Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Practice of Simplicity

“Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.” - D.H. Lawrence
(Andrew Hara Photography)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Planting, Watering and Growing

Shadows are clapping to thunders rapping

While phantoms are screaming to seedlings dreaming..

Sun bells ring as the spirits sing

Climbing to the sun, this life has just begun..

Tambourine sounds of laughter fill the void well after

The scars are faded into thoughts once jaded..

Rising is this life inside

Magic rising as the circles wide..

It is true that

Love beckons while the soul never reckons

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shaking Off The Cobbwebs

It’s the tough times that make me grateful for everything I have. This past week I have been thankful just to be able to sweep my porch. The simple act of sweeping has been a morning meditation and an act of cleansing to get myself ready for the day.

Last week I was riding my skateboard down a hill and took a spill, landing on my head. Upon reluctantly going to the hospital I learned I had a fractured skull and was bleeding in my brain. I had to be air lifted to a hospital on Oahu, one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Not knowing what would happen to me and having tubes and electrodes plugged in all over my body did not feel pleasant. Luckily the bleeding stopped and I was out of the hospital in a few days but will be out of commission for a while. Initially I was told to not do any physical activity for months but I am optimistic it will only be a few weeks. I have been relentlessly focusing on recovering, eating mostly super foods and leafy greens.

I feel like I have learned a lot about the psychology of healing and the power of positive thoughts. The hospital is no place for healing, with crappy processed food, even wearing a gown made me feel like I was not well. I wanted to be out of there immediately. After leaving, I felt so much better returning to the fertile grounds of my home under a mango tree. To me mango trees symbolize abundance, life, and growth. Salty breezes flowing in with light filtered green through the branches have been just what I need.

I have been taking heavy doses of turmeric, noni juice, and spirulina which have helped me recover quickly. I have been viewing all of this as an opportunity to practice patience and self awareness. It’s easy to think of myself as patient and aware when things are going good. Times like this really test where I am at. So far I am happy with where things are at, I accept that I will not be running or surfing for a while and that is ok. There are many other outlets to channel my inspiration and motivation.

I have always believed that being balanced in Mind, Body, and Emotion lead to happiness and health and there are plenty of things I can do in each area. I have definitely appreciated all of the support from my family and friends by checking on me. I am down but not out and will be fully back in no time!

