Gaze into Xorin's eyes and see the depths of his love for his adopted home on Maui. (Image credit: Lumeria)

Gaze into Xorin’s eyes and see the depths of his love for his adopted home on Maui. (Image credit: Lumeria)

Tucked up around a sharp curve on the way to the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) enclave of Makawao, Maui, a special place called Lumeria has been created for spiritual exploration and learning.

The journey to create this place has been quite an enlightening experience for owner and designer Xorin Balbes. The project has not been an easy one but he lights up when he explains what he has gained from it. I tell him I admire his perseverance and I see that he has the rare ability to create from a dream. Sitting in a local restaurant in Paia, Xorin and I have lunch and talk about Lumeria.

What inspires you about the island of Maui?

Specifically, Maui has an energy that feels divinely feminine. There is a beauty and an abundance that I have not experienced in many places. There is magic all over this beautiful island – and a deep sense of love and welcome from its people. I love the way Hawaiians respect and honor their ancestors. The beauty and wonder of NATURE inspires me to want to love and respect all of life more and more.

What path led you to Lumeria Maui and what is your vision for it?

My design and real estate path combined with my spiritual path. It came together in the creation of this vision. My mission is to inspire people to live a more soulful life that includes a deeper self love and respect which will naturally becomes a deeper respect and love for each other and our planet. Embracing the true spirit and meaning of Aloha – sharing the one breath of life that we all share.

How did you approach the design of Lumeria and its interiors?

First it was important to do ceremonies on the land to respect her before we started. Then I wanted to restore the building so that the history and the architecture was totally honored by restoring it with the exact same products – wood, moldings and fixtures – as the original. I wanted to embrace the Spirit of Aloha through the interior design by welcoming and representing people from all over the world with furniture and decorations from all over the world. I believe that “Aloha” is welcoming to all people –that its deepest and truest expression and meaning includes all people – and that “Aloha” is what can connect all people.

What distinguishes Lumeria Maui from other retreats in Hawaii?

We are luxurious and “barefoot elegant:” grounded and yet not granola. We have raised the level of most retreats with our surroundings and environment and like to share the Real Hawaii with our guests. We are in an area that still has historic towns and natural beauty

What distinguishes Lumeria Maui from other retreats in Hawaii?

We are luxurious and “barefoot elegant:” grounded and yet not granola. We have raised the level of most retreats with our surroundings and environment and like to share the Real Hawaii with our guests. We are in an area that still has historic towns and natural beauty that is untouched. We did not bring a “brand” to experience – we created something that is in symbiotic relationship to its environment and sense of place – it both informs and is informed by its environment. There is an authentic feeling to the experience here. You can feel the love of the ‘Aina giving nourishment and beauty all day.

Lumeria has an intense sense of place and an almost magical location on the hip of Haleakala and very near the ocean. This area is known world-wide for its waves and water sports. Surfing, windsurfing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding) and kite surfing classes with local pros. are offered to guests. But Xorin you also go a step further and combine teaching a “one-ness” with the ocean (soul surfing) combined with yoga and meditation at the retreat center. Is there a correlation between surfing and yoga?

Yes, we’re finding that people who enjoy yoga and find the balance within themselves also see that surfing has a very similar focus of attention – finding the core of stillness. It requires you to be out of your head and in your body to experience the flow of the wave and the still point of the mind.

To read the rest of the interview go to  http://luxebeatmag.com/lumeria-retreat-maui-interview-xorin-balbes/

Our lunch arrives to our table, delivered by a sun-kissed beauty with a tiny silver nose ring, long blond- tipped curls, and a tank top tucked into skinny board shorts. There is nothing contrived about this fresh spirit; certainly no salon tan, but a natural result of the dawn patrol and afternoons waiting on the beach for the tide to change bringing in the larger swells. Grooving on Maui Xorin and I dive into our quinoa salads and sip our ginger beers.