Monday, March 11, 2019

The Hawaiian Healing Secret




When you think of Hawaii, so many images come to mind.  White sand beaches, turquoise waters, breathtaking waterfalls, humpback whales, snorkeling, traditional luaus, Hawaiian music and the beauty and warmth of the Hawaiian people. There is another interesting thing about Hawaii that you may never have heard of.  It is Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian Healing Secret.

The Hawaiian Healing Secret simply speaks about healing ourselves, other people, and the world around us.  How do we do this?  By forgiving.

Forgiveness is sometimes easier said than done.  Especially when the very nature of being human often puts us at odds with this practice.  We tend get angry when someone hurts us, and often hang on to resentments.

According to the great writer Elizabeth Marx, forgiveness is a four-letter word.  Love.

But how often do we make the conscious decision to say we’re sorry?  How many of us have forgiven a person even though that person has never asked for forgiveness? Why is it so hard to forgive sometimes?  Why can’t some people forgive?  Do we ever feel happy and healed when we don’t choose to forgive?  

These are a few questions we should ask ourselves in order to gain and achieve peace, harmony, and freedom. When we reach this level, then we are completely healed mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Traditional Hawaiians believed that all forms of life are connected. And when you become right with others, you become right with yourself. That’s when Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a Hawaiian master of traditional medicine came up with a process called ​Self-identity through Ho'oponopono​.   

The Hawaiian word Ho'oponopono comes from Ho'o ("to make") and Pono ("right"). In Hawaii, Ho'oponopono means: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” The direct translation in English is “to make right.”

Ho'oponopono is the ​Hawaiian​ practice of ​reconciliation​ and ​forgiveness​ through chanting the mantra internally or externally, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” It’s a practice that still holds the values of making things right and correcting errors.  It is essentially about freedom. Complete freedom from the past. This allows us to reclaim our personal inner connection with love.  It can help restore harmony within and with others. 





There was once a story written by Dr. Joe Vitale about a Hawaiian therapist named Dr. Ihaleakal├í Hew Len who worked, traveled and presented with Morrnah for years. Dr. Len was said to have cured an entire ward of mentally ill patients by practicing and applying Ho’oponopono in his life.

According to the story, the ward is where they kept the criminally insane.  Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick often or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It wasn’t a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

But then Dr. Len studied a patient’s chart and looked within himself to see how that person's illness was created. As he improved himself, the patient improved. As he healed himself, patients began to heal.

“After a few months, patients that previously had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely. 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." Dr. Len said.  

The amazing results seemed like a miracle. Dr. Vitale, being confused by this process, asked how and what did Dr. Len do within himself that caused those people to change. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life today, is your responsibility. 

In a literal sense, the entire world is your creation. 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 anything you experience and don't like is up for you to heal. The problem isn't with them, it's with you, and to change them, you have got to change yourself.  

Dr. Len said, “I'm sorry and I love you," over and over again. That’s all he did. It turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself. And as you improve yourself, you improve your world. 
  
He stated that we all share responsibility for everything we see in our world. By taking personal responsibility for our part and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world.  

Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Love are the only forces at work – but these forces have amazing power.  By saying “I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you” over and over again to ourselves, to people we have hurt, to people who have hurt and wronged us, to our body, to the air we breathe, to our memories, to everything we hold ourselves responsible of, we free and heal ourselves.




Repentance – I’M SORRY

As mentioned, you are responsible for everything in your mind, and everything else that is happening around you​. Though yes, most of us would ​likely resist accepting responsibility for everything that is literally happening out there. But you can also choose something that you already know you’ve caused for yourself. Addicted to nicotine, alcohol or some other substance? Do you have anger issues? Relationship issues? Career issues? Family issues? Health problems? Overweight? Start there and say you’re sorry.  

Forgiveness – PLEASE FORGIVE ME

Ask for forgiveness. Realize that you are responsible for everything that’s happening in your life and around you.  Just ask "PLEASE FORGIVE ME." Say it over and over and mean it.  

