05 Jan 2011
Updated Nov 15, 2009...
Divine Intervention in Man vs. Shaman Conflict
New Trees, Seeing Red, Pele's Tears, Jaws, Rainbows...
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Divine Intervention in Man vs. Shaman Conflict
HAIKU, Maui, Nov 14 - "One of the challenges we (shamans) have is to put our egos to rest, and let the universe's energy work through us, rather than try to impose our will when healing others or our own life," I said in the second segment of the recent Badlands Radio interview (starting at 1:16:50 of the media player counter).
"Isn't that sometimes hard to do?" asked Captain Jack, the talk show host.
"It's terribly hard to do," this writer wholeheartedly agreed. "And it's an eternal challenge. Only those who are able to shed the egos can hope to eventually become ascended masters."
"Huh..." you can hear Captain Jack's surprise while absorbing the answer.
"And it's an eternal journey, by the way, not just a one-lifetime challenge," I continued. "The reason we come back in another life over and over again is because we had not gotten rid of all the karma in past lifetimes."
"Aha!" you can hear Captain Jack's reaction as the penny dropped.
I did not go into it during the radio show, but every time I say prayers to open up a sacred space during a shamanic ceremony, when addressing the South, home of Amaru, the (Fire) Serpent, the master of the Lower World, who transforms through fire and Kundolini energy, I ask this Sacred Animal to "teach me to shed my past and my ego with ease you shed your skin."
But that's easier said than done, as I found out again this week when I tried to practice what I preach. In fact, it was "terribly hard." Check it out...
* * *
This is not my usual weekly update. The story you're about to read is about relationships, interpersonal as well as with God. There is much to be learned from what happened here at the Rainbow Shower this week. Which is why I wrote it and am sharing it it with you.
I'll keep the introductory scenario at a general level to protect some character's privacy. Except my own. I am an open book. For the purposes of this story, however, let's call the other lead character My Friend.
Earlier this week, someone close to me, My Friend, had let me down, broke some important promises. At least that's how I felt. It may have been inadvertent initially. But after I had told My Friend how I felt, there was no doubt in my mind. Yet My Friend still refused to acknowledge any responsibility for the pain and anguish this had caused me.
"Tough luck" were My Friend's unspoken words at the end of our phone conversation on Wednesday.
So I was in a quandary about what to do. Bob the Man wanted to sever all ties to My Friend. "Why should I tolerate someone in my life who can be so selfish and uncaring?" he reasoned.
In fact, before the emergence of Bob the Shaman in the last few years, Bob the Man of the old would have done it right then there... on the phone. But Bob the Man of the new heard Bob the Shaman's voice saying, "your mission is to enlighten and touch other people's hearts with your love and service. That includes the person you feel has injured you. Maybe you should be more understanding and forgiving?"
"But how can I forgive someone who is unrepentant?" Bob the Man wondered, using logic and reason.
"Maybe you should ask the Creator that question," Bob the Shaman replied.
"Will you help me do it?" Bob the Man asked.
Preparing for and Asking for Divine Guidance
And so Bob the Man and Bob the Shaman asked the Creator to give Bob the Man some signs about what he should do. The Inca shamans do despacho offerings before important prayers or requests. Despacho is a demonstration of our love of the land, of the sun and of the Creator. We used to do one or two despachos every day on my last trip to Peru with the highest level shamans, the Altomesayoks (see On the Angel Trail in Peru, May-June 2009).
"We have to feed the land all the time (with our love and prayers)," I remember them saying over and over again during our treks through the Sacred Valley of the Incas Or while billy-goating the Holy Mountains of Peru so as to honor the spirits and the Creator.
So on Wednesday afternoon, right after that phone spat, I planted a beautiful Star Fruit tree on the second leg of our first gulch road as my form of despacho. The tree itself was a symbol of love. Our native Hawaiian neighbor Charley and his wife brought it over this Sunday as a house-warming gift. Yes, the same Charley who helped us build that road, and is now working with me on the new roads in the Greater Rainbow Shower.
Planting the tree was hard work. I was exhausted after hauling it down an 80-ft drop, digging a hole on a 45-degree slope, shoring it up with supports against erosion, fertilizing the roots, and finally connecting it to the water hose that runs down the side of the gulch rose. And it was hot and humid.
