Sonoran Desert Near Tucson

My parents spent many happy retirement years as snowbirds. Roughly six months of each year were played out in their home in Southern Ontario. Each autumn they’d hitch up their fifth wheel and head by a different route to their winter home outside Tucson, Arizona. They loved the lifestyle, joining and eventually leading a hiking group in Southern Arizona. You can imagine my reasons for joining a hiking group here in New Zealand.

Some months back I was contacted by a man, Ed Helvey, who decided to chuck his full-time professional life for a simplified nomadic lifestyle. Ed’s experiences and advice can be found at: http://livingandworkingfree.blogspot.com/

I encourage you to draw inspiration from Ed. There is nothing stopping any of us from living our dreams except the fear of letting go, letting be and going for it.

Happy hiking!

John

He’s been called an Indiana Jones of the spirit. In his first book, In Search of Simplicity, released in the Far North in 2009, local author John Haines chronicled his exciting, serendipitous journey around the world in search of the meaning of life. Inspired especially by the simple living villagers of the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea and by the Hunzas in their Shangri La-like mountain stronghold at the top of the world in Northern Pakistan, Canadian-born John Haines followed a series of inexplicable messages to begin to live the ‘Good Life’ in the high deserts of Northern New Mexico, to a place he’d never been before. What he didn’t know at the time was that New Mexico was only one of many stops along a circuitous path that eventually brought him and his family to a somewhat more settled existence in the Far North.

Unlike his first book, which could be called a spiritual travel adventure story, John Haines’ eagerly anticipated sequel is more of a spiritual gardening adventure than a travel saga. Beyond the Search chronicles the author’s profound experiences and experiments with Truth, simplicity, self-sufficiency and the Spirit of Nature in New Mexico, Arizona, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands. Although it is the sequel to In Search of Simplicity it is a complete volume in its own right.

Beyond the Search describes in an enjoyable, easy-to-read style John and his growing family’s sometimes faltering attempts to live the dream; to live simply, nobly and in harmony with nature and each other; to live an unfettered life, unplugged from the grid and disconnected from all forms of media, while remaining connected to the messages coming from nature and within.

It is a story of challenges and adventures—from rattlesnakes and a devastating hailstorm to an international gold mining company intent on developing an open pit mine literally on the other side of the fence—proving in this instance that an escape from the rat race is not always easy.

Beyond the Search is a triumph of the spirit. It is an inspiration to anyone wishing to live a little more simply, a little healthier and more connected with nature and each other. As one New Zealand reviewer recently wrote, ‘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) Like all life stories this one is not all a bed of roses. Haines shares with us how he overcame a battle with depression and the near loss of his marriage through perseverance and the will to make things work: naturally, of course!

In Beyond the Search Haines challenges some of today’s popular assumptions, suggesting we’re not merely victims of the weather, but co-conspirators in its creation. And if you’re having trouble with possums, read this book. I say no more.

John Haines lives today with his family in Coopers Beach. When he’s not writing he can be found on Doubtless Bay Family Radio or assisting patrons at the Kaitaia Public Library. His books are available in your local bookshop or by contacting the author directly at (09) 4060149. John is an inspiring speaker and is available for talks in the area. For more on John and his books visit www.insearchofsimplicity.com or www.johnhainesbooks.com.

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

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I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my world. It may be a little different from the norm. But it is the life of my conscious choosing. It works for me and allows me to find fulfilment through service and simplicity of living.

At the age of twenty-five I had a highly stressful and challenging management position in customer services with Bell Canada. Each of the three men who’d had the job before me ended up in the hospital with a stress-related illness. During my annual physical with our company doctor it was found I had high blood pressure. Remember, I was only twenty-five. A few months later I headed off to the Middle East as an advisor with the international arm of my company. I began to travel. My perspective changed and I haven’t worked nine-to-five since.

I do what I love. So does my wife, Lucia. We don’t own much and nothing owns us. We have the freedom to listen to the spirit that calls in the night and whispers sweet melodies at dawn. We love our life, our family and each other. We love this place we live in and the community of friends with which we share our lives. We’ve needed to sacrifice a few material possessions and the financial buffer we’d had earlier in which to pursue our dreams. We wouldn’t have done it any differently. We are so lucky!

The following is a synopsis of last week’s experiences for me.

