Kalani Honua Blog - Special Events

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cameron McCool

Sex and Quantum PhysicsKalani resident and tantric yogi, Paul Squassoni, recently published his first book "Sex and Quantum Physics Volume 1: Tantric Yogi Tells All".

We sat down with Paul to talk about his book, altering the body's energetic state, and creating new paradigms.


Aloha Paul, let's start by sharing what your book is about...

Sure! Sex and Quantum Physics is an attempt to put tools that we already have - science and tantra - together to help people make more sense out of the world and their own lives.

The tantra part of it gives you an incredible tool for pain management, and for getting in touch with your body. And for calming yourself down.

The more scientific parts of the book allow you to understand a little bit better how everything from your own life to the global internet culture is evolving.


Quantum Physics is a topic that tends to stagger people with its complexity. Were you nervous that the scientific content might make many readers avoid the book?

Not at all. Even though Quantum Physics and Tantra are both covered in mystery and craziness! (laughs) The lessons from both are easy to understand. And I wanted the book to be understood by anyone, even in another culture, with a basic modern education. That’s why the language is simple, and why there are 24 exercises and more than 300 illustrations. I tried to keep in mind the image of an Iranian housewife reading it!


I read on the book's blog www.sexandquantumphysics.com that through 'Sex and Quantum Physics' you have essentially created a new paradigm for people to use to navigate today's world. Is that true?

Yes, it’s a look at the world in terms of energy flow. Looking at how energy flows in our lives gives us a way of examining what we inherit, what the culture gives us, and what happens in our own personal experience.

Examining sex, energy, and science gives us an understanding of how very different things are related - it helps us to see why things occur in our life. Gradually we begin to see patterns emerging; we gain insight into what triggers us, what pleases us, and why we do what we do.

I have been very reluctant to bill this as a self-help book, but Tantra yoga is the best tool I can imagine for everything. Working with the tension in your own physical, mental and emotional patterns is more effective than any form of therapy I have encountered.


What do you hope readers will learn from this book?

If nothing else, I hope they will learn to breathe down!


That’s one of the exercises in your book. Can you share it with us?

Sure. It's a simple way to connect yourself to the ground and relax not just the base chakra, but your whole energy pattern.

Here's what to do:

•    Seat yourself in a comfortable position.
•    Take an easy, good breath.
•    Focus the out-breath down through your hips and into the ground.

The air doesn’t travel down, but it may well feel as though it does as you move your awareness down your body. Explore a couple breaths. You will know when you have breathed down. Your sit bones will drop closer to the floor, your spine will begin to straighten of its own accord, your head will move up and back so that it is more directly over the spine.



If you let the top of your head relax a bit, at the end of the down-breath you may even feel a little energy rise through the neck and out the top of the head.

As you breathe down, you will notice that the rib cage relaxes, the heart settles to a gentler pace, the shoulders drop, the hips widen. Since tension in the body is everywhere counter-balanced, breathing down relaxes the entire system.

Try it sitting, standing, waiting for a bus or a train.

Hug someone and breathe down at the same time. You’ll be amazed at the difference! Better yet, get them to breathe down with you during the hug. Just tell them “Breathe in, and breathe down through your feet into the ground.” It will feel completely different from any hug you have ever encountered.


Is it really that simple?

Yes, it is! Many people use all kinds of complicated techniques to manage their energy. Simply breathing Down allows you to do the same thing - anchor yourself, calm yourself, and positively alter your energetic state with a few simple breaths!


Click here to visit the "Sex and Quantum Physics" website for further sample exercises, resources, and to read Chapters 1 & 2 of Sex and Quantum Physics.
 
Sex and Quantum Physics is available on
Amazon for $4.99 (Kindle edition) or $14.95 (paperback edition).

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez with Wailana Simcock

"Supernature" a site specific work at "The Point" by Wai Company Dance Theater

Interview with Artistic Director Wailana Simcock

Many people at Kalani Retreat Center love "The Point."

The Point is known as a powerful site where you have an 180 degree view of the ocean and also of the lava flow in the distance.

