Eve Eschner Hogan is a labyrinth facilitator, relationship coach, author, speaker, educator and gardener. About 13 years ago she and her husband bought the space that would become the Sacred Garden in Makawao. Back then, it contained a downtrodden greenhouse overgrown with weeds and dead orchids. It was a place that had been used to smuggle heroin in the past, a place of dark energy.
“I remember hearing this voice, saying ‘you need to do it,’” said Hogan. She hesitated–fixing up the nursery wasn’t something that was part of her skill set. Then she said the voice told her, “Your name is Eve, get in the garden.”
After months of hard work and the help of many friends, the Sacred Garden today houses a bounty of beauty and growth, and a healing place filled with positive energy and positive people. Above the door, the sign that says “Be Open” is a reflection of Hogan’s original hesitance and the good that’s has come since then.
“I wanted it to be a place that wasn’t about the commercial,” she said. “I just wanted something that was here to soothe people’s souls.”
The Sacred Garden doesn’t advertise, but its doors are open to anyone who comes across it. It’s located in Makawao, on Kaluanui Road off Baldwin Ave. The space features a 10,000-square foot nursery, and a stone labyrinth outside. All the plants in the greenhouse are for sale and there are often people praying and meditating throughout the day. It also serves as a headquarters for Hogan’s nonprofit Divine Nature Alliance, the guiding principles of which are education, rejuvenation, inspiration and safety. It’s “really about helping people realize their own divine nature,” Hogan said.
Raised in a spiritual family, Hogan was steeped in eastern philosophies at a young age. “It doesn’t matter if your thing is Jesus, or Buddha or nature, it’s all the same God, in different forms to meet the needs of different people,” she said. The practices at the Sacred Garden are all about helping connect people to their spiritual centers in the hopes of fostering wellness in all who visit.
One of the many events that take place at the Sacred Garden are full moon walks in the outdoor labyrinth, a practice Hogan has been doing for 22 years. The upcoming blue moon is an especially rare occasion. Those participating will gather around 7pm in front of the giant Buddha in the garden, where they’ll be serenaded by harpist Irene Ryding. Then the group will go out under torch and moonlight and walk the labyrinth, followed by a period of sharing experiences.
“What I always tell people is that the labyrinth is not a maze,” said Hogan. “There are no dead ends or tricks. It’s not designed to cause you to get lost, it’s designed to cause you to find your center. You’re not walking the labyrinth to learn about the labyrinth–you’re walking the labyrinth to learn about yourself.”
This sort of introspective healing has been practiced for thousands of years among many cultures and the Sacred Garden aims to keep these traditions alive.
“Peace starts here,” said Hogan. “We are not going to affect world change and world peace if we do not have peaceful homes, and peaceful communities. We need to take responsibility for our own energy and what we are putting out into the world, first.”
The Sacred Garden also contains a section known as the Mother Shrine, a sanctuary that honors God in the feminine form. When building the facility, a big part of Hogan’s philosophy was creating a safe space for women.
“A lot of men don’t realize this, but there’s almost nowhere where women can go in nature alone, close their eyes and really drop in without looking over their shoulders,” Hogan said. “It’s important to people to have a place in the beauty of nature they can feel safe.” The Garden’s 180-pound guard dog Bodhi also helps. The dog is a lovable giant, named after Bodhisattva, the enlightened one in Buddhism.
THE SACRED GARDEN
460 Kalaunui Rd., Makawao
Photos courtesy Eve Eschner Hogan