Tuesday, May 30, 2006

 

Perils of Paradise



Black snow visited Kihei today...but it's not a pretty sight. It comes from the cane burn, and when I looked on my doorstep and front deck, I was upset as I always am when the cane burn litters our beautiful world.

For those unfamiliar with the words "Black Snow" and "Cane Burn", here is my tutorial. Much of central Maui is planted with sugar cane. There are smart ways to harvest it, and then there are dumb, cheaper ways. Guess which way is used on Maui? Maui, as progressive as it is in some areas, is slower than slow to adopt the method that would eliminate the messy black snow cane burn. Some activists say the reason why is because of politics and vested interests. It's a mystery to me when I consider how important tourism is to this island. You would think everyone would want Maui to look beautiful! Eh, brah?

I've included two photos here. The first one is a parking lot in a major shopping mall in Kihei, and the second one is of my front door. Notice how I turned the welcome mat around. Nice touch, uh?

This is my ANTIDOTE TO THE GUSHING blog of a recent posting, so if anyone out there in blog-land felt 'less-than' because they weren't having lunch like I was at Ferraro's Four Seasons, they can feel bettah today as they check out my porch and neighborhood. There's always the dark that accompanies the light since we abide in this 3-D experiment of polarity. C'est la vie!





Sunday, May 28, 2006

 

Land of Luminosity





Yesterday was one of those perfect Maui days...not too hot, not too cold. Goldilock Heaven for me on Maui! We dined at one of my favorite island restaurants, Ferraro's, which is located outside by the pool and on the grounds of the gorgeous Four Season's Resort in Wailea not far from our home. As we dined, I blissed out on the luminous light as it danced with the muted colors of the distant West Maui Mountains. Every now and then a shaft of light would spotlight the new white spires of the windfarm on the side of the Pali. Photos can not convey the beauty of the day.

The Four Season's Wailea is usually nominated by travel magazines and organizations as one of the top ten resort hotels in the world. The resort complex sits on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and winds around the coast of Wailea. This beach walk is one of our very favorite beach walks for these very good reasons: the scenery is magnificent; the resorts you pass by on this long beach walk are all breathtaking world-class five star resorts; it is safe no matter what time of day or night you walk; and it's not too arduous if you just want to stroll and poke along as you breathe in the fragrant air and absorb the beauty of everything.

But back to the Four Season's, and here's why it's MY favorite resort on Maui (even though there are many close contenders). For starters, it's just the RIGHT size. Some resorts overwhelm you, and you can just as easily get lost in them as you can in many Las Vegas casinos. The Four Season's is well-laid out and manageable! I like that. It is soothing to have the right size.

Second, the service is impeccable. If you ask for anything, the answer you hear is "absolutely!" I love to hear that word if I ask for something, don't you? And all the staff people act as if they have the aloha spirit, even if they don't. Friendly and welcoming work for me.

Third, it's unbelievably gorgeous! The multiple fountains, the swimming pool, the location, the well-maintained tropical plants, trees and grounds, the shops, the statuary, the furnishings, the food, and the floral decorations are exotic and top-of-the-line. Check out some of my photos to see for yourself.

Fourth, it has superb restaurants. We ate at Ferraro's yesterday which sits only a few feet away from the beach walk and nearly on the beach! Our table faced directly out to sea with an incredible view. I can't think of many restaurants on Maui this close to the beach with this ambience. In the evening, the tiki torches are glowing in the dark, and there is live music which makes Ferraro's even more romantic. The famous Southern California restaurant Spago has a satellite here too, and it is hugely popular with the fashionistas with the gourmet cusine you would expect from Spago.

This is the luxe life. Make no mistake. You have hit pay dirt. And it'll cost you!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

 

The Sad News Cometh from Java Island


The latest calamity to hit Asia is sobering and saddening. Thus far, it has been reported that over 3,500 have been killed by a huge earthquake that struck the heavily populated Java Island in Indonesia. The world's largest Buddhist monument, Borobudar, is miraculously reported undamaged. A new life now begins for so many thousands of people who will have to relocate. Join with me and send your healing thoughts to them.

It's a three-day Memorial Day weekend for Americans, and on Maui that means the beaches will be packed! Lately there have been reports of people getting stung by jellyfish as there has been a huge jellyfish invasion. I've never been stung, but I have seen those that have been stung before, and they report it hurts like hell. It might be a good time to laze around on the beach,uh?

