Finding Joy Even in Calamity

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

When you live or work in Big Sur, road closures become a semi-annual, seasonal reality to brace for. Knowing that it can happen doesn’t make it easier, but it does build resilience. As a nonprofit, we were tested yet again with closures in both the north and the south. The impact of shuttering at the loss of nine workshops was significant. We experienced an estimated loss in revenue of $1.425 million for this shutdown. Because we were closed, we made the painful, life-altering decision to furlough and reduce hours for much of our staff while supporting the application for temporary unemployment benefits. We were fortunate to have our current REEP cohorts with us, and they remained, taking that time to reflect and integrate. Sadly, we were not able to welcome our May cohort, which undoubtedly will have a ripple effect on our staffing. Thankfully, we have now brought everyone back to work!

Even the most difficult moments can bring opportunities. We spent some intentional time with ourl Big Sur friends and community through our local guest pass system. We were re-reminded about the impact of our ongoing commitment with the Big Share to provide food from our Garden to the greater Big Sur community. All the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into running a nonprofit — the grant writing, fundraising, and research — resulted in a very veg- and fruitful innovation for the Farm & Garden: our brand-new electric tractor supporting in endeavors for greater sustainability and efficiency. Taking the month to go deep with individual self-care also made way for some deeper campus-wide cleaning and creativity! While meals were reduced to two a day to nourish essential staff, the kitchen took time to experiment with some amazing culinary delights. Big thanks to Chloe, Chefs D3 and Quinton and the entire innovative kitchen krew!!

Those of us who live at Esalen and in Big Sur, who were “stuck“ on the island, produced some truly beautiful ways to come together in community. We gathered for staff offerings that included breathwork, a 5 Tibetan rites experience, ethnobotany plant walks, ecstatic dance and yoga classes, art nights and showcases, and a film screening of a short narrative documentary, Hum, created at Esalen. How could we not? In the face of calamity, we get by with a little help from our friends.

“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?

Photo: Sam Nichilo



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Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Finding Joy Even in Calamity

When you live or work in Big Sur, road closures become a semi-annual, seasonal reality to brace for. Knowing that it can happen doesn’t make it easier, but it does build resilience. As a nonprofit, we were tested yet again with closures in both the north and the south. The impact of shuttering at the loss of nine workshops was significant. We experienced an estimated loss in revenue of $1.425 million for this shutdown. Because we were closed, we made the painful, life-altering decision to furlough and reduce hours for much of our staff while supporting the application for temporary unemployment benefits. We were fortunate to have our current REEP cohorts with us, and they remained, taking that time to reflect and integrate. Sadly, we were not able to welcome our May cohort, which undoubtedly will have a ripple effect on our staffing. Thankfully, we have now brought everyone back to work!

Even the most difficult moments can bring opportunities. We spent some intentional time with ourl Big Sur friends and community through our local guest pass system. We were re-reminded about the impact of our ongoing commitment with the Big Share to provide food from our Garden to the greater Big Sur community. All the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into running a nonprofit — the grant writing, fundraising, and research — resulted in a very veg- and fruitful innovation for the Farm & Garden: our brand-new electric tractor supporting in endeavors for greater sustainability and efficiency. Taking the month to go deep with individual self-care also made way for some deeper campus-wide cleaning and creativity! While meals were reduced to two a day to nourish essential staff, the kitchen took time to experiment with some amazing culinary delights. Big thanks to Chloe, Chefs D3 and Quinton and the entire innovative kitchen krew!!

Those of us who live at Esalen and in Big Sur, who were “stuck“ on the island, produced some truly beautiful ways to come together in community. We gathered for staff offerings that included breathwork, a 5 Tibetan rites experience, ethnobotany plant walks, ecstatic dance and yoga classes, art nights and showcases, and a film screening of a short narrative documentary, Hum, created at Esalen. How could we not? In the face of calamity, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Photo: Sam Nichilo

“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

Finding Joy Even in Calamity

About

Esalen Team

< Back to all articles

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

When you live or work in Big Sur, road closures become a semi-annual, seasonal reality to brace for. Knowing that it can happen doesn’t make it easier, but it does build resilience. As a nonprofit, we were tested yet again with closures in both the north and the south. The impact of shuttering at the loss of nine workshops was significant. We experienced an estimated loss in revenue of $1.425 million for this shutdown. Because we were closed, we made the painful, life-altering decision to furlough and reduce hours for much of our staff while supporting the application for temporary unemployment benefits. We were fortunate to have our current REEP cohorts with us, and they remained, taking that time to reflect and integrate. Sadly, we were not able to welcome our May cohort, which undoubtedly will have a ripple effect on our staffing. Thankfully, we have now brought everyone back to work!

