Honolulu / Chicago
No Swimming, No Surfing, but Chanting
In late 2015, I trekked from Pearl Harbor to the north shore of Oahu, where waves are ideal for surfing. However, I haven’t seen that many people are taking advantage of the waves the south shore has to offer. It’s mostly middle-aged men who very religiously show up at that early hour to catch the best wave possible.
This year, Gurudas, Kapu and I walked along the beach at Magic Island, aka Aina Moana, where the exotic banyan trees tower above grassy domains, while the surfers pull out their boards. Speaking for myself, I’m looking for that perfect moment when I'm chanting with clarity, and with attention. Often I find myself missing the boat, so to speak, but making an endeavour to sound it out right, softly, while using my beads.
As we leave the surfing beach behind and pace along with more walkers, it’s a greeting of “Hello!” and “Good morning!” in mutual exchange. Kapu and I are in traditional garb. It catches people’s attention.
Kapu, 23, who is a native Hawaiian, was demonstrating to Gurudas and me how they used to greet one another. “It’s rare to find someone doing it today,” he told us. It’s interesting. “You put your foreheads together, even noses, and take your right hand to brace the other person’s neck.” Rather intimate isn’t it?
Kapu also told us that it was illegal to speak Hawaiian until more recently. Rather sick, I would say. Can you imagine living in a place where it is illegal to chant on beads, something that you’re thoroughly accustomed to doing?
May the Source be with you!