On another note, a blog was birthed in our home today: http://www.theartoflivinganddying.blogspot.com The Art of Living and Dying came into the world right after the New Moon early in the morning on Maui. The content will include information about alternative health, books, videos, DVD's, travel, sustainable living, ecology, conscious companies, organizations, industries and people that are making a positive contribution to our lives. There are plans to spotlight specific companies, individuals, processes, philosophies, and premium products that facilitate accelerated healing, exploration, wellness, and growth.

The Art of Living and Dying blogspot will be a mix of educational, inspirational, out-of-the-ordinary life-and-death enhancing content.

Friday, May 26, 2006

 

Cat Complaint



So I'm working away on my chick lit book "Under A Maui Moon" in the wee hours of the morning, and I get IM'd by my cat.

Me: Yeh, whaddya want now? Dontcha see I'm writing?

Cat: You're freaking me out...you're geeking out.

Me: Whatzit to you anyway? You've got it made in the shade.

Cat: I haven't seen you dancing in your red bikini in a long time.

Me: Unlike you, Queen of the Universe, I have to try and earn some money.

Cat: I can't remember the last time I heard you roar.

Me: Don't remind me.

Cat: If I don't, who will?

Me: Ummmm.....

Cat: Exactly!

Me: Is that all?

Cat: I want you to post another photo of me.

Me: What?!!

Cat: I want your pitifully small group of readers to view a better photo of me.

Me: What's going on here?

Cat: That profile of me you posted with the bird was less than flattering.

Me: You looked fine to me!

Cat: Still...after all I'm your muse...need I remind you?

Me: Alright already. Anything else, queenie?

Cat: Get out of your geek suit tomorrow and put on your cat...it suits you.



Thursday, May 25, 2006

 

Pray tell....what are the answers?


Is it just me, or does the world, events, people and news seem to be getting weirder in the last ten years or so? Maybe I am just attracted to the eccentric, odd, mysterious and weird....or maybe it really is getting weirder! I truly suspect it is the later for many others tell me about their synchronicities and their weird, unexplained stories too. According to the author of the bestselling book Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield, the more you focus on synchronicities, the more often they happen. I have experienced this truth in my own life.

I am always marveling about this synchronicity or that mystery that pops into my life and awareness, whether it be a personal event or a news story. If it's a synchronicity, I usually just go Whooaaaa, very khool man! However, if it's a deep and very odd mystery, for the sake of my anxiety levels I usually try to resolve it... sometimes through dowsing, deep meditation or some other form of sleuthing. Alas, sometimes I have to wait for the mystery to be revealed in its own sweet time. Quite often, it does. I have found the trigger word "Reach" is often very effective in this regard. You just repeat this word for awhile and then let the mystery go out of your mind. Wait. Next thing you know, there will be an answer to your question. Of course, it may show itself in a very odd way, but such seems to be the way in this weird world.

I listen to or read the news with amazement... and often with alarm. How far will the world of weird go? How far does the envelope stretch? What the heck is going on I ask myself! Perhaps you may ask yourself this too. For example, on the news here in Hawaii it has been reported multiple times that thieves are stealing copper wire out of the overhead freeway signs. Yesterday they finally caught a thief. Apparently, the price of copper has gone up so much that motivated thieves have reached new heights to claim their booty. Now I read today on one of my favorite weird-reporting websites Surfing The Apocalypse that thieves are doing the same thing in France and stealing copper wire from the trains in northern France and hickjacking trucks with nickel in them as the prices of copper, nickel, zinc and aluminum have skyrocketed to record highs. This news is troubling to me. I know the world is in a crisis, but hey, this news shows how serious it is! The thieves have been out there cutting the ivory tusks off one of the world's greatest treasures, our elephants, for way too long and harming all kinds of animals for stupid concoctions to help men keep it up and for other retarded reasons, but really! How far does thieving, harming others, white slavery and other desperate measures have to continue before everyone speaks up and screams out that something is off and these outrages are over the top??? There is weird, and then there is beyond weird! I have my limits of how much weird is acceptable in my world. Human kindness is big in my book. I love this quote by Mother Theresa: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

More basic weird news: you know how ufo's are usually described as round, spherical or somehow rounded? Now they have photographed a ufo in Germany that is rectangular.

More outrageous weird: A French dude named Eric Julien puts up a website named www.savelivesinmay.com and goes on all the talk shows and tells everyone that the ufo occupants that abducted him told him that there is going to be a huge tsunami today that is going to impact the whole east coast of America, Europe and Africa. Apparently (or so it is reported on that wonderfully weird STA website), people in Morrocco living on the coast are in a panic and packing up and moving inland.

