Serge Kahili King
A Talk with the Urban Shaman by Ingrid Melia Stadtler-Pree
Big Island of Hawaii, July 27th, 2019
Ingrid: Aloha and welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii!
My name is Ingrid Stadtler-Pree, I'm a life-coach, counselor, trainer and an Alaka'i of Huna International. I've come all the way from Austria, Salzburg back to our favorite islands, which my family and I consider already as our second home. We fell in love with the beauty of these islands and its wonderful people and here we experienced firsthand the Aloha spirit: the loving and caring way of life, that originated in the ancient Polynesian wisdom, which—in modern terms—is often referred to as the Huna philosophy.
I studied Huna, which is also the basis of the Hawaiian shamanism, for more than a decade with my mentor, the renowned author, teacher, psychologist, urban shaman and THE source of Huna, Dr. Serge Kahili King. Since 2016 I'm also teaching Huna back home in Austria and Germany. And today I have the unique opportunity and great honor to interview Serge King in this rain forest home and center of Huna International in Volcano. I will also talk to Gloria Haumea King, his wife and Susan Pa’iniu Floyd, both board members and Alaka'i of Huna International.
Interview with Dr. Serge Kahili King:
Ingrid: I am so very happy to be back on Hawai’i again and have the opportunity to talk to you Serge! Mahalo for taking your precious time for this interview. Let’s start with a summary of your impressive CV for everybody who hears about you and HUNA for the first time:
You have a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies, a Master in International Management and a PhD in Psychology.
You have been trained in Hawaiian Shamanism since childhood.
You founded Huna International and its teaching arm, Aloha International with a worldwide network of teachers, coaches and healers.
You are the most well known representative of HUNA and you have written over 20 books, translated in 18 languages, including my favorites The Urban Shaman, Instant Healing, and Mastering your Hidden Self, which leads us right to the first question: On the first pages of that book, Mastering your Hidden Self, I love your explanation of HUNA and how it relates to teachings like the Tao Te Ching, Zen-Buddhism, Sufism and even to world religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
So my question also for newcomers:
WHAT IS HUNA and WHY does it make so much sense?
Serge: Well, HUNA is a philosophy of living. It is a set of ideas and people can follow those ideas or not. But we found them following those ideas works out really well and so we offer those ideas to people as something that they can use whether it's for healing or manifesting or changing their lives or making the world a better place. Those ideas are very effective.
Ingrid: Thank you so much. Serge, you got in touch with this valuable knowledge at the very early age—about 12 years old—and can you tell us when did you apply it consciously and how it really impacted your life?
Serge: Well, consciously it was when my father invited me to follow the path. I was 15, so I agreed, even though at the time cars and girls were—you know—dominant in my mind, but still I was interested in science and the esoteric world.
Ingrid: I can relate to that—my son is about 15 now and he is interested in girls—cars not so much yet—but the impact on your life then and, you know, like following the path from early age on what do you think—what would have happened if you didn’t follow that path?
Serge: I'm not even gonna speculate on that, you know. I will just go ahead and say that it impacted my life and helped improve my life and my experiences with people in every way.
Ingrid: So why and when did you decide then to spread this valuable knowledge throughout the world?
Serge: Well, actually I decided this when I was in Africa. I went over to Africa to work in community development—West Africa— in 1964 with my wife, and while I was there, of course, I was introduced to a lot of the African esoteric knowledge as well what we might call shamanism and I had a mentor. Also under him I learned about both, the lighter and the darker sides of that work. At the same time learning how to help people and persuade them to do things to help themselves. And after a while, because I was also involved with international community, it became clear that the people were moving more and more to the cities. The shamans were staying in the villages and so this knowledge was not as available to them as it would have been back at the village life. So I decided then and there to create an organization that would bring this knowledge to the people in the cities.
Ingrid: So sometimes people—because you said esoteric—including myself get very sceptical when it comes to esoteric knowledge, but nowadays even hard science like quantum physics confirms many of its assumptions. And you know—with your scientific and shamanic background—can you please shine some light on how esoteric knowledge on the one hand and science on the other hand can come together?
Serge: Ok, it's because you don't compare those two: esoteric knowledge is simply knowledge which is not immediately visible, ok? And so you have.. and so is quantum physics working in that area..but so is regular science, for instance: in regular science they deal regularly with electricity which is invisible and and yet they're able to tap into it and find ways to make it work. Gravity is the same thing: it's an invisible force, still isn't even fully understood today—that's esoteric knowledge—and yet science is working with it and finding ways to practical use in it. Well, shamans are doing the same thing: they're working with a very similar volume [of] knowledge and upon knowledge, not as much recognized by people, who think of themselves as living in and working in an objective reality. So the expansions that are happening now over the ideas of quantum physics, and I mean the real quantum physics not the stuff that they call quantum [for] some reason or another, but the real quantum physics, they're daring to go off into areas that at one time would have been considered very esoteric.
