Tag Archive: Kauai

Mindfulness in Kauai….


The perfect hike in the back country of Kauai…

Hikes are a great way to be mindful and present in the moment at hand…

What is it about water?

In this case the Pacific Ocean… There is something tranquil about

sitting and staring at the sea… A great place to meditate!


My favorite time of day is at sunset…

There is something about the color, energy and beauty of a sunset that makes

dusk the perfect time of day to meditate and be mindful…

Please visit www.johncbader.com for more images

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Nature is one of many connections to empowerment and energy – there is a wealth of space and clarity when surrounded in nature.

2011 was a year of travel for me. I have been researching energy vortexes and meditation within nature for my soon to be released book, The Responsive Universe. I have visited some amazing places within the United States in an effort to center myself and connect to the sublime energy found so prevalent in nature.

I was intrigued by the space of the Great Plains and the majestic presence of the Rocky Mountains. The deserts and canyons of Utah showed rugged beauty even amidst desolation. Sedona was enchanting and nothing seems more inviting than the Pacific Ocean which I visited in both California and Hawaii.

There is so much inspiration and energy to be discovered within nature – each scenic vista so different from the last but each unique and memorable.  Even a sunset in your backyard can be inspiring. On the long winding path to self-discovery and enlightenment use nature as a tool to connect to the sublime – to energy and dynamism.

From energy we were born – from nature we evolved – find your connection to the natural environment that surrounds us and connects to something grander than just grand.

John C. Bader


New Responsive Universe Promo Video

It is hard to believe

It seems so long ago


New Years

And now the travel home

Healing trade winds

Unfettered coastline



Canyons abound

Fond memories intertwine

in the vines of my consciousness

As the final clouds float by

My adventure near done

To have visited something so amazing

Its vibrant sunset fleeting

Gone is the moment

Born is the inspiration

Living in the present

Ever so aware

It is the gift of the future

Responsiveness in the air


It is time to head home today. Thank you Kauai for the inspiration and energy. This is a special place!


John C. Bader


It is as if time has ceased here on Kauai. And then it feels as if time really does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure there is a dawn and a sunset – evidence of a new day passing. But much it seems remains the same: The trade winds blow, birds sing and life seems to move on with or without you. We are just shadows cast on another sunny day in the middle of the Pacific.

An old man died yesterday in the local town to the west of us.  I did not know him but he was a local here in Kauai. All his memories and love sealed on the kiss of consciousness that passed the symbolic torch from living to something unknown yet instinctually sublime. Yet, life will go on: The trade winds will continue to blow from the northeast and the sun will continue to rise and set; and that mans imprint left here in the islands will eventually be wiped clean by the sands of time.

Interesting I guess… Somehow, we are all connected to this thing called human existence. Life is a rite of passage; yet it can seem over washed and crude to be simply sponging life forms here on Earth: A boutique of bad habits, fears, instant gratification and desires. Yet, to hear the wind blow through the palm trees, the rustle of foliage and see the sun beaming through the veins of translucent leaves – to breathe in and out and feel alive right here, right now – somehow it is all enough for me.

I feel centered, reverent and despite my aching muscles and bones, I feel alive and aware. Kauai seems to accentuate this quality. Time does pass and it will continue to pass even in my absence. Still, there is a connective quality to this incredible painting of life – its colors awash with the contrasts and complexities of scenery and experience – its rough and ragged edges smoothed over by love and compassion.

As we grow older we tend to lose and gain – whether it is experiences, money, love or simply control. Today I feel connected to unexplainable synchronicities   – In control and targeted even though I do not know the future. I can’t fully explain the experience but I know it is right and that everything is as it should be. Sometimes that is enough. Today it is more than enough.

My time in Kauai is near done. I have enjoyed many meditative experiences and lessons while relaxing in the warmth of the pacific sun. Now, a week into the New Year, I am excited to see what new adventures lay ahead. I have faith that everything will work itself out and new clarity will arise from my future experiences. We all have a lot in common. We have a need for love and a desire to make a difference in life. I wish you the best of luck on your adventure and may 2012 be a great year for all of us.


John C. Bader


Celestial tiptoeing – a Poem

My back pack telescope with camera comes in handy in Kauai

Celestial tiptoeing

Night falls upon the island

The sun sets and the stars rise

Pleiades parades her sisters of light

Jupiter reaches the apex of night

as Venus  loops low to greet the moon and the horizon

The Milky Way paints its rapture across the spine of the celestial heavens

As a myriad of pin point light shower upon my sight

A view to infinity meets my delight

On the this warm and inviting winter night

good night…

John C. Bader


The time had come to make the long-awaited journey up to Koke’e which sits atop the green rain kissed mountains of Kauai. The mountains of Kauai are on record for being the wettest region in the world, seeing more rain in a week as compared to what some places see in years. Knowing this means we needed to carefully plan our travel to the center of the island based on current weather patterns. Seeing a break in the rain, we packed up and headed to Koke’e.