March 7 to 13, 2010

Sunday was a wonderful day out for Lucia and me doing walks in the beautiful world-renowned Bay of Islands which is just a little over a one hour drive from here. A link to a post describing that day is here.

Monday was a day of writing and included a visit by a talented and sensitive young man who had been unjustifiably threatened with dismissal at his place of work. The rest of the week entailed drafting a letter of support for him to his employer and numerous calls by Lucia and me to sort this mess out. For two hours in the afternoon I joined a small group of people practicing old-time songs to sing at a fundraising dinner for Far North Hospice coming up on Saturday night. Lucia and I closed out the day with a beautiful walk on the beach together and were treated to an amazing sunset.

Tuesday began with Lucia’s weekly yoga class attended by a group of local ladies, a visiting man from the UK and me. After spending an hour-and-a-half giving a Touch for Health balance to a client/friend, it was time to address the computer. For the next few hours I was engrossed in formatting my new book. It’s quite a satisfying and exciting exercise to see the words begin to look like a book with page numbers, chapter headings and the like. One can see the conclusion to the months and months of creative writing taking a concrete form. I also continued to tweak the new book cover I’d started the week before. In the afternoon I spoke on the phone with a friend in Arizona whom I’ve interviewed in the past. He’s a deeply sensitive and creative individual and it was this conversation, together with the one with the young man the day before that inspired me to write the article entitled How to be Sensitive, Vulnerable, Creative and Safe in an Unfeeling World.

The day finished with a journey with friends into Kaitaia for our weekly session of Scottish Country Dancing.

 

Bottle Nose Dolphins in New Zealand's Far North

 

Wednesday’s highlight came at two o’clock when Lucia rushed in from her walk on the beach to get me. An excited group of primary age children staying at the Christian Youth Camp here had the privilege and pleasure of playing with a large school of dolphins right by the shore here at Coopers Beach. I quickly got into a bathing suit and jumped in with them. What a buzz! There was a pod of approximately 15 adult dolphins rounding up kowai, a local fish. The dolphins took turns out from their feeding work to entertain the kids (of all ages). We don’t often have the dolphins so close to shore so this was a special treat. For these city children the experience will never be forgotten.

Wednesday evening saw me on the radio for a fascinating interview about mental health and healing in the modern world. For more on that see the blog and interview here.

Thursday afternoon I was invited to attend a class for homeschoolers with an Italian operatic singing ORFF teacher. ‘What, dare say, is that?’ you ask.

Carl Orff (1895-1982) was a German composer and educator who developed a unique approach to music education. Orff defined the ideal music for children as “never alone, but connected with movement, dance, and speech—not to be listened to, meaningful only in active participation.” Orff said, “Experience first, then intellectualize.” Based on this ideal, the Orff approach builds understanding of concepts and skills through connecting students with the music by experiencing it on all levels. These levels include speech/chants, movement, singing, drama, and by playing pitched and unpitched instruments.

The above paragraph was copied from http://www.classicsforkids.com/teachers/training/orff101.asp There is a wealth of further information on that website.

I will see about having the teacher, Lilia, on the radio soon. I’ll let you know if this comes to pass. Below is a clip to give you an idea how Orff works. I have to say it was a lot of fun. It was like Brain Gym to music. The children did better than me!

Thursday evening I walked along the beach and turned inland to a friend’s place for a couple of hours of chanting, followed by meditation. One friend, a talented semi-blind musician originally from Switzerland, recently returned from an extended stay in India. He shared some new chants with us, accompanying them on his harmonium. The friend, Shelley, who hosts these evenings each week, is a skilled and talented homeopath who is currently studying two books outlining new remedies (nosodes) for diseases carried in meat. A nosode is a remedy consisting of the product of some specific disease administered in minute doses for the cure of the same disease. I’ll have Shelley back on the radio in June to bring everyone up to date on these new challenges to people’s health. Here’s a link to a previous interview with her.

Friday began with my usual walk on the beach but it began a little later than usual because I’d been particularly productive writing first thing. I met a man, a retired local farmer, on the beach and leapt immediately into a far-ranging discussion. I realise it is this kind of chance meeting that give richness to my life. For me, freedom is having the time to honor the synchronistic encounters that occur regularly if we have the eyes to see them. Simplicity of living is by no means dull. It is exciting in the nicest sort of way. There is a feeling of joyful expectancy that doesn’t go away.