The Point - Kalani Retreat Center - Spiritual and Yoga RetreatsMost people here at Kalani have stories about The Point being a symbolic place for them--sometimes they've invited all their friends there for a party, sometimes they've used it for an individual ritual like prayer or meditation. The Point is definitely a special place, and on Saturday March 19th, 5:30pm there will be a performance out at The Point with dancers and actors from both the Puna community and Kalani. This performance called "Supernature," is inspired by the Point itself and the epic story of Hi'iakaikapoliopele.  It will be performed by the grass roots troupe, Wai Company with founder and Artistic Director Wailana Simcock, who is also part of the Kalani staff.

Here is an interview with Wailana about performing at The Point.

NR: People that visit Kalani love "The Point." So you're doing a performance at The Point called "site-specific." Sounds like fun, can you explain "site-specific" for us?

Wailana: Site-specific simply implies that the actual site of the work being performed is pertinent to the piece/art.  I have worked with choreographers who have taken this idea to the hilt.  Like when I danced with Pearl Ubungen in San Francisco 1993, we danced at a pit where once stood a building, The I-Hotel, which housed the first wave of Filipino Immigrants to the US and where in 1973 they were cruelly displaced.  A human barricade that was 5 man deep awaited the cops at 5 am in the morning of their wrongful eviction.  The site sat empty for 20 years.  On the 20th anniversary of the eviction, Pearl decided to perform right there, so we had the corner of Kearny and Jackson street shut down for our 3 night performances.  It was amazing!

Also, Anna Halprin was a great inspiration for not only Pearl and I, but for the whole of Modern Dance.  She is a well known Choreographer and Activist.  She had a performance on a Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California where the community re-enacted these rapes that had ravaged her community. The re-enactment was a way to "reclaim" the mountain that was seen as spiritual symbol for them.  It was a way to "take the mountain back," also expressing grief, uniting the community around the tragedies.

Coincidentally, a week after this performance, a tip came in and the perpetrator was caught. Whether it was due to the performance or not does not really matter.  The fact that the community was able to heal and take back the mountain was powerful and meaningful enough.  Him being captured was just extra!

NR: Many people at Kalani love The Point, a magical place where you can see 180 degree views of the ocean, hear it roar, and do rituals or celebrations. Many visitors to Kalani have stories about special occasions or soulful moments. I know someone that had a birthday party on The Point, someone else that reclaimed her body after 5 years of being in pain due to an accident by doing Qi Gong on The Point.

Can you tell us why you chose The Point?

Wailana Simcock - Choreographer - Kalani Retreat CenterWailana: The Point was just the most logical place to go outside while here at Kalani. Thus it is a celebration of nature really, more than reclaiming anything or making a poltical statement.  It is to honor the 'aina (land) and to recall the story of Hi'iaka and Pele where they live here in Puna.  It is so inspiring to live where their myths and legends are lived out.  And, as you know, the Point is so symbolic.  To me it is  like where time stands still, a portal to the gods and the sea,  a symbol of union where the sea meets the sky.  Supernature is a nod to the super nature found here and to the supernatural gods and goddesses of Hawaii.

NR: One well known Goddess of Hawaiian myth is Pele...

Wailana: Pele has chosen to live here next to us, with her "clan," right here at Kileaua.  We are right next to her, we feel her everyday. We can't do a dance outside without talking about Pele. I want to pay homage to this wahi pana (storied place) of Puna that have been told for hundreds of years.

NR: What will you be doing for the performance?

Wailana: It's very eclectic and all over the place.  Some acting, spoken word. Some oli (chanting). We're going to be doing some Aerial work too on the tissue, ring, and straps, hanging from the trees there. We're going to have a Nina Simone song I am excited to work on in the aerial straps, a pas de deux to "Wild is the Wind" by my favorite, Nina Simone.

We'll have some different influences, like some kitschy camp 70s music (Supernature by Cerrone), some original hula and oli, songs about Pele.

NR: How can we come see you in this unique performance?

The performance is Saturday March 19th, 5:30pm at The Point. We are accepting love donations of any kind!  We are a very young company and are very ambitious. We are premiering Wai Company, our name, our mission and and our website -  waicompany.com.  We are stoked to be this unique dance theater company based out of Puna. We are faced with lots of challenges here but we make them into opportunities.  You have to to survive. You gotta be creative. I never would of thought I would start a dance company here. But I am so glad I did.

