May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Mauri Hauora Walk Talk 2

6 min read

Kia ora!

Olly_Ohlson_Key_Profile.jpg.161x142It was some years when I realized that that particularly simple small greeting meant may you enjoy good health forever. I was flabbergasted at that. I just thought, like so many others, that it meant hello. So once again I say to you kia ora!

What a neat way to start the day aye.

I now look in the mirror and say to the image looking back at me kia ora because I literally mean that. I want to be around for my mokopuna and to even see some of them marry and have children. So what am I doing about my oranga you may ask?

I have changed what I eat and thats still a work in progress. I have trouble with bread I am a bread-a-holic. However, I have cut right down. I walk and shog every morning. A shog is the word I use to describe my part jog, part shuffle as I shog on the balls of my feet with my hands behind my back for posture reasons. I used to be a runner but then I had a heart problem which led to a by-pass and so I stopped running so now I shog or I wog which is when I part walk and part jog. Either way, I am not running or fully jogging so I am looking after my heart.

My bigger picture is to join in the Masters Tournament next year or the year after that. But Im in no hurry. And of course thats going to have to be in a field event of some kind. I havent worked that out yet.

Another way of maintaining my oranga is I write songs and I love singing. It lifts my spirits up. Im not a drinker of alcohol much so when my wahine and I go to a party I take the drug I love best my guitar and I strum away in a corner somewhere and have a jam on my own sometimes. If people want to join in with me I welcome that. Theres nothing like a good ole sing song in a group. The trouble is there arent that many people who know many of the words to the same songs!!!

I read a lot of uplifting material and I watch positive motivational DVDs. I find I am watching a lot of Maori TV programs these days too because they are not violent like the mainstream channels which seem to be obsessed with heroes who solve issues by being better at being violent than the enemies they face off with. I cannot see the sense in that and yet we are meant to be against violence of any kind. So being a kaumatua implies that we are balanced in our approach to life in its fullness. That has a whole lot of implications for people my age and stage.

As in the tukutuku, the poutama, which shows the different parts of us i.e. the cyclist, the singer, the musician, the teacher, the philosopher, the husband, the artist, the joker, the friend, the brother etc- it also shows that each one of those parts is connected to the other through the mauri the consciousness energy field as I call it.

So life cannot be fully viewed in isolation.

I remember saying to my koro Pine why are they all the same referring to the uniformity of the pattern. Do you have a bike? I said, yes. Did you always have a bike? No, I replied. Okay then how did you get around then before you had a bike? I got around on foot. He pointed immediately to one of the poutama steps and said, this represents you before you had the bike. Now as soon as you got the bike, you were able to go places you wouldnt normally think of going aye. I nodded my head in agreement and then said, but that doesnt answer my question. He grinned. Boy, as soon as you began going further and further on that bike of yours, all the other parts of you like the singer, the musician etc they all began to adjust – automatically.

I sat there and looked hard at the poutama – not quite understanding. And then it struck me. I sat there in awe. Up to that point, ka mau te wehi meant fantastic. I encourage my Mauri Hauora akonga to look into the word wehi which I describe as being the most appropriate word in the phrase, ka mau te wehi.

Like when I sat on a hillside and watched the sun rise up seemingly squeeze itself up and out of the ocean. It was one of those privileged moments which come and go so quickly. But none the less, I took it in and drank its awesomeness and felt my entire body savour that instant nourishment an aha experience.

That led me to write a song which I called, Im Just a Boy. It was about my feelings of being so minute, so infinitely small, in the universal way of things. I couldnt help but look around me in awe and wonder at the vastness and feel my place in it. And the thing was that although I felt so small and minute, I also realized that I was of value. It wasnt the sort of experience you could rationalize immediately there was only the experience at that time and I wanted to capture it in words, however clumsy it turned out.

But I was content with it and I appreciated that moment and that time. I still experience more and more of those moments every single day. I like my quiet times in the early mornings, throughout the day and during the evenings before retiring to bed – when I quiet my mind chatter and become the objective observer. Even, ka mau te wehi, cannot describe the sense of those moments because its then that I come face to face with the greatest teacher in the universe the universe itself – as defined within me.

A great teacher once said, the kingdom of heaven is within and without. Joseph Chilton Pearce devotes an entire book to this concept in: The Biology of Transcendence about the potential afforded us humans via the pre-frontal lobe which differentiates us from the animals who, as far as we know, do not have the ability to move out of themselves and observe their own behaviour.

This is the state required of the students doing the Mauri Hauora E-Studies program where they are encouraged and guided to quiet their minds and become the objective observer of themselves and their responses to the environment be it their emotions, bodily functions as well as their external environment as in their homes, their work place, their communities etc… I believe that this is the state which our tohunga arrive at in their training.

The akonga progress through the Mauri Hauora Theory, which comprises of the stories, chants, poems, songs, arts, crafts on to the Mauri Hauora Advanced Studies where they begin applying the material and knowledge to themselves. The final Paper; Mauri Hauora Practical is where they do a detailed Case Study. Once through the third Paper they are tauira and receive a Mauri Hauora Tohu Tauira (MHTT)

But of course learning doesnt end there does it? However, my work as a Kaiako is done then and the tauira take charge of their own learnings and teachings. Its my time to let them go like when my children left home.

Its a sad day but at the same time, its damned exciting. Goodness knows who they are going to be and who they are going to affect!

The talk is over, and now their walk begins.

To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong. Joseph Chilton Pearce

What we are, teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become. Joseph Chilton Pearce

Ka mau te wehi!

For comments or queries I can be contacted at:[email protected].

Te Hata Olly Ohlson, Kaiako
Ngati whare o Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou.

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