The 7 Huna Principles of Life – 4. MANAWA

Personal Development
The 7 Huna Principles of Life – 4. MANAWA post image

This is a series of 7 articles based around the 7 principles of life in the Hawaiian Huna tradition.

Huna is a Hawaiian term for “Secret”. But its practical application makes it a universal method for growth and achievement that is far from being psycho-babble. This series discusses the underlying 7 principles of Huna.The 7 fundamental principles of Huna are:

  1. IKE – The world is what you think it is
  2. KALA – There are no limits, everything is possible
  3. MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes
  4. MANAWA – Now is the moment of power
  5. ALOHA – To love is to be happy with
  6. MANA – All power comes from within
  7. PONO – Effectiveness is the measure of truth

This is the 4th article in this series following my last 2 articles about the Huna principles of IKE – “The world is what you think it is”, KALA – “There are no limits, everything is possible” and MAKIA – “Energy flows where attention goes” . Be sure to read this article since I might refer to it. Also it is good to grasp the content of those principles for understanding principle 4 – MANAWA – Now is the moment of power.

Done that? Okay, let’s jump into it …

4. MANAWA – Now is the moment of power

What Shapes Your Current Reality?

There are several beliefs about how our past shapes our present. From the eastern concept of Karma where you good or bad actions shape your present and you now have to eat those “Karma fruits” (i.e. you have to bare the positive or negative consequences of your past actions) to a western belief that our present is vastly shaped through our genes or our early upbringing, and therefore mostly controlled by influences outside of our own power.

The shamanic Huna tradition has a very different viewpoint on what shapes your current reality. It is NOT the past that has shaped you into what you are today, nor has it given you, what you now have.

Your current beliefs, decisions and actions related to yourself and the world around you shape your awareness of the world and yourself and therewith define your current experience.

Huna doesn’t deny the influence of Karma, but it only acts in the Now. Therefore it is not about eating your Karma fruits for the next 20 years, it is only about this moment, where Karma has its influence – unless you don’t use this moment and bring the effect of Karma to the next moment and so on.

Our present experience of ourself and our world directly reflects our mental and physical behavior in this moment.

Thanks to our memory we might bring over habitual patterns from day to day, but every day, every second is a new moment of creation and every habit can be changed Now – in this moment. However that doesn’t mean it might be easy.

Your genes define a whole menu of characteristics and options from which you can choose what to represent in this present. Your beliefs and Intentions pick from this buffet of possibilities the one that resonates with these beliefs.

Your parents don’t define your current reality either, but what you belief about them and how you react on these beliefs.

Huna doesn’t deny an influencing factor of the past, your genes or your parents – but your reaction to those is what shapes your current reality.

Take an example. 2 people brought up by their parents with regular beating and lots of violent acts. Each one of them has always the choice how to react (that doesn’t mean that they could get away from the situation just by wishing), but while one might feel crushed by the situation and might later also develop a violent disposition, the other might make a decision to never let this touch his soul and become a loving person for the rest of his life.

Corollary: Everything Is Relative

Now is the moment of power – but how do we define this Now?

I would continue with the definition of Now being “The area of current awareness”. This can be this second, minute, hour, day, week, month or year, depending on your focus. This could also include the past and the future, because our focus can travel to these moments and therefore place our area of current awareness into the past or the future. However this would always be the past/the future in relation to the current moment. And since we define Now as the moment of power, where change can happen, it is therefore also possible to change the past as well as the future in this present moment.

Corollary: Power Increases With Sensory Awareness

Most people spent a vast amount of time not being aware in the present. Their mind wanders to memories of the past and dreams of the future. While dreaming and defining is a necessary and joyful part of the process there is only one time where your power is – in the Now! You need to take action today to create tomorrow. But even not taking action is an action, that will lead to an future – unfortunately not the future you desire, but a future of sorrow and regret.

If you focus your attention (see MAKIA) on your shortcomings of the past, then you lack the power to strive forward or the behavior that kept you down will be increased.

On the other hand if you look fearful into the future, being afraid of failure, you will miss the necessary courage to take leaps into the future or again the behavior patterns that will lead to failure will grow stronger (although that is what you want to avoid at all costs).

And although dreaming, planning and even daydreaming have their place be it for preparation or relaxation, spending too much time there will always diminish your power and potential of creating.

Action Steps for Makia

All of this can be changed by redirecting the focus of your current attention in the here and now. But how do you do that? It is a matter of becoming aware of your sensory input.

Step 1: Train Your Sensory Awareness

Notice what you are currently seeing, what sounds come to your ear and what about taste, touch and smell at this moment. This is the information you can deal with in this current moment. Try to notice even more detail every time you look at something, listen to a piece of music, touch something. Become fully aware of that.

