Re Awakening Ancient Memory, The Gathering of Waitaha Family
Aotearoa, New Zealand August 8–19, 2009
In Waitaha, the word for the number one is tahi. The word for man is tane, and for woman, wahine. Take the ta from tane and the hi from wahine and you get tahi. Together tane and wahine add up to one. Every time we say tahi, we remind ourselves about this union and the divine partnership between the masculine and feminine. I just got back from an 11 day ancestors gathering tour with the Waitaha people of New Zealand. At this gathering I got to experience this divine partnership. The headline for the tour read “re awakening ancient memory”. I’ll focus on my personal re awakening. Many other things happened, but I’ll let others tell those stories.
We were told to wear yellow scarves so that we’d easily be identified at the Auckland airport. We looked like yellow ribbons scurrying around. The song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, which is about a man returning home, ran through my head. Little did I know that we were all coming home. Representatives from 33 nations of ages ranging from a baby to toddlers, grade schoolers, teens and adults up through their 60s attended. I liked being around people of all ages, it gives me a sense of where I fit into the grand timeline. This tour showed me that the Waitaha are the “Keepers of the Way of Home Life”. This journey helped me remember exactly what the “Way of Home Life” is.
We were taken to place called a Marae and elaborately greeted. We stood at the front gate and when they were ready to receive us a woman called to us across the front lawn. We were greeted with songs, long hugs, kisses and the traditional touching of noses and foreheads. Tears flowed. We lined up and everyone met everybody. With each greeting they said “welcome home”. I wondered why they said this. The Grandmothers stood at the far end and the Grandfathers at the near end of a large hall. After everybody met everyone, we were invited to speak and sing songs of greetings. Afterwards we had tea and biscuits in the cafeteria where we also had our meals. There they explained that whenever you formally speak, it’s best to finish the communication with a song, and that having tea and biscuits and “breaking bread” together is the important finish to the greeting ceremony. Home Life Lesson 1 – Warm Welcomes.
That night the chairs from the Marae’s large hall were removed and we all slept together on rows and rows of futons right next to each other. The kids absolutely loved this setup. They could hug and kiss goodnight, then wave to each other and lie down and go to sleep, and then play as soon as they awoke. Note it wasn’t always this smooth. Later on during the tour even the Waitaha male and female teens snuggled and lounged around with us and each other. Snuggling and embracing for 10 minutes or more daily is different than just a few short hugs. Home Life Lesson 2 – Eat, Snuggle, Sleep and Dream Together. They told us that it’s important to discuss our dreams with each other. In the morning they woke us with songs and saying “Good Morning I Love You”. I couldn’t stop crying.
The next day we drove several hours north into the lush green countryside. We moved into two Maraes surrounded by beautiful hills and I got lucky because my Marae had an ocean view of the bay where the first Waitaha arrived. The Waitaha told us they came to Earth from the stars and are the descendants of ancient Lemuria. No internet or cell phone for ten days. Would I survive? What happened was I was brought back from the dead. I completely lost track of time and the day of the week. Note that the events that I write about may be out of order.
We were invited to help in the cafeteria kitchen so I volunteered. Each time we started working, my Waitaha co-worker would strike up a conversation. This happened every single time, even with the Waitaha teens. They are skilled conversationalist with polite British accents. Then every so often they’d break into song. The cool thing was they sang in harmony. They would also hug each other while working. One person would keep working while the other would just hug them from behind, for several minutes. Home Life Lesson 3 – Socialize, Sing and Hug While Doing Chores.
In the kitchen I met a brother, sister and their mother Stephanie from Germany. We had a race to see who could dry and sort silverware the fastest. The girl beat me hands down. I couldn’t figure out how she moved her hands so fast. I jokingly bowed to her with outstretched hands after losing. Little did I know that later in the trip I would again feel like bowing to them. I’ve heard of indigo and crystal kids, these two are uber kids. I have never seen such caring, gentle, kind, watchful, good natured kids in my life. They are 13 and 14 years old and are supportive and affectionate with each other. They were always nice others and to one another. They are nice people.
The next day we were taken to visit the ancient burial site of the Waitaha ancestors. We hiked out to the end of a long cliff at the mouth of the bay. When we got to the site, just as at the welcoming ceremony at the Marae, a woman called to us to enter. We sang songs, danced and greeted the ancestors.
