REIKI SAN ANTONIO
Healing in another culture
By Carolyn Maloney
I have looked at many healing methods for many years and had no explanation for what was happening. I think now. What I did ,if it needs a label, was a combination of Empathic and my own intuition. I have done things like this for probably 30 years. I felt or intuitively knew much but on returning to the mainland from much time out of the country, I hid from everyone. Only in the last few years have I found others that I could talk to.
I took Reiki to give me guidelines and explain what I was feeling and the energy I was working with. The word Reiki wasn’t cause for alarm, no one knew what it meant, so rejection wasn’t the immediate reaction. As a result so many people have opened their minds to healing and found an entire new world that echo’s belief systems within their own ancient heritage. I find it wonderful that the culture in San Antonio is diverse and has healers in every style from Native American and the Cuendero to the practice of several Church groups’, “laying on of hands.” I have added this energy to the classes that I teach to develop a greater awareness.
I think what has been discovered is, Spirit needs to be considered in all healing, mental or physical. Thank goodness, that I was exposed to other worlds of healing, which helped me accept and look for the connections within all cultures. So I will share some of the cultural knowledge I had no choice but to be a part of.
I lived in Hawaii for a number of years (1969 to 1980) and felt a kinship with the people there because of things I had experienced. Everything was so open due to the diversity. Their attitude to healing was “Hey Ain’t no beeg ting, Auntie make mo’betta you. Or “So what, my Auntie does that too.”
We lived for a while in Manoa Valley, near what was called Paradise Park. Sunday became hiking time for us, behind the house and beyond Paradise Park through the jungle valley, to the mountains. More than once, in our hiking adventures we discovered remnants of the Hawaiian ancient cultural beliefs that were still a part of everyday life.
On one exploration we found at the base of a waterfall in Manoa, the traditional tribute or offering of Ti leaves, Tobacco and Pork. I was fascinated. The gift was for the spirits and Pele (she smokes). Pele is the female spirit of the volcano, the creator/destroyer. Obviously, Women are respected in Hawaii.
Sometimes the gifts were left to the Menehune, which are rascal spirits (something on the order of Leprechauns) who caused trouble and played tricks on you. If you couldn’t find your keys, you blamed the menehunes.
There is a deep reverence for all life including the plants and animals, water creatures and stones within the many different cultures of Hawaii. Blessings were given and permission asked when picking leaves or harvesting. Nature was considered a blessing and a copartner in life, not something to be used or indiscriminately destroyed. The People adapt their lives to flow with the ebb and tide energy of the oceans and learn to work around the flow of lava “Uh oh, Pele has PMS” (seismic and volcanic activity).
The Hawaiian culture has an ancient religion and the priests were called Kahunas. The spirits that the Kahuna’s and Ali’i (Chiefs) worked with were Akua or spirit consciousness. A person was born with Mana. The power or energy of people is called Mana as well. The Akua with the most Mana was Akua Nui. The mana was in direct relation to the power of the family.
To become a Kahuna you had to have the correct family with much mana and were trained from childhood to acquire all the knowledge needed to become as a candidate for the priesthood. The most respected among the candidates were the Kaka Olelo, which is a chief chanter (in charge of preserving the oral history of the Hawaiians), something like in the ancient Bards of Scotland. There are many Hawaiian traditions that echo the Celtic culture more than they do the Asian culture, which I find very interesting.
In Hawaii the name for soul is uhane. The uhane could take other forms and be a plant or an animal or stones. Which is obvious why the reverence is given to nature. The Polynesians had ancestral spirits or the Aumakua as well. Hawaiians generally believed that the world’s structure was a principle of everything having an opposite that was part of the whole, like the Yin Yang theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They also had the belief that the world was round and that the sun sank into the ocean for rest, then to raise with energy the next day.
The old style healers and Kahuna’s stayed primarily in the deep jungle, probably even more so now. The rush world of technology and noise is frustrating to them. However, every now and again there were indications like the Ti leaf blessing that let us know they were still out there.
It was recommended and considered good Mana to have Ti plants or money trees around your house or on the lanai ,in english-back porch. I suppose you could compare the practice of having plants in certain places for good energy to Feng Shui.
Kahunas do not generally associate with the population, especially not with the Hao’les. Note: Haole is a generic name for white mainlander. Some say that it means newcomer, however the word for newcomer is Malihini. Someone that has been in Hawaii for many years and is accepted by the general population “locals” is called a Kamaina.
Living in Hawaii, and Japan, I found a totally different world than this Native Texan had expected. I learned in both cultures what discrimination was. Generally, Haole’s and Gijeans, Japanese slang for mainlander’s, were not liked, hopefully, that has changed somewhat. A very important thing I learned is the way some of the people in the mainland feel when the general public has opinions against them for no other reason than they look different.
In Hawaii I was finally accepted to a degree. I knew there was a change when friends started referring to me as porte’gue (also means I talk a lot) but I was still a malihini even after 10 years. My husband had been raised there so after 30 rough and demanding years he was considered a Kamaina.
One of the parts of acceptance is, a humble attitude, eating sushi, sashimi, poi, Hawaiian food and accepting their ways.
I have a great teaching tool because it is such a fun eye opener of “opinion versus reality”. It opens the mind and makes us aware of what we don’t know. Sometimes I bring in Inari sushi that I’ve made and offer it to the students. Most make faces and try to avoid the idea of eating what they thought was raw fish. Inari sushi is sticky rice in a Tofu shell, no fish just vegetables. When one discovers that not everything they hear or see in the media and on Television is absolutely true then the “ah ha” begins. When curiosity overrides ego or someone else’s opinion gives you a new direction, then a new world steps in and you begin to look curiously at all life then your life changes.
It’s a beautiful world and there is so much to learn. Enter your new year with love, acceptance and curiosity. As one of my friends’, Mari Hall says, “Celebrate the sameness and Appreciate the differences”