Hawaiian Spirituality & Healing
by Alison McEvoy
I can still recall scenes and sensations from the first Lomi Lomi, beginner training I did with Louise Kleu, over a decade ago. I moved continents, returned, dipped back into Lomi for a number of years, veered away again and feel a return call now. All the while, Louise remained; a steady, growing, shining light of Hawaiian healing and spirituality. Her rays emanating out to all the willing hearts and bodies on this island, inviting us to walk the path with her.
This weekend, April 14th to 16th, at Aloha House, Killorglin, Louise will be hosting Kumu Pa’a Julia Nalani, a 51st Generation Teacher & Healer. She will guide immerse participants in the Foundation Teachings of Hawaiian Spirituality, Healing & Cultural Practice.
We spoke to Julia last year, when this trip was in seedling stage and she shared with us her journey of remembrance and return to the path of her ancestors.
DEATH & REBIRTH
“I was chronically unhappy in my corporate job….for no apparent reason I felt very unhappy…I had a good job, a great husband, money in the bank, all the good stuff, but for some elusive reason I just felt completely unhappy and misplaced. And I was deeply searching for something…”
After Julia had made the decision to step out of her corporate role, she studied Holistic Psychotherapy – all about “transformation of the self.” Through this training she encountered the “great existential questions,” such as ‘who are we?’ and ‘what is our place in the cosmos?’
As a true seeker of the Truth, Julia ultimately chose an experiential route to find meaning. Reading about who we are and our place in existence keeps this understanding at a mental level. If we can allow ourselves to enter into an experience of the Living Truth, it transforms us from the roots, on all levels of being.
“I decided to go into a death lodge…[it] was to act as a dreaming lodge….Everything from that moment fell together…Whatever happened in there, that’s how I was going to live my life. Everything that happened in that little space is the ground work for who I am today.”
This transformation was really a return. A stripping away of ways of thinking and being that are not coming from the self but rather from the outside. Inside the death lodge, Julia had the immense courage and vision to allow her deep truth to rise up, unearth itself, break through the debris and blossom into her life once more.
“[It] brought me back to my cultural roots”, says Julia. Back to the words of her Polynesian father who had taught her so much before he passed away early on in her life. All that her father had said to her was coming up in the lodge. The wisdom of her ancestors was coming forward to shape her life so that she might sustain and carry forward the healing and spiritual wisdom held in her line.
WALKING THE TRUE PATH
Following this experience Julia became a Lomi Lomi teacher and lineage holder.
There is something in Julia’s teaching that for me, took me a long time to grasp. It wasn’t until I had a child that I realized the living force of the ancestors in our lives. In the lineage of Lomi Lomi, the ancestors’ place is understood deeply;
“The true power of Lomi Lomi as a practitioner is to step out of the way and let the ancestors do the work. That’s what its all about…That’s the line of truth. You recede from it. The space is taken by the ancestors. I’m doing the strokes that the teacher has taught me. I’m applying the mechanics…I’m applying my understanding of where people are mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically…and I’m saying pule (prayer) the whole time…it’s the spirit, the power of the ancestors that takes form through what we call Lomi Lomi.”
The mindset, the foundational beliefs of Hawaiian Spirituality can be gleaned from the way they perform healing through Lomi Lomi. Past and present are one. Ancestors are with us, there is NO SEPARATION.
“Spirituality is all about what we do moment to moment. How do I recognise you as a part of me. Where is our sameness? Rather than focusing on difference.”
WHERE THE POWER IS
Following the ways of old, the wisdom of these ancestors, can make us as children again. Before we were taught the illusion of separation, of difference, of competition, of conflict of interest.
Whenever conflict arrived however, there was a protocol (aka ritual) for restoring the peace. This was the traditional meaning and purpose of Ho’oponopono. The true testimony to the practical power of Ho’oponopono, is that it remains – “in place for 51 generations, simply because it works.”
Traditionally, Ho’oponopono is a process led by a trained individual, called the Luna Ho’oponopono. It was done in families on a daily basis as a kind of preventative, a continuous peace process so that separation would not occur within families. If there was a conflict in the community, it would be practised in the community, facilitated by the Luna.
Just as with Lomi Lomi, here too the Luna is a place holder, allowing the ancestors to do the work while the Luna listens deeply to what they are saying, enabling the Luna to ask the right questions and perform the right actions;
“Working directly with the ancestors, that’s where the mana (power) is. It’s the mana, the spirit energy of the ancestors that makes the difference…The Luna asks the right questions that begin to untangle everything so that you can see the stone, the thing that’s holding it in place, for what it really is. Then you know. It’s no longer unknown to you…or unseen. It’s very clearly known.”
Following the Ho’oponopono, the individuals involved would have “restitutions” to perform – “what you have to do in your daily life to make sure that the wrong doing doesn’t continue…Ho’oponopono is about a way of life…PONO is to live in right alignment; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. Doing what it takes to live in that alignment.”
Today, Julia does one on one Ho’oponopono sessions, following the protocol of the ancestors.
And, most beauteous of all, when it’s done, it’s done – “you do it once. You do it right and it is done…That’s why you have things to do, actions to take, which we call restitutions…to restore and maintain that alignment, so your daily life isn’t impacted by those stones…There’s a challenge in that, honestly.”
Julia mentions that, for some, studying Hawaiian Spirituality leads them back to their own cultural and spiritual roots. She acknowledges that, at core, the spiritual tenets of all first nations people are the same and indeed, for some, connecting with their own roots allows them to tap into the power of their ancestors – the lines of wisdom behind their very backs.
It has been said that we go on long journeys in life only to end up where we started. Spirituality is one such journey. We are born connected to the Creator from whom we came, and the Nature of the earth to which we have come, with ancestors to guide the way should we chose to acknowledge them. When we can arrive ‘back’ at this place and see all we have come with for the first time clearly, we see the Truth of who we are.
This weekend you are invited to take a walk deep within the lineage teachings and spiritual practices of Hawaii, enveloped by the Mana of 51 generations of teachers and healers.