Friday, June 24, 2011

Points of Reckoning: personal and spiritual navigation and the process of unfurling

Hapu'u an example of Papaku Makawalu
Do you notice how patterns repeat themselves in nature, and in your life?  Simple things like "I don't put a thing back in exactly the same place everytime."  Or, "I always put things in exactly the same place every time."  I heard Pete say (the first thing) the other day when he was looking for the top of the water bottle.  I heard myself snickering and then admitted I don't put things back in the same place everytime either.  Other examples, "Patience is easy for me, I can wait."  Or, "Patience is a pain, and I don't like pain."  Other simple examples come through living with the trees and bushes of berries that seem to be surrounding us, making just enough room for our vardo and Quonset to blend in.  Seasons come and go, the sky above us huli turning from day to night, sun up, sun down, mahina up, stars out.  That cycle of repetition is slowly yet efficiently teaching me to notice my place within the natural scheme of things.

Teaching is often the best way I learn.  It continues to be true these past three months, as I write and connect the ancient practices from my mother's lineage.  Kaulana Mahina the Way of the Moon has given me points of reckoning and a newly rebuilt foundation of stability.  It's not easy, and I think, that's the good news.  Learning to count differently requires giving up meanings long clung to:  2+2 doesn't always equal 4, but it matters that you stay long enough to learn why.  So it's been with the workshops that began with Count on The Moon.  That first workshop began with the basis idea that there are 7 po, 7 nights of the moon, when traditional wisdom of the kanaka has said, "Do nothing new on these nights."  During the months of travel in the wa'a kaulua workshop, I have learned that "Do", "nothing" "new" and "these nights" mean something different for every one in the wa'a.  Is writing doing?  What is something new?  NOTHING?  Anyway, maybe you get the picture.  The Kanaka Universe was observed and recorded into a system thousands of years prior to this year.  The study of that universe, and its application to life today is a multi-media experience.

Inseparable for the kanaka was the spiritual and physical universe.  Foundational values set the stage for a very different kind of universe based on reverence and respect, rather than dominion and domination.  It is a universe built on aloha(love), ha'aha'a(humility), pono(harmony) and hanapono(right action).  My journey as makua o'o includes times of confusion and huli (up-sets).  To see my physical journey and repeat it would include many re-traced lines:  back and forth, forth and back; dig, dig, cover, cover, dig deeper.  Points of reckoning are markers, just as navigators know which stars are the fixed and dependable points of reckoning at different times of the season/year, personal and spiritual navigation must also have dependable points of reckoning to know 'I started here' and now 'I am here.' 

Every one of us has a style and a navigational preference.  Some of us talk our way through the journey, others work our way through the journey, still others write our way through, and others still sleep-walk our walk through living.  The Summer Solstice  marks a point of pono between the sun and earth leaving light and darkness equal from this Papa Honua.  "Good Time for Ceremony, the Solstice," said Pua Kanahele as I watched and listened to her in a video presentation describing the system of knowledge called Papaku Makawalu.  This system of knowledge is the latest of points in my personal and spiritual map of reckoning.  It affirms the values that set my mind and heart at peace when my body is weak and my confidence in huli.  Soon, I will integrate Papaku Makawalu into my navigation.  I describe this system of knowledge to mean, "From a solid foundation, grow from there."  There's an 'Olelo No'eau that says that same thing.  Do you know the one I mean?  How does it read?

If you are interested in exploring the unfurling nature of all that grows, as it relates and connects the ancient past, and your life today, consider signing up for the fourth and final basic Kaulana Mahina study group-workshops entitled "UNFURLING" beginning Muku Po (Hawaiian New Moon)in the malama of July. A preview of the workshop will be posted here very soon.

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