Kaleo Ching
Elise Dirlam Ching


Matthew Fox“Kaleo is truly travelling with the able assistance of Pele, Buddha and the Divine in new and ever deeper horizons. I honor the purity and integrity of his journey and the work that flows out of it to others. His work is that of a priest, a healer, in the real and most ancient meaning of that word. His teaching, painting and maskmaking are primal. As a teacher, his gift is that of inspiring and releasing Spirit in others so they can do many things. His gift of leadership with large groups of people is also appreciated by all. I have also experienced his acupressure and massage. Profound. It is exquisite, unique and reaches deeply into many layers. I have worked with Kaleo at our university for five years and I can witness to how profoundly he touches the hearts, souls and bodies of students through teaching T’ai Chi, art and maskmaking. His work is prayer.”

Matthew Fox, president, University of Creation Spirituality and author of Original Blessing, The Reinvention of Work, One River, Many Wells, A Spirituality Named Compassion, and Creativity

Susan Seddon Boulet“Kaleo, teacher and friend, whose generous, spontaneous and inspired teaching brings into our lives tools and techniques to release deeply buried treasures within our psyches to be mirrored through our hands into glorious and surprising masks – the process that informs through discovery and without losing sight of laughter and fun. I also find your art very inspirational. It comes straight from your body and through your body from a very deep spiritual connection to the earth.”

Susan Seddon Boulet, artist, Oakland

“Kaleo, your beautiful energy, generosity of spirit and love was felt by all. We will continue to pass it along in the many things we do and create.”

Genny Lim, San Francisco Arts Commission, core faculty New College of California

“Kaleo, your work takes you to many places and different experiences. You have a good ear and listen to the young.”

Ruth Asawa, sculptor, San Francisco

Maxine Hong Kingston“Thank you for warming our house. Thank you for the mask and the music that went through you as you made my mask. Aloha Pumehana.

Maxine Hong Kingston, author of Woman Warrior, China Men, and Tripmaster Monkey

Luisah Teish“Kaleo is a wonderful teacher, a patient healer, and a loving friend. I have had the pleasure of being in the classroom with Kaleo as a teacher and as a student and his instruction is always clear, humorous, and respectful of the needs of the student. Once after a terrible accident, I was moaning and wailing, crippled in body and mind; Kaleo gave me the attention and the instruction I needed to come out of the sickness mood and got me walking upright again. I will always be grateful for that attention. As a performer in ritual I have seen him involve hundreds of people in the art of contacting their spirit through a relationship to their bodies. It’s a beautiful thing to see and feel. I recommend that anyone who has been looking for a way to integrate body, mind and spirit in the aura of creativity should take a class with this brother of mine.

“Furthermore, this is what I experienced when Kaleo made my mask… a hum coming out of my bones and through my skin and I do recall that when the mask had dried and it was time to take it off… all I had to do was make one move, one facial gesture, and there was the unsealing, just the sound of where the mask had touched the skin. This face and the attitudes and feelings that go with this face will endure. This face of mine is also the face of my daughter, the face of my grandmother and the face of my little niece. It will show up again and again and again. The mask and this experience gives me some feeling of the eternal. That this face is eternal.”

Luisah Teish, priestess of Oshun, teacher of African spirituality, author of Jambalaya, Carnival of the Spirit, and Jump Up

Albany Middle School“Taiji certainly got us, the students and myself, very embodied. I think when you’re truly in your body you become more sensual and more connected to your heart and more connected to your mind. Every student increased their palette of emotions that day and many students dared for the first time in their lives to put the dark on paper and to even stand back to look at it. Our experience with each other that day deepened our appreciation of each other phenomenally. Through the art, we all saw aspects of each other we never dreamed of, never even knew was present. There was a collective feeling in that room when Kaleo was working with us… I felt like it was shining, like a glow in the room. There was enormous joy. Incredible joy expressed by some students that rarely express joy. I mean just buoyant.”

Audrey Hazen, teacher, Albany Middle School

Ruth Cox Earth“Profound. This process is a profound healing experience for people who engage in it. And it is gentle so that even if you are working on an issue that is very deep or painful, the process itself supports you. The process is such a powerful container that it is not dangerous to people. It is deeply healing. And I think the lesson of it is that it is ongoing… that the healing does not end when you finish a mask… one of the things I love about Kaleo’s work is that he recommends that you do ritual or alchemy with your creation… that you take it to the next step for yourself.”

Ruth Cox, PhD, Faculty, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

“Kaleo, the weekend was extraordinary! Your teaching peeled layers inside the body as well as emotional layers and creative resistance. The creative artistic energy was so available. I have never had such a profound experience as I did that weekend. You are an incredible teacher both in what you say and what you do not say. To be able to facilitate people “opening up” is a gift that you clearly live - everyone at the workshop travelled to unknown places within themselves - we were all able to share at a much deeper level.”

