If you are a healing artist who loves providing transformational experiences for your students and clients, you have probably at least considered offering a retreat. Retreats provide opportunities to dive deep into a subject within a gorgeous natural setting, and can be invaluable times of renewal and healing for both students and teachers.
But actually organizing a retreat is a multi-faceted project, requiring patience, clarity, and support. It is not enough to just have an idea about what you want to present, you need a prefect place to house the retreat for it to truly be a success. One of the most popular places to host healing and spiritual retreats is Hawai’i.
Hawai’i is truly a paradise, considered one of the most gorgeous and soothing places on the planet by visitors year after year. Experiencing a retreat there can be the highlight of a year or mark a turning point in your clients’ lives, especially when combined with a potent transformative practice like yoga or meditation. But organizing a retreat in Hawai’i is a special art, and there are some things to keep in mind that are particular to this tropical archipelago.
In retreats, just like real estate, location is everything. In Hawai’i location is even more specific and important that you might realize considering it is a temperate island. And your location needs may be different in winter than in summer – yes, Hawai’i does have seasons.
Each island has a serious of microclimates, that range from wet rainforest to dry desert. Rainfall levels and vegetation are vastly different in the different zones. Some areas are better for swimming at the beach, and others for hiking, going to waterfalls, or looking at the island from above.
As you organize your retreat, you will need to consider your planned activities, the time of year, and the anticipated rainfall in that area at that time. While even the rainiest of days can be quite gorgeous on the islands, it could be disappointing to book a retreat center in a particularly rainy part of the island during winter if you want to be surfing and sunbathing. It is worth enlisting the support of a local guide, or working with a comprehensive retreat center, to ensure that your intentions for the retreat can be supported by the place you choose.
This is another point to explore so you avoid unwelcome surprises. Always confirm with the retreat center or landowner what is included in the price of rental and what you will need to source elsewhere, and what is simply unavailable. Hawai’i is technically part of the U.S. and therefore has most modern conveniences, but it is also an isolated island chain.
You Will Pay for Quality
This is true everywhere, but especially on islands where most things are imported and the cost of living is quite high. On average, expect to pay twice as much for food and services as you would on the U.S. mainland – and factor those high costs into what you charge your clients for the retreat.
Organizing a retreat for your treasured clients is not a time to be cutting corners. People expect to pay more to attend an event in Hawai’i, so trust that it will be worth the extra expense to share your offering in such a beautiful place.
Supporting the Locals
It is important to be of benefit to the people that are hosting your work. In the last few hundred years the Hawaiian people have watched their resources decimated by farming and the tourism industry. Most food and services are imported, and most of the large hotels, spas, and other such businesses are owned by large multinational corporations with no vested interest in caring for the local people. Whenever you can support a local business and give your money to Hawai’i, do so. Working with a retreat center owned by people who actually live on Hawai’i is a great way to get top notch service and insider knowledge about the area while also supporting a local family.
Caring for the ‘Aina
Traditionally, Hawaiians practiced a form of embodied respect that they call aloha ‘aina, which means “love of the land.” This love and respect is shown by tending to the land with care, leaving places better than they were found, only taking what is needed and not being greedy, sharing the land’s abundance with family and strangers, and preserving the land for future generations.
If you are taking a group to receive the blessings of the land of Hawai’i, it is important to show respect and gratitude to the land in return. You can do this through being careful to never litter, to recycle and make as little trash as possible, opting instead for reusables and low-waste items; to support businesses and establishments that are practicing good land stewardship; to eat locally grown produce; and to honor the local customs about giving offerings to the land and avoiding off-limits areas.
Offering a retreat in Hawai’i could end up being one of the most profound experiences of your life, and could bring great joy and beauty to your clients’ lives. And your retreat planning and execution will be that much smoother and more enjoyable if you keep these points in mind.
This article is sponsored by the Kirpal Meditation and Ecological Center. For more info about renting this venue for your upcoming retreats, please call 360-907-5845 or 808-333-9827, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.