Today I collaborated with ArchiSmart, we created a workshop in nature. The children created architectural structures while learning about the earth's resources. Then I read my book "Mamma's Planet Earth" . This not only ties in literacy it also helps them to better connect them to their sense of place. Afterwards the children and adults laid down as I sang songs of the earth and brought them through a guiding meditation. Being in nature helps children to better connect with all things. Here is a quote that reminds me of this:
"In talking to children the old Lakota would place a hand on the ground and explain: 'We sit in the lap of our mother, from her we and all living things come, we shall soon pass but the place where we now rest will last forever' so we too learned to sit and lie down on the ground and become conscious of life about us in it multitude of forms." (Gottlieb, 2003).
Later we had the children reflect their experience through art. I feel taping into ones creative sources is vital as it teaches children to better listen to their intuition and ideas. I really enjoy working with children in nature I look forward to creating and co-creating more events to allow children the space to honor, take care of and protect mother earth.
Thought of day: May all creatures learn and remember that we are all part of creation.
Gottlieb, R. S. (2003). Tradition: ethical roots of spiritual social activism. In Liberating faith: Religious voices for justice, peace, and ecological wisdom (p. 30). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Today we visited Kauai Aadheenam, or the Kauai's Hindu Monastery, it was lovely. First went to mediate by the banyan, I said the "Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" chant praying for peace in my life and peace for society. As I meditated by the banyan tree I grounded my energy into the deep roots.
Afterwards we went to the service and got to discover the rudhraksha forest. It felt so magical to be in a forest of rudhraksha. I felt each seed had a message and each tree carried a tremendous about of love and wisdom. I am an avid tree hugger and with permission from this tree I received its presence. Each tree has a different vibration some felt expansive, some felt they carried wisdom. We didn't get to see the blue fruit as it wasn't the season but one day we will.
Before arriving to the airport we were greeting by our last little friend. Until we meet next time.. A hui hou...
Thought of the day: May we discover the little and grand things in life with awe and reverence
Aloha every moment and every day is a blessing. Taking the time to breathe and in being in nature is not only part of my spiritual path yet rather an extension of my anatomy, a part of who I am. Kauai has been on our list to visit. We have both felt a deep connection and Edith so amazingly surprised me with a trip to Kauai for my birthday. When we arrived the green palm leaves moved in the wind as if welcoming us to the land.
It was so wonderful to learn that Kauai is 5 million years old! How sacred to be on this land. After being on land for some time it was time to be in the air.
We took a spectacular helicopter ride. Being in the air really provides a greater perspective. We were both in awe and went into silence for the majority of the trip. We were taken to places that are not accessible through walking but accessible through the birds eyes view. I felt a part of my soul had been here before, as we flew over, through and in between places the beauty and knowledge held in the land moved my heart, tears streamed down from my eyes.
After the ride we went on a tour to visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
The garden's mission is to "enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions". One of there programs is the Breadfruit Institute they use it to " promote the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation". The Breadfruit Institute has provided more than 60,000 plus trees to 30 countries. As conservation is one of there main work you can see a breadfruit on there logo. I got reacquainted with bread fruit on the islands here, growing up in and visiting South America I would eat fried breadfruit with coconut rice.
After going to the visitor center we headed out to the Allerton Garden (Lāwa`i Kai). In the bus we passed by Bougainvillea flowers these flowers remind me of Colombia and going to the farm as a young child. Running in the fields with my extended cousin also called Vanessa we would mash Bougainvillea leaves on a rock and make a paste. Then my little cousins would come and bring other children. Some children would make pretend we were doctors, then we would apply it on their hands, other children would buy the salve with money made of rocks and sticks. Young children are often very connected to their inner truth, the source with in. They intuitively and instinctively gravitate towards what makes them happy. Often if left children will create mud pies or different concoction with leaves, twigs and sticks.
