I had the recent pleasure of viewing a DVD called, Be Your Light. The subtitle on the cover is, ‘Igniting the light within ourselves ignites the light in others.’

Be Your Light is a New Zealand-made documentary covering such ground-breaking topics as:

  • The power and effect of cellular memory
  • Goal setting and resonance
  • Powerful healing techniques

It was filmed throughout New Zealand at the Our New Eden gatherings of the film’s producer, Mary Dwen, and her husband, Tony. Music is skilfully provided by The O’Connors.

Amongst the many inspiring contributors is Gary Cook. He tells a delightful story of a man, legally blind, who was able to read an article of Gary’s in a magazine as clearly as if he had the perfect vision of a child. The rest of the magazine’s type was a blur to him.

I came away from watching the 45 minute production feeling uplifted and, frankly, proud to be living in a country populated by so many visionaries with their feet on the earth and their heads in the heavens. This is highly recommended viewing for anyone wishing to find ways to contribute to a saner, healthier planet and intent on reconnecting with nature.

To view three short inspiring clips from the DVD visit: http://www.ourneweden.co.nz/webapps/site/79782/155878/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=393708&b_id=&find_groupid=27307

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


Dear Friends, Family and Fans,

Prepare to have your breath taken away! For over two years I have traveled
to many of the world’s most pristine locations—Greenland, Patagonia,
Hawaii, Iceland, Peru, Alaska, The Caribbean, New Zealand, and the Canadian
Rockies—capturing the earth’s beauty in ways that are rarely seen. Inspired by
decades of National Geographic specials, the BBC Planet Earth series and the
majestic beauty of our terrestrial home, Earth Songs gently guides the viewer
on a journey of ageless wisdom, inspiring poetry and stunning footage of
Mother Earth at her finest.

As a first time filmmaker, I was extremely fortunate to have legendary
actor, Michael York (Three Musketeers, Logan’s Run, Cabaret Austin Powers
—Thanks Michael), narrate the documentary for me and equally fortunate to have
Academy Award winning composer Brian Keane arrange the film’s musical score.
Brian also enlisted the help of Ira Spiegel to do sound effects (Brian and
Ira are consider THE “A Team” of Ken and Ric Burns PBS fame) and needless to say, they are now my “A Team” as well. What began as a documentary film
has now become two (2) movies. The first is a 45-minute documentary film,
narrated by renowned actor, Michael York and scored by Brian Keane. The second feature is a relaxing (healing) 55-minute meditation experience through an alchemy of breathtaking scenery set to an enchanting musical score by Grammy Award winning artists including Michael Hoppe, Secret Garden, Brian Keane, Keola Beamer and Craig Armstrong.

Earth Songs was created as a unique relaxation DVD for these troubled times
we are now living. Like Seasons of the Heart, Earth Songs will be made
available to hospitals across the country for in-house cable programming for cancer patients and the chronically ill. And… one dollar from the sale of each DVD will be donated to the American Cancer Society. I am also in the
process of lining up some premier events across the country next year including Omaha, Jacksonville, Columbus, and Boulder (please see my the upcoming events page of my website for more details).
There is also talk about airing Earth Songs on some PBS affiliate…Fingers
crossed on that one!

As so many people who have seen demos and rough cuts have said, “EARTH
SONGS will take your breath away.” You can preview the first chapter for both the documentary and meditation features on YouTube.com links by going to:

• Earth Songs Documentary Introduction

• Earth Songs Meditation (song: Prairie Moon by Michael Hoppe)

• Earth Songs Movie Trailer:

Total Running Time: 105 minutes

Cost: S25.00 (plus S&H) Enclosed is an order form and soon, on my website,
there will be a means to purchase EARTH SONGS through Paypal as well .

Brian Luke Seaward
Producer/Director: EARTH SONGS: Mountains, Water and the Healing Power of Nature

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.


Aren't Possums Beautiful?

Aren't Possums Beautiful?


All life is precious

A quilted tapestry

Each is important

In Nature’s mystery.


The above words are one verse in a song I wrote about 8 years ago, a song called Smile if You Want To. I was reminded of them when bringing in wood to start the fire on a cold morning two days ago. The kindling was comprised of branches I’d pruned by hand from bushes on the edge of the property a couple of years earlier; bone dry wood that was stacked neatly under the deck. The lowest branches lay directly on the ground.