Now here's a weird I rather fancy: It's an online Face Transformer from a laboratory in England (www.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~morph/). What one does is import a face from a
photo on your computer and use this morphing tool to see what one could look like with different features, even like a monkey. I haven't tried it yet, but I did the same thing a number of years ago in a photo booth at the Luxor Hotel to see what animal I would resemble using their morphing tool. It was quick and easy, and voila, I got a three-sample photo spit out of myself as a strange bird. Since I am something of a strange bird, it was perfect.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

 

Omens



Most cultures worldwide have stories about birds that unexpectedly show themselves or act in strange ways. These birds are said to be messengers from the spirit world revealing something to us, and sometimes that can mean death. Ravens are known to be harbingers of death and out of all the predatory birds have the strongest sense of smell. They can smell death many days ahead of time. When I boarded my horse in Topanga Canyon, California many years ago, a large raven showed up and hung around for days sitting on a fence until a horse died...and then the raven moved on.

Over here in the Islands, we have mysterious birds appear and were omens to something big getting ready to happen or something passing away. A tiny white one showed up(for one brief visit) at our bird feeder when a beloved, pure being died several years ago. Recently a bird (which we began calling "Red" because of the carrot-colored tinged feathers) captured our attention by pecking on our large west-facing window every day around 7 AM. Red would peck consistently for several hours and then depart to do the same thing the next day. Everyone in our home was fascinated with Red and wondered what Red was trying to communicate to us....especially our cat who would walk on the windowpane and stare down Red. Anela (means Angel in Hawaiian) foolishly tried to grab Red the first day and bounced off the window hitting our floor with a thud. We howled with laughter when this happened, and Anela, being the khool kat that she is, took our amusement at her expense in stride. She set up Red-watching camp 24/7 in our living room, barely leaving to eat or go outside. She was enraptured with Red.

One morning my partner awoke and discovered Red had showed up early...instead of 7, Red was at the window at 5 AM. Red pecked furiously, more furiously than ever, and then flew away to perform the same action again. My partner intuitively knew that Red was saying goodbye and would not reappear, and such has indeed been the case. The next week our close friend's Mother who was visiting Maui for the first time from the Mainland was rushed to the hospital, and in a very brief time, she passed over the rainbow.

The other day I was at the beach with my daughter, and we saw the most unusual bird I have ever seen here in the Islands. It looked like a giant seagull but with a forked tail, and it would cruise above the ocean, not far from the beach near the Mana Kai Hotel. It would make repeated dives for fish in the water, but never got lucky, and so it eventually sailed away. I was intrigued by this bird, so I spoke to some locals about this sighting, and they were blown away. This is an Iwa bird they said and usually seen out Kaupo way, never this close to South Maui. The Iwa bird is native to the Hawaiian Islands, and it is considered fairly rare these days. They agreed it was a very strange sighting. I guess time will tell what this omen means.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

 

Meme Me Up Up & Away


This is my formula for one who has been enchanted by the Blogo-Universe:

1. Take a ripe avocado, mash it thoroughly, and then squeeze a bit of fresh mango juice into it for aroma. Slather this goop onto da face (after having pulled your hair back into a ponytail of course). This is an anti-meme masque.

2. Put on your sparkly blue flip flops, the one you traded your last houseguest because she really liked the ones you owned better, and you wanted her to leave Maui with good memories... so you were generous and traded your much more sparkly blue flip flops for her less sparkly blue ones. If you don't have flip-flops with this kind of history, any blue flip flops will do.

3. Raise your legs in the air and gaze at these flip flops against the cloudless cerulean blue sky. Raise 'em high...this will work out your abs at the same time.

4. Begin by taking several deep in and out breaths. Forcibly expel the blog memes that you have contracted by incessantly blogging or reading other blogs.

5.Remind yourself that Technorati tags, html codes, templates and all the other blog stuff is just that: STUFF! If any thoughts about the blogouniverse come into your mind, see them as clouds floating by. They will float away as you continue to sky gaze. Keep returning your thoughts to your flip flops and the sky.

6. Be here NOW. Feel your body as your abs get a work-out.

7. See the humor in everything. If you can, laugh!!! Your flip-flops and the sky are blue. LIFE IS GOOD! You are alive, and your abs are aching.

8. Re-enter your home, wash the green goop off your face, and grab your beach bag and get your ass to the beach asap. Don't even look at your computer!!!

