Today, I have the privilege of being a Tour Guide on Maui, Hawaii, the most remote spot on the planet! My beat is Haleakala ("House of the Sun"). Measured from its base on the sea floor (as Geologists do), it is the second tallest mountain in the world.
Along its coast snakes the incredible Road to Hana; 617 curves and 54 one-lane bridges through a rain forest. Up its side, the steepest paved road in the world takes you to the summit of a volcano, about 100 years OVERDUE for a lava flow! There you will find the place most like the Moon on the Earth!
Slolom down Haleakala's slopes and slide less than ten miles across a sugar cane filled valley and you find yourself traveling one million years to the verdant valley floor of Haleakala's older Sister, Hale Mahina; the House of the Moon.
Elders teach that upon entering someone else's indigenous home it's important to seek the blessing of the spirits of the land. That means taking the time to honor the ancestors who watched over the land for the ages before you arrived. It also means respecting those of their blood who caretake the "aina" (land--that which feeds) today. For this island that nourishes me, and those whose bones are part of it, I give great thanks!
People world-wide recognize Maui as a sacred place. A new arrival is constantly reminded the Goddess Pele will test you to the hilt until she decides to embrace you or eject you. A part of that testing has to do with how you treat the incredible gifts that she offers, including the host culture.
The author of this site acknowledges he knows nothing of what it means to be Kanaka Maoli (the original people of Hawaii). There is a strong movement amongst the people to exercise their Sovereignty. He makes no special claim to knowledge of spirituality or healing as practiced by the people. He can only express his commitment to listening each day to both the people and the spirit of this land, and then honoring and sharing what he learns, where appropriate. This web site is the by-product of his explorations in the healing arts
1969, as supercharged
by his Hawaiian experience.
As he is a student, he also recommends you be, too. It is not enough to just study the past ways without bringing them into the context of what is right now. Maui is actually a very fine case-study of integrating varied cultures into a (relatively!) cohesive whole while not losing the individuals' connection to their root culture. The "Spirit of Aloha" can be a powerful guiding force for us all!
Here are some resources that will help you (literally) "tune-in" to Maui:
http://www.manaoradio.com/ sends you to the web site of one of the finest FM radio stations I have encountered. MANAO RADIO. It is a wonderful example of broadcasting that is a reflection of the people it serves. Through this site, you can pick up the show via live-feed, along with gaining access to archives (I might be in there, somewhere!). It's got the most eclectic group of DJ's you'll ever run into, AND it's all listener supported!
gets you to Amazon.com and Jill Engledow's excellent "Maui 101" This book puts Maui within the greater perspective of the Hawaiian Islands' larger story -- both contemporary and ancient.
http://www.mauihealthguide.com/index_maui.htm will put you in touch with a tremendous array of healers of all stripes living here on Maui, reflecting a diversity of approaches as supercharged by the healing/transformational properties of this "aina" (land).
Russ Reina is committing a portion of the proceeds from this website to youth and cultural organizations on Maui who integrate traditional teachings and values with the needs of living sustainably in Hawaii today.