We got back and had time to clean ourselves up. I had gotten used to hugging and kissing everyone. I walked past Stephanie and gave her a kiss on the forehead while she was sitting. This kiss was about to change my life. A couple of hours later I was singing songs with a group in the cafeteria before dinner when Stephanie came up to me and said that after I kissed her on the forehead she began to have strange experiences and was not feeling well.
We went to the sleeping area and she lay down. She said she heard many voices talking at the same time and she saw movie clips being played in front of her eyes. It would stop then start again. She said it was getting more intense and that she was crying and thought that she was going crazy. I tried giving her a healing, but nothing worked.
Her forehead felt feverish and she was agitated so I put some wet toilet paper on her forehead. A few minutes passed and her condition worsened and she was shaking. I got really scared and ran to get help. “Luckily” one of the Waitaha Grandfathers was just around the corner. He came over and asked her if she wanted to see a doctor. She said no. He then and gave her a healing and asked her to describe what she was seeing. She said she saw John and herself in a forest. We were lovers. She was almost screaming as she described how John made sure she was safe under a large tree branch (the Waitaha say large trees have the energy of protection, as it takes protection to grow so large). Stephanie continued, fully screaming by now that John left to look for a safe path and was killed and he never came back. Grandfather told her to let go of this past life memory and that John is alive and here today. Let go of the past life and heal in the present. He asked her if she loved me. She said yes. He turned and asked me firmly, “Do you love her?” . . . I sensed this wasn’t a fleeting question. I tensed up and was speechless. Note that I knew nothing about this woman, we hadn’t even spoken 10 words to each other and I wondered if she was married. I wanted to discuss this with Grandfather. I wanted to be in integrity. I sensed that this wasn’t something where I could say “I’m not sure”, or “no” for now, and then change my mind and say “yes” later. I quickly checked in with my heart and I did feel a certain love for her. Based on only this particular soft pleasant glow in my heart that I had for her, I said “yes”.
Grandfather then told Stephanie how I have an honorable lineage which included samurai and women warriors. I thought of my Dad who was a medic in the most decorated Army unit in WWII from Hawaii and was once saved by angels. Grandfather told Stephanie to look at how they all stand behind John. He threw away the wet toilet paper and said not to use it. He chuckled and said, “My work here is done and I’m just a third wheel” and “I’ll leave you two love birds alone”. My surprised mind was like “wait a minute . . .” I wanted to ask more questions, but he got up to leave. We thanked him and he insisted “No thank you, the world loves to look at lovers”. He said this several other times.
I knelt next to her, held her hand and I felt her forehead. Her temperature had dropped! She said that the voices and visions had disappeared but the gripping feeling in her heart was still there. She said that she felt it in every cell of her body. We just sat in silence and looked at each other for a long time. Her eyes were a mixture of emotions. I started to feel more for her. After her condition improved, we talked for a bit and I found out that she was happily married. My mind started to pull way way back. After an hour or so she seemed quite well so I told her I was going to get some food and that I’d be back in 5 minutes.
I said to myself “I gotta talk to Grandfather about her being happily married”. I walked into the cafeteria, and headed straight for Grandfather. They saw me coming. With perfect timing as I walked toward Grandfather, a seated Waitaha woman looked up at me and said “Oh John, Grandmother wants to speak with you”. She pointed to a corner where Grandmother sat alone. I was very impressed with their display of intuitive teamwork. It was obvious and they made no attempt to conceal that I was being diverted. I got the feeling that they knew exactly what I was thinking and what was going on. I felt a little relieved and I knew that I had to figure this one out on my own. I went to talk with Grandmother. I was hoping for a short question, but it was some pretty lengthy chit chat. I was pulled between getting back to Stephanie and not being rude to Grandmother. I wanted the conversation to naturally end or for a break so I could explain myself, but her chit chat just went on and on . . . It was actually kind of funny. I got the feeling that I was being tested. I got up my courage and stopped her in mid-sentence and said “Grandmother there is something I must do please excuse me”. She said “yes of course dear” and smiled as I left. I felt loved. I stuffed a piece of bread in my mouth and ran back to Stephanie.