Monday, May 28, 2012


The poetic flows of life bring swirling highs along with the devastating lows. I walked onto the dark trail in the land of volcanoes with a pack on my back and a surfboard under my arm. The silence was singing for no one and everyone and I happened to be the lucky one listening, walking under the damp cloudy sky with nothing but the sweet and sticky scent of morning glory to remind me that it was not a dream and I was indeed still in this universe. I was headed for Halape down the 8 mile trail for a few days of camping,surfing and running in solitude. My friend Patrick arrived at the trail head an hour before me and became impatient so he began the trek with little daylight remaining. I looked forward to making the walk in total darkness. Sometimes hiking or running in the dark creates an in between world where thoughts mold into memories and dreams............
.........I thought about a night hike I went on last summer that lasted into the early hours of the morning past pristine lakes and over snowy peaks on Bishop Pass in the Eastern Sierras. Laughter and delirium illuminated the trail. Earlier that day I was tricked into summiting Mt.Whitney. I use the work tricked half heartedly. I was told by Jenn the summit run would only take 3 or 4 hours round trip. I was excited to run up and begin the journey with her. She was attempting to run the JMT and I was crewing for her and Connie along with our friend Eric. We set off in the early morning, running for the tallest summit in the continental U.S. Eric started running up with us but knew better than to listen to Jenn’s estimation and turned back. I carried little water and only two Gu gels not expecting to be out there all day. Well..... Ten hours later and my first dance with altitude sickness I stumbled back down to the trail head, completely thrashed where Eric was waiting to say “I told you so.” He then proceeded to tell me we had to begin our 15 mile hike into Le Conte canyon immediately because Jenn and Connie were way ahead of pace on their quest to Yosemite. I was horrified at the thought of hiking into the darkness in the state I was in. I slowly began to see humor in the situation and gained some life after resting for a few hours and poaching a hotel swimming pool. So at 10pm we began the trek, the silhouetted mountain peaks seemed other worldly under the magic of the moon. We stumbled along laughing until we were both to exhausted to know where we were and could go no further. We thought we reached a giant snow field and decided it was to imposing to cross. We pitched our tent and immediately passed out, only realizing in the morning that the giant snow field was only a 20ft. patch of snow not even on the trail. Also we chose the worst possible place to camp; on top of a rock pile directly on 11,900ft. Bishop Pass......
((Medium format film))
Back to the present trail to Halape, I had the same surreal sensation as if my body was floating along like a hummingbirds wings in slow motion. I was fresh out of the field for the week from my job as an instructor at a therapeutic program. Rites of Passage and the components of the Heroes Journey are some of my favorite aspects of the work and I thought about what it really meant to me and how it all ties into my own daily life. It’s the daily journeys and quests that give life shape and meaning. There are big moments in life of transformation and there are daily moments. I think the daily moments are harder to define and equally as important. We all make daily choices and decisions that either propel us forward to obtain the quality of life we desire or keep us down in the doldrums. There are many different versions and definitions of a rite of passage but the one that really hits home for me is from anthropologist Victor Turner: “A rite of passage is any ritual, in which one ‘passes’ from one realm or condition of life experience into another.” Psychologically speaking, this ritual involves a breaking down of the old ego structures; so that a new vision can emerge, an image that is more fluid, expanded, and rooted in the depths of the collective unconscious where psyche and nature are no longer perceived separate.”
There are generally three phases and these are brief descriptions of Severance, Threshold and Incorporation: Severance – There is a growing awareness around patterns or behaviors that do not positively serve and the voice within starts as a whisper and strives toward a howl. Where we begin to lose it in order to find it. Threshold- The in between place where there is no turning back, thoughts and time flow freely. The threshold is where limiting thoughts, fears or anxieties are faced in order to relate to the world in a new way. Incorporation- Where what was learned during the threshold is applied and shared. I think of how to hold on to the magic feeling of running down a trail or gliding across a wave and apply the inspiration to my daily life. Those same three phases are also apart of Joseph Campbell’s “The Heroes Journey” which outline a singular pattern found in stories and myths across cultures throughout history. The phases seem to be a part of human consciousness that help us push through our fears and go beyond the limits of our possibilities. Many myths follow the pattern where a hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow on his fellow man. The Heroes Journey is a template of transformation and self awakening that can be applied to daily life.
In conclusion; there is something to learn from taking an epic journey into the mountains, surfing in the backcountry, making a small change in a daily routine, or just walking out your front door in the morning.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Orbit

(Hawaii Redwood Magic)

Spring winds have blown in a little piece of solitude that has been elusive the past several months, letting my mind swirl with the stars around the night sky. I have been trying to re define my own concept of normal; swimming and biking have been added to the mix along with steady running, surfing, and paddling.

“We must try to whole-heartedly embrace the whole of our experience, even when we judge it to be hideous. Over time, we may find that we are far more than we thought we were–we may touch our own pre-existing sovereignty, our capacity to see and receive others and the whole of life, before we became subject to the cruel rule of our habitual thoughts and fears. We begin to realize that this mindful awareness is not separate from our innate capacity for wisdom and compassion.”

I have been thinking about the process of running, swimming, and paddling, embracing the inner and outer experience of each. Each calls for absolute absorption in the act and true immersion in the experience and it is there where I feel the most fluid and sane. When I first moved to the island I heard of the Captain Cook challenge and finally decided to give it a try. I have always been cynical about triathlons but this one seemed like a lot of fun! I bought an old road bike and kept it SIMPLE. One big reason for my cynicism about triathlons is the amount and price of gear that seemingly takes the soul out of all three activities. All together the event included a 1 mile swim across Kealakekua Bay (One of my favorite spots on the island), a 2 mile trail run climbing 1,300ft, a 34 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. I was the most nervous about the swim and I figured the bike would be easy and the running would be fun. I was surprised to find myself gliding through the water almost effortlessly and before I knew it I was on the other side of the bay excited to run!

The night before I discovered the front tire on my bike to be wobbly and brushing the brakes. I could only laugh and hope it would hold up for the ride. I had a blast riding but was definitely ready to be off by the end of the ride. At one point I jumped off and started running with the bike up a steep hill because it felt more natural to me. All in all I laughed with joy throughout and was stoked to be out there with friends.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Walking Light

Pure compassion, ideals of steel
You built a castle made of sand and
Looked out upon this distant land

Against the grain and with the wind
Running your fingers through swirling clouds
As you ran, painting the countryside with grins

The light of the universe in your eyes
As you disappeared into the night
True as they are, true a human being that has ever walked this earth

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pulling the Smiles In

photos from-