Gratitude – THANK YOU

Say “THANK YOU."  It doesn’t really matter who or what you’re thanking. Thank your body and your eyes for working...Thank yourself, for being the best you can be. Thank the challenges you had and will have. Thank your family, your friends, God. Thank your talents, thank your job. Thank the Universe.  Just keep saying "THANK YOU."

Love – I LOVE YOU

Say it to your body. Say it to the air you breathe, to the house that shelters you.  Say "I LOVE YOU" to your family, to God. Say it over and over. Mean it. Feel it. There is nothing more powerful than Love.

I LOVE YOU my body, for letting me feel, taste, hear, see things. For being strong.

I’M SORRY, to myself, to the people I have hurt, for failing myself too many times.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I am asking forgiveness to myself. For whatever is happening in me which is causing a problem.

THANK YOU, for the problems that have manifested in my life, so I have one more chance to resolve and release it.

THANK YOU, for this life given to me, for the opportunity, for letting me see my purpose.
I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. 


These are a few things you can say. Accept and embrace whatever is happening in your life and take full responsibility for it. As we improve ourselves, we improve the world around us.  
Dr. Len explained, the physical is the expression of memories and inspirations taking place in the soul of self-identity.  Change the state of self-identity and the state of the physical world changes. When your soul experiences memories replaying as problems, say to them mentally or silently: "I love you, dear memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to free all of you and me.”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Halloween 2018 Happenings on Maui


If you’ve never experienced Halloween on Maui- you are in for a trick-or-TREAT! ­čśŐ
Parties, parades, celebrations and live music events are held in many places on island and Maui residents take their celebrations very seriously! 
Here are just a few family friendly and adult themed party ideas to enjoy some tropical style Halloween fun. 
Happy Halloween and Enjoy!

Lahaina Town-  October 31st- Halloween in Lahaina Town!  Probably one of the most well known Halloween events. This is one of the biggest Halloween parties on Maui!  It is often referred to as the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific”.  Front Street is closed off so visitors and
residents can stroll up and down the street as they celebrate and take in the sights and sounds of the celebration.  Make sure you join in and wear a costume! The party starts before sunset. They have a keiki (children) costume parade that starts around 4pm, and many of the local bars and restaurants have costume contests for adults with various prizes.

Tip: Parking is easier to find in Lahaina this night if you arrive before 3pm. Take a boat ride from Maalaea Harbor to Lahaina Harbor to beat some of the traffic. There are numerous events happening on Halloween. For more information, please visit the Lahaina Town website here: https://lahainatown.com/halloween-party.php 





For more information, please visit the Lahaina Town website here: https://lahainatown.com/halloween-party.php



Halloween in Lahaina. Video: Kathy McCartney


Lahaina Cannery Mall will provide a fun and safe place for families to enjoy Halloween with their Halloween Cannery Kids Night.  Enjoy trick-or-treating, face painting, balloon twisting, games and a keiki costume contest on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Local magician Holden Mowat will perform dazzling family friendly magic at 5:00 p.m. followed by Lahaina Cannery’s Keiki Costume Contest at 6:00 p.m.  More than a dozen great prizes from Maui Toy Works and Hawaiian Island Creations will be awarded in four age groups: 0-2, 3-4, 5-8 and 9-12 years old. This year, a new category has been added for family or group costumes!  





Halloween Cannery Kids Night Schedule of Events:
5:00- 5:45pm: Family Magic Show featuring Holden Mowat
6:00 pm: Keiki Costume Contest and Family Costume Contest
5:00-8:00pm: Trick-or-treating store to store
For more information, please visit their website here: https://lahainacannerymall.com/mall-events/


Awalua Farm- 1008 Awalau Rd, Haiku, Hawaii 96708  This farm located in Haiku offers two events- one kid friendly and one for adults who seek something a bit more dark and mysterious! 
Kid Friendly:

Myths of Avalon Family Farm Tour Saturday, October 27th from 12-4pm
Maui's most Magical Farm Tour!  Walk thru Enchanted Gardens. Meet Mythological Creatures (watch for mermaids!).  Follow the Map & Collect Treasures. Family Friendly, Kid Oriented Play Park.