9.Dive into the aquamarine ocean water. Your meme was merely a dream.Don't even think of changing the title to The Seduction of Meme.



Saturday, May 20, 2006

 

Currency In The Round

"The world is awash in money! Do you hear what that means? And most of you are showing up with your teaspoons."
Abraham-Hicks

Who sez our currency has to be rectangular and pale green flimsy paper printed with strange symbols? Why can't it be earthy, large, round, scrumptiously melt-in-da-mouth, dark green avocados? Abundance appears in many forms, does it not? Case in point: our friend Jeff from upcountry Maui gifts us a large bag of organic large avocados and lemons as a gesture of friendship, sharing and love. If we were to go to a store and purchase these with F.R. notes, we would pay a small fortune on Maui. Should you shop for either of these two items in your regular markets here, your knickers would surely be in a twist because even a avocado half the size he shared with us is costly...and I have to admit rather sickly looking too! One teensy little (sprayed) lemon will cost you nearly a buck. If you wish abundance on MamaMaui, open your heart, make friends and share.

Barter clubs tried to get a foothold here on Maui for many years, but without success.
The reason is that bartering and sharing is already firmly established here within our many ohanas. Why would it need to be structured? MamaMaui energies are flowing, gifting, connecting, receiving and sharing energies.

So if you move here, keep this in mind and bring your hearts and tablespoons. If you wanna, you can bring a whole dinner service.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

 

While You're At It, Get Me Another Chilled Ripe Mango


I'ts mango season in Maui, and our Giving Mango Tree is super generous this year, as it usually is because it loves to give. We are deep into our mango munch-arama. The smell of the mangos as they ripen permeates our home with a sweet, sensual aroma. Once you've tasted mango, you never go back. Pleaseandthankyouverymuch, gimme another mango to slurp, to wrap my tongue around the seed and to feel the pleasure of this soft, succulent fruit slip down my throat. Just one mo' ripe mango, and I promise, I'll share....
 

Lately It Has Occured To Me



"Lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been"

Jerry Garcia

Oh yes Jerry, I quite agree with you in respect to the World of Blogging! When you dive into blogging, you dive into another strange computer universe with it's own language that takes you on a heavy duty trip. Never did I dream that this world would be so vast, so complicated, and so full of new information! When I began blogging again in earnest recently, I didn't know the language of blogging, the terms, the players, the ins-and-outs at all. Like many of my peers, I was (and still am in many respects) a Computer Dummie. Now I am growing more in nerdiness every day, which is a GOOD thing!

I'm beginning to understand about RSS Feeds, trackbacks, tags and pings. And then when I finally understood pings and how they work, I learn there is a thing called Ning! For computer dummies like me, this is a whole new world, a very strange one. Why would one want to clone their Apps on Ning? These are the questions I contemplate after I have bent my brain (or fried it) attempting to comprehend.

Despite the alien nature of this computer world, I have begun to understand a bit more of it through long hours of study, experimentation, education from others who are pros, and learning from my set-backs. Where this journey will lead me is unknown at this time, but my feet are on the path with strong and sturdy hiking boots. I am on my way! I have opened the door to a whole new world. No one is forcing me to open this door, but I am strongly guided to do so.

"Women will draw doors where are none, and open them and pass through into new ways and new lives."

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Yes, what a long strange trip it continues to be.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

 

Happy Mother's Day all you precious Mamas




It is traditional here in the Hawaiian Islands to open a sacred ceremony or event with a chant, so I will share this famous one "Ka Lei Aloha I Na Kupuna" with you today before writing my Mother's Day Blog:

Ka lei Aloha i Na Kupuna In the circle of love are the ancestors

Noho au i ka Manawa I am in the moment

Mahalo nui no pomaika'i nei au I give thanks for all the blessings that
surround me

Ka lei Aloha I na Kupuna In the circle of love are the ancestors

He inoa no, Na Kupuna In honor of the ancestors this chant is
named.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am writing this blog early (on Saturday Maui-time) for two reasons: so that those on the other side of the world can read it when they awaken. Second, I will be busy celebrating my day with my daughter. May chills run up and down your bodies as we honor today All Our Ancestors and ESPECIALLY OUR MOTHERS, both in this lifetime and in ALL lifetimes across time and space. And it is so!

