I teach and practice Huna, the indigenous spiritual path of the Hawaiian Islands. And within this ancient body of wisdom, there are two concepts that I feel are especially important for students to grasp: pono and the aka connection. Both are based on the belief (which quantum physics has now proven to be true) that we are connected to all things. So, to be out of synch or at odds with anyone or anything was to be at odds with yourself.
Pono is one of those Hawaiian words that doesn’t have a good English translation. A popular translation for the word pono would be “right” but not as in “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Pono is a state of being, of being right with yourself. It is a feeling of having unwavering congruency about yourself, that you are comfortable in your own skin.
I’m guessing we’ve all had that experience when we knew at the deepest level that we are aligned with who and what we really are. We feel empowered and fully at peace. That’s pono. When you are pono with someone else, everything is clear and comfortable between the two of you. When you are pono with your environment or a situation, you feel a sense of well-being, ease. When you are pono, you feel connected on all levels.
The process of ho‘oponopono (often called the Hawaiian forgiveness process) is a process of becoming or staying fully pono with others. It allows you to release any anger, hurt, or misunderstanding and make your aka connection clear again.
The literal translation for aka is “sticky stuff.” Aka is an etheric substance that can stretch indefinitely. It is a conduit for the mana (energy). It’s the metaphysical version of insulation surrounding an electrical wire. My kumu (teacher) Papa Bray said without aka, mana (energy) would just disperse into the universe. Aka contains and directs the current of mana.
The instant you interact with someone, a connection is formed and the energy flow between you and the other begins. It works like an alternating current (AC). The mana doesn’t flow in just one direction. It flows both from you and to you. This exchange of energy is immediate.
Beginning students often tell me that they don’t feel this connection, probably because they have a certain expectation of how it’s supposed to feel. But I’d bet that we’ve all experienced it. Have you ever been in a crowd and suddenly felt someone was staring at you? You turn and can immediately pick that person out of the crowd, even with many others present. How? At the unconscious level, you can trace the aka connection of that energy toward you. Your unconscious mind is in charge and aware of all of your aka connections, not your conscious mind.
The aka connection may be more obvious with people you know well. You can finish one another’s sentences. You immediately fall into synch when walking together. You sense the other person’s mood with little interaction. But whether we are aware of it or not, we have an aka connection with everyone. Anyone we touch, anyone we notice, and anyone with whom we communicate whether verbally or non-verbally, these all create a connection and an exchange of mana.
In my Huna workshops, I teach that “energy flows where attention goes.” Even the tiniest bit of attention – a glance, brushing by someone on a busy street, even reading about someone in the newspaper – creates an aka connection. Every connection you’ve ever made is still with you today unless you have consciously done something to cut that connection. That means every person you’ve made eye contact with at the grocery store or who sat next to you on a plane is still connected to you. It’s incredible to think about, a little overwhelming in fact!
That is why we use ho’oponopono. In a nutshell, ho‘oponopono is a process by which you forgive others to whom you are connected. As part of the process, you energetically cut the aka connection in a very positive, loving way from the heart with aloha, knowing that you can make the connection brand new again. You can also choose not to reconnect, yet still do it in a way where you still feel pono. This process puts you in charge of your connections.
Morrnah Simeona, who taught ho’oponopono for many years, believed that you should cut the aka connection with everyone, regardless of who they are or how long you have been connected. She said, “If you’ve been in a marriage for 20 years and you haven’t cut the aka connection, you should.” Why? You create a new connection and therefore see the person for who they are today, not who they’ve been. When you make a brand-new connection, it will be just as strong, if not stronger, than the old one. On the metaphysical level, twenty years doesn’t make a connection any stronger than a brand-new one. Actually, twenty years can make the connection less strong. Imagine re-connecting with a person you love very much from choice in a moment of empowerment. That new connection will be stronger than the old one that might have been from obligation or just habit.
When you become right with others through ho’oponopono and cutting the aka connection, whether it’s with people who are strangers or those you know well, you become right with yourself. And feeling right with yourself is important not only from an interpersonal perspective but from a metaphysical standpoint as well.
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