I also thought Elizabeth would be also pleased to see the star fruit tree when she comes back home (she is out of town at the moment). She and I both enjoyed the refreshing taste of several star fruit we received as gift from another neighbor (top right). They became a part of our 10-fruit breakfasts. :-)
I felt good planting the tree. I hope the Creator and Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) were pleased, too, not to mention Goddess Pele and God Lono, the local Hawaiian deities who have guided me to this undiscovered "Garden of Eden" (see Messages from Goddess Pele, Aug 2009).
Just to digress for a moment, Goddess Pele has just reappeared in my life, in the form of Pele's Tears, a tall plant whose hardened fruit is used for making jewelry in Hawaii (necklaces). Charley's wife Marlene, also a native Hawaiian, pointed a patch of Pele's Tears down in the gulch near the Palm Island (right).
Later on, I discovered another Pele's Tears plant right at the bottom of my Uaca (Ahu - altar), built with her help and guidance. Judging by its smaller size, it has obviously emerged in the last few days. It is located less than 50 feet from the stone fireplace (altar) in which I found other signs from Pele after fire ceremonies last August.
Back to my story, after planting the star fruit tree, I also did some weeding and a few other chores in the gulch. By the time I came back up to the Upper Rainbow Shower and cleaned up, I was so tired that I just crashed and slept, even though it was late afternoon. And I am not a napper.
It was early evening by the time I drove into Kahului to take care of some errands that needed to be done while the stores are still open. I waited till late at night to address the Creator with my prayers. As usual, I did it in the spa...
"If you think I should go through and sever this relationship, please give me a green light... flash or give me something green, either in dreamtime or in daytime," I pleaded with the Creator. "But if you think I should wait and try to reconcile with My Friend, show me something red."
"Of course, I will not presume to tell you HOW you should guide me," I continued. "I am totally committed to following your signs and your path whichever way you take me. If you don't like my suggestion, give me some other signs... through music, sights, scents, dreams. Your choice. I know from past experience that you can be very creative. I sort of expect that you will do it again this time."
That was on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, as it was past midnight.
First Divine Sign
It was a moonless night, yet unusually clear. Our climate here in Haiku is such that it rains a little bit (or a lot) almost every night. So it is a real treat to be able to see the stars clearly, and try to decipher constellations. That's something I took for granted while in Arizona where the nights are mostly clear.
After my prayers and meditation in the spa, I started looking for Orion and Sirius, my astral home (Sirius B, the Dogon star) in the eastern sky. I then I changed positions, so I was now facing north, the ocean. I wanted to see if I could still catch a glimpse of the Big Dipper and Polaris, another one of my favorite stars. I could not. But I saw something else that startled me.
I thought I saw a flash of white light out of the corner of my eye, far away over the ocean. "Another UFO?" I thought at first.
And then it happened again. "It can't be lightening," I thought. That's extremely rare here in Hawaii.
In the eight months that I have been been here in Maui, I have not seen a single lightening strike or heard a thunderbolt. So that theory seemed pretty far-fetched. What else could it be? "Have I been in the spa too long?"
I got out of the spa and started to walk around the lanai, angling for a better viewing position of the ocean. Another flash. This time, there was no doubt about it. It was lightening.
"Incredible!" I exclaimed out loud. I had just finished my prayers asking for guidance and here it was, a reply, less than half an hour later.
"But what does it mean?" The mountain spirits had told us that the Altomesayoks used to be selected by lightening in the old days. But that was in Peru. This is Hawaii.
It took another two days before the enigma revealed itself to me.
No Signs on Thursday
Thursday was my landscapers day here. While they did some clearing work in the gulch, I planted another tree on the slope, just below the star fruit. It was a mango I had bought earlier that morning. It was the first mango we have planted and my second despacho in two days. I did not have to work so hard this time. It was overcast and the slope was not as steep.
Before continuing with my weed-whacking in the dry creek bed near the Uaca (Ahu), a job I am doing myself for now to give the landscapers a chance to do other things, I got two wonderful compliments from my landscaper Keith. The best part was that they were not intended as compliments. He was just thinking out loud.
