Do you want to be a Haumana, a student?

Jane Pililani Corrigan is a Haumana to Kumu Pa'a Kawika Foster. Today she Talks Story about what it's like to be a Haumana...

...there a people who seek out a Kumu - or teacher - because they want to do a particular type of learning. These learners are students who usually come to learn something specific like Hawaiian Spirituality or to learn Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage (which is traditionally called Bodywork), Ho'oponopono (the traditional process for resolving conflicts and issues, making sure you are free and clear of anything which inhibits your spiritual connection and therefore in the correct alignment with all things in this Universe), Hula (traditional dance), Lā‘au lapa‘au - (traditional medicine) and so on,

But there's also another kind of student; one who aspires to deeper levels of knowledge and understanding and is prepared to make a lifelong commitment to achieving it - it takes time to thoroughly learn all the teachings to a point of knowing and to be able to demonstrate this in everyday life. These students enter a Halau or school and it's a serious commitment as there is Hana (work) involved in being part of a Halau. Haumana learn that a Halau fosters and runs on co-operation. It is a 'ohana - a family or community.

One of the things a Haumana learns early on is Nana ka maka; ho’olohe ka pepeiao; pa’a ka waha. Translation: Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth. Thus one learns.

In the old times, traditional teachings were taught orally and required the Haumana to live with the Kumu (teacher).  As Haumana in the current day/age we assist the Kumu so the teachings can be shared - this happens via workshops and training retreats - and through this we are able to observe (Nana ka maka; ho’olohe ka pepeiao; pa’a ka waha in action!). It's one way we can go deeper into the teachings as well as attending Halua lessons each week. We understand everything is a process, there's a lesson and learning challenge in everything, until we reach a point of Mastery.

Is it challenging? Sure can be. Here's a simple example: I'm quietly spoken but one day in chanting practice in the city right at peak hour, Kumu throws open the windows and with traffic roaring past, instructs me to chant on my own - which is terrifying enough - and be loud enough to get above the disruption and distraction outside. But the important thing is not that I did it, which I did, but that I became curious about finding out my relationship with chanting and what I love about it, which also provoked my curiosity about the vibration of sound and what sound actually is in the traditional teachings.

What does it mean to me to a Haumana? To be a Haumana is an honour, it is humbling, and it is a challenge to experience the teachings of 51 generations (direct and unbroken). Last year, 2017, was my first visit to the island of Molokai, Hawaii the home of our Lineage (archaeologists dated it to 650AD but we know through the teachings, chants, stories, songs, dances and other evidence it is dated to the arrival of the first people in Halawa Valley, Molokai).  While in Molokai under a full moon on the 15 June 2017, I participated in Kapu Kai (commitment ceremony), with the Alaka’i (lead students), Kumu Pa'a Kawika and his Kumu, Kumu Pa'a Lawrence and experienced those present and those who have stood there for generations before. It's an experience that isn't easily put into words...

PS Writing and sharing is also a challenge, however, here I am, with the assistance of the teachings. So I hope my Talk Story with you today helps you to understand more about Mana O Kahiko and what we learn, what we share with others and how it can help you in daily life. Aloha.