May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Mauri Hauora Walk Talk 5 by Olly Ohlson

7 min read

Some of the students, online as well as in Home study groups take a while to get used to thinking differently about the material they receive as it is based on wananga language meaning that it is metaphysical i.e. literally on another level to the physical language used in everyday life. Esoteric is another word associated with such teachings.

Olly_Ohlson_Key_Profile.jpg.161x142It highlights the fact that this type of study is taken up to serve an exclusive group and is understood only to its members which pretty well describes the nature of the ancient Maori teachings.

Ancient history records writing or scribing as a sacred and venerable occupation. In many countries the singers and the story tellers were treated with the utmost respect because they preserved knowledge and information within their craft.

Likewise so did our Maori weavers, story tellers, singers and carvers. All thoughts and ideas are expressed through symbols like letters and numbers. And words and numbers mean different things when used in different contexts. However, for the sake of defining or categorising Mauri Hauora, it is the study of the symbolic languages of pakiwaitara (oral) and purakau (artistic/decorative). It is the study of Mauri Psychology and Philosophy a construct which I have created.

Expressed in another way, it is the psychology and philosophy of the consciousness energy which is us, as individual pieces of consciousness, within a universal consciousness in which we are totally immersed. In the applied philosophy aspect of our studies we examine how we have been using our mauri by observing events immediately around us. This is the part I thoroughly enjoy.

Why – because this is where the practical proof comes into play.

Students of this program learn how to read their own life story and change the parts they want to. They engage in the process of shaping their lifes circumstances to go from survival to thrival mode. Automatically a lot of learning, understanding and knowing takes place here. I tried for years to visualize something I wanted my own house – and it didnt work no matter how many times I tried. I bought tapes and videos, I attended lots of seminars, I cut out pictures of houses from magazines and posted them up in the bathroom and around our rented house, I made vision boards and placed them in prominent places but all to no avail. Then while I was attending a Violence Prevention hui, I realised that I was in fact abusing my system by trying to force something into my mind. Abuse is a field I have worked in for some time so you can imagine my reaction at discovering this.

So I asked myself, how do I use my mauri in a way that is complementary, a way that is non-abusive, gentle, sensitive, caring, loving and fulfilling even?

I turned back to the symbols the purakau of the kaokao wahine. I asked myself how can this symbol help me, and the answer came immediately go into your memories and locate the feelings of ownership. But Id never owned a house before! Aha, chirped that inner voice, but you have owned things in the past. Go back in time and retrieve them. Much to my astonishment I found ownership situations from early childhood up to the present day – like my own lawn mowing business when I was 10. I had 8 clients whose lawns I mowed every week. i.e. return business! I made bikes from scrap material I found in the rubbish tips I frequented from time to time and I sold them, I had a hunting dog he was given to me, I had my own knife also given to me by my uncle who had served in the Maori battalion it was a bayonet which I had honed into a sticking knife for when I went pig hunting which I did often. I had a set of skills which Id never thought of before as things I owned.

ollie-ohlson-now-e4I could sing, I was good at telling stories, I could play the guitar, I could act, I loved creating things and the list went on and on. More importantly, as I listed these things which I owned, I automatically became excited and began reliving the feelings that I experienced during those moments. It was if I was there or to frame it more appropriately for this discussion, it was as if each incident was happening in the now.

In the ancient teachings of Io, past, present and future are one and the same and we humans are immersed in a sea of endless possibilities. These mahara or ingested memories ignited my feelings of true ownership so my body, mind and spirit had no argument with any of it.

Instead they got affected by the excitement and feelings of fulfilment and positivity so much so that within a relatively short space of time my family and I moved into our very own home. It wasnt abusive it was fun and wonderfully exciting it still is. This is not to say that visualisation doesnt work; Im not saying that at all because it does for those people who have ownership already in their mauri via personal experiences.

Mauri Hauora is more than mere protocol or tikanga.

