The 7 Huna Principles of Life – 5. ALOHA

Personal Development
The 7 Huna Principles of Life – 5. ALOHA 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 5th 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”, MAKIA – “Energy flows where attention goes” and MANAWA – “Now is the moment of power”. 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 …

5. ALOHA – To Love Is To Be Happy With

Love is a word people often have problems with, because it is used in so many different ways. It could indicate:

  • deep emotional feelings (I love you)
  • emotional connection (I love my parents)
  • a sense of spiritual security (God loves me)
  • pleasure & craving (I love that chocolate)
  • adoration (I love my comic heroes)
  • sexual passion (I want to make love to you)
  • an intention (I would love to do that)
  • a controlling mechanism (If you love me, then you do that …)
  • and so much more

Sometimes the side effects of love described in novels or songs reminds us of vitamin deficiency or acute illnesses (lack of sleep, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, dizziness, fever, colds, sudden outbreaks of transpiration, etc.)

With Huna however the definition of love is very clear. The hawaiian word for love is Aloha. It is a compound of “alo” which means “being together, sharing and experience in the here and now” and “oha” which means “sympathy, joy”.

Therefore the meaning of love or aloha is “experiencing joy with …”.

With this definition love exists whenever you are experiencing joy with the object of your love.

For Huna being happy comes from love, while being unhappy comes from fear, anger and despair.

  • Love doesn’t make your palms sweaty – that’s fear .
  • Love doesn’t hurt you (despite a classic Nazareth song) – anger does.

Love gives you a feeling of joy and happiness; and the intensity of those feelings correlate to the intensity and depth of your love.

Loving deeply means experiencing a strong connection. Depth and clarity of a connection grow in the same amount that you are able to release fear, anger and despair.

Corollary: Loves Grows When Your Judging Diminishes

Whenever there is an increase in fear, anger or doubt there is also an increase in our willingness to judge or criticize. These are the root causes of separation that will lead to a decline of love.

What Kills Every Relationship?

Take a look back at your failed relationships – didn’t it always start with criticizing and judging each other?It doesn’t matter whether it was something as banal as the someone not bringing the waste outside or being cheated on. We experience fear, worry, anger or doubt in a relationship and from there we judge or criticize the behavior. And unless we are able to forgive and overcome this criticizing or judging mindset, we aren’t able to bring love back into our life and our relationship will surely die sooner or later.

The Emotional Bank Account

I often use the analogy of an emotional bank account. You can either withdraw or deposit into it. For a relationship each form of criticizing or judging is a huge withdrawal while praise and acknowledgment are deposits.

Both – praise and acknowledgment – are an act of love, of being happy with – you partner & your current situation. Now that doesn’t mean that there should not be change, but if you follow principle 3 – MAKIA – “Energy flows where attention goes”, then you should understand, that focusing your attention on the good things in your relationship and your life through praise and acknowledgment will attract even better things, while focusing on the bad things through judging or criticizing will attract even more failures, misunderstandings and problems.

Isn’t that what happens when relationships are new? They always start out as fun and joy. Simply because we focus on the things we like in each other. But there comes a time where we start to realize that we didn’t like everything in our partner. When we don’t balance this tendency through a conscious focusing on the good things through praise and acknowledgment, a vicious cycle of doubt and critique readiness will crash our relationships.

The Danger Of Positive Critique

And even if you believe in giving positive criticism I would highly advise you to take a look at the consequences of this within yourself and your partner – every critique has the tendency to increase the likelihood of this unwanted behavior to grow. Again it is simply the principle 3 – MAKIA – “Energy flows where attention goes” that is at work here.

Try to substitute even positive criticism through praise and acknowledgment of the good things. Focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want. Although open spoken praise and acknowledgment is favorable, telepathic (i.e. in your mind) praise and approval is also a good way to start.

Corollary: Everything Is Alive, Aware and Answers

Huna doesn’t restrict the definition of life to humans, animals and plants. Although life might be harder to grasp in things as slow as a rock or as fast as a light beam, for a Huna shaman these are all different manifestations of life.
Based on principle 2 KALA – “There are no limits, everything is possible” the source of all that is must be aware of itself and therefore everything that is must be aware of itself and therefore receptive for what is happening in its vicinity.

