Today’s world offers us many stories of conflict—of misunderstanding and opposition. As this New Year unfolds, let us bring forward the stories of resolution—of peace and commonality. Let us share our experiences of coming together.
When have you experienced opposition that turned out to be an opportunity for positive change?Recently, I hosted a Hawaiian cleanse for some of my family members visiting from the mainland. Over four days’ time, we cleansed internally with seawater, received lomi lomi massage for physical realignment, cleared mentally and emotionally through Ho’oponopono, and visited a few of Maui’s sacred sites for ritual cleansing. Our final destination on our Sacred Sites Excursion was Kukuipuka Heiau, a magnificent Hawaiian temple overlooking the ocean. The sea breeze alone carries a great sense of rejuvenation, only amplified by the felt presence of our ancestors and the grounded feeling that such connection brings. Upon arrival, we performed a ceremony called Pi Kai. Before entering the Heaiu, I chanted us into this sacred space as my ancestors have done for generations. While inside, we talked story about some of the benefits we were experiencing from the Hawaiian cleanse: a deeper connection to our sacred ‘aina, to our community and ancestral rituals were just a few. Everyone in my family expressed that they felt a new sense of balance—even my Uncle Terry, who had not participated in the cleansing, as he had flown in the day before, but was able to join us at Kukuipuka. There he expressed his appreciation for the cultural education and the ritual—not present in the same way in his community on the mainland. As an administrator at a Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in California, his community has its own particular trials and tribulations, as most communities do. A few months later, I received a call from Uncle Terry. He shared with me about a previous upset between the hospital and the Pomo Indian tribe who make up a great percentage of the hospital’s patient population. One of the tribal elders had passed away in the hospital, and during his passing, the family were exercising their cultural rights of passage as they assisted their loved one into the spirit world. Many of the other patients however, as well as the hospital staff, were uncomfortable with these practices and, so, created a policy against them. This policy of course had been a source of unrest and anger between the Pomo community and the hospital, my uncle explained, and the upset grew, as an elderly matriarch of the tribe was passing that same week. With growing tension, the matriarch’s granddaughter decided that she was going to meet with hospital officials and unleash her anger and outrage about what had been going on. Before the meeting, she visited her grandmother and shared her plan: “Today I’m unleashing my anger,” she told her. Her grandmother shook her head and replied, “No! Today is the day that you will be an instrument of healing between our nation and theirs.” So, deciding to go with her grandmother’s instruction, she went to the hospital’s administrator—my Uncle Terry—and said, “I think we have a misunderstanding. Let me share with you why we do our ritual when a person is passing.” She explained that they must sing, in their native tongue, their ancestors into the next place. When she then sang for my Uncle, he expressed that it sounded just like the Hawaiian oli (chant) that he heard me doing before we entered the Kukuipuka Heiau. When she performed a clearing ceremony using a feather, he thought of the ritual I had shared with him, swiping with a Ti leaf. Suddenly, he was able to connect with what she was sharing on a new level, with understanding and acceptance. Uncle Terry then set out to help the granddaughter make things right: Each day the following week, this tribal daughter shared with a different department of the hospital the ways of the Pomo. Each day she opened these teachings to people who once resisted her practices out of discomfort and unknowing. Rooted in her own lineage, these practices greatly shaped her own identity.
Together, the granddaughter and the hospital staff created a space for healing—for communication and sharing—and since that time, the healing continues to unfold.‘Imua—to go forward. Pali Jae Lee articulated in her book Ho’opono, “Life is a tapestry; threads of many kinds and colors are interwoven back and forth in wonderful designs. We weave as we live, and what comes out is what we are…. If we are going to move forward, we must give up this ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude…. Each hour, each minute is precious. When all things are in balance in our lives, we find happiness in just being alive. We are far more willing to reach out to our friends and family, to aid and assist where it is needed, to enjoy one another and ourselves, to listen when another speaks, and to share our joys and sorrows with those who care. When we do this, we become intertwined with others. We are again a part of the whole beautiful tapestry—part of the human family.”
