Tuesday, March 20, 2012


TIL WE MEET AGAIN Aloha Hawaii with the deepest gratitude, Nance...

View our Loren's front door. This is where I stayed my first night — arranged through Airbnb a few weeks before departing Burlington. I highly recommend this site.

 Loren designed and tiled his most amazing shower room with the accent, hand-made tiles produced by an artist friend.

The reclining Buddha, bathed in spotlights, watched over me during my first night's swim at Kalani providing a focal point for swimming meditation. See the little triangle to the left in the picture, it holds meditation pillows for those who'd like to sit and contemplate a while in the more traditional fashion.

Meditation cushions and sunscreen/oil for all to use, protected by little umbrellas.

A view of the FISH BOWL aka Kahalu'u Bay where many colourful fish and turtles come to play amongst the coral, courtesy of the industrious menehune. To the right is a portion of the information posted at the bay that tells the legend of the its formation.
In Hawaiian mythology the Menehune (meh-neh-HOO-neh) were little people who lived hidden in the forests and valleys. They were skilled craftspeople and master builders of great strength who completed their tasks overnight. Click on the photo text to the right to read more about the legend of menehune and Kahalu'u Bay.

Clothes don't dry too well in a rainforest, go figure. I became obsessed with clean, dry laundry so much so that when I got to Bill's at Kailua-Kona and discovered he had a clothes washer and dryer I became strangely compelled to do laundry rather than go to a café. Upon my return from sunset at Magic Beach I immediately set to hand washing some items. But, I had only 1 quarter, not the 3 needed to dry a load. Luckily I brought my trusty clothes line and hooked it up between the chair and the railing.

Back at Kalani, a few days later I lucked into this stand of trees in which to dry my clothes. Here's my other clothes dryer (sitting by the side of the road to Lava Tree Park) which also doubles as transportation. On a hot, sunny, damp day it serves both purposes surprisingly well!

So there you have it, a few more fond memories of my "trip of a lifetime" to the Big Island of Hawaii. I'm sure these and many more will fuel me over the years, filling me with aloha and gratitude.

I haven't blogged much yet about the Big Island Way of the Dreamer workshop with Robert Moss (a magical trip of another kind into the inner depths of soul and spirit) that prompted me to take this journey. More posts to come on this subject.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mission accomplished

E-mail to Rod Thurs Mar15

I'm writing this from a restaurant/bar in lovely little Hilo airport. The chairs are nice and cushy and the announcements are spoken in that rich Hawaiian accent that is so calming, wishing all good travels, welcoming people to Hawaii and saying Aloha to those leaving with hopes of their return. (In Hawaiian you are wished, "Til we meet again."  "A Hui Hou". Hou is pronounced Ho.) Their service is gentle and respectful, such a contrast to what I experienced at LAX on my journey over but here's hoping that with Continental and United joined together things will go much smoother on my way back though I'm on an Air Canada plane from LA to TO (?) (NOTE: My trip back was great. The airport workers were wonderful and kind!!!). I'm glad that I have a 3 hr stop over in LA. It'll give me plenty of time to get my seat assignment as I couldn't get it done at Hilo as Misty (travel agent) had suggested.

the turtles said goodbye here
The morning began with the promise of sun. Sun shined on us as the Alaskan woman and I chatted over brekkie of blueberry scones, maple yogurt with fresh blueberry, mango, banana, mame sapote (tastes like a combination of sweet potato and pumpkin with undertones of almond, chocolate, honey, vanilla and black cherry). 30 minutes later it poured! So, I decided it was time to head out to Pahoa and Hilo. One of the guys at the desk (the partner of the amazing hula hoop performer) told me to check out Lava Tree Park on the way. He said it was a sweet little place, one of his favourite spots to visit and even drew up a map for me. 

Before heading over, I stopped by the ocean for one last look at the waves and saw 2 turtles poking their heads up in the surf for one brief moment. 

shelter in lava tree park
I have loved driving the roads in Hawaii. It's like doing the hula. The roads sway up and down and from side to side, like one's hips when doing the hula. However, I have noticed on my travels the presence of many memorial sites on these same roadsides dedicated those killed in accidents. The last site appeared just before I entered the park.  A rusted driver's side door hung from a thick tree branch; chilling. These reminders of the misfortune of others make me feel very fortunate and have served to increase my awareness and my defensive driving!

Lava Tree park was so lush that I took lots of pics during my 45 minute walk on the path. You are warned not to step off the path as there are many, many hidden crevices which you can fall into. Much of this area has a maze of lava tubes and caverns underneath the surface from previous lava flows. 

I then headed to Pahoa a small town peppered with more bars than anything else. (Hence the memorials on the roadsides (?). It is situated between Kalani and Hilo. My mission was to check out Aloha shirts for you. No luck. So I got a mango tango smoothie to go at a pizza place. This was THE COLDEST drink ever delivering a stabbing ice cream headache. It was still thick with ice when I got into Hilo! 

place of the Boogie Woogie Pizza slushy
I scoured the streets of Hilo stopping in at stores here and there looking for shirts. I'd been recommended a few places by some Hawaiian residents at Kalani during brekkie, the guy at the reception desk as well as shopkeepers in town. I scored one for you and me and one T-shirt each for $55! There was a market at the south end of town filled with produce stands and some handmade jewellery stalls showing wares at very reasonable prices. I picked up 2 bracelets for $8.

Restaurants here are primarily Thai, Japanese, Hilo-Mex, some natural food places and a kava bar which looked really interesting but, since I was driving, I passed on it. Kava makes me feel great but spacey. They all looked really tempting but I just wanted something light so I chose Café Pesto http://www.cafepesto.com/  where I enjoyed their focaccia bread with gorgonzola cheese and rosemary (like a little, delicate, light, crisp pizza) and a café mocha. I heard one man say that they were known for their creme brulé - I thought of you but I'd OD'd on milk products so I didn't dare indulge on your behalf :(

Hilo has a beautiful sand beach coastline with good wave action at the north end of town where some people appeared to be surfing. Most of the bay is protected and ideal for the many canoe and outrigger teams putting in at the south shore at 5pm. These were some serious paddlers; very impressive! 

