When Elders Meet - In Rain or Shine
As I gather my thoughts this bright tropical morning, allow me to share that it has been very dry here in South Kona this year due to an El Nino climatic event warming the ocean… the same event that is slamming the mainland with torrential rains in the West and massive snowfalls in the Midwest and East.
And here on Hawai’i Island?? We are all hoping that the Hawaiian healing god Lono—the keeper of the winds and the bringer of the rains (and the god of agriculture)—will step forward and bless this island with moisture.
In that vein, last weekend Jill and I were at a dinner party at the home and farm of the internationally known artist Mayumi Oda, and when she and one of her women friends chanted a long Hawaiian prayer before the feast was served, invoking the Hawaiian gods to bring the rain, the sky suddenly opened up and it rained torrentially for half an hour.
Yes—the transpersonal forces do respond, even when the overall climatic regimes are inclement.
And… at this event I crossed trails with one of my heroes of thirty years—Joan Halifax Roshi. I had been a great fan of her shamanic books in the 1970s and 80s, some of which I used in my anthropology of religion class that I taught for years (see Recommended Reading). As some of you know, she is a Zen Master whose teachings are now focused upon the death experience from her Buddhist-shamanistic perspective, as well as dying with dignity and grace. She had read Spiritwalker years ago and we had a wonder-filled conversation… elder to elder, heart to heart.