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Aloha! What does it really mean?

We use it in greetings and farewells and in expressing love. But the word means even more, it is a way of life. Besides these common meanings, the word Aloha holds within itself all one needs to know to interact rightfully in the natural world. These insights describe an attitude or way of life sometimes called “The Aloha Spirit” or “The Way of Aloha.” Aloha is being a part of…

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The Power of the Puʻuwai

While reading Bowl of Light, I came across an important section emphasizing the power of the heart. Hawaiian kahuna Hale Makua writes, “Little by little, the human family is approaching the place of [spiritual] recognition, and as we do, we as illumined individuals are preparing to climb the mountain of vision. And where is this place of recognition? The heart, our puʻuwai, is that place of recognition. We cannot approach…

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Re-forging the Circle of Knowledge

Many adults can easily remember growing up in an era before the ubiquity of smartphones and their constancy of text messages, emails, social media updates, and 24/7 news. While it may be unwise to over-romanticize those calmer, less frantic ‘good ‘ole days,’ our recollection of the pre-internet past emphasizes what cannot be denied: today’s culture—particularly our youth—is on a precarious path. Coming of age in today’s world mean’s being tethered…

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Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman

I recently started reading an amazing book called The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman by Hank Wesselman, PhD. Many incredible passages from this book have glued me to the pages, highlighter in hand furiously highlighting, my jaw flung open and my brain lit up with a lightning storm of insights. One thing that resonated with me was when the author says, “[People] are very much aware…

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The Enduring Strength of the Hawaiian Spiritual Legacy

I recently learned a Hawaiian word whose meaning really struck a chord with me: kīnāʻole. It can be said that kīnāʻole means ‘flawlessness’ and ‘the highest form of excellence.’ Beyond its English interpretation, kīnāʻole holds a level of depth that is lost in translation. How it was described to me is that kīnāʻole is “Doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, in the right place,…

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