The most reliable technique that I found in Huna Kupua, and also the most flexible, is symbol healing. Most other techniques like the La'a Kea, the Haipule, dreamchanging or journeying be considered variants of symbol healing with different emphasis and different flavors. On the four levels of reality, which are four distinct ways of perceiving the world around you, symbol healing is entirely a third-level technique. You look at the world as a representation of something else.
This can sound rather technical, but as with all techniques that are primarily for changing how your subconscious mind works, what you are after is a change in how you feel about something. The rest is just an excuse to get there. As always, if there is an excuse, or technique, that works better for you, use that instead. Having said that- I've had the most success with symbol healing for the most different kinds of issues- it's somehow, for me, a lot more predictable in a wider degree of circumstances than any other technique.
The first thing to do is identify something you don't feel that great about- or something you feel pretty good about but could use a boost. When you are doing this, you are using, from the Huna perspective, your power of awareness. And when you use your power of awareness, you are making use the first principle of Huna Kupua, the knowledge that the world is what you think it is, and by making yourself aware of the world, you can rethink it.
So you notice some kind of unease- it could be something that's been bothering you for a long time, or it could be a sore, or you could feel blocked from making an important phone call, or you could be feeling pessimistic about the outcome for a certain endeavor. It doesn't really matter if you just want to try the technique, but otherwise, of course, pick something that would really help you if it improved quickly.
So notice how that feels to have that nagging doubt, or to have that condition, or to not be able to do what you need to do. We're not wallowing here, but we are taking as much time as we need to be aware of the energy that is happening. This will probably feel pretty uncomfortable, if you're doing it right. That's okay- it's worth it.
So when you feel you've got a grasp, intuitively, that you kind of "get" what the problem is, that your subsconscious mind reconnected with it, what this usually means is that you relaxed some chronic tension in your body just enough in order to reconnect with some energy that was unaccessible before. That's why this step is so important- on a green slate, it wouldn't really be necessary, but we've usually got all kinds of habitual thought going on that usually isn't all that beneficial, or it served its purpose and is in the way now.
For example, if you can't seem to get yourself to make that phone call you feel you need to make, you might believe all sorts of things about phone calls that might or might not have made sense at sometime. Of course you could figure out what that is, and start bringing up memories, but the elegance of symbol healing is that you don't need to. You just get yourself a symbol- something that usually won't trigger any strong responses for you, because you were free to make it up any way you like, but that is still an expression about how your subconscious mind feels about the area of bother you just gave yourself access to by "meditating", or placing your attention, on it.
So, say, you noticed that when you think about making a certain phone call, your back muscles tense up and you feel a sharpness and still a numbness on the left side under your shoulder blade, and an undefined ache around the base of your spine. You can now ask your subconscious mind to give you a symbol for that. You've been spending some time just noticing the characteristics of your little or even your largish feeling of having an ailment, and when you feel like you're done- you go: Okay, subconscious mind, thanks for letting this bad feeling come up so we can know about it- we're going to fix it, and you're going to permanently be feeling really good about this, for your trouble. So now please give me a symbol for this feeling.
Then just listen, and watch. Whatever you get, that's your symbol. Use it. If it's jumbled you can ask for clarity, but you can also just use the jumbledness as part of the symbol.
You could get a scene with characters, like a cartoon. You could get something like a memory, with realistic people saying things to each other. You could get a nature scene, a weather scene, a machine, a piece of art, a building, a spaceship, or just some abstract lines- it could literally be anything. That's where you give your subconscious mind the freedom to make up something that is representative of the issue at hand, to it. I think this is really where the reliability of the technique comes from- your subconscious has so much freedom to work around any issue that might come up that there is very little risk of running into anything your subconscious might want to avoid because it feels it might be painful. Don't like horses? Fine, subconscious, don't use a horse- use anything
So let's assume you got a little donkey looking depressed surrounded by five big donkeys hysterically laughing. Well, you can interpret that in any way you like, but to me, that looks like being afraid of being rejected on the phone. Now note that this interpretation is just for interest- it doesn't matter how you describe it. What matters is the symbol itself, and how you feel about it.
Then comes the third step, and this might just be the most important one- and it's also the step that shows the big difference in attitude that shamanism has compared to most other esoteric traditions. What you do is, you noticed a problem, you got a boiled-down, concise description of what the problem is in the language of the subconscious. Very good. So now what? What you do is you decide to be bold, and use the sixth principle of Huna Kupua, which is called "All power comes from within". You use your confidence. You are bold, and you decide to change the symbol, until you like it, and then you go ahead and do it.
It's mostly a good idea to change as little as possible about the symbol until it feels good. It seems to be easier for the subconscious to work with that way, because it seems to be the most clear way of changing a symbol, when the change is small.
So the donkeys are fine, you don't mind those. Donkeys are cute. Now if you had any particular meanings attached to donkeys, you could change those too, but if you don't, just let them be donkeys- they are part of the structure of the symbol, so they have no particular meaning outside of just being the symbol. They are neutral, not emotionally charged- they are only there as a context to express the meaning of the symbol, they are not really that important.