It was much more than 5 minutes when I got back. Stephanie was agitated again. I felt her forehead and she had a slight fever. I remember Grandfather saying no wet toilet paper. Hmm what do I do?! My trombone popped into my head?! I got the idea to sprinkle cold water on her forehead and blow cool air on her forehead. After blowing cool air on her wet forehead for a bit, I looked down and saw a big smile on her face and a unique very pleased expression. I immediately recognized this expression. This unique expression brought up a huge wave of an old familiar feeling of joy and love in me. Then I saw a flash back from our past life. We were in a hot dry field during mid-summer and I was sprinkling water and blowing cool air on her forehead. It was one of our “special things”! This is how I connected back to our love.
How did Grandfather know to tell me not to use wet toilet paper? How did they know that I’d come running in to tell Grandfather that she was happily married (and that I was getting ready to run for the hills)? How did they pop a picture of my trombone into my head? It’s the magic of living amongst people of every age in this affectionate “Way of Home Life” that opened up parts of me that I didn’t know existed. The Waitaha have kept this “Way of Home Life” alive throughout the ages and were “re awakening this ancient memory” in us. Our ability to hear their hinting whispers and see their dream like guiding images was being re awakened.
That night I lay down at Stephanie’s feet to sleep. I awoke several times and each time I saw her softly looking at me. She stayed up the whole night just looking at me. It was very healing.
In the morning we learned to count to ten in Waitaha with a corresponding Haka dance. That night we did a night ceremony on the beach. There was a large volcanic rock shelf between the sand and the water. They explained that a deal was struck years ago between the dolphins and the Waitaha. If the Waitaha agreed not to fish, the dolphins agreed to chase fish onto this large volcanic shelf for the Waitaha to eat. We did this ceremony and the next morning the volcanic rock shelf was covered with fish.
I now know what people mean by every day love grows stronger. As the days passed I could feel my love for her grow. I could feel it in every cell of my body and even outside my body. Even between the morning and evening I could feel the difference. What’s interesting about this love is that I knew nothing about her. If you asked my mind why I love her, I’d say “I don’t know”. There were no courtship games. We went from being strangers one day to walking around like old lovers the next, with kids I might add. I told a woman from Australia that now I know what love without the mind is. Forget any facts you know about the person and what the person looks like. Forget about what you know of yourself and what you look like also. Forget about what they did or did not do to you. Forget time and language. Without using words to describe, what does your love feel like?
I found that I loved not only Stephanie, but also her children. They’re like a part of her. As our relationship became publically noticeable I wondered how her children were reacting. We decided to speak to Grandfather about this. Grandfather told us that these special children intuitively know that their father’s love is protected and that everything was fine.
These are magical uber children. I am not evolved enough to even be able to comprehend how they are ok with their mom walking around holding hands and hugging this strange man. What were they thinking and how did they feel? I thought back to when I was 13 years old. No way could I have handled this. On an evolutionary scale I feel like an ant next to them. I then put myself in Stephanie’s husband’s shoes. Would I be able to be ok with this? Sadly I say I am asking another man to do what I am unable to do myself. I wish I could turn myself into a dog and become their family pet.
That night Stephanie asked me if I would sleep next to her son. I wanted to make things right with the children. I wanted them to know that I meant no harm and that I believed things were going to turn out ok. She said her son was happy that I wanted to sleep next to him. I’m single, no kids, never married. For the first time in my life I felt like a father. I felt the feeling that I would stop at nothing to give the whole universe to these children. I believe this is how our “cosmic parents” feel towards us.
The Waitaha have an interesting way with their toddlers. They never tell them to be quiet. Toddlers are allowed to make as much noise as they want and pretty much go wherever and do whatever they want. Everyone on the Marae participates in looking after them. They say that if the toddlers are acting up, everyone else in the room needs to work on improving their energy.
Throughout the trip subtle “relationship reminder” suggestions would pop into my head. It was like the Waitaha were whispering in my ear and flashing dream like images in front of me. One day the idea to apologize for dying popped into my head. It seemed strange, but I did it anyways. I told Stephanie, “I’m sorry I died and left you”. It had a profound effect. Another time thoughts of why I never married in this lifetime popped into my head. It dawned on me that I never married since I last saw her. I told her this. It had a profound effect.