Ingrid: That's why it comes together now naturally anyway.
Serge: That’s right. One of the things—one of the most important things—I’ve learned is, in the shamanic work, that it's based on the scientific method: you make a hypothesis and you test the hypothesis and if it works most of the time you can think of it as a working theory and it's exactly the same thing: You have an idea, you test it, you try it out and if it works, you use it. Same process! The thing is shamanism works with what people—what might be called “real magic”—for me, magic is the intervention of the mind and the emotions to influence the physical world. Now, that’s perhaps starting to happen with the ideas of quantum physics but in regular physics and regular science this idea of having the mind as an influence and emotions as an influence and using them consciously to influence the best—that's a little far right now.
Ingrid: It comes now more and more, in this “body- mind-medicine”, for example.
Serge: Yes, that’s right.
Ingrid: That’s very good. Nowadays there is a vast spiritual movement all over the world with spiritual teachers like Gary Zukav, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, just to name a few; even renowned physicists like Peter Russell are teaching about consciousness. This is wisdom that has been in HUNA since ancient times. Do you think—is the world readier now for those universal teachings—like HUNA— than it was, when you began to teach?
Serge: When I began to teach, there were also teachers teaching about consciousness, there were also scientific experiments going on about consciousness; it was a really big deal in the 1970s. So, when you say is the world ready—the world is always ready when something useful becomes available.
Ingrid: Maybe it's now on a larger scale, because it’s now available to so many people.
Serge: Well, yes, because our communication is different. I was just having a conversation with someone and I was saying that when I started off we didn't have all the communication stuff that's available now, we didn't have the vast numbers of books, we didn't have the internet where you could google an answer immediately—that's fantastic I think—but that wasn't the way it was. We worked with library cards and 3x5 notes and typewriters, you know—we were quite different then—we still struggled and made it through.
Ingrid: Absolutely! I’m happy to have the internet and I'm happy to connect with you once a month at our Alaka’I calls.
Serge: Yeah, it's a lot more fun today!
Ingrid: You know, we have to make use of it when we have it now. Now, why should anyone bother getting to know HUNA more deeply, you know, what are the real benefits that make HUNA so unique and useful, especially in our modern way of life.
Serge: Well, okay, the benefits are simply that it helps everything you do come out better!
But why should they bother? Don’t bother unless you have curiosity. It takes curiosity to want to go deeper. The way I was trained was kind of unusual for most people that I know: I was encouraged to ask questions—starting with my father—and I was given some knowledge, expected to do something with that: test it, try it and come back with questions. And if I did not have any questions, I didn't get any more knowledge in that area. So, but I am intensely curious, so I did ask a lot of questions. Thinking back I can think of a lot more questions I might have asked, but it's the questions, it's the desire to know, it's not a question being bothered with. It's a desire to know, a desire to know more about anything that will take people deeper.
Ingrid: That’s what I found, too, you know, having that knowledge—but then there is always more to it, if you dig deeper.
Ingrid: So let’s not hide that knowledge: to put this HUNA-wisdom into a “nutshell” - can you provide us a brief overview of the HUNA principles?
Serge: Well, very briefly: these principles are ideas that my uncle gave to me. Now, I put them in this order for convenience. He just gave them to me over the course of...my Hawaiian uncle…I was adopted by a Hawaiian family after my father died. So he gave me these ideas in Hawaiian and according to the different times when we met and so I put them in this order for convenience. Well, the first one is based on a Hawaiian word called IKE and I translated that into a principle that people could deal with. There's a lot more to it but this, the first part, that says: “The world is, what you think it is” [It] doesn't matter what's happening, you’re going to interpret it. It's going to go through the filter of your beliefs, your ideas, your possibilities, your knowledge. So, how do you think is going to determine your experience of the world. Basically, what IKE means is experience. So that's one of the first.
Second one is called KALA and KALA is freedom, release, and it has to do with getting rid of restrictions. So the translation I use for this principle is: “There are no limits.” Now people say, oh, come on, how?! Well I say, if we follow it through more practically, anything is possible if you can figure out how to do it and so that's part of KALA.
MAKIA is a word that has to do something with attention, with focus toward something and so the principle is, that (it's a double principle) “Energy flows where attention goes”, so wherever you put your attention whether that's on a part of your body or your attention on a subject of interest or anything—energy is going to flow along with that attention. The double part is, and this is where people—more people—can understand, that “attention goes where energy flows”. So people are—all their attention goes on a football game—or a fire or hurricane or anything energetic attracts people's attention. And so this is the same, now what it means is, you want to attract people's attention—you have to increase the energy whatever it is you are doing or showing or trying. You want to increase your ability and attract other people into what you're doing—you have to maintain your focus and that will influence the world around you.
Ingrid: I think, MAKIA is one of my favorites as well. So putting your focus on positive things instead of criticism, which then, you know, influences and gets that more into your life. I think that’s one of the main, big (pieces of) advice in HUNA.
