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Join Us! in Hawaii this spring for a Dolphin Retreat
at the Place of Refuge in Hawaii.
Read below how this came about as an answer to a specific request for a way to heal ourselves more easily.
"There's Got to Be an Easier Way"
"God, there has to be an easier way" - I say to God as I am in the throes--(perfect word, those who have done these ceremonies will know what I mean)-- of a full on dimension merging, mind-body-spirit purging, reality melting Ayahuascan Shamanic ceremony in the Amazonian rainforest. Wow she is strong!- Ayahuasca. She is a beautiful plant -goddess-force, loving, caring, but very strong. It is an insistent 'purging' on every level-- my mind, my heart, my spirit, my body! The young man next to me is screaming for Jesus, "Jesus please save me". There is wailing, moaning, crying out for help to every imaginable God, Archangel, Angel, helping spirit humans have called upon filling up the room all around me. We are all facing our inner demons on internal 'journeys' throughout dimensions both heavenly and hellish. The heavenly experiences come later in the week, right now we are fully occupied with fighting off the giant snakes, the pits of huge spider beings wanting to suck us in, the planet of flesh orchids that want to invade and feed off our soul essences, the dark tunnels-vortexes downwards towards soul dungeons where pieces of our souls are trapped. Ayahuasca in concert with the Shamans and their magic Icaros - songs are bringing our 'stuff', our darkness, our unhealed places to the surface. It's a bit like surgery without an anesthetic. It's not a pretty sight. People are throwing up in their buckets and heading for the bathrooms, inhuman noises seem to be coming from all around the room. It's amazing and a testament to the skills of the Shamans that full on pandemonium and mass terror doesn't ensue with people running screaming out into the jungle. Though I am told later that that does in fact occasionally occur. I know better and when I feel the 30 foot Forest spirits behind me, just outside the flimsy mosquito netting, I know I'd rather stay here and face my self and my personal monsters head on. I'm surprised more people don't throw in the towel and head home the next morning. I know I have been told by God that this is something for me to do for my healing. I can't walk away, and I don't want to. I have promised myself that whatever Spirit suggests to me I will try my best to do. When I 'accidentally' picked up the magazine in the airport and read the article about Ayahusca ceremonies, I can remember intuitively knowing this was something I needed to do and resignedly telling Joy jokingly -" I think I'm going to the Amazon to visit Hell."
And by the way, Ayahuasca is THE most powerful 'medicine' on the planet in my opinion and for those of us (like me) that are so inveterately 'stiff necked' that we need Big Medicine to knock us off our perches-- I highly recommend it.
During the rest of the week and the ensuing 5 ceremonies at times I again entreat God- "There's got to be an easier way. Let's create an easier 'wake up' for us here on Earth. I would like to be part of it and partner with you God."
Hona Manu - "Turtle Power"
Turtles on the Kona coast
"Hona Manu" are the words I hear inside me. I have just arrived on the 'Big Island' of Hawai'i a day before. I've had a wish to swim with turtles and dolphins and an easy way to travel to Hawai'i has manifested itself. The first day I get up early and run around to beaches up on the Kohala coast searching for peaceful places. I drive down a bumpy lava road in my 4 wheel drive jeep, I hike over a hot lava road, I get thorns in my sandals that poke through the sole, I find a secluded beach...but no turtles. It doesn't feel 'easy' or that satisfying. Hmmmm....
That night I keep hearing the words "Honu Mana" inside me...which I learn later is Hawaiian for Turtle Spirit, or 'Turtle Power'. The place I am staying is a condo complex in Kona on the west coast of the Big Island. My first impression had been that I should have stayed someplace else, my balcony faces the road, there's traffic noise, it doesn't feel that warm or inviting. I had been honest with the owner when she asked me how I liked the place the next morning and I felt a bit guilty that I was being 'ungrateful'.
Well this morning I simply walk out to the little beach and lava rock reef 20 feet from my parking space. I pull up a chair and sit on the little beach. A gentleman walks by me and says 'Did you see the turtle?' and points out on the lava rocks. There I can see a large turtle completely out of the water sunning himself. I take my chair and walk it out on the rocks and take a careful with respectful distance look at the sunbathing 'Honu'. I find a place that my chair fits easily with a perfect footrest. After a while I notice another turtle in the tide pool right in front of me...and then another one...and another...and another. There are 4 turtles in the tide pool only 10 feet from me, feeding, occasionally popping their heads up for a breath. Wow! there are five turtles all around me. Then I look to my left at another tide pool...and...there are turtles there as well. I count them...one...two...three...four. I end up with a total of nine turtles all within 30 ft of me!
I'm overwhelmed with 'Honu Mana' - Turtle spirit energy. I slowly realize that my wish for turtles is being amply honored by Spirit. No need for rushing around, hunting, looking, making long difficult treks, or drives over sharp lava rocks to find 'sacred' places. That's the old way Spirit says, the 'No Pain-No Gain'- believing that it has to be difficult to find spiritual 'gain'. You have asked for the easy way home to God to your true self. Well here it is...right outside your door. And I recall during a shamanic ceremony earlier in the year asking God for 'an easier way' for us humans to heal ourselves.