I want to HONOR and pay my respects to the great Heart Deva of Maui, Mama Maui. She has been gracious, welcoming, patient, generous, and kind to me through the years. I feel I have earned my Ph.D in LIFE under her tutoring and the lessons learned at M.U. (Maui University). The photo of my painting to her is included above. I created this painting many years ago. Within it there are many embellishments of natural, organic objects that probably will not reveal themselves well in the photo. For example, the hair of Mama Maui is made with the air plant one sees over here in the islands called Pele's Hair. The black feather is a real feather and symbolizes the refreshing breezes and tradewinds of our beautiful paradise. The little people (the Menehunes) are also represented here, even though they don't necessarily look Hawaiian.

Many people have a wrong assumption about the Menehunes. They think of them as Nature Spirits, but in actuality they were the original inhabitants of these islands before the Polynesians arrived. They were even around when the 1800 something census was done, and a few family lines have genetic throw-backs of these ancient beings who were mostly killed off by the warlike Polynesians or assimilated.

The rising Sun photo (taken at dawn on top of Haleakala) symbolizes my prayer for a New Beginning for Mothers: May they be TOTALLY & TRULY honored, appreciated, nurtured, and CHERISHED for they were the ones that activated the smiles on our face and helped us ground once again into the 3-D Earth experience. Sometimes not...sad as that sometimes is, for not all Mothers are cut out to be Mothers! Sometimes men make better Mothers! So if you're a Father raising children on your own, I honor the Mother in you today too!

Today (Sunday) many families will be going out to expensive and fabulous restaurants like Mama's Fish House to celebrate their Mamas. My daughter and I have decided to go to the beach because I am passionate about the ocean. Being near the water and in the water makes my heart sing!

I want to give a SHOUT-OUT to my friends & family that are INCREDIBLE Mothers (even if they raised adopted children), so here goes....I HONOR and LOVE YOU!
WARMEST ALOHA AND MAHALOS to: Marjorie, Darelle, Elsie, Bessie, Angela, Mindi, Maddie, Sue, Sheri, Barbara, Ann, AsariA, Anita, Sande, Nancy, Donna, Mary D, Jaileen, Joyce, Mariana, Flo, Susan, and last but NOT LEAST, my own beautiful DAUGHTER who has mothered me as much as I have mothered her!!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

 

Termas and Wesak Festival


Guru Padmasambhava was the great enlightened yogi from India who established Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. He is sometimes referred to as Guru Rinpoche. Well known for his many miracles and accomplishments, he also concealed eighteen varieties of treasures in Tibet, known as TERMAS. He prophesized the future manifestation of these treasures including the revealer, the protector of the treasure and the time of revelation. This is known as the terma tradition.

So the story goes that Guru Padmasambhava and his consort and principle disciple. Yeshe Tsogyal, concealed thousands of hidden teachings (only 108 different items in some literature) or termas in many places for the benefit of future generations. These termas were tucked away in caves, statues at various monasteries, Tibetan medicine, astrology texts, boulders and even within the minds of chosen recepients awaiting for the preordained moment to be discovered. It has been reported that certain statues communicate to those who can hear them...sometimes the recepients are Tibetans and sometimes just ordinary tourists! What ensues is the awakening of ancient, forgotten wisdom that has been embedded deep into the Dna as untapped memories. In orthodox religion, termas are called REVELATIONS.

I feel that this process is an ancient form of vibrational medicine in that these memories open up a healing, transformational quality of the body, mind, spirit and consciousness of a person. They are activational, cross-cultural, multidimensional bridges across time and space that open doors within the mind. They clear away the veils so that one can connect to the other dimensional worlds that exist in the Earth. These inhabitants moved from third density ( and now inhabiting higher dimensional worlds within the Earth), and they are more available to be accessed tommorrow during the annual Wesak Festival. This is a treasure-time for all who care to join in....at least, that's my humble opinion. :-)

The Wesak Festival (the first Full Moon in May) is the great Eastern festival of the Buddha, and known around the world as a day of supreme spiritual importance and activation. This is a living event and a sacred ceremony which takes place every year between the Buddha, the Christ and the united spiritual Hierarchy as their blessings impact our consciousness and our planet. Those so inclined journey out-of-body to the sacred valley in Tibet where this synthesising ceremony transpires, and many others join together in group service and ceremony on behalf of humanity.

"I have listened. And I have looked with open eyes. I have poured my soul into the world, seeking the unknown within the known. And I sing out loud in amazement."

Rabindranath Tagore
Indian Philosopher and Bobel prize winning author

Saturday, May 06, 2006

 


The Venerable Dhondup Gyalsten of the Namgyal Monastery (Institute of Buddhist Studies) in Dharmasala is the Lama who invited our group of four to travel to India and meet His Holiness. We have known him for many years, as he also has a home and a lovely property and sanctuary in Maui, Hawaii. In McLeod Ganj his room is attached to the main Temple and a minute's walk from where His Holiness resides.

