The Kupua Stone
A Maui Story
by Graeme Kapono Urlich
Over the last few weeks I have been editing the main huna.org website,
bringing the article pages up to date for changes in the HTML standards and reformatting them to be more
readable on phones. It’s a rather repetitive process with over three hundred articles there now, not
Luckily, having been a software developer in the past, I have been able to write a script to convert the
HTML files quite quickly. The new files still need to be checked individually and finishing touches applied
where there are variations in the original files that the program can’t work out yet.
I began to notice a pattern in what I was doing and it reminded me of a story I heard many years ago,
perhaps the first or second time I visited Hawaii around 1990, the beginning of my training in Kupua
A long time ago, long before Captain Cook, when Maui was a young man busy with adventures, he was told
about a special stone. This stone held all of the knowledge and wisdom in existence and would give him all
of the powers in the universe, if he could find it. It would be found on a beach somewhere and he would know
it because it would be warmer to the touch than other stones.
This intrigued Maui greatly and he set off on a journey to find the stone. As he walked along each beach he
visited he would pick up a stone and if it was not warm, he would throw it in the ocean so he would know not
to check the same stone twice.
This went on for a very long time, picking up stones and throwing them in the ocean. After a while he grew
weary of this endeavour and began to find other adventures, returning to his quest once-in-awhile.
One day, many years later, as he was walking along a beach thinking about an adventure he had just been on,
he absentmindedly bent down and picked up a stone. It was warm, and he threw it in the ocean.
Why I was reminded of this story is that as I went along editing the web pages, I would sometimes spot a
better and faster way of updating certain parts. Each time I started a new file I would automatically do it
the old way out of habit and decide to do it the better way next time. It was already done and would waste
effort going back.
After several more pages I was getting cross with myself for forgetting to do it the new way each time. It
was then I realized it was better to undo the changes I had done the old way and redo them the new way. This
way I was programming the new habit, just deciding wasn’t enough. Fairly soon I wasn’t forgetting as often
and the work was going faster. Now I hardly ever forget to make the changes the new way.
The moral of the story is that Maui got so much into the habit of throwing each stone into the ocean when he
picked it up, and he was not present enough to notice the change, the warm stone, soon enough to prevent
himself from throwing it away.
Perhaps he went for a swim to try and find the stone, that wasn’t part of the story as I was told it.
Perhaps he did not even notice the stone was different. Perhaps he did notice and decided it was too much
trouble to go look for it again. Being a demigod he might have thrown it a long way.
When we are working on changing our habits or developing sets of habits that might apply in different
contexts like home and work, it doesn’t help to get frustrated with ourselves when we forget. If we do it
creates tension that makes it harder to remember the new rules and behaviours we desire.
When we notice ourselves building up tension this way, a good habit to develop is one of noticing the
tension and doing something to release it, focus back in the present and reinforce the new behaviours that
we prefer. There are many, many articles and videos available in the Huna International library, and many
good healers and teachers around the world who can help where that is needed.
Graeme Kapono Urlich (March 2023)
Aloha New Zealand - School of Huna and Hawaiian Shamanism