The nine turtles and I spend about three hours together, I just sit and feel the turtles way of being, their 'manu', their spirit, watching them fearlessly float, slowly eat the seagrass, gently raise their heads for air. I get 'my fill' of Turtle essence
...and then as the tide starts moving in I move my chair back up on the little beach.
The rest of the week there are only 1 or 2 turtles that we see in the tide pools each day. And my last day...there are no turtles.
Turtle Spirit says:
'Relax, go easy, float, let the surf safely carry you even though the waves may appear big,
your food-all that you need, is right in front of you.
Relax and Receive, Let In that which you have asked for.
It's right here, there's no where to rush to.
Look into our eyes, we are millions of years old,
We are at peace. Nothing unsettles us, we are constant,
We are content."
On our healing retreat in Hawaii we will be learning an ancient Hawaiian healing method called Ho' opono pono.
HO`OPONOPONO by Joe Vitale
Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a
complete ward of criminally insane patients--without ever seeing any of them. The
psychologist would study an inmate`s chart and then look within
himself to see how he created that person`s illness.
As he improved himself, the patient improved.
When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How
could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best
self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It didn`t make any
sense. It wasn't logical, so I dismissed the story.
However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist
had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho`oponopono. I had never heard of it,
yet I couldn't let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to
I had always understood "total responsibility" to mean that I am
responsible for what I think and do. Beyond that, it`s out of my
hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We`re
responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does--but that`s
The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would
teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility. His name
is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first
I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist.
He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years.
"That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists
quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People
would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of
being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or
Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an
office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work
on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.
"After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being
allowed to walk freely,` he told me. `Others who had to be heavily medicated were
getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being
released were being freed.` I was in awe. `Not only that,` he went on, `but the
staff began to enjoy coming to work.
Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than
we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was
showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.`
This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: `What were
you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?"
"I was simply healing the part of me that created them," he said.
I didn`t understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life
means that everything in your life - simply because it is in your life--is
your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.
Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or
do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is
quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility
for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way
experience is your responsibility because it is in your life.
This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy or anything
you experience and don`t like--is up for you to heal. They don`t exist, in a manner of
speaking, except as projections from inside you. The problem isn't with them, it`s with
you, and to change them, you have to change you.
I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live.
Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I
began to realize that healing for him and in ho'oponopono means loving
"If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you
want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you."
I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing,
exactly, when he looked at those patients files?
"`I just kept saying, `I`m sorry` and `I love you` over and over
again," he explained.
Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve
yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.
Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone
sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working
on my emotional hot buttons, or by trying to reason with the person who sent
the nasty message.
This time, I decided to try Dr. Len`s method. I kept silently saying,
`I`m sorry` and `I love you,` I didn't say it to anyone in particular. I
was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the
Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized
for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn't take any outward action
to get that apology. I didn't even write him back. Yet, by saying `I love
you,` I somehow healed within me what was creating him.
I later attended a ho'oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He`s now 70
years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive.
He praised a book I had written, The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve
myself, my book`s vibration will raise, and everyone will feel it when they
read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.
"Suffice It to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your
"`What about the books that are already sold and out there?` I asked.
"`They aren't out there,` he explained, once again blowing my mind
with his mystic wisdom. `They are still in you.` In short, there is no out
there. It would take a whole book to explain the depths this deserves.
life, there`s only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it with
"Place of Refuge"
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
When people in London, in Sydney, in Tokyo and other cities around the world were asked what they would most like to do before they leave the earth -- the top desire, #1, was to swim with dolphins!
Like many of us I had heard of people swimming with dolphins and felt that I would like to do that for me. Going for a walk in Sedona someone I had met had emphasized that -'You must swim with the dolphins while you are there.' when I had told her I was going to Hawaii. And she told me of how she specifically had learned to snorkel and found a guide to take her out on the ocean to swim with these playful emissaries.
During the week in Kona, Hawaii I keep trying to find a way, I search the internet for dolphin tour operators--they look good but I don't feel very enthusiastic about calling them. I hope I will run into some private guide or new friend that will take me to some 'secret' place we can swim with the dolphins. It doesn't happen.
