March 2009

The other day I interviewed members of an immensely talented local band, a sort of reggae/funk ensemble. I asked the drummer what he did when he wasn’t playing music. He gave me a perplexed looked and thought for a moment before replying, “This is what I do…every day.”


Years ago while living at our retreat centre in the valley we were regularly graced with the visits of WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), young people from many nations who exchanged about four hours of work per day for a bed, meals and our knowledge of the land and organics. One such visitor was an enthusiastic young lady from Ireland. She was a remarkably balanced and happy person with a clear vision of what she wanted in life. She spoke one evening over a meal of how her father had positively influenced her and her siblings when she was growing up. He used to tell them that his job was simple. All he had to do was to help them each to find what it was that they really loved and then to encourage them to pursue it wholeheartedly. A wise man and wise words.


Isn’t this the key to happiness? Find out what you love and then do it wholeheartedly. Like the drummer in the band. Simple, isn’t it?

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As an organic gardener, nutrition educator and supporter and campaigner for the Green Party in New Zealand, I’ve often wondered why people just haven’t got it yet. Commercially grown food, high in spray residues, is unhealthy for the consumer and for the environment. Let’s trust that those in power continue to make intelligent choices and that people continue to support their local farmers markets and organic growers. Cuba has shown that an entire nation can be fed organically. Our forefathers were. They knew nothing but organic. How soon we forget.

Here’s something from the NY Times that I find very positive:

Is a Food Revolution Now in Season?

From: The New York Times | March 22, 2009

Advocates of organic and locally grown food have found a receptive ear in the White House, which has vowed to encourage a more nutritious and sustainable food supply. Read more at The New York Times »


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives

Yesterday, beginning at the unusual time of 4.15 am I was interviewed by Mike Meier of the syndicated radio show, Morning X. It was a more civilized time for Mike in Michigan—11.15 am the day before! We spoke for more than half an hour about my journey in search of simplicity. When I mentioned that the simple villagers I spent significant portions of time with in the 1980s—the  Hunzas of Northern Pakistan and the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea—would  be unaffected by the current economic crisis, Mike countered with the comment that the Amish in his area of Michigan were the same. When approached about their feelings about the money situation in the world they would typically respond, “Financial crisis? What financial crisis?” I then corroborated his views with my experiences each time I visit southern Ontario. The Mennonites living there would also be virtually immune to the situation we presently find ourselves in. I love taking a drive through the areas in which they live without cars and electricity. Some bring produce to the farmers markets in their horse drawn buggies. Their fruits and vegetables are always of the finest organic quality.




Why do I write this? Because I think we can all learn from these examples. We don’t need to return strictly to the ways of our pasts, but any of us can grow some food in a little garden. Even apartment dwellers can plant garlic, onions, lentils and buckwheat in pots for living greens to enhance their salads. I learned years ago that I don’t need to grow all of our food, but there is tremendous satisfaction (and very real health benefits) in growing some of one’s food organically. Get planting! For more on this check out what Gaia member Lee O’Hara has to say at


Happy gardening.


Here’s the link to the interview I had on Morning X, Friday, March 20, 2009 beginning at 11.15 am: Please note that Mike and I begin our discussion about five minutes into this recording.

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The following is a summary of some of the most salient points from The Secret. I trust that in reading and processing these age old truths you are brought into alignment with your highest purpose.



The Law of Attraction: Everything that is going on in your life, you are attracting to you with images in your mind.


Like attracts like.


You become what you think about.


Thoughts become reality.


Most people are thinking about and focusing on what they don’t want.


The Law of Attraction is always working whether you believe it or not.


When we are predominantly positive we attract positive people and events.


Those who speak most about illness have it. Those who speak most about prosperity have it.


There is scientific proof that a positive thought is 100% more powerful than a negative thought.


Most of us attract by default – our thoughts and our feelings are on autopilot.


What is a ‘bad’ feeling? That which you are thinking is not in alignment with your highest good. The better you feel, the more in alignment you are with your highest good.


The Universe will begin to correspond to the nature of your song/your feelings.


You want to feel good – think of a happy baby.


Alladin’s lamp always said the same thing: “Your wish is my command.”


The Creative Process:


Step 1 -You must ask for what you want. This is stated in the present tense. Do it daily but don’t make it a chore.


Step 2 -The answer is presented by the Universe – our job is not to know the how; the Universe always knows the best/quickest way.

            -Anyone who ever accomplished anything did not know how they would get there.

            – You attract the way which could take the form of an inspired idea; action will sometimes be required but it’ll be easy.

            – The Universe likes speed. Therefore don’t delay, doubt or hesitate.

            – You can start with nothing and out of nothing, out of no way, a way will be made.


Step 3 – When you are in a state of joy, enthusiasm and/or passion you are in alignment with what you are asking for.


Most people offer the majority of their thoughts in response to what is happening.


Your present situation is a result of the residual thoughts of the past.


Imagination is everything.

It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

Albert Einstein



Whatever the mind can conceive,

Man can achieve.

W. Clement Stone


Many people focus on getting out of debt, thereby attracting more debt to them. INSTEAD, focus on prosperity.


Ask no one to be different.


Gratitude is a powerful process. The practice is not just rote, it’s the feeling that’s important.


A Gratitude Rock – every time you pick it up think of something you are grateful for. There is the story of the South African man whose son was dying of some form of hepatitis.


Cultivate an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’.


Everything you think about and thank about you bring about.


Olympic athletes visualize the end result under the assumption that ‘when you’ve been there in your mind, you’ll go there in your body.’