Even the most difficult moments can bring opportunities. We spent some intentional time with ourl Big Sur friends and community through our local guest pass system. We were re-reminded about the impact of our ongoing commitment with the Big Share to provide food from our Garden to the greater Big Sur community. All the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into running a nonprofit — the grant writing, fundraising, and research — resulted in a very veg- and fruitful innovation for the Farm & Garden: our brand-new electric tractor supporting in endeavors for greater sustainability and efficiency. Taking the month to go deep with individual self-care also made way for some deeper campus-wide cleaning and creativity! While meals were reduced to two a day to nourish essential staff, the kitchen took time to experiment with some amazing culinary delights. Big thanks to Chloe, Chefs D3 and Quinton and the entire innovative kitchen krew!!

Those of us who live at Esalen and in Big Sur, who were “stuck“ on the island, produced some truly beautiful ways to come together in community. We gathered for staff offerings that included breathwork, a 5 Tibetan rites experience, ethnobotany plant walks, ecstatic dance and yoga classes, art nights and showcases, and a film screening of a short narrative documentary, Hum, created at Esalen. How could we not? In the face of calamity, we get by with a little help from our friends.

“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

< Back to all Journal posts

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Finding Joy Even in Calamity

When you live or work in Big Sur, road closures become a semi-annual, seasonal reality to brace for. Knowing that it can happen doesn’t make it easier, but it does build resilience. As a nonprofit, we were tested yet again with closures in both the north and the south. The impact of shuttering at the loss of nine workshops was significant. We experienced an estimated loss in revenue of $1.425 million for this shutdown. Because we were closed, we made the painful, life-altering decision to furlough and reduce hours for much of our staff while supporting the application for temporary unemployment benefits. We were fortunate to have our current REEP cohorts with us, and they remained, taking that time to reflect and integrate. Sadly, we were not able to welcome our May cohort, which undoubtedly will have a ripple effect on our staffing. Thankfully, we have now brought everyone back to work!

Even the most difficult moments can bring opportunities. We spent some intentional time with ourl Big Sur friends and community through our local guest pass system. We were re-reminded about the impact of our ongoing commitment with the Big Share to provide food from our Garden to the greater Big Sur community. All the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into running a nonprofit — the grant writing, fundraising, and research — resulted in a very veg- and fruitful innovation for the Farm & Garden: our brand-new electric tractor supporting in endeavors for greater sustainability and efficiency. Taking the month to go deep with individual self-care also made way for some deeper campus-wide cleaning and creativity! While meals were reduced to two a day to nourish essential staff, the kitchen took time to experiment with some amazing culinary delights. Big thanks to Chloe, Chefs D3 and Quinton and the entire innovative kitchen krew!!

Those of us who live at Esalen and in Big Sur, who were “stuck“ on the island, produced some truly beautiful ways to come together in community. We gathered for staff offerings that included breathwork, a 5 Tibetan rites experience, ethnobotany plant walks, ecstatic dance and yoga classes, art nights and showcases, and a film screening of a short narrative documentary, Hum, created at Esalen. How could we not? In the face of calamity, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Photo: Sam Nichilo

“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

Finding Joy Even in Calamity

About

Esalen Team

< Back to all articles

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

When you live or work in Big Sur, road closures become a semi-annual, seasonal reality to brace for. Knowing that it can happen doesn’t make it easier, but it does build resilience. As a nonprofit, we were tested yet again with closures in both the north and the south. The impact of shuttering at the loss of nine workshops was significant. We experienced an estimated loss in revenue of $1.425 million for this shutdown. Because we were closed, we made the painful, life-altering decision to furlough and reduce hours for much of our staff while supporting the application for temporary unemployment benefits. We were fortunate to have our current REEP cohorts with us, and they remained, taking that time to reflect and integrate. Sadly, we were not able to welcome our May cohort, which undoubtedly will have a ripple effect on our staffing. Thankfully, we have now brought everyone back to work!

Even the most difficult moments can bring opportunities. We spent some intentional time with ourl Big Sur friends and community through our local guest pass system. We were re-reminded about the impact of our ongoing commitment with the Big Share to provide food from our Garden to the greater Big Sur community. All the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into running a nonprofit — the grant writing, fundraising, and research — resulted in a very veg- and fruitful innovation for the Farm & Garden: our brand-new electric tractor supporting in endeavors for greater sustainability and efficiency. Taking the month to go deep with individual self-care also made way for some deeper campus-wide cleaning and creativity! While meals were reduced to two a day to nourish essential staff, the kitchen took time to experiment with some amazing culinary delights. Big thanks to Chloe, Chefs D3 and Quinton and the entire innovative kitchen krew!!

Those of us who live at Esalen and in Big Sur, who were “stuck“ on the island, produced some truly beautiful ways to come together in community. We gathered for staff offerings that included breathwork, a 5 Tibetan rites experience, ethnobotany plant walks, ecstatic dance and yoga classes, art nights and showcases, and a film screening of a short narrative documentary, Hum, created at Esalen. How could we not? In the face of calamity, we get by with a little help from our friends.

“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