Vacation: True R&R comes from nature, local traditions, meditation, love—not cable TV, minibar & other entertainment.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jul 21, 2012
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First Vacation Ever:



A different kind of vacation: one that doesn’t tire us out, but rejuvenates us from the outside, in, waking us up.

Vacation isn’t about TV and busy entertainment within a sterile walled-off hotel: it’s about community, adventure, learning about local culture, reconnecting back to oneself. ~ ed.


Going on my first vacation. As a Buddhist, less is more: true R&R comes from nature, local traditions, meditation, love.

What, what? Speedy, busy, tireless, tired Mister elephant is taking a working vacation to Hawaii.

I’ve never been over an ocean. Other than Halifax (where my ma lives), and Montreal, and Quebec City, and a half mile over into Nogales (where I ate too much, smoked a Cuban cigar, drank a Mexican Coke) I’ve never been out of the US. I’ve just worked and worked and worked: I’ve never been particularly motivated to take time off—I love what I do and believe in enjoying simple service—and I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with the privilege involved in taking care of myself (it took me, say, 30 years before I got my first massage).

I’m going with my longtime friend Melanie Freeman, of huge wonderful Black Swan Yoga, and she and I will share up some videos of our stay, as well as a review.


elephant goes to Lumeria Maui.

We’ll report back with a review, and videos.

For my first vacation ever I wanted a few things:

1) nothing. I don’t need bells and whistles. I don’t want or need TVs or entertainment.

2) I do want luxury—I want to be able to relax, and renew. But I mainly want nature, simplicity, daily yoga, organic local food, and water. And love. I basically need to sleep, rest, recover, and, hopefully, cry. I haven’t cried in, like, nearly two years. Don’t make fun of me.

Videos of this new, yet historic, connected-to-the-place-people-spirit of Hawaii, luxurious yet simple eco yoga resort (where elephant may hold future yoga retreats):

Opening Ceremony featuring the founder, Xorin:

A tour with Xorin:

A different kind of vacation: community, organic local garden, meditation, yoga, healing, Hawaiian culture. Reconnecting back to oneself. Recalibrate. Well-done video:

Another tour:


I chose Lumeria, instead of various other retreats, because of my longtime friendship with Craig King, one of elephant magazine’s first columnists. Craig now lives and chefs at Lumeria. After months of calls and texts and patient emails (he must have known I was finally able and interested) we just bought out tickets today.


More on Craig:

Dining Philosophy


Here at Lumeria Maui, we believe that healing the human body and soul begins with our connection to the earth and the love that is present while growing and preparing food. These crucial elements promote transformation for each other and the world. Our nutritional alchemist, Chef Ben Diamond, has designed our menu with the freshest and finest quality seasonal ingredients—all harvested from the bounty of our organic gardens and other local farms.

Harvest, our farm-to-table dining café, provides a rich journey of awakening the senses of taste and smell and providing nutritional, emotional and physical wellness. Each of the meals presented are visually artful and provide a balanced blend of natural nutrient-rich foods.

Additionally, our master cleanse chef, Craig King, offers the Lumeria Glow Cleanse for those on a cleansing journey. We understand the importance of periodically detoxifying the body and have designed this program to sustain you as you cleanse.
More Information on the Lumeria Glow Cleanse

Included in your stay is complimentary Lumeria coffee and tea service, fresh juice, organic fruit, yogurt and granola, available from 7 to 9 a.m. in the café.

Retreats and property buy-outs please call for a full menu of dining services.

Bonus: I love history, you may too:

Property History


Designed by Honolulu-based architect, H.R. Kerr, our property holds its own unique heritage: The once Fred C. Baldwin Memorial Home was built in 1909 by the Baldwin sugar cane family. They used it to house aging plantation laborers who had dedicated much of their lives to work the cane fields. Since the early 1900s, the property and buildings were used for a range of purposes: At the beginning of World War II, it was commissioned by the military for housing. By the 1950s and 1960s the site was repurposed again as additional dormitory housing for the nearby Mauna Olu Women’s College, and most recently, it was used as a dormitory for Maui Land and Pineapple workers.

Inspired by the history and the rare courtyard design, Xorin Balbes fell instantly in love with the authentic feeling of the property, its location on the island and the remarkable buildings it possessed. Today, the property is listed in The National Registry of Historic Places and is one of the largest historic renovations on the island of Maui. By honoring the past while implementing innovative designs, Lumeria Maui has been born.

The Maui and Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm, Templehome ( orchestrated the entire restoration, interior design and landscape design.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


11 Responses to “Vacation: True R&R comes from nature, local traditions, meditation, love—not cable TV, minibar & other entertainment.”

  1. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Culture, Family, Food, Green, Health & Wellness, Love, I'm Not Spiritual, Work & Yoga.

  2. Robert_Piper says:

    I'd sit in the middle of that meditaiton spot all day and pay the guy extra to bring me breakfast, lunch, and dinner every few hours.

  3. Dave says:

    An esoteric history, FYI:

    “Lemuria was supposed to be the first large civilization of man, according to Kryon and other spiritual historians. It lasted for many thousands of years, mainly due to their isolation. Lemuria was located around, and on, the largest mountain on Earth – the largest not in altitude, but as measured from the bottom to the top. That’s Hawaii. It’s one mountain, currently situated on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, which has various peaks protruding from the water and are known as the Hawaiian Islands.”

    “Lemuria was created in Hawaii to become the oldest, most long-lived, and most harmonious single civilization on the planet (100,000 yrs ago to about 15,000 yrs ago)… when the waters started to rise (when the ice started melting) many of the Lemurians of Hawaii became seafaring and followed the currents directly to (you guessed it) New Zealand… Although Australia and the Aborigines were far closer, the currents didn’t support an easy access to New Zealand, so the Hawaiian Lemurians were the ones who became the indigenous of that South Pacific nation, and became the Maori of New Zealand.”

  4. Marcia says:

    Come to Wednesday 9:30 AM yoga class at Lumeria!!! One of the best teachers/ classes on Maui!

  5. […] wanted to be sure I paid attention to my mother, and lectured me a bit about taking a vacation (the first of my life) when I could be helping my mother in person. I reminded him that he didn’t need to remind me […]

  6. […] she’s helping me feel like I can board a flight for what is (seriously, embarassingly) my first vacation of my life. I’ve never been over an ocean. Never been by one, unless you count Boston, NYC, LA, NJ, […]

  7. Stella Lopez says:

    Wow. Thanks Dave, that's a bit of information that is kind of stunning. 100,000 years ago? I mean, that is way beyond the BC's that I can even imagine. Did mankind exist then?

  8. Edward says:

    Just what I need to getaway from work related stress. I'm going on leave this fall and that place is the perfect sense for me. find out more about New Zealand.

  9. Ferdinand says:

    You got that right. True R and R means getting away from it all. For me, that usually means long hawaii cruises.