What can we learn from waves?
I have always been fascinated by the coast and in particular the waves as they crash against the shore. From childhood I can recall holidays with hours just spent watching the ebb and flow of the waves and trying to anticipate and understand the varied patterns that they create. I have often wondered if this fascination was fuelled by the fact that I live in what is probably the most inland point in England and it stemmed from the novelty of being close to the sea on rare occasions.
However, I think the reason for this fascination is much deeper than that and is something shared by people around the world. Whether it is the waves on Makapu’u Beach in Hawaii or the gentler waves closer to home, there is a lot we can learn by being mindful of the patterns of the waves at sea. Reflecting on waves also nicely demonstrates many of the beliefs of Huna. It is perhaps no coincidence that the Hawaiian word for wave, nalu, is also a word which means to ponder or contemplate and refers to a passive form of meditation. Here are some such reflections.
Waves are energy
When looking at the sea it is often believed that the sea itself is the wave, but this is not true. Waves are pure energy. In the case of the sea, the ocean is merely the medium through which the wave travels at that particular point in time and space.
Waves are everywhere
While ocean waves are the most explicit manifestation of waves that are familiar to everyone, there are many different types of waves that are currently known to mankind. These range from waves observed at a quantum level, to others we can readily experience, such as sound waves and light waves. Science is discovering and categorising many different types of waves, however these are limited to what we can currently see and measure with scientific instruments that are currently available. I believe, as Huna teaches, that everything is energy and everything moves in waves even if current science cannot measure all permutations at this stage.
Waves remind us that there is limitless energy
A common misconception is that there is a finite amount of energy in the universe and that energy can be lost. An analogy for this view is that as a wave hits the shore it breaks and runs out of energy. In actual fact, in this case there is no loss of energy. It is merely transformed and transported through different media. For example, some of the energy may be transformed into sound as the waves crash, some transformed into friction that moves sand and pebbles, and some returning to the sea as it ebbs. We can also apply this to all aspects of our own lives and could, for example, consider the death of the physical body to be a transformation of energy from one medium (the physical body) to another one.
Waves influence waves
Waves of energy may travel through many different media. A common example is when energy transformed from (kinetic) wind waves then travels through oceans as water waves and then continues as sound waves and friction on reaching the shore. Each transformation of the wave through a different medium influences the other. The same is true for ourselves and our bodies. We have the notion of the physical body in Hawaiian as kino, or loosely translated from its roots as a “highly charged thought form,” which brings with it the notion that energy waves actually shape our physical bodies. I believe this can be through thought waves, i.e., what we think and believe affecting our physical manifestation as well as through other energy waves that influence us such as those that travel through the medium of food which provides a conduit for energy. Everything is connected through waves of energy. By the simple act of focussing, our thought waves affect everything around us and we can manifest the changes we want in our lives.
Waves illustrate the mutable nature of reality
Waves are constantly moving in process and transforming. Nothing is static. Although we might perceive some things as static ( indeed this is a useful thing to do at times!), this is because we don’t perceive the scale of energetic changes that take place at all levels. For example, many people cannot perceive the wave energy at work within a rock, although it is there. For this reason ocean waves are a great direct and noticeable illustration of the wave principles which underpin everything in the universe. This remind us of the concepts of hu and na, that the universe consists of two forces: the active hu energy and the passive na energy and that this creates waves of energy that are in constant flux. Huna teaches us how, as co creators of our universe, we can take action to harmonise and ride the waves that influence our lives.
Nature as a source of learning
As with all aspects of nature adopting a shamanistic relationship to it allows it to teach us things and provide insights to help us in our lives. Ocean waves provide an excellent source of learning. We should be grateful for these lessons from the sea!
This article first appeared on Aloha International.