Serge: Well, then the fourth one is: “Now is the moment of power” based on a word in Hawaiian (MANAWA) meaning “now” and “power” so then, this is very practical: you can't change anything yesterday, you can't change anything tomorrow, you only change something now, here's where your power is. So you put more of your attention here and here is where you work to change. You want a different outcome tomorrow, changing something now. You want to change the effects of the past, you change something now. This is where your power is.
After that comes something based on the word ALOHA very Hawaiian idea: it means love, essentially. So really when people are greeting each other in Hawaii with ALOHA, it's a greeting of love and—but if we take it apart with its roots and I made a principle out of that which is: “To love is to be happy with someone or something” that's love! Love isn't jealousy, that’s based on fear and anger. Love isn't attachment. Love isn't—you know—love is when—again it goes on a bit: love is not only when you are happy with something else but you also seek to increase the happiness of someone or something—that’s ALOHA!
And then we have one based on the Hawaiian word for “power” which is greatly misunderstood, the word is MANA. And MANA really is the word for power. It's not some, like some writers have said, well there's this mysterious fluid that they believe in; well that’s not true. MANA is any kind of power, which means influence so you may have influence because of your knowledge, because of your strength, because of your skill, because of your wealth, because of your position of authority—there's your power, ok? Comes from somewhere and you can increase that power and you can use it for good or ill—that's part of free will; but when you use it for good, you get back good—I think that’s really nice!
And then finally the last one is called PONO, a very important one in Hawaiian, it means to do something—it means correct—the “right thing” in terms of the best effect it's going to have; a good effect, so it relates to goodness, it relates to harmony, it relates to things like that and so you—in using that one, the principle, as its laid out, is that— well, we could put into so many ways, but one of them has to do with positive results, ok, and the idea, that there's always another way to do anything and you seek the correct way of doing something in terms of producing a healthier, happier effect. But you use anything that helps to bring that about.
Ingrid: To be flexible.
Serge: Sure, but you cannot get—by using something evil—you can’t get good results, ok? It takes good to make good, right? And this is the basis for the word Ho’oponopono, which also is greatly misunderstood. The word in Hawaiian means: to clean things up, straighten things out. Now it can be applied to relationships but I can also say: “e ho’oponopono i ka pa’a” which means: “clean up the yard”, ok? A perfectly good use for it in that sense. It means: to clean things up, to straighten things out.
Ingrid: Thanks for this short but—you know—really deep point of view of those principles. There are not just the main principles but also the corollaries.
Serge: There are corollaries, too, sure.
Ingrid: But we don’t go into that right now because we don’t have enough time for that. But that’s very good written in your books as well, which are recommended! One of my AHA moments during your teachings was the combination of the two principles: Aloha & Mana in terms of “Loving Power” and “Powerful Love", which is an absolute divine combination for me. Can you explain this to our audience a little more?
Serge: It means you use power lovingly and you increase the effect by increasing the power and increasing the love. So the loving power is the way to use power and you increase the love to make powerful love—that's all that is to it.
Ingrid: You know, because when somebody shys away from power you can get this idea, you know, using power with Aloha—I think that’s then when (people go) “Ahh, yes! That’s what it should be!”
Serge: Yes, right.
Ingrid: Beautiful. So, one more thing: How does one work with HUNA? How should it be applied and practiced—do you have some practical tips for that?
Serge: Well, the most simple way is to think about (them)— whenever you have any kind of a problem—you could have a list of the principles to look at once in a while, but see which one principle jumps out to help you with that problem. 'Cause one of them will—no matter what the problem is. If you really want to resolve that problem, one of these principles will give you a clue.
Ingrid: So— what would be your favorite techniques—or what have been your favorite techniques for improving your own live and your closest relationships? I know there are a lot of techniques, but maybe you could pick one?
Serge: That’s a problem! (smiles) I can’t pick ONE to say. I have different techniques I use for different things I have many—let me put it this way— when I'm teaching people how to use techniques, I believe in having and learning a LOT of techniques to fill your memory with techniques because then, when stress comes, when a problem comes and you have to do something, then one of those would come forward as being the right one for at the moment and you don't have to rely on one technique. It may be a terrific technique most of the time but for one particular thing a different technique might work better. So I think of it when I get a class that we're all in a meadow and trails going off the meadow in all directions and each one of those trails represents a technique and so I will tell the people: I will take you hundred yards or a hundred meters on each trail so you know how to use the technique, you know how to apply it. You can go miles or kilometers if you want to and it’s possible but I want to give you in this time we have, as many techniques as possible to get you started. I believe very strongly in the necessity of techniques. It's not, I think, enough to tell people: “go out and do good or go out and love the world or think positive!” What does that mean? How do you do it? I am very interested in the “how to”, so that what I specialize in.
Ingrid: We learned a lot! So maybe, do you have a daily HUNA routine, kind of what you do in the morning or in the evening, which you could share?