But the group of big donkeys laughing at the little sad donkey, that's really highly charged, and not in a good way. So we absolutely need to change that. So we could try to have them all laughing together about something else, but that doesn't quite cut it- it's too close to the being laughed at experience. So I'll just make that middle donkey a little bigger until it's the same size as the other donkeys, just to balance things out a little. I notice how that feels nicer, so I keep the change. I notice that the laughing donkeys don't really have much of a relationship with the middle donkey, aside of the laughing, they are like an audience. That feels fine, so I just decide to change how the audience reacts. I could have changed them to all have sort of a family relationship, but I got a feeling that wasn't what this was about- it's fine that this is a speaker-audience situation, a more distanced relationship, it just needs to be more positive in nature. So I change the laughing-at and the looking-down-to into donkeys who are really enthusiastically applauding the middle donkey, even though the middle donkey isn't really doing anything special, but the middle donkey looks pretty content now. That feels really good to me so I leave my changes at that- I just make some tweaks and have two of the donkeys look absolutely amazed.
It's your mind. You can imagine anything you like. And it will change how you feel, and that will change what you experience. That's power.
Finally, I repeat the change a lot in my mind. I let the old symbol come up, and I let it change it into the new one, many times, until I get a feeling that it's been done. Now I check the feeling- lo and behold, I'm fine, I feel better, and I can do now what I couldn't before, such as make the phone call already. It might even seem surprising that there was a problem- the person on the other end was really nice!
Another example could be an abstract art- a bunch of gray lines, fiercely and unpleasantly flickering, and I changed them into soft concentric circles that just ever so slightly pulse in a lively way. If that's what you get- that's fine. Use what you get and change it until you like it.
You don't necessarily need to use your imagination- you can also ask your subconscious mind to express the symbol using a bunch of cards, a bunch of beer caps on a table (change the way they are arranged to change the symbol), drawing and then drawing your modified version, tapping a rhythm on a table, humming and modulating your voice- there are no limits to how you can create symbols. Use whatever you feel inclined to use, and use whatever works best after playing with it a little. There is no right and wrong here- but there is feeling so-so and the improvement. The recipe is always the same: Feel something, ask for the symbol, change the symbol, reinforce it, and then see how you're feeling then (and do something you couldn't before, if you would like to now).
You also don't necessarily need to ask for the symbol. According to the four levels of reality, everything is a symbol when you look at things in a third-level kind of way. Dreams are symbols. You don't really have to worry about what a dream means, but you can observe how certain aspects of them feel. Notice that, and then change those aspects, exactly as you would above, and you will get your healing results. This is the technique of shamanic dream handling (because while you can do interpretation, you can also just go for the practical benefit as well, and skip worrying about the meaning too much).
You can also notice that everything is dreaming all the time. So you can, as you walk around, pick up on what certain aspects of your experience, including engines, stop signs or other people or animals or even organs and bones- are dreaming. Just place your attention on them- "meditate" on them, if you will- and listen and watch. Whatever pops up, that's the dream, and that dream, you can treat it as a symbol and heal it, just like you did with the symbol you asked for. This is the art of dreamchanging, an ancient shamanic art, and it's just a special kind of symbol healing combined with a special perspective.
You can also dreamchange your actual physical reality. If you don't like something, place your attention on it and get the feelings that come up, and then change it- if you can physically change it, that's fine, but if that's not practical, imagine it to be different, and reinforce that. Do this all the time when you go through your day, and your life will completely turn around and change in the direction you've been making the changes in, which is to say, whatever kind of life changes makes you feel good.
You can also sit at home and ask for dreams that you could change for other people, just to do some good in the world. That is shamanizing for the world, which is a really common shaman activity. It's also very generous. If you get a quick bout of "ok but what's in it for me?", you don't have to fight that question down, you can just answer it- if you heal the world, you feel really good as well. It might possibly be that nothing feels quite as good, which is why wise people do it. But it may be better, depending on where you are, to heal yourself, first, it's up to you which way to go. Both work, and can be combined.
You can also combine it with journeying. You can go down to the shaman meeting place, meet someone who might need your help, and use your symbol healing to heal them, just the way you did for yourself, and then enjoy someone else doing whatever is right for them to heal you.
You can do the same thing as with the dreamchanging to heal another person- "meditate" on, place your attention on and listen and watch, something about that person that might need a little help or improvement, or even something that person told you about, if they are next to you. You can also do this on the phone, or you can do this without telling the person (their subconscious can accept or reject what you're doing, so it's fine), from afar, or for someone just passing by or next to you on the bus. Meditate on what seems like an issue, get the symbol, change it for the better, reinforce it, and feel better yourself as well.
Finally, you can also use it on memories or dangerous-seeming daydreams, if those pop up. If you use symbol healing for realistic-looking memories, keep in mind you are still just dealing with a symbol of an event, not the event itself. The nice part of the more abstract or fantastical symbol healing is that it's pretty obvious that you are not directly dealing with something, but only symbolically. For the memories, it can be more confusing. The memory you are dealing with- any memory- is not an event. It's a symbol. It's just elaborately constructed to appear like it's what you saw when it happened. But what you are really storing is the emotional impact, the visuals and other sensory input are just means to conjure that up. What this means is that when you are changing memories, you aren't really changing memories- you're just doing symbol healing. You're changing the symbol of a symbol in order to feel better now, it won't cause any problems remembering important things.
You can even go through life events as they are unfolding and imagine them happening differently, which is also a kind of dreamchanging. Some esoteric circle call that "4D living" (a nice way of putting it, if you're not particularly bothered that 4D means something else in different contexts)- you experience what you have now, but you also experience a kind of channel of dream energy that is the things that are heading your way, and you can influence that. I find it a really, really enjoyable way to live .