Adults: Haunted Haiku Hike 2018
Historic Haunted Tours through upper Haiku. Explore ancient caves and hidden waterways. Discover the secrets of the spooky forest. Find the lost souls of the Kalakohe Valley. Learn the forbidden tales of Maui's dark past:  https://www.facebook.com/awalau.farm/videos/317193972412561/
BY RESERVATION ONLYOne tour every Friday night in October from 5-6pm, limited to 20 guests. Special event tour on Wednesday, October 31st!  
For more information, email Awalua Farm at awalaufarms@gmail.com to reserve your spot or please contact Awalua Farm directly: (808) 878-8091

Mulligan’s On The Blue- Kihei, HI.  Halloween Party October 31st

Halloween Party and Live Music with Maui’s own Soul Kitchen. This amazing band was voted “Best Maui Band 2017” by Maui Times Weekly.  When on island and seeking some of the best live music around, you need to experience Soul Kitchen Maui!  Visit the band's website here: https://www.soulkitchenmaui.com/home

Soul Kitchen will be rockin’ Mulligan’s on the Blue with their 7 Soul Kitchen chefs in our musical kitchen! We will be serving up HOT non-stop helpings of our best dancing tunes!
Costume contest with cash prizes!  Websitehttp://mulligansontheblue.com/

When:  Wednesday, October 31st, 7pm- 9pm
Where:  Mulligans on the Blue, 100 Kaukahi St, Kihei, HI 96753
Mulligan’s on the Blue - Hot Wailea Nights with Soul Kitchen’s new enhanced 7-piece band
from 7:00-9:00 PM.  $15 cover is waived if you have $15 worth of food and drink.



Soul Kitchen is an acoustic-infused music alchemy, crossing  te genres of Soul, Blues, Jazz, Zydeco, Middle Eastern & Rock! You cannot help but “FEEL” their unforgettable originals and eclectic covers! Tempa’s searing, soulful, award-winning voice (Best Colorado Blues Band, Best Soul Album Award) & Naor's exotic, sweet style (Former Israeli Idol finalist) with the group’s impeccable four-part harmonies, Violin, Cajon, Sax, Piano, Guitar and Bass makes this band a “must see” Maui experience!

Dinner reservations are highly recommended at Mulligan's for the best seats. Call 808-874-1131 for reservations.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Bridge from Cancer to Cancer Survivorship



February 14, 1990:   "Your lab work and blood test came back benign.” I was so relieved and happy.  My boss at the Beauty Salon organized my birthday party for me that weekend. 

My two children were 3 and 1 ½ years old. My long awaited childhood dream career as a Licensed Cosmetologist just came true.  A successful upcountry salon offered me a position.

When Saturday arrived, my doctor called in the morning and asked, “What are you and your husband doing? I would like to come over and talk to you about your test.” All of a sudden my heart slumps to a low point and I know then that there is something seriously wrong, more than I could ever imagine.

My diagnosis on my birthday was a stage 4 malignant Nasopharyngeal carcinoma.  That is when my cancer journey began.

It was a very rare type of cancer during the 90’s on Maui. I came across a world renowned doctor who specializes in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, Dr. Ho in Hong Kong.

Chemotherapy took place right away and was followed by two more months of radiation.  During the treatment, my entire family went with me to Hong Kong.  My two children knew I was in serious condition and they made constant visits to my room to check on me to make sure I was still alive.  Here I am with my two beautiful children and a wonderful life back home on Maui. I was an athlete who is active in long distance running. I have a healthy life style.

My family and friends were in shock. I was too.  I had a hard time believing the diagnosis.  I was a victim.  I questioned myself was it something I had done to deserve this?  The questioning mind took hold of me.  At first, my fear and sorrow took a lot of my hope and dreams from me.

I remember lying on the table at the radiation department on my first chemotherapy treatment. I can still recall the smells. I felt like a piece of meat being slaughtered. I can still hear the sound of the machine gliding over me. That was the most challenging issue I dealt with.  I wish I had a Cancer Patient Navigator to share this experience during my treatments. 
My children and family played an important part in my desire to survive.  I looked forward to seeing their smiles. Now I realize that children do know a lot about how things are. The key to live through a life threatening illness is to hold a positive mind. The important part in my healing process is to hold a very strong belief to be well. I would say over and over, “I am well. I will live. I will see my children grow up.”