When you have inspired thought

You have to trust it

And you have to act on it.

                                                              Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame)


Get a notebook and make a list of the positive aspects of the people you spend time with. The Law of Attraction won’t bring them into your life when they are in a negative state. They’ll zig when you zag.


Disease can’t live in an emotionally happy body.

Incurable means ‘curable from within.’


Man becomes what he thinks about.

Morris Goodman ‘The Miracle Man’


If you talk to a theoretical physicist they’ll tell you that the Universe is energy, it always has been; energy moving into form and through form.


All the power is within and is therefore under your control.


Pushing against the unwanted adds power to it. For example:

The war against war.

The war against terror.

The war against drugs.


Mother Teresa wouldn’t go to an anti-war protest. She said, “I’ll attend a peace conference.”


What you resist persists.

Carl Jung


The mainstream media perpetuates negative news. People say, “I have to be informed.” Yes, but do they need to be inundated?


Remove your attention from the things you don’t want and dedicate your attention to what you want.


When you realise that the voice on the inside is more powerful than the voices outside, you’ve mastered your life.


The beautiful thing about the Law of Attraction is that you can begin where you are.


The Universe is abundant.


Your purpose is what you say it will be.

Your life is what you make it.

Neil Donald Walsh (Conversations with God)


Follow your bliss.

Joseph Campbell


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.

In Search of Simplicity is a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.


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I have transcribed below a set of affirmations I have used and enjoyed for many years. I received a copy of them from a friend, but I know not the source of the original words. I am posting these affirmations here because I trust that others will derive as much benefit from them as I have. If anyone knows the original source of these words please let me know. I would like to include them in a book on affirmations I am working on and I would like to get permission to use them in print and to acknowledge the source.


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.



I am a clear and open channel for divine power and love.


I am perfect just as I am.

I now stop judging myself and others for what simply is.


Every individual is on their own particular path of self realization and our experience is a reflection of this.


I am relaxed, confident and efficient.

I am completely safe.


There is nothing to fear.

Therefore, I fear nothing or no one.

I accept and love everyone and everything as it is – and everyone accepts and loves me as I am.


I now stop holding back and stifling my feelings.

I now allow all my feelings to flow freely.


Everything works out exactly as it should for everyone concerned.

Therefore I need not worry about the past, the present or the future.

I trust implicitly the process of life.


The universe never lets me down.

My intuition never fails me.

I am always guided in my thoughts and actions.

Every moment I am fulfilling my destiny.


Life is for me a joyous – loving – exciting – learning – growing – forever journey.

And I am forever (I use ‘eternally’ instead of ‘forever’ here) grateful.

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“Conversation enriches the understanding; but solitude is the school of genius.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882


I walked out this morning before 6.00am, bathed in the startling light of a fat platter of a moon hanging boldly over the bay to the west, a moon that had been absolutely full only a few hours before. I don’t think I recall the moon ever being brighter. It almost hurt one’s eyes to look at it, so intense was its reflection of the sun.


The very first hint of dawn tinged the eastern horizon as I plunged down through overhanging acacias to Mill Bay, so named for the timber mill that saw a few decades of fervent activity before closing its doors almost one hundred years ago. Crickets murmured their haunting angelic melodies from the undergrowth on the roadsides. The lightest drizzle washed my face and head and slightly dampened the shoulders of my jacket.


I turned when I reached the shoreline as is my custom, and began to skip up the hill, delighting in the movement which drew comforting warmth to my fingers and toes on this cool, late summer morning.


The misty rain had stopped by the time I crested the ridge of Rangikapiti Lane. The fat and exultant, haloed moon reflected an extraordinary sum of the sun’s light, freed from the temporary clutches of scattered cloud that had obscured it moments before. A dark band of cloud hung heavily over Mangonui, and light rain began to fall as I turned to walk the ridge. Suddenly a full rainbow, devoid of the usual stripes of multi-colored light in the pre-dawn darkness, stretched low across much of the eastern horizon, the top of its arch just nudging the dark, sodden blanket above.


I had never seen this before, and I was filled with the thrill of discovery. My mind cautioned against such feelings, reminding me that it was only the refraction of light through the water vapour from the brilliant full moon. Ignoring these intellectual ruminations, I felt only that childlike wonder that often arises when one is confronted with the magic and amazing beauty of the natural world.


Do you remember the absolute delight that each new experience gave you in your infancy? Do you continue to live with the bubbling joy that is natural when embracing each moment anew? Or is your response tainted by conditioning you’ve accumulated along life’s journey?


The world is an enchanting glade of infinite newness when one abides in a present untouched by the past.


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives.

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The following words are from a song I wrote quite a number of years ago. A dream dreamt alone remains a dream. A dream shared becomes reality. Share this dream with me.

I Have a Dream


I have a dream where all brothers and all sisters unite.

I have a dream where the future of all nations is bright.


I have a dream where all races: black, red, yellow, brown or white…

I have a dream where all humans never discourage from the sight of


Freedom, freedom, no place left to hide.

Freedom, freedom, runnin’ with the tide of

Freedom, freedom, touches every side of

Freedom, freedom, crosses the divide.


I have a dream where all people treat this earth with dignity.

I have a dream where all ages live as one in community.


I have a dream that through our efforts is a world made whole.

I have a dream that in this healing each and every soul finds


Freedom, freedom, no place left to hide.

Freedom, freedom, runnin’ with the tide of

Freedom, freedom, touches every side of

Freedom, freedom, crosses the divide.

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