Serge: Well, the simplest is, just three things to bring to mind, okay, and it can be done any time of the day and it's: “Bless the present” which means look for the good where you are and what’s around you and that's a good way to get into the present, ok? Look for something good! Bless it— bless it, means to increase something, increase something good. And “Trust yourself”, and this means, you know, stop putting yourself down, stop any self-criticism: trust yourself to do the best you can, when you're doing whatever you're doing. That's all you can do, so it doesn't do any good to think: “Ahh, I should have done that differently!” That's gone, done! Do something differently now and so that's: Bless the present, trust yourself and expect the best! Because expecting the worst is gonna make you look out for bad things and you're gonna miss all the good stuff! Expecting the best is gonna give you the best possible outcome, right, and give you more confidence now. You may not always get exactly what you want that’s the way the world works. But expecting the best is gonna give you more opportunities than expecting the worst.
Ingrid: So it’s more likely to turn out good, yes.
So while practicing and teaching Huna myself, I got a better understanding of myself, my body, mind and spirit and one thing that helped immensely [were] the concepts about the different aspects of the self in Huna. So can you tell our audience about those different aspects and how to grow by better working and communicating with ourselves?
Serge: Well, these aspects are body, mind and spirit. They're not separate things, they are something—if you want an analogy— would be like head, hands and feet; you can deal with them separately and that's useful, but if you try to only deal with them separately, it doesn't work very well because they're part of the whole. So we have different terms that we use in Hawaiian for these. That doesn't matter, but we look at each of these as having a—how can I put it—a motivation, and what is the pleasure that these different parts [want]. So what is the pleasure of the body? Pleasure of the body is sensory and emotional pleasure. Like that's what the body goes for, so if you're trying to figure out how can—(like) something is not working, I don’t seem to be all together—well, is your body with you? In whatever it is you want to do or achieve, have you taken into consideration the benefits for the body, the sensory or emotional pleasure part?
Ingrid: Like sitting down children for studying, you have to give them a little bit of pleasure for the body as well.
Serge: The people who climb mountains successfully are the ones that keep thinking about the pleasure of making it to the top. The people that don't make it are the ones that start complaining too much about the pain of the present, ok? You keep telling your body THAT, it's: “Hey, why am I going on?” The pleasure of the mind is resolution. Boy, it gets the mind great pleasure when the mind invents games. See, a mind game always has a resolution: somebody wins or something is completed.
Ingrid: A riddle is solved.
Serge: A riddle or whatever it might be that’s a mind game— a pleasure for the mind—solving a problem and this contrasts with a body game. A body game would be a child stomping around in the muddy water—there's no point to it. No resolution to it, it's just FUN! Okay? That's the body. What the mind loves is this idea of resolution. Now, what's the pleasure of the spirit? In my opinion the pleasure of the spirit is harmony and so it seems to me that what spirit is trying to do—that part of you, is trying to let you know through experience, what it is you're manifesting and gives you inspiration or guidance to reach harmony. It doesn't tell you what to do, you might get suggestions, inspiration that can come from a book; you can turn on the television just when somebody's saying the right thing; an idea can pop in when you’re half asleep— this is spirit—your spirit—talking to you and so it's trying to give you ideas to help you bring about harmony. It doesn't do it for you and that's why our conscious mind is the one that's supposed to be in charge.
Ingrid: Which gets the plan and the “how to do it”..
Serge: That’s right.
Ingrid: Serge, we’ve known each other for many years now. You are a very successful and happy person to me and for me you haven’t aged a bit during that time we know each other. So what's your secret of happiness and youth related to HUNA?
Serge: (smiles) Aha, okay, well, several things I found being very good. First of all, one of the most important things is to take time to relax. To learn how to really do that. Now when you really learn how to do it, you can do it in seconds. If you're really upstressed you can do it in minutes, but you need, no matter what you're doing, taking that time to relax, otherwise, if you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing the stress and stress and stress gets more and more and more and it affects the way you look, it affects the way you're able to move, it affects what you're able to do, how to think. A lot of people don't realize this and sometimes it shocks them but, I'm 81 and I get along fine and I have a lot of fun.
Ingrid: You are teaching, writing, everything that you’ve done for the past years!
Serge: That’s right, so one of the big things is finding ways to relax. We teach a lot of techniques for that for learning how to do that. Be aware of your body! A lot of people try to only work with their mind and it's amazing how many people don’t even know how their body works and yet knowing that could help you all kind of times when something seems to go wrong you know it’s a tension problem. We just automatically know, it's a tension problem, so then you find some way to relieve the tension. Now this doesn't have to be what some people think is a spiritual way or a mental way or avoiding modern medicine. Don't avoid modern medicine if it can help you—that's what it's there for—but don't be totally dependent on it either. You have to involve your mind with it, you have to involve your body with it. Some kind of exercise is something your body needs, you don’t need to overdo it, but it needs to move, that’s what it is designed to do and so relaxation, movement and doing things that give you pleasure for mind, body and spirit.
