Maui News

VIDEO: The Dalai Lama Blesses Hokule’a, Mauians in Attendance

April 17, 2012, 7:29 AM HST
* Updated September 6, 3:00 PM
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His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet climbs aboard the Hōkūle’a. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

By Wendy Osher

During his last day in Hawai’i, the Dalai Lama participated in a private blessing ceremony for the Hōkūle’a Polynesian voyaging canoe on O’ahu.

The blessing yesterday was held at Kualoa Park and included participation from Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, as well as Hawaiian healing arts and cultural practitioner Bulla Logan of Maui, among others.

An earth blessing led into the consecration of the canoe. At the end of the ceremony, the Dalai Lama boarded the Hōkūle’a with his entourage and offered a scarf as a gift, which was tied to the mast of the vessel.

The Hōkūle’a crew ties a khata from the Dalai Lama, to the vessel’s mast at Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

The Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hōkūle’a and the worldwide voyage began with a moving chant. Pictured here is Miho Fukuda of Maui. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society, takes in the Earth Blessing by the Dalai Lama. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

Hakipu’u ‘ohana blow the pū, announcing the arrival of the Dalai Lama to Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

Cy Bridges and other members of the Hakipu’u ‘ohana perform a chant to welcome the Dalai Lama to Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu. Included in the photo are Bulla Logan and Miho Fukuda of Maui. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

The Dalai Lama jokes with members of the Hōkūle’aa crew following the Earth blessing and consecration of the vessel and its worldwide voyage. Photo courtesy: Pillars of Peace Hawai’i.

From Kualoa, the Hōkūleʻa embarks on the statewide sail from April 16 through August 7, 2012. The statewide sail is the Hawaiʻi-based start to the worldwide voyage.


The worldwide voyage is a journey that charts a new course toward sustainability for Hawai‘i and the world.


Also on Monday, the Dalai Lama visited Kailua High School on Oahu.  The school was chosen for its unique curriculum, which emphasizes compassion, intellectual thinking and conflict resolution.

Consistent with his message of nonviolence, the Dalai Lama warned against bullying and encouraged students to manage destructive emotions through mental strength.

Students from the high school gave the Dalai Lama a gift of a piece of quilt and a paddle.


Over the weekend, the Dalai Lama attended a private panel at the East-West Center where he discussed Hawaiian culture with Nainoa Thompson, Pualani Kanahele and moderator John DeFries.

The cross-cultural exchange of ideas was focused on seeking peace through cultural preservation.

During the forum, Thompson presented the Dalai Lama with a paddle; and the Dalai Lama gave Thompson and Kanahele a scarf in the Indian tradition of showing respect.

Also on Sunday, the Dalai Lama was the featured guest at a public talk on peace.

The event at the Stan Sheriff Center was preceded by entertainment from Michael McDonald, Henry Kapono and other talented artists.

During the event, the Dalai Lama advised that we must develop warm-heartedness to reduce fear, increase compassion and find inner peace.

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