Bronze Whaler Shark

When heading out for my afternoon swim, a man warned me that there was a huge shark that had been hanging out by a buoy around which I swam most days. He said it was twice his size and said he wouldn’t swim because of it. I asked if was a Bronze Whaler and he replied in the affirmative. These sharks come into our bay each summer. I know of no one who’s ever been hurt by one. I went in for my swim but I must say I did stay a little ways from the buoy. It was a wonderful, refreshing swim. I saw no shark.

Saturday, I walked into Mangonui, our picturesque little fishing village to go to the weekly market and to pick up some bread from the local bakery for our daughter, Asha. On the way home I stopped at a roadside stall to buy some lettuce and cucumbers. The owner/gardener picked the produce while I followed them around. How’s that for service? They even gave me some seedling lettuces and bok choy for our garden. We had visitor in the afternoon, and then Lucia and I attended the forty-fifth wedding anniversary of some lovely friends who’ve recently moved here from the U.K.

I had to leave a little early in order to be on time for the fundraising for Hospice at the local lawn bowling club situated just around the corner. The singing went well. The place was sold out and over $2000.00 was raised for Far North Hospice. It was a successful evening, even for the diehard cricket fans watching the television screen in the corner. The Kiwis won a test from arch rival Australia. By the time I walked home along the beach under a starry sky at eleven o’clock I was more than ready for bed.

I was up early writing most days. And, of course, each day began with yoga and meditation and a walk and was highlighted in the afternoon with a swim. For more on my daily routine check out this post.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my discourse as much as I’ve enjoyed the actual happenings. I’d love to hear your comments.

John

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

suset-walk-full-sizeRelease all meaningless activities. Do you need to read the newspaper and listen to or watch the news every day? Do the things you read, listen to or watch help you create a positive attitude and the realization that through your own efforts and positive thinking anything is possible? So often the negativity of the news drains our optimism and makes us feel helpless in light of seemingly endless wars, calamities and insurmountable problems around the world. If you’re not going to personally get involved with one of these issues, give them little or no attention.

 

Release all unnecessary possessions. You’ll have to determine what is necessary for you. Those in the householder stage with children will have different requirements than empty nesters. Our true wealth is not determined by what we possess, but by what does not possess us. Our true wealth is not determined by what we have, but by what we can live happily without. That which we possess needs to be looked after. This takes time and energy; time and energy that could go elsewhere if we had less stuff.

 

Put your time and energy where your heart is. So often we do things because others expect them of us. Do these activities make us happy? Do they fulfil us? We need to listen to and follow our hearts. Then the whole world supports our every step, we are guided by synchronicity, and we find true peace and happiness.

 

Grow some food of your own, preferably organically. In the supermarket of today we rarely know where our food comes from or how it’s been grown. Some crops are sprayed more than ten times before they are harvested and the chemical residues are absorbed when we eat them. It’s not difficult to create a little vegetable garden and/or plant a few fruit trees. Apartment dwellers can grow micro greens in pots using plants like garlic, onions, buckwheat and lentils. Anyone can sprout seeds such as alfalfa and wheat in jars. Not only will you eat healthier food, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit to improve the health of the planet.

 

Get out of your car and onto your feet. How far do you drive to work? Could you find employment closer to home, or even at home? Time now spent in the car could be used getting exercise if you were able to walk or cycle to work. You’d feel better, lose those unwanted pounds and, again, be reducing your carbon footprint.

 

Discover natural ways to stay healthier. Rather than just relying on prescriptions from the doctor, heed the advice of Hippocrates: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ So often the side effects of medicines are virtually identical to the symptoms they are prescribed to treat. Read books on natural healing or take courses to upscale your knowledge on how to look after yourself. You’ll save unnecessary trips to the doctor and you’ll feel better mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

A simple life is a balanced life, relying on a careful, dynamic interplay between activity and rest. It’s not for nothing Native Americans sometimes call modern civilization ‘Termite People’ because we are forever scurrying about. Look closely at the word ‘business’—‘busy-ness’. We often wear our ‘busy-ness’ like a badge. When someone asks if we are busy, it is expected that we are. Life is a delicate balance between activity and rest. Find that balance.

 

Put the above ideas in place and your life will be simpler, healthier, richer and more satisfying. This is an organic process, meaning that results come at the right time (which may or may not correspond with your expectations.) Just concentrate on thinking and living more simply and leave the results and timing to God.