Why Self-Criticism Makes You Weaker

Because the Huna shaman believes in everything being alive, aware and receptive he tries to be respectful towards everything. Now you might think of this being a bit absurd, but it has some very practical applications.

Your subconscious (in Huna called Ku) is alive, aware and answers as well. If you criticize yourself, your Ku feels attacked and tries to defend itself. It does this through the body (tightening muscles, producing stress hormones etc.). This will diminish your awareness because your whole body/mind system is focused on attack/defense. While this might be good response if you get physically attacked by a tiger or some other person, prolonged self-critique will make this state chronic and therewith weakens you, increasing chances of you getting ill or injured.

Increasing Self esteem through acknowledgment of your own good parts and loving yourself as you are however will lead to a relaxation of your body (lowered tightness of your muscles and reducing the level of stress hormones within your body); increase of awareness, energy and power. You will remember your abilities better and will feel good about yourself, other people and life in general.

Why Respect Towards Everything Makes You Stronger

If you follow principle 1. IKE – “The world is what you think it is”, you will realize that your Ku (subconscious) doesn’t separate between yourself and your outer world – people, things or situations – it is all part of your current dream in Huna.

Therefore your Ku will take every critique as a personal attack. That means it doesn’t matter whether you are blaming or criticizing yourself, another person, your car, your government or the weather. Your Ku will always react with an increase in tension and stress. It will always kick in the Attack/Defense mode and that will always weaken you in the long run.

If you praise or acknowledge yourself, another person, your car, your government (even if you didn’t vote for them) or the weather then your Ku will make your body relax and become stronger.

I often found in my medical praxis that people who criticize a lot have a tendency to form serious illness patterns that become more and more intense up to building cancer. Some practitioners even say that cancer is a symptom of a serious lack of love in your life.

Why Praising Increases The Likelihood Of Change

Beside changing your own body through praise and acknowledgment you also increase the likelihood of change not only in other people of yourself but also in other things or situations. Principle 3. MAKIA – “Energy flows where attention goes” states that whatever you focus on will grow. Therefore focusing on the problem through critique will make the problem stronger, while focusing on the good things or the wanted change will make these grow.
As a computer consultant I often found that people who regularly curse their computers have far more problems with their systems than those who even give them nicknames and develop a great relationship with them. Now this is not a scientific prove but try this for yourself for 30 days with your computer, your car or any other object and you might be surprised. Oh by the way although you might send love to your computer I would still make backups :-)

What To Do When You Get Attacked Or Criticize?

Our initial reaction is to fight back. But again this will lead to an increase of the problem. What a Huna shaman does to neutralize a cursing is praising himself as well as the attacker.Praise or acknowledge whatever is good about the person and/or the situation. Another great method for this is blessing – see “The Power of Blessings or 5 Seconds for Peace, Love and Happines” You might use this either aloud or in your mind. Try this for the next 30 days with your boss or whatever person you have a problem with and notice the change.

Experience The Power Of ALOHA

This is an easy 1 minute exercise for experiencing the power of Aloha in your life.

  • Close your eyes – sit still and take a deep breath.
  • Now praise and acknowledge for at least one minute everything that is good within you – every good attitude, habit, quality.
  • If you run out of good things to remember, then repeat the ones you already had; if you continue to do this exercise you will become aware of more good things within you.
  • If negative thoughts come to your mind, simply ignore them and continue to praise & acknowledge.
  • You are allowed to continue this exercise after 1 minute
  • After you’ve finished recognize how you feel
  • Then repeat the same exercise for at least another minute, but this time praise and acknowledge everything that is good within other people that come to your mind.
  • Take a 3rd turn and this time praise and acknowledge everything that is good in your life – your house, your job, your computer, your car,etc.
  • Once you are finished take a deep breath and again notice the difference in your feelings.
  • WARNING – This exercise can become highly addictive. If you love your bad mood or bad situation you might not do this :-)

So Aloha – Love and Be Happy With …

16 comments… add one
  • Patrick, I just carried out the 3 minute exercise and what a difference! Though I would like to think of myself as quite grounded, I shall be doing this exercise often.

    Thanks also for breaking down just what love means and the many different interpretations people put to love. Sadly for most people love is just that saccharine gooey feeling as promoted in adverts.

    Time for more Aloha in our lives:-)

    .-= ´s last blog ..Be Your Own Dog Rather than Following Any Dogma =-.

