In the upcountry town of Makawao, away from Maui’s crowded resorts, the Sacred Garden of Maliko is a garden and a refuge, not a place to hide but rather to expose your inner self. The theme of the garden is peace, reflected through artwork, labyrinths, flags and especially its plant collection. Enter the cavernous building and you are invited to have tea or a hot chocolate. Then feel free to wander through the garden’s aisles and admire the plants and artifacts, many for sale. Succulents are featured though a wide variety of tropical plants may be found.
A highlight of the garden is the large wooden Buddha sitting in a place of honor. The carving is beautifully done and the polished wood gleams, giving off an aura of tranquility. There are two stone labyrinths, one outside and a smaller one indoors. I watched as a woman, oblivious to the outside world, slowly, methodically walked the marked path of the outdoor labyrinth. The path through the labyrinth is said to symbolize life’s journey although many interpretations are possible. Walking a labyrinth with an uncluttered mind helps to focus one’s spiritual energy and has a calming effect.
Despite displaying symbols of several religious traditions, the Sacred Garden doesn’t promote any religion. The emphasis is on relaxation, a free and open mind and the attainment of inner peace. Nature can be a valuable contributor to spiritual growth and understanding. The Sacred Garden relies on beautiful plants, a part of nature we can all appreciate.