Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Five Ways to Bring Esalen in Your Home
Category:
Spirit

To be sure, 2020 will go down as one of the most memorable times of our modern era. As COVID-19 and racial unrest affect us globally, we are receiving many opportunities to re-examine our lives—and life itself.

As Esalen moves through these changes with you and beyond its temporary closure, its spirit remains intact: working with individuals and institutions to integrate heart, mind, body, spirit and community in a nurturing relationship with the environment.

To that end, we can invite the idea of Esalen into our homes and smaller communities during challenging times. The following guideposts show us how.

1. Unplug, Pause and Notice

For many years, Esalen’s tranquil Big Sur location has been ideal for intrepid souls looking to take time away from their “busy” lives. Breathtaking ocean views and the absence of cell service are the perfect ingredients to create a memorable time to reflect. Taking that cue, we can use this unique time to practice something similar right where we are.

Close the laptop. Set the smartphone aside. Disengage for a moment from news and social media. Find a comfortable place to sit and become present with yourself. What do you notice? What thoughts or feelings arise? What are your reactions to them?

When we take time to explore our inner world, which seminarians are encouraged to do during an Esalen workshop, we become present with what is so within us. From this place, we can take that understanding and expand our potential in the world.

2. Connect and Engage with Your Community

Social distancing does not equate to emotional distancing. One of the most unique things about Esalen is interacting with the community, whether it be in a workshop setting, during a meal in the Lodge, on a walk through the gardens with others or during serendipitous moments that bring us together. Conversations are sparked. Ideas are born. Connections are made. These interactions are valuable and can have a positive impact on us.

This is even more vital now as COVID-19 and racial injustice create invitations to re-examine our lives, our beliefs and the roles we have played in our own life and society. One of the plusses of technology during times of crisis is that it has the ability to unite us and spare us from complete isolation. This is a time when we should take advantage of technology, reach out to others and discover what individuals and groups are sparking positive change.

If there ever was a time to learn more about what actions we can take to create change in our own lives—and perhaps the lives of others—it is right now. We can also ask: how do I engage with my community, whether it be health and wellness-related, civic, creative or otherwise?

3. Experience Yourself in Nature

The Santa Lucia Mountains and the glorious Pacific Ocean have long been stellar backdrops at Esalen. In Big Sur, we are surrounded by nature. During COVID-19, people have been instructed to implement social distancing, however we can still go for a walk and experience nature.

By spending time in nature, whether it just be walking through your neighborhood or a park or simply resting in a tranquil outdoor setting such as our own backyard, we invite the lusciousness of the outside world in.

Free from electronic devices or the workspace cubicle, we can experience beauty around us and also within us. We can pay more attention to nature itself—the wind, the sky, the sunlight, the plants, the birds, even the insects. And in doing so, we become more aware of the fabric of life all around us. We become aware that we are an integral part of that fabric.

4. Make the Best with the Healthiest Food Options Available

For decades, Esalen’s Farm & Garden staff has been valiant stewards of precious land. They have tended the soil and offered bounties of fresh organic vegetables to the kitchen crew who then create nourishing meals for seminarians. The Farm & Garden staff set a divine example for when we become conscious of what we eat and nourish our bodies with healthy food—organic fruits and vegetables and unprocessed food—we stimulate our body, its immune system and fine-tune it for optimal health.

Esalen’s Juice Bar has also shown us how potent fresh juices and juicing can be for us—from a fresh vitamin-rich apple-beet juice to many others that include everything from celery, carrots and oranges to fresh kale and so much more. Embrace your healthiest food options and ... grab a few napkins. Consider the following Esalen recipes at home: Farm & Garden Green and Esalen Carrot Salad.

5. Incorporate a Movement Practice

Esalen was vital in introducing yoga and unique dance experiences such as Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms® to the West so many decades ago. What’s that one true thing that really gets your inner jets roaring? Yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Qi-gong? While many fitness studios are temporarily unavailable to us at the moment, there are a number of online movement and fitness classes on YouTube and even subscription services such as Netflix that offer them.

Or, we can be adventurous. Why not put on some music and create our own kind of movement and fitness regime—something new that can emerge during this unique time. When we move, we flow. When we flow, we grow—even in the midst of challenging circumstances. In the meantime, take note of these online offerings from several Esalen faculty.