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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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Friday, January 25, 2008

Kalani `Ohana

Bell BurningOn the evening of January 1, 2008, in a brilliant display, the Wishing Bell - Burning Basket of New Beginning, met it's final conclusion through fire. The hanging bell was woven with locally gathered natural materials, and filled with the written intentions that were placed inside. All of the heartfelt messages, inside and out, were released through the sparks and flames that drifted up into the starry night sky.

This collaborative woven basket sculpture, at Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Big Island, Hawaii, was the 10th in a series of similar community interactive art projects facilitated my Mavis Muller, Homer Alaska, and due in part to funding from the Black Rock Arts Foundation, San Francisco, CA.

Mavis Muller

Art facilitator Mavis Muller added the finishing touches to the large woven basket sculpture before it is ignited. The origami paper whales were created by elementary students in Homer, Alaska, and sent to Hawaii as a gift to be placed on this burning basket sculpture with wishes for a safe journey for the humpback whales that migrate from Alaska to Hawaii.

Thanks to all who contributed unique efforts and talents toward the ambiance of the evening, including fire spinning artists Maxwell and Julia, traditional Hawaiian chanting by Kimo, drummers, and hand-painted luminaria by Shola.

Julia firespinningMaxwell firespinning










May the warmth of the memories we shared keep us illuminated and connected.

Something has ended.
Something has begun.

Learn more about the Burning Basket Project at www.mavismullerart.com

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Winter SolsticeUnder the direction of Mavis Muller, an Artist-in-Residence from Alaska, a team of volunteers collaborated in the weaving of a large 'wishing bell' basket which was installed in the Buddha Grove.

After a dedication ceremony in the afternoon, with poems, chants and story weaving, Mavis and volunteers created a spiral luminaria, each beautifully adorned with an original bamboo painting by Shola.

After the nearly-full moon rose on the Winter Solstice, volunteers danced in a rhythmic procession through the lighted spiral to celebrate the Solstice and the new installation.

May the warmth of the memories we shared keep us illuminated and connected. May the energy generated that night spiral ever outward with the spirit of aloha!

Wishing Bell Invitation

Wishing BellAll are invited to interact with this woven 'wishing bell'
in your own personal way.

Decorate the outside with found objects from nature.

Use the materials provided in this box, leaves and markers.
(Please close it again when you are finished.)

Write down your wishes.

Write your sentiments on a leaf, or paper fold it up and tuck it inside the basket in the theme of:

  • manifestation for the upcoming year;

  • wishes for wellness for yourself, loved ones, for all of creation;

  • things you are grateful for;

  • anything that you would like to release, to make way for new beginnings, etc.....

On January 1, 7:30 pm, at this location, the Buddha Grove,
the 'wishing bell' basket will meet it's conclusion through fire.
The basket will burn, respectfully releasing all of your heartfelt messages.

Something has ended. Something has begun.

This interactive art project is facilitated by Mavis Muller, Homer, Alaska, and is the tenth in a series. mavismullerart.com

Invocation
by Mavis Muller

Corn,
symbol of abundance,
food for the present,
seeds for the future.
With the corn rattle,
we lift and scatter,
to all the directions,
the needs and desires,
of all humanity,
and all of creation,
we do this with trust,
knowing in our hearts,
that we will be provided for.

Gourd,
symbol of gratitude,
opening hearts,
expanding compassion.
With the gourd rattle,
we lift and scatter,
to all the directions,
our joyful gratitude,
for the blessings in our lives,
the beauty of our purpose,
the bounty of the Earth.
we do this with love,
our ultimate treasure.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Just because we live in a yoga retreat in the jungle on the slopes of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn't mean we lack the amenities of culture!

Kalani art showKalani's Art Show on December 14th was a feast for the senses. Organized by Ben Ellis and Tiff Manchester, and supported by local residents and volunteers, there was art, music, food, wine, poetry, dance, and a fashion show.

Our current Artist-in-Residence, Mavis Muller of Homer, Alaska, directed a basket weaving project that produced wonderful works of art from local plants. Her work can be seen at www.mavismullerart.com.

Pictures of the Art show are up in a new gallery on Kalani's website. Click HERE or on the picture for the gallery. We hope you can be at the next one!

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