I will miss many things about Hawaii. One is the constant sound of nature. The silence of our neighbourhood is going to be deafening! But, I'm looking forward to coming back to you and the kitties.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dances with water

E-mail to Rod Wed Mar 14

After a relaxing brekkie chatting with a woman from Alaska who was returning home after working for 2 years in Haiti on an Aids program, I was going to head down to Uncle Robert's in Coconut Beach (note: incorrectly called Kalapana Beach in post about the market) but found that it didn't open til 5 so I headed down to Kehena beach.

view from the ridge above Kehena Beach
vines grow down the cliffside & kids
climb them Tarzan-like rather than take the rock path
It was much less crowded than on the previous Sundays and I recognized some people who must be regulars: the masseur and  the dolphin woman amongst them. Richard (Kalani's founder and amazing swimmer) dove into the surf wearing goggles and small swim fins and disappeared into the horizon before I could blink. I'm told goes out and swims for miles every day. 

I watched all this from my own perch where I lay for a while but soon the surf was calling me; I couldn't resist. Nice rollers were coming in and I swam out a bit and parallel to the beach. Afterwards I lay in the sun watching the dolphin lady riding the waves near to the rock outcropping. The masseur said that there's a kind of hydraulic effect that keeps you from crashing into the rock. So after studying what she was doing, when she got out I went in again and tried it. It was thrilling!!! Kinda felt like being tumbled in a big washing machine.

Beautiful sunny day at clothing-optional Kehena beach.
Bodies at the centre of pic give perspective
I had to head out for my Water Dance treatment (a version of Watsu) at Kalani but before heading out I chatted with the masseur and gave him my apple and some nuts that I'd taken to the beach but hadn't eaten. It was a small gesture of thanks for the massage he'd given me the other day.

Water dance - 90 minutes of massage in a heated pool shaded under a big tarp is a real trip. Surrender and go with it. The first 45 minutes your head's above water and you get so relaxed that your breathing slows right down. Perhaps the points and areas Sarah worked combined with the relaxation response to assist in the process. I was then given a nose plug and she signalled with 2 squeezes of my hand indicating when to inhale and then down she took me. Let the air out slowly and evenly and just hang out when done. Wave your hands I was told if I needed to come up. No hand waving was necessary as she timed everything perfectly. Had I sprouted gills? I could stay down indefinitely!  As agreed, towards the end, she took me down to the bottom of the pool and with my back resting on the bottom I hung out with Pele. 3 times I went down interspersed with above and underwater work in a seamless, so-o-o-o-o lovely celebration of freedom and joy. I could tell she was having a good time too as I was fearless, flexible, small and fun to work with. Sarah said that when she saw me she knew it would be a great session. We laughed and hugged for a long time afterwards. She said, "You should have seen your face when you came up at the end!" I couldn't stop smiling.

I had dinner with the Alaskan woman and then went to the open mic at the EMAX. The people here are impossibly lovely, gentle and talented. It's a haven for sensitive artist types. A tall, lythe young man wearing a loincloth and sparkles effortlessly danced with a hoola hoop. A newbie volunteer engaged the audience with her sensuous belly dance (I later found out that she owns her own studio on the mainland). Then a rapper, from the local community, did his thing with a positive spin, followed by a performance artist working with video, song and movement. A guy did 2 pop songs with guitar back up and another sang I'M IN A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND acapella substituting his own humorous lyrics. 

click on image to enlarge
I didn't get to swim with the manta rays the other night in Kona but a woman film maker presented her film on just that subject - pretty amazing synchronicity. So, I had a chance to get a taste of what I missed. And lastly there was a touching video tribute from an 18 month volunteer about his husband who died of Lou Gehrig's disease. The volunteer had come to Kalani to heal in a supportive environment. Stronger now, he is able to pass on loving support himself.

You can be yourself here. There are gays and straights of every flavour and everyone encourages, supports and abides in aloha. It is no wonder some stay for years. The longest I'd heard of was 10 years though one maintenance man talked about helping with setting up the halles which were brought over from the mainland and rebuilt on these grounds in the 80's. I can't think of anyplace more accepting and loving for gentle souls such as these where you drop mainland values and stresses and live a simple life in co-operation and co-creation with others of like mind.

Gotta go (it was about 2 a.m. on Thurs morning by the time I'd finished this letter). I've packed up and will be ready to head out tomorrow. I think I might explore Pahoa and/or Hilo before going to the airport. I'm on a hunt for the perfect Hawaiian shirt for you. The ones here are HUGE so I'm hopeful that there'll be a better selection in one of those towns.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

ROAD TRIP DAY 2 - Shhhh, dolphins sleeping

I returned home from Hawai'i at 5pm last night, Fri March 16th. As I get oriented, settle into home and responsibilities once more, I look ahead and wonder how can I keep the spirit of aloha alive in my heart, how can I greet daily life, the future and act from that place of openness and love. How can I keep from falling back into old non-productive patterns of: thought, emotional responses, and action?

In aloha (being in love and being happy with...) everything evolves organically from a place of surrender to higher direction. Hawaii by its very nature is aloha. In this place, new land literally is being created by the second as the lava flows into the sea. As the pop saying goes, resistance is futile.

The card I drew today from the Journey to Kanaka Makua cards was, appropriately...HAWAII.
Its message for me is to find and move from my centre. " There is a sacred place inside, your spiritual home, go there."

