Kalani Honua Blog - aloha spirit

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Joel Barraquiel Tan, Kalani Honua Executive Director

The outpouring of grief and increased outbreaks of hate crimes in the wake of the U.S. election reminds us that our work - championing individual freedom and equality, while protecting natural resources - is more important than ever. Here, at Kalani, we will continue to hold space for the complex dialogues that these times require, while respectfully engaging a wide diversity of individual points of view. Our community remains grounded in oneness and guided by love for self and other.


November 10, 2016, 5 a.m.

Awake. Cool wind and palms sway. Coquis and bullfrogs sing to the moon and rising sun.

Exhaustion knocks me out for a few hours, but the shocking upset of the presidential victory + the the Senate and House wins jolts me awake and now I’m up and writing, pre-dawn. The outcome of this election is both a wake up call and an American tragedy for climate change, women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, affordable healthcare, queer folks, civil rights + basic human decency. Despite this...

The lava still flows into the ocean. Liquid rock sliding into the waves and the rhythmic hiss and steam of it all making new earth.

Here, on this part of the Red Road, we keep bees and grow a lot of our own food. Here, our WiFi comes and goes with the clouds and cell service is spotty. We beat drums in a circle and sing along to blue moons, new moons, black moons. Here, we are about finding deep joy through devotional practice. We hug a lot and organize cuddle puddles. We never mind what we don’t want and instead invite what we do want: to manifest grace + abundance. Here, on this part of the Red Road, we are cashless, naked and free.

This Eden and the few remaining like it are the polar ice caps of peace and freedom in a furious and fearful world. We are the stewards, the caretakers of this sacred place and more than ever, we cannot afford to remain insular. We’ve got work to do and important guests to prepare for.

Our “business” is the work of transforming, balancing, actualizing. This Eden that is Kalani Honua is sanctuary and recharge station for change makers and super heroes: artists and farmers, futurists and permaculturists, yogis and yoginis, psychics and mediums, queerdos and nasty women.

We are a place for slowing down and disconnecting, especially for you mainland progressive social justice soldiers, warrior artists and mad futurists. When the city chaos wears you down, come bury your hands in the cool of our magical dirt and lava rocks. Replace the media drone with bird song and the buzz of bees. Recharge by connecting to deep earth fire.

When the fight wears you down, restore + replenish here, with us.

Let us feed you good, nourishing food. Let us offer you a comfortable bed to catch up on much needed sleep. The jungle will heal you and make you stronger. This place of transformation, restoration, nature, and wellness is where revolutions begin.

Here, on the Red Road, Hawaiian Sovereignty still stands.

Here, on the Red Road, on the Big Island, Pele and a pantheon of Brown Gods rule.

Here. Where you belong.

Photo credit: Loren Frohning (top)

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez

Photography by Jose Martinez At Kalani, a Hawaiian yoga retreat center and educational village just 5 miles from where lava flows into the sea, Director Richard Koob playfully pronounces that "I Lava You" is the mantra this Valentine's day.

Based on the foothills of the largest volcano of the Hawaiian Islands, Kalani is near the home of the mythical goddess Pele, the Kilauea volcano. Pele, which translates to "lava", is the spirit of all things passionate and fiery, burning away illusion to find love and compassion within. Pele could be thought of as a Goddess that watches over Aloha Spirit.

Perhaps Pele could be thought of as a Valentine's Goddess of sorts, spreading the message of love and Aloha Spirit.

But what is Aloha Spirit exactly?

Stewart Blackburn, a Kalani facilitator that runs a popular class on Hawaiian Shamanism, talks about getting more Aloha Spirit in your life. He describes "Aloha Spirit" as finding your own joy. The Hawaiians believe that your power comes from feeling joy, as joy gives you the power to live, and to love others fully. Stewart talks about "Aloha Spirit" as something we can practice with a Beloved. "Being connected feels good," he explains, "things like criticism hurt connection, while love and joy help build connection." He talks about Aloha Spirit as a daily spiritual practice for sharing love and joy with others, and thus being on the right path.

Charles Muir, a well loved teacher of Tantra for 32 years and co-author of the book "Art of Conscious Loving", who has recently been featured on Oprah radio, is coming to Kalani for a couples retreat for Valentine's Day. Charles is known for getting couples to re-connect in positive ways, and connection is part of building joy and "Aloha." Charles is known for helping men creating more intention and energy around loving, like drawing a hot bath with rose petals for their lady. Women create a similar experience for men on a subsequent evening. Couples can usually be seen here smiling on Valentine's Day, after taking a workshop like a couple's retreat.

If couples here at Kalani need any help, scent from Hinano flower from a Hala tree is said to add romantic punch to a partnership. According to Maui magazine, ancient Hawaiian culture utilized the Hinano flower petals for love rituals: "A young kane [man] or wahine [woman] desiring to awaken the affections of another would seek out a fruiting male [Hala] tree. Male trees sport prominent spikes called hinano. Suggestive appearance aside, the spikes are covered in sweet-scented yellow pollen considered an aphrodisiac by Hawaiians. They used this pre-Contact Love Potion #9 to perfume their bedding and dust like talc beneath their malo, or loincloths."

Many couples have renewed their vows here at Kalani, enjoying the epic oceanfront views from lookout point nearby, also called "The Point," where you can see lava flow into the water, or see turtles or whales jump out of the sea. Couples can enjoy plush tropical scenery on land or at sea, with so many scents and sights.

Many also enjoy healthy cuisine at Kalani which is legendary, including ahi tuna, basil limeade, and watercress soup. Along with many activities and yoga workshops to take and whales to watch at nearby Kahena beach, couples can combine intimacy with group activity here at Kalani.

Couples that come to Kalani get to practice Aloha Spirit, with each other and also with the friendly staff and volunteer community.

In the spirit of Aloha, don't forget to say "I Lava You" to everyone you can.

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