Kalani Honua Blog - Guest Reflections

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

When Ty Black left Oklahoma to spend a month at Kalani, he had no idea how his time on the Big Island would transform his life -- on and off the mat.

Check out the video below for more on his personal transformation and how the Hawaii Yoga Festival and Peak Beings Yoga Teacher Training helped Ty expand and deepen his yoga practice.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez

Is Kalani a "Power Spot" or Vortex?

When it comes to "sacred geography," Hawaii often gets lost amongst the more famous locations such as Sedona, Machu Picchu, and the Egyptian pyramids.

Yet visitors to Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii love to express their amazement at the power of this magical land. There's good reason why Shiva Rea calls Kalani "one of the most potent and nurturing retreat centers on Earth."

Consider the following:

Pele's Power - Kalani is just 10 miles from the foot of Kilauea volcano, a volcano filled with molten magnetic iron ore. Known in Hawai'i as the home of volcano goddess Pele, Hawaiians for centuries have celebrated the destructive and regenerative power of the volcano in chant and dances.

Author William Chiles writes, "Pele's lava is a powerful symbol, and the foundation of new beginnings. It acts as a field for the piezoelectric 'armature of you,' amplifying what you're all about." Chiles suggests that Pele magnetizes your desires and brings them to the surface. Visitors and residents at Kalani regularly share stories about finding new, positive directions here. Some people experience sudden, unexpected torrents of emotion, only to find they transform into the sunny skies of new visions and understanding. Guests and locals alike report finding a positive new direction here.

Ley lines and Vortexes - There are the long-held beliefs surrounding the "ley lines" around the Earth, which form an energetic grid around the planet. Vortexes are crossing points on the ley lines. In the book Secrets and Mysteries of Hawaii, one passage talks about the Big Island being connected in a planetary grid, showing precise interconnectedness with sacred spots around the planet like the pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, Uluru in Australia, and the Big Island's Kilauea volcano.

The ley line coming into the South Point of the Big Island, not far from Kalani, is considered be one of the most powerful to hit land mass. Author William "Pila" Chiles talks about the South Point as a "doorway" where "the density of three dimensional reality seems to be very thin" and the energy is "very unusual."

The Big Island as a "Pyramid" - Given that many pyramids around the planet are built on ley lines, it may come as no surprise that the Hawaiian translation for the word "volcano" and the word "pyramid" are identical. It could be that the Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes that are near to Kalani are actually the biggest pyramids of all!

Prophecy about the Big Island - White Eagle Medicine Woman, a frequent visitor to Kalani, a teacher and channel, spoke to a large Kalani audience about how she felt guided to build a community drum at Kalani. White Eagle refers to Hawaii as the heart chakra, or heart center, for the planet. She refers to Alaska as the crown and Macchu Piccu in Peru as the root. White Eagle's prophecy is that Kalani and the Big Island have a bigger role in shifting mass consciousness for change, setting the energy of intention through a powerful global grid.

The Big Island of Hawaii may not be as famous for "sacred geography" as Sedona, Giza, or Machu Picchu - but clearly it has a powerful spot to hold amongst its well-known cousins. Either way, there is no doubt that those who visit again and again will confidently declare Kalani as a "power spot" for finding direction and creating new dreams.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lewie Pell with Kalani Blog Team

Some people dont know that you can live at Kalani. We have a stewardship program where you can own a cottage here and rent it out part of the year.

The following words are from Lewie Pell, a well-loved Kalani steward gifted at poetry.

I live, work, play, pray with my life partner Christiana, in the foothills of the Sierras in Northern California, with 3 months a year at Kalani. I am deeply committed to personal and planetary transformation on all levels.

Ammachi is my guru and Adyashanti our teacher. My works as a pastoral minister with the homeless and runaway kids for 20 years at Covenant House in New York City turned my lifetime poetry/songwriting to rhyming, rapping and spoken word performing which I do wherever, whenever...


Brother Lewie's my name

prayer power's my game-

prayer power, any minute any hour

all we gotta do

is get in touch with you know who

You know who - G-O-D

good orderly direction

that's the connection

you put your life in order

then you swim in happy waters.

How? Jesus said it best

seek the kingdom first, and its righteousness

all will be added unto you

nothing you need to do

but do your very best

and life will do the rest,

reach up as high as you can each day

-the best way to pray-

and God will reach down all the rest of the way.

Then reach out and help someone out

and you'll be helped out no doubt-

it's true as blue sky is blue

all the good you do will come back to you.

and that's the true blue

from your Bro Lew.

