The cultural practice of Lomilomi is complex and can be complicated for those who are not native Hawaiian. As one who is clearly not native Hawaiian,but who practices and facilitates this work, I walk a fine line of authenticity and the synthesis,meaning that,I bring a certain characteristic and spirit to this work that is not Hawaiian,but that the soul root and essence of this work IS Hawaiian. It is not my intention to claim anything or take owenrship of a spirituality and a religious practice that is not inherently in my own heritage,and I am certainly not here to offend anyone,its up to the individual to make the choice to be offended by what I do or to get to know who it is that I am so that communication and dialogue can be established so that the intent is clear(thats for all the Natives out there who may raise an eyebrow to me). I feel like there is an evolution of this work and also a spectrum and lens with which to view it. Abraham Kawaii,who created Temple Style Lomilomi, evolved this work to fit the Western mindset that might not be totally embodied in spirit and how that spirit connects to body,and land and mind and the whole enchilada of experience in ALL things tangible and mystery. The spirit of lomilomi has its roots with the Kupuna(elders,ancestors) and how they touched life and also how they "prayed" for the healing to occur. On a physical level the work does what any other bodywork does,in my view there is not a separation of how lomilomi affects the physical body and how Rolfing affects the body and the mind that powers it. There IS a mystery at work here and that will always remain as such. My own personal Kupuna(ancestors) comes through the work and its not Hawaiian but I honor the Hawaiians by learning Oli(chant) and Pule(prayer) and saying it,as best I can to honor that aspect of the work as I work in the lomilomi way, and the rest is me,and the rest is the mystery. Thats all for now. I will share more as it compells me and when it comes to me. Thank you,JB. August 13th 2019.
My thoughts on the current Covid-19 Pandemic and how I see this situation and what I am practically doing to ensure,as best as I can,my safety and the safety of my clients: Get ready to be triggered!!! (JUNE 23 2020)
I have been one who always,in light of the current mentality regarding "New Age" and "Magical Thinking" Mindsets,been a very practical person. How does one practically apply the mystery of spirituality to the reality of the world around us? It seems to vary between individual to individual. I have,over the years been privy to much and subjected to much in this realm and I have had my issues with it,especially people who totally immerse themselves in a fantasy realm of magical thinking and spiritual bypassing. Yes we all have our "opinions" on things and yes we must be able to listen and with as much compassion as possible understand where different viewpoints and mindsets are coming from. Having stated that I feel that there is a certain amount of placating to and "tolerating" of magical thinking and spiritual bypassing and in my "opinion" this is toxic and puts many in danger,not only in danger of drowning in delusion but also those who would believe in that delusion and put themselves and others in harms way,quite literally,and psychologically. In the case of Covid-19 I see a great number of people applying their delusion of magical thinking and spiritual bypassing to the realities of viral infections and pandemics and creating a sort of "conspiritualist" rhetoric that skews truth and plays upon people's vulnerability. This I cannot stand for nor will I condone in ANY form. As to where I stand with Covid-19 I am of the mindset that it is a VERY REAL thing and one that we all should be very careful and cautious when treading these virgin waters of what to do and how to do it. What to do? You may ask. EDUCATE YOURSELF on the Science of this and REALIZE that the Science will always endeavor to debate/critically put in check and even refute itself in order to put out the best information to educate you. Now how does this apply to one's personal opinion about Covid-19 and their spiritual frame of reference? To be honest it DOESNT apply,really and truly and I know some will not agree with this,but I want to stress to you that even though there is no separation between my "spirituality" and my "Science" I have enough common sense to know when to put one of those aspects aside in lieu of the other AND I know when to merge the two. My Science knowledge of Covid-19 comes almost soley from CIDRAP(the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy). I do my best to not make it a grand political stance and I will not entertain Conspiracy Hypothesis. My path in this pandemic is straight ahead and through it,and I do not dilly dally around. I want to be safe and I want others to be safe. My tolerance for the alternative viewpoints has waned to the point of where I now feel at peril and threatened and have taken up,metaphorically,My shield and spear and I am now in a state of "Protecting my Ohana" . I have all the love and compassion in the world for people but when it comes to my safety and the safety of my community I will defend to the end the practical/common sense/and Facts of what this Virus is and what it is not and my armour and ammo is CIDRAP and what comprehension I have of it!! I know I know its dramatic,but so is Haka and so is standing at the ready to defend my Great Family(Ohana). Deal with it!! I am !! If you want a nice New Agey spin on it to support the rhetoric,suffice it to say that my Ike'(Perspective) guided by my Ho'Olohe(Deep Listening) of the practical world around me keeps me rooted in my Oia'i'o(Truth) and in that I maintain,and its not always perfect, Pono(Integrity) and Kaulike(Balance). SO,YES I wear the mask and YES I socially distance and NO I do not take any of this lightly and YES I follow the Science and NO I wont be swayed by nonsensical conspiracy hypothesis or placate to a delusional political stance. So with that I say, Be safe,Be smart,stay practical,take care of yourself and YOUR Ohana(family) and always remember to BREATHE!! Much Love.
