Connect with the "Oneness and Its Environment"

Be in the inner and outermost dance of push and pull, expansion and contraction, motion and stillness, be led and follow simultaneously

April 2022, Last day experience on Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau

I awoke to a text from elder sister on the morning of Wednesday, April 6, 2022, “difficult news to share… [close family friend] passed away this morning…”

After receiving this text from my sister, I immediately felt called to make a lei offering for him and his family at a hidden sacred women’s Heiau at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau (Place of Refuge) on the Big Island of Hawaii. Listening inward, my friend and colleague Samantha and I individually purchased leis for offering to those who have passed.

At the entrance we had to explain our motivation to a park ranger, whose first question was how I knew about this Heiau because it is not one known or open to the public. I shared that I’d been privileged to be part of a small group invited to pay homage following its discovery a few years ago.

Stepping into new possibilities

I’ve learned since then it was in 2012, it had been almost ten years since my first visit to this women’s Heiau with the group.  She passed my information on to the current Kahu (caretaker/ keeper) who took a moment to tune in, then said yes to clandestinely escorting us to the Heiau.
Before and after paying our respects, the Kahu shared her story of stepping into the caretaking role for this sacred women’s Heiau, Hale o Papa, and how she has been overseeing these sacred lands with her two brothers for eleven years. Four years ago, she said yes to working at the park as a facilitator and this women’s Heiau caretaker and has since been having deep and powerful shifts in her connections with her ancestors as she agreed to step into new responsibilities.

Recently, she held her first Spring Equinox ceremony with several generations of the community, including elders and children, to open the four directions for this Heiau. Both Samantha and I feel honored to be the first unknowns after this ceremony, per the Kahu, requesting visitation to this sacred Heiau for women.

In reverence, she chanted in Hawaiian requesting entrance to the Heiau. With permission granted, we entered. She offered more Hawaiian chanting and words honoring my family friend as he continues his journey returning to his ancestors, making his reconnection, and to ask for the holding of his wife and 8-month-old daughter as they grieve his passing.

She turned to me to make my offering. Breaking the quiet, I heard birds chirping loudly and making their presence known as I spoke my prayer for my friend, his wife, and their daughter. I reverently placed the leis and a crystal on a volcanic rock for him and all who have transitioned. Samantha said she witnessed three birds flying over us, one flying slightly ahead, the other two side by side, diving in unison close to me and then flying towards the water, as I turned to return to my position. I witnessed nature’s stillness, as Samantha gently stepped forward placing her leis on the Heiau.

The Kahu asked if we wished to stay a little longer, so we sat in silence for some time. After our moment in silence, the Kahu brought our offering to a close as the sky began turning dark grey, two yellow birds flew over us, and out of nowhere a large strong gust of wind blew from behind us up and away carrying our prayers. It was a powerful closing moment.

Samantha and I spent more time on the grounds walking towards the ocean on the lava rock. Seeing Samantha in her bare feet at the Heiau encouraged me to remove my shoes. I walked barefooted on the lava towards the ocean; prompted to stop and sit on a volcanic boulder with strong energetic focal currents, I sat facing the water. I could have stayed there much longer, feeling its power pulling me deeply inward, but knew we needed to go into town.

Throughout our Heiau experience a yellow butterfly welcomed us at the park entrance, again at the Heiau, and we noticed one as we were exiting the park.

We traveled into town to pick up a gift Samantha had purchased for a friend, getting caught in a torrential downpour afterward. Deciding to wait it out, we tucked into a restaurant where I heard I was to write up this experience. The downpour continued during my writing. As soon as I finished my recount and sent it on to my sister, the downpour ceased.
On our return drive home, we both acknowledged experiencing an expanding sense that the island had opened to us in a new and profound way. Later that night, I also uncomfortably realized I’d made an additional offering of skin from the sole of my left foot. A small sacrifice for the wonders of this remarkable day’s journey.

The Essence of Who we Are
My last visit to the Big Island was one of three specific explorations to Maunakea, a deeply sacred place revered by Hawaiians that stands almost 14,000 feet above sea level. I learned after my first visit to Maunakea to seek permission from the mountain’s Kahu - which I had done following my spontaneous first visit, another magical synchronous story. The message I received before my third Maunakea visit was to spend three consecutive days at the waters each morning, then to ascend Maunakea paying my respects at different places, and on the final day standing and offering prayer on its peak.

Usually on the evening of my Kona arrival, I watch the sunset at the Place of Refuge; yet on this trip there was another agenda (as Iʻve shared above). On the morning of my previous trip to the island, I began my three daysʻ journey escorted by a local. Upon my descent on day three of my return to Kona during that visit I heard, “do not return until unified”. Although Maunakea was not a part of my latest journey, I am warmly pleased to have walked again on the sands, lava rocks, and in the waters of this island of unyielding wonderment.

This current trip gave me visual and visceral reminders of what I feel when I am fully supported and connected, reminding me that my relationship is about the Oneness of Life and Its Environment, a Buddhist concept I grew up with. And the strongest reminder that my attention is best in the moment. Being in the here, in the now, fully embodied to hear and receive messages, and to witness how I initiate, and life responds.

Much continues to unfold. I awoke one morning after my return with this message: be in the inner and outermost dance of push and pull, expansion and contraction, motion and stillness, being led and following simultaneously. Seamlessly and separately feeling and being the sensations of my perceived qualities within the elements. Fully being embraced and embracing a familiar yet unknown essence.

As a CranioSacral Therapist and practitioner, I had the opportunity to take a CranioSacral dissection workshop in Sacramento and felt cerebrospinal fluid in my hands and between my fingers, gloves donned of course. It was an unforgettable quality; my memory beheld the finest calibrated balance of water and oil as one. Cerebrospinal fluid in some customs is considered the closest connection to the essence of who we are. The way I open when receiving a CranioSacral session is similar to the way I experience my opening with the Big Island of Hawaii.

In health,

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