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Huna – Day 5 and graduation

24 Jul

Final day, and a final very cool session on the way we integrate and work with the spiritual world.

Serge Kahili King teaching

Lots of hugs, and a few photos on Jen’s Mustang that the three musketeers had been tooling around town in.

Tim, Jen, and Pete…. and the musketeermobile

And then off back to Hilo, where the Hilo Bay Hostel was welcoming and friendly… and I took in a movie for a dollar at the local cinema.

Tomorrow I leave Hawai’i for Maui.  It’s been an amazing, wonderful couple of weeks with incredible sights and experiences, some truly incredible learnings, where I made some wonderful new friends, and experienced the energy held within a volcanic island at first hand.  Wow.

MANAWA – Now is the moment of power

In Hawai’i, there are no words for past or future.  The future is ‘the thing that is happening hasn’t happened yet’ (or something like that… and the past is ‘the thing that is happening that isn’t happening any more’.  And if you think about it – there is no past, there is no future.  The only thing we can experience is right now.  The only moment we have any control over is right now.  The past is gone… we can learn from it, but we can’t change it.  The future isn’t here – we can plan for it but we cannot experience it.  So let’s live NOW, enjoy NOW, and enjoy our power NOW.


Huna – Day 4

24 Jul

I wasn’t too impressed with day 3 of the Huna event – but day 4 was great.

We took a ride down to the hot pools in Ahalanui Park.  These hot pools are fed by volcanic activity, and despite the sea continually splashing into the pool, it stays a nice toasty temperature.  We were focussing on our relationship to wind and to water – observing the patterns in wind and in water, and seeing what we can learn from them – how the approach of wind, and the approach of water, can be used in different situations.

I spent a lot of time just staring out to see, enjoying the waves, and the wind, and feeling completely close to the elements as the wind wrapped itself around me.

We also took a few minutes to visit Lava Tree Park – where the lava rushed through so swiftly that the trees didn’t have time to burn, but the lava took the form of the tree that it consumed.  I’m not sure if I was so much impressed by that as the incredible tree canopy though

And then we drove down to the lava fields.  The last time we went, all the security was gone home and tucked up in bed – and we got really close.  This time, we couldn’t really get near the lava – but what amazed us were the buildings, set up on the old lava field.  I guess they’re hoping lightning won’t strike in the same place twice.  I wouldn’t guarantee Pele will be that kind.

Sorry, bad picture in poor light – but I had to put it in.  A way away is a property where the lava from the previous eruption has flowed round and spared the property – there are many of these spots across the island where the lava never flows no matter how many times it erupts.

Huna principle 3

MAKIA – Energy goes where attention flows

If you think about it, that’s true at a very simple level – when we focus on something, then we find that things happen around it.  At a metaphysical level, then the more that we focus on something, the more the strange and wonderful happens around it.

In the evening

Huna – Day 3

24 Jul

Half day today… and a visit to Pana’ewa rainforest zoo. Met a gecko.. and a lemur…and the white tiger

Took a kinda chilled afternoon in Hilo bay though, did a bit of shopping and bought lots of tiki carvings for Jen’s workshop business in Costa Rica – in, of all places, Walmart.  Sometimes the world surprises me.

Note to the careful reader.  This is a large tiki.  The Wal-Mart ones are MUCH smaller

And now for some more Huna..

KALA -There are no limits, everything is possible

In Huna, everything is possible.  The universe is infinite, and anything could happen.  It may not be necessarily ‘easy’ but it’s certainly possible.  If you think about it, if the universe is infinite, then you must be at the centre of it.  And everywhere else, of course, but certainly at the centre of it.  So, how much power does that give you?

Huna – Day 2

21 Jul

One of the really great things about the course I am on is that in order to experience being connected to everything, then we’ve been spending time in nature, experiencing some of the environments and learning how to feel that connection – what Robert Heinlein would call ‘grokking’ – the ability to take on the nature of the animal or plant (or whatever) being looked at.

