"When the first Haole (slang for Caucasian), no doubt one of Captain Cook's crew, arrived at the Island of Hawai'i, he came ashore, and asked the first Hawaiian he saw, "What's the name of this place? Where do you live?" The Hawaiian answered, "Hawai'i."
Then the sailor went to another area of the Big Island and asked the next Hawaiian he saw, "Where do you live?" The second Hawaiian said, "Hawai'i." And then a third, with the same answer, so the island was named "Hawai'i." What each Hawaiian meant was, "I live in the supreme Mana that rides on the life's breath."
When the sailor visited the next island, he asked the first Hawaiian he saw, "Where do you live?" This Hawaiian said, "Hawai'i." And then another island and another, and still the same answer, "Hawai'i." So Captain Cook named all the Islands, "Hawai'i."
But Hawai'i isn't just a place in the middle of the Pacific, it's a place inside you -- a place that, wherever you go in the world it is still inside you. You see, what the Hawaiian was saying was, "I live in:
Ha: meaning breath, or breath of life
Wai: meaning water, but also a code word for Mana or life force, and
'I: meaning supreme
But Hawai'i is not just in the Hawaiian Islands, you also carry it with you, and so you can connect with your Hawai'i -- the supreme life's force that rides on the breath, any time, anywhere.
Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha." The out-breath is whispered loudly, and is twice as long as the in-breath.
So if you're in traffic, bumper to bumper, and you have to be somewhere, and you're about to rip the bumper off the car with your bare hands: Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha," and reconnect with the Hawai'i in you.
If you've had a rough day at the office and you're tired, really tired, but it's only three: Don't take that 14th cup of coffee, forget about it. Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha," and reconnect with the Hawai'i in you.
If your kids are raising the roof, and your dog just mangled your 120 dollar Reeboks, and the cat just fur-balled in your bed, and you are about to yell and throw all of them out: Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha," and reconnect with the Hawai'i in you.
You're about to go in to see your boss, and you hope he's in a good mood, 'cause the last time he wasn't and that wasn't fun, and you're really anxious: Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha," and reconnect with the Hawai'i in you.
Remember -- anywhere, anytime -- you can reconnect with the supreme Mana that rides on your life's breath -- the Hawai'i inside you. Just stop and take a full breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth with the sound, "Ha," and reconnect with the Hawai'i in you. Anyone can -- anytime, anywhere. So wherever you go you can be in the flow of the supreme Mana that rides on the life's breath.
In the early 1800's, when the first white visitors to Hawai'i arrived, the Hawaiians watched them carefully especially when they spoke or prayed. Soon the Hawaiians noticed something odd about the missionaries. The Hawaiians had confirmed their suspicions -- the newcomers didn't breathe, at least not the way the Hawaiians did. The Hawaiians were miffed. Before any Hawaiian would begin to chant, or even to make a pronouncement, they always breathed and meditated, but the new arrivals didn't, so they were called Haole. Ha, meaning "breath," and Ole, meaning "lacking."
So let's not be Haole, at least not in the true meaning. As you're reading now, let's breathe together, doing the Ha breath for 5 minutes. Why not stop and do that now? Just take a deep breath in through the nose, filling your lungs completely. Then exhale through the mouth, loudly whispering the word "Haaaa," and exhaling completely. Continue for 5 minutes -- put on some nice music if you wish or just sit quietly. (By the way if you begin to hyperventilate or feel light headed at any time during any breathing technique, just stop and wait for it to pass.)
THE ACTIVE MEDITATION OF THE KAHUNA
One meaning of Hakalau is, "To stare at as in meditation and to allow to spread out." If you've never tried it before, right now, this technique can be a real eye opener. Try it.
1. Ho'ohaka: Just pick a spot on the wall to look at, preferably above eye level, so that your field of vision seems to bump up against your eyebrows, but the eyes are not so high so as to cut off the field of vision.
2. Kuu: "To let go." As you stare at this spot, just let your mind go loose, and focus all of your attention on the spot.
3. Lau: "To spread out." Notice that within a matter of moments, your vision begins to spread out, and you see more in the peripheral than you do in the central part of your vision.
4. Hakalau: Now, pay attention to the peripheral. In fact, pay more attention to the peripheral than to the central part of your vision.
5. Ho'okohi: Stay in this state for as long as you can. Notice how it feels. Notice the ecstatic feelings that begin to come to you as you continue the state.
(Notice that this description is almost the same as Patanjali's description in the Yoga Sutras of Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi leading to Samyama.)
Hakalau is the means, then, in the Hawaiian system for entering a rapid trance state at will. In our Huna Intensives given in Hawaii, we suggest to the Haumana (students) that they use this technique inside and outside of class -- all the time -- until it becomes automatic. This is the state we are in as we go from place to place, walking, cycling, riding in a car, etc. And as you do it more and more, you will also find that it is impossible to hold a negative state in consciousness when you are in peripheral vision. Hakalau is also why some Shamans won't actually make eye contact with you, because it could interfere with the state. (Truthfully, if eye contact can interfere with your state then you need more practice with a qualified guide.)
The ability to enter a trance state rapidly, and at will is deepened by sitting in meditation and deepening the experience. The technique is practiced with the eyes closed, and adds some additional techniques to Hakalau." Matt James