Ingrid: And I remember you teaching us in our class as well, you know, BREATHE, and drink a lot of water, especially here on a volcanic island.
Serge: Yes, that’s for your body, that’s right, that’s very important. But do things that you enjoy. Make sure that you do things all three parts of you will enjoy.
Ingrid: (Yes) Don’t forget one of your parts.
People say: „He or she or this “makes” me happy...
Especially in your article “Who owns my happiness” you state that happiness is OUR choice but also that it is sometimes hard to choose happiness, because our happiness is “owned” by other people or circumstances. Can you explain that especially for people who are often unhappy or depressed?
Serge: Well, this is simply when people blame others for the unhappiness, that “they did this to me” and—no, they didn’t, they did something that you reacted to. The reaction could have been habit, something we've learned and just get automatically, but the more you become AWARE of it, you can change it. You don’t need to keep the same reaction. Some people grow up learning how to do this as a kind of what I call a power hit, okay? Blaming somebody else because their only option is to blame themselves and blame doesn't solve anything. You got—you’re unhappy, you can change that anytime you want to and it doesn't matter what it is—you can decide to be happy anyway. Now, some things make us sad, we say that, it's part of the speech we use, no—the fact is, that we get sad about something. That sadness is perfectly appropriate many times—dwelling on it over and over again and living in it, indulging in it and bringing it back, time after time after time, you see, it’s none of my job and also being continually angry at somebody else, okay? Anger is self-punishment, some very famous people said something similar and that's what it is. You're not hurting the other person because you're angry and yet sometimes people think they are, because it gives them a false sense of power when they feel helpless. There are other ways to get powerful.
Ingrid: So that’s why it’s so important and necessary to forgive—not (only) for the other person but for ourselves.
Serge: When it’s appropriate, sure! Forgive the other person, but you are doing it to relieve your tension.
Ingrid: Serge, we witnessed you and Gloria losing your beloved Kapoho home with its magical tide pond to the lava flow last year and we were struck with awe how you coped with that situation. Can you share a little bit about that and also how people can overcome loss or hurt in general?
Serge: Okay, well that was well said, we did. We had a beautiful home and wonderful neighbors and everything like that, a good community and suddenly, it's gone wrong, (within) 24hours, bamm not there anymore. Well, Gloria and I have traveled a lot, changed locations a lot, been in the different places and the places we've been to are not in our life anymore and we’ve been to some wonderful places. We have friends and family, who have passed away and, of course, that's sad when it does and what we do, for instance, in that particular kind of a case, we keep blessing their spirits. We happen to believe that the spirit goes on without the mind and the body and so wherever they are or whatever they are or whatever they're doing, we treat them like they're still alive and we bless them the best we can, and so instead of grieving for them, which is very self-indulgent, we give them energy, that's how we look at it. Now in terms of Kapoho to go back to: something happens that you have no control, no way to do anything about, what's the point of staying upset? Okay, so the first thing you do is, okay, this broke—I've got to fix it. If I can't fix it, I've got to do something different. That's it—so we don't forget about it, we remember it fondly. Same with people: we remember the best parts of the relationship. So we not only bless whatever or wherever they happen to be now, but remember “oh, wasn’t that good or wasn’t that fine, and we feel free to talk about it when we are talking about the people. We feel free to talk about the property, it’s been great—just isn't there anymore and we've still got to live our life. So we don’t avoid it but we don't want to dwell on it either. Every once in a while I'll reach for something that I used to have and—ah—it’s not there anymore...
Ingrid: ...because it was in the house...
Serge: Yeah, okay, well I'll give it five seconds of regret and then, that’s over, I don’t have it, got to do something different.
Ingrid: So you allowed yourself a little period of grief—for sure—but then moved on, and remember it fondly.
Serge: Sure, sure. Okay, it's more like you know not bypassing or suppressing it—it’s just letting it go—it is what it is and we are here now, so let's do what's appropriate here and now.
Ingrid: Serge, in 2000 you introduced a stress-release and self-healing technique, called the Dynamind-Technique. In your book: Healing for the millions, you describe the method and its benefits in numerous case studies.
And for my Master's degree in Counseling I also conducted a scientific study in 2013, which also proved various benefits of this Dynamind-Technique as well. So can you provide us maybe a short description and a comparison to Tapping Techniques like EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique?
Serge: Ok, sure, speaking of Emotional Freedom Technique, that's the one that inspired me to create Dynamind. Emotional Freedom Technique did something exceptionally fast, and that intrigued me. So than I—one of my hobbies is analyzing a technique and going back to see which is the part of the technique that’s actually accomplishing something. So I analyzed it. I was very impressed and I liked it and so I thought —you know—we have a lot of good techniques, but what would happen if I combine those techniques? So that we had—let's say—if I had four techniques and I put them together, one right after the other, we might have a cumulation effect in healing. So that’s what happened. So we have a brilliant breath technique, a verbal technique—not an affirmation but a statement—and involves usually—the thing is that we use four points on the body that are very important for harmonizing that a lot of Chinese and kinesiology people use—they are good points. So we do that kind of thing as well. So I picked a point for each side of the body and that would be stimulated. So when we say tapping, tapping is one way to stimulate it, holding it and humming is another way. We’ve tried it with light beams and that stimulates. Light pressure without any tapping at all would work. So tapping is kind of fun to do and easy to remember, but it's not the tapping, it's the stimulation, right.
