E huri tō aroaro ki te rā, tukuna to ataarangi ki muri I a koe

Turn and face the sun and let your shadow fall behind you.

Here we give examples of our models of practice.

  • Mauri Tau (Māori Mindfulness)
  • Te Tokorima-a-Māui
  • Paerangi

Mauri Tau

Our mōrena ritual begins at 5am. We open my eyes and take a deep breath. We notice the light, or lack of, and listen for ngā manu, ngā ngangara and ngā tohu katoa.

We go to the backyard and observe te taiao. We look up and read the placement of marama me ngā whetu, “e kore te whanau marama e tohe I a ratou –

The celestial bodies do not quarrel with one another

Matamua, 2017

We watch the shapes and colouring of the kapua. Again, we listen out for ngā manu and then I focus on our breathing. We go through our version of mauri tau (meditation), a body mapping process aligned to ngā Rangitūhaha.

This is where we consciously project the feeling of gratitude. Once we have completed this part, we open up with a karakia Māori. We focus on the vibrational sound of the karakia, what we are reciting and what our intentions are. We go through all the karakia we know and other mihimihi or tauparapara. Once those are completed, we return to the body mapping process in reverse to close off that spiritual part of our practice. This is how we practice tairongorongo through mauri tau.

Mauri tau enhances and balances my mauri so that we can face the day and serve our whānau, peoples, community with a whole manawa, hinengaro and puku.

The philosophy of karakia Māori is to enhance Mauri Ora – to command it of the world. Command it of ourselves.

At times we can feel pushed into taking care of others, caring for our tamariki, each other, our whānau and we don’t prioritise our Mauri Ora.

Reclaiming our lived, real and embodied sense of mauri through decolonisation, and ‘commanding it’ as an adult, has allowed us to balance the qualities of being caring and demanding, in seeking Mauri Ora and embracing wairua.

Later in life we learnt that generating Mauri Ora through commanding ngā atua was a strategy of our tīpuna. In the 1000-year-old karakia, recited on Tainui waka before landing on the shores of Aotearoa (Te Waerea o Tainui, 2017), there are no requests, pleases or thank yous’, to the atua. The karakia commands: “clear the obstacles through your authority and the mana of your tipuna” (Adams, 2017, p. 33).

In the present day, we command Tāwhirimātea to bend the winds for us, to fill our sails so that we can journey swiftly and safely. Connection to the spaces where atua reside; ngahere, moana, maunga and awa provide fertile opportunities to manifest mauri.

This is best described in the whakataukī:

“Tuia ki te rangi, tuia ki te whenua, tuia ki te moana, e rongo te po, e rongo te ao.”

This translates to: “Bind the mauri in the heavens, bind the mauri of the lands, bind the mauri of the sea, recognise the female and male energies, everything is connected and has balance.”

We recite our sites of mauri that have ancestral significance in our pepeha because they are our whakapapa, they are a part of us and we are a part of them, and we are inextricably connected. Through this understanding my aim is to generate a sense of mauri tau that invites a space with the kairuku to feel my vibrational energy that will allow them to open up freely in our session.

Te Tokorima-a-Māui

In te ao Māori a reference to the number five was often known as “te tokorima-a-Maui – the five Maui brothers.” I acknowledge that there are many Maui brothers and for the development of this model we used

Maui Mua, Maui Roto, Maui Taha, Maui Pae and Maui Tikitiki-a-taranga.

I used the names of the brothers as tools to hold kōrero relevant to the journey or process that our supervision and wānanga involved. It ties effortlessly to the narratives and pūrākau of our tīpuna Maui.

Known throughout Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa as the demigod who fished up the islands, who brought fire to our people, who slowed down the sun, was responsible for the variety of eel and many other attributes to our people but was also acknowledged as a navigator.

The ability of a navigator to read roughly 5000 tohu per day is something that requires patience, attention and action. The names of the brothers are quite simple to remember and act effectively as prompts for the navigational process of the model in practice.

  • Maui Roto = List the most important things to a person. Can be anything from people, feelings, physical, materialistic etc.
  • Maui Taha = Start aligning and grouping the list. With the aim to have for three groups. Here we work to name the groups and create a definition. Short enough to recall, simple yet powerful.
  • Maui Mua = What are your current realities? What challenges are you facing now?
  • Maui Pae = What can you envision beyond the horizon?
  • Maui Tiki = Courageous! Take the first step!


Paerangi is a powerful pathway of wānanga, a facilitated space of engagement that develops a collective relationship, in which we discover ourselves and shared commonality; a love for our people and a sense of purpose to contribute to Te Ao Māori.

Currently, working with a kairuku and engaging in supervision since the beginning of the year. We have set our whariki or foundation of how, when and where we will meet utilising the maramataka (phase of the moon).

What we have observed in each session is the way key principles come to life, like strengthening a certain muscle group at the gym, the more you do it the better you get.

Each session allows both of us a safe space to practice, critique, evaluate, and explore how we navigate through active listening and asking powerful questions. For example, the last session we engaged in he shared that in his spare time he helps his friend build his beach house. During these weekend renovations my kairuku is learning new skills around building, is increasing his whānaungatanga with his friend and is visualising his future aspirations of building a home of his own using sustainable, environmentally friendly resources.

What we have recognised in his vision is the importance and purpose this goal will achieve. We have identified his long-term goal that will benefit his whānau, hapū and iwi.

We strategise on skill sets we can acquire that can take his abilities to the next level. Each session brings many tohu and we are developing our abilities to remember, recall and summarise kōrero.

Kia mau ki te aka matua, kei mau ki te aka tāepa

Hold the vine rooted in the ground, not the vine hanging in the heavens.

%d bloggers like this: