FreeSign up now!
Kindly reserve your spot 24 hours in advance for our planning purposes – Mahalo!
Location: Still & Moving Center, 1024 Queen Street, Honolulu
Let’s celebrate an historic event honoring the ancient body-mind-spirit practice of yoga. We’ll watch an aerial yoga demonstration and listen to Sanskrit mantras typically used in yoga. Everyone will be invited onto mats to sample several different yoga styles. And we’ll meet and greet over refreshments and Indian pupus.
Thanks to the efforts of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, the Hawaii Legislature has just formally recognized International Yoga Day on June 21st. As of this year, 2019, Hawaii now stands as a beacon of health and mindfulness, being the first state in the nation to do so!
Originating in India, yoga goes back thousands of years. Modern research shows that yoga adds significantly to our quality of life when done regularly with proper technique. Studies repeatedly show that yogic postures enhance body functionality, while breathing slowly in a relaxed manner, can slow our heart rate. Focusing the mind cultivates mental peace and deep insight.
“We yoga studio owners watch intense, stressed out people arrive for yoga classes every day,” says Renée Tillotson, director of Still & Moving Center. “The students leave class with a relaxed walk, better posture, smooth brow, broad smile, and a general air of enjoyment of life. What’s not to celebrate?!?”
Join us for this first ever event!
Honored Guests :
Senator Mike Gabbard and Senator Brian Taniguchi.
- Gandhi International Institute for Peace
- Still & Moving Center
- Blissful Yogini
- Down to Earth
- Govinda’s Restaurant
- Hawaii School of Yoga
- Mouna Farms Arts & Culture Village
- India Market Hawaii
- Creative Cuisine by Madana
- Govinda’s Fresh Juices
Two Yoga Specials in honor of International Yoga Day:
YOGA SPECIAL: CLASS PACK DISCOUNT! 11 classes for the price of a 10 class pack for anyone who takes a yoga class from June 21 to June28
AERIAL YOGA SPECIAL: CLASS PACK DISCOUNT! 11 classes for the price of a 10 aerial class pack for anyone who takes an AIReal Yoga class from June 21 to June 28
Sister Joan Chatfield profoundly influenced many lives for the better during her time here on earth with us. On the few, precious occasions that I had the chance to speak with her, she struck me as an absolutely authentic human being. Nothing about her was fake or put on. She was genuinely interested in meeting me – whoever I might be – as a fellow soul on life’s path. And I saw her – a Catholic nun – reach out to many others in that same inclusive way, whether at Gandhi Day celebration events, at The Interfaith Alliance meetings, at Peace Day, at a Mouna Farm and Cultural Arts Village event, or at the Voyage of Aloha convention. Wherever like-hearted, big-hearted souls gathered on Oahu, Sister Joan seemed to be there.
Sister Joan left her body this last Friday, March 1st, and while many grieve her passing, she remains a strong presence in our lives. Raj Kumar, president of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, tells me, “Sister Joan was like a real angel in my life. Her noble deeds were like Mother Teresa’s. She united people from all faiths to promote love, peace and harmony in our community. We will continue her legacy.” He adds, “Sister Joan was a great soul.”
Dean of Humanities at Chaminade University, a professor at the University of Hawaii, and a teacher in Hawaii’s Catholic schools for decades, Sister Joan lovingly helped many young people to shape their lives in uplifting ways they may never otherwise have considered. Sonia Fabrigas shares how, as a student attending her religion classes at UH Manoa, Sister Joan profoundly guided her early life in ways that far surpassed Sonia’s comfort zones.
“Once I graduated with degrees in comparative religion and comparative philosophy, Sister Joan offered, or should I say, threw me into a peace education program working with prostitutes leaving their profession. I suspect she wanted to me to find peace with any judgements and fears I had within, as I would otherwise fail to educe peace in these women.”
Says Sonia, “There was a time I contemplated choosing a cloistered path. Sister Joan gave me an assignment to find female saints who were married. I understood then that spiritual commitment is not lived by taking vows to live a cloistered life. Spiritual commitment is just lived no matter what one’s path.”
Sister Joan inspired Sonia’s decades of peace education, interfaith dialogues and multi-cultural arts, leading her to produce the wonderful Peace of the Rainbow television program that aired for years.
Sonia instructively adds, “Sister Joan opened my eyes and heart to the world of human trafficking, domestic violence and issues that women in spirituality face. Out of this came a lesson that I created and still use to this day called ‘The Line and the Circle’. She gave me opportunities to see where I drew lines and challenged me to turn them into circles.”
The Hawaii Forgiveness Project officially recognized Sister Joan as a Heroine of Forgiveness. “May every step I take be one of forgiveness,” a quote by Jerry Janpolsky, seemed to be a credo for her. According to Roger Epstein, Founder of the Hawaii Forgiveness Project, Sister Joan was in a good deal of pain over her later years, yet she gladly and uncomplainingly took care of her senior Maryknoll sisters through their difficult and dying years.
