“We invite you to celebrate Thanksgiving week with us on the sacred lands of Esalen,” write the leaders. “We will embody teachings of antiquity through the framework of tribal ceremony and SpiritDance Meditation. Our tribe is not one of bloodlines or lineage; we ask that people of all tribes, beliefs, and colors join this journey of the mind, body, soul, and spirit. Let’s dance, sweat, sing, pray, meditate, and relax together as one global tribe, as we honor the Native American roots of Thanksgiving Day.”
Tikhikpas and Ellen, both elders, have spent their journeys studying diverse spiritual traditions and praying with native peoples around the world. They will guide us in song, dance, prayer, breathwork, chanting, a mini-vision quest on the Esalen grounds, and a purifying sweat lodge (optional and weather permitting). These practices have grown organically from the land of Esalen and are an amalgamation of wisdom teachings from around the world.
To deepen our experience and enrich our learning, special guests will facilitate several sessions. Mac Murphy, raised on Esalen land, will facilitate the ritual of the three sacred waters and inspire us with his embodiment of the spirit of the land. Tom “Little Bear” Nason is an eighth-generation documented Spiritual Leader of the Esselen tribe of Monterey county. He is the carrier of his ancestors’ prophecy of the coming together of the four root races (red, yellow, black, and white) at the “Western Gate” — Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness. Little Bear will share his knowledge of the Esselen heritage, his understanding of the relationship between the Esselen and Hopi tribes, and walk the Institute’s grounds, locating specific historic ceremonial sites.
Bring your beginners mind and pictures of your ancestors for the altar. Ekae! (It is good).
Please note: There will be a celebratory Thanksgiving dinner in the Esalen Lodge.
Recommended reading: Steindl-Rast, Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer.
Recommended viewing: Watson, SpiritDance DVD.