Thursday, May 5, 2011

Na 'Oli: Ka Wai A Ka Pililiko - The Water Of The Reflected Image

'O ke aka ka 'oukou, e ke akua
'O ka 'i'o ka makou.

Yours is the essence, O God,
Ours the material part.

'E hikiwawe mai i ka lohe,
e akahele ho'i i ka 'olelo.

Be quick to hear,
but slow to speak.

Ka wai a ka pililiko is a rock basin filled with water that was used as a mirror by the ancient Hawaiians.  The prefix kawai is used to describe an extremely weak distilled watery substance.  It is probable tht like founders of homeopathy, ancient Hawaiians thought that essences could be used to heal.  Perhaps all of the people and situations in our lives contain essences necessary for healing.  As we learn to reflect, rather than judge, our essence remains undisturbed by outward circumstances.

Another word for essence is reflection.  The Hawaiian word for reflection is Aka.  Aka also means "the essence of life and light."  It is an embryo at the moment of conception; it is the faint glimmer preceding the rise of the moon.  In the Hawaiian language, the word aka is frequently compounded with other words to express clarity or brightness.  The expression aka ka wale O Haleakala, which means literally, "Haleakala stands in full view," refers to anything that is obvious and clear.

There is an old Hawaiian story about an old woman who used an ancient stone mirror laying in a still pond for divination.  The old woman would tell those that sought her out to watch their thoughts "as if they are clouds passing across the sky."  She taught people not to judge their thoughts or emotions, but to just let them pass.  For, like a mirror, it is important to be able to  simply reflect the beauty that is around you.  Reflection enables you to see with true vision that "comes from the eye of the heart."  It reminds you that "we are all relatives ... One great mind dreamed us all."

Ka wai a ka pililiko is a tool you can use to see clearly into the essence of a person, problem or situation. Another Hawaiian word for mirror is niani.  Aniani ho'onui 'ike means "a mirror that enlarges vision."  Ka wai a ka pililiko may remind you that reflection can lead to enlarged vision.

A mirror reflects the images it encounters as they are; it does not attempt to judge or change them.  As you refrain from judging or attempting to change things, you may find you will have no need to speak.  The better you are able to hear, the better you are able to see.  Listen from the heart and you will be able to see clearly.  No matter how muddy a basin becomes, the water's ability to cast a reflection is unchanged.  When you experience turmoil, seek the still water of nonjudgment.  The essence of any situation can be seen clearly when you peer into the Ka Wai a Ka Pililiko pool of silent wisdom.

Catherine Kalama Becker, Ph.D.
Doya Nardin

No comments:

Post a Comment