About the Author


What a spectacular day we had on the last Wednesday in April at Paradise Bay, more correctly known as Motukahakaha. A new record for walkers in our group with 26 adults and two infants. Thanks to Don Hammond for these excellent photos. Just another day in paradise in the far north of New Zealand

1 from Don Hammond

2 from Don Hammond

3 from Don  Hammond.jpg

4 from Don  Hammond.jpg

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com 

 In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

I’ve been enjoying the walk between Waitangi and Haruru Falls for twenty years. The same pohutukawa trees have played host to nesting cormorants (shags) for at least that long.

The photos here are from Chris Farrell’s camera on a walk the group did September 7th. Below you’ll see a native gecko and below that a native wood pigeon or kereru (or kukupa). Enjoy.

You’ll find an earlier post on this same track here. Waitangi Track September 2012

Kereru.jpg

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com 

 In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

green-pathIt has been said that where judgment exists there is no room for love.

While living in Golden Bay on New Zealand’s South Island I met a man whose wife had been murdered some years before. He was understandably devastated and fell into a funk. Eventually he met a new partner and she encouraged him to follow the path of forgiveness in order to overcome his depression. He began to make regular visits to the perpetrator of this crime against his late wife, in a nearby prison. I was awed at the enormity of forgiveness required to complete such a task. And it obviously worked because he was a happy and peaceful man.

Buddha quoteIn 1987 Sandy MacGregor’s three teenage daughters were murdered, shot-gunned after opening the door to an acquaintance, 27 year old Richard Maddrell, a student one of the girls had met at university. Maddrell was declared a paranoid schizophrenic and found not guilty of murder on the grounds of insanity.

Four years before the murders, Mr. MacGregor had started learning how to harness the power of the subconscious mind through meditation after his son Andrew used the technique to control asthma attacks and to help his recovery following a motorbike accident.

But in his devastated state after the murders Sandy was unable to practice the meditation technique for some months. When he did begin meditating he received a “thought.”

Foregiveness“It was like a voice saying to me, “If you persist in being hateful, angry and revengeful you’re going to end up like ‘that,’ …[like] another victim.”

So Mr. MacGregor decided to work with acceptance, cooperation, unconditional love and forgiveness. It took time but after about four years he felt he was really over the deaths. More recently he has taken the final step in forgiveness by visiting Mr. Maddrell in prison. He made it clear to Mr. Maddrell that he wasn’t condoning his actions but that he was unconditionally forgiving him for the murder of his daughters.

“That was pretty emotional. I could hardly gasp out their names but at the end of it I felt euphoric, lighter; I felt the monkeys were off my back.”

Sandy MacGregor is a happy man. He works with homicide and suicide support groups in Australia and has written a book titled Creating Happiness Intentionally.

What do these two men have in common? They have learned to utilise the formidable power of unconditional forgiveness and love. In each instance they needed to learn to unconditionally accept the actions of another person. And in these two cases the forgiven actions have been about as horrific as anyone can imagine. Yet these men, ordinary human beings like you and me, took the extraordinary step to release anger, hate and revenge. And they then experienced the state of happiness and health that is inherent within us when negative emotional states are relinquished.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com And In Search of Simplicty is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Godwits at Kowhai Bayin the Far North of New Zealand

Godwits at Kowhai Bay in the Far North of New Zealand

Last Thursday (13 Nov 2014) I had the pleasure of joining Les Feasey, BirdsNZ/OSNZ Regional Representative, at Kowhai Bay for an afternoon observing and counting coastal birds. I’ve always loved birds, but this took me into unfamiliar territory—the world of the birder. I spent a few hours juggling pen, notebook, scope and two digital Nikon cameras with large telephoto lenses. Not a wonder the pen fell from my grasp and hid under my seat.

It was loads of fun and intensely educational. Les was a gentle guide. Still, it required focus and attention when counting. That’s where the cameras helped.

