Pono and the Aka Connection

Springtime and fresh new growth in our relationships

Posted Apr 15, 2011

It's springtime and in many parts of the world the new growth of plants and flowers is pushing up through the old dried out leaves, stalks and debris from the last growing season. Just as the Earth is reborn each spring, we can experience fresh new growth in our relationships by clearing out the old baggage of how we perceive others that tends to accumulate over time.

In Huna, the ancient Hawaiian discipline of energy, healing and consciousness, this practice is called cutting the aka connection. We do this on a regular basis to be pono (right and congruent with ourselves) and to practice ho`oponopono (the Hawaiian method of forgiveness) with others.

The concept of pono and the process of ho`oponopono were taught to my father by Huna elder David "Papa" Bray, Jr. and by Morrnah Simeona. Morrnah was recognized as a kahuna healer and taught the process to countless people in Hawai‘i and around the world. She was even invited to speak on the subject of forgiveness and ho‘oponopono with members of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Both Papa Bray and Morrnah believed that you are intimately connected to everyone with whom you come into contact and to everything around you. This is the aka connection.

The literal translation for aka is "sticky stuff," like stepping on freshly chewed gum on a hot sidewalk. On the metaphysical level, aka is a conduit for holding the mana (energy), like the insulation surrounding an electrical wire. The energy flows in two directions, from you and to you, as with alternating current. Just like with AC, this exchange of energy is immediate.

The aka connection may be obvious with people you know well. You can finish one another's sentences; you immediately fall into synch when walking together; you sense each other's moods with little interaction. But whether we are aware of it or not, we have the aka connection with everyone we come in contact with. Every connection you've ever made is still with you today unless you have consciously done something to cut that connection.

Many systems talk about negative energy or positive energy. I think what's been lost in the translation is that the intent or thought can be positive or negative. When people have negative intentions, that intention goes into the energy. It's also true that as soon as you label something negative, you actually put negativity into the energy. But in and of itself, energy is just energy. Like electricity, which can be used to light a bulb or to electrocute someone. That does not make electricity good or bad; the intent or use of it defines that.

There may be times when you want to disconnect from individuals because the connection may not be the best thing for you. For example, I have had a close friend since high school who has become a very successful woman. She is a mother of three, handles the house and has a graduate degree. When she is just with me or with her peers, she stands in her own light. She is articulate, intelligent and confident. Yet when her father walks in the room, she transforms into a little girl again. I see her confidence disappear and she seems unable to express herself. I tried to talk to her about it once saying, "You know what happens when you get around your dad . . ." Before I could finish my sentence, she said, "I know, I'm daddy's little girl."

So for my friend, the time is ripe to cut the connection. Not because the connection itself is bad, but because that connection holds her to the past. By cutting the old connection and establishing a new one with her father, she will be able to enjoy a new adult relationship with him and allow him to experience the beautiful woman she has become.

I recommend cutting your connection to everyone in your life on a regular basis. Why? The old aka connection colors and filters your perception of the other person. You see the young child who was a sickly infant as vulnerable and fragile. You don't trust a co-worker's judgment because of a mistake made long ago. You remember the parent who protected and nurtured you so you become impatient when they become elderly and frail. Even if someone is shining as the brightest light on the planet, you may have trouble seeing it because your perception is being pushed through an old aka connection.

Cutting the aka connection will change your projections onto the person, allowing you to see them more clearly for who and what they are now, instead of who they were in the past. These connections can be remade again and again. In fact, by reforming these connections while you are pono, you will be making stronger more congruent connections.

If you have questions about the aka connection, please respond here or get in touch with me through my Facebook fan page. We will discuss more about why this concept is important and how to do it.


Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of Kona University and its training and seminar division The Empowerment Partnership, where he serves as a master trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a practical behavioral technology for helping people achieve their desired results in life. His new book, The Foundation of Huna: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times, details forgiveness and meditation techniques used in Hawaii for hundreds of years. He carries on the lineage of one of the last practicing kahuna of mental health and wellbeing. To reach Dr. James, please e-mail him at info@Huna.com.