So, while I am in this process I'll post the remaining e-mails to Rod over the next few days and more pics from my travels. I hope you enjoy.

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E-mail to Rod March 14

I've just come in from a sauna and star gazing under a cloudless sky. It's brilliant out there tonight!

I arrived back at Kalani just in time for dinner (6PM our time 12PM yours) and hula class at the Emax. Lots of the English country dancers showed up and they picked up the steps and direction really quickly! Jonathan the instructor was really humbled by their enthusiasm and ability as last weeks class was a little klutzy. I got the transition into the last steps this week, so I'm pretty pleased with my progress. There was an AMAZING young woman in the class tonight - I suspect she's a real hula dancer. NOTE: I ran into her on Wed morning. She is a volunteer at Kalani working in the kitchen and has been taking hula with Anthony for about 2 years. WOW could she ever move her hips - she was like butter, so smooooooth and she floated, her steps were so light but grounded. The way she worked her feet was key to the total effect. It shows just how one can finesse something so simple and make it magical.

Kealekekua Bay and the view from Mike's rentals
kayaking destination is the green area across the bay
Anyway, this morning I got up about 6:30 and was on the road by about 7:30. I took pictures of THE FISHBOWL the beach where I snorkelled yesterday and went down the road about 30 mins to the COFFEE SHACK which has a fantastic view of the whole coast. I had French toast - made with macadamia nuts and other goodies. Service was 2 pieces of thickly sliced bread with maple syrup - I took 3/4 of a slice for the road and got to Kealekekua Bay where I hoped to see fish and dolphins. 

I rented a kayak (for $30) the kind that you sit in a shallow uncovered cockpit and headed out to the bay. The guy at the rental place told me where to head to and that I could tie up the kayak to some overhanging trees or put it up on the rocks. I was pulling it on the rocks when a guide stopped me. She told me that the plastic gets scraped off the boat and the fish eat it and it can kill them. Duh! I should have gotten a permit (online for free) which would allow me to tie up. I suspect the site also educates you on the ecology of the area and how to protect it. No permit, you tow your kayak behind you as you swim. She said that it's actually a lot better to do this. I thought it was going to be difficult but she was right it worked out brilliantly.When the hoards came (multiple kayakers and a huge boat carrying lots of very rambunctious people) I made a quick and easy get away into the bay. I loved looking down as I swam and seeing bright blue rays of the sun pinpointing to a place deep, deep below. When I got tired I just hauled myself across the boat and floated til I decided to swim again. And then I paddled for a bit; exploring.  I was a little disappointed when there were no dolphins but I thanked them for their presence anyway.

I then went to Honaunau Bay (The city or place of refuge) aka TWO STEP so called because it takes 2 steps to get into the water. I parked away from the bay and walked the short distance down a one way street to the beach. This is one popular spot. Not at all what I'd pictured considering its solemn history http://www.hawaiisnorkelingguide.com/city_of_refuge_snorkeling.html
A sign was posted saying that this was a dolphin retreat area. They come into protected bays to hang out and rest during the day as they go into deeper waters at night to hunt. People are not to "swim" with the dolphins. There were a few far off in the bay when I went in and though they were Spinner dolphins there wasn't a lot of the spinning behaviour going on, just gentle cresting with the occasional leap of a young one. 

There was an abundance of fish and coral. The shoreline dropped so abruptly and the water was so clear that it was difficult to get an idea of depth. I swam over the white sand below and over a message of ALOHA spelled out in cinder blocks and newly formed coral. A diver approaching the message revealed the depth to be about 50 feet at this point. NOTE: depths get to over 100 feet.

I was drawn to a few snorkelers floating blissfully in an area. As I approached, I noticed shadowy big fish far below. Dolphins! We just floated and watched them as they hung out with us. I was surrounded by them; too many to count. They moved in clusters in the pod moving in sync like schools of fish do. A little baby lept out of the water almost hitting a snorkeler. Quickly after her scooted back snuggling securely under its mothers belly. 

During my hour long love fest they'd come close and then glide off and return from deep below or a different direction. At one point I heard someone chiding a woman for chasing them, he said "Why did you do that? They have the right of way you know!" I loved that!
NOTE: The next day the beach masseur told me that they kind of move in circles. A native Hawaiian English country dancer said that they were sleeping and that's why they weren't spinning or leaping.

I'm so-o-o-o-o mellow; still floating over that experience!!! I'm more than inspired for my water dance session tomorrow. It's going to be amazing.

See how tiny those people are in the pic
and how fit this guy is
it's a lo-o-o-o-o-ong way down!
I took my time driving back marvelling at the ever changing nature of the scenery. I was not intending to go to SOUTH POINT (the southern most point in the USA) but when I saw a 12 mile sign on the road leading there the car just turned in. The way down is grassy and barren, like cattle country with windswept trees and the ocean spreading out in all directions. 

I walked to the edge. The cliffs, about 80' high, serve as leaping off points for kids to pitch themselves into the ocean. "You gotta do it" a young man high on the experience exclaimed. He showed me where to climb back up. If you're concerned about the height work your way up to the top by jumping at lower ledges and move up incrementally. I WAS tempted but seeing the age and fitness levels of these projectiles, realized that MAYBE I should skip it. After all I don't want to miss hula at Kalani tonight!

This was a most incredible day!!!

I'm going to float off to bed now.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


E-mail to Rod Mon Mar 12
Drove on the 19 along the north shore. So many different ecological zones occur within such a small area. It was pouring rain in the rainforest when I left. There was some rain in cattle country. And it was dry on the crossing over to the coast where golden grasses sway scattered amongst dark chocolate brownie-like rock surface (like when the topping cracks) which are sprinkled for miles along the roadside with white pebbles spelling out different messages, heart shapes and other symbols by travellers. Finally as I headed down the coast to Kailua-Kona there was not the sun that I was promised. The sky was cloud covered but still it was warmer and dryer and I enjoyed listening to Izzy and reggae on a local radio station and drinking ice Kona dark roast coffee mmmmm along the way.

