It is such a blessing to have a great teacher!
Many people who move to Maui ask me, "I moved to Maui and absolutely love it.
What should I do to assure that I can stay here?" The first thing I tell them is that it is really important to connect with a Kumu (teacher) or Kahuna that can connect one with the ancient Hawaiian Ways and protocols. It is important to learn ways to honor the Aina (the sacred and) the Wai, (the ocean), Kala, (the sun) Mahina, (the moon) and all that is on Maui and give gratitude to the ancestors of Hawaii on a daily basis for the great gift and honor of residing on this sacred island.
I met Lei'ohu Ryder in 2001, the year that I arrived on Maui. I immediately sensed her sweet mana (spiritual power) and over time I came to recognize that she was the one to teach me the essential Hawaiian ways I needed to call Maui my home and be embraced by Maui in a full spectrum of ways. Lei'ohu taught me some simple chants and Hawaiian protocols over a decade ago that I do daily to connect with the sacred Aina and Wai of Maui as well as offering gratitude to the ancestors on Maui for continuing to open the doors that I may continue to stay here.
Last December, I received a great gift for my Kumu/Kahuna, Lei'ohu Ryder. She asked me to photograph her 2018 Winter Solstice Ceremony at Kukuipuka. Kukuipuka is the sacred land in the West Maui Mountains that Lei'ohu discovered in her dream world and then she set out to find it in the "real world". She discover it intuitively while hiking with her partner Maydeen in the West Maui Mountains, and become Kukuipuka;s caretaker.
When the owner of The Maui Vision Magazine, Eric Richter saw the gallery I created of Lei'ohu Ryder's Winter Solstice Ceremony, he immediately asked me if I could ask her for permission to use her photo on the next cover of the Maui Vision Magazine, which I am very happy she agreed to let us do.
May you be blessed with only the very best!
With warmest aloha,
Richard Marks, MA