Ingrid: And you use one Hawaiian point (points on back of the neck, the 7 cervical vertebra) as well.
Serge: Yeah, on each side (of the body).
Ingrid: Yeah, I get very good results, you know, and what I like about the Dynamind-Technique most of all is, that you can teach it very easily and then people can apply it themselves very easily; so you have this: you can help people to help themselves which is one of the most important things.
Serge: Yes, that’s one of the most important parts. But the other thing is if, let's say think in terms of coaching, sometimes people get so stressed they can't do it themselves at first and so having a coach guide them through it until they're ready to do it themselves—very helpful!
Ingrid: And because with this technique you can go deeper in layers and that’s why a coach is very helpful with it.
Serge: Yes, that’s one of the assumptions we made.
Ingrid: I also love Hawaiian geomancy which I teach in my Huna level 2 workshops now as well. Can you tell our audience about HU and NA in that perspective and how to find powerspots in nature or create them yourself for energizing purposes or healing purposes?
Serge: Oh that's a lot, okay: well, first of all, we can take the word HUNA which can have many meanings: it referres to esoteric knowledge and ancient chants and even more modern chants make that very clear. It's a Hawaiian word, and refers to esoteric knowledge. Now, but when we take it apart, with what we have is something very similar to Yang and Yin. HU is a word that means rise up, to effervesce to move up, in fact, if there's too much HU —more of HU, Huhu means anger, because there is too much..
Serge: Yeah, chaos, right. So and then the NA is a word that means quiet, still. Especially the kind of relaxation that comes after a healing, that’s NA and so in general in helping people we say we don't try to get rid of anything, but if there's too much NA, we increase HU (movement) and if there’s too much movement we increase NA and that’s a very different way to look at, but very effective.
Ingrid: Well and then—natural power spots?
Serge: Natural power spots are all over the place. In fact Feng Shui has studied that longer than anybody else, but the Hawaiians used it as well. They had special trainings and people who would be able to do that because it was important. Let's take a Heiau—(ancient) Hawaiian temple: the ideal temple site would be on a ridge facing the ocean with a stream coming down both sides. That's ideal and so you find many of them having that. However you don’t always find the right conditions so there are temples that I've seen where they had a stream coming down one side and dug a trench the other side from the source of the water so to have them on both sides. You can't always have it on a ridge so they built it on a hill and so there's lots of different ways to try and get as close to what they felt was in the ideal harmonizing with nature and energizing the site, okay. So it takes some practice for many people to feel energy, ambient energy—let’s call it—because there's so many terms that make it difficult to work with energy but energy is simply movement. If it’s very soft, almost no movement, if you felt no energy whatsoever, there's no existence, but if there's nothing BUT movement there's no existence. So we think of it as a wave that—to take a quote from some scientist—somehow there was a first wave: that there was chaos and there was total stillness, they got together and formed the first wave. From that wave came out the other waves and all different kinds of frequencies and waves that produce the world that we have around us. And so you can learn by practice simple things: being able to, for instance, feel the energy of a color. I used to do classes where we teach people how to do that. You actually feel the difference between yellow, red, and blue. They give off different sensations. Or, the energy is stronger in corners—it's not that the energy collects—it’s just movement but it is more intense and probably because of the restriction. And it's also why Chinese would always break up the corner, right?
Ingrid: Or put a “NA-plant” in it
Serge: Right, something like that, or make the corner come down a little like this.. they knew all of that very well and the Hawaiians used it as well.
Ingrid: Ok, and if you want to make your own energy spot? I remember you teaching when we were walking down a very nice path, that between two trees there is energy...
Serge: Oh yes, there are many natural ones: trees have an energy field or aura. Some trees are stronger than other trees, but nevertheless, if you have two trees that are about a meter or so apart, if it's more than that, it's not as strong. But the field between those two trees and both of the fields intermingle and when you stand in that, typically you can stand with your feet together and your eyes closed most people—you can watch them—they'll suddenly fall forward or fall backward or start swaying—that's their reaction to the energy. So that's a natural energy spot and it helps you relax and energize at the same time. It's like breathing and so that's one thing in nature. Different water flowing: waterfalls—which is why they have waterfalls in shopping centers—it's to reinvigorate people so they can keep shopping but it is because those waterfalls produce—in scientific terms—negative ions—that are very refreshing. Caves of all kinds are very natural energizing power spots, energetic in a good common way because they also create negative ions. The reason the negative ions are so important is because there's so many places where it is too much HU—positive ions can be thought of as HU and it is too energetic and so you need the NA, that’s right. And sometimes sitting in a cave for a while, ah—I can’t stand this anymore—I am gonna go out and get some HU.