Bill's directions were pretty good though missing some details. I'd google mapped it last night and was able to get within a few blocks before calling Joseph (the house manager) who directed me the rest of the way and gave me the key. I was considering renting a garmin for the trip but thought, "how lost can you get on a trip like this" and I also don't have much luck with those devices so I was better to do the google thing as it helps me orient myself to the terrain.

Bill's Place in Kailua-Kona

kids boogie boarding at sunset at Magic Beach

sunset at Magic Beach

in the distance, the work of the menehune at THE FISHBOWL


view from where I sat at THE COFFEE SHACK
After settling in I ate 1/2 of the lunch I had Kalani pack for me (a curried chicken wrap) and some almonds that Ellen gave me before she left and then headed out to Kahalu'u Beach aka THE FISH BOWL so named due to the many colourful fish found there. I wasn't disappointed! Though it was overcast they were still brilliant. And, I came upon yet another turtle. The water there has some thermals as the bay is spring fed. It is quite protected due to an out-cropping of rocks supposedly put there by the menehune (small people like fairies who work at night to get things done and excel at stonework) so that the fish would be contained there but the high priest of the area was concerned that if completed it would ruin the surfing and so he tricked the menehune into leaving it uncompleted. Lifeguards hang out on surfboards at the mouth of the bay due to rip tides which can take unwary swimmers up island. Though there could be surfing here it was too calm today. It's meant more for experienced surfers as rocks and coral are everywhere.

I came back to Bills, showered and then headed out to La'aloa Bay aka Magic or White Sands Beach a protected little beach where kids and families go to boogie board and body surf. It was a great place to watch the sun go down through the clouds. Not a spectacular sunset but a lovely one with families hanging out, people fishing and 2 lone swimmers way out in the bay. There is a Kapu (sacred site nearby) which demonstrates how important the land was and still is for the Hawaiians. I haven't taken pictures of these places in order to respect their sacredness.

I came back to Bill's at about 7:30, ate the rest of my "lunch" and watched HOUSE. As I haven't had any brain candy for over a week so I thought I'd indulge. I was going to go out to a café but I discovered that the place has a clothes washer and dryer. Everything's been so damp out at Puna that I found the idea of doing laundry (even if just the few items I had with me) strangely compelling.  So I did some hand washing only to find that the machine takes 4 quarters. I only had one. In order not to disturb the rest of the residents I'd have to go into town, come back and put the very small load in before it got too late. I ended up hanging my clothes outside on the patio using my travelling clothes line. I'm hoping they'll be dry by tomorrow. If not I'll just spread them out when I get into some sun.

Tomorrow my road trip continues on my way back to Kalani and hula class at 7:30p.m. I plan to have some great coffee and brekkie at The Coffee Shack (http://www.coffeeshack.com) which Deborah said, "is awesome for breakfast and lunch $$-$$$" and it has a great view. I'm planning to kayak, swim with fish and maybe dolphins, if they're into it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life doesn't get any better than this!

Hi all,
I returned from my amazing road trip tonight and I'm bagged. So no pics tonight. But I promise more tomorrow night.
NOTE: I published this last night, but for some reason it didn't go through so I'm re-posting it today Wed Mar 14th.
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FB entry Sun Mar 11:
I swam with wild dolphins today!!! Got a FREE massage at Kehena beach!! Ate food I didn't have to think about, buy or prepare!!! Life just doesn't get any better than this!!!

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Letter to Rod - Sunday Mar 11

Some people thought that they changed time in Hawaii just to stay in synch with the rest of the states but I discovered this is not so. My alarm sounded at what I thought was 7:00, having set my clock forward last night, but it didn't feel right so I got on to the computer and found out that the time here hadn't changed. I really wasn't sure about it til I went to the dining lanai to confirm it. I hadn't heard the conch at 7:30 so I felt something was off.

This was my first morning without anyone from the group but I'd talked to some of the English country dancers and 2 young women who are here on personal retreats last night and saw them again this morning. One of the women had been at the life drawing class. One of the English country dancers is a Hawaiian woman who also teaches Hula. There are people from all over. I haven't heard an English accent out of the group yet; Swedish yes, but no Brits. One woman told me that there was a workshop held in Egypt last year. Apparent'y it's more popular outside of England. Go figure.

Though the day started out quite rainy it cleared up and showed promise so I walked to Kehena Beach about 30 mins away. I took supplies with me and planned to return for lunch at noon. There were only a few people when I got there at 9:45 and they said they sighted dolphins out in the bay. Anthony (the dream group's guide) showed up and we went out together. I was glad to have him with me as he's familiar with the currents and proved to be a strong swimmer. He said if we stuck together the dolphins would be more likely to come around as they swim in pods and a solitary figure seems somewhat pathological to them. Well, whether that was it or not they did come around. I heard the sound of the blowholes first and turned in time to see 3 - 4 to our left. They crested the surface of the water many times and a bunch of them took turns leaping out of the water some spinning too. It was amazing!!! We were so caught up with the dolphins that we didn't notice the current taking us south. It was no biggie to swim back in line with the beach but was a good head's up as to how it can sneak up on you. The Hawaiian woman had recommended I not snorkel til I got familiar with points of reference and the current; good advice. She said you have to look up frequently to get your bearings which is what I did.

I'm very lucky to have seen the dolphins as one beach regular, who's very familiar with them, swum with them and given them names, said that there haven't been too many around since after Christmas. Someone else said the same thing tonight at the yoga class.

