Vitality and Personal Power

What is Mana?

Kimo Williams

Health, happiness and longevity. Strength, courage, and charisma. What the Hawai'ians call "Mana" ... we call Personal Power. What traditional asian medicine calls "The Three Treasures" (Chi, Jing & Shen) we call Vitality.

It's interesting, we've created so many needs in our modern lives-- money, power, security, admiration, comfort, energy, recreation, sex... clearly not in that order, yet in many cases our stressful pursuit of the needs we deem vital actually diminish what we truly need most in life- vitality.

Vitality or personal power is both something we're born with and something we generate. Our parents gave us the foundation of life that will see us thru to our last breath while the food we eat and the air we breath fortify us with the critical elements of life on a daily basis.

In addition to the right food, air and rest that we need, It takes balance and harmony between the three distinct natures of our being. The three experiences of ourselves that ultimately become one. Our physical body, intellectual mind and ultimate source.

Our physical body has evolved to become a marvel of survival and adaptation. So much so that its very design requires it to struggle in order to be functionally sound. This struggle is what we experience as exercise and diet. Our metabolisms are designed to eek out every last bit of energy from our scarce food supply and quickly store anything extra for a rainy day. Our muscles and bones require challenging effort and range of motion to grow strong. Our immune systems require movement in order to function effectively. To this end we must have a physical lifestyle that assures we get an adequate amount of exercise and a diet that is commensurate with that physical effort.

Our intellect, with all its complexes, filters and projections governs our internal climate as well as our external experience by virtue of its relationships within itself. Our conscious thoughts influence our subconscious behavior. Our health is effected by our emotions. Our emotions are governed by our memories. Our memories are filtered by our perception and our perception is crafted by our thoughts. Therefore, over time- our thoughts recreate our moods, our body... our power. Therefore we need a mental discipline that works to re-program our internal relationship so that we may achieve what we truly desire without blocks, phobias or negative behavior.

Finally, we need to clear the path to that elusive awareness that sits just behind our thoughts. That part of ourselves that exists without thinking that it exists and that presents itself as simply that which is known. The aspect of ourselves most commonly referred to as Spirit is indeed our ultimate source of personal power. Those whom have never connected with it may find they've done just fine without it. But those that have will attest that their health, happiness and strength are now experienced on a completely different scale. With a true sense of self, beyond thoughts and beyond the five senses, our self-defeating desire for power over others, admiration, excessive comfort and security dissolve into the background. Our fears subside and our compassion grows. This level of vitality, of mana, is that of real power... healing power.

The "power giving continuance of life, present in all living things" and "the state of being strong and active; energy.

With bias, the Danzan Arts provide us with a complete recipe for vitality. Our physical bodies thrive under the calculated movements and forms. Our flexibility, range of motion, balance and strength are enhanced each time we step on the mat. Our study of principles such as non-resistance, transition, flow and abandonment provide us with the mental repetitions necessary to negotiate a new relationship with our subconscious and ultimately reduce our unnecessary stress. Our study of the healing arts raise our compassion and sensitize our intuition. And finally, our experience of silence, Mushin, slowly reestablishes the channel between our physical mind and our eternal mind. Our energy is bolstered and our vitality unleashed.

DZR can provide us with more than just effective self-defense. It's capable sustaining and evolving our bodies and our minds so that if we dare- we may glimpse who we really are and become who we were meant to be.

Practice your arts for all the right reasons and your vitality will shine!