Sister Joan dedicated herself to helping others and doing the right thing over and above the institution, according to Roger. Diplomatic, she could still make her point in the hierarchy she had to report to; she was the chief ecumenical officer for the Catholic Church in Honolulu for many years. Intriguingly, Sister Joan directed the Maitreya Institute, founded by a Tibetan buddhist rinpoche, to promote art, healing and spirituality, looking into many religions and traditions for insight.
Sister Joan earned the Living Treasure of Hawaii award in 2009, given by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, for her lifelong compassion and altruism. Leaders of all faiths looked to Sister Joan’s example of reaching across religious boundaries. She also served as the Chairperson for the All Believers Network and the Executive Director of the Institute for Religion and Social Change.
Even as a representative of the Church, Sister Joan never stood on ceremony, just being helpful and truthful at all times. “It helped my life just to know her. And her spirit is still present with us,” summarized Roger Epstein.
David Castellano of Unity Church mentions that Sister Joan inspired us to bridge the gap between Spirit and Humanity. “Sister Joan had this condition, it’s where her heart didn’t know when or where to stop loving. It’s something the world needs more of.”
Masai Asago, President of Hawai‘i Conference of Religions for Peace (HCRP), recalls about Sister Joan: “I never forget her saying, ‘No one should be discriminated for any reason in this world.’ Her passion toward humanity and a sense of equality touched my heart. She has been many people’s role-model, mentor, and sage to look up to in our interfaith community.”
Her kind smile reaches out
To make you a friend forever
On first meeting
Her musical voice sings
A thousand stories –
Wise and gentle humor
Sister Joan is no longer in one body
So now she lives in all of us
In every sky, ocean, flower, sunset
In every hand and heart
Memory of aloha
– Michael North
Services will be held March 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart Church, 1701 Wilder Ave, Honolulu. Viewing is 9-10 am, Mass at 10:30 am. A reception will follow 11:30 am -1:30 pm at Maryknoll Grade School campus, 1722 Dole St.
Burial is 2 pm at Diamond Head Memorial Park.
Dancing in Joy and resting in stillness with you,
And you, dear reader?
Just hit Reply – I always love hearing from you.
Gandhi statue in Kapiolani Park, beachside of the zoo
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
FREE. Everyone is welcome. If possible, wear white as a symbol of peace.
Free parking at the Waikiki Shell and metered parking at the zoo.
The Gandhi International Institute for Peace cordially invites you to celebrate the 148th birthday of one of the world’s great leaders, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. As a pioneer of Satyagraha (true resistance) through vast, nonviolent civil disobedience, he became one of the most important political and spiritual leaders of his time. The event includes an interfaith plea for world peace, multicultural dances, and music by the Royal Hawaiian Band. Hawaii is the first state to proclaim October 2 as “Mahatma Gandhi Day.”
Our wonderful Kumu Mālia Helelā and her hula halau – Nā Hula Ola Aloha will perform a special hula at the Annual Gandhi Birthday Celebration on October 2 in Kapiolani Park.
This Hula Pahu (hula performed with drum) titled Ka’ala was written and choreographed by Kumu Mālia and is presented as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Mount Ka’ala is the highest peak on O’ahu and is a symbol of a solid and steadfast character. It’s calm and peaceful presence provides shelter to the island of Oahu. Ka’ala is also used in Hawaiian poetry as an example of excellence, high ideals, and nobility. Mahatma Gandhi embodied the qualities of Mount Ka’ala – he was peaceful, yet solid as a mountain. His utmost determination and steadfast progression towards his visionary goals made him so charismatic that thousands of people followed him. The song also references the birds Kaiona – a Hawaiian goddess who had the power to send her birds to guide lost travelers back to the proper path. Kumu Malia feels that the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi serves a similar role, with his actions and teachings guiding us to the path of steadfast nonviolence.
Our own dance teacher Miss Willow Chang and her Bollywood Hawaii troupe will be performing for the tenth time at this annual event!
- Gandhi International Institute for Peace
We think of Gandhi as such an activist, leading his people in a non-violent revolution to free India from the British Empire, marching across great swaths of India with his walking stick and sandals. “Be the change you want to see,” is frequently quoted from Gandhi. He was a ‘do-er’.
We think of Gandhi as wise, spiritual, humble and self-sacrificing. But did he ever sit down long enough to meditate? And how do we define “meditation”, for that matter?
As we listen to Dr. Veena Howard’s deeply informed exploration of this topic, we get glimpses into our own life’s meditational practices.
“In my personal life, meditation and the spirit of yoga, as exemplified by Gandhi, help me to navigate challenges with serenity.”
A dynamic presenter at national and international conferences, Veena Howard is committed to reviving indigenous spiritual and ethical approaches to connect personal transformation and social change.
Veena Howard, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Fresno. She teaches and researches Asian religious traditions, Gandhi’s philosophy, animal ethics, interfaith interactions among Hindus and Muslims, and gender issues in Indian philosophy. She has authored Gandhi’s Ascetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Change (SUNY 2013), translated several books on a modern saint tradition of India, and has published articles in acclaimed journals. She is currently editing a book on religions of India and hopes to write the biography of one of America’s civil rights heroes.
Sunday, July 30 4:30-5:45 pm