Keith has been with me here since the beginning. He is one of maybe only four local people who know what an impassable jungle I had bought, and what a gorgeous Garden of Eden it has already become (it started with two, and now is a little over seven acres). I was showing Keith the new road through the jungle that we had just broken, dubbed the Royal Palm Trail (the Royal Palms were the hidden jewels and my secret guides through the jungle). After we walk through it, he paused, looked back at it, and said: “So that’s how the pyramids were built... by the people with vision.”
"And with connection to the land and the spirit world," Charley, the native Hawaiian who built the road, later added.
The second unintended compliment happened later, when I went over to see how Keith and his crew were doing. Keith looked at me, all sweaty and covered in mud from planting and weed-whacking. He smiled and said, “I see, you’re one of us… not afraid of hard work. You get A+ for effort.”
I smiled back and replied, “I’d prefer A+ for results. But I’ll take it for effort, too.” Everybody laughed.
There were no new divine signs for me the rest of Thursday. At least none that I could discern. Except for the storm raging on somewhere offshore. Lightening and thunder continued throughout the day and night. The surf rose so much that the port of Kahului had to be closed for a while after two unsuccessful attempts by a freighter to enter it. The surf was 12-18 feet at that point, bigger than anything we have seen in the last eight months.
I kept wondering what the nature's rage was about? Was there a message in it for me? Something I could not see? I prayed again before going to bed, asking the Creator to guide me.
More Divine Signs on Friday
On Friday, I drove my Jeep to the Jaws, the place that's famous for the biggest surf on Maui. It is about a four-mile straight shot down from the Rainbow Shower to the northern Maui shore. But half of it is dirt road, so a 4WD is recommended. I thought I might get some more divine signs there.
Jaws is the place where a world record was set, I was told upon my arrival on Maui. Someone surfed a 75-foot monster wave there and lived to tell about it (see an internet photo - right).
Sixty to 80-foot waves have been observed at this spot. But not on Friday. The trade wind was strong, which made for choppy seas. Looks like the storm had waned. Well, at least it was a pretty view. No divine signs, though. So I went back home.
When I was working on Friday afternoon in the gulch trying out my new weed-whacker, I heard a familiar sound during a quiet break. It seem to be coming from the Palm Island. I stopped and looked around.
"It can't be a cardinal," I said to myself, hesitant to get excited. "Or is it?"
I have not seen one of those here in months. Yet red cardinals used to be my regular messengers from the spirit world at the Upper Rainbow Shower when I first moved here. They seemed to have taken over from the Hummingbird, my spirit animal, since there are no hummingbirds on the islands. When Charley was building the first gulch road, one of the red cardinals was watching him all the time, he said, right here where I was standing, at the Lower Rainbow Shower.
Then I saw him. Sure enough, it was a red cardinal. He flew from the Palm Island and landed on branch of the giant African Tulip tree, looking toward me. I whistled back, overjoyed to see him again. We kept up our "conversation" for a while. Then he flew away.
Where was he all this time? Why did he come back now? Was he also giving me a sign?
Hm... another puzzle, I thought.
I continued weed-whacking until a red string in my new machine broke. I did not have a spare one down there. So I decided to call it a day.
On Friday evening, two friends and I went to a concert in Kahului. A Filipino-born singer, Lea Salonga, was performing. She now lives in New York. She was outstanding. This was the last concert on her two-month tour of U.S. and Canada. Salonga was the lead in the Broadway musical "Miss Saigon" 20 years ago at the age of 18. She has since done many other musicals as well as movies (Disney). So the audience seemed primed for a great show that it was.
One of the numbers Salonga performed was "From a Distance," a sweet song about love and peace, best known in Bette Middler's interpretation (click here for lyrics and a Midi piano version). My friends asked me what that song was about as they also liked it, and I told them as much as I knew. Which was not much. "About love and peace," I summed it up.
Since the show ran quite late, the only places open after 10PM were in Paia. So the three of us drove to this small town on Maui's north shore, and had a great dinner at Flatbread Organic Pizza. When we left, just before midnight, the place was still jumping, as was the Suchi Bar across the street. Who says Maui doesn't have a night life?
