Kauai is my favorite place on the planet. That’s right. I said it. I have seen a lot of the world, and the place that return to every year (if not twice a year!) is Kauai. It is pure tropical paradise with ancient healing wisdom soaked in to the land. The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, this land holds infinite portals to the Universe. Healers and those seeking enlightenment are drawn here for that reason.

Meditating at the Lawai International Center

Meditating at the Lawai International Center

One of the reasons I love Kauai is that there are always new surprises! Even though it is a small island, there are so many mountains, waterfalls, and secret beaches waiting to be discovered. And this time was no exception.

My family and I arrived in the evening, which is always such a tease because you know that there are giant green mountains and turquoise waters all around you, but you can’t see their intense beauty at night! And so, we woke with the sun (and a little bit of rain!) that next morning to visit my favorite beach: Secret Beach.

Sunrise Secret Beach

Early morning at Secret Beach

It was as beautiful as ever. The water felt so warm compared to the Southern California water I’m used to. It was perfect, and with that we climbed back up the muddy path to continue our journey north to Hanalei. In this laid back surf town, we were seeking out our favorite tropical waffles and dark roast coffee only to find it had changed ownership. Sadly, the food just wasn’t the same…but the coffee was great! Next, we visited the beach in front of where the hippy community Taylor Camp used to be. I had never seen it this crowded, so after making a quick stop at the farmers market we retreated back to Kilauea to do a little swimming at Kilihiwai.

Waterfall near Sealodge

Waterfall near Sealodge

The magic and surprise that day was when we hiked down to the coast from Sealodge Vacation Rentals in Princeville. We were searching for Kaweonui Beach, but must have made a wrong turn because all we found were volcanic rocks! We decided to climb along these rough stones for a few minutes when Joshua’s son called back to us saying he had found a waterfall. This waterfall wasn’t very large, but was large enough for me to swim in its pool! I felt the excitement, joy, and wonder of being a child again as I splashed and played in this hidden gem.

This playful spirit continued on to the next day when we went to visit the Stone Dam. You can reach this peaceful lookout and garden by either parking at Common Ground or hiking the Wai Koa Loop Trail. You can even rent bikes from Kauai Mini Golf if you want to get there quicker!

It’s best to arrive there in the early morning as you are likely to have the whole grounds to yourself. I like to start by doing a meditation from the covered wooden bench at the lookout. You can feel the sweetness of the new day as you breathe in the beauty of the gardens and hear the steady flow of water pouring over the dam.

Let your meditation continue as you walk through the meticulously manicured tropical garden. One of my favorite spots is off to the right where a Buddha statue sits blessing the garden just below. With the bamboo behind you, sit near this Buddha and reflect as the soft morning light washes over you.

Buddha at the Stone Dam

Buddha at the Stone Dam

I could continue to write forever about the secret and sacred spots on the island, but my favorite “new” discovery was visiting the 88 shrines at the Lawai International Center. From their site:

Lawai International Center, a non-profit community project, is an archaeological and cultural treasure in a valley that has long been recognized as a healing sanctuary. In 1904 the first generation of Japanese immigrants built 88 shrines replicating an ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. Today, it is the only such site existing outside of Japan and is one of the oldest Buddhist temple sites in the country. Volunteers are bringing these shrines and this valley back to prominence as an international center for compassion, education and cultural understanding.

As I sat in meditation connecting to the energy of this healing portal, I couldn’t help but feel the pull to teach Reiki in the Hall of Compassion for numerous reasons…the first one being that Reiki was first brought to the western world by Hawayo Takata, a Japanese-American born and raised in Kauai. I wondered if she had spent time at this sacred site, which was home to Japanese immigrants since the early 1900s.

Hall of Compassion

Hall of Compassion at the Lawai International Center

As I mentioned there were so many more magical moments such as swimming in waterfalls and visiting Kauai’s Hindu Monastery where they are building a temple by hand! I could write for days about all of the healing I experienced in mind, body, and spirit, but as with anything I encourage you to experience it for yourself!

Now, on to Maui where I plan on finishing my Reiki teaching manual and attending a Hay House Writer’s Workshop! I look forward to sharing those experiences with you soon.

Love and rainbows always,
Lauren

Wailua Falls Rainbow Kauai