Many of these birds breed in Alaska and migrate to New Zealand when the short Alaskan summer draws to a close. Their epic flight to Aotearoa is difficult to fathom. These birds are not very big.

The Bar-tailed Godwits (kuaka) feature in the ceiling at Te Ahu where I work and this was my first opportunity to see them in the wild. Kowhai Bay (immediately south of Henderson Bay) is one of three remote locations in the Far North where godwits, turnstones and knots can be found. It is obvious these birds only go where man goes not.

New Zealand Dotteral at Kowhai Bay

New Zealand Dotteral at Kowhai Bay

Our results were as follows:

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)  1

South Island Pied Oystercatcher (SIPO) (Haematopus finschi)  1

Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor)  14

New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus)  11     A few with the godwit flock.  A few with the ruddy turnstone flock. A few juveniles.

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)  700

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)  54

Red Knot (Calidris canutus)  137

South Black Backed Gull (Larus dominicanus)  11

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  1

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)  2

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Horse photo near Ngataki by chris Farrell

We recently made a walk to the pine plantations of Nga Taki and had one of our wettest walks ever. It was fun though. There’s a reason to visit this area aside from the subconscious desire to get soaked to the skin. There are familites of wild horses in the area. The photo above was taken on a visit by Tom and Chris to the same place on a fine day recently.

It is actually amazing to contemplate the efforts that have in the course of something like fifty years transformed the extensive runaway sand dunes of the Aupouri Peninsula into the productive farms, avocado orchards and rotational pine forests we see  today.

Men and women plant marram grass at Te Kao on the Aupōuri Peninsula in 1973. This was an early stage in stabilising these active dunes, which were later planted in radiata pine.

Men and women plant marram grass at Te Kao on the Aupōuri Peninsula in 1973. This was an early stage in stabilising these active dunes, which were later planted in radiata pine.

King Avocado orchards on the Aupouri Peninsula

King Avocado orchards on the Aupouri Peninsula

 

The photos coming first below show a visit to the Nga Taki area on a sunny day earlier this year.

Ngataki Walk 003

 

Ngataki Walk 005

 

horse walk 042

 

horse walk 026

 

It may have been sunny for this autumn walk but we did have to wade through a little water as you’ll see in the next photo. Also a lot of fun!

Ngataki Walk 006

And now for the rainy day photos in October:

Lucia and John. Can you recognize us?

Lucia and John. Can you recognize us?

 

Where Chris and Tom saw the horse.

Where Chris and Tom saw the horse.

 

photo 1

 

Smiling before the rain.

Smiling before the rain.

 

photo 11

 

photo 12

 

photo 22

 

photo 23

 

Lunch under a pohutukawa. This is when the rain really began.

Lunch under a pohutukawa. This is when the rain really began.

 

Lucia. Soaking wet.

Lucia. Soaking wet.

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

russell to opua 14 021

I’m happy to report that kindness is alive and well and thriving in New Zealand.

A few months back on a coldish winter Saturday I came out of work only to find the starter just ticking when turning the key. It would seem there wasn’t enough juice in the battery to turn over the engine.

Not belonging to AA I attempted a call to a friendly local mechanic. But being a Saturday he was not by his phone.

I had the bonnet up and was checking connections, at the same time knowing the battery was old and tired and probably on its last legs. A series of cold days and nights had in all likelihood contributed to this state of affairs.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a car rolled up and out poured a bunch of energetic boys and two sturdily built men, all Maori.

“What’s the matter, mate?” asked one of the men.

They listened to my story and within a few minutes had jumper leads out and had boosted the battery.

I thanked them profusely. The men shrugged sheepishly as if what they had done was perfectly normal and all in a day’s work. Which I suppose it was; for them. They then all crammed back in their car and left as quickly as they’d arrived.