The pressing of leaves to make salves is common in most culture. In Hawaii, La'au Lapa'au is tradition in which the element of the earth are used for healing. The herbal remedies are made with roots, leaves, stems of the plants other elements of nature are utilized as well.
Walking through the garden we passed by a tamarind tree. Tamarind is used in indian cuisine I haven't tried cooking with tamarind yet. We also saw a Kiave tree both were planted by Queen Emma.
We passed through the Diana Fountain, it was interesting to find out that the owner specifically did not want the statues to be washed as he wanted the statues to grow with the garden naturally.
Walking through the forest, I turned- looked up and saw the sun peaking through the trees. I found a beautiful spiderweb, the light peaking through different areas made it reflect different colors and sparkle. The spiral seemed to makes me think of how we can incorporate and join all aspects of ourselves and spiritual values into all aspects of life. In Native American culture the spider symbolism represents how we are weaving our lives.
I felt so humbled to touch the ancient Cyacad plant. We learned this plant has been found to be up to 300 million years old. It was alive at the time dinosaur were alive. Here I am connecting to the vibrations of this ancient plant.
Next we learned about the 'Ape plant or "Elephant ears" plant. The leaves had medicinal properties the ancient ancestors would wrap it around a someone who had a fever. I learned that 'Ape leaves look like taro leaves but the difference is that the taro leaves go down and the 'Ape leaves go up.
Next we went to the reflection pond. As you can see nature is reflecting in the water, we are nature itself. Like this, I am working towards the practice of feeling, experiencing and learning to see each person as a reflection of the divine. What do you see when you look at the pond? what energies and emotions are emerging/reflecting for you at the moment?
Thought of the day: May we discover our inner landscapes and fill it with peace. May we open our minds, hearts and spirit to receive the light from with in. I offer flowers to your heart from mine.
Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens is located at the entrance of Iao Valley State Park. The Heritage Garden represents the multicultural contributions that have made up and continue to make up Hawaii's rich culture such as Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, Portugal and Puerto Rico. It is beautiful that a space has being created to represent a coming together of these cultures. Many visitors from all over the world and local families frequently visit to relax and have picnics. Picnic-ing here reminds me of how hawaii's cuisine is also a mix and merge of ethnic backgrounds.
The Heritage Gardens are made up of structures and gardens. Each culture has a way of entering a temple. Each culture has purification rituals that enhances the clarity of their spirit. For example, while entering a temple calming and respectfully one may take of shoes, burn incense, or wash certain body parts.
Many of the structures have a gate. The gates represent stepping in from one world to another. For example, passing through a torii gate signifies walking into sacred space. These arquitectual structures are gateways of heaven for many cultures, a way to connect to the other side or find rest within one's soul. These labyrinths thus become a tool for finding our inner self, reaching our center, feeling united.
As Iao Valley cool stream runs through these harmonious gardens, waterfalls and ponds, as the colorful flowers, and trees silently meditate in their self. I feel a sense of serenity and peace.
Thought of the day: May we enjoy our journeys into our hearts, may we walk into the entrances of the source within us. May we embrace all the colors that life gives as we remember, we are all one family in this small garden of earth.
Several weeks ago I had a dream I was standing in a circle with several women dressed in native-made clothing. We were standing on the land, snow was around us and behind us was the ocean. It seemed like I was in Alaska, although I have not been there yet. As we held hands we rocked back and forth chanting and praying a language unknown to me but in my dream it felt familiar and I sang in the language as well. The women continued to chant and pray as they sang these sacred songs, I felt energy in the depth of the water like a signal being picked up from the unlimited source.
I did not want to stop the chant, but I felt I had to let the women know something was coming. I felt the wind spiral and move around and across us. I asked the women to stop for a minute, to listen and then simultaneously several whales emerged their bodies out of the surface of the water, the water around them surged upwards creating a wave.
These cetaceans standing in all their strength, all their wisdom emitted mysteries of the universe. Their emergence seemed to unlock mysteries deep within us. I felt the breeze pass through my face again and then I woke up.
