Alo'ha -- greetings from Hawai'i!

O'ahu island emerged from low clouds as the Hawaiian Airlines plane coasted down into Honolulu Airport by mid-day on Sunday, October 26. It took about five and a half hours to fly from LAX to Honolulu, my first time I ever set foot on the islands. Again, this was a dream come true—the lushness of land and scattered rain clouds added to this dream. I only stayed a short time there, hopping on another smaller plane to Hilo on the big island of Hawai'i. An hour later by bus, we were in dense tropical rainforest, sweat coming from every pour.

I arrived to participate in “Generation Vision Quest: Rites of Passage for an Awakening World,” sponsored by Global Passageways. For five days, indigenous elders, teachers, students of shamanistic practices, and many wise and active young and older people came together to interact, share, and teach. Hawaiian indigenous people greeted us the first full day with an elaborate four-hour ceremony—including drinking from Ava, a sacred medicinal plant.

Present at this conference are an Ecuadoran native elder, a Lakota elder, a Mohawk elder, a Nahuatl-speaking Mexika from Mexico, Alaska indigenous, Navajo, New Zealand indigenous practitioners, a Samoan teacher, people from Barrios Unidos of Santa Cruz, CA, young artists and ritualists from all across the US, people from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, and others), and from Africa, African American communities, Cape Verdeans (via Massachusetts), Chicano and Central American communities, Australia, and more.

Besides rituals and ceremonies, we are having some strong and emphatic dialogue. Our goal is to present ancient and multi-generational indigenous traditions and values to a modern world as we enter a worldwide shift in time, ideas, imaginations, and hopes. We are discussing how to make rites of passage organic and meaningful to emerging communities. We are addressing issues of youth in trouble and how this very thing is how community gets forged, full and encompassing, with intentional and proper initiatory experiences. Young people need to find their own stories to live out, to embrace their true natures and spirits. Much of the suffering and neglect of youth today is due to the lack of proper rituals, rites of passage and initiatory experiences with whole communities—elders, adults, and families.

Yesterday, I made a presentation on Rites of Passage with other panelists. Today I spoke about the Raramuri people, the tribe in southern Chihuahua, Mexico that mother’s people originally came from. It was also to commemorate my mother who passed away on October 6. If all goes well, we’ll have a sweat lodge ceremony tonight in her honor.

In other forums, I hope to also address the 2012 Mayan prophecy along with other indigenous prophecies that many of the participants are able to present. The spirit here is strong and beautiful. All races, many cultures, many traditions, are represented. I’ll present more on our proceedings in future blog posts.


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