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Transforming a Hawaii Neighbourhood

Students received words of praise, certificates and a swag bag after completing a 10-week course where they were immersed in the teaching of Love, Peace and Harmony. Diane Fujio, one of Master Sha’s teachers, led the group through the teachings of Love, Peace and Harmony and shared how it could enhance their practical interactions in daily life throughout the course.

Members of the McMillan Family, which included Aunty Blanche, Uncle Willie and their daughter Wayleen, got a front row seat at the commencement ceremony. They were there to cheer the residents of Hui Mahi’ai Aina on as they work to leave their struggles of homelessness, substance abuse and trauma behind.

Students learned the teachings of Master Sha, including chanting, singing Love Peace and Harmony, tracing calligraphies and learning practices that help heal the body during classes held on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Several teachers that were trained by Master Sha regularly visited and guided the students through the practices. By the end of the program, the students attending were assuming the roles of the teacher as they got up in front of the group and led the various teachings.

Smiles and joyful exaltation could be seen on the students faces and in their interactions with one another.  Even baby Hope joined in when the group was singing, providing inspiration to everyone present.

Malia Davidson, a teacher that comes from Maui once a month, reminded everyone that they are the stewards of the land. “You were selected to be a part of this ‘ohana. You’ve chosen to love each other, and by doing so, you’re loving all of the generations,” she said after singing a beautiful Hawaiian chant at the start of the ceremony.

All of the teachers and volunteers that had been with the group during the 10 weeks of classes shared a message of hope and expressed their gratitude for the students.

“You’ve been teachers for us, too,” said Joanne Tachibana. “It’s been a unique opportunity where we learned as you learned.”

Fellow teacher Sophie Ann Aoki shared that her experience of Waimanalo had been redefined.

“The process has been very transformative and each one of you has touched my heart. You’ve been an inspiration to me,” she said.

“Everyone is equally worthy. Nobody is more special,” added Rosemarie Woodruff. She talked about the strength of the students and how they have been tested in ways that most people couldn’t imagine. She reminded the students of their divine presence and their ability to create the life that they desire.

The 18 graduates could stand tall and be proud of their accomplishments as they encouraged each other when it was time to cross the stage and receive their certificate.

One of the students, Kat Souza, said that she was saddened that the classes came to an end. She expressed her gratitude for Diane’s help and to all of the people that have come out to provide love and support.

The group was reminded that new classes would start soon, including a calligraphy class. Each student received calligraphy paper and a brush in their swag bag for an upcoming class. The teachers all said that they would be back soon and offered words of encouragement.

The teachings of Master Sha will continue at Hui Mahi’ai Aina. The practices serve as a reminder to the residents that they are beautiful souls who can accomplish great things.

“You’re not opala; or something that society has thrown away. You’re very valuable,” Diane told the residents. “You’re a divine soul. “