A Sunset Ceremony from our Lanai in Wailea: A Way to Reflect Upon the Day both Here and at Home

“Sunsets are proof that not matter what happens, every day can end beautifully”
—Kristen Butler

From the comfort of our lanai, Cecile and I viewed another sunset last evening. Others were gathering from their lanai’s as well as at the water's edge to view this wonderful phenomenon most of us don’t often think about in out every day lives. It was like a living watercolor painting that gradually changed its shape and form as the sun approached the ocean, kissing it good night. All too often we only stop to appreciate the beauty and majesty of a sunset when we are on vacation, but the sun sets every day. I decided some time ago to make it part of my practice to enjoy a sunset on a regular basis. I am happy to report it has resulted in my feeling a deeper sense of gratitude for life.

In the Hawaiian tradition, the Sunset Ceremony begins with the sounding of the conch shell to gather up all the mana (energy) from the four corners, from one’s ancestors and from one’s self. It is a time to reflect upon your day and say Mahalo (thank you) for another day in a life. The beat of the pahu (the sacred drum) symbolizes the heartbeat of the day’s light and the chant puts the day to rest.

As the sun gradually disappears from view, one lets go of all preoccupations, worries and concerns of the day, so you can create space to greet a new day in the making. The thought of letting go of the day as the sun sinks below the horizon invokes a sense of peace, compassion and relaxation. Making the intention to punctuate our day with a moment of reflection whereby we let go of any regrets, disappointments and or shortcomings each evening allows us to begin the next day with a fresh slate.