The cancer is cured if it does not come back within 10 years. I could not talk about the cancer treatment to anyone. I did not want to trigger the fear in me to go through that again. The significant fact in being a cancer survivor was the fear of its return. The most magnificent tool that we could be taught is not to give into fear, stay positive, and truly believe that I am cancer free and healthy.  It is a mantra one must hold in faith and belief.

I gained confidence in dealing with my treatment for the months to follow. I did not take much medicine for the pain or nausea. Instead, I was on a healthy diet of fruits, soups and Chinese herbs.

After my recovery, I returned to the beauty Industry and gifted many haircuts to cancer patients and survivors.  Then my spiritual path led me to India for three years. There I learned about the human experiences in life and challenges. Yoga / meditation became my new lifestyle to restore my body balance and centering my energy.  The breath work in my practice takes me back to awareness of  my body, mind and spirit.  I stopped the inquiry of how certain things should be in my life.  Instead, I am so grateful to be alive and well. Taking walks on the beach, smelling the ocean, laughing with my children, and working the soil in my garden.

I learned not to be stressed and breathe each breath with gratitude that I am given another day. Asking myself to be thankful for all that I am.

In 1999, nine years after the last cancer treatment, I launched my Yoga Day Spa on Maui called Beyond Heaven, a place for all givers to receive bliss, movement and yoga.

My life calling is to bring forth Yoga to every day people, everywhere. No matter where they are in life.  The 11 Minute Yoga sets will result in feeling good and looking better.  My program is a wellness practice of focusing on the breath and movement to insure a proper and safe alignment for the mind, body, and soul in everyday life.  I encourage my students to discover their natural strengths, beauty, and wisdom and to celebrate every moment from the heart.

I work with my clients to develop a personalized practice to address specific needs for healing, recovering, and rediscovering their vibrant life. 
·         Lead yoga classes for all skill levels, from beginning to advanced levels.
·         Teach student correct postures to ensure maximum benefit and health.
·         Work with students to develop customized programs that increase wellbeing.
·         Give students in-depth understanding of breathing techniques.
·         Pay attention to the needs of each student throughout class.

Award:  2017-American Cancer Society
‘Look Good Feel Better Program ‘Global Sunrise.
Today at age 62, Ruby is a three-time cancer survivor since 1990, Mother and grandmother of two, Yoga Wellness Coach, Certified Yoga Instructor; Prana Yoga Teacher College, Vancouver CanadaCertified Oncology Cancer NavigatorCertified LGFB Instructor; and Arc of Maui.  She is a 30 year Maui resident  known for her inspiring and supportive teaching style. Her classes balance a sense of play and adventure with a mindful awareness of precise alignment. Students learn how to practice their yoga from the inside out, so that they are empowering their deepest resources.
Ruby’s Community Work includes:

Department of Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder and management with the Department of Veterans Affair, Work site Wellness Program, Maui, Hawaii, Addictions and Stress, US Department of Veterans AffairsVolunteer Instructor and Workshop Leader, Maui Family and Child Services, Maui, Hawaii Fundraiser, Women Helping Women, Maui, Hawaii, Hospice Maui, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, as well as Maui Memorial Hospital’s Oncology programs both for nurses, Cancer patients, and caregivers.

Ruby recently completed her training in ‘Ho’okele I key Ola -Cancer Patient Navigation program. Finally, completing Ruby’s life goals is to teach clearly and confidently with the hope to inspire people from all walks of life to live life fully to pursue their highest potential.



You may contact Ruby Wong my talented and inspiring teacher and healer direct.  Visit her on Maui or attend one of her workshops abroad!