On a previous trip to the Big Island of Hawaii I had seen a retreat center with beautiful trees and a name that caught my mind. I remember that it was on the right as I drove towards the ocean somewhere on the Kona coast. As I drive down towards the Place of Refuge I see it -- it's the Dragonfly Ranch, an eco friendly bed and breakfast, absolutely wonderful. I stop in and proceed to spend 2 hrs talking to Barbara Moore the creator and soul behind the place. She tells me that a pod of dolphins often visit right in the little bay by the Place of Refuge. The next day I have time to go down to the bay, it's Christmas Day, a 'beach day' for local Hawaiians, so there is a lot of people there. After snorkeling in the clearest water I have seen in the islands - I'm sitting on a rock just under water level and feeling the gentle waves lifting me and I see a swimmer a bit offshore. My attention is drawn to him and keep watching. All of a sudden I see fins surfacing close to him. I feel a wave of excitement and I exclaim almost out loud "That's my appointment, this is for me!" I put my fins back on, grab the goggles and swim out towards the swimmer and what I hope to be dolphins. I get there and swim around for a while. I'm dis-appointed (maybe it wasn't my 'appointment' after all I think) I can't see the bottom, just beautiful sun rays playing like long light shafts down into the deep blue, and all of a sudden I see them manifest from down below, graceful, easy, like some other dimensional beings just appearing - I spend the next hour and a half swimming with this pod of 12 dolphins. I don't push myself on them and allow the interaction to be determined by them. The other man I had seen from shore and I start talking and become instant friends in sharing this experience. It seems we are in our own world and though there is at least 150 people on shore, they don't seem to notice us. Only one other swimmer comes out to share the experience. When we both feel it's time to go as soon as we start swimming in towards the shore the pod of dolphins turns and heads for the open sea and their night out in the open ocean. We see them swim past some kayakers that are happily surprised to see them.
Later the dolphins tell me that if I bring some people that want to respectfully interact that they will come and greet us.
'The Place of Refuge' Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
'The Place of Refuge' is a National Park located in the 'Healing Triangle' on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is a place where the chiefs and the priests lived in the Hawaiian culture. It is also a place where 'all is forgiven', a sanctuary, a place of refuge for anyone that violated a 'kapu' (tabu) in the Hawaiian culture. During war it was also a place of sanctuary where no blood could be spilled. Offenders that had broken kapu would be absolved through a cleansing ritual administered by the Kahunas (priests) at the Place of Refuge. Not even the chiefs were allowed into the area maintained for the healing ceremonies.
There are a few places left on Earth today that still carry the vibration of our original 'Garden of Eden', the Land of Pan (Pangea), true remnants of Paradise - what it was like when we first entered physicality on Earth. This experience of ease, peace, enjoyment was the original plan for Earth. Going to these places and imbibing the vibration still palpably present there can help us bring back this original blueprint of ease, comfort, enjoyment for us in our personal lives and for the planetary civilization.
"The Place of Refuge" -- Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is one of those places still kept on Earth.
The etheric vibrations in these sanctuaries on earth are a rememberance back to those places and times when we existed purely, innocently, openly, without need for strife, without stress, without having to harden, brace ourselves in order to survive. For those that can 'see' the etheric - finer electromagnetic vibratory emanations - when we 'look' at The Place of Refuge, there is an actual energetic atmosphere above it. Imagine a pillar of light that goes directly up into higher vibrational dimensions. This guards and maintains the almost physical, palpable presence of Peace and ease that most people will feel upon entering the grounds.
The Park has a small protected beach where turtles come up with some re-creations of houses that the native Hawaiians would have used. There are "heaiau's" (sacred altars), ancient fish ponds, black lava pools, and a palm tree grove from which to watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean. The farthest point of the sacred grounds that face directly west into the setting sun have a magic all their own. A Sunset Meditation with Solar Gazing is very powerful in this spot.
Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
'You've got to find what you love,' Steve Jobs says
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of
Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the
finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth
be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation.
Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big
deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed
around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So
why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed
college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She
felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so
everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his
wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that
they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list,
got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected
baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother
later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that
my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the
final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my
parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college
that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class
parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six
months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to
do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it
out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their
entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work
out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of
the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop
taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping
in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the
floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to
buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday
night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved
it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and
intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy
instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every
label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had
dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to
take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif
and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between
different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great.
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science
can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh
computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.
It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never
dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never
had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows
just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have
them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this
calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful
typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots
looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear
looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect
them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow
connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut,
destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and
it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I
started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in
10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2
billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our
finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned
30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you
started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very
talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things
went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and
eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors
sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been
the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let
the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the
baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob
Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very
public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.
But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The
turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been
rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple
was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of
being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner
again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most
creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another
company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would
become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer
animated feature film, /Toy Story/, and is now the most successful
animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple
bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at
NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I
have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired
from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient
needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose
faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I
loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true
for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a
large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do
what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to
love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't
settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the
years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live
each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be
right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33
years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If
today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about
to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in
a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever
encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost
everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of
embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of
death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are
going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you
have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to
follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in
the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even
know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly
a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no
longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get
my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means
to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10
years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure
everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for
your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy,
where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and
into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells
from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that
when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying
because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that
is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the
closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now
say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful
but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to
die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one
has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very
likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It
clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you,
but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and
be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other
people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out
your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called /The Whole
Earth Catalog/, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was
created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park,
and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late
1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all
made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of
like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was
idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of /The Whole Earth
Catalog/, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final
issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of
their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the
kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.
Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their
farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I
have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin
anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.