I believe that great healing has taken place in Uncle Terry’s community, just like the matriarch said would happen. It only takes one person to plant a seed of balance, of aloha, and that seed can spread and feed communities for generations to come. When we focus on our similarities and not our differences, we can weave a tapestry of great power—of understanding and openness. When we find commonality amongst one other, we can move forward with the mana of our ancestors and the strength of our community—as one people of the earth with more than one way to weave our threads.LEARN MORE
January 16, 2015 1 Comment Uncategorized
Have you ever been surrounded by strangers and found that you felt most at home?I am always amazed by the many transformations I get to witness with each tide of Lomi Lomi retreats. With every group of students comes a swell of experiences, perspectives and intentions, linked together by a common cord of calling. The gift of talking story has been granted to me, and as we form a circle at the start of each day in the retreat room of Ho'omana Spa, I get to talk story with people from all over the world. As the days of retreat go by, the connections between each person grow, and the transformations are inspiring. If you've ever been surrounded by new faces from all over the globe and felt a kind of warmth from these faces, you may recognize the feeling that one student describes here, illustrating her journey in Lomi Lomi Fundamentals and her experience on our Sacred Sites tour:
Have you ever felt the warmth of a cold stream?There is no better way to describe my experience than this. Three days of listening, learning, and practicing the Hawaiian art form Lomi Lomi led me to this moment of simultaneous tranquility and exhilaration-- the warmth of cold water. Into the clear, flowing stream of Iao Valley, I stepped down quickly from the rocks, summoning up the courage to face the chicken skin; it was an overcast morning, and ice cold water wasn't exactly calling my name. But something else was calling me, and I was eager to answer. The part of the stream I faced then was shallow, so there would be no inching my way in. I stood still for a moment, water hugging me from my toes to just below my knees; then in one fluid motion, like the water itself, I sunk forward into the cold, welcoming the thrill as I turned onto my back, the crown of my head facing the flow of the stream. As I got hold of my muscles, I managed to relax them one by one, and I slowed my breath, one exhale at a time. I thought of the ancestors, who pour their light into us with their teachings. I heard Jeana calling, "soothe with Lomi", her voice echoing through the Ho'omana retreat space; I felt the tears that ran down my face two days prior, when practicing Lomi woke a spirit inside me; I thought of the healing that we all need, and the people physically around me who had dedicated themselves that weekend to healing, to love.
I listened to the chants echoing softly in my core. And right there, as the water rushed over and around me, from head to toe, the mana--the energy, the life-force--swept through me and out of me, and I felt warm.What still amazes me about this moment is the depth and lightness of pure energy. I lay in the water for less than a minute that morning, while the water clung to me and then left my body infinitely many times. And during this time, I felt warmth and love run through me-- I physically felt it! I spiritually felt it. The mana charged through me, never holding back, or hanging on. Lomi Lomi is teaching me the same lesson, day by day: Share your love, your aloha, your mana and your light. Let the warmth run through you to the people and the earth around you. And then, let go... so that the mana and love continue to flow with a sort of lightness that reaches the depths of our bones. -Paige Slaughter Fall 2014 has been a time of transformation and empowerment. September brought us a motivated group of Immersion students; people from across the island joined our ventures with Kumu Mike Lee during the Equinox and solar eclipse; our Lomi Fundamentals students came to Ho'omana with energy and love to share; and we welcomed our Lomi 'ohana for the Advanced retreat. I invite you to take a look at our Fall Highlights below, and to share your experiences of transformation.
Have you ever been amongst people who inspired such transformation, or in a space that empowered you like this?LEARN MORE
November 7, 2014 No Comments Uncategorized
Have you ever felt that everything you have ever done has prepared you for a divine appointment in this very moment?I have just returned from South Africa. The truth that I was on a divine apointment was confirmed time and time again throughout my journey. I went on a sojourn to meet a 92 year old Elder named Baba Credo Mutwa. He is a High Sanusi Zulu Elder and a White Lion Shaman who carries ancient histories of Africa and the world. He worked together with a United Nations group of indigenous elders in a coalition for global peace. My beloved kumu –teacher, Aunty Mahilani Poe Poe and Mr. Hale Makua were the two Hawaiian elders represented. Aunty Apela Colorado was instrumental in bringing these wisdom keepers together in the early 2000s. She had promised to bring the Hawaiians back after their last gathering in 2002, however, both Mr. Makua and Aunty Mahilani leapt into the Po(the after world) before they could return to Africa. She shared that bringing me, the next generation of healers to Baba was a completion of her promise. Being in the presence of such a holy man was so humbling. As he addressed our small group of Elders Cherokee, Choctaw, Oneata First Nation tribes, A Kyrgyzstan elder and his translator, and myself, he said that never in his life had he been in a room with such holy people. He addressed us as honorable ones and himself, as a monkey in a room full of lions. Clearly, this was a diving appointment. He spoke of a time when blacks and whites, humans and lions stood together in harmony with no war, no fight.
“We must remember the holy things back and bring back the holy places to heal the people. Remembering will bring humanity to the root of the ancient soul and the old world must go into an new era without swords, only with hands that are clean.”One of the things Baba shared was an “unaccomplished dream” of sailing a canoe of peace to bring back the ancient way of forgiveness, unity, and unconditional love. I was given a painting that he created depicting this “Africa swimming house.” When I received the painting, I immediately remembered Aunty Mahi also speaking of this canoe that would ho’oponopono everything and bring the people together in harmony. One of the many takeaways from my time with Baba is the kuleana (responsibility) of seeing the dreams of these precious kupuna realized in the completion and message of a world canoe that will travel and share their message of unconditional love. My time with credo Mutwa was both inspirational and sad as I know he is in his last days and I may never again sit in his presence. Yet, I will forever remember the teachings of a humble and powerful man who touched my heart activating a deep remembering in me to hold a torch of light on a vision of peace.