Telephone: 808-344-4980
E-mail: Ruby@breathehawaiilife.com
www.BreatheHawaiiLife.com (site will be live soon)










Interview with Maui Violinist Don V. Lax

I saw Don Lax perform for the first time at the Four Seasons Resort Maui with Vance Koenig on guitar. For over 20 years, this talented duo have created music together on island. Don regularly performs at the Four Seasons Resort Maui and other venues as well as private house concerts. He plays solo and with other musicians for certain events. He is a poet and published author and writes one new poem daily and shares it on his Facebook page. His book of poems is entitled Lovesongs for the Soul: A Spiritual Journey. Both Don's music and book can be purchased on Amazon. Don is an ordained minister and officiates at weddings in the most creative way, by incorporating his violin along with Kristine Snyder on classical harp, and many other musicians. They make beautiful music together.

Listen and watch one of Don Lax and Vance Koenig’s performing samples from some of their most popular contemporary hits:

Listen and watch Kristine Snyder, Don Lax, and Silvina Samuel (The Bravado Trio), perform samples from some of their most popular contemporary hits:

Kathy: You told me that as a young child, you lived abroad outside of the US. Tell us about your childhood and the countries you resided and how the experiences shaped you musically. 

Don: I grew up in Karachi Pakistan, Bombay India, Paris France and Rome Italy. The good thing about France and Italy is that I got to attend two of the best music schools in the world - the Paris and the Rome Conservatory. Once I got out of the Rome Conservatory I joined a progressive rock band and started writing music and improvising.

Kathy: You must have had a great deal of talent at a young age to get accepted to two of the top European music schools. Who were your musical influences and inspiration?

Don: My father’s parents were Romanian. He was born in Detroit and had pure Romanian blood. That is where my gypsy vibe comes from. My musical influence began when I was five years old, in Karachi Pakistan. That is where my mom took me to see this gypsy violinist play. I remember walking into this big tent and down the middle of the aisle when I saw this woman. I knew right away I wanted to play that kind of music on that instrument. So I went home and wrote a letter to Santa Claus asking for a speedboat, race car, scuba diving outfit, motorcycle, like ten impossible things. At the bottom of my list I wrote: “violin.” I figured if I wrote all the impossible stuff first, I would get what I really wanted. It worked. I got a violin under the Christmas tree.


While we lived in Pakistan, I began learning the violin starting from age five. My father had played when he was a child, so he bought himself a violin too. 
He gave me my first couple years of lessons. Then we moved to India. India for me was literally like going from the desert to the ocean. Karachi was not thanice of a place. Bombay India was so rich, so full of life. There were so many cultures coming together. Duke Ellington came to Bombay to play a series of concerts. My father invited him and his band to our house for tea. He also invited a bunch of classical Indian musicians who played ragas and sitars and tablas. All the musicians spent the afternoon with us jamming and improvising. I was nine years old. This was my first real experience with brilliant musicians being completely in the moment, creating on the spot. It changed my life. I knew then, that I wanted to grow up and be creative. I didn’t just want to play the notes. In Bombay, I had an Indian violin teacher. She taught me the classical way. I was exposed to sitar players and jazz musicians, too. I really wanted to do different stuff. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started breaking out and playing rock. I was influenced by Stephane Grappelli, the great French jazz violinist. I finally got to jam with him when I was in my early 20s. I got to play with some really amazing musicians for which I am grateful.

Growing up, my dad and I were not always on the best of terms. He wanted me to fit into society and I didn’t. We often disagreed but in a lot of ways we were both the same in that we were both really creative people. He originally was a poet and musician before he got into a different career after World War II. I think part of his frustration was that I was doing what he really wanted to. My dad did drive me to pursue the violin and eight years before he died he became my best friend. He started really sharing his stories about what he had done in his life.

Kathy: So in the end, it sounds like your dad was really proud of you.

Don: Yes, in the end he was because I stuck to it.



Kathy: You have a strong spiritual base. I see you have a gentle soul. You are attracted to the mystical. When did you develop this sense?


Don: My mom was a big influence on me. She was the one to get me interested in spirituality by exposing me to her love of Nature. She often times took me for a swim in some desolate mountain lake in the wilderness.

We have a cabin in the Sierra mountains right on the border of Desolation National Wilderness. Real remote. From this starting point, we would hike. Afterwards, we would sit on the hot rocks and my mom would look up and say, “I am one with the earth and sky.” It was a natural spirituality. My parents exposed me to a lot when we lived in India. They were really open and introduced me to Buddhism. I just reread the journal that me and my mom kept. It is dated 1963. I was nine years old and we were driving from Bombay to North India and visiting all these Buddhist and Hindu temples. There is so much spirituality in this region. The people there have been practicing their faith for thousands of years. We caught a flight on a small plane to Kathmandu to visit friends who lived there. We would visit Buddhist and Hindu shrines. It was just something I grew up with.

Kathy: How long have you lived on Maui? What brought you here. What was the attraction for you.

Don: I moved here over 20 years ago. I originally had no desire to be here whatsoever. I was living in Santa Cruz, California and I thought I would spend the rest of my days there. I really love how the mountains and redwoods come down to the ocean. I was playing in symphonies, I was teaching in three
schools, playing in string quartets, rock, jazz and belly dancing bands and all kinds of stuff. I was really making a good living there. I was really happy. I had a lot of great friends and family nearby. Then one day, this woman I had known in Eugene Oregon where I had previously lived told me she had moved to Maui. Every summer she would return to California to do the festival circuit. When she came through Santa Cruz she would say to me, “Don, you need to come to Maui.” I told her I’m not interested in Maui. It’s too touristy. I don’t want to go.” 


Then one summer she said, “Don, I’m in charge of the Sufi Retreat on Maui in camp Keanae. I am going to buy your plane ticket and pay you to fly to
Maui for a week and play for the retreat.” I finally agreed to do it. I had never been to Maui before. When we landed on Maui, we drove straight from the airport to camp Keanae, a quiet place on the cliffs. It was so beautiful and I could look right down into the ocean. I completely fell in love. Two of the
best musicians in the world, to me, were also playing at that retreat. Daniel Paul on the tablas and Priyo (Nicola Notaro) on guitar. After spending a week at the retreat, I said to myself, I could live here. They told me they loved my
music and wanted me back in six months for the next retreat. So they flew me out twice a year for three years for their spring and fall retreats. After the third year I looked around me and thought, you know the economy here on Maui works for me. There are plenty of hotels and weddings here. I could make a
living on this island. I had fallen in love with the island itself.

Kathy: The turning point for you was that you fell in love with the island of Maui. That is why you finally moved here.

Don: I also had a dream that led me to Maui. The dream began with me walking over to a well. I looked down into it. Then a voice called me from the well inviting me to come down. I said, “okay, okay I will go down but who is calling me?” I got down to the bottom of the well to follow the voice. It kept calling me to come underwater. There I see a dolphin. I said to it, “But I can’t breathe underwater” and the dolphin said, “Don’t worry you can breathe underwater, you’ll be okay.” The dolphin led me down, way down under the ocean and it was full of light. I was introduced to turtles, Eagle rays, whales and other dolphins. It said, “It is time for you to get to know your water nature.” 

Then soon after, I went to the Sufi camp and Maui for the first time. The land itself, has what they say in Hawaiian, “mana.” It has energy. I had a friend take me to Mount Haleakala early on and we drove through a moonbow. It was a full moon, so magical. During one of the first few retreats I got to witness Haley’s Comet, next to the full moon, over the ocean. The moon lit up the entire ocean and turned it silver. As the moon was setting lower into the ocean, Haley’s Comet was sitting next to it. That was a moment I will never forget. Another night at one of the retreats I was sitting underneath an ancient tree and felt the tree. I have this deep spiritual relationship with trees. As I was sitting there in the middle of the tree canopy there was a triangle opening. I looked at the triangle and there was a star in the middle of it. I looked up and there was a star in the center. I knew that star was like me or where I had come from. I felt the star vibrating all the way through me and through the earth.
Photo: Sugar Beach Events
I felt the earth also vibrating through me back up to the star. The earth spoke to me and said, “This is where you belong.” My whole life I have traveled the world. I have never had this kind of experience. It resonated loud. The earth spoke to me once, loud and clear. I am here on Maui and I definitely have gotten to know my water nature. I love to swim with the dolphins and whales. I am an ocean person. I was always a swimmer. In California, I was a downhill skier but when I moved to Maui, I realized that I needed something new because I wouldn’t be downhill skiing anymore. So I got a hand board and taught myself how to body surf big waves. I try to get in the ocean every day. If there is no surf on Maui, I will swim long distance and go out about two miles from the shore to swim with dolphins, whales, Eagle rays and manta rays. Whatever creatures I see out there I swim with. I love moving my body. Both my parents were champion athletes. Twelve years ago, my mom won the hour long swim. She placed first for her age group, 70 and above. At the time she was 86 years old. Today she is 98 and doing great. My father was a champion rower in France in the 1950s. My parents met while they were both downhill skiing. My family were always outdoors staying active, skiing or hiking together.