I also got a free massage at the beach from a guy who was much in demand. Everyone at the beach knows him. He's kind of like Rick in our neighbourhood - the neighbourhood watch guy. He's a 3rd generation Hawaiian, married with 5 kids, his grandfather came over from the Azores. Anyway, his technique was really good - kind of lomi, lomi like. He learned from a woman who he used to train with. He worked on the dolphin woman and a young woman who's been a friend of his for a few years.

His friend Andrew is one of those people who have put offers in on some lava land out at Kalapana. He hopes to get 5 lots at $5,000 each. (I think that's the price. I'm not sure how big a lot is.) He figured that he'd get a better price if he put in for more than one. He will build inexpensive homes on the land - ones that can be taken down quickly should the flow come back that way. Apparently they had a few months notice on the last flow and there's no guarantee that the flow wouldn't turn in that direction again in the future though it's miles away at this time.

I left for Kalani around 1:30. I thought I'd be fried if I didn't as the sun was pretty strong today. I went to Hale Aloha and had some mango ice cream and read for a bit. Went back to my hale and snoozed for about 1 hr and then went to yoga at 5 which was pretty good.

Last night I had a sauna and swam at the pool before heading off to bed. Tonight I'll skip it as I'm pretty bagged and I'm off at 9 with the shuttle to Hilo and then driving to the Kona side. Everything seems to have fallen into place. I did have some difficulty getting the rental agreement sent back to Bill but was helped at Hale Aloha last night. We all fumbled around with it and got it sorted out. I thought there'd be some tekkies here, but not so. People have been so helpful, it is amazing. I've been really fortunate. I got an e-mail from the woman who had recommended the rental, Anthony's girlfriend, wishing me a good trip.

So, my sweet that's my adventures of the day. It has been incredible and I'm looking forward to more adventures tomorrow.
I'll be thinking of you on my little road trip and wishing you were here with me. I'll try and take more pics.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pele, Flying and English country dancers

Exerpt from an e-mail to Rod

Sat March 10th. 
Yesterday (Fri) 3 of us went to a special sacred site with a local shaman to give an offering to Pele the Goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes. We did ceremony in a cave as the shaman beat her drum, we rattled, chanted and put forth our desires to Pele the fiery goddess of the land. I thought of Lucy, Kalani, Karen, Sue, Sue McClelland, Jude and Candy while I was there.

The altar we formed during Robert's workshop
with the freshly picked flowers
which we threw into the ocean at it's end.
It is said that when you do this you will return to Hawaii
We had intended to meet up with Anthony and dream with his dream group of 5 people afterwards but we were so filled up with what we'd received that we declined his offer. Good decision! During dinner I could barely keep my eyes open let alone keep track of the conversation around me. I fell into bed (with my clothes on) at 7:30 after setting my alarm for 9:30 p.m. Seven hours later, 2:35 a.m., I woke up. My alarm hadn't gone off so I went back to sleep, arising at 6 a.m. 

I had a wonderful, much needed shower in my new bathroom (I'd just moved into a new hale) and joined the remaining 3 dreamers for brekkie. Afterwards I headed off to life drawing.

Life drawing was held at the studio of an artist friend of Richard's (I'm pretty sure this is THE Richard who started Kalani in the 80's). 5 of us piled into his car and he drove us there. There were 6 of us in total - 3 from Kalani, the host and 2 locals. The models came in the car with us from Kalani. The couple (young lovers) did lovely poses together and though my drawing skills are really rusty, it was nice to put pencil to paper. An interesting effect results from the multi-coloured pencil I was using as you never know which colour will come up - gotta look for one of these back home or get some here.

We got back in time for lunch and I met up with Helen, the last of the dreamers. We went into one of the meeting places afterwards and I taught her FLYING (Lomi people know what this is). She is a dance therapist who was intrigued by my presentation the other day and asked if I'd teach it to her. Since it's been raining heavily most of the day outings are not too inviting so it was a perfect way to spend the time.

I'm sitting here on the bed as I write this. The new wave of guests are piling into their rooms. We now have an English dance group and a Ruslan (not Russian) yoga group. Never heard of the latter. There are so many different versions of yoga now! This makes the 3rd yoga group to be here during my stay. And, there are yoga classes going on throughout the day, offered by Kalani staff members. If you need a shot of yoga this is the place to be. 

On a sunny day looking down the road from
the entrance to Kalani 
I face booked this about that:  I am now the last dreamer left at Kalani :( We've been invaded by yet more yogis and today the English country dancers have arrived. Thank God for some real hefty, earthy bodies, all these reedy people keep floating around. This place was in need of some grounding :)

I've arranged to get a car on Monday morning and will head out directly from the airport to Kona at about 10 a.m. I'm in the process of getting the accommodation sorted out. Bill has to send the rental agreement in a different form or I have to get a print out to fill out, scan and send back to him. I'll probably go to guest services to see if I can use their printer/scanner. I'll spend the night at Kona and see what will swim with me there - turtles and colourful fish have been promised. NOTE: COLOURFUL FISH AND A TURTLE WERE DELIVERED! There is a surfing beach nearby too, but Ellie, the model, was there yesterday and said there wasn't any surfing going on at that time. I'll take whatever happens:)

I'll keep the car for the rest of my stay and drive myself to the airport on Thurs as it works out well financially.

Tomorrow is an open day. I may spend it at Kehena beach, where I was the first day, or do the sauna, swim at the pool kind of day. I intend to keep it low key in prep for the driving on Monday. The trip to Kona only takes about 2 1/2 hrs, IF I don't get sidetracked by sites along the way! NOTE: I MANAGED TO MAKE IT IN 3 HOURS, LEAVING AT ABOUT 11:30 a.m. STOPPED AT SOME VIEWING SPOTS BUT WANTED TO GET OVER TO THE KAIHUA-KONA SUN AS IT WAS RAINING MOST OF THE WAY. AND, THOUGH I'D BEEN ASSURED SUN WOULD BE HERE IT WASN'T - BUT IT WAS ALL GOOD! I had put the offer out to people in Anthony's group to come along if they liked but none were available. 