At one level this might be ‘shapeshifting’ and the ability to take on a different form (if you can let your imagination stretch that far!) and at another level, that might be considering the attributes of a particular animal to see if there is anything to be learned from that animal (I did a bit of research into my favourite animal, the panther, to see what I can learn from the behaviour of the panther)

Yesterday we were looking at plants and at humans, and today at rock and fire.  We’ve also been learning massage techniques based on the different spirits of the elements we are looking at.

So, we took a walk down the petroglyph field where there are 23000 carvings in the rock like this one

(it’s a turtle)

– across a wild, windswept and desolate area.  The theory is that the Hawai’ian people used to create these to provide a focus for manifesting or attracting the subject of the picture (although why someone wants a turtle escapes me).

So.. looking at huna, the first principle is ‘ike’

IKE – the world is what you say it is

basically, our experience of the world is the only one that truly matters (to us). We can only experience ours, we can only influence ours. If we say that everything is working out perfectly – then it is. If we say that it’s a disaster – then it is. We can choose to experience things the way we want to.

Volcano day 1 – When the flames are burning hot, they take you higher

20 Jul

A damp and soggy day, today – perhaps not the most appropriate for exploring a volcano.  Kilauea volcano is an active volcano – the entirety of Hawaii (the island chain) is built on volcanos, of which there are 5 that make up Hawai’i, and another one just being born in the sea to the south.

I started off the day with a walk to the local farmer’s market to pick up breakfast.. had to beat off the locals for a pack of english muffins… and then a three mile hike to the volcano visitors area – rescued by a young couple in the most beat up dodge I ever sat in… and then started a hike round the mountain caldera.  It’s a different world, walking round a volcano – everything is absolutely huge, and these pictures can only attempt to show the scale of it all.  In places the old road has simply fallen into the volcano crater.

There’s a walkable lava tube just off the crater rim – a hollow tube of lava where the molten lava has drained out, leaving a cave.  Apparently the largest one in the area (that they know about) is 45 miles long.  This one has a couple hundred meters that’s lit, and then the rest plunges you into the deepest darkness I have ever experienced.  Very spooky.

Further round the rim of the main caldera it’s possible to descend into Kilauea Iki, a smaller volcano that was the site of a colossal eruption, throwing lava 2000′ into the air.  Now, the mountain is solid, but the rock is still hot, and steam drifts from the surface.  Here and there ‘Ohi’a Lehua trees dot the landscape, but again it feels like walking on barbecue coals, crunching underfoot.

Ascending from the crater, it’s possible to walk further round the main caldera rim… steam issuing from the gulley from the active volcano below – and gusts of steam and sulphur dioxide rise from the caldera mouth itself. I stayed until nightfall just to see the glow from deep inside the volcano reflected in the steam… and then began the trek home. At least three cars from the hostel passed by me (they did apologise later) before I was rescued by a family from Trinidad.

And that, I thought, was the end of my day… I hadn’t seen lava, but I had walked into a volcano… and then I met Rachel, Caitlin and Paul. Rachel and Caitlin are geology students, and Paul had a burrito that needed cooking – and they needed to see lava. The fact that it was 10 at night, and the viewing area was a) 60 miles away, b) shut and c) partially covered in lava didn’t seem to faze them. So, an hour or so later we drove down the hill into the mouth of hell. Lava was rolling across the hill, sweeping trees in its wake. Methane flames burst from cracks in the ground. Ropes of darkening and cooling paehoehoe lava burst open to reveal new lava below.

During the day, the area is patrolled by security – at night, dozens of fireworshippers turn up with sticks to poke the lava, and in Paul’s case, with a burrito to cook. You can get as close as you want (and possibly closer than is really safe) to the lava flow. Sometimes, old lava rock shakes as new lava threatens to undermine it.

I got home at 2:30 am… happy that I had been so close to the lava experience.  Truly, I had come close to Pele’s heart – and had fallen in love.

Hawai’ian Weather Rock

20 Jul

In the home of my Huna teacher I found an amazing Hawai’ian weather rock that he uses to tell the weather.  I believe that this approach has been used by people in Hawai’i for many generations.

