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Mahealani Kuamo'o-Henry

keola

Ke Ola Magazine

~ September/October, 2009 ~ Reprinted with Permission

Aunty Mahealani Kaiwikuamo’okekuaokalani – Henry

By Marya Mann, Ph.D
Legendary singer Isarel Kamakawiwo’ole relates the story of Hawaii’s Superman, Maui, who before Clark Kent, somewhere in the dawn of time, attempted to capture the sun. He went in search of roads, rituals, and knowledge, a kind of Superwisdom, because it would be needed for “use by all future generations.”
If there were ever a time in history when the world could benefit from Maui’s light, Hawaii’s mana, and the spirit of aloha, it is now. Mahealani Kuamo’o Henry, a Kumu ‘Elele, or messenger for the ancestors, is one Hawaiian Elder who is spreading more than her wings; she’s spreading aloha around the world.
“You recognize that all things are in excellence, i ka pono, in the rightness, right place, right time, right being,” says Aunty as she unwinds with her husband Kamo’i at Luquin’s Restaurant in Pahoa. “It means that all things are in rightness, until you think not.”
Recently returned from a three-week tour in Australia, Aunty Mahealani, the colorful Kumu with a crown of silvery hair, is a teacher of Aloha Lokahi, the Hawaiian value system of love and unity. An ancient, practical set of principles usually passed orally from elder to apprentice, Lokahi reminds us to respect the ‘aina, the land, to enjoy ‘ohana, the family, and to stand pono, correct in all our actions.
“The key is staying pono, pono ke ala, walking “the right path,” says Kamo’i, Mahealani’s partner-in-consciousness-raising since 1967. He believes as firmly as Aunty that her purpose is to help bring realignment back to the world.
We think of another Hawai’i native gracing the world stage -- Barack Obama. “Exactly,” says Aunty. “Since Obama was elected president, the eyes of the world are looking on Hawai’i. What’s so maika’I, so beautiful, is that these are the effects of the aloha as my grandfather envisioned way back when he said that, “Ah! One day the world will be ready for aloha.”
“So the fact that Obama happens to be born in our islands is not by accident, but is what I refer to as Kupuna engineering,” says Mahealani with a hearty laugh. “It is so pono!”
Kupuna engineering? Like the Balinese, Native American, and African cultures, traditional Hawaiians believe ancestral spirits counsel, caution, and help weave our lives with unseen, loving hands.
The wise ones, the Kupuna, know that the transition to spirit form is just a change-of-address. Ancestors can still communicate to us through images, intuition, and nature's movements.
Scientific research is finally catching up with Hawaiian spirituality. According to quantum physics and evolutionary ecology, at least three to five atoms you just inhaled were once a part of the body of the Buddha, Jesus, or Queen Liliuokalani. The proposition that Aunty, a ninth-generation native-Hawaiian elder, would be in communion with her ancestors is now not only possible, but certain.
Expressing a form of Ho’oponopono called Ho’opono Pono Ke Ala – making right more right, the path – Aunty says, “We stay pono through awareness of the stories we’re telling ourselves, the mo’olelo. If you’re going the Hawaiian way, with the purity of aloha spiritual values for self, others, and the environment,” she says, you see the universe as perfect.”
The message of Aloha Lokahi is so simple you feel its truth. “We have all we need,” she says, but after we’ve been in this dimension for a while, we get so caught up in the human side of things, we forget the lokahi, the unity with spirit.”
Some people have become so alienated that they are destroying our own life –support systems on the planet. Through aloha, many people can reconnect with spirit and rebound from the suicidal alienation. Because it's not a religion and not nationalistic, but universal.
The word aloha comes from Hawai'i, but the spirit of aloha - love - is universal.
Aloha is the heavenly energy we must feel in an all-too-human world in order to feel whole. Spirit and human come together as we walk the path of life. If you forget about the aloha,” she says, “you feel alone on the life journey, but the ancestors will help you. They’ll not abandon you, though it may seem like it at times.”
“So again,” she says. “It’s about how much of those other influences you want to make a part of your life. Or not.”
The most important mo’olelo are the stories that maintain harmony, buoyancy, and an uplifting attitude that begins within and radiates to the world around us. “I learned this from my grandfather,” says Mahealani. “He learned it from his Kupuna – elder, who was also a Kumu ‘Elele o na Kupuna, teacher, messenger for the ancestors.”
One day he drew a circle in the sand and said, “This is your center… Around that, he drew another circle and said, “This is mass society.”
“You are responsible for the aloha in here, in your center,” Aunty says, placing her hand on her heart. Her aloha was tested, but not defeated, when the state of Hawai’i decided to cancel leases on Hawaiian homelands in Puna. In the tradition of the Dalai Lama, she counseled peaceful means through aloha, with the staging of several public demonstrations, to bring attention to our actions against the state bureaucracy. Our demonstrations included feeding the people with food, music, and reasons to support our actions.
Instead of “fighting with the state, and risking the loss of aloha, I took my instructions from the ancestors, and helped to educate government representatives to our needs in connection to our native lands that never were the state of Hawai’i's to give or take in the first place.” She says, "The ancestors led me to put together a program that was strictly about aloha.” And it worked. As the president of the Hawaiian Homelands group in Puna, she orchestrated a new balance of power between the state of Hawai’i and kanaka maoli –native Hawaiians.
No longer in the civic limelight, Mahealani prefers to conduct her business at her "office" at Puna's Ahalanui warm ponds, where water heated by subterranean magma rises to the surface, mixes with cool seawater, and creates a bath of nearly perfect temperature. Very healing to the soul.
On full moon evenings when the weather is just right and she is on island, Mahealani offers full moon celebrations while those attending float in liquid bliss beneath the magical moon in a heavenly Hawaiian sky.
Aunty is also leading a Cruise Retreat with her sister, Kumu Hula Neaulani Kuamo'o-Peck this autumn. A learning vacation for anyone to study and practice the Lokahi tradition, the floating Aloha academy sets sail from Honolulu on October 31 to November 7, on a four island port-of-call cruise.
Then she heads back to Australia for the December 3 - 9 Parliament of the World's Religions with the Dalai Lama and Ravi Shankar.
If Aunty is starting to sound like Maui's mate, a Superwoman who captured not the sun, but eternal delight, and is now flying around the world sharing this Superwisdom with the world, so be it.
I think Aunty would say we're all supermen and superwomen, all carriers of the light, so pick up your capes and wings, and take flight. ***


Aunty’s website; alohaspiritaunty

Aunty Mahealani’s CD, “Aloha Mana,” made with Alohapuanani and Big Island musicians see; alohamana The 7 – day “Aloha Gratitude” Hawaiian Island Cruise Retreat on board the NCL Pride of America sets sail from Honolulu on Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, 2009. See Hawaiian Island Cruise Retreat For info on the Parliament of World religion conference; parliament of religions