 

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

 

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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.

 

fruits_and_vegetables25b15d

 

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 http://www.organichomegardener.com/.

 

Happy gardening.

 

Here’s the link to the interview I had on Morning X, Friday, March 20, 2009 beginning at 11.15 am: http://www.stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=183242782. Please note that Mike and I begin our discussion about five minutes into this recording.

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Many people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. 
Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health.

If you are like so many people today, you’re either short of money and working at something you don’t like in order to get more, or you have more than enough money and not enough time to enjoy the good things in life.

I was in that position once – over 20 years ago. Then something changed and I’ve been doing what I love and enjoying the good life ever since.

And now it’s time for me to not only live the good life, but to share with people like you the amazing journey that brought me to this place of contentment and deep fulfilment.

In Search of Simplicity is my true, exciting and serendipitous journey through the wilds ofPapua New Guinea, theHimalayas, around the planet and into the heart of life guaranteed to change the way you see the world.

In Search of Simplicity offers a gateway into a world in which your deepest dreams and wishes are fulfilled, even before you are aware of them, a gateway into that place of simplicity where you stop struggling and trying to make it happen and simply allow it to happen.

When you’re in the right place, doing just what you want to do, and genuinely enjoying it, the Universe bends over backwards to ensure your success.

Buy the book on Amazon.

The small investment required to buy this book could just transform your life, as the events described in page-turning style transformed mine. At the very least you’ll enjoy a tantalizing read.

Click here to read just a few of the endorsements of satisfied readers from all walks of life.

In Search of Simplicityis a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life. It has been compared with James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy and Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It is a page-turning adventure story and it’s TRUE.

Listen to a three minute audio trailer here:

In Search of Simplicity offers a gateway into a world in which your deepest dreams and wishes are fulfilled, even before you are aware of them, a gateway into that place of simplicity where you stop struggling and trying to make it happen and simply allow it to happen.

When you’re in the right place, doing just what you want to do, and genuinely enjoying it, the Universe bends over backwards to ensure your success.

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BUY THE BOOK

‘This book has important keys to living well. Far from predictable, it is an exciting read; showing us that living with simplicity can lead to stimulating adventures, fresh insights and a deeper understanding of life.’

Suzanne Stewart, Wellington

  

 
 The following is a fun, five minute interview that Eileen Kapa of DBFR makes with the author as he speaks about In Search of Simplicity and some of the bigger questions of life the book endeavours to answer. This was made as a small part of a Far North book launch and book signing tour in March, 2009.

In Search of Simplicity

will soon be available in eBook format. More details to follow.

.

From the Author:

My search for simplicity carried me all over the world. You could call it a search for a simpler way of living, a more natural way of being.

The external journey culminated in living for periods of time with two sets of agrarian people, one Islamic, the other Christian—the Hunzas in their Shangri La stronghold at the roof top of the world and the Trobriand Islanders at their doorstep perched on coral islets in the western Pacific. Each of these societies lives with grace and in balanced harmony with nature.

The internal journey took place while staying in Dharmsala, home of the displaced Tibetans and their leader, the Dalai Lama, in northern India. That journey carried me home to the place we’re all seeking, to the source of sustenance spoken of by every mystic, to the Heart of Life itself.

It is a story of import to every human being because it is the journey we are all on, a search for the meaning of life.

The story is filled with coincidences to the point of disbelief. The journey brought me in contact with inspiring people who dared to be different, who have dared to be themselves.

It is an epic adventure. It is a story of love. It has helped me to live my life with a simpler perspective and more meaning. I trust it does the same for you.

  
Years after the events described in In Search of Simplicity took place, I read The Celestine Prophecy for the first time. It feels like my personal journey is like that of the reluctant fictional hero created by James Redfield. I continue to be swept along on a great adventure (of my own making) to discover and to share the magic and the mystery of life. It’s waiting for us all behind every smile and with every breath of the wind.


Blessings,
John

 

 

 

IN SEARCH OF SIMPLICITY by John P Haines …a truly amazing true story travel/adventure book by a loving and thoughtful man.

Amanda McBroom said this February 25, 2009 on www.amcbroom.com

Amanda is an outstanding actress, singer/songwriter and is the composer of the 1979 worldwide hit, The Rose.

  
 

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