Day 8 – The Sacred Grove of Lanikaula

Aloha everyone! Yet another very full and very powerful day for us. On the dinner break, Ha’awi and I excused ourselves from the group to take a walk to the second most sacred place on the Island of Molokai.

We gained permission to cross the private ranch lands to the Sacred Kukui Grove of Lanikaula. It is not a place you go to without proper preparation and protocol. To Molokai, Lanikaula was a kahuna in the 1500s and was the most powerful kahuna ever. This is his grove of kukui trees.

Kukui trees hold very special meaning to the Hawaiians. The word kukui means “light”. In a forest, it is easy to spot the kukui trees because the leaves are an almost white shade of green. The nuts are very rich in oil and were burned as candles.


But then, the symbolism and meanings go much deeper. The light represents the spiritual light. It represents the spiritual aspects of man, and the reflection of what we truly are as the embodiment of spirit – light given form. That is the reverence we bring to the grove.

With prayer and a clear welcoming sign, we entered the grove of ancient trees. Passing the lines of newly planted trees that are part of the work by today’s caretakers, we entered the heart of the grove.

Wading separately through an ocean of grasses that reached over our heads, we each were drawn to our own spot to meditate and commune with the ‘aumakua (spirits) of the place. The grasses flowed like the tides and the winds circled through the trees.

The grasses became like a sea of mana, or spiritual power, that embraced us and supported us. It was easy to analyze everything, to be thinking too much, but that itself was the message. Light doesn’t think about the experience of being light. It just is light… radiant, true, and unapologetic in its fullness. The grove invited us to stop thinking and simply feel… to simply “be present” in the moment. It invited us to be the moment rather than an outsider observing the experience.

As we completed our time there we emerged from the forest. We turned the corner around the edge of the grove to be met with the magnificent full moon representing Hina – the mother goddess who gave birth to this island – rising through the trees of the grove. When we saw three birds take flight from the grasses around us, we knew it was time to go.


Yes, it was another magnificent day living on Molokai.
~ Pono and Ha’awi

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One Response to Day 8 – The Sacred Grove of Lanikaula

  1. Paul says:

    Reading this is deeply moving and it makes me feel as if a new chapter of history is quietly being made – and we’re lucky enough to have a peak!

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