Before you even say the word, aloha, you have to feel it. But what is it?

“Aloha… to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.” So said Queen Liliuokalani.

Living at a Zen temple in Hawaii, I’ve learned that aloha is like the Tao. It is everywhere and nowhere. In between and inside each of us. Undefinable and unknowable. The minute you define it, it is no longer the Tao; it is no longer aloha.

And yet, our job is to learn to breathe with aloha and be in accord with the Tao.

You can’t wrap your head around it. The brain alone is ill equipped to understand and know these things. The only way to know them is to harness all of the tools available to you—everything contained within your skin and even a few inches beyond.

Aloha the land as you walk. Cook in accord with the weather. Pay attention. Be big. Breathe. It’s that simple. Or so I’m told.

Cristina Moon