As an example now that I am typing this text, I send my location of focus (see my last article on MAKIA) into my fingers on my keyboard. There I can feel the genuine touch of every key I press, the surface of every key is a bit different, since I hit it from different angles. At the same time this touch evokes a sensation within me, which I find quite comfortable. I can also sense my body and the light tingle and tension of energy it has within. I also am listening to the soundtrack of “Schindler’s List” as I am typing this and although it was thought of as background music I can become now if the theme that the violins play and become aware of feelings and thoughts which are evoked by that. And I could go on and on describing the different sensory information that I could focus on right now, but I guess you got it.

Some people have used that so little that becoming aware of your sensory input nowadays is needed as a specific form of meditation. But again, this is something you don’t have to practice very formally. There is sensory information all around you all the time.

And since “Energy flows where Attention goes” (Principle 3) focusing your mind on your sensory input will increase your capability of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling better. That’s what an artist does by consciously training himself to see more than the average person. This could be trained to such an extent that you will be able to experience the energy that is inherit in any piece by becoming aware of it fully.

Step 2: Focus On What You Can Do Now

To bring your awareness into the now and get yourself to focus on what needs to be done, you’ll need to catch yourself through asking yourself “What is the smallest step I can do now within the next minutes to bring myself closer to my vision“.

You see there is a time where you create your vision, but once that is in place, you need to focus on the road to get there. If you go for a walk to a destination, you aren’t constantly checking the map. You are getting the general direction and then spend 99,9% of the time taking step after step. And although your destination might be miles away, in the Now you can only take one tiny step.

Very often people are overwhelmed by the size of a project or goal. That is because they have defined the goal and some milestones, which would still mean huge jumps. But to get to those milestone you need to do physical basic steps. So instead of defining “I should clean the garage”, ask yourself “What is the smallest step I can do now within the next minutes to come closer to a clean garage?” That could be as easy as “get into the garage” … then “get one box out” then “Sort out things to keep and things to trash” … then … you get the picture.

Just get the File out

If you feel overwhelmed one great concept I got from Mark Forster is called “Just get the File out”. The premise is that you just commit to the first step and from there see, whether you feel like continuing. That could be as easy as “get the file out” or “dress for exercise”. Once you have the file in front or have dressed for exercise, you very often will continue to do the thing that you rejected just 5 minutes ago. But if you don’t feel like doing more, then don’t do it – unless there is a deadline associated with it.

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12 comments… add one
  • Wonderful post, I’m enjoying this series of post a lot. Also I like your take on sensory awareness, something I think I discussed a bit in my last comment. It is very important to focus on what we do, and not in what we are not doing or what we should be doing.

    Even if we are just relaxing for 5 minutes, taking those 5 minutes into the real of sensory awareness can lead to a rest that would feel wonderful. Also I love how your example about the 2 people leads to our power about choice, we can always choose and that is perhaps where our true power resides.

    I’m eager to read the next part, keep up the good work!

    .-= ´s last blog ..Friday Fun… =-.

    • Patrick

      Alejandro, being aware of the current Now as you experience through your senses is a wonderful exercise and a great state to experience. Only by being aware of what REALLY is happening around you (not the stories you make up in your mind) you are free to step back from fear and really get into doing the things that could be done now.

  • Great article. It is definitely important to keep yourself centered on what is happening in the present moment. Not only does it reduce your stress, but there is incredible power in present focus by achieving the state of ‘flow’ or getting in the ‘zone’ depending on what you are doing.

    I always feel happier and more powerful when I can slow my breathing and concentrate solely on what is happening, and eliminate all thought and distraction of the past and future. I think there is a time for reflection, however it is always conscious present reflection of what you have learned from the past which you can apply in the present.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Strategies for Achieving Goals and Adopting New Habits =-.

    • Patrick

      Colby, breathing is a great and fast way to center you instantly. And yes, there is a time for reflection and a time for using those insights gained there.

  • Hi Patrick,

    These principles are so powerful. They feel very “shamanistic” and although I have a few to go, I have the feeling that combined they contain all one needs to lead a very fulfilling life.

    It is clear a great deal of effort went into creating these posts. I am really enjoying being exposed to these concepts in a new way.

    Thanks so much!
    Lauren

    Th

    • Patrick

      Lauren, Huna is indeed a shamanistic tradition – and very practical for our everyday life as well.

  • Thanks for taking the trouble to copy these pages from “Urban Shaman” by Serge Kahili King, printed by Simon and Schuster. Maybe it’s a good idea though to add your sources, so people can enjoy the pleasure of reading the whole book. Please do, everybody, King rocks! It’s shamanism all right, but without the paranoia of Castaneda-like ‘warrior’ shamans. King calls himself an ‘adventurer’-shaman. Powerful, but more interested in love and harmony than in fighting and stealing. Really nice book! You can read it on Scribd as well (although I prefer a paper copy of a book like this). He has written many more books on Huna. Check him out on http://www.huna.net And may the Force be with you, Aloha and Namaste.

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