I say “relationship reminder” because I believe each and every one of our hearts knows all this information. If your heart is beating, you know how to have good relationships, how to live a good “Home Life” and how to love. We just need to remember, reconnect and re awaken our hearts. Helpful “relationship reminders” from the experienced Elders helps a whole lot. Elders in our lives can guide us with their life experience, whether verbal or through hinting whispers and dreamlike images. The Waitaha Grandmothers are experts at giving “relationship reminders" in this special way.
One day we toured the Marae where a treaty was signed in 1735. Stephanie wanted to climb down a hill and sit on the rocks and watch the ocean waves while the others toured the grounds. The sun shined and the waves crashed on the rocks while we sat, hugged and watched. This was beyond romantic. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want this moment to end. A part of us is still there.
A half dozen times or more I climbed up the hill to check if the buses were leaving. She said that each time I left she felt the gripping fear, and each time I returned it felt good. I climbed the hill for the last time and saw people heading for the busses. I really wanted to stay there forever.
More relationship reminders popped into my head, “tease her about your staying feeling”. Hmm, ok, so I told Stephanie, “Hey I’ll tell our bus driver we’re going to ride on the other bus and let’s sneak out and run back and sit on the rocks and watch the ocean waves some more”. I got up out of my seat, headed for the bus door and motioned for her to come along. Startled she snapped “how will we get back?” I told her that we would turn ourselves into rocks and stay in New Zealand forever watching the waves. It had a profound effect on both of us. It was like long ago we had both locked away a certain room in our hearts. To unlock it and for us to live more fully today it took two keys. These closed off areas of our hearts were opening and we were changing. It’s the loving communicated thought that counts. I had found someone who knows me better than I know myself and someone who remembers the parts of me that I have forgotten.
Ok guys, here’s a “relationship reminder”. Things weren’t always smooth between us. So here’s the most useful suggestion that popped into my head, “don’t get wound up during a rough spot, it will be over soon”. Don’t try to pick apart her arguments and explain to her the illogic of her statements. Just think to yourself, I just need to get through this, ride it out, and it will be over soon. If you are sensible good hearted people and love each other, rough spots will go away simply given time. Try sitting back, relaxing and not saying too much. Sometimes it’s better if you say less. Just sit there and pretend that you’re listening to her. Er scratch the pretend part. Just feel your heart as you listen. She’ll get there, just wait patiently and keep your head low. Her emotional and decision making process is different than yours and may take longer. And guess what guys, this really works.
One evening while sitting on a bench in the men’s bathroom I told my buddy Sylvain my whole story with Stephanie. With his French accent he said that he has observed Stephanie and that her past life regression is “the real deal”. He said that he’s tired of hearing people talking about past lives where they were kings and queens and this and that. He said the next time someone asks him about his past lives he will say “the last 1000 of my past lives I was the man who collects the garbage”. Another guy laughed and commented that the disposal of garbage is important. He pointed to his butt and said if this stops working, you’re in trouble. We laughed. Then I said “but she’s married”, he replied enthusiastically “don’t worry, what you’re doing is a good thing”. The support and having him to talk to really helped. I knew it was a good healing step we were taking. I just needed to hear it from someone else. I felt bad that I “abandoned” him and our friend Kata. We had planned to come on this tour together and I was spending most of my time with Stephanie. I knew they were happy for me and that I’d feel and do the same for them if roles were reversed.
At one dinner another guy sat next to Stephanie and tried to flirt with her and I got anxious. Then a 13 year old Waitaha boy firmly looked at me and said “relax”. I calmed down. When the guy got up to get some dessert, the Waitaha boy got up and sat in his seat next to Stephanie, blocking him from returning. I couldn’t believe it. Here was a 13 year old boy looking out for me. Throughout the tour he encouraged our relationship. I noticed some women on the tour supported Stephanie, others didn’t.
One of the optional activities was canoe paddling. We signed up, but by the time we got there the water was too rough, so we walked along the beach instead. I had an interesting chat with the canoe paddling organizer. I told her that my Grandparents moved from Japan to Hawaii and that I had moved from Hawaii to California to go to college. I told her about the cultural changes that the Japanese went through in Hawaii. For example, how when my father was a little boy the males ate separately and before the females ate. No talking was allowed while eating and you were hit if you made any noise. The organizer said that one of her relatives married a Japanese girl and they visited Japan for the wedding and that she had a similar experience. At some of the parties the women served them food, but would not sit and eat with them and the men ate in a separate room. Quite different than Waitaha traditions! She also said there was practically no hugging there. I told her how when I went to Kindergarten my mom stopped hugging me. No hugs until after my first college year when I went back and introduced hugging into my family. A part of me still feels shy while hugging, but another part feels the sheer humanity with each embrace.
