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Positive Thinking Hawaiian Style:The Seven Principles of Huna


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“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” - John Homer Miller

In an effort to give you all the information available to help you develop a positive attitude towards your life and others, we are including this wisdom from the Hawaiian Islands - knowledge they refer to as “Kahuna.”

This is not an occult system, but is based on human psychology. Huna simply emphasizes basic, normal living in every aspect of life. It’s a day to day road map for traveling through life.

The basic beliefs of Huna can actually be summed up in two simple ideas: ‘no hurt’- ’no sin.’

Sin would be anything hurtful to yourself or to others. And the other idea basic to Huna belief is that you must serve to deserve. This means you must be of help to others in order to feel worthy of goodness in your own life.

Believers of Huna are taught that the human being consists of: (1) the body, (2) the mind, which encompasses the conscious (uhane - the middle self) and the subconscious (unihipili - low self), and (3) the aumakua (super conscious - high self).

The concept of a deity was considered one step above the high self and is actually believed to be a part of the human personality; we have a divine connection.

Believers use the triangular symbol to denote that once we have all three of ourselves working in harmony; we are in perfect communication. All the selves must do their separate jobs and work together in order to achieve our potential as humans and spiritual beings.

When all three are working harmoniously together to solve a problem in the here and now, or striving towards a better future, and things begin to happen, it may appear to be a miracle. Believers, however, do not believe that this is in any way supernatural, but simply the natural order of things working as they are supposed to work.

1. Eke‘: The World Is What You Think It Is

Everything in our world, everything in our own reality, comes from our thoughts. We share this with friends, family, co-workers, and everyone else. According to the Huna belief, if we would change our world, we must change our thoughts. It is a waste of time and energy to try and change the outer world on our own.

We must begin by changing ourselves, if we wish to help change the world. It begins with us. We must change the way we think, going from a belief in lack to a belief in abundance. This is Eke’ working within to create the outer world. All the other principles of Huna stem from this one.

2. Kala: We Are All Connected; There Is No Separation And No Limits

Everything in the universe is connected. Our minds and bodies are connected, as well as earth to man, plants, animals, sky, and ocean. We are all connected and the separation we perceive is merely an illusion. It’s only our thoughts that make us believe we are separate from the rest. According to the Huna belief, this causes an illness in humankind. Underneath this sense of separation is the connection.

If we rid ourselves of these thoughts of separateness, we will reconnect, become one again, and be healed. The expression they use in the islands is “hang loose,” which simply means when you get uptight, you create a tension, which in turn causes the separation. When you “hang loose,” you relax, you feel better, your relationships become better, and you go with the flow. Kala does not mean that you must accept things as they are; only that if you relax with them, you can change them more easily.

3. Makea: Energy Flows Where Attention Goes

Events are created wherever there is a flow of energy and attention. Focusing your attention on a particular object or idea causes the energy to flow in that direction. Whatever the nature of your thoughts is, you feel that flow in return. Positive energy put out into the universe, means positive energy flowing back to you.

The same goes for negative energy. If you put negative energy out into the universe, it will return to you as well. If you put out thoughts of abundance, not occasionally but consistently, then abundance flows back to you. You can develop the skill that will begin to bring the positive energy back into your life. Do not focus on anger or fear, but on happiness and joy. Change your attention and you change your world.

4. Manoua: Now Is The Time Of Power

This is to teach you to remain in the moment. There is no power in the past and no power in the future. There is only power in this moment, right now. The past has no power over you, so you must release the burdens of the past. Whatever thoughts you possess are what you will bring with you into this moment. If you have beauty in your life, you will create beauty.

And you must increase that beauty by appreciating it right now. If you stop appreciating the beauty, you will lose your sense of beauty and it will disappear from your life. Appreciating what’s around you causes it to increase. The more you take pleasure in what’s around you, the stronger it becomes. According to the Huna belief, the future does not lay waiting for you to move forward and run into it. It is created in every present moment by what you think right now. Getting rid of the past creates a new future.

5. Aloha: Love, Pure And Simple

The root of the word means, “to be happy with.” The secret here is that to love is to be happy with something or someone. The degree of your happiness dictates the degree to which you are in love. The expression of love is important. Letting criticism, anger, and unhappiness in will diminish that love and cause pain around you. Love does not mean inflicting pain, hurting people, or getting yourself hurt. Love means savoring the happiness, the joy, and the pleasure in any relationship.

6. Mana: Divine, Creative Power Or Life Force

This belief presupposes that there is only one source of power and that the source flows through each of us on the planet. It flows not only through human beings, but through the earth and everything that lives on it or above it. Mana is considered the inner power that gives each thing its own creativity. Mana is the power of the sea, and the wind through the clouds. It is the power of human beings to be creative. The important idea here is that power comes from within.

Nothing outside of yourself has any power over you. Your very existence stems from this power within; and if you believe that something else has any real power over you, it diminishes your own power. Holding it back, trying to tamp it down, or pretending you don’t have the power, also diminishes it. By allowing yourself to experience this power, to feel it, to use it, and claim it, gives you the power to reach your highest potential.

7. Pono: Effectiveness Is The Measure Of Truth

There is no one way to do anything. There is always an alternative. We are not stuck doing things one way forever. There is no one truth, or one method or technique. There is no one kind of medicine or one way to be happy. The ways you can use to achieve your goals and attain happiness are myriad. And nothing is carved in stone. Your purpose or plan may be of paramount importance, but the methods to achieving them are vast.

Use the proper means to achieve the goal. For instance, if what you desire is peace, you must use peaceful means to achieve that goal. Violence is inappropriate, because it only begets more violence. According to this principle of Huna, if you start out with peace in your heart, you will move towards peace in your life. This principle is a practical truth and may be used as a way of living with others and yourself.

According to Max Freedom Long, “If you are not using Huna, you are working too hard.”

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