ANO TARLETZ HANAMANA: Hi. I co-founded GaiaYoga Gardens in 2003 with my ex-partner (who no longer lives here). I'm the only person who's been involved with GaiaYoga Gardens since it's inception (though we have one chicken who's been on the land longer than me!) I'm the default leader of the community, though I'm very much wishing to attract other people to share leadership with me. My new partner, Melekai, has joined me in this and is growing in her leadership more and more every day. Her presence is a great blessing, and I'd like more mature folks to join us in creating and enjoying this dream.
Like any leader, I have my strengths and weaknesses, and my weaknesses set the limits of the community. Of course my strengths help create what's wonderful and precious here. My desire is to get beyond the stage where I am the defining presence here, but until that manifests I will continue in this function.
As of this writing, June 2012, there are 8 adults and mine and Melekai's 2 babies living here (Elohi who is 13 months old and our new baby girl who we haven't found a name for yet). Melekai has lived here since May 2009. Most of the other adults here have lived here between 9 months and 2 years.
My life purpose can be expressed in this way: I create sustainable and holistic culture through landancing, sharing my songs, and husbanding my people. I am grateful that I am fully engaged in my life purpose and to be creating a place where others can do the same.
I was born on Earth Day, 1969. A little over twenty years later, I co-founded Pangaia, a now "deceased" raw-foods, permaculture homestead on the Big Island of Hawaii. Since 1996, I've been devoted to teaching sustainable homesteading, raw foods lifestyle, and the value of living in community. In 2000 I got turned on Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and have been teaching NVC since 2002. I now manage our permaculture nursery, which specializes in bamboo, fruit trees, bananas, and coconuts. I run our farmer's market booth, free-climb 5 to 10 trees per week, run our initiation-internship program, and manage, organize, and work on projects at GaiaYoga Gardens. I'm in a local chapter of an international men's group, called The ManKind Project (MKP). In my spare time I support the people living here in healing, learning, and growth. I am also, finally launching my music career!!! (I even sleep sometimes;-)
I co-authored the booklet An Introduction To GaiaYoga: A Holistic Vision for Living Sustainably as Spirit, Self, Community, and Earth. I've also written two other books: Instinctive Eating: The Lost Knowledge of Optimum Nutrition (authored under the name "Zephyr") and Transplant-Shock Therapy: The Poetic Pilgrimage of a Suburban Refugee. To see me playing a one of my songs check out this YouTube video.
I have grown tremendously from my journeys in the realms of sustainable living, holistic spirituality, intentional community, NVC, Tantric relationship, shadow work, 12-step recovery work, participating in the MKP, and raw foods instinctive eating, I’m excited to be part of the seed energy that’s creating GaiaYoga Gardens. The 22 year old hippie who arrived here with a back-pack and a guitar would be amazed to see the person he's become. Most recently I've been taking voice lessons since January 2011 so I can finally share my songs in a beautiful way. I'm currently working on my first album!
Using language from the GaiaYoga teaching, I see GaiaYoga Gardens as a personal-sphere community, which contains different cooperative intimate-spheres. This could be thought of clans within tribes or families within clans. What I want for my intimate-sphere is different than what I want or require in my personal sphere. For example, in my personal sphere I simply want people to only eat organic food, but in my intimate sphere I want people to eat all raw, local, whole, and organic food. In my personal sphere I support many types of initmate-sexual relationships, but in my intimate sphere I want to part of a group marriage. There other differences, but the reason I'm sharing this is that I want people who are coming here to be aware that just because I, "the leader" am a certain way, or want things a certain way in my intimate-sphere, doesn't mean that's what GaiaYoga is or what GYG is all about. Our container is bigger than that (hopefully!)
I guess my main reason for discussing this is because this website is fundamentally about inviting people to the personal-sphere of GaiaYoga Gardens, not the intimate-sphere of Ano (and Melekai and our children). Yes, I would deeply enjoy finding people who want to join our intimate-sphere, and I want to be transperant about who I am and what I want in all my spheres of relationship But absolutley, I want to ensure that there is distinction and clarity around this, so there is safety and room for people who resonate with our overall vision, to come here and make a home regardless of how close they want to be with me.
