I read this recently on Mind Body Green and breathed a sigh of relief. I practice and teach Hawaiian Bodywork. I have been taught there is a philosophy that underlies this bodywork – a philosophy of self empowerment and personal accountability – based on The 7 Principles of Huna. These principles are, as articulated by Serge King:
1. The world is what you think it is
2. There are no limits, everything is possible
3. Energy flows where attention goes
4. Now is the moment of power
5. To love is to be happy with
6. All power comes from within
7. Effectiveness is the measure of truth
Now, these principles mean that the world we live in is one that we create. We create our own reality, experiences, and choose to manage our lives accordingly. This is a powerful framework for a system of philosophy. And not one that I disbelieve.
However, there are those that argue that Huna is not Hawaiian, and bears no resemblance to Hawaiian worldview or spiritual practice, but is instead part of the “New Age spiritual industry”.
As an aside, Huna Philosophy also has many Buddhist and Hindu parallels. Both Hinduism and Buddhism emphasize the illusory nature of the world. Both emphasize compassion and non violence towards all living beings. Both believe in certain spiritual practices like meditation, concentration, cultivation of certain bhavas or states of mind. Both believe in detachment, renunciation of worldly life as a precondition to enter to spiritual life. Both consider desire as the chief cause of suffering. Suffering ends by letting go of the desire or attachment for things we want , and focusing instead on changing our own mind and how we view the world around us.
The practice of yoga is intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of both Buddhism and Hinduism. Yoga is about movement, connection with spirit, quieting the mind, and being mindful of your thoughts. Sound like Huna? Some people also say that the ancient traditions of yoga are being lost in the modern age, just as the ancient traditions of Hawaii are being lost in the New Age spiritual industry.
I agree with the Dalai Lama. Except my body, as well as my brain and my heart, is my temple. My body is the temple of my soul. Love my body, love my soul. Huna, Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, Meditation, Lomi Lomi – all practices should be available for anyone who can benefit from them. As Jeff Cannon says “We need to open the practice up to all types of people and personalities. But instead of putting up a velvet rope around the practice, (arguing about who is right /which technique or belief system is correct) we should instead open the doors and invite even more people in.”
Let us practice a philosophy of kindness, so that we all may grow, and find stillness, together.