Fortunately for those of us that are not yet such deep shamanistic practitioners, there were some instructions . . .

If rock is dry, then the weather is fair

If rock is wet, then it is raining

If rock is white on top, then it is snowing

If rock is covered in salt water, then there is a tsunami

If rock is shaking, then there is an earthquake

If rock is on one side, then there are high winds

If rock is missing, then there is a hurricane

Will be posting some more from my adventures yesterday once I recover….

To Volcano – To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.

18 Jul

(quote for the day courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer in ‘A Knight’s Tale’.

Today was a day for trudging.  And for changing plans. Originally I had a really good plan that involved swimming with turtles, catching the bus downtown and then the bus from Hilo to Volcano.  It was a good plan.  If executed on a weekday.  On a SATURDAY, however, the plan missed one vital ingredient.  No bus downtown.  So, A three mile walk.  Cancel the turtles, start walking.  However, a new plan formed in my mind.  Stop off at Planet Cafe for banana pancakes. Trust me, it was only the thought of banana pancakes that kept me going with a pack on my back that doubled my weight, and another pack on my front.

On the way I passed Keuakaha beach park where the locals put up huge tents and equally huge barbecues – and even have their own Port-A-Loo – and the tragic clock, stuck on 1:05, that commemorates the 1946 tsunami and the destruction of east coast of Hawai’i

Eventually, I stumbled into Hilo and began my search for Planet Cafe.  Under renovation.  My banana pancakes were NOT going to materialise.  HOWEVER, a quick check of the area revealed a farmers market with a lovely Thai lady in the smallest mobile catering van on the planet making green papaya salad.  I ordered Thai Hot.  I think the chef threatened to make me cry.  But that salad was the best thing I had ever eaten, for about two minutes.  Because two minutes after finishing my salad, I had the banana rolls.  Two orders.  Heaven!

Anyway, a quick bus ride later (buses are free, but you pay for baggage) and I was in Volcano at the charming Holo Holo In (yep, only one ‘n’) with the charming Satoshi Yabuki and his equally charming wife and young family… and a school party.  Now in the space of three hostels I have gone from backbacker international with Russian, French Canadian, German and US travellers, to solitude in a nearly empty hostel, to an all American school trip.  It’s variety, that I wll grant you!  By the way, Holo Holo means “leisurely journey” – I am not sure if that is apt or not!

On the up side, the teachers decided that if they didn’t do something I might collapse, so fortified me with spaghetti sauce and cookies.

So, a peaceful night – which might be a good think. Yabuki-San is threatening to take me to the farmer’s market at 6 am tomorrow… and I foresee a day of hiking round the volcano.  Or was that ‘trudging’?

Hilo, Day 3 – Hey, no hurlin’ on the shell, dude… just waxed it

17 Jul

Today… was a day for watching the wildlife.  We’ll ignore the two little dogs that chased me up the road… spent the morning watching the world go by in downtown Hilo chilling, reading, drinking kava (‘awa) – nothing to do with cava and everything to do with a strange root that’s meant to relax and destress you.  Worked for me.

My guidebook likens Kailui-Kona and Hilo to cops in a buddy movie – Kona is the good looking surfer type, always chatting up the girls, while Hilo is the grumpy one in the raincoat, asking questions and solving the puzzle.  Most tourists prefer Kona, but for me Hilo is more real, more genuine – old style shops, not a lot of tourism.  I won’t miss the oil terminal and the port side industry that’s between the hostel and town though.

Not many real beaches, either – but south of Hilo run a string of bays, coves beaches and rocky outcrops that I explored this afternoon.

I went snorkelling for a while in Richardson Park – nowhere near the number of fish that I’d seen earlier in the week, but I did manage to spot this cheeky chap, the reef triggerfish or humuhumunukunukuapua’a – which means ‘fish with a pig like nose’ – sounds a bit unfair.

(by the way, I don’t have an underwater camera with me, so these are stock photos!)