Caty Carlin, artist, North Carolina

“Believe me, your class is richer and better than 3 years of therapy.”

M. R., student, John F. Kennedy University, Orinda

“The program in the jail that is the hands down favorite is a combination T’ai Chi, meditation and maskmaking class. We also keep journals. The instructor is a multi-cultural shaman-like figure to me. His name is Kaleo and his presence in my life made an instant impact.”

Tom, inmate, San Francisco County Jail Psychiatric Unit

Rodney Yee“Kaleo, another fantastic time teaching a yoga/maskmaking retreat with you! Thank you for your love and dedication to this outrageously wonderful synthesis, a whirlwind and sheer joy!”

Rodney Yee, yoga teacher

4th Grade Bear Mask Oakland Public School Mask“I would call Kaleo the “Ambassador of Masks”. His enthusiasm and energy made each student feel inspired and special. It is wonderful to watch him “work the room”… his passion carried from child to child… asking each one to push beyond their initial vision. His approach is multi-cultural. His rapport with the students was so respectful and encouraging. His vast knowledge and experience allowed him to be spontaneous and fresh. I thank him for the gracious gifts he left us.”

Carrie Oretsky, teacher, Crocker Highlands Elementary, Oakland

“Kaleo, this year’s Kellogg Fellows Forum IV program was special indeed because of the maskmaking. Thanks to your artistic leadership, this was an exhilarating experience for all of us. I have great admiration for your talent and your thoughtful perceptions. Your work and your words will be precious to us always. You are truly a remarkable man with artistic genius and it is a pleasure indeed to count you as a friend.”

Russ Mawby, CEO, Chairman, Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan

“Kaleo and Elise taught Chi-Kung classes at my workplace. I work in a high pressure, high technology environment where physical ailments are not unknown due to the amount of time spent bent over computers. In a short period of time, Kaleo and Elise were able to open my perspective to a different way of thinking about myself, and I find myself using their techniques every day for both physical fitness and stress relief. I highly recommend their classes.

Kaleo brings a rich blend of fitness, wellbeing, and wisdom to those who learn from him.”

Victor Tancredi-Ballugera, Lucasfilm Entertainment Companies, Ltd.

“Thank you, Kaleo for helping me find a precious gift… that I am capable of producing visual art, that art is everywhere around me, and that art is a way of accessing the sacred.”

A. S., student, New College of California, San Francisco

Charlie Louise“Mr. Ching brilliantly stands out as a model instructor and true humanitarian at County Jail 7. His instruction and sense of dignity has been an enormous contribution to the student body, as well as Sheriff’s Department staff. He has a superior ability to work with multi-cultural groups and consistently builds coalitions and community amongst the student/prisoner population through his extremely effective cross-cultured skills. His sense of humanity and artistic talent would accelerate any organization.”

Sunny Schwartz, Program Administrator, San Francisco County Jail

“The Shamanic journeying combined with Qi Gong and mask making was an incredibly deep experience that touched all levels of my being – physically, emotionally and spiritually. I couldn’t wait to hang my ‘creation’ on a wall because of the personal and unique message it speaks to me each time I look at it. Kaleo and Elise embody love, compassion and humor in their teaching and in their being. I was grateful to be in their presence.”

Debbie Gisonni, President and CEO, Stillheart Institute

“Thank you so incredibly much for leading us through such a profound experience with the mask-masking and guided journeys at Luminous Body. It was a beautiful and very deep experience for me, and my mask continues to evolve as I do… I always remind myself of your words, to ‘do what your body wants’, and through this my mask continues to teach me. It is somehow incredibly reassuring to me to realize that it is not a fixed art piece, but an ongoing, living part of me, and that I can continue to work with it, touch it, and change it whenever I want… I reached entirely new levels of insight about myself through the process, and what’s more, I was finally able to really FEEL these insights all the way through my being. You are such a special bringer of light, and such a kind and generous soul. I feel absolutely honored to have worked with you, and deeply grateful for everything you shared with us.”

Tani Thole, Energy Worker, Santa Cruz, California

“Kaleo, your hands are very powerful and as the energy pulses through them, the tension just melts as you follow the contours of the bones and of each muscle group. By the end of the Lomilomi massage, I could feel the energy tingling from my toes up to my head. I loved the neck and scalp work. When you opened the suture on the top of my head, I could feel the energy moving in that direction as if something long held was being allowed to leave. Today I feel stonger and more sure than ever of the goodness in life.”

David Magill, L.Ac, Social Worker