Lamala as we affectionately call him is humble, kind, astute, blunt and to the point when he has something to say, hard-working, generous, funny, and lovable amongst many other great qualities. Unlike many other monks and lamas, he doesn't carry a cell phone, although he is proficient with computers and emails.

I choose to refrain from adding more praise and stories about him because he is a very private man. I merely wanted to give him recognition and gratitude for his kindness, support, time spent with us, his many top-notch introductions and experiences he arranged for us, and always and forever his prayers and LOVE!!!

An image will forever remain with me: Lamala playing with the very young Tibetan children at the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV). He was down on the floor with them, grinning from ear to ear, laughing, and radiating joy. The children loved him and were interacting with him...a sure sign that here is a Christed being as you can't fool children or animals.

Friday, May 05, 2006

 

Our trip to McLeod Ganj wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention certain esteemed men that faciliated everything for us! I will begin with Venerable Sherab Chopel, a monk at the Namgyal Monastery. He helped us out with everything from lifting our heavy luggage onto the luggage rack of the SUV and strapping it down (he's strong...and he claimed he got so strong from doing butter sculptures!), taking us shopping for certain items, escorting us to and fro the airport, and showing us around.

This photo was taken as he escorted us around the kora of the Main Temple one foggy day. Like many others, he had an adventure story to share with us regarding his hardship in getting into Nepal from Tibet. He didn't relate this story until I inquired about the large scar on his left forearm, and after a while, he decided to share the harrowing story of his escape to freedom.

While still a young boy, he trekked over the Himalayas hiding out from Chinese soldiers by day and traveling at night over dangerous, steep passes. One night he took a tumble, and were it not for a tree branch that pierced through his chest and came out through his left arm, he would have fallen into the deep mountain ravine and perished. He managed to pull himself up with great difficulty (holding his arm up as he walked so he wouldn't bleed to death), and he struggled on. Because he couldn't get to a doctor right away, his arm and chest developed very thick scars. He was very fortunate, however, to be accepted as a student at the monastery where he is advancing quickly because he is very bright, disciplined and determined.

I am convinced he saved our lives too, or at the very least, he saved us a great deal of difficulty. On the way back to our airport in Jamu, he escorted us with an Indian driver. The trip is fairly long (around 6 hours), over bumpy, dusty roads. When you enter the Jamu State, there is a lot of military presence because this is the state that borders Pakistan. At some point, a military man in a uniform signaled our driver to stop. He did so, and then ensued a heated conversation between Shareb and the military officer accompanied by another officer, both carrying guns over their shoulders. I knew this was a serious situation, so I called out to my angels to assist us and assist Sherab in his negotiations, even though I couldn't understand what was being said in Hindi. I smiled at the officers a lot. Smiles go a long way I have experienced.

Finally, he waved us on, and then Sherab related the story of what had transpired between the two of them. Apparently, the officer had ordered the Indian driver to get out of the car and remove our luggage for inspection. Sherab had told the driver to stay put, and he contended with the officer and had won out! I was relieved to hear this, for one never knows what weird things can come down in foreign countries with petty tyrants who carry guns. Sherab has the makings of a strong leader, and we are blessed to have had him watching our backs.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

 

Creating a New Look

Decorating is one of the many things I love to do, and I am constantly re-working my home by either changing the position of furniture and objects, moving pictures on the wall to different locations, adding or subtracting dis or dat. Never knowing when this decorating urge will come over me, I have learned to allow it to express itself when the itch to change things around comes over me.

Today I decided to change the template of this blog and also added "comments". I like the new look, but I can see that I need to fill up the space on the right with this new template. I haven't figured out how to do this yet. So I've been searching the dashboard in an attempt to discover the answer. I have also accidentally removed the AdSense advertising links at the top of the page. Whoops! This blog is dolphin-itly a learning curve for me. I had better go fluff some pillows in my home and come back to this later when I am revived.
 



Also very high on the chart of "special" was having the opportunity to once again have an audience with the 17th Karmapa. I first laid eyes on him in 1998 when a small group of us traveled from Lhasa in a van to have an audience with him at his Tsurphu Monastery. Even though it was only about 44 miles from Lhasa, it was another world. Surrounded by high mountains, we drove through a vivid green valley to a very peaceful, remote location that felt untouched by time except for the satellite dish sitting atop the place where the Karmapa resided. This is the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage and where the Gyalwang Karmpas have made their residence since way, way back in time. The present Karmapa, although now just a young man, is the recognized reincarnate of this long lineage.