Anyway, I should go as the dinner conch will be sounding. The budgie birds are chattering in the trees in front of my door. Whether they're budgies or not I'm not sure but that's what they sound like.

Monday, March 12, 2012

1 Turtle & 2 Piggies

No pictures tonight. Taking too long to download and I'm bagged. Goin' to bed. Goodnight all.
Off to the Kona side tomorrow - Mon Mar 12.
*      *     *
Thurs March 8

Excerpt from letter to Rod:

It was another amazing day. 

The dream work wrapped up this morning. Kim and Louise, my Canadian friends, left this morning as they were heading for the Kona coast and wanted to have lots of time to explore the places along the way. They have been a real riot! We laughed so much during our jaunts to the tide pools and the market last night. I'm very grateful for their generosity in including me in these adventures. 

On the last day of extended dream workshops Robert has the participants each do a short presentation inspired by their dream experiences. When I was flying at the point I had the image of many others flying along with me. I was also moved by uncle Harry's Ho'oponopono presentation at the Emax and I wanted the others to hear some of the Hawaiian music. So I brought in elements of all 3. We did some ha breath, some ALOHA with feeling and then I demonstrated the flying and the symbolism behind it and invited others to join me to fly to the music. A number of people jumped in while others "held space". It was a lot of fun!!!

I was planning a "kick back" day today but over lunch one of the dreamers asked me if I'd like to go to the warm pools with her and another dreamer. I jumped at it. We'd heard how nice it was but upon our arrival found a large pool walled off from the ocean with an opening for the tide to come in. The waves could come over the edge but it was very structured; a big shallow pool with steps and ladders into it. Not what we expected. So, we went back to the tide pools. (I heard from a local guest that she used to do Watsu and Water Dance in the pools before they became structured and popular.)

Though we put in at a different spot than the other day I found myself beckoned back to the thermal area. I'm so glad I heeded the call! I saw a fish that seemed exceptionally big to be in here and as I looked closer I realized it was a turtle. AMAZING!!! 

He wasn't afraid of me at all and in fact came quite close to me. He did have a bit of a beak and I was a little concerned at first. But, he was just casing me out, I could see it in his eyes. When he determined that I wasn't a threat we just hung out together. I didn't follow him when he dove down as I thought that might be too invasive but instead floated on the surface enjoying the view of him below me. He'd come up and take a breath of air once in a while and I'd lift my head out of water to see his head poke up. When another swimmer came upon us, the turtle decided it was too much and he tucked himself into a little underwater crevice so I left to give him some space. 

Sylvia, Simon and I talked perching on the rocks as the tide came in and waves broke over the rocks while, in the distance, a number of awestruck snorkelers floated in the pools. 

We had dinner with the 3 other remaining dreamers and then Sylvia and Simon had to leave for LA. She off to Robert's dream workshop at Mosswood Hollow in Seattle and he to LA and then to Peru for a few weeks to study with a shaman there. On our way to the dining hale we saw 2 of the wild boars that reside here. They are really cute and kind of take off at a gallop like little prehistoric wild horses.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ho'oponopono, donuts & lava fields

I'm sitting at Hale Aloha being pestered by a mooching, short-haired black and brown tabby with a demanding cry as I lick locally made ice cream (tonight's choice is ginger) off of my wooden spoon. Today the rains came with a vengeance but no worries as I'm in paradise and there's always lots to do, or not do, if one so chooses. As a friend of mine says, "It's all good".
I bid farewell to a fellow dreamer a few hours ago. I am now the last of the dreamers left at Kalani and it is bitter sweet. Places like Kalani and workshops such as dreaming reveal how quickly and with what strength one can attach to others and call them "friend". In this safe, respectful atmosphere, the intensity of awareness that we are all just passing through prompts us to share stories of the past, our hopes and dreams for the future. We act from the best of ourselves, co-operate, show kindness and help each other as we can. So we see each other as "friend".

Wed Mar 7
We're in the second last day of the workshop with Robert and our dreams are starting to spill over into each other's lives - past, present and future. Last night snippets of dream images, words and concepts intended for someone else make their presence known in my dreams. Over breakfast a fellow dreamer recounts a dream she knows has a message for me. In the magical way of dreams, her dream becomes central to my experience of the morning journey to the land of the ancestors that Robert has assigned.

I am reminded again and again that in working with dreams (even those with "heavy" energy) when we maintain a sense of play, curiosity and courage, they will ultimately bring us to a place of wisdom and wholeness. Dreaming on it's own doesn't necessarily do this. Bringing the dream's energy forward into our "real" life transforms our attitudes and our life.


An amazing day today. I stayed up far too late last night writing. Got to bed at about 12:45 but was up at 7:30. My clothes from the other day are finally dry which makes me very happy. I'm glad that I took so many sarongs as they've really come in handy and dry relatively quickly compared to other items. Cotton socks take the longest!

The dreamwork has been really fascinating especially what happens over 5 days - real transformative stuff! We get to know each other's stories pretty quickly and so see the effects of the work in those "ah ha" moments of realization. 

Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim gave a Webcast from the Emax centre. There were over 70 people attending in person at the centre and approx the same number on the web. He spoke on Ho'oponopono a practice, or rather a Hawaiian way of looking at life, bringing things into right relation, and forgiveness. Then he opened up the floor for question and answer. It was so good to hear him again. He's got such a lovely, gentle, compassionate spirit and has such joy - he's kinda like a laughing Buddha in physical appearance as well as attitude. I didn't talk with him afterwards. I studied with him once a few years ago. He has thousands of students and I'm hardly memorable.  Many from the audience wanted to talk to him about personal concerns and it seemed only right for them to make the connection with him. I am glad to hear that he lives in Buffalo for part of the year which would make future studies with him possible.

the market at uncle Robert's

After the session this afternoon, Anthony, a workshop participant who's become a tour guide of sorts for the group, suggested we go to the market in a town not far away. Louise and Kim were kind enough to take 3 of us in their car. The market took place on uncle Robert's land. Anthony told us that uncle Robert's son died recently and there was an outpouring of community support during the memorial service. This was evidenced by the pictures still posted all around the market. Hawaiians live in community. As I learned the other night, they are all about relationship. 

The market has an amazing array of foods of all sort. I had Thai curried pumpkin chicken with rice, a ginger lemonade (very gingery) and some of those little warm sugar donuts. If it's any consolation I thought of you while I ate. You'd have loved it! 

We met up with a friend of Anthony's who has suggested a reasonably priced place for me to stay overnight if I go to Kona. Everyone's recommending I stay overnight. I gave her my e-mail and will wait and see what happens with that. I have to check out car rental. It helps having driven with the girls to see what conditions I may find on the roads (they were the Canadians that took us to the tide pools). 
Moonlight on the waves at
Kalapana Beach

After we ate we explored the market some more with the sounds of the Hawaiian band in the background. Most of the wares consisted of food and handmade jewellery made of beads, semiprecious stones and wood. I was tempted by one item but it seemed a little steep. I can return next Wed night if I really want.

A real highlight was walking on the relatively recently formed lava field. The last flow that claimed the formerly extensive black beach happened in the '90's. Tonight the moon was full and so the rocks and our path were fairly well lit. It felt like we were at the end of the world or on another planet. We ended up overlooking a black sand beach dotted sparsely with young palm trees. We sat watching for some time, mesmerized by the sight and sound of the rollers crashing on the rocky shore. As we looked back to the land we could see in the distance the orange glow of the active flow on its way to the ocean about a 20 minute drive away. 

We drove home in true Canadian style eating donuts.

Tomorrow is the last day of the dream workshop and I will be sad to see the others leave as most will be heading out in the afternoon. Two have late flights tomorrow night. Four others are staying on a bit: two leave on Fri, one on Sat and the last on Sunday. 

I'm writing this from the kitchen in the hale in which I'm staying. The crickets are chirping, the "crokies" croaking and the gekos make their presence known now and again. And, I have just caved and am eating the last donut as I write this.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tide pools & hula

Tues Mar 6/12 
THE POINT at the foot of Kalani
By the end of the class last night a belated case of jet lag came over me. Barely able to keep my eyes open, I sleep walked my way back to my hale and immediately fell into bed and into dreamland at 9:45 with thoughts of getting up early.

Amazingly, I got up at 5:45 a.m. this morning and walked through the darkness to the point where, a few days earlier, I’d strewn some of Mom’s hair. Her dream of Hawaii was so big that it brought me here. So I brought a little bit of her to this place that was close to her heart. Though she never set foot on this soil, some of her DNA will always be here. 

My intention was to fly (my lomi friends know what I'm talking about) and see the sunrise. I chanted the sun up and sent a big aloha out to those I love – Rod, Lucy, members of my family, my Lomi Ohana, Harriette and Birgit, Kahuna Harry and 2 elderly clients I’ve thought about while in Hawaii – Evelyn and Liliane, amongst others.

The sound of the waves set the beat as I flew, a solitary figure silhouetted against the ocean beyond. As sunrise approached a number of people had migrated to the point taking up spots here and there, some in view while others stood in the shadows.  Though there were only a handful of people physically present the area behind me was teaming with activity.

Each time I stepped back into the future, glimpses of figures would catch my eye for an instant. Yet when I tried to capture them in a longer glance, these wisps of past and future would playfully disappear. The dense energy the embodied mingled with the "glimmerings" sharing a sacred moment in time.

The thick cloud cover provided the rising sun with a subtle awakening. Shortly afterwards only a few others and I remained as a gentle rain began. Within minutes the skies opened up releasing a deluge upon us and we scrambled back to the dining area for shelter. I arrived at the dining hale totally saturated from head to toe. I was slightly chilled the rest of the day and I wondered if the hand washing from Sunday morning still hanging damply in the bathroom would ever dry. 

resting at the feet of the Buddha
After lunch I hitched a ride with 2 other Canadian dreamers and a local resident who’d offered to act as our tour guide. He was excited to share the beauty of nearby tide pools. We swam into an area rich in promise for prompting luminal states. A shimmering layer of warm, inland waters thermals float on top of the cool salt seawater. It’s like I’m swimming in a clear B52. This effect changes to one of viewing the tide pools' inhabitants through jello when we get closer to the source of the heated waters. When I engage my arms in any manner or follow too closely to the action of our guide’s flippers, a filmy cloud surrealistically blurs my surroundings to such a great extent that I seem to be swimming inside a cloud. Colourful fish of every description swim so non-plused by our presence that I feel like I’m just one of the gang.

Hula class tonight was hysterical. So much fun and laughter! And, I’m discovering that there are songs and chants for every occasion. The instructor leads us on basic movements. When we get the hang of each step combo he accompanies us with the chants and plays his double-headed gourd drum. The transition from one set to another surprisingly simple one causes great chaos and gales of laughter. As we float off in different directions many soft collisions result.

As I walk back to my hale I feel so blessed to be in the presence of such gentle, loving people - all that have come together in the spirit of Aloha.

Tomorrow Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim will be here speaking on Ho’oponopono. I'm very excited about this; I didn't know he would be here. I'm thrilled for my fellow dreamers because they will be inspired by his gentle spirit and loving heart.

