My Favorite Shade of Green

John Haines was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He now lives with his family in New Zealand’s lightly populated and stunning subtropical Far North. His simple life includes the growing of an abundance of organic vegetables and fruit and assisting his wife in the homeschooling of their two daughters. He broadcasts a popular weekly one hour radio interview program that is simultaneously carried on local cable television. He’s lived in The Netherlands (twice), Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Mexico and Arizona, together with his first 25 years in Ontario, Canada. He met his beautiful Dutch wife Lucia in India during an 11 month period in the Himalayas. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and MBA degrees, and is a qualified teacher of the Power of Sound and Touch for Health. 

John Haines is an entertaining and inspiring speaker. He facilitates workshops or what he calls playshops in voice, communication, nutrition and motivation. To arrange for speaking and/or playshop opportunities in your area contact John by email at Playshops can be created to suit the needs of your group.


The almost unbelievable chain of coincidences described in In Search of Simplicity led John around the world to Santa Fe, New Mexico. His profound experiences and experiments with Truth, simplicity, self-sufficiency and the Spirit of Nature in New Mexico, Arizona and beyond are the subject of the upcoming sequel to In Search of Simplicity. That book is complete now. See

 For more on the simple, natural life John leads, look to the nested pages on the right such as Welcome to My World. 


To see more about John’s work view:




Kia ora,

I like the idea that we are all multicultural. I have felt for a long time that I am multicultural and multidimensional. I am a man, a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. I am a gardener, a walker, a swimmer and a talker. I am a songwriter, a singer, a teacher and a learner. I am an artist and a friend. I am a peace worker.

I have lived and worked with the Bedouin in Saudi Arabia and I have experienced their incredible hospitality and resilience. I have lived with the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea and I have observed the flow and dance and the social interdependence associated with the kula ring first described in detail by Bronislaw Malinowski. His marvellously vivid accounts of the way of life of the Trobriand Islanders have become classics in anthropology, none more so than his book Argonauts of the Western Pacific.  

I have spent months with Hunza people in what is today northern Pakistan. They have taught me much about living simply and in harmony with nature. In the Hunza I have looked into the eyes of the Aga Khan, the worldwide spiritual leader of the Ishmailis, and I have recognized a brother and a man of peace. I met Lucia (my best friend and my life partner), the Dalai Lama, and several life-long friends in Dharmsala in northern India. There too, I was assisted back to health from a serious illness by the amazing Tibetan doctor, Yeshi Dhonden.

I have lived in Sydney and hitchhiked across the Nullarbor Desert. I have spent a week ensconced in an underground home in Coober Pedy and I have observed and read about the plight of the Aboriginal people, often estranged in their own homeland.

I have lived in the American South West with my family where I was touched by the simplicity and depth of Native American culture.

I have watched with admiration and respect as the Māori people have struggled to restore justice to a legal agreement between a colonial power and an indigenous culture.And I have lived with my family on two occasions in the Netherlands, where I have experienced what one particular old world culture and language is like.

I was born and raised in Canada by parents of English and Welsh descent and I am Canadian. I live in New Zealand and I am a New Zealander. I am a citizen of the world. Every person I have met and every place I have touched has helped to shape the person I am today. Every person and every place is part of me. I feel their sorrow and their pain and I am one with their happiness and joy.

More than once I have journeyed beyond the shadows of death and I have returned—with a mission.

I have visited the place where all of creation began. A place that is infinitesimally small and infinitely powerful and loving. A place where there is no separation; where there is no you and me; where identity does not exist; where there is only Oneness and unity; a place some people would call God. And I have returned from there emboldened and strengthened and touched with grace.

I have watched with helplessness as some members of humanity have enacted seeming injustices upon me and others and I have wallowed in despair. And I have climbed back from the depths of my own sorrow when I have again realised that the mark of my ignorance is the depth of my belief in injustice and tragedy. As Richard Bach once wrote in Illusions, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.”

I have drunk from the cups of poverty and wealth and I see little distinction between them.

I seek solace from the Masters. They too are part of me. Their words remind me that I can be true to no one else if I am not true to myself. As Shakespeare has said “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Or, as Oriah Mountain Dreamer has poetically stated in her famous declaration The Invitation, “I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.”

As a boy I sang in the church choir. As a man I sing with people of all beliefs.

When I listen deeply to the Heart of the Earth which is within me (and you) I hear a cry and a deep longing for peace. There are not six billion souls on this planet at this time for nothing. I am convinced that all of humanity shares a similar vision – a vision of peace. Our collective dream(s) and voice(s), applied cohesively, have an immense, unstoppable power. For years I have been consumed by a vision of the whole world singing together – a choir of angels clothed in human bodies, creating through song a world of peace:

United We Sing

And our voices are heard in the decision halls of the world,

And the intention of our song is felt,

As we the little people of the world see, finally, we do make a difference.


The physical violence stops and weapons are no longer made

As our governments follow Costa Rica’s example

And no longer create armies of destruction.

Defence departments are replaced with peace departments.

And their efforts turn to worthy causes so that all of the world’s people have enough to eat and have clean, comfortable shelter, and a safe place to live.


And we begin the reconstruction of our natural world

That has been so sadly abused and neglected.

We now have armies of children of all ages planting trees

And the deserts bloom.


As our voices resound around the world our hearts give a collective sigh of relief

And peace descends upon us.


And our children’s children will speak of this time with wonder:

The time when the killing stopped;

The time when the meek inherited the Earth

United in song.

Peace in ourselves, in our families, in our schools and communities, in our countries and in the world is not just a dream, it is inevitable. The timing depends on us. John Lennon’s words resonate within me. Will you let them resonate within you?

You say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one.






Trust Power Awards Gladys Farrant and Me for the Kaitaia Scottish Country Dance Club


Same as Above: Our club won a runner-up prize in the September 2010 Awards








3 Responses to “About Author”

  1. dan rapson Says:

    Hi John, I am from Bad Axe Michigan, USA. I have a good friend who lives on Weikie or some such small island just across from Auckland, NZ. She has pictures and such at the Red Shed gallery for artists. Small touristy island. She is Bahia and about ‘ahem’ on the upside of 50. A lovely gal named Polly. If you know of her or live by there please look her up, she is of your sort! And please tell her dan from the OD community said ‘hi’ and be well and have fun! I wish you well on your peaceful trip and if there is anything I can do to assist please let me know. I am and have been always along for the ride(on my bike!) Be well your self and hugs around!!!….dan

    1. johnhaines Says:

      Hello Dan,
      Thanks for your kind words. The island you mention is probably Waiheke Island. We have a friend living there. It’s a beautiful place. We live about five hours north of there. You can’t get much further north in New Zealand than this-unless you’re an excellent swimmer!

      I appreciate your being along for the ride (on your bike). The two times we’ve lived in the Netherlands, bikes have played big parts in our lives. Here we walk a lot as it is not set up well for bicycles.

      You said you might like to help. I am always looking for opportunities to speak about simple living on the radio (which I can do easily from here over the phone). Do you have any suggestions for that in your part of Michigan?

      All the best on your journey, Dan.


  2. Steven Says:

    Love your work John 🙂 Please feel free to come share often on

    ~ United as One with Love Vibrations ~

    One of my favorite quotes: “I am neither an eastern man nor a western man. I don’t belong to any country, to any nation, to any religion. Because if you belong to any country, you cannot belong to all. And if you belong to any religion, all religions cannot be yours. I don’t belong to any. I have no roots in any country, in any religion, in any partial humanity” ~ OSHO

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