    • Patrick

      Arvind, bringing more Aloha into our life is a necessity for our development. I am glad you liked the 3 minute exercise.

  • Outstanding! I have not heard (actually read) a take on love with such a powerful idea. It is true that we must first understand and love ourselves before being able to project it into the rest of the world.

    The exercise you suggest is indeed a wonderful practice. I use something very similar in meditation, a bit more simple. Your take is indeed a great way to feel better in one minute. I guess the only side effect of this practice is a good self-stem and a lot of love in your life.

    Keep up the wonderful work in these series of posts!

    .-= ´s last blog ..Friday Fun plus a story… =-.

    • Patrick

      Alejandro, but be warned – a growth in self-esteem could ruin some of your old belief systems and excuses for not doing the things you really wanted to do :-)

  • Patrick, I love this series. It’s an unprecedented new look into “a right way of being.” I lived on Oahu for four years when growing up and have loved my return visits. I’ve always felt the islands had a spiritual quality and your articles help explain why. It seems to me that Aloha love may be connected with what we refer to as “mindfulness.” When you’re fully aware and in the moment you feel a spiritual love for the object of your experience. Thank you for doing this.

    .-= ´s last blog ..LOYALTY – The Glue of Relationships =-.

    • Patrick

      Denny, I think that “mindfulness” is an underlying theme of the whole series of principle. I guess that applying those principles will bring you to that state automatically while practicing mindfulness through meditation, etc. will make you apply the principles automatically. It doesn’t matter where you start, the road will take care of itself.

  • Patrick, I don’t comment often, but wanted to let you know that I immensely enjoy your blog and this particular series. You definitely stand out in the whole personal development blogosphere scene and it always feels like a breath of fresh air when I come here. Thank you!

    • Patrick

      Lana, thank you very much for those inspiring words. I hope to continue to be that breath of fresh air for you.

  • Hey Patrick, like Lana, I don’t comment often, but also wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and this seven part series.

    This really resonated with me. “Your subconscious (in Huna called Ku) is alive, aware and answers as well. If you criticize yourself, your Ku feels attacked and tries to defend itself. It does this through the body (tightening muscles, producing stress hormones etc.).”

    In terms of self doubt, it’s amazing what articulating our fears can do for us. It can be somewhat liberating. Sometimes just speaking it out loud can put us in a more productive, proactive, resourceful and powerful mindset; especially when we choose to do so in the company of someone who can provide us with some objective feedback, direction and support. And the odd smack behind the ears. Getting it “out of our head” and into the atmosphere makes it much easier for us to be solution-focused. As opposed to problem-obsessed.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Exercise Intensity =-.

    • Patrick

      Craig, you are right – suppressed fear, anger or worry is far more dangerous and detrimental to our physical, psychological and spiritual health than outspoken ones. But expressing them is only the first step. If you get stuck there, you aren’t getting anywhere. This step is for becoming aware and than making decision on what to do about it.

  • Hi Patrick,

    Your exercise reminds me of the loving kindness meditation in Buddhism — except that you are focusing on yourself instead of other people. I think it’s a good way to start the loving kindness meditation actually. By acknowledging yourself and focusing gratefully on your own blessings, you fill your tank and can easily send that out to the world. I thought “aloha” simply meant hello and goodbye. Now I see it means “hello, I love you” and “goodbye, I still love you.” How lovely!

    Can’t wait to read more.

    • Patrick

      Barrie, most people forget that there is no “real” separation between you and the others. That means you cannot love others if you don’t start with yourself. And also if you reject others you are rejecting a part of yourself. Love is love – it doesn’t differentiate between inner and outer world. So it is essential to start with yourself.

  • You seem to be a very spiritual person who is in touch at a deeper level than most people. My favorite part about what you wrote was the part about not criticizing yourself. There really is a sense of empowerment that comes when you view yourself as strong and capable instead of fearful and timid. Thanks for this series and looking forward to reading the next few in it.

    .-= ´s last blog ..A Second Child Is Born, Sienna =-.

    • Patrick

      Jeremy, criticizing ourselves comes easy and natural to us. But that’s not what should be natural. It should be more natural for us to focus on our strengths, abilities and ambitions. And if something went wrong that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accept that and learn from it, but drowning ourselves in sorrow and constant self-bashing won’t solve anything.

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