Āio: the various states of peace, balance & harmony

If you’ve ever found yourself amongst the taiao (nature), whether your go-to is the beach, rivers, lakes, up maunga (mountains), in the ngahere (or a combination of all these), I’m sure you would’ve had a moment of relief, or a release, a calmness of sorts wash up over you just by being there.

Now if your name is Cassius and your fiancé suggests you run up the Kauaeranga maunga (Pinnacles) for her birthday, this feeling wouldn’t have come til very very late in the climb haha but at one point, out in nature, you marvel at its beauty as you soak it all in (and yes, it did for Cass too btw). Walk with me and hold onto whatever image you’re visualising in your mind right now.  Where are you? What does it feel like? What do you see?

What different atua (elemental forces, deities, gods) do you see interacting with one another? 

How does it make you feel? But Hana, what does this have to do with Rongo (atua of cultivation, peace, āio)? We’re getting there ok, sheesh, it’s a walk.. When I think back to the Kauaeranga valley and maunga, I see the dense forest, the river and mini waterfalls feeding into it, the rugged rocky terrain, the land slips and fallen rākau (trees).  I hear the birds singing, the water flowing, my mate puffing lol and I hear Tāwhirimātea (atua of the winds) flexing.

I feel alive.  I feel connected to the taiao around me.

End of walk. Ahhhhh how refreshing.  Lol anyway, with all this talk about āio, about peace, balance and harmony - it’s easy to visualise monks meditating or that everything is calm, still and quiet.  But in taking our virtual walk, it should also be clear to see that āio can be the balance of multiple different elements, complementing and in perfect sync with each other.

With nature as my example, and also as my tupuna, I reflect on how I can affect more balance in who I am, so that it flows out in what I do.  Maybe this is where we put our meditating hats on… 

He whakaaro mā tātou, something to think about,


Hana Tapiata