Living in Hawaii is unusual in terms of being showered with
blessings. This ideal became highlighted recently when a close
friend called to provide me with an update on the Big Islands
social scene. She advised me to be sure not to miss a forthcoming
sarod concert and dance performance to be held at the Kona based
Dragonfly Ranch. This program would include world-renowned musician,
Lisa Moskow, and Australian-born Sacred Dance Master, Amalia
Camateros. Sensing the incredible opportunity for participating
in a joyous celebration, I said to myself, I gotta go!
the circuitous route from Hilo to the other side of the island
is a great escape odyssey. The main boon for nature lovers like
myself is that the Big Islands diversity offers a stunning
array of natural treasures. There is much more than meets the
eye of even the most discerning of travelers. The presence of
Hawaiis living Spirit is infused into the backcountry.
way are huge, towering waterfalls. In striking complement, volatile
volcanic zones, comprising acres of land, are created in a geological
blink of an eye.
portions of Hawaii (known as the Big Island) are
particularly attractive in that one can experience a great tropical
splendor. Few adventures compare to observing vivid wilderness
dreamscapes while lying on a black sand beach under swaying
palms, as waves of surf baptize the shoreline. I enjoy feeling
the love that Nature so bountiful offers. In this stunning atmosphere,
it is possible to attune to the continual ebb and flow of Creation.
Listening closely, I can hear Mother Nature whispering: awaken,
awaken, awaken to the indwelling magnificence.
to the rewards of touring the Big Islands sacred sites,
metaphysically inclined visitors can enjoy a series of special
power spots. One favorite is the venerable Wood Valley Temple,
a rustic Tibetan jewel in the lotus retreat, neatly
tucked away in the hills of Pahala. Set amidst a lush backdrop
of forest, hills and meadows, it is the perfect place to pause
for inner reflection. The refuge has even been blessed by the
sanctifying presence of the Dalai Lama, who communed with residents
and guests there several years ago.
As I continue
on my way, I am awed by Hawaiis spectacular panoramas
including glimpses of majestic, snowcapped Mauna Kea, the largest
mountain in the world if measured from the bottom of the Pacific.
Hours seem to pass in an instant. Before I know it, my truck
reaches the three mile downhill access road leading to the pearl
of South Kona, the legendary Dragonfly Ranch.
arrival, I observe an iridescent dragonfly goddess mobile above
the entryway, a Frank-Lloyd-Wright designed statue on the rock
wall and the strikingly lush, peaceful, oasis-like ambiance
of the retreat: Nature in repose.
impressions are most favorable. I'm particularly awed by giant,
hundred-year-old monkeypod trees providing a protective umbrella
over the property. This sanctuary is clearly a world apart.
Meandering along a series of pathways, I hear the gentle sounds
of trickling water bubbling from a delightful dolphin fountain.
There are a number of Quan Yin goddess statues and various dragonfly
motifs sequestered in cozy meditation niches. In the warmth
of a breezy afternoon, I enjoy the sense of romance.
skyward, there is a large, rambling Swiss-Family-Robinson style
treehouse with a series of five adjacent guest rooms. Im
immediately struck by how tastefully designed the buildings
are - a harmonious blending of indoor/outdoor tropical enchantment.
After a short walk I reach the top lanai where I discover gorgeous
views of an ancient Hawaiian village on Konas famed Gold
founder and hostess of the retreat, Ms. Barbara Kenonilani Moore,
appears with an entourage of adorably fluffy, white Pomeranians.
After a warm welcome, she takes me on an impromptu tour. At
the multi-tiered treetop Shangri-la, we sit on the spacious
outside deck, chatting amiably about the remarkable twenty eight
year evolution of the sanctuary. The Dragonfly Ranch is Barbara's
ambitious effort to manifest her healing ecotopia vision, complete
with a wide range of innovative wellness programs designed to
nurture body, mind and spirit. These rich, sacred healing experiences
include Flower Essence Therapy and, the specialty of the house,
traditional Hawaiian Lomilomi Rejuvenation Treatment.
firsthand pleasure of discovering all this hideaway magic, I
wonder if any famous guests have visited. Barbara reflects for
a moment; then smiles. She relates that a variety of notable
artists, philosophers, movie stars, writers and musicians have
enjoyed escaping the busy world from time to time.
day of my visit, I am treated to a lovely live concert of soothing
Asian music in consort with a beautiful, interpretive dance
performance. I discover the Ranch, itself, is a mecca for choice
I like the
management's encouragement of it's guests creating personalized
adventure outings. A sampling of these possibilities includes
swimming, snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear, dolphin
inhabited waters. What a perpetual gift.
I hear a rumbling sound, turning into a voracious lions roar.
My stomach is growling! This leads me to discover yet another
one of the sanctuary's best kept secretsthe sumptuous
cornucopia of fresh greens and tropical fruits, to be gathered
directly from the organic garden. After harvesting lettuce,
tomatoes, spinach, sweet peas and other select delectables,
I partake of a nourishing gourmet meal.
As the day
rolls on and Barbara and I get to know each other better, our
conversation spans a wide range of topics. Oblivious of external
worldly influences, we continue to talk, until the lazy afternoon
seems to have all but evaporated. As she and I look in the direction
of the ocean, she playfully exclaims: The light is fading
and there is much more you haven't seen. The best view is from
the top of the property. I sense there is something magical
she reveals her most recent innovation, the addition of a huge,
open air facility
the Illuminarium. Desiring to view it,
I follow the ascending serpentine pathway through the well tended
garden and surrounding jungle. The colorful arched structure
appears, casting an impressive swath across the landscape. I
am filled with a mixture of awe and elation as I savor the scene.
mentions that one use for such a creation is to grow orchids.