When I came home, I found an email from My Friend. Still unapologetic. Just a few matter-of-fact lines as if nothing had happened. I was tempted to end it right then and there, especially considering a lack of any signs from the Creator in the last two days. But I chose to hold my breath a bit longer, and plead with the Creator for guidance again in the spa. Which I did.
A Flood of Signs on Saturday
Also on Friday night, just before I left for the concert, I had received another "gift of love" from my Hawaiian neighbors. Charley and his wife are ranchers. So Charley brought to me five big patties of the finest Angus beef from one of their cows the butcher had just slaughtered (right). I do believe it was the first in my life a hamburger entered my house straight from a ranch, with a slight detour at an abattoir, bypassing Safeway or any other retailer.
I can't wait to taste it. I told Charley we'd have him and his family over and cook it down in the gulch on a fire at the Uaca (Ahu), following a ceremony. On Saturday morning, I wrapped the five patties into Saran wrap and put them in the freezer.
Then I went to the piano and played the new tune which came to me when I woke up this morning. At first, I did not know what it was. Then I remembered. It was the "From a Distance" song.
Then the penny dropped. That was another heavenly sign. I finally understood why that old 1987 tune came to me now in dreamtime. It was the Creator's reply to me and to everybody's age-old quandary: Earthly Pride vs. Eternal Love. I realized the Creator finally answered my prayers in His/Her own inimitable way… by placing this piece of music “From a Distance” into my heart and soul during the night.
I then read the lyrics and understood why the Creator wanted me to hear it. For the first time, the words had a new, personal ring for me, especially the following two verses (click on the image right for the full song):
"The Creator wants me to make peace," I concluded. And no wonder. "Here I am, preaching to everyone and asking the Amaru (the Serpent) to teach me to shed not only my past but also my ego, yet I was about to let my Ego interfere with my Love."
I also realized that the storm on Thursday that brought the unusual lightening and thunder was about burning up my Ego. The Amaru did listen and did respond, I just didn't realize it right away. But now I did.
Immediately, I felt a release, as if all anger had drained out of me. I then continued playing the nre piece. "I choose Love, not War"-words echoed in my mind, even though that line is not a part of this song's lyrics.
Afterwards, I drove off to a pretty hard yoga class, even though my lower back has been giving me some problems lately. As it turned out, the instructor said she missed me last Saturday. I told her I was nursing an injury. She then structured the entire class around my lower back. And it did help heal it. At least for the rest of the day. We'll see about tomorrow...
It was an amazing because gesture. I realized that designing the entire class around my back problem was another gift of love. To a stranger. I had only met her once or twice before. The fact that it helped heal an injury that another class by the same instructor two weeks ago had started, was another sign of divine intervention. But there was more...
At the end of the class, just before Shivasana (the final resting pose), I did a few spinal twists on my own. I heard the kinds of cracks in the lumbar joints that the chiropractor tried but could not produce. My back was moving again. Then I looked to the right while still in a spinal twist. I saw something red on the floor. I picked it up. When I realized what it was, I felt goose bumps and chills going down my spine.
It was the piece of the red string that broke off in the gulch on Friday while I was weed-whacking there. I have no idea how it got into the yoga room and landed on the floor right next to me at this moment. The Yoga studio is about three miles away. And I did not wear the yoga clothes, of course, when I was in the gulch. So it could not have gotten attached to them accidentally. There was only one other possibility I could think of. It was another sign.
And then it really hit me. The string was RED! Remember how I asked the Creator to give me a red sign if I should make peace with the person who had injured me? Well, there it was... on the yoga floor. Later on, when I came home, I took a picture of it... (right).
And then something else came to me during Shivasana. That cardinal that showed up yesterday after being absent for months? He was also RED! Guess the Creator had to hit me over the head twice because I didn't get it on the first try. :-)
But that was not all yet...
After the class, the yoga instructor invited us to pick a card out of a deck she had spread on the floor in front of her. "You'd be amazed how accurate they are," she said.
I was skeptical. Thought it was a card trick. I did not look to see what kinds of cards they were. I picked one out just for a lark, to be polite. I was amazed at what I saw.
