We’re all scrambling to make ends meet and get it all done in a day. Each day. Every. Single. Day.
We also have to deal with other people.
I don’t know about you but my day is scheduled around when most people won’t be on the roads or in the stores I want to go to. The people working in the stores are gems. The people shopping…another thing all together.
And have you noticed how aggressive drivers are now?
So many are in a hurry and not thinking of the best for everyone else. In most people’s defense, they are working long hours, have family & household responsibilities, and are weighed-down by financial challenges. It’s easy to get frustrated with the simple tasks of the day if everything doesn’t come together just right and fit into the schedule.
Some people pin our woes on capitalism but capitalism isn’t inherently evil. Materialism, on the other hand, is the foundation that spurs greed and disregard for other human beings and the environment: They’re getting theirs so I better get mine. – Out. Of. My. Way.
The sad reality is most people are only one paycheck away from being homeless. Or as my close friend Lisa says, “one house fire away from being homeless.” This all makes for a stressful life. Even if you’re trying to be positive, life is not easy these days.
When I was growing up, “Lucky we live Hawaiʻi” was the standard phrase heard everywhere. I don’t hear that so much today but it’s still very relevant – despite our hardships.
We shouldn’t cover-up or glaze-over how challenging life is because it’s only when we’re no longer trying to hide that fact that can we actually relax and revel in the wonder of the world.
When we can relax and feel the wonder, we are connected with the life-force energy of the universe. When we can live from that place, we can create a world that cares for and respects all life and the environment.
This is the promise of countless native belief traditions from around the world; including Hawaiʻi!
One of the most vocal native Hawaiian proponents of living this way was Pilahi Paki who revealed, “ALOHA is the word my kupunas used for the universe. ALOHA is the universe.”
Thao Le and Pono Shim wrote a paper called Mindfulness and the ALOHA Response. In it they quote Pilahi Paki who said, “…if you think Hawaiian regardless of the language you use, it will be the language of ALOHA and ALOHA is the language which reveals the connection to all people.”
They go on to propose that mindfulness meditation leads one to connect with & live ALOHA; thereby enabling them to think Hawaiian and connect authentically with others. It is through these connections that there is reverence and trust. And it is in reverence and trust that we are able to experience true relevance and honor for each other’s presence and being. The result: people respond back from ALOHA.
“This way of being is the lifestyle of Hawaiians, but is also the lifestyle of all those who practice living ALOHA and finding the Aloha response.” – Le & Shim
According to philosophical scholars as well as the references in Le & Shim’s paper, the ancient Hawaiian understanding of ALOHA mirrors the foundation of oneness with all-that-is in countless other nature-based cultures around the world. And that living from that place of oneness with everything (ALOHA), positive transformations take place for the benefit and care of all living beings and the environment.
In Hawaiʻi’s case, it seems we’ve forgotten this deeper relationship with ALOHA – possibly because ALOHA has been co-opted for so long by colonization and materialism.
There’s a secret about ALOHA that’s been long kept under wraps. Now is the time to reveal that secret:
ALOHA is the life force energy of the universe and the more people who know that secret and begin to live ALOHA, the more people there will be to spread Its Light to conquer the darkness of materialism & greed.
This is the promise of our Kupuna.
Le & Shim: “Presently, Hawai‘i is poised on the threshold of transformation, at the liminal state of truly manifesting ALOHA and becoming a beacon for others. We propose that mindfulness can shine the light of ALOHA, for individuals and institutions to discover and uncover the ALOHA response, and to embody ALOHA as a way of being, a lifestyle of wise and compassionate living. Engaging mindfulness to live with ALOHA may in fact be a transformative, healing process as a well a form of self-awareness and self-determination that can bring one back to one’s true home.”
This led me to think of my own upbringing on Oʻahu and how ALOHA has been misrepresented, used, and abused for 100+ years. It’s time we return Hawaiʻi to ALOHA – true ALOHA – and align ourselves with it to bring great positive change across Hawaiʻi and the world.