Poem about Kalani...

Sunrain Dance

This lihau (mist) drizzle on my face

pure grace

calls me to lighten up

in the Kalani embrace

of transformation now.

Each Aloha smile

jump starts the radiant

sunrain dance within

to deepen, deepen

run to the ocean's edge,

dive into the sparkle

swim the wide warm deep waters

of our pure being.

let the tide call of

I'm here, I'm here

draw us to new depths

of whole new me - you

one living sea

oh say can you see what I see

can we be what we see

one rainbow family

living a sweet harmony

where jungle sounds surround

coqui, coqui, go free! go free!

coqui, coqui, go free! go free!



don't fake it

naked me

naked mind

naked be

no me

only we

stark naked


I woke up this morning

feeling - well, pretty shitty

something about some essentials

I'd forgotten to bring for this day's trip

Sent my mind into

'just is' 'just is'

words of acceptance

like sea waves

in a vision

pounding the Puna pali

will the waves of my acceptance efforts

ever break down all the layers of resistance?

how long O Lord, how long?

..Adyashanti reading after meditation

say's it's simple, just wake up!

No-thing here at all...

I'll let today's waves

keep saying that,

with no words, I hope.

Because of my age at 75, there's a lot of goodbyes ...


Clouds come and go

sky remains,

Waves rise and fall

ocean remains,

People come and go

love remains.

One of many poems to Ammachi, the "hugging saint" of India who has hugged over 26 million people.

Oh Mother

Once again you are in our land in your physical form-

and I am determined to come to you

barefoot, bare mind, bare heart empty of all but my yearning

to melt into your blessed Being...

Why does it seem harder this time - and easier?

Never before the defender of this false self

So arrayed at their crumbling walls

to do battle with this Conqueror

who comes adored with the skulls of former egos

dancing her ecstatic victory dance

bright maya - slashing sword, whirling, flashing

Singing the sonorous war songs.

echoed by her devotees' million voices

armed with a smile that eclipses the sun,

a lover's glance that melts mountains

a hug that embraces the cosmos-

O Ma! Never so easy

for this little one

to lay himself down in thee

and die.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez

How do you describe Kalani?

For those that know Kalani, the non-profit educational village and yoga retreat center in the Big Island of Hawaii, they know that it is a favorite repeat destination for many people!

For people that are new, here are some ways to describe Kalani:

Kalani Retreat Center | Yoga Retreats | Non-Profit | Camp

  • Spiritual Retreat Center- Kalani is kind of like Esalen Institute but more rustic, with  "tiki" chic.

  • Yoga Retreat Center - Yoga workshops and yoga retreats create a culture of people that enjoy yoga-related activities like ecstatic dance, kirtan, trance dance, and other similar events. There are other types of fun activities too like watsu, hula dance, huna healing and a full schedule of classes.

  • Volunteer Program - To volunteer in Hawaii you can live at Kalani and enjoy cheap travel, but unlike another place to volunteer like United Way, you get to live and enjoy fun activities like movie nights, open mike nights or themed "Ohana" or family nights. You also get to take most classes for free. Some people come to Kalani as a guest, start to feel like Kalani is "their family," and then come back as a volunteer.

  • It's the Food - If you are a "foodie" or even if you are not, Kalani has legendary cuisine that stays in people's memory long after their vacation at Kalani is over. For some people the food is enough to make them wild about Kalani. A recent Italian night in Kalani's kitchen included:
    • Farfalle chi Sardi - gluten free pasta with almonds, pine nuts, fennel and raisins
    • Caprese made with fresh mozzarella from the milk of water buffalo, tomatoes and basil
    • Pesce alla Messinese (whitefish with capers and olives), Cipolle Gratinate, (onions baked with balsamic and seasoned with wild island mint).
    • Cassata Sicliana that is one of the oldest cakes in history, enjoyed by Ancient Romans. Twice cooked cheese and almonds
  • Was this food for a special occasion? Not at all! It is just a typical day of dining at Kalani Retreat.

Kalani Retreat Center | Massage and Yoga Retreat

  • Community Dining - Last but not least, Kalani is unique in how it creates community. Group dining at the dining lanai creates fun opportunities for people to start out as strangers and leave as friends. Enjoyable activities like hula dancing, huna healing circle, yoga workshops can be shared with like minded others, and there are many chances to mingle and see familiar faces--during meal hours in the dining lanai, at the clothing optional pool or hot tub, or over at one of the classes. It's not unusual to meet people at Kalani and make friends for life.