On one side, the card had the title message printed about Peace and Love. It almost sounded like the lyrics from "From a Distance." On the backside, it had a more elaborate message which was even more relevant to my current situation. It talked about how we can choose to act out of Love or out of Fear. And injured pride is a sign of Fear, of course.
"So what do you think?" the instructor asked, probably seeing my stunned look.
I told her that she was right. It was an amazingly accurate card, not just in general, but for me personally right now. I said that last night I was about to respond to someone's email out of Fear. Something made me wait.
"Now I will do it out of Love," I added without elaborating that the card was another divine sign. I felt I was being now bombarded by them.
"I am so glad," she said, smiling broadly.
While driving home from yoga, I was listening to familiar-sounding music on the car radio. It was pretty sure it was Mozart but could not remember the piece's name. Then I thought of a scene from a French movie “Avenue Montaigne” I watched on Thursday night. Within it, there may have been another heavenly sign I had missed at the time.
“Avenue Montaigne” is a delightful film. I remember seeing it in a theater back in Phoenix. And now I rented it because it’s a gracious story about love and life’s ebbs and flows. If you’re ever in a mood for something French with a light touch yet a zest for life, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, there is a scene in the movie in which a young waitress interrupts a piano practice by a famous musician. He strikes up a conversation and asks here if she had ever been to a concert. She said she had not; that she was not familiar with classical music. "That's not for me," she said humbly.
The pianist starts to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." The waitress joins him in the singing. Both have fun.
When they are finished, the pianist looks at the waitress and utters just one word: "Mozart."
"No!?" the waitress replies in shock.
The pianist nods affirmatively. "Yes."
I don't know that made me think of that particular scene when I heard the Mozart music on my car radio today. Divine intervention? If there was any doubt about it, it was erased in the next 30 seconds. The car radio was playing the "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"-passage from that Mozart piece!
I was stunned. It felt as if God was listening to my thoughts, and then fast-forwarded the Mozart piece to that tune.
But He/She saved the best for last. When the music finished, the radio announcer said it was, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," a piece that I also play on the piano. But not the Twinkle Star part. Till now. :-)
And remember, Mozart was one of my astral guides who got me to Maui (see Winning "Blackjack Mozart" Property, Jan-Feb). "Danke sehr, Meister Mozart!"
Red Cardinal Returns
After yoga, I went to the gulch to do some more work. Guess who met me there again? Yes, the RED cardinal came back. It was the final sign of the day flooded with heavenly messages.
I did not work too hard today. But it was messy weed-whacking. I started cutting a new path through a three-foot high grass on a slope of a hill at the Greater Rainbow Shower. Afterward, I looked as green as grass and as muddy as Haiku (above). :-)
I also helped Charley put the 500-lb belt on his excavator. It slipped yesterday again for a second time this week. But we are back in business now. And almost finished with the road work and other earth-moving jobs.
Summary & Epilogue
I wrote this little story as a "real life" confirmation of an old biblical line:
As you can see, the above words are not just empty rhetoric from on old book, the spirit world or some religious zealot. If your heart and mind are open, and if you walk your talk, you can be inundated with loving signs. Then all you need to do is have the courage to follow them.
Which is why My Friend who had hurt my feelings will be the first one to read this story. I am sending to this person this peace dove is my personal messenger. This story is my way of letting My Friend know that my heart is now open and free of any residual enmity or hostility.
As for me personally, Bob the Shaman has taught Bob the Man a valuable lesson: "Whenever in doubt, choose love and peace over fear and conflict."
That is a HUGE change for Bob the Man. Yet a welcome one. For, thanks to the Creator, Bob the Man is trying to walk his talk.
"I can see you're getting softer since I first met you," my native Hawaiian neighbor with a high degree of spirituality told me this evening. "I don't mean weaker. Your connection to this land is making you both softer and stronger."
There is a lot of ancient wisdom hidden on these islands, as there is in Peru. So "ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you."
But I'll let the Creator have the final word. This is what I saw over the Rainbow Shower this evening, just as I sat down to write this story...
... a beautiful full rainbow over our home and the entrance to the Greater Rainbow Shower. It took two frames to fit it in. Could there be any clearer confirmation and endorsement of my plan of action? Or from a higher power?
Anyway, that's all she wrote this week from the Rainbow Shower.