Aloha, Honoring a great Hawaiian teacher
Honoring a great Hawaiian Teacher
By Jairo Cardona, LMT, NCBTMB, Lomi kumu teacher
“Do it now for there will be no more!” Pilahi Paki
We are so excited to be preparing for our upcoming trip to Kauai-Hawaii, the Aloha State. The unspoiled natural beauty of the islands, the tropical vegetations, the mix of splendor and simplicity, the serenity and strength of the Pacific Ocean seduces us.
In preparation for an Advanced Lomilomi Course with Harry Uhane Jim and his wife Sila in Kauai we have been researching a lot about Shamanic Bodywork, Hawaiian culture and history. We were so inspired by the Hawaiian poet and philosopher Pilahi Paki and by her translation of the meaning of aloha- genesis of the Aloha Spirit Bill adopted by the Hawaiian Legislature in 1986.
For Pilahi Paki the word ALOHA was so much more than just a word to say 'hello' or 'goodbye'. For her the real meaning was "Breath of Life" "when you say ALOHA to someone it also mean I recognize the (same) breath of life within you as I have within and wish to present from me".
In this “Aloha Chant”, Pilahi Paki explained that "the infinite Divine Love embodied in the word, Aloha is to be shared with all people":
Aloha is a promise the sun will shine again,
Bringing fresh hopes and dreams,
With each new day that begins.
Aloha is the sunlight,
Shining through the darkness,
Giving strength, giving strength, to all we do.
Aloha is His grace, walking in the sunlight,
Feeling the beauty of life,
Feeling the beauty of life.
Aloha is His helping hand,
His warm and comforting voice.
It is peace, be with you,
In Love forever and always.
Aloha is the mind, the heart,
In perfect harmony,
It’s tenderness and love,
Deep in the heart of Hawaii.
Aloha is Hawaii, Hawaii is Aloha,
Hawaii is Aloha ia oe, I love you,
Aloha au ia oe Hawaii, I love you.
Lyrics by Pilahi Paki/music by Jay Larrin/vocals by Moe Keale; from the recordings, “Aloha Is A Part Of You, A Part Of Me,” by Moe Keale
Pilahi Paki took it further when, in 1970 she said this about the ancestral legacy of ALOHA:
"The world will turn to Hawaii as they search for world peace because Hawaii has the key…and that key is Aloha!" Pilahi Paki.
Pilahi Paki (1910–1985) was born and raised on the island of Maui. A well-known figure in the Hawaiian community, she was a spiritual leader, kumu (teacher), chanter, writer, composer, translator and rights activist. Pilahi Paki lifelong concern was to preserve the Hawaiian culture, but she will be always be remembered as the greatest proponent of “Aloha”.
For her "the Aloha Spirit is the coordination of the True Self's mind, heart and soul, manifested by thinking good thoughts, emoting good feelings, and sharing goodness with others".
Pîlahi Paki, has taught us that the letters of Aloha help to remind us of its meaning:
[ah kah hai']
Lit., careful offering
kindness, modesty, gentleness,
unpretentiousness, being unassuming,
[LOH' kah hee]
Lit., to obtain oneness
unity, agreement, accord,
[oh' loo oh' loo]
Lit., cool, refreshing
agreeable, pleasantness, amiability,
contentment, happiness, graciousness,
congeniality, cordiality, affability
[hah' ah hah' ah]
[ah hoh nui']
Lit., great breath
patience, perseverance, endurance,
long suffering, tolerance
In 1970, Pîlahi Paki was inspired to share these meanings of aloha at the Governor’s Conference on the Year 2000 in Honolulu. She told the attendees that “…in the next millennium, the world will turn to Hawai`i in its search for world peace because Hawai`i has the key…and that key is ALOHA.”
The Aloha Spirit Law is an actual law in Hawai`i, encoded in the Hawai`i Revised Statutes, section 5-7.5, acknowledging that "The Aloha Spirit was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai`i.”
As a model law for the world, it can serve the greatest number for its greatest good. The world is in need to experience Aloha and to learn how to apply Aloha in our daily lives.
People of Hawaiian blood, heart and spirit who grow up in Hawai`i ’s splendor and beauty and are immersed in Aloha. The Aloha Spirit rubs off on you after you swim in the ocean, walk the `Aina, eat the `ono foods, inhale the sweet flower scents and live the Hawaiian culture.
She along with Alvin Shim helped to write and pass “The Aloha Spirit Law”.
To Aunty Pilahi "Aloha was the essence of all that there is". There are a number of definitions we already shared in our discussion board with you but her Aloha is not just a greeting, it is a "Way of Life" that connects us to each other and everything that exists.
Honoring her, we honor the Hawaiian culture and history; Sacred Bodywork presents to all of our Lomilomi students "The Aloha Spirit Law" which includes Aunty Pilahi’s definition of “Aloha”.
THE ALOHA SPIRIT LAW
[§5-7.5] The Aloha Spirit.
(a) The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the Self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, Aloha.
The following unuhi laulâ loa (free translation) may be used:
Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
Lôkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
`Olu`olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Ha`aha`a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii.
Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation.
Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.
Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to The Aloha Spirit. [L 1986, c 202, §1]
What Is Aloha? Poem by Pilahi Paki
"Before you can have Aloha
You must do Aloha
Before you be Aloha
You must choose Aloha
Before you choose to be Aloha
You must have the power to choose
Before you have to power to choose
You must be the source of the power
Before being the source of the power
You must be conscious of the source!
A Kindness, expressed with tenderness
L Unity, expressed with harmony
O Agreeable, expressed with pleasantness
H Humility, expressed with modesty
A Patience, expressed with perseverance
"Before manifesting any idea, declare the creation of a context of Aloha for the idea!"
Mahalo Nui to aunty Pikahi Paki for her teachings and to Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim for his book the Wise Secrets of Aloha!
May we all 'Live Aloha'!