Koke’e is well-known for its spiritual energy.  It sits nestled atop the Waimea Canyon, normally shrouded in clouds, shadowed by towering trees and framed by the awesome painted walls of the 6 million year old canyon that journeys to the sea from the center of the island. It did not take long to realize that there is something special about Koke’e.

Our journey began from Kekaha, the western most village in the USA. From there by vehicle we scaled island plateaus, carnivorous ravines and green spiking peaks. We found this truly amazing mango tree on the side of the road. Its position was like a milestone to mindfulness. A towering tree surrounded by distant views of ocean in all directions – it was as if you just knew you were on the right path to something grand and sublime.

We drove through magnificent koa forests which gave way to norfolk pine and cedar woodlands. Tropical vines and flowers intertwined knarled root structure on the forest floor as moss and ferns dotted the shaded landscape. Down a secluded dirt road and away from touristy lookouts we found a quiet hiking path along a sleeping brook surrounded by only the sounds of birds and my own inner voice. Splintered light rained down like shards of energy – filtering through the branches and trees above.  Once centered, there was this curious feeling that there I sat on the top of the world in the middle of Pacific – with only blue sky and the Universe as my witness.

(please visit Twitter: @JohnCBader where you can see more pictures of Kauai)

John C. Bader




Variable winds are blowing today which is a change from the consistent trade winds that are typically prevalent out here in the middle of the Pacific.

I watch with quiet amusement as my wife battles a fly in the living room area. It was an epic battle as both sides traded sparing moves: The fly, an expert in aerial flight was cunning but it was my wife’s expertise in acrobatic swatting with the “Paco’s Tacos” menu that was truly a sight to see. The battle ended in a tie which is probably the best karmic outcome for a lazy Monday afternoon in Kauai.

Earlier today my son bought a fluffy rooster stuff animal at the outdoor shops near what he described as the “spitting rock thinga-ma-gig” – otherwise known as the “Spouting Horn” on the Poipu side of Kauai. He named his rooster Kahu which is short for “Kahu Moa Nui” which means The Great Guardian. I think nuisance may be a better word for the infamous Kauai rooster, but love it or leave it, the coveted Rooster owns the Garden Isle. I hear one cawing right now outside the cottage.

I am intrigued how here in paradise; a place where the concept of simplicity is born, humans can bring complexity. I see the drama unfold around me on a daily basis as neighbors here in this sleepy Hawaiian village drag all their emotional baggage around (wearing their passion on their sleeves) with children it seems seeing the brunt of the dysfunction. I guess it is the dark underbelly of Hawaiian social immersion. I saw it on Oahu years ago when I used to live on the main island. Still, there is a kind vein that runs through the local people here. I especially saw it on New Years – even people in the store were coming up to each other, hugging and kissing to wish luck and prosperity in for the New Year. It seems we all have flaws; no matter what race or creed – yet the local people of Hawaii exude a beauty and harmony that is as unique as the island chain itself.

As for myself – I create my own problems – though most are aesthetic and sit right on the surface of suffering. Of course, there is my severely sprained shoulder that reminds me that I am not 20 years old anymore. Overdosing on a bowel cleaning elixir has made the last couple days interesting as well – sorry to be so graphic. But arising from the physical maladies comes a refreshing relaxation.  I would love to live this life style but who would support me? I have a home, a dog and a career that waits for me back in Chicagoland. Someday perhaps?

Today, we hike into Koke’e which is located in up-country Kauai – this is considered the spiritual center of Kauai and harnesses unseen energies in its headlands, canyons and trees. I look forward to the hike today and any mindfulness that arises from the experience.

(a special note: due to a poor internet connection, I am unable to post images. I will post an image finale once I return to the mainland as sharing the beauty through images is a necessity). Aloha

John C. Bader



Welcome to Kauai….

I have been immersed in the Kauai lifestyle for over a week now. I ushered in Christmas with a flight across land and sea to find Oahu for a simple holiday dinner; later the channel crossing to Kauai where I just celebrated the New Year. For those of you that have never been to Hawaii for New Years – well, let’s just say they literally blow the island up with fire crackers and other incendiary devices. A smokey, sulfur cloud shrouded the island as the clock struck twelve.

My visit here to the garden island is more unique than previous vacations. This time there is no manicured time shares, no fancy hotels or maid services. No resort living and expensive dinners at five-star restaurants. Most vacations it seems are simply diversions from the sometimes chaotic lives we live. We hide from the challenges and stress of home only to return to the same problems and dysfunctions.  Some of us leave sun burnt and left to pay off the credit card and wonder if the trip was really worth it. For me, I wanted to face all my fears, inhibitions and challenges head on. I brought my baggage of issues and maladies to one of the most beautiful places in the world. A place where I can strip down the layers of influence and conditioning that covers me and grind down my being to basic subsistence strategies.

