The Aloha Spirit and learning from other’s culture-A A +A
By Art Tibaldo
Monday, October 14, 2013
LEARNING from other people's experiences, customs, traditions and best practices can be self enriching and rewarding if taken for its worth and adopted to improve one’s self or own system. The idea may not be brilliant but I no longer crack my head, bend my knees and elbows just to be original.
Besides, there are stories of great deeds by men and women throughout history that we can look up to and derive inspirations from. We are known for our strong sense of nationalism, patriotism and many positive traits and virtues that are attached to our brown skins but there are many other characteristics that we are associated with which I’d rather not discuss for now.
One particular virtue that we Filipinos are known for is our being “matulungin” or helpful as depicted in that Amorsolo painting of a “Bayanihan sa Nayon” where it shows men and women in the community participating in a civic action like moving one’s house literally over their shoulders.
When I was in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2006 as one of the country representative to the island state’s centennial anniversary celebration, I was practically made to appreciate what the islanders refer to as Hawaiian Spirit. Having spent a short period of time with old and new friends who went there to live among the Polynesian locals and other migrants, I came to witness several of these traits that I thought would be something worth emulating.
The Aloha Spirit according to Serge Kahili King who has published the world's largest selection of books and Polynesian philosophy is a well known reference to the attitude of friendly acceptance for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous. However, King believes that it also refers to a powerful way to resolve any problem, accomplish any goal, and to achieve any state of mind or body that one desires.
In the Hawaiian language, the author wrote that aloha stands for much more than just "hello" or "goodbye" or "love." Its deeper meaning is "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo)” thus the word “Aloha” and “Mahalo” that we often hear about.
With a doctorate degree in psychology from California Coast University, King came to learn more about the attitude of love and peace for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous. Here are excerpts from his “The Little Pink Booklet of Aloha”. “As you share this energy you become attuned to the universal power that the Hawaiians call mana. And the loving use of this incredible Power is the secret for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity and success.
The way to tune into this Power and have it work for you is so simple that you might be tempted to pass it off as being too easy to be true. Please don't let yourself be fooled by appearances. Take the time to try it out.
This is the most powerful technique in the world, and although it is extremely simple it may not prove easy, because you must remember to do it and you have to do it a lot. It is a secret which has been given to humanity over and over again as revealed in King’s booklet on the Aloha Spirit. Bless everyone and everything that represents what you want! That's all there is to it. Anything that simple, however, does need some explanation.
To bless something according to the author is to give recognition or emphasis to a positive quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being.
Blessing as King emphasized may be done with imagery or touch, but the most usual and easy way to do it is with words. The main kinds of verbal blessing are: “Admiration” - This is the giving of compliments or praise to something good that you notice like, "What a beautiful sunset; I like that flower; you're such a wonderful person."
King’s booklet also notes that the act of extending “appreciation” as an expression of gratitude when something good exists or has happened.
Anticipation - This is blessing for the future. E.g., "We're going to have a great picnic; I bless your increased income; Thank you for my perfect mate; I wish you a happy journey; May the wind be always at your back."
In order to gain the most benefit from blessing, King explains that you will have to give up or cut way down on the one thing that negates it: cursing.
This doesn't mean swearing or saying "bad" words. It refers to the opposite of blessing, namely criticizing instead of admiring; doubting instead of affirming; blaming instead of appreciating; and worrying instead of anticipating with trust. Whenever any of these are done they tend to cancel out some of the effects of blessing. So the more you curse the harder it will be and the longer it will take to get the good from a blessing. On the other hand, the more you bless the less harm any cursing will do. Here, then, are some ideas for blessing various needs and desires. Apply them as often as you like, as much as you want.
Health - Bless healthy people, animals, and even plants; everything which is well made or well constructed; and everything that expresses abundant energy. Happiness - Bless all that is good, or the good that is in all people and all things; all the signs of happiness that you see, hear or feel in people or animals; and all potentials for happiness that you notice around you.
Prosperity - Bless all the signs of prosperity in your environment, including everything that money helped to make or do; all the money that you have in any form; and all the money that circulates in the world.
Success - Bless all signs of achievement and completion such as buildings, bridges, and sports events. This also includes all arrivals at destinations via ships, planes, trains, cars, people all signs of forward movement or persistence; and all signs of enjoyment or fun.
Confidence - Bless all signs of confidence in people and animals; all signs of strength in people, animals and objects (including steel and concrete); all signs of stability.
Love and Friendship - Bless all signs of caring and nurturing, compassion and support; all harmonious relationships in nature and architecture; everything that is connected to or gently touching something else; all signs of cooperation, as in games or work; and all signs of laughter and fun.
Inner Peace - Bless all signs of quietness, calmness, tranquility, and serenity (such as quiet water or still air); all distant views (horizons, stars, the moon); all signs of beauty of sight, sound or touch; clear colors and shapes; the details of natural or made objects.
Spiritual Growth - Bless all signs of growth, development and change in Nature; the transitions of dawn and twilight; the movement of sun, moon, planets and stars; the flight of birds in the sky; and the movement of wind and sea. The author advices readers to remember that “any quality, characteristic or condition can be blessed whether it has existed, presently exists, or exists so far in your imagination alone.”
I will be off to Hawaii for another Aloha experience this October and just like the author, I hope to generate power of blessing to heal my body, increase my resistance, develop many skills, create a deeply loving relationship with my wife and children, and to connect the worldwide network of peacemakers working with the aloha spirit. Mahalo!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 15, 2013.