Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Creating a Life That Works, From Scratch — #myEsalen

Josef London tries to sum up all his feelings about Esalen: “To make a long story short: ‘gratitude.’ This is the word that comes to mind all the time. This is the most precious time in my life. I have the supreme honor and privilege to be here for more than half of the institute's life.” The Robin Williams look-alike has the same mischievous, witty smile and soulful twinkle in his eyes. He gives off a vibe that he is ready for anything, from challenge to adventure. 

If you’ve visited Esalen sometime over the last three decades, chances are you’ve encountered  Josef — likely the first human you met upon descending slowly down the hill to check-in. (Rightfully, he is a stickler for the 5-m.p.h. speed limit and has no problem suggesting you slow your roll.) “I was told about this place in 1985,” he says. “This woman told me, ‘This place will change your life and provide so much healing.’” 

Currently Esalen’s safety manager, Josef has held many positions over the years. But before Esalen, the Brazilian-born Josef was in Rio working in the cutthroat financial world: “I was an executive, auditing 60-70 hours a week. I was in a place where I knew I needed healing but didn’t know how or what I needed to heal.”

“In the mid-80s, I started looking into different things: astrology, shiatsu, polarity, and meditation. I found a group of people doing Esalen massage in Rio. I knew I needed to change my life to heal my life, and that I needed to do it somewhere else.

“I went through a divorce, after 20 years of marriage, and I tried to reinvent myself. In 1990, I was trying to do the same thing, be an exec and get married again. I woke up one morning and told myself, ‘I’m not doing my next 25 years the same way I did the last 25 years!’ 

“I called Esalen and they told me I could come. February 10th, 1991, as a workscholar. I sold everything I owned. I called my ex-wife and let her know the half I took when we divorced was hers. I packed two suitcases and flew from Rio to Esalen. The day I arrived, I met my new wife, Montgomery. We were together for 20 years. 

“I was so lucky I was in the right place at the right time, and that has afforded me the opportunity to stay longer.”

Josef truly has long witnessed the many ways Esalen is unique. Esalen takes and accepts everyone for the way they are. By design, it is a healing and safe space for people to do their personal work and change their lives. Being in a community with like-minded people.” 

Through all the evolutions at Esalen, he’s always ready to see how the next era unfolds. “It’s refreshing to always have new people here — to constantly change, grow and transform. I am aware that every time Esalen changes, I change, and I heal myself even more. There’s always a rich reciprocity, what I am participating in is changing me and I am changing it,” Josef tells us. “Everybody coming here that I have had or will have contact with has been and will be my teacher.” 

When you do come to Esalen, you’ll likely learn something from Josef too.

“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

Esalen Team

Creating a Life That Works, From Scratch — #myEsalen

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

Josef London tries to sum up all his feelings about Esalen: “To make a long story short: ‘gratitude.’ This is the word that comes to mind all the time. This is the most precious time in my life. I have the supreme honor and privilege to be here for more than half of the institute's life.” The Robin Williams look-alike has the same mischievous, witty smile and soulful twinkle in his eyes. He gives off a vibe that he is ready for anything, from challenge to adventure. 

If you’ve visited Esalen sometime over the last three decades, chances are you’ve encountered  Josef — likely the first human you met upon descending slowly down the hill to check-in. (Rightfully, he is a stickler for the 5-m.p.h. speed limit and has no problem suggesting you slow your roll.) “I was told about this place in 1985,” he says. “This woman told me, ‘This place will change your life and provide so much healing.’” 

Currently Esalen’s safety manager, Josef has held many positions over the years. But before Esalen, the Brazilian-born Josef was in Rio working in the cutthroat financial world: “I was an executive, auditing 60-70 hours a week. I was in a place where I knew I needed healing but didn’t know how or what I needed to heal.”

“In the mid-80s, I started looking into different things: astrology, shiatsu, polarity, and meditation. I found a group of people doing Esalen massage in Rio. I knew I needed to change my life to heal my life, and that I needed to do it somewhere else.

“I went through a divorce, after 20 years of marriage, and I tried to reinvent myself. In 1990, I was trying to do the same thing, be an exec and get married again. I woke up one morning and told myself, ‘I’m not doing my next 25 years the same way I did the last 25 years!’ 

“I called Esalen and they told me I could come. February 10th, 1991, as a workscholar. I sold everything I owned. I called my ex-wife and let her know the half I took when we divorced was hers. I packed two suitcases and flew from Rio to Esalen. The day I arrived, I met my new wife, Montgomery. We were together for 20 years. 

“I was so lucky I was in the right place at the right time, and that has afforded me the opportunity to stay longer.”

Josef truly has long witnessed the many ways Esalen is unique. Esalen takes and accepts everyone for the way they are. By design, it is a healing and safe space for people to do their personal work and change their lives. Being in a community with like-minded people.” 

Through all the evolutions at Esalen, he’s always ready to see how the next era unfolds. “It’s refreshing to always have new people here — to constantly change, grow and transform. I am aware that every time Esalen changes, I change, and I heal myself even more. There’s always a rich reciprocity, what I am participating in is changing me and I am changing it,” Josef tells us. “Everybody coming here that I have had or will have contact with has been and will be my teacher.” 

When you do come to Esalen, you’ll likely learn something from Josef too.

“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

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Creating a Life That Works, From Scratch — #myEsalen

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About

Esalen Team

Creating a Life That Works, From Scratch — #myEsalen

About

Esalen Team

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