Ingrid: Right, great. Now you told us a lot about HU & NA and the HUNA knowledge, can you tell us a little bit more about your organization, Huna International, the Aloha project and the Resource center with all of our Alaka’is?
Serge: Okay, well, Huna International I founded as a non-sectarian religious order and incorporated in California and registered it as a foreign corporation here in Hawaii and so that's the legal status. And Aloha International as the teaching arm is a name we give the courses and the things that we send out, the booklets, that we have on blessing and on healing we give out for free all around the world, that's part of this Aloha project. The Aloha project would give people an opportunity—you don’t have to do this—to make a pledge to make the world a better place and we give them ideas of different ways in which they can do that. People have many different passions, so with this [we] give them a bunch of ideas for doing that and a place where they can communicate with other people especially now that we have the things like Facebook where people can get together in groups and help each other like never before. So that’s parts of our projects. Now the Resource page is on our website and that contains different things that we have for helping people, including a list of the people that we have as leaders and teachers and healers—we would say Alaka’i in Hawaiian—sort of the list of the ones who want to be listed and these are people we have all around the world doing good work. And people can find out who and where they are.
Ingrid: You told me that currently we have over 70 Alaka’i in more than 11 countries, so that’s quite an organization already.
Serge: Over 79, yes.
Ingrid: Serge, today is the Alaka’i ordination of two members to our HUNA International staff: Jeff Donohue from Maui and Jonathan Hammond from New York. Can you provide us with a short explanation of that ceremony? Just an introduction.
Serge: Okay, well, very basically it’s a Hawaiian-based ceremony, but what it does is, have these people make a pledge to do certain things, to help people, to help each other, to help the organization and the organization makes the pledge to help them; then they are—because this is a nonprofit religious corporation—then they are ministers, legally, and of course what they can do with that depends on the local laws wherever they happen to be living, but they are by nature, by intent and at their choice teachers, healers, counselors..
Ingrid: I still remember my Alaka’i ceremony, it was a very, very touching moment to make this pledge and to really dedicate your life to this good cause and I am looking forward to the ceremony today.
Now we are going to the “big questions”: Mankind has always been trying to answer the following big questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we go?
What is the purpose of our life?
Could you share the Huna approach on these important questions with us?
Serge: Okay, tell me the first one again.
Ingrid: Who are we?
Serge: Who are we? That’s simple: we are who we are. I use the Popeye philosophy: I am what I am, that's all that I am. And that’s who you are: you are, who you are.
Ingrid: This spirit-body-mind-being…
Serge: That’s a way of describing it, that’s right.
Ingrid: Where do we come from?
Serge: Our mothers. And well, our fathers are usually involved, but basically we come from our mothers. Now, anything else is not even theoretical, right? Because it can't be tested. Anything else is hypothetical, okay? And people have all kinds of ideas from all around the world, different philosophies and religions, but those are just ideas people have.
Serge: Where do we go? It's the same thing. Recently I saw a play: Hamlet, Shakespeare. Shakespeare said a wonderful thing, and he said: “Death, that unknown land from which travelers never return”. Well, no travelers have ever returned to tell us what they experienced. The fact that somebody's brain is dead and they come back to life means they didn't die. Somebody who is really gone, their bones are molded away, their body doesn't exist anymore—never seen one of those come back. Now, people talk about spirits, okay and that's fine. I believe that spirits can choose to communicate, but the thing is: all these spirits have different ideas—isn’t that interesting? They don't all have the same—you know—this it what it is—depends on different religion, different background, depends on all kind of things so that's again hypothetically. So my thought is, well, if you feel unsure about it and it bothers you—make something up. Make up a good story that you'd like about where you came from and we're gonna go, why not? Nobody knows any different and if it makes you feel good now, why not?
Ingrid: I remember you teaching, too, this kind of Huna approach of the world we know here—the physical world —and then the world in “Po”—the kind of spiritual, invisible world.
Serge: Invisible world, right.
Ingrid: So we can believe we came from Po and go back to Po. Or is it again just a hypothesis?
Serge: Sure it’s an hypothesis. If you like that, okay, but you gotta remember in the real Hawaiian sense—“Po” and “Ao”—Ao is the visible world, Po is invisible. The wind is invisible and part of Po, thoughts are invisible, gravity is invisible—that's Po. Po doesn't exist somewhere else.
Ingrid: No, it’s right here. But not visible.
Serge: Yes, right here, right now. That’s all the difference that is.
Ingrid: But that’s where we might think to feel and still have our ancestors, spiritual beings.
Serge: Sure, when people do that, it gives them great peace and happiness, to think that way. I’m all for that.
Ingrid: To bless their spirit when they are gone—much better than to mourn them.
Serge: That’s right. If you wanna make altars for them and give them flowers or do anything that makes you feel good—go ahead, do it—you don't have to try and pose that on other people.
