VISION AND DEVELOPMENT
VISION – INTENT – FOCUS
On one level the aim and purpose of creating an Institute was to develop a successful teaching institution that would meet the requirements of education and health authorities in both Denmark/ Europe and in New Zealand. On another level it was to provide a platform for MA-URI to be developed as a Source of Knowledge to all future students and Trainers. Also, it was to provide a platform for MA-URI to proclaim its presence in the world; a platform that its gifts and contributions could be shared from. In terms of graduates and Trainers, the Institute’s job was to outline requirements that would ensure high personal and professional standards on all levels. By building up a high degree of goodwill and respect for MA-URI and those trained by the Institute, this would provide graduates with a ‘quality stamp’ and not only open up many doors for them in the future; most importantly, it would enable them to contribute profoundly to the well-being of others, i.e. within their own families, their local community and country.
When the creation of the Institute was put in Katja’s hands in 1991, her initial vision for the Institute, however, came out of a spiritual focus. The main reason for this was a commitment towards honouring the traditions that MA-URI has its roots in:
‘Right from the start I saw the Institute as a ‘vessel’ or receptacle for the spirit of MA-URI. It was to supply the spirit of MA-URI with a ‘body’ and a voice to communicate the teachings of the Ancient Ones and the knowledge of the Ancestors. My initial approach was coming totally from the symbolic or mystical realm. From this perspective, I saw the Institute as a ‘being’ empowered by the spirit of MA-URI; a being that was not to be tied down or limited in any way, but allowed to develop into a dynamic creation that would constantly change and challenge everyone’s beliefs and expectations. I liked that idea. In 1992 the Institute was formally inaugurated and officially recognized as a teaching institution for alternative health and healing practices. As soon as this had happened, this creation began to let us know of its special nature. It kept us on our toes, demanding ever better and more effective solutions and answers. New and better training programmes were created and constant tests revealed our levels of understanding and ability for change and growth. It kept us working hard and focused on the issues that needed attention and care.
In the beginning it was important for me to create an Institute that manifested itself primarily through the act of teaching the philosophies and healing arts of MA-URI, rather than to manifest as an entity that was associated with a specific building in a specific area of a specific country. Focus was on content rather than on physical form and framework. It just did not feel right to tie MA-URI down to a physical building, so I objected for a long time to the idea of buying a workshop centre and establish the Institute within the confines of solid brick. I saw the whole essence and nature of MA-URI as so closely associated with the SEA; so constantly changing, moving and unpredictable.
We therefore had to look beyond the usual associations and definitions of an Institute and find an alternative solution. In no time: Bingo – suddenly the clue was given: The book ‘Beyond the Floating Islands’ by Eugenio Barba of the Odin Theatre in Holstebro, Denmark, was dumped into my lap. Wow, reading the first couple of chapters left me absolutely breathless and excited. Eugenio Barba presented me with the alternative I was looking for: The idea of developing the Institute as a ‘floating island’?!! An absolutely fascinating concept. All the elements were there and we were ready to test out the ideas and concepts. Priority was to be given to flexibility, mobility and change. Personal and professional growth was focused on to enhance expansion – in terms of deeper understanding and in terms of wider perspectives on human potential. I had no ambitions of creating a physical centre that would limit our mobility physically, mentally or spiritually and make other people dependent on us and vice versa. ‘All power comes from within’ is a principle that leaves no room for dependencies, but plenty of energy for creative and dynamic realities.
So what I did want to see develop was an Institute that would keep us all – leaders, trainers and students – on our toes, constantly challenging our limitations, our beliefs and attitudes, throwing us all into a continual process of renewal and expansion of consciousness. This process was one that would constantly demand higher standards, deeper understanding and bless us with a nurturing and all-embracing love and respect for the Creator and all of His Creation – including Nature and Humanity and this awesome healing work of MA-URI!
And what I did want to see develop was an Institute that would commit itself to bringing back to this planet the powerful Star knowledge I had been given access to back in 1987 and the wisdom and rich traditions that Hemi is connected to through his Maori genealogy. The aim and purpose was to develop, then teach and practice the healing arts of MA-URI as a modern expression of the Navigator traditions of Polynesia. It was time to take it beyond cultural boundaries and into our rapidly changing, modern world on a global scale. This is what I saw as the commitment of the Institute.’
DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION
As soon as the Institute was formally inaugurated and officially recognized as an alternative teaching institution, all our efforts went into the creation of a training programme and a sorting out of techniques and principles that could be taught and put into effective practice by people outside of the Polynesian cultural context. Norway and Denmark had been introduced to the first basic massage techniques in 1990 and the first seeds had been planted in Sweden. In 1993 the first number of workshops were held in Poland, where an overwhelming interest flared up spontaneously. MA-URI was introduced on Iceland in 1997 and in the early years of the new millennium students from both Hungary and Lithuania started to come to the Institute in Denmark for their training.