MELEKAI MATSON: My first yearnings for community, alternative health, and Earth-based sustainable living began after living in Seattle in 1998. After having a vision while in Mexico where I received the message to steward the Earth, I began traveling around the West coast, studying organic farming, Permaculture, community living, yoga, herbalism, and personal growth. In 1999, I moved to Mount Madonna Center where I lived for two years. I became a devotee of Baba Hari Dass, and through studying Ashtanga yoga under his guidance, I learned a way of being in the world that was more self-connected, whole, and compassionate. I was also called to be a midwife at this time, and began my 10 year process in becoming a trained midwife. I have been postponing my move to the land until I finished my training so that I could fully sink into my life on the land, and fully manifest my vision.
During the past 10 years, I have struggled to live my values in an urban setting, while being 100% focused on becoming a midwife. I have studied as a nurse, apprenticed for a home-birth midwife, been a doula for a birth center and for women birthing at hospitals, worked as a labor and delivery nurse, and finally became a nurse-midwife through UCSF in 2008. Also during this time period, I taught yoga to teachers and pregnant teenagers, started an organic garden at an elementary school, refined my diet, and did lots of therapy and 12-step work. I studied medicinal plants, engaged in various spiritual practices, traveled extensively to Peru and learned conversational Spanish, while always seeking to become more knowledgeable, more spiritually-refined, more attuned to ways to support the Earth and learning to live gently on the Earth, and discovering intimacy through deep friendships, heartbreaks, and personal growth work and therapy.
I traveled to GaiaYoga Gardens in 2008 to celebrate the end of my nurse-midwife training. I didn’t exactly fall in love with it, but I noticed that after I left, I felt a deep, abiding love for those that I lived with here, and saw signs on a daily basis that I was supposed to be here at GaiaYoga Gardens. I ignored these signs, trying to make a mainland life work for almost 8 months, until I decided to return. I gave up everything; my relationship, my job, my home, and close contact with dear friends to move back to Hawaii to live at GaiaYoga Gardens! It was very clear to me that this was my dream manifest of living off the land, using alternative energy, living in community and taking care of children, taking care of animals and growing our own food, tapping into Pele’s deep healing energy to clear old traumas, growing into intimate relationship, and living in an area where alternative community living is more prevalent. I also felt a calling to be in intimate relationship with Ano, co-founder of GaiaYoga Gardens, and began that journey when I arrived here in May. My passion to live here supported me in struggling through a difficult process of buying the land back from Ano’s ex-partner after Ano defaulted on buying her out of the property at the end of 2008.
I am writing this bio about three months after the deed was signed, and although there is much relief that the negotiation process is over and we legally own the land outright, we have daily growing pains around growing into our vision of community. Pele is initiating me into her ways, and I see so much benefit and beauty in the healing that she offers. I wish that we had more of this, and more of that, but I also have a deep trust that this is my home, that what we are doing is beautiful and healing, that we are meant to be here, that you are meant to be here if you are called, and that we are in a divine dance of creation, and the future is unknown. I am part of a home-birth practice midwifery practice, and enjoying the daily joys and struggles of intimate relationship with Ano, and the rest of GYG community, and appreciating the children for being in my life. And there is so much more
(The 5 oldest children who lived at GaiaYoga Gardens during 2008 - 2010, on the first day of school. L-R, Keely, (big) Shanti, Coqui, Cassidy, and Cody. They attend a school that follows the Sudbury model, run by 3 close friends of ours on a nearby homestead.)
Mountain turned into a trans-gender merperson!!
Our resident kitties, Samoa & Popo. They love to eat, sleep & be cute!
We're forming a core group of residents and members to share this endeavor, and we’re looking for others to join us in pioneering GaiaYoga. If you resonate with the vision that’s presented in this website, please contact us. We want to connect with you.