Ingrid: No, no..
Serge: No, but I mean, some people try…my point is, nobody knows, so pick the one you like best. You can use somebody else's idea, if you want to go along with that, or you can make up your own.
Ingrid: So, the last one was: What's the purpose of our life?
Serge: Purpose of life. Well, very clearly and easily and obviously your purpose is to be here, to exist, to experience life, ok? I mean, obviously, that’s what you are and that’s what you are doing. Now going beyond that, people usually think in terms of some future thing that they're supposed to do or are seeking to do. If you like that, go ahead and think of it that way and choose a purpose. If you feel drawn to certain things you can encourage that and follow that—or not—it’s up to you, you can choose a different one. You start moving in one direction and it doesn't seem to go anywhere, doesn't mean you've lost your purpose, it means you've got an opportunity to make a different one. So the basic purpose is to exist, the secondary purpose is to choose something.
Ingrid: Make something out of your life what you choose to.
Serge: Well, I mean you don't have to, you can choose…
Ingrid: …just being…
Serge: Yeah, you can choose to lie around, take up space, if you want to do, but that's up to you, ok? There's no—in this philosophy—because, I have to bring this in if you don’t mind…
Ingrid: (It’s about) Freedom?
Serge: (Yes) Freedom. This is a non hierarchical system, ok? It's not that hierarchy is bad, it's just we don't use or think of hierarchy in practicing this system. If you have a part of your life in which you believe in and like a hierarchy, fine. But HUNA but doesn't care—think any way you want, as long as it works for you—but there's no hierarchy within HUNA. My role as a caretaker, for instance: I don't run things, I do things that help keep things running, that's a big difference. I've chosen this purpose, I don't have to and I don't do it every day. There are days when I watch television or read a book or do something else, you know. I choose my purposes as the opportunity comes.
Ingrid: Yes, beautiful. I just found it fulfilling to have the purpose of spreading Aloha which is really a good purpose that…(everyone in our organization chooses to do)
Serge: Good! That’s the purpose we offer in the organization to do, that's right.
Ingrid: That’s a beautiful one, right! Serge, every generation faces special challenges—can you share from the HUNA perspective some ideas of how to tackle challenges—for example, like climate change and its potential consequences like unprecedented streams of migrating people seeking better life conditions?
Serge: Well, okay, let's put it this way: the earth changes, it has always changed and always will change. In a particular generation of creative life we're going to experience whatever changes the earth is going through and so what do you do about it? You do the best you can—you can't do anything else. It’s not a question of controlling it, because it's too big, so we have to do what we can and what we believe is helpful in doing that. That’s all we have—the only choice we have.
The idea of migration—this is not unprecedented, migration—I mean, if you look back in the world you can see migrations that were far, far bigger than this one, but—it is a difficult situation and I have to say, the same thing applies: you do the best you can. Now we would say: do the best you can with Aloha: with love, with caring, with harmonizing—for the best effects. Trying to stop it then, because you don't like the people, doesn’t gonna work very well. It’s gonna have unpleasant consequences all over. Finding a way to help these people, because they are migrating for some reason and whether that way is helping them to settle where they are—for instance: part of my work in Africa had to do with refugee work and so what the solution they had in some of the African countries at the time was, they would allow the refugees in (migrants would be the same word used today) allowed the refugees in and set aside some land for them to work. And the curious thing that came up in my notes, I was reading about this experience and it was a particular case in Senegal: the refugees wanted to pay tax, so that they can have the benefits. They weren't asking for citizenship, they were asking for ways in which they can participate to both help the country they're in and continue living. So they did their best to accommodate these people in those places. It's much more difficult today: their numbers are higher than we’re used to deal with, the government doesn't move fast, of course bureaucracy that’s everywhere in the world, and yet we have to do the best we can—with Aloha—we're gonna help them as best as we can. The final solutions are going to be widely different but again, we do the best we can.
Ingrid: Absolutely, I think that all leaders in all of the countries in the world—if they try the best they can with Aloha—that would be definitely a different world!
Ingrid: Yeah, I just can say: the personal impact that HUNA, YOU and YOUR books have had on me personally is immense—it’s like the wisdom of the world put in a few Hawaiian words with such an immense, deep and profound meaning. It has enhanced my personal wellbeing and happiness, my relationships, my parenting and my work. And it’s always amazing to witness and to see how people, like my clients, or people in the seminars (participants of my Huna Workshops) how they benefited profoundly from this HUNA approach on the one hand and the HUNA techniques on the other hand.
So, I hope—our audience—you have gained some more insight into how HUNA, which I like to call: the Ancient Science of Happiness, Health & Success—can improve our lives and then ultimately—society and the world as a whole.
Because, always, a positive change always starts within each and everyone of us.
We wish you all the best and send you our blessings and love!
Ingrid: And Serge, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with the world—MAHALO, ALOHA and A HUI HOU!
(Thank you, good bye and see you soon!)