I had prepared for this by bringing a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts from my Maui home which I had wrapped in a festive wrapping paper. I knew that the former Karmapa had spent a great deal of time here on Maui, and this was my way of honoring that memory. When it came time to make it through the plentiful guards, I wasn't sure the package was going to make it for they kept shaking and examining it. They never unwrapped it, but their eyes probed me for any signs of my being a dangerous character. I kept smiling and attempting to look innocent since I couldn't speak a word of their language. Finally, after deliberating between themselves, they decided to allow me to bring it as my offering to the Karmapa.

The late Lama Tenzin of the Dharma Center on Maui went first with three full body prostrations, and I followed his lead since I was next in line. With the package in my hand, I was certainly not nearly as graceful as he, especially since I was unpracticed in the art of full body prostrations. When I arose to place the package on the altar, I looked up to see a smiling, laughing teenage boy who had obviously enjoyed my sorry attempt at prostrations. I was quite taken with him for he was very handsome and sweet, just a thirteen-year-old boy on a high pedestal with lots of responsibility and pressure. My heart went out to him.

And now here I was eight years later (2006) and once again having the privilege to be with a group of four to spend time with him, ask him questions and receive blessings and a kata (a long white blessing scarf) from him. He had made his escape from Tibet many years ago and had found refuge in India, and now he has taken up temporary residence at the Gyuto Monastic University in the Dharmasala area. Like his predecessor, the Dalai Lama, he had trekked across the Himalayas in a daring, bold move. He is a big, tall, strong and serious twenty-one year old now. With our 4-person group (see photo), he took his time answering our questions through a translator (although rumor has it that he speaks English), rubbing his chin as he contemplated what he wishes to convey. After our audience, the photographer took our photo with him and gave us a CD as no one is allowed to bring a camera in during an audience. As I said goodbye to him, I said to him with a big smile, "See you again!" knowing that I most likely will see him in the years ahead. It will be fun watching him grow up to be the fine leader he is destined to become. As we left the room, there was a huge group of Taiwanese people anxiously waiting their turn for an audience. Giving blessings and audiences is what he does with lots of his days. The pressure is still on.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his work in promoting peace and peaceful solution. He is the kindest man, extremely wise, learned, gentle, astute, sweet and very, very powerful. Spending time with him was like a sweet dream. I think I was in an altered state during the 45 minutes the four of us spent with him. My right contact slipped off my eye (something it never does!), and later in my hotel room, I found it curled up in the back of my eyeball.....very strange! By the time the Dalai Lama was close enough to look me directly in the face, he may have noticed my eyes didn't match! :-)

The Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935 in a small farming village of Takster, and following a nationwide search for the Dalai Lama, he was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the Thireenth Dalai Lama. He was then brought to Lhasa and formally installed as the head of the state of Tibet on February 22, 1940. He has said that this is the last lifetime of the Dalai Lama incarnations. With the situation hopeless for Tibet, he escaped by crossing safely into India on March 31, 1959 where he was given asylum. Approximately 80,000 or more Tibetans eventually followed him into exile, some barely escaping with their lives. There have been many stories shared of this perilous journey over the Himalayas from Tibet into India.

His Residence in McLeod Ganj can only be entered after you have been approved for a private audience with his Secretary, and then you are thoroughly searched before being allowed to enter his private quarters which are behind a big gate opposite the Tsuglag Khang or the Central Cathedral. During the time I was there and at the beginning of his Teachings, this normally fairly quiet courtyard fills with thousands of monks and others coming to hear the Teachings, and you are crunched like a sardine in a mass of marroon and saffron.

It was requested that I ask His Holiness to remember to come and visit Maui on his next visit to the Hawaiian Islands because last time he was here in the Islands, he only visited Oahu and the Big Island. I did so, and I also asked him to bless some gifts I had purchased for friends. He did so by touching his forehead to the package and items which I held out for him.
 



I recently had an awesome invitation to be introduced to His Holiness The Dalai Lama at his home in McLeod Ganj in India. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to travel to meet The Living Buddha and an icon amongst icons.