You are all a part of the world canoe and with your prayers and support, we can bring this dream to reality.It is as Baba says, “The power of good can come together like one beautiful flame and soon there is light in the house of God”. I would love to hear about the divine appointments that you are showing up for. Please share a post below. LEARN MORE
September 29, 2014 2 Comments Uncategorized
Aloha Lomi Ohana, One week ago a beautiful Hawaiian spirit leapt into Po- the after place. Aunty Haleaka Iolani Pule of Big Island, lifted her arms toward heaven and was welcomed into the Lei of the ancestors. The ho'ailona (sign in the heavens) to welcome her home was the incredible Super Moon seen last week. Most know her as Aunty Aka. She was scheduled to participate in the E Ala E- Awakening the Spirit Huaka'i at Hoomana one month from today together with Aunty Leiohu Ryder and Kumu Hula Puna Dawson. She was pure Aloha, joy, and light and her message encouraged people to live and love the fullest. She was a wisdom keeper who traveled the world sharing Hawaiian spiritual teachings and Ho'oponopono. I was with a group of her students in Dornbirn Austria when we learned of her passing and with tears and love we lifted her spirit up in healing prayers and song. The stories shared about how deeply her message touched hearts was so beautiful. The question was raised, why do some of these great messengers leave so early? Aunty Aka was only 49 years old. The thought came to me that perhaps the physical body was too limiting for the boundless work that Aunty is to share. Now she is able to travel greater distances without planes, cars, or Internet. Her spirit is free to be with us all and continue to work she shared in her lifetime on a much larger scale to a much larger audience. As a group we first learned of her passing on Tuesday. She had died on Sunday. Sunday and Monday evening very few were able to sleep. Aka had just been in Switzerland a few weeks prior staying with on of the Lomi students. For two days the students kept sharing that they felt off and that Aunty had come in dreamtime. We spoke of her often over these two days. Then Tuesday morning, someone posted a photo on Facebook of Aunty Aka with her eyes closed head lifted up in prayer. We realized that the uneasy feeling we had felt but had been unable to explain was the aka cord of connection being tugged, stretched, and lifted as Aunty began her journey. We understood the importance of sending her off in love in the first three critical days of flight and to not hold on lest the spirit be held back on her journey. Even those who didn't know her felt the shift as we stood in the collective energies of the group. One of the participants, Meggie, after experiencing this phenomenon shared that she finally realized what we mean as an Ohana (Lomi family) when we say "E PIKO KAKOU"- We are all connected. Here is a beautiful video of Aunty Aka for you to enjoy.LEARN MORE
August 19, 2014 2 Comments Uncategorized
Aloha Lomi ‘Ohana,
The Bresenden family & Ho’omana Spa Maui are very excited to announce the recipient of the 5th Annual Tim Bresenden Scholarship Award - Ms. Caroline Chung from San Francisco, CA.
We are so pleased with the response to the Scholarship announcement. There were many candidates that shared their life stories, experiences and goals in beautiful and compelling ways. We are grateful for the opportunity to hear of those seeking to bring healing touch to the world around them. We send a warm and heartfelt aloha to every applicant.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Tim Bresenden Memorial Scholarship, it is offered every year as a loving tribute to a man who committed his life to serving his family, friends & the greater community by acting as a peacemaker & bridge builder to bring together people from all walks of life. This auspicious award is given to one individual each year that aspires to exemplify this spirit of building community & inspires others by doing so.
This scholarship awards the recipient U.S. Airfare, accommodations, & NCTMB approved – 60 C.E. Units in Hawaiian Healing Bodywork.
Our 2014 recipient, Caroline Chung, wrote, “My ultimate goal in life is to provide a space where I can help people heal and/or teach them to heal themselves. We all have the power to heal ourselves and we all have the power to help others in the process. I have a vision of a world where we can minimalize people’s sufferings and offer them the tools to turn their lives around for the better. I believe this can really transform the world we live in and going to Maui to learn Lomi Lomi is only going to reaffirm this dream of mine.” As a cancer survivor, her journey to health and healing and the desire to share it with others resonated with us as a wonderful way to make peace and build bridges.
We wish her the very best as she travels to Maui for the Lomi Lomi week retreat in October.
As a bonus for the rest of this year’s applicants, we would like to offer a discount of $150 off of our Lomi Lomi Massage Fundamentals & Hot Stones Therapy Retreat at Ho’omana Spa Maui. This offer will be available for use toward our upcoming training dates in October, or for any available classes during our 2015 training dates. We encourage all of you to apply again as this is an ongoing scholarship & will be offered again in 2015.
Congratulations to this year's award winner & we want to sincerely thank all of our applicants for sharing your visions & journeys with us, for they were all of great intention & truly inspirational.LEARN MORE
August 5, 2014 1 Comment Press Release, Travel, Uncategorized