Turtles Goin' Holoholo

Mon Mar 5th

Turning left from Kalani's entrance, a 15 minute walk will take me to a clearing overlooking the ocean where the volcanic rocks are large and smooth enough to perch on and engage in the fine art of wave gazing.

As I walk I'm enveloped by the sounds of Hawaiian chants. There is no i-pod attached to my ears; no music playing in the hales I pass nor from any physical source as I make my way to the ocean. These chants in words I recognize but can't interpret are an echo of an ancient tone released from Hawaii herself. The spirit songs she has taught to the inhabitants over eons and which have been chanted back to her by many generations.

I was told that this point is a good vantage point from which to watch the turtles, so I settle in. It's quite a ways down to the surf that pounds the rocky shore with such force that, I swear, shakes the cliff edge upon which I'm sitting. This place is alive with past, present and future all melding together. I don't know if what I'm sensing is a physical reality or other, and really it doesn't matter in this magical place. Is it the waves force, the nature of the volcanic rock, or even the powerful energy of the land that vibrates through me? I have since been told that the very impact of the ocean against the lava rock provides great healing due to the release of negative ions. I drink it in.

Having assured myself that the rocks beneath me aren't about to give way and fall into the sea I eagerly search out the turtles. Just when I'm about to give up I notice a flat brownish disk in the water. Then a head pops up above the foamy surf and limbs become visible poking out from the shell. That the turtle's being carried by the waves is obvious yet there is definitely an intent behind the path he takes. How can he not be smashed to bits by the jagged shore. The counter swirls formed as the waves return to sea against those advancing must catch his shape and buoyant form and in effect lift him up. Add the incredible power of his legs and voila, the perfect requirements needed to survive and maneuver in the ocean's power. He and the other turtles who've joined him are "playing in the surf" exactly mimicking the ceramic tile turtle in Loren's shower room.
Tonight I went to the Hawaiian culture class offered in the Emax. We are taught some basics of the language. Hawaiian is a descriptive language centred around relationship to the speaker. My favourite words of the night are: holoholo and ahi.

Holoholo roughly, as I understand it, means "going around". The teacher says that if someone is going fishing you don't say, "Hi, going fishing?" cus if you did the person would pack up his gear and go home. For to say going fishing has the effect of cursing or jinxing the venture. Instead you use, "Hi, goin' holoholo?" because you both know he's going fishing so there's no need to state the obvious and mess up his luck. (Take note fishing friends and family on Vancouver Island).

Ahi means fire and a type of fish (and probably more than that). The teacher asked why ahi meant fish and some students answered because maybe they were red like fire, which I thought was a good guess. But, he said no. What happens when an ahi is on the line? They go deep into the water really, really quickly and with great force. You have to let the line out and let it play til the fish gets tired. In days gone by there were no elaborate fishing reels to let the line out, the line was held in one hands. So, the fire was the burn of ones hands if one held on too tight.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time is relative

WARNING - horrible grammar zone ahead. Not for the lovers of fine writing. You've been warned.

Day 2 Sat March 3
Todd a young student boarder of Loren's offers me a ride to the airport. I call the cab co and say, "forget it" and get a weak apology back. I pay Todd $20 (the same fee charged by Loren) and, though his car stalls at stoplights, he gets me there without incident by 4:30.  The shuttle to Kalani meets me shortly afterwards. 2 other guests are in the shuttle so my fee is $20 less than for 1 person.
The meals here are fabulous - great variety, very tasty + dessert every night:) Steak and burgers were options for the carnivores in the group last night and tonight. Many staff were very appreciative as the previous group, Baron Baptiste's yoga group, were strict vegetarians, and the menu got stricter and more limited as the week wore on. No coffee was allowed. It was said that participants weren't expecting this (yogi's love their coffee) and there were many attempts to bribe the staff for a cuppa - we're talking $5. desperation offerings. So glad I'm not doing the yoga workshops anymore!!!

Last night after the dreaming session I went for a swim in the pool and had a sauna. Both are open all hours and are bathing suit optional. Ah, the freedom! I enjoyed the fact that I had the pool to myself for the most part. Beautiful clear night with the reclining Buddha statue watching over me. Fell into my amazingly comfortable bed (feels like a tempura-type) and slept like a log.

Day 3, Sun March 4th

Walked to the cliffs at the base of the road this morning and sat there watching the surf. After the dreaming session I walked to the much touted Kehena Beach. It took about 30 minutes to get there. On Sunday's the drummers and flute players go to the beach. The vibe was like the tam tams gathering on Mount Royal in Montreal. Many, many people were hanging out on the rocks and beach watching others ride the waves and snorkel. I hadn't expected to swim as I'd heard that the surf could be pretty rough but after taking note of how people maneuvered in and out of the waves and receiving some pointers from an experienced swimmer: the best point of entry and where the sand was vs the lava rock etc. She kindly watched over my stuff while I went in, in the buff like most everyone else.

It was incredible! The swells of the waves were like riding roller coasters. It was so weird to be 3 feet above someone else just feet away from me. She said, "n-joy, enjoy, in joy" to me as we both laughed at how amazing it was to be here. There's a lot of that feeling here.

I have enjoyed some great discussions about Shamanism, dreaming and writing and I've heard some of the life stories of fellow workshop participants; how they got into this line of work/interest and how they integrate it into their "regular" lives. The dreaming workshop sessions have been magical and fun. Robert's method is so inspiring to see in action. And there's so much more to come.

As I write this the night time is filled with the sounds of the "cokie" frogs. At 6:30 a.m. or so they suddenly stop and are replaced by a chorus of birdsong. One massive group starts and later other varieties get added to the mix performing a natural Baroque suite. Then about 30 minutes after the first group started they abruptly end and the others gradually fade out. There is sound everywhere: the surf, the wind in the palm fronds and even the gecko's (which are everywhere) chime in on occasion.