As I crouched feeding wood into the fireplace I noticed a number of creatures making their way independently across the floor away from the fire. They had obviously been hitchhikers on the wood I’d brought in. They were smart to get away before getting tossed inadvertently into the fire.


What were they? A red worm, a cockroach and a spider. The worm was easy to catch by hand, as was the spider. I took them outside and bade them farewell. The cockroach was a little more difficult to catch. They’re fast. But persistence paid off and he was soon with his cousins on the lawn.


In this country people intentionally try to run over possums with their cars at night because these imported mammals from Australia have decimated some New Zealand forests. The possums were originally brought here in the 1800s for the fur trade. They have thrived and proliferated with no known predators (save man). But I believe what we resist persists. Kill one possum and another will breed to more than make up for it. All life is precious and is part of a complex balance and evolution that will work if we work with it. The possum, the worm, the cockroach and the spider have roles to play and I want no part in the destruction of any of them. When you love Nature she loves you and you are rewarded abundantly. When you fight her she fights back.


Here’s the chorus from Smile if You Want To:

Smile if you want to.

Laugh if you can.

Join in the circle

That touches every land.


Keep smiling,


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Cape Gooseberries, Feijoas, Bananas and More from the Garden April 2009

Cape Gooseberries, Feijoas, Bananas and More from the Garden April 2009



To reach our beach we need only walk along a footpath between two neighbouring houses. These neighbours have turned this public esplanade into a garden of beauty.


At the end of many early morning walks I return to the garden with handfuls of seaweed, mostly kelp that has washed in with a north easterly swell; a gift from the sea. After a storm I may fill several 30 litre bags with seaweed. This then sits covered in the compost area until I have a place to dig it into the garden.


When we first arrived here more than three years ago, the clay soil was heavy when wet, and it dried out and cracked quickly in the hot summer sun. Now, after four years of added seaweed, compost, grass clippings and mulched leaves and twigs, the soil is loose, friable and holds water well without getting sticky.


I allow many of my favourite greens to go to seed – summer and winter lettuces, kale, orach, fat hen, chickweed, amaranth, bok choy, etc. Much of the garden is a year round self sown mesclun mix. Lucia and I eat salad every day of the year from this wild, rich, tender and tasty mix of greens. In addition there are often surprise self sown plants popping up in the garden – tomatoes, passionfruit, alpine strawberries, pineapple guavas….The list goes on and on.


You give nutrients and love to the soil and plants, and they give so much back. One feels incredibly grateful for the freely given abundance of nature.


The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.


                                                                            Dorothy Gurney 1858 – 1952


John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.



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White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau



Late yesterday afternoon I received a call from my sister in Canada saying my mother was dying. I had just returned from a swim with Asha and I was planting seeds in trays on the front deck. Symbolic somehow.


My mother only entered the hospital one and a half weeks ago complaining of some abdominal pain near where she’s had an operation for a hernia in the top of her stomach in December. She’d been healthy until then. The only pills she was taking when I visited her last September were calcium tablets for osteoporosis. She is 77.


At 2.00am I called the hospital. It was 8.00am there and my sister was able to hold the telephone receiver by my mother’s oxygen-mask-covered face. Her voice was weak but she was lucid. We were each able to say the three most important words I know, “I love you.” When I called at 6.00am she was sleeping, but I was able to speak with my sister, who had spent the night by my mother’s side. I indicated that I would not, at this point, attempt to get flights for the 27 hour journey from New Zealand to Ontario. It’s a tough call, but I have been connecting consciously with my mother each night for the last two weeks. Part of me has known something was up.


And now I sit here at 9.30am. The sun is shining, burning off the last of the morning mist. I’ve been for my walk to the Pa (the lookout) and along the beach. I’ve rescued a crab which was stranded on low tide, returning it to the wet sand at water’s edge where it quickly burrowed in. A White-faced Heron had stalked the shallows of the estuary, in search of breakfast. kingfisher-in-flightA kingfisher dive-bombed a passing dog. I returned to the garden to stake some tomatoes and Jerusalem artichokes toppled by a recent storm. I am happy. Nature is my balm. I feel and know I am connected with all beings. I see my mother’s imminent passing as part of the continuum of life, as an essential part of the vast tapestry of existence. And I am grateful for the technology that allows me to remain connected by voice with ones I love who are physically so far away.


Excuse me. I’ve got go and use that technology, the telephone, so that I can once again utter that essential three word phrase, “I love you.”

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