McLeod Ganj is the part of Dharmasala, India where the Tibetans in exile have set up their home. Sometimes it is referred to as Dhasa which is a combination of Lhasa, Tibet and Dharmasala. It is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, and the views from here are majestic with the Kangra Valley lying down below and the snow-capped Dhauladher mountain range behind one. The mountains, clouds and eagles dominate the scenery. McLeod Ganj is mostly populated by Tibetans, while further down the hill in lower Dharmasala, you will find the majority of the Indian shops and peoples. One does see a lot of Indian beggars at the times when His Holiness is giving his talks for many Buddhist practioners arrive from all over the world, and the beggars take advantage of this opportunity.

McLeod Ganj is a busy place with taxis rushing through the tiny lanes, cows in the streets, people of all kinds and nationalities everwhere you look...your typical Indian street scene except for all the monks and lamas that you wouldn't find elsewhere. It is a beautiful area for there are pine, Himalayan oak, rhododendron and deodar forests surrounding the area. There are also a jillion little shops selling everything incredibly cheap, great little restaurants with the best mango lassis and Tibetan food, and lots and lots of temples and monasteries in the surrounding hills. Tibetan refugees from all over the world flock here to receive blessings and Teachings from His Holiness and other great lamas. The photo above of four beautiful Tibetan women who traveled here from Tibet to listen to the Teachings gives you a sense of the joy they feel about being in such a sacred place. I believe my photo conveys my joy as well as evidenced by my friends who have shared with me how radiant I appear. I am a simple pilgrim like these four sweet ladies who was fortunate enough to have the connections, the friends, the time, the drive, the money and the ability to travel to this out-of-the-way location to meet one of the great men of our age. I will share more of my adventures in my next blog.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

 
Recently my Hawaiiana book collection called to me. I had to go looking for it in my library downstairs, and something told me to reacquaint myself with this body of literature. So I pulled all the books off the shelf and packed them upstairs near my desk and computer. I have quite a few that I have saved because they are special to me. Many of my books I give to others, but some are like close family members with whom you can't bear to part. Some of them are old and out of print, and even the typeface looks ancient. Some are metaphysical, some are political, some merely informational.

Looking through these books, I remembered my blogspot which I had almost abandoned for sometime now because of the busy pace of my life. I had almost forgotten my password too. Life in the islands can keep one very busy, and there is not such a thing as a "laid-back" lifestyle over here for me. Maybe this is what my guides were trying to tell me: slow down, remember your Hawaiian lessons and enjoy your magical Maui life a bit more!!

The Hawaiian priests belief that man has three bodies made up of an invisible substance. These three bodies or spirits or selves make up the composition of man. They are sometimes called the lower self, the middle self and the higher self. In order for the three-self man to become united or "one", there needs to be the strong breath of mana that is sent from the two lower selves to the Higher Self every day if possible.It's a gift that we give to our Higher Self. Mana is created through the intake of food. Some people have a lot of mana, and you can sense this as their vital force is strong...they are very alive and charismatic.

In addition to the flow of mana, there needs to be made a mental picture of the desired thing or condition that you want to manifest in prayer. These are the seeds that are symbolically watered by the mana which will grow the answer to the prayer which will be answered by the Higher Self. Faith is a major ingredient in this formula as well. The Higher Self grants the answers to prayers.

Heavy breathing accumulates more mana, so it's a good time to pray after you've been working out or doing specific breathing exercises because then you can send more mana. The mo' mana, the bettah. Eh, bra?

Sometimes there is a blockage in the lower self caused by guilt, fear and pride. The lower self is like a younger brother who wants to avoid and hide from the Higher Self because it fears it will be punished and is full of shame. When this happens, no prayers will make it through to the Higher Self. So these blockages and beliefs have to be cleared so that the subconcious will once again not be afraid to approach the Higher Self. This was early psychology, and it still is operating in our times because we haven't really changed all that much from the old Hawaiians in many respects. And the Hawaiian language has been traced all the way back to Egypt for the Coptic language of ancient Egypt more closely resembles the Hawaiian language than any other in the world. Therefore, the system of how the human being works is an ancient wisdom that predates even the ocean-going Polynesians.

The ridiculous thing is I know all this and yet I forget to apply this wisdom!! I speed along in my daily existence trying to fit everything into a 24 hour day that is starting to feel more like a 12 hour one all the time, and I forget the BASICS. I gotta breathe deep, visualize the picture of what I want to happen or acquire or whatever, and send the request on with faith to my Higher Self and then just wait for the results. It's that easy, unless of course I have a blockage about something which I don't feel I do right now as I have been keeping my karma very clean for sometime now and trying to earn "merit" as the Tibetans name it.

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