I observe that the design is well suited for multi-use creative
arts endeavors. As I walk through the cavernous structure I
am on the inside of a shimmering rainbow. All ten of the Gothic
overhead support beams are a painted tapestry of heavenly pastel
hues. Ah ha, I chuckle: here is the open air
Polynesian version of Chartres Cathedral, complete with
an intricate, multi-colored, concentric labyrinth painted in
the center of the spacious wooden floor. It's uplifting to circumambulate
it, rediscovering the center within. The Illuminarium is perfect
for tranquil introspection. Here, the elusive pot of gold, (our
spiritual destiny), surrounds, nourishes, and provides me with
a potent soulscape reminder: one must elevate one's
consciousness to perceive Creation as a sacred dance.
each precious moment, a question comes to mind: what will
it take to inspire humanity's creative genius so that maximum
blessings unfold? The more I reflect upon this magnificent
ideal, the closer I am to understanding the Universe's eclectic
mysteries. As mystic Ursa Krattinger Tinga aptly expresses:
The Labyrinth is a riddle. It is the cosmos and the world;
the life of human kind, the womb of the earth
the way to the center, the way to ourselves.* The following
day, my destiny continues to unfold in a unique manner. I have
the great fortune to get to know Dance Master, Amalia Camateros,
a personable, young woman of wisdom who exudes a scintillating
charm. As we converse, I begin to feel that her smile is capable
of enlivening whole universes.
to make the most of the day, we make a pilgrimage to Puuhonua
O Honaunau National Park. Before us, stretches the vastness
of the Pacific--the perfect place to access Natures heartspace.
As cool balmy breezes fleet across the wide expanse of shallow
crystalline tidepools, Amalia confides that she has experienced
an ongoing series of wake up calls about the spiritual nature
of life. Reverence for Mother Earth and sacred dance, she reflects,
are honorariums to the sweetness of the Earth and the effulgent
human spirit. She expresses that the Big Island is the perfect
place to experience these sublime visions. The Illuminarium
appeals to her as a temple for sharing her special offerings.
As we wander
through the ancient Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, we connect to the
powerful spirit of place, the legendary, potent mana. Though
Amalia and I enjoy this timelessness at the shore, we know that
more wonderful experiences are in store for us at the Healing
Arts Retreat. Looking forward to re-grouping with the staff
and guests, she and I retrace our way back to Dragonfly territory.
are serenaded by the sounds of bees humming mingled with soft
chirping from tiny banana birds. The enveloping aura of tropical
beauty and intoxicating scents are delightful. In contrast to
this overall feeling of serenity, I'm surprised to hear laughter
emitting from the kitchen/dining area. Soon Amalia and I join
the festivities in full swing.
is in meeting new guests from far flung corners of the globe,
exchanging life stories, and exploring vibrant possibilities
for more adventure. Together, the assembled group shares gratitude
for the many gifts continually bestowed.
of the temple bell wind chimes announces the beginning of a
workshop. The dance intensives participants, including
myself, make our way to the Illuminarium. Amalias Awake
the Snake multi-digenous healing experience is meant to
stimulate self discovery. She suggests that humans have spent
an inordinate amount of time searching outside of themselves
for the source of happiness while, the real fulfillment
is to be in honor of the planet and ourselves by living our
sacredness. As humans become more aware of their inherent
divine nature they can awaken dormant kundalini
serpent power within that is the basis of enlightenment. Awakening
this force is the core of Amalias ongoing intensives.
meditating on the edge of the giant labyrinth design, I feel
like Im being teleported to another world. I become transfixed
watching Amalia execute a beautiful, freeform, interpretive
dance. After her glorious Earth-Spirit movement, she entreats
us, in tempo with some uplifting Indian ragas, to dance through
One by one
we glide along in tune with various musical selections designed
to put us in touch with the energy of the various chakras. Gradually,
with Amalias expert guidance, each of us becomes more
aware of these subtle dynamics. Eventually the music stops and
we stand completely still, drinking in the peace of dusk.
heavenward through the emerald lace canopy of monkeypod leaves,
I behold a tiny, glimmering dot of light in the evening sky.
Its the planet of love, Venus. A message comes to me:
enjoin your soul with All That Is
is the true meditation. I envision the whole planet and
her peoples in harmonious alliance.
of my journey have provided quite a bit to reflect on. After
the stimulating workshop, I relax and unwind in a choice upscale
tree house suites. As the sun slowly sinks beneath the vast
glistening Pacific, I am enraptured by eternitys embrace
and actually sense Amalias spirit soaring!
In the morning,
as a natural conclusion to my journey, I re-mingle with the
extraordinary guests in the kitchen/dining area and share a
hearty breakfast. Its been a great pleasure to have met
so many kindred spirits. I bid everyone a fond farewell. In
a buoyant mood, I set out on my way back to the other side of
In the following
days, Im pleased to reminisce on my many experiences.
One morning at sunrise, while casually strolling along Punas
jagged coastline, I pause on a flat precipice overlooking the
glistening ocean. Stilling my being in a meditative pose, a
sense of déjà vu prevails. Suddenly, without notice,
I feel great bursts of a fresh dragonfly wind ascending like
an untethered kite. I re-experience the ancient mana ? the indelible
interconnectedness to the umbilical cord of Mother Earth, and
our eternal spiritual nature.
your travel itinerary prompts you to inhabit the heartspace
of Eden, consider a visit to this unique area. You might find
it to be a delightful experience. I know I will.