Aloha Cancer 9/2/2015

strauch sunsetToday, I talked to legendary surfer Paul Strauch Jr. He told me some powerful things about Aloha and healing. When I told him that I was diagnosed with cancer and I was going to try alternative methods like Hawaiian spirituality, he said that he honored that commitment, but wanted me to keep an open mind to the technological advances in modern medicine. We reflected on the ‘ôlelo no’eau (wise Hawaiian saying), ‘A ‘ohe pau ka ‘ike I ka hâlau ho’okahi—all of your knowledge is not learned in one school.

This advice felt very nurturing. I was listening to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole right before my conversation with Uncle Paul. Between songs, Israel said, “Hawaiian to me is the feeling of getting somewhere without stepping on anybody’s toes, without causing friction with anybody.” Paul Strauch doesn’t step on anyone’s toes, which is why, even in the dog-eat-dog world of surfing, he is known as the “Gentleman Surfer.”

strauch and duke

Uncle Paul told me how his father would tell him to ask permission whenever he entered someplace unfamiliar. He did this when he entered the ocean. Sometimes the answer would come in ka makani nahenahe (an inviting subtle breeze). Other times a strong gust in the face would clearly mean no, so Paul wouldn’t go surfing that day.

Paul’s mother taught him to have respect for all relationships, even with the dead. After funerals, she would take pa’akai (Hawaiian sea salt), mix it with water, and use it to bless the family as they re-entered the house after the funeral.

These lessons of asking permission and respecting all relationships resonate deep in my na’au (guts). I am going to practice these rituals daily in my relationships with loved ones, strangers, nature, and everything around me.

I’m also going to ask permission of my tumor and try to make peace with my body. I believe that true healing comes in the form of mâlama ko’u kino—caring for our bodies. I don’t believe in the “war against cancer.” Cancer is part of who we are. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Light and love that is what my body needs right now.

Diet

Chia seeds/flax seed meal/barley grass in morning

Fresh juiced carrot, kale, cucumber, mint, asparagus juice in morning and afternoon.

3 oz Xango Mangosteen juice 3x daily

Quinoa, black beans, avocado, salads, oatmeal, hummus, for meals. I have started eating 4 small meals rather than 3 large meals everyday

Exercise

Aloha Awakenings morning prayer exercises

Relationships

Stayed peaceful with everyone

Spiritual

Accepted that there are others who don’t believe in what I am doing

BM

Slight bleeding in stool. BM was long and thin. Feeling slight pressure or bloating in rectum.

The Emergency Guru: 5 Lifelines for hitting rock bottom

nathansnostalgia / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I have had the good fortune to meet many masters, many gurus, many teachers from many traditions. Do you know which master, which guru has most inspired me? It is life itself. Life is our best teacher.–Godwin Samararathne

This is my bumbling attempt to lift up 1) my fellow blogger Bodhisattvaintraining who got some intense news this week and 2) all our friends and family on the East Coast who probably can’t read this because they have no power. Continue reading

The Surfing Guru: “Life is a wave…”

The first time I hit rock bottom was in Y2K. My career in filmmaking was over; I was living in my car; and I had ostracized myself from the professional surfing community that I had called home. When you are down to your last $200, your options for weekend entertainment recede to zero. So when I received complimentary tickets to the premiere of a surf film by Jack McCoy, a legendary surf filmmaker and mentor, I jumped at the opportunity. Continue reading