Situated in the great Makiko Gulch in Upcountry Maui, not far north of Makawao, the Sacred Garden is a lush, beautifully landscaped nursery and retreat welcoming anyone looking for quiet, contemplation, and spiritual renewal.
This non-denominational property is managed by the non-profit Divine Nature Alliance, and is open daily to enjoy without an entrance fee. (Donations are happily accepted.) Anchored by a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse lush with palms, orchids, succulents, aquatic plants, and more, the site is ideal for everything from casual visits to organized retreats.
There are numerous installations for self-reflection, meditation, and simple decompression. Here you’ll find not one but two labyrinths ideal for walking meditations rich in metaphorical power and centering calm. The seven-circuit Universal Labyrinth lies within the greenhouse, while outside, under a kukui-tree canopy, an 11-circuit labyrinth evokes the Chartres Cathedral. Besides independent ambles along these spirals, you can arrange for labyrinth walks led by Divine Nature Alliance founder Eve Hogan.
Complimentary tea and hot chocolate in the nursery helps stimulate tranquil strolls or sits, perhaps with a notebook for journaling or sketching. Photography is also welcome throughout the Sacred Garden of Maliko.
The Mother Shrine—dedicated to such female deities as Tara, Kali, Mary, Quan Yin, and Pele—offers a small, still, tucked-away sanctuary. And the Balinese-style Sacred Garden Buddha, meanwhile, has provided an anchoring presence since 2006: more than 500 pounds, carved from a single piece of wood.
The Sacred Garden’s upper level is the “Gratitude Garden,” harboring sitting areas and picnic tables. You can bring your own picnic into the Sacred Garden, so long as (of course) you don’t leave litter behind.
The seasonal stream threading through the property suggests the broader context of the Maliki Gulch, which runs from the high shoulders of Haleakala to the ocean. Depending on when you visit, it may be a mere trickle or a roaring flow.
You can purchase a great variety of plants from the nursery, create your own “dish garden” here, and take gardening, aromatherapy, and other classes. There are also plenty of regular events and activities on offer in the Sacred Garden, including monthly Full Moon Labyrinth Walks and folk singalongs on the third Saturday of each month.
An adjoining property offers accommodations for private or group retreats centered on the Sacred Garden. But for the spiritually—or botanically—inclined, this lovely oasis in Makiko Gulch appeals even for a mere slow-paced hour or two. It’s a nice contrast from the hustle and bustle of thronged beaches and scenic overlooks—the perfect refresher during a Hawaiian vacation.
The entrance to the Sacred Garden of Makiko lies along a hairpin turn, so for safety’s sake don’t back out!