When I was a little boy we all ate our meals together and talked. This was a step my parents took towards “Home Life” before I was born. Now I know why the Japanese culture wasn’t so important to them. We adopted some of the Hawaiian traditions and let go of some the Japanese. I consider myself just as culturally Hawaiian as Japanese. Here’s a joke for those on the tour. Japanese Americans are sometimes called “bananas” because they are yellow on the outside and white on the inside. The Waitaha taught us a Haka dance that included bananas. I’m sure that our wonderful tour coordinators Diane and Marce would love to make a video of this banana dance and put it on the internet.
Just as the instinct or “codes” of how to build a nest are in the DNA of birds, the codes of how to build a Homo Sapien “Home Life” are in our DNA. The Waitaha are the “Keepers of the Way of Home Life”. They modeled for us and had us live in this ancient forgotten way of “Home Life”. Home is not a place but a way of life. Live in this way of snuggling, singing, dreaming together, kissing, greeting, conversing, doing chores together, helping improve each other’s relationships, etc. And you will naturally become more human and return home. You can’t stop opening your heart, activating your special powers and be more loving. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village that lives in this affectionate, supportive, musical way to create a home for humans of all ages. I finally understood why the Waitaha said “welcome home” when they greeted us.
One beautiful morning Kata led a Lemurian ceremony to call in the Whale Grandmothers. We looked out into the bay which had trees on the left side and sandy hills on the right and invited them in. On other mornings a Fijian Waitaha had us practice Tai Chi. He said the first meal of the day is oxygen and the second is breakfast.
I could sense that throughout the tour we were being tested on many levels. Once the Waitaha told us that we had 15 minutes to organize our suitcases, bags and belongings and make the Marae beautiful. They rang a bell for us to start and many of us stood around doing nothing. Well over 15 minutes later they rang the bell again. We failed this test.
One of the most incredible things was how well the Waitaha women got along with each other. On bus rides they would snuggle for a long time. If you’re going to sit next to someone, you might as well hug! Teens, Elder women and Grandmothers would embrace each other for long periods of time. I thought of a sacred triangle of a Daughter, her Mother and her Mother in Law. I say the relationships in this triangle are the most sacred. These three women are the core of family life. For example, the Mother in Law can coach her Daughter in Law about the idiosyncrasies of her husband. This may be the only place where this sacred triangle is intact. Note that actual biological relations aren’t necessary, just women to fill the roles of the points of the triangle.
Stephanie said that I’d like her husband and that she could see me and her husband as friends. I see that both our hearts are more capable because of our experience and that our hearts’ growth is what is most important. I believe her heart is more capable and she can love her husband more now. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I just want there to be love and understanding. I especially want the children to be ok. The days were winding down and I didn’t want the tour to end.
On the last morning Stephanie and I snuggled up to the Waitaha Grandfather as he lay on his futon and read him poems we had written. Stephanie said it was the first poem she’d ever written. Then my buddy Sylvain climbed right flat on top of the Waitaha Elder and embraced him. I marveled at how much we had all changed.
I would like to take the time now to thank all the Grandmothers and the Grandmother I was assigned to. I believe it was they who worked hard behind the scenes to orchestrate the hinting whispers and dreamlike images. They guide us so clever and witty, always loving and watchful. They still do. They re awakened the ancient memory of how to love and create a home. Thank you! They told us that when we go home, to spread their message and change the world. Anyone with a beating heart knows how to love and can experience “relationship reminders”. Use your special abilities to create more love in your relationships and find those who grow when you shower them with your love. Use your special abilities to hear their whispers and see their dreamlike images. Try it! Now is the time, anything is possible in these end of days. It will change you, your life, and save the world.
My friend Kata bought me this sculpture at the airport on the way back.
I want to thank her for helping teary eyed me through the airport.
I have since traveled to Germany to visit and things are healing.