Well, Kalani isn't always easy to describe, but we're doing our best for now. Want to help us describe Kalani? Please post a comment here, or send us a blog at [email protected]. It's worth it as this place is amazing and magical, and a best kept secret that others might love to know more about!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rolf Christen

Sunny day at Kalani | Non-Profit Yoga Retreat CenterWow! We were surprised to receive this wonderful letter from a guest at Kalani, our non-profit yoga retreat center and educational village on the oceanside in the Big Island of Hawaii. Here's what it says:

"Ilse and I had a great time again at Kalani and we are looking forward to our stewardship [cottage] there very, very much.

I spent 10 days. Never read the paper, didn't listen to the news, never checked my email, didn't even check the phone messages.

Instead I sat at the oceanside, watched the waves, the turtles, the whales, the dolphins, the palm trees, the clouds for hours on end. I played in the waves at the beach, swam all the way out to the rocks with you, enjoyed the hot tub under the stars almost every night.

I spent hours on the new beach, watching the surfers and watching the lava flow in the distance behind me. I spent almost a day on the lava shelf watching and feeling the waves crash into the land, the spray shooting high into the air, one after another, again and again.

I walked to the lava flow and saw, felt, experienced again the power of the earth arising into this world, creating something new, fresh, unspoiled.

New life, a new promise. I enjoyed great meals on the lanai, in the companionship of strangers, that I now consider close friends. I received tender loving hugs from strangers, smiles from people I had never met before. I joined the activities and yoga workshops that were offered even if they seemed a (very!) big stretch to my comfort zone..... and loved every bit of it!!!

And yes, I decided to join the 'ohana and put my feet down in this great community. May this endeavor be a blessing to us and to the community. Thanks for dreaming, Richard, and thanks for letting me be part.

With Love and Gratitude, Rolf"


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.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Margaret Critchlow

My story is a familiar one, with a twist. My first visit to Kalani in 2003 made me want to come back. No surprise there! What is more unusual is that I returned in 2005 not to volunteer, but to do anthropological research on the culture of retreat centers.

Kalani launched me on this journey, and now it has called me back to spend two weeks as an Artist in Residence writing a chapter for the book that has grown out of the research. The working title is Journeys Through Centers. In the book, my intention is to share the voices of people who work at a variety of retreat centers, explore the paths they follow, and suggest why such centers matter to us all.

Here is a taste of the Kalani chapter. This excerpt draws on some of my earlier writing. It is a work in progress, so I welcome your corrections, and suggestions. I look forward to your input as I write the 2010 update on volunteer life at Kalani. If you want to share your thoughts or read more, please email me at ([email protected])

Condensed excerpt:

My research suggested that time was the key privilege that Kalani volunteers enjoyed.  For North Americans in the work force, money can seem easier to get than time; but volunteers at Kalani often had more time than money. They needed some money, true. Volunteers in 2005 paid $1500 for three months. But their privilege was to be able to spend months or even years in a place most could visit only for a few days or weeks.

How did people get the time they needed to be resident volunteers at Kalani? The key was to trust their gut feelings or intuition, and to see time as a very precious choice. A variety of paths led people this twofold realization.

I interviewed forty-two resident volunteers and paid staff at Kalani in the winter of 2005. The first question I asked was, “How did you come to volunteer at Kalani?” The responses emphasized the importance of following one’s intuition as well as acting decisively to break old patterns and step into an experiential space that opened people to new possibilities. Larry  (all volunteers names have been changed) was going through a marital breakup when he came to Kalani. He told me, “I thought it was really beautiful. I met the person who was in charge of personnel at the time, and I just had an amazing feeling about her, and I thought well if everyone here is like this, this is where I’d like to be.”

Ironically, time is the key resource that makes it possible to volunteer at Kalani, but volunteering  also buys people time. As Alex put it, he has the luxury of time at Kalani to allow what he should do next to unfold:

[Many volunteers] are here to have fun, but also to “figure it out”, whatever it is they have to figure out. You know, what do I want to do for work? That's a big question in my mind. I have a lot of different ideas, but nothing really has gripped me yet. I have the luxury of staying here or traveling for a while until it does, which is great. I feel very fortunate to have that luxury, to not have to keep going.

Some volunteers had no career or permanent work when they came to Kalani. But many others left or sold their businesses to free up not only the cash but the time to volunteer. Fred sold his catering business. Alex sold his construction business. Mina left a high power job in New York’s fashion industry. Dale’s dot com business was thriving. He got out and came to Kalani as a volunteer just before the tech stocks crashed.