And then out of nowhere (and scaring the living daylights out of me) comes this, rather larger dude… the great sea turtle.

so, he and I kinda swam about a bit, hung out, shared some sea together… until he swam off.

Another one I saw later seemed to be doing the turtle equivalent of Alton Towers, riding the surf off the rocks on the beach further down the road.

I stopped off in one of the other parks for a little more snorkelling, and just after I had dried myself off, God played his high card for the day as a shoal of flying fish skipped past me.  Time to go – it couldn’t get any better….

[Side note – I had to chuckle at the Hawai’ian port-a-loo companies… Hawaiian John’s and Rent A Lua (Lua is Hawai’ian for ‘cave’)]

This evening I took a walk back into town, past the oil terminals and the port of Hilo in to Ken’s House of Pancakes for my weekly treat of a meal out.  I had to try ‘loco moco’ the Hawai’ian fast food of eggs, hamburger, rice and gravy.  And, yes, there is a vegetarian version.  Or you can have it with SPAM – the Hawai’ians love this comfort food!

Hilo – Day 2

16 Jul

Took a bike out again today.  Now, to continue my lessons from the other day….

When you take a bike out, one of the earliest things you should do is check the brakes.  In my case, not only did I not check the brakes, I forgot to check if I HAD any brakes.  Going downhill is not the right time to discover that there are no brake levers.  On THESE bikes, cycling backwards creates the braking.

Another lesson is to check the saddle.  If it’s like a brick, it’s going to hurt.  Especially if you cycle 30 miles.

Now, to return to our language lessons.  The other day we learnt the importance of the word ‘level’ as opposed to the word ‘volcano’ or ‘mountain’.  Today, I remembered that the word ‘fall’ in ‘waterfall’ implies height, and may well mean that a waterfall is not to be found at sea level.  So, I started to cycle back up Mauna Kea.  I love that mountain.  I must do.

Found some beautiful beaches off the beaten track, and even had to ford the river at one point.

Enjoyed amazing smoothies at What’s Shakin’

d) What's Shakin' smoothy hut., Hilo and Kona, United States

Had truly incredible malasadas at Baker Tom’s… these are like donuts, but more so.. I could take or leave the strawberry cheesecake… but the savoury jalapeno and cream cheese was unbelievable.  So that’s breakfast tomorrow too..

I’m pretty certain that tomorrow won’t involve cycling, but hopefully will involve turtles….

Hilo – Day 1

16 Jul

Rather than take the free bus to Hilo, I got a lift from Lauren, one of the girls in the hostel.  100 miles later saw me in a hostel way out of town, 100 yds from the beach, with frogs croaking and birds chirping.  No people, though.  Like a ghost hostel.  Just me and the two 6″ centipedes – which caused me to move quickly to the top bunk.

However, I got a good offer on a trip up to Mauna Kea, one of Big Island’s five volcanoes.  Following a brief stop at Rainbow Falls we set off on the ride up into the mountains.  A brief stop to acclimatise at 9000 feet found me walking up one of the cinder cones on the mountain.  It was a truly eerie experience – as one of my companions put it ‘like walking on a barbecue grill’ – crunchy, lava rock underfoot.

(this is just the VIEW from the volcano)

Next stop, the summit.  Because of the unique climate in Hawai’I ( clouds form an inversion layer, which means that weather happens BELOW the top of the mountain leaving clear skies above) the mountain at Mauna Kea is dotted with observatories and radio telescopes.  But the real star was the mountain – casting its shadow over the town of Hilo below, and looming over the glacial canyon below, where the lava had been ground and shaped by the slow progress of glacier ice.

By the way, in winter, Mauna Kea actually has snowy peaks (the name means ‘White Mountain’) and the surfers leave the beach, grab a board (or anything they can find) and ride the snow instead.

In the distance, the long slope of Mauna Loa (long mountain) can be seen, and the volcanic summit of Maui’s volcano, Ihaleakala, peers through the cloud.

As the sun sank below the ridge, I was overcome with a sense of awe – and an understanding of who I am and why I am here.

Quite an experience – and more at

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