Kindness is alive and well and thriving in Kaitaia.

russell to opua 14 004

 

russell to opua 14 017

 

russell to opua 14 013russell to opua 14 027

 

On a recent day off Lucia and I went to the Bay of Islands for a day out. We jumped on a ferry to Russell. It was a magnificent spring day, still and sunny. A bit of an exception to the rain and wind we’d had so much around equinox.

We sat by the beach in old Russell for a picnic lunch and were treated to a show by a large pod of dolphins, just offshore. There was plenty of tail slapping by some of the adults while one youngster shot straight out of the water in a joyous breach. A great start to our visit.

I wanted to show Lucia the track to Okiato and we thoroughly enjoyed the walk. It was an amazing day, remaining cloudless and still. But by the time we’d reached the car ferry to Opua neither of us was keen to walk the rest of the track to Paihia, where we’d left the car. We hadn’t really planned to walk so far and it was already nearly 5pm.

So we stood by the roadside in Opua with our thumbs out and within two minutes had a ride. Our benefactor, Trevor, had been enjoying the day on his yacht and was returning to Paihia to pick up his wife from their shop. He thought nothing of helping. It was all in a day’s work.

Kindness is alive and well and thriving in Aotearoa.

The photos are from our Wednesday walking group’s tramp from Russell to Opua in March, 2014.

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Would you expect your motor vehicle to serve you well if you didn’t service it regularly? Can you expect your body to serve you well if you don’t give it the care and attention it requires?

Spring is upon us here in New Zealand. Traditionally in Europe this would be the time for a cleanse. For those individuals herbally inclined this would be time to reach for stinging nettles (with gloves of course) or dandelions. Here in Aotearoa one can indulge the body with the native tonics of kumarahou and/or kawakawa?

liver-transplant-needed-or-liver-cleanse-3-1024x768Contrary to a recent sensationalized cover of The Listener—‘So, liver detox is just a gland wagon!’—there are ways to cleanse and rejuvenate the body naturally and they don’t have to cost the earth.

I recently completed a simple liver detox, just another of many I’ve undertaken over the years, All that was required was Epsom salt, organic lemons, grapefruits and olive oil together with as much fresh-squeezed apple juice as I had the time and inclination to make.

Why would one cleanse their liver? Well frankly, cleaning the liver bile ducts is possibly the most powerful procedure you can do to improve your health.

It is the job of the liver to make 2-3 pints of bile a day. The liver is full of tubes that deliver the bile to one large tube, the bile duct. The gallbladder is attached to this as a storage space. Eating fat or protein triggers the gallbladder to squeeze itself empty in order to help digestion. The stored bile starts to travel through the bile duct down to the intestines.

For many people, the biliary tubing is choked with gallstones. Most people have hundreds, if not thousands of these stones of various sizes.

As the stones grow, the back-pressure on the liver causes it to make less bile which can cause indigestion, nausea, headaches, joint pain and high cholesterol levels, to name but a few symptoms.

This liver detox takes eight days to complete. The first six days are business as usual. On the seventh day you cannot eat or drink after 2pm aside from the glasses of Epsom salts with water or juice the procedure requires. On the eighth morning and afternoon you don’t want to be far from a toilet. It is then that you see the results of your efforts in the toilet bowl (if you’re eating now you might like to put the newspaper down and come back to this later)!

You’ll have passed many green ‘stones’ ranging from the almost invisible to pea-size. This last cleanse I even found a couple stones resembling almonds. Finally, on the morning of the ninth day the pièce de résistance: one stone the size of my little finger. Yeah! Better out than in! The abdominal cramping I had been experiencing suddenly vanished.

For those unable to use grapefruit due to its incompatibility with prescribed medication, lemon can be substituted. You are advised to consult your physician before attempting a detox such as this.

The instructions for this cleanse can be found on my website at: https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/08/08/how-to-complete-a-liver-gallbladder-flush-safely-at-home/

You may also wish to investigate my post on dissolving arterial plaque using lemon and garlic: https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2013/11/02/garlic-and-lemons-dissolving-plaque/

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/ 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

Next Page »