I stopped helping government organisations tick boxes as their way of covering the cultural aspect of their funded activities I found that really embarrassing and degrading. I personally do not agree with bi-culturalism as it stands at the moment because that is out and out separatism our culture is inclusive and should reflect that.

I am an advocate for co-culturalism which is the blending of the two cultures under the Tiriti O Waitangi which resonates to me in the phrase tatou, tatou inclusive language. Im not talking about expressing western words or ideas/concepts in te reo Maori either (yuk!!!) as that doesnt add anything extra to the mental and intellectual mix and therefore only perpetuates the status quo i.e. monoculturalism.

Im talking Maori educational approaches, learning techniques, philosophical ideas, relationships, communication, intimacy, spiritual and intuitive development, etc There is no reason why Maori material cant be placed equally alongside present thoughts and ideas in all fields of language development, education, teaching, learning and communication. I often wonder why we arent doing that now. When I did broach the idea to a Teachers Training College Principal he saw the many merits of what I was proposing and said he would discuss it with the Head of Maori Studies. It never went any further. When I approached him about it he said that hed been advised that it was impractical and that it would serve no purpose from an educational point of view. Naturally I was flabbergasted. We live in a system and an environment which is heavily monocultural and its about time we changed that.

We Kiwis can show the rest of the world that we are a country living up to our bi-cultural agreement outlined so clearly in the Treaty document.

Other cultures are an extra taonga but hey – lets get our base Kiwi culture up and running effectively first lets put the we into how we express ourselves as people of this country the sooner the better. I shudder whenever people tell me that we are a multi-cultural country as their way of discarding the partnership under the Treaty. But Im not just being stubborn in wanting something Maori to be accepted by the Pakeha and western culture. Thats not what this is about.

When I put this material together and dug into the meanings of these ancient symbols – globally, I saw an empowering system that uplifts peoples spirits from all walks of life. I share the excitement when somebody has their own insight into some aspect of their lives you can see the glow in their eyes and their skin its infectious. I love delivering this material on a marae and I especially love seeing our own people literally light up. How can you argue with that aye?

Whats stopping us making te reo Maori compulsory in our education system at all levels? Once we get our language established, the tikanga and the ahuatanga will follow. Thats why I teach this program its my moemoea and Ive been plodding away for over thirty years.

Participants are challenged to find their own answers and develop their own problem solving techniques through memory amplification which automatically activates all of the metaphysical children through the mauri of their primordial mother Papatuanuku. Ranginuis mauri finds ways to serve his primordial wife and eventually through Tane a matching physical reality is created to answer the problem or to satisfy the goal.

Mauri Hauora is a framework an indigenous one.

When fully understood and applied it can work wonders for you no matter what culture you come from and no matter what your circumstances are. You do not have to understand a word of Maori in order to comprehend the ideas and concepts of this way of perceiving the world within and the world without. As long as you have a good grasp of English, you will have no problems with this program. Maori pakeke told me that when they heard this material in this way for the first time, it was if they were rediscovering something familiar, like coming home they said.

My wife and I will travel anywhere in the country to deliver weekend workshops for interested groups preferably in a carved meeting house that has traditional tukutuku. The entire whare tipuna including the kowhaiwhai, the carvings and the tukutuku are my Power Point. However, if thats not possible, dont let it be a problem. Another major moemoea I have is one where I see marae being used by iwi as major learning centres implementing teachings like this indigenously original and wonderfully practical i.e. with singing, chanting etc kapa haka style and lots of debates. Why not aye? Whats stopping us?

In Mauri Hauora Walk Talk 6, I will korero about money and where that fits in the teachings. Theraze and I can be contacted at: [email protected]. Mauri Ora!

3 thoughts on “Mauri Hauora Walk Talk 5 by Olly Ohlson

  1. Kia ora Olly, appreciate and tautoko your korero. Thanks for sharing and have an awesome day

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