My wife and son joined me on this adventure. There have been some challenges for all of us. I think my wife is a little tired of the absence of a functional kitchen and bugs that crawl on her and leave bites in the middle of the night. My son has actually done quite well without Xbox and cable TV – though trying to find him food that he likes has been a test – there is a shortage of chicken nuggets on this side of the Island. For me, my focus was to say good-bye to 2011 and meditate my way into 2012. I wanted to clear the slate and center myself in way that would allow me to usher in only positive energy for the New Year. I have a lot to be excited about – my new book, The Responsive Universe will be released this summer and with it an entirely new vision of life and self-evolution.

Here is a snap shot of a typical day for me here in Kauai…

Wake up at 5am to the sound of roosters. I begin meditation and self-healing that leads well into the 6am hour. As night gives way to light, the birds begin to sing which is a sign my meditation is near complete.

A breakfast of juiced fresh fruit and hot black coffee greet my palette.

Then it is laundry hour and the freshly washed clothes are hung on the clothes line to dry in the tropical sun.

Now, it is off to the beach for a day of relaxation and contemplation.  There is something about how the mind operates when there is nothing to do but watch the day mature. Once obscured perspectives can arise from within and clarity can be actualized. I have reached a level of relaxation and awareness I have not felt in a while.

I have been bodyboarding as well – a sport and lifestyle I have enjoyed for decades. Unfortunately, I met my maker on New Year’s Eve: It was a head high wave that sucked out right on the beach sand at Brenneckes– you could have parked a small car in the tube that hollowed out like a translucent cylinder near the shore. As the wave roared and bellowed its final fury, I was flipped upside down like a rag doll and compressed into the bottom of the ocean like grapes smashed on concrete. The result;  a separated shoulder and lots of excruciating pain. The good news is that I did not break any bones.

The evenings are reserved to the epic sunsets that weave vibrant color and celebration as the day comes to an end. Bed calls early after a light, simple dinner and another day in paradise is complete.

(I have to apologize – due to a weak internet signal, I am unable to load images into the blog)

With ants crawling all over my montitor, it is time to publish this blog and shut down – Aloha


John C. Bader



The sounds of Bob Marley permeate the vicinity as the rustle of trade winds bring movement and rustling leaf resonance to the tropical foliage and trees that surround my meditative beach head. The sounds of crashing waves in the distance seem to only add to the reggae music that anchors my mindfulness here in the present. A child’s laughter is heard somewhere behind me  – bottles clanking across the street as locals say “pau” and call it a short work day. An airplane in the distance, buzzing and sputtering home from its adventure; a bird calls to its companion as the day matures and invites dusk in for a short visit.

Being mindful of the present is an amazing gift. It sits on a metaphorical island paradise all by itself. Yet there is nothing desolate or negative about being rooted in the present –  With thoughts connected to what is simply NOW, one can find a surprisingly simple and unfettered gift. To be connected to the present, sans of fear and the past and future and fantasy; to be rooted in the present moment of life and your surroundings… Wow, what a feeling of clarity and reverence as I sit, simply soaking up sounds, sights and the thoughts driven by my mindfulness.



John C. Bader



Interestingly enough, I have settled into uncharacteristic surroundings on this retreat from the ordinary:  An errant washer and dryer discarded on the side of the house that appears as old as the 100 year old plantation cottages that reside here; about 50 feet away, a vintage school bus that has been claimed by the twisted vines and flowers of the jungle. Red dirt and rocks paint the uneven driveway bordered by wood piles, wild chickens and feral cats.  Rusty corrugated roof tops, wild banana bushels and towering mango trees. It is a collage of third world characteristics blended with unadulterated tropical beauty; and guess what, I love it!

My ego says I should be embarrassed by my lodging here on the west side of Kauai. It is a stark difference from the aesthetic home I keep in the northwest suburbs of Chicago or the resorts on the other side of the island. There is still this urge born out of my distant middle school years that says I should care what other people think.  Truthfully, it is a great lesson in life: To force yourself to swallow shallow pride and face your internal insecurities and doubts. This is a valuable message learned: To dig deep down and ground yourself to simplicity and True Nature. To see the beauty even among discarded junk and debris dotting a down trodden local neighborhood.

An old tire with a tropical flower growing out of its inner reaches, a gecko races along the rotted beam of a partially collapsed garage across the way. Blue sky above accented by a rainbow to the east as rain contemplates its journey across the island’s spine. Once grounded and centered, beauty is born from most things tangible. Here on this meditative retreat from the normal, I feel relaxed and aware – spacious and driven – my thoughts of the future, are the paying currency of wellness as I watch 2011 wane and disappear – only to remain as memories of the past.

John C. Bader




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