Mana is the universal force manifest in you. This energy is vital in everything you do. You also need sufficient mana to maintain good health, good relationships, and a healthy attitude. When you are low in mana you are more vulnerable and prone to illness. In order to effectively do bodywork on another, you need to have sufficient mana. If you do not, you are more prone to the transference of energies, including absorbing your client’s unbalanced energies.
Called “chi” or “ki” in the Orient and “prana” in the Far East, mana represents the vital energy of all phenomenon and life. This energy constantly flows throughout all of creation. Hawaiians believe that some objects and life forms have more mana than others, but that all things have mana, including the mountains and rocks. Beyond biological forms, they are referring to the energetic levels, such as atoms and electrons. They also felt that some lineages carried more ancestral mana than others. Their culture was based on beliefs that the blood of some people had more mana than others did, leading to inbreeding within the royal families.
In Mana Cards – the Power of Hawaiian Wisdom, Catherine Kalama Becker states that the ali‘i nui (king or queen) “were believed to possess so much mana that they could intercede between the people and nature. They also believed their mana could be stolen through sorcery or if someone walked on their shadow.” Mana usually refers to individual personal power. It does not refer to mere talent, charisma, charm, or sweetness. It is power. Mary Kawena Pukui said it is an “inherent quality of command and leadership…a reservoir of strength.” Pali J. Lee stated, “Many want mana, but few will pay the price. The price is high, but so are the rewards.” She also noted, “When real and great mana is achieved, the person is probably no longer looking for it.” She is talking about the deepest substance within great individuals who have evolved past their ego. In this state of consciousness, they have become masters through years of hard work, experience, and learning. “There was no longer a line between them as a person and what they did.” Although mana is found in all things of a truly spiritual nature, most Hawaiians get their personal mana from the elements of nature, particularly from the earth itself. In this sense it is a very grounding or “yang” energy that empowers one for action.
Greg Scott, author of Pacific Voyager Cards has studied developing mana with Hawaiian kahuna as well as western psychology. The following information is an excerpt from his unpublished writings. He states that any conscious action increases our mana. “Anything done with presence, where there is an action and a ‘you’ doing the action consciously, builds mana.” Mana relies on awareness and attention, so be mindful of what you do and how you do it.
Things that Leak Mana
Sufficient mana is essential in lomilomi massage. Hawaiian bodywork, like almost every quality of these beautiful islands, is known for its high degree of life-enhancing, transformational mana. The first step in developing mana is recognizing and avoiding things that leak or drain mana. Since everything you do requires mana, spend it wisely. Mana moves on attention, so pay attention.
Physical Physical leaks include obvious stresses and excess tension. Inactivity also causes the body to suffer and become weaker. Don’t get caught up in frequently being in a hurry or rushing from one task to another. Don’t be self-abusive by continuously eating poorly, excessive smoking, or consuming too much alcohol, caffeine or drugs. Emotional Our emotions affect our mana more than our physical bodies do. One fit of anger can drain us of day’s worth of mana. Letting sadness, worry, fear, anger, resentment, and self-pity run rampant can drain us completely. Many emotions, although “negative,” may be an appropriate response. However blocking them, pretending they don’t exist, or holding on to them too long can have drastic effects. Neediness is another emotional leak. Notice how much maneuvering one does to get a compliment or to impress others. The antics we engage in for such a small return are defeating. Resentment, jealously, and constantly criticizing others rob us of any chance of developing true personal power. Mental Some of the subtlest leaks come from our mental center. Making judgments, jumping to conclusions, and labeling others is dangerous to high levels of mana. Any mental excess drains our energy. Too much useless talking, daydreaming, letting our imagination run away with events that will never happen, reviewing past and future conversations over and over all require lots of energy that never gets repaid. Limiting belief systems also sabotage our lives. “I’m no good, too old, too thin, etc.” Excessive self-importance is equally defeating. Thinking we know it all, are superior, etc. wastes our power.
Many leaks occur on multiple centers. With some honest self-observation it doesn’t take long to see where we’re feeling drained. Each action, feeling, sensation and thought is an opportunity to be filled or drained with mana. If you want to do more, be more, have more…you need more mana. Once we’ve seen our own leaks and begun to change them, we can develop our mana in more direct ways.
1. Physically. In order to maintain strength and vitality, we must balance exercise and rest. Listening to our bodies about food intake and the need for sleep is important. Greg suggests learning new skills, like sports, martial arts, and dancing. Stop useless nervous actions with periods of relaxation and stillness. Make extra efforts and complete any task through to its end, whether it is simple or difficult. Do your best. Spend time in nature, as the natural world radiates mana that you can readily use.
2. Emotionally. To experience joy, self-acceptance and a sense of inner peace, practice forgiveness. Go with the flow and give yourself a break. You do not have to be perfect! Accept others, as they are not perfect either. Develop trust. Take care of yourself. Spend time connecting to nature, to others, to self. How you do something is more important than what you do.
3. Mentally. Seek out real understanding. Beyond book learning, seek direct knowledge. Study and learn new things. Develop your concentration, visualizations, and positive “self-talk.” Cultivate empowering beliefs, and let go of any that drain you. What you can picture in your mind and focus on, you can create. Focus your body on excellence, your heart on trust, and your mind on observation.
Suggestions for Lomilomi
Before beginning a lomilomi session, empty yourself completely. Focus on breathing for a few moments. With each exhale…empty. With each inhale…mana. Use visualization to watch mana filling you. Each touch during the massage must be done with your whole being. Don’t allow your mind to wander. Keep a sense of lightness and humor. Feel connected. Radiate love, acceptance, and peace. Help your patient feel his or her own connection and mana. When finished with the session, keep clear and empty towards the client. No judgments, no expectations. Accept the results, give them a blessing, and then let go. Allow them to be fully responsible for their own life as you send them on their way.