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The meaning of Aloha

Aloha is a feeling of welcome

What is Aloha?

This week, I began an exciting project to find the meaning of Aloha.  I gathered my information from many sources:  All ages. Local non-Hawaiians. Hawaiians. Tourists and Malihini, transplants to Hawaii.

Aloha in Hawaiian language is something you are…

The Elders

In an unexpected twist, when I spoke with the elders, they had very little to say.  Their answers were very simple.  Consistently short and simple. 

The Makua

People in my generation and older, the Makua, had a very scholarly interpretation. An expressive, articulate interpretation of the word aloha and what it means to them.


In a discussion with my cousin about my observation she said, “You know, it’s because our kupuna, elders, they lived aloha. It wasn’t even something you needed to talk about.  Aloha was just a part of you. Something you were raised with. How you lived. A way of being.  In this generation, Aloha is something you are.

7 of my favorite insights about aloha

Aloha means to be in the presence.

When we are in the presence or spirit, we radiate the divine in everything we do, everything we are, and everything we say. Since great spirit is love, when we embrace that truth, we open ourselves to serving with love. It influences everything.

Aloha is the breath of life. 

It gives us purpose. It forever will be and has always been a part of who we are. We can connect to Aloha and extend it to everyone in any situation.

Aloha means to venerate

Venerate?  I didn’t even know what that meant! Venerate means to uplift, to lift up or raise up. We can raise ourselves up with love or aloha. We can raise others up with love or aloha. We can help each other to be more and to be better, to be more closer to the spirit that we truly are.

Aloha is the experience of being welcomed

This was fascinating because the explanation came from a visitor. It’s the experience of being welcomed, loved, and accepted as family instantaneously.  Not after a period of time of getting to know someone, but instantaneously and unconditionally. It’s a feeling that is projected from the people here.

Aloha is just a way of life.

This Aloha definition in Hawaiian is one of my favorites. Aloha encompasses the our values:

malama – to care, nature or be caring.

Lokahi – unity. It also has to do with your character, something that’s instilled in you.

Ha’aha’a – humility.

Kokua, being helpful and of service.

Pono – being in alignment and balance with yourself and with all things.

The combined experience of these values instilled in one’s character is the living and being in aloha.

Aloha is the sense of peace, beauty, wellbeing, and genuine kindness that comes when we respect ourselves, everyone else and all things. It’s greeting people with kindness, even just the smile. Aloha Hawaiian meaning is doing what is right in humility.

Aloha is to love yourself and others

One of our kupunas, Auntie Bernadine, says this is the only way. You have to love yourself in order to have the capacity to love others. Then, you can give freely with acceptance, no matter the race, religion or creed.

Aloha is like a bubble of kindness

It’s not just a word. Aloha in Hawaiian is an embodiment and a feeling of warmth and oneness. Aloha is compassion and love that we can be embraced by.

My conclusion…

Aloha is something we all want. A gift we can cultivate. Take a moment to draw in that divine breath of God.

Take in the presence of spirit and acknowledge that spirit within you. As you acknowledge that spirit within you, understand aloha is an embodiment. A way of being. A way of living. 

It’s a feeling. An emotion. Something we can extend to others. As you bask in the present, allow that aloha, that love, that unconditional aspect to embrace you in warmth. 

Having respect for yourself and others, bringing in a reverence of that divinity and allow yourself to extend and expand.

We have always been aloha  

It has always has been a part of us and is our birthright.  We can extend it out to help illuminate and ignite that same feeling and presence in others. Help others remember who they are as true embodiments of this spirit of aloha.

I want to mahalo, thank, all of the people who shared their mana’o, knowledge and insights, with me.

Will you join me in this project? 

I would LOVE you to share with me what aloha means to you. Write it in a comment below.  E-mail it to me at

…better yet, just take your cellphone and make a quick video of what aloha means to you. I’d love to compile it and start sharing it on our Facebook platform or share it with students in our Lomi Lomi retreats.

When we put our hearts, thoughts, and minds together towards this very positive aspect of who we are as being.  In the presence of spirit. Living aloha in action, in words, in service…we can help others to also expand in the aloha they already carry within.

