Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Acknowledging Our Individual and Collective Truths on This Sacred Land
Category:
Healing

On November 13, 2022, Esalen Institute will be coming together with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County to join us on this sacred land for a land acknowledgement ceremony.

“A land acknowledgement is a tradition in many Indigenous communities and nations to show respect to the people of the land and to our ancestors,” says Esselen Tribe member Jana Nason. “We do this by offering gifts, offering prayers or songs. It's a gift from the heart. It could be sage, tobacco, a blanket, something you made, food.” The point for non-Indigenous communities, Jana explains, should be that those acknowledging the land invite the Indigenous peoples to attend and receive. Also, what happens after that first step is even more important.

“Land acknowledgement is not just about those words, but about the actions that come after. It's about actually taking the steps to be in right relations to be an ally, to be a supporter,” says Jana.

The November ceremony is an opportunity to hold space, a relational building step for the Tribe and the institute. This work with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County began three years ago with the initial facilitation of the Healing & Reconciliation Institute. To continue building a framework for a relational journey of truth, co-stewardship, and community building and a long and lasting relationship, Esalen Institute is honored to announce the return of Esselen faculty at the institute with medicine woman and Tribe elder Cari Herthel’s upcoming “Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion” workshop as well as a week-long workshop in March 2023 with Esselen Chief, Tom “Little Bear” Nason centered around Rites of Passage and the Embodied Masculine

“For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing your respect in honoring the Indigenous people, the land where they may work or live,” says Jana. “Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the eraser of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.”

As part of that respect, the Tribe shares in part what it means to “walk in good relations with the land” — that we are intentional in how we interact with the earth. This can mean something as simple as following designated trails and parks as those designations are likely there to protect native plants and sacred sites. 

“When you go to places like Esalen Institute, it's important to acknowledge and notice your own energy, making sure that you're just not emotionally dumping everywhere,” says Jana. “Big Sur is considered the Western Gate, and it's a place of healing in a place of power. Many people are drawn to that area because they need to heal, which is wonderful because you can heal, but you have to make sure that you are not just taking it energetically or dumping it without releasing it in an appropriate way.”

“Start with history and understanding,” adds Cari. “What happened here? Who are the people of this land? That is a deep relationship portion of respect. Who am I talking to? How am I connecting? What is my heart relationship and what am I listening to?

“For example, love in Esselen is kolo,” says Jana. “We love when community members learn that and go out and use it and teach that. That's a way of honoring. There's a correct way to learn about cultural traditions and practices in a respectful way. Some things aren't meant to be shared outside of our culture. Some things it's fine to share, but you need to go and learn, not just go read it in a book and try to implement it. If you want to learn traditionally, you will go with gifts. You would go with a gift and you would ask the elder, ask the individual if they have time to teach you, if they have time to sit with you and to be patient.”

“We have entered into what's called the direction of the west, the direction of the healing,” says Cari. “It's the direction that Esalen Institute sits on and represents, the direction of healing.” 

In the words of Esalen President Gordon Wheeler, "The process of healing through conversation has been one of deep learning and deep gratefulness for the openness and generosity of spirit shown by the Tribe. We know good intentions must be backed up by deeds. We look forward to many years ahead of creative partnership to find more ways to enact these resolutions, both out of respect and also in furtherance of the highest missions of both the Esalen Institute and the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County."

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Shira Levine

Shira Levine is the Director of Communications & Storytelling at the Esalen Institute.

Acknowledging Our Individual and Collective Truths on This Sacred Land

About

Shira Levine

Shira Levine is the Director of Communications & Storytelling at the Esalen Institute.

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing

On November 13, 2022, Esalen Institute will be coming together with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County to join us on this sacred land for a land acknowledgement ceremony.

“A land acknowledgement is a tradition in many Indigenous communities and nations to show respect to the people of the land and to our ancestors,” says Esselen Tribe member Jana Nason. “We do this by offering gifts, offering prayers or songs. It's a gift from the heart. It could be sage, tobacco, a blanket, something you made, food.” The point for non-Indigenous communities, Jana explains, should be that those acknowledging the land invite the Indigenous peoples to attend and receive. Also, what happens after that first step is even more important.

“Land acknowledgement is not just about those words, but about the actions that come after. It's about actually taking the steps to be in right relations to be an ally, to be a supporter,” says Jana.

The November ceremony is an opportunity to hold space, a relational building step for the Tribe and the institute. This work with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County began three years ago with the initial facilitation of the Healing & Reconciliation Institute. To continue building a framework for a relational journey of truth, co-stewardship, and community building and a long and lasting relationship, Esalen Institute is honored to announce the return of Esselen faculty at the institute with medicine woman and Tribe elder Cari Herthel’s upcoming “Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion” workshop as well as a week-long workshop in March 2023 with Esselen Chief, Tom “Little Bear” Nason centered around Rites of Passage and the Embodied Masculine

“For non-Indigenous communities, land acknowledgment is a powerful way of showing your respect in honoring the Indigenous people, the land where they may work or live,” says Jana. “Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the eraser of Indigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.”

As part of that respect, the Tribe shares in part what it means to “walk in good relations with the land” — that we are intentional in how we interact with the earth. This can mean something as simple as following designated trails and parks as those designations are likely there to protect native plants and sacred sites. 

“When you go to places like Esalen Institute, it's important to acknowledge and notice your own energy, making sure that you're just not emotionally dumping everywhere,” says Jana. “Big Sur is considered the Western Gate, and it's a place of healing in a place of power. Many people are drawn to that area because they need to heal, which is wonderful because you can heal, but you have to make sure that you are not just taking it energetically or dumping it without releasing it in an appropriate way.”

“Start with history and understanding,” adds Cari. “What happened here? Who are the people of this land? That is a deep relationship portion of respect. Who am I talking to? How am I connecting? What is my heart relationship and what am I listening to?

“For example, love in Esselen is kolo,” says Jana. “We love when community members learn that and go out and use it and teach that. That's a way of honoring. There's a correct way to learn about cultural traditions and practices in a respectful way. Some things aren't meant to be shared outside of our culture. Some things it's fine to share, but you need to go and learn, not just go read it in a book and try to implement it. If you want to learn traditionally, you will go with gifts. You would go with a gift and you would ask the elder, ask the individual if they have time to teach you, if they have time to sit with you and to be patient.”

“We have entered into what's called the direction of the west, the direction of the healing,” says Cari. “It's the direction that Esalen Institute sits on and represents, the direction of healing.” 

In the words of Esalen President Gordon Wheeler, "The process of healing through conversation has been one of deep learning and deep gratefulness for the openness and generosity of spirit shown by the Tribe. We know good intentions must be backed up by deeds. We look forward to many years ahead of creative partnership to find more ways to enact these resolutions, both out of respect and also in furtherance of the highest missions of both the Esalen Institute and the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County."

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Shira Levine

Shira Levine is the Director of Communications & Storytelling at the Esalen Institute.

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Acknowledging Our Individual and Collective Truths on This Sacred Land
Category:
Healing

“Land acknowledgment is not just about those words, but about the actions that come after. It's about actually taking the steps to be in right relations to be an ally, to be a supporter. Acknowledgment is a simple way of resisting the eraser of Iindigenous histories and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.”

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About

Shira Levine

Shira Levine is the Director of Communications & Storytelling at the Esalen Institute.

Acknowledging Our Individual and Collective Truths on This Sacred Land

About

Shira Levine

Shira Levine is the Director of Communications & Storytelling at the Esalen Institute.

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