As I woke up, I went into a prayer for peace...
This deep connection to the whales continued and continue. It is as if they are subconsciously, and consciously communicating with me. Just as the whales call out and sing to one another the whales can call out and sing to the human race.
Although this was a dream, it felt very vivid and so I take this as a clue or a sign. Perhaps on some level when we dream we not only sleep but tap into other parallel existences unknown to man. Several weeks past and I kept thinking about Little Hawk he was a Cherokee Elder, he was like a grandfather to us and taught us many things. I feel his presence often.
Last Sunday, I felt Hawk again, I felt guided to go to the Temple of Peace's Psychic and Healthy Fair. While at the fair we met and reunited with beautiful souls. I found out some of these women had Cherokee ancestry. We enjoyed our time and knew we would see each other at some point. The next day Edith texted me saying we received an invitation to a drum circle for the children. We graciously accepted the invitation.
Drum circle day, there we were: Alaskan, Canadian, South American, and Hawaiian Light Keepers standing in a circle holding hands. Immediately I felt we were meant to be there. As we all interlocked hands I felt a surge of energy move around the room simultaneously, I felt the same sensation I did in my whale dream.
In the silence, I could feel the whales singing out and then it was time for the drumming to begin. The drum became a sacred conscious tool it became alive. Her beat resounded in the room, her heartbeat beating with us all. Then several woman began to chant and sing songs in a language unknown to me, Edith and I sat with the drum pounded and chanted and learned new songs as well. I sang songs that was previous taught to me and shared with the group. What an honor to meet and create ceremony with these magical open-hearted individuals. It was time to go we gave of farewells and hugs before they left back north, with a grin on my face we walked on the grass a slight wind pass through us, I look up to the stars and thought how mysterious and vast the universe truly is...
Thought of the day: Let us hold each other in the warmth of our love as our our hearts bea, in the name of Love and Peace for Mother earth and her creatures. May all of our dreams, and voices of love and unity be heard, may out thoughts, words and deeds be for the betterment of the world and so it is….
Today we volunteered at Mother’s Kitchen. Here is some background information. In 1996, individuals inspired by Amma’s (Mata Amritanandamayi) love, compassion, and seva (selfless service) towards humanity started the first soup kitchen. In the U.S, Canada and Costa Rica there are over 42 “Mother’s Kitchen projects. It is run by a group of volunteers from all walks of life whom are dedicated to making a difference at the local community level. Here in Maui, “Mother’s Kitchen” is a sponsor group at Ka Hale A Ke Ola (KHAKO) Homeless Resource Centers, Inc. KHAKO began sheltering the homeless in 1986. They work in conjunctions with 50 human service agencies to provide for the clients’ needs, such as medical, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and financial services. The client enters 6 weeks program, if qualified they can transition into long term. The program is made up of:
Mother’s Kitchen does feedings 2-3 times a month. The volunteers do everything from gathering the food, preparing, cooking, set-up and clean up. They takes different shifts for example; some take the morning shifts in going to the local markets and gather the food, some just the afternoon prep, and some the evening serving. Volunteers are welcome to participate in all or some of “Mother’s Kitchen” project.
One of the most important things we practice is being present. We work towards preparing the food with Love and care. Food preparation and serving is done in awareness to also reduce waste.
Many of the people coming have many stressors in their life. It is nice to lesson the load with home-cook meal made with love.
Thought of the day: May we support one another, move away from coping and help one another thrive in the light of our beings. May the minds stressors subside, may we hand over our fears to our angels, the master, and divine light. The grace of God may we tap into our power and remain optimistic.
Today we walked down Thompson road. Nature is definitely our home and walking down this beautiful path fills me with gratitude. How is your relationship to mother earth? Do you have time with mother do you see, feel, taste and experience her many blessings. There is myriad of colors in her expression.
Thought of the day: May the light of the sun shine so brightly in all of our hearts expanding us to deeper love.