Send me your videos from wherever you are on the planet. I can’t wait to hear it, see it and share it!

You will also enjoy reading: Healing vs Curing  |  Lomi Lomi is Loving People  

January 25 - February 4, 2019

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16 thoughts on “The meaning of Aloha”

  1. Früher kannte ich Aloha als Gruß unter den Surfern. Nach 15 Jahren Praxis und Lernen mit und über Lomi und Hula tanzen im Halau in Berlin, Aloha ist für mich eine Kraft, ein Bewusstsein, eine Praxis, eine Lebenseinstellung, ein Lebensgefühl, ein einfacher, natürlicher und ehrlicher, respektvoller, freundlicher und hilfsbereiter Umgang mit mir und meiner Umwelt. Der Weg meines Herzens.

  2. Aloha Früher kannte ich Aloha als Gruß unter den Surfern. Nach 15 Jahren Praxis und Lernen mit und über Lomi und Hula tanzen im Halau in Berlin, Aloha ist für mich eine Kraft, ein Bewusstsein, eine Lebenseinstellung, ein Lebensgefühl, ein einfacher, natürlicher und ehrlicher Umgang mit mir und meiner Umwelt. Der Weg meines Herzens.

  3. This is so Beautiful! I will be visiting Maui for the first time in July, and am looking so forward to meeting you! My understanding of “Aloha” at this time is an innate feeling of kindness that comes from within extended to all and everything without conditions. A wonderful example of love. I look forward to experiencing Hawaiian Aloha myself in a few months. What a Beautiful way of being that we should all strive for. Setting an example of living a life of “Aloha” or love and kindness is what I believe our purpose is on earth.

  4. ALOHA.
    Volver a mi hogar.
    Encontrar otra manera de aprender respirar,de vivir y de sentir.
    Es la maxima expresion de amor..
    Sentir que todos somos uno y recibir al dar..sin pedir.
    Es saber quien soy AMOR.
    Son mil ganas de compartir ,aprender y honrar.
    Me siento profundamente agradecida de haber llegado a esta mi familia.
    Gracias a todos los que se cruzan en mi camino para que aprenda.
    Nos vemos pronto.
    Mahalo Nui Ohana!!

    1. Aloha Marta, muchisimas gracias por leer y escribirme sobre esta tema de aprenda y amor. Cada uno puede aprender mucho quando juntamos en la energia de Amor y harmonia. Espero tambien que nos vemos pronto. Aloha Pono

  5. “The light within me honors the light within you!”
    Sounds familiar from another practice? To me, the practice of Aloha is universal. Aloha means to honor all living things, to see them as the shining light they are. If we honor one another, we live in our truth, we won’t hurt one another and we respect all living beings.

    1. I absolutely agree with you Meggie, all these truths are universal that we find through out the spiritual practices and cultures of the world. Respect and reverence for all is the way. Aloha pono

    Aloha for me and first of all means self-love!.. and I am convinced that the rest will follow.
    If I am present, gentle on myself, caring about myself, love what I do and so on how could I not be all that for and to others? If I live ALOHA I feel good and can acknowledge me how I am and whatever is. I believe this is the most natural and honest way to effect others by starting with myself first.
    But it`s kind of a practice too, because there are days when I don`t feel good or aligned. Reminding me of our Ohana and the Aloha-Vibes helps me to come back on track ;)! Really! Mahalo for that! 🙂

    1. Aloha Mareike, mahalo for taking the time to comment on Aloha. You are correct that this is a practice. Bringing loving vibes in and connecting to that can shift even the cloudiest of days. Can’t wait to see you soon.

  7. Aloha for me is absolute love
    love for yourself
    love for what you do
    love for the place where you are and love who you are with
    It’s a way of living the life that I call
    live in aloha mode
    It is making love the purpose of your existence,

  8. It’s not stating we all want it, but letting it be a natural part of giving (friendliness with sincerity and no expectation) which we cultivate without make-up/masks in our interactions. To me it’s who I am and improving also through my nobility in Sweden, part of how I was brought up, thinking not just being of service the American way but what I can offer or give. Check out the Aloha-project by Serge Kahili King on Big Island! Maybe you can develop something from that?

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