Kathy: Don, tell us more about your healing sound meditation gatherings.

Don: It is interesting, when I lived in Eugene, Oregon in my late 20s I had been playing in these rock and jazz bands. I decided to go back to music school and enroll at the University of Oregon. They had a great music department and a wonderful teacher. I decided I needed to retrain my classical chops. When I was touring with rock and jazz bands, I always took the Bach classical Sonatas with me. It is one of the hardest things to play on the violin solo.
I did this to keep me pure. I love to improvise, but you need to have a certain kind of strength and focus to actually play the violin well, in tune and beautifully. My first lesson with this teacher brought tears streaming down my face. He knew exactly what I needed. I went back to school at the age of 28. I had already done the Paris and Rome Conservatory and played major upper level academics in music. Now, after my first year at that school I wanted to do music therapy and sound healing for my thesis. I wanted to discover how music relates to colors. There is a color for frequencies, there is a color for every musical tone, and you can do healing with it but this was many years ago.

Kathy: You were ahead of your time, right.


Don: Yes, the only degree you could get in music at the time was based on B.F. Skinner behaviorism. I had no interest whatsoever in pursuing a career in behavioristic music therapy - “we can make a few people feel better by changing their behavior”, so I kind of dropped it. It wasn’t what I wanted. But now there are whole schools dedicated to sound healing. About five years ago, I realized that I needed to move away from just playing at the Four Seasons and begin to use my healing abilities. There was this small group of eight people and we were having a full moon thing and it lead to sound healing with the violin. I asked everyone to OM together. I played the music to their chakras

Denise Kusmit and Don Lax
and wove their souls together into one harmony. Everybody started out as separate individuals then ended up as one beating heart, one song. This can change your life. Then a year later, I met this woman Denise Kusmit, she has been doing vibrational healing using everything from sound, to crystals, to hands on. She is also a Shiatsu massage therapist at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui for 20 years.

She has been on Maui for about the same amount of time as me. Her crystal bowls are tuned to the frequency of 432. I worked with her to create the musical chords so she can play them musically. We have made three musical CDs.  Our CD’s are available at our Sound Healings, every other Monday night at the Wailea Healing Center. We’re working on making a video.


We have been doing the New Moon and Full Moon Sound Healing Ceremony for over 5 years together. I start by leading people into a meditative state, then in our private thoughts we set an intention.


Together we OM or use some sound in unison. This changes every time, but that is the basic format. The idea is to get people to vibrate their own bodies. Once we are in a meditative state, Denise plays the crystal bowls starting from the lowest note going up the scale and up through the chakras.


I play along visualizing the color that goes with each chakra. The second part of our meditation we do what is called “soul weaving.” I have had this ability since about the age of 18 or 19, maybe I had it before, but I didn’t know about it where I can listen to a person and play the music of their soul. I can hear a person’s song and play it back to them. People have had healings or past life experiences and different things when I do that. I am playing the song of the heart and soul of the person.


Kathy: This is what I love about Maui, we all do our best to raise our own vibrations and connect with beautiful nature and the island vibe. When you visit Maui you might be picking up on this subtle energy and that is what makes Maui so great!   To purchase Don’s music, books or to have him play at your private music session, private party or perform the most beautiful wedding ceremony, please visit: www.Mauiviolin.com and www.apassionatamusic.com