Personal transformation, then, arises partly from making the time to step out of ‘normal’ life. Traveling, as a temporary state, seems a low risk way to do this because one can keep traveling, return home, or find a new place to live. But travel to Kalani opens volunteers to new possibilities, including more permanent lifestyle changes that critique the normalcy of the work-a-day world. For example, for Amy, who left the solar panel business, being at Kalani changed her attitude towards work and possessions…

to read more contact Margaret <[email protected]>


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jon Montgomery

Jon Montgomery

I sat outside on the deck,
Out by the candle.
I looked up in the sky,
But my eyes were closed.
I thought, “How cool would it be
To hear from my Lord.

I sat out with the candle
And looked up in the sky.
All I could do was hear the rain
And listen for my Lord.

As my body relaxed and
Slowed down my mind,
As all the worries of the day
And the concerns of life
Started to fade away;
I sat out with the candle
And listened for my Lord.

As my body went quiet,
Then my brain,
I heard a slight voice.
“You are making the right move.”

I was concerned
over decisions in life
And God knew my soul.
He knew what was ailing me.
He knew my stress.

He picked up my pain
And said, “You are making the right move.”
I stopped to hear
But could not believe.
”Is that you, my Lord.”

And then I heard it.
I heard His voice
“Yes, it is, my son.”
But I still did not believe.

I decided to take a chance.
My words were formed.
“Do you still love me?”
I ask with expectations of despair.

And without a moment, He said,
“I’ve always loved you,
From the beginning of time,
Even before.
I’ve loved you before you were born.

As the words flowed
With no effort from His mouth,
My eyes began to tear.
I could not believe it.

As I kept my mind in slow,
I again relaxed my eyes.
Tears were there but
They were supposed to be.
I was talking to my Lord.

“God, I’m so sorry for….”
But before I could finish
He shut my mouth,
“Look straight ahead.
I’ve forgiven you your wrongs,
before they were even committed.“

As the pictures came by in my head,
I thought I’d see the wrongs --
The sinning and the dirty deeds,
All the scum and filth.

But what I saw was the pain that came
To other people I’ve known.
The pain I caused
And how I treated them.
That was the sin that God saw
He wanted me to know.

He was saying, “Keep moving,
You’re doing fine.
You’re learning and growing
And making changes to be better.
For you and those around you.
You’re learning how to be yourself
And love who you were created.”

The rain poured down,
The wind kept moving.
I was talking to my Lord.

“Am I on the right track, Lord?”
I asked with much hesitation.
Very slowly, with deliberate beat,
“You. Are. On. The. Right. Track,”
He said.

A moment passed.
And then another.
I let the words sink in.
“Can we visit for a while?” and
He replied, “We’ll be forever together.”


Friday, November 19, 2010


Blue Hands group in Japanese Garden

I am still enroute back to San Francisco after a lovely couple of days in Waikiki which was perfectly sunny and busy.

One of my most powerful experiences at Kalani happened on Saturday morning. Adi had recommended the sunrise at the point on the very first day at Kalani and I had yet to make it, so I forced myself out of bed and walked down to the point. It was a bit gray and overcast, so I did not get much of a sunrise, but I did watch the Windex blue waves crashing against the rocks. It started to rain and someone had conveniently left a small umbrella on the bench. A coincidence, perhaps, but a metaphor, maybe.

As I walked back up the long road I noticed every bird and blossom along the way. I shed a few tears remembering my first love Tony, who loved Hawaii so much. I also remembered all of the experiences of the week - snorkeling, exuberant dancing, being lovingly massaged by JaRed and Dennis, the waterfall, coconut macadamia oatmeal, buying noni juice and drinking kava in Hilo, the Japanese Garden picnic, learning the hula with Jonathan/Kimo, smoking with Dave and the Berkeley boys, swimming naked with Wallace, the horticultural tour with Barcus, Jim's doses of daily philosophy, the Russians in the sauna with Dennis and so much more.

When I got back to Mauka, I realized that the journey to Inspiration Point was not at all about the seeing sunrise, but the about clarity that morning light brings to the present and the past, the quiet time to be mindful of our surroundings. I take that morning clarity into the future along with the metaphor of the umbrella that was there when I needed it. I took it back to the bench before I left and hope that someone else will find all that they need for their journey at Kalani.

Aloha and Mahalo to you all, Lorenzo


Friday, October 22, 2010


Warm waves of aloha to all ~~~


~~~ The view from my window at Kalani ~~~

View from my window at Kalani