As of Late April 2021 I have been fully Vaccinated with the Pfizer Vaccine. May 22,2021
SEPTEMBER 2021: Riding A Wave of Uncertainty : This has been a very tough year and a half going on 2 for me. There has been a lot of loss in my life and I am trying to recover from those losses. Truth is that I do not have any real words of wisdom to put forth or to some candied new age meme that will suddenly inspire us all to explode with rays of joy and light. I have NEVER been that kind of facilitator and healer. Though words of compassion and holding space for people have been a cornerstone in my practice and life in the community I have never been one to put myself above what is going on,or to bypass anything that is happening. What kind of healer and facilitator would I be if I was not going through the same shit that everyone else is going through,or to kid myself into thinking that I am somehow impervious to all this crap and that you could climb a mountain to get to me for some words of wisdom or answers? Well I do not have ANY answers. I am in this same boat as all of you and I have feelings and emotions and go through the same fears and uncertainties as many of you. I am doing my best to survive all of this and yet my desire to be a helper of people and community is still as strong as it was since I decided to walk this path almost 30 yrs ago. Its just that now I am tired and exhausted and am seeking my own respite and healing for myself so that I can continue to do what it is that I do. I do not write this to garner sympathy from anyone,I write this to share with you the authenticity and vulnerability that is my being and that your colleague,friend,potential therapist is struggling and doing his best to maintain that Aloha spirit. Just know that in spite of it all and my imperfections that I still care and I still have the capacity to love and feel love and to help facilitate that feeling of "Maluhia"(Peace) and Huikala(Transformation) in a "Hollow Bones" kind of way. I am still rooted in Circle Culture ways and will never bullshit you or take advantage of that vulnerability, as my own vulnerability makes me humble and sympathetic and empathetic to your Vulnerability and I will never violate that Trust. Much Love
FEBRUARY 2022: More writings are coming. I am in the process of finally writing a book and will share excerpts here.
........and the journey continues.
JUNE 2022: The more things begin to normalize for us all,in terms of covid and in person workshops etc etc, the more I begin to feel that wave of bright aloha spirit and energy surging again and from out of that dark cave of introspection and sometimes frustration and depression comes realizations and inspirations about my own process as a facilitator and Lomilomi practitioner and teacher. New learning and new revelations about the work and a deeper sense of connection to not only myself but the world and community around me has me bright and in a positive state of being. Having just completed a big workshop for people and finally allowing for the big groups to attend and learn this process has me on a wonderful natural high,but it also has me tired and exhausted(workshops are work and when you do this alone you make it a point to make the workshop experience for people as comfortable and as fun and enjoyable as possible,AND to make it worth everyone's time and energy and finances to attend.(its hard work,but enjoyable hard work) When I think of being an educator in these workshops I also think of myself as a student in the workshops as well,learning from those I watch and what they say and do and how we all communicate with one another. These workshops truly take on a life of their own and in a big way the students also teach the workshop as well. There is no real hierarchy or big ego going on in the classroom. We all are exhibiting that "Aloha Spirit" and from within that spirit and on a deep level we are all agreeing to be cordial and polite and humble and respectful of one another and convey to each other just how important we all are in this journey of life. We are anchors for people who come to us for healing and treatment or sessions etc. So we must be stable within ourselves,but we are also human and experience the same things that everyone else is going through. polarizing politics,changing climate in a way that puts stress on our bodies and Air conditioning units,gun violence being rampant in our society now, our mental health being tested now more than ever,inflation at the grocery store and at the gas pump. We feel these aspects of life as well. I feel them. I think of a Hawaiian word and principle Ikaika(to be strong,powerful and sturdy) But Ikaika is not to say that we should be rigid. We should be ever flexible and be able to bend when we need to in the face of adversity and have a strong boundary when we are confronted with adversity that directly effects our personal sovereignty. We can be that anchor of joy and aloha for people but we must also not become so rigid that we break.