since in spiritual reality the separate self does not exist) and for others (since they do not exist as separate either) and just allowed oneself to be and, therefore, to be with and be one with all of existence."
Finally, along with this sense of merging with Akua lani in the blissful state of forgetting or going beyond the individual self - feeling united with each other and with the All - there is the essential ingredient, now documented, of feeling the emotion of an immense caring and empathy for the person needing healing.
This excerpt was taken from The
Power of Aloha written by Kala H. Kos and John Selby. Though this
book is not in print yet in North America, if you are interested in
purchasing it in the near future, please send an email to: email@example.com.
Copyright, Kala H. Kos, Ph.D. and
John Selby, 1999.
Kala || Love