The first 7 year period, i.e. from 1991 – 1998, was characterised by the attitude, ‘Wow, let’s try this out’, ‘okay, now let’s see how a different approach will work’! It was a fascinating time of trial and error where we got something right some times and got something painfully wrong at other times! Hemi was testing out all his hundreds of ideas and driving everyone crazy with his decisions and directions that then changed as often and as unpredictably as the weather. It was a time when Katja decided to turn her clinic into a research laboratory and did 12 hours a day, 6 days a week of bodywork sessions to persuade the Spirit and all MA-URI ancestors to reveal the secrets and principles of this magical work. This time period gave her ample opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge that would become the resources for the ongoing development of MA-URI. It was a time when Ancestors and Spirit took over her training, guided her through some intense and tough apprentice-type training and aligned her whole system to the energies of MA-URI for the tasks ahead.
In 1995 there was an expressed need from students as well as Trainers to have a common base, a physical ‘House of Learning’ and a spiritual focal point for everyone involved in MA-URI. Listening to the arguments and suggestions coming from both students and Trainers, we realised that there was a need for the kind of stability that a Training Centre would provide. It was in the process of attending to these needs that we realised what the underlying message was: It is time now to let MA-URI move in and out of ALL the ‘worlds of reality’, the physical, the mental and emotional as well as the spiritual and the Divine Realms. Only so would MA-URI be able to develop its full potential and true magic. This realisation led to the acquisition of buildings near Odder in Denmark, and the development of a Training Centre where students could live and learn in a Marae-like environment. This enabled us to increase the training activities and provided us with opportunities to test out and do research into the effect and value of the training we were offering. New discoveries were channeled into future programmes and everything was happening to the ‘heart-beat of creation’!
The next 7 years, i.e. from 1998 – 2005, became a phase where the development of MA-URI created conflicts with Trainers and frustration amongst students. In return also MA-URI was challenged on its credibility and effectiveness! It was time to sort out the training programme, our teaching methods and approaches to students and trainers. It was time to decide on the roles and responsibilities that H&K would have to fulfill in order to bring MA-URI on a new track and into the new Millennium.
The year 2000 saw the Institute take the first steps towards the development of a base for MA-URI in Aotearoa-New Zealand. It was time to establish connections and to put down roots – it was time to allow the Spirit to be nurtured by the ancestral land and to be cleansed by the Sea of Tangaroa. A block of land was purchased at Waiotira, North Island – four hectares containing native bush, tall trees and lush ferns plus all the wild life that thrives within this special setting. Nature was embraced and invited into the daily activities and focuses of MA-URI.
With the new millennium came a gradual shift in focus, in roles and responsibilities – out there in the world and consequently also within the Institute and in the development of MA-URI. It happened as a gradual shift from male to female leadership. And interestingly so: Completely independent of each other, both Hemi and Kahu had made the same prediction: This work needs to be taken from the male perspective into the female perspective – and as Kahu had put it, ‘into the time of the Grandmother’!
It certainly came to pass like that. Towards the end of 2004 most of the issues and conflicting focuses within the Institute had been sorted out and dealt with fairly well. So for the next 7-year period, i.e. from 2005-2012, the time had come to ensure that depth of understanding and the purity of MA-URI’s spiritual source were conveyed through the training in accordance with the Navigator aspects of its philosophy. Also, a focus on quality rather than on quantity and numbers was now put in place.
In terms of the Institute, a change needed to happen in the area of Institute leadership, i.e. away from the guru-type, master/authority type of leadership, which was predominant in the 1990’es. So a form of leadership was introduced, which centered its focus on the MESSAGE rather than on the Messenger, meaning: It was time to direct people’s focus on to MA-URI and the many gifts it offers. This meant that a new emphasis was put on high personal standards and professional integrity among students and Trainers as well as within the Institute. And the emphasis on PRINCIPLES and quality introduced the concept and endeavour of going for excellence in every aspect of life.
Another important focus was to develop TEAM effort and teamwork through ongoing communication with students and Trainers. Every form of communication and every decision was and continues to be based on this principle: ‘Which approach/decision will bring out the best in us, bring out the best in the other person, and be of the greatest benefit to the situation we find ourselves in?’ This approach requires that all communication comes from a centeredness within the Heart and that all decisions are based on the motivation: ‘.. for the greater good of all’!
Since 2008 another important change was introduced, namely the practice of sharing workshop benefits and responsibilities. So in 2008 all level 4 workshops were given over to the Beginner Trainers. This meant that they now were in charge of the whole Module 1 training programme. And in the following years, other Institute created programmes were given over to qualified Trainers for the expansion of their businesses.
Giving over the full Module 1 training to Beginner Trainers had the significant consequence that the Institute buildings now lost their purpose as the Training Centre for MA-URI Healing Arts in Europe. With the recession having a profound effect on students’ financial situation in e.g. Poland and Lithuania, Hungary and Romania, our spontaneous decision was to take over the travelling and offer a European version of the Module 2 Training to students in Poland, Hungary and Lithuania. This meant that the Institute could again become the ‘floating Island’ it started out as! Interesting development, indeed!