Stay connected. Visit http://www.esalen.org/learn.

“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

Five Ways to Bring Esalen in Your Home

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Spirit

To be sure, 2020 will go down as one of the most memorable times of our modern era. As COVID-19 and racial unrest affect us globally, we are receiving many opportunities to re-examine our lives—and life itself.

As Esalen moves through these changes with you and beyond its temporary closure, its spirit remains intact: working with individuals and institutions to integrate heart, mind, body, spirit and community in a nurturing relationship with the environment.

To that end, we can invite the idea of Esalen into our homes and smaller communities during challenging times. The following guideposts show us how.

1. Unplug, Pause and Notice

For many years, Esalen’s tranquil Big Sur location has been ideal for intrepid souls looking to take time away from their “busy” lives. Breathtaking ocean views and the absence of cell service are the perfect ingredients to create a memorable time to reflect. Taking that cue, we can use this unique time to practice something similar right where we are.

Close the laptop. Set the smartphone aside. Disengage for a moment from news and social media. Find a comfortable place to sit and become present with yourself. What do you notice? What thoughts or feelings arise? What are your reactions to them?

When we take time to explore our inner world, which seminarians are encouraged to do during an Esalen workshop, we become present with what is so within us. From this place, we can take that understanding and expand our potential in the world.

2. Connect and Engage with Your Community

Social distancing does not equate to emotional distancing. One of the most unique things about Esalen is interacting with the community, whether it be in a workshop setting, during a meal in the Lodge, on a walk through the gardens with others or during serendipitous moments that bring us together. Conversations are sparked. Ideas are born. Connections are made. These interactions are valuable and can have a positive impact on us.

This is even more vital now as COVID-19 and racial injustice create invitations to re-examine our lives, our beliefs and the roles we have played in our own life and society. One of the plusses of technology during times of crisis is that it has the ability to unite us and spare us from complete isolation. This is a time when we should take advantage of technology, reach out to others and discover what individuals and groups are sparking positive change.

If there ever was a time to learn more about what actions we can take to create change in our own lives—and perhaps the lives of others—it is right now. We can also ask: how do I engage with my community, whether it be health and wellness-related, civic, creative or otherwise?

3. Experience Yourself in Nature

The Santa Lucia Mountains and the glorious Pacific Ocean have long been stellar backdrops at Esalen. In Big Sur, we are surrounded by nature. During COVID-19, people have been instructed to implement social distancing, however we can still go for a walk and experience nature.

By spending time in nature, whether it just be walking through your neighborhood or a park or simply resting in a tranquil outdoor setting such as our own backyard, we invite the lusciousness of the outside world in.

Free from electronic devices or the workspace cubicle, we can experience beauty around us and also within us. We can pay more attention to nature itself—the wind, the sky, the sunlight, the plants, the birds, even the insects. And in doing so, we become more aware of the fabric of life all around us. We become aware that we are an integral part of that fabric.

4. Make the Best with the Healthiest Food Options Available

For decades, Esalen’s Farm & Garden staff has been valiant stewards of precious land. They have tended the soil and offered bounties of fresh organic vegetables to the kitchen crew who then create nourishing meals for seminarians. The Farm & Garden staff set a divine example for when we become conscious of what we eat and nourish our bodies with healthy food—organic fruits and vegetables and unprocessed food—we stimulate our body, its immune system and fine-tune it for optimal health.

Esalen’s Juice Bar has also shown us how potent fresh juices and juicing can be for us—from a fresh vitamin-rich apple-beet juice to many others that include everything from celery, carrots and oranges to fresh kale and so much more. Embrace your healthiest food options and ... grab a few napkins. Consider the following Esalen recipes at home: Farm & Garden Green and Esalen Carrot Salad.

5. Incorporate a Movement Practice

Esalen was vital in introducing yoga and unique dance experiences such as Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms® to the West so many decades ago. What’s that one true thing that really gets your inner jets roaring? Yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Qi-gong? While many fitness studios are temporarily unavailable to us at the moment, there are a number of online movement and fitness classes on YouTube and even subscription services such as Netflix that offer them.

Or, we can be adventurous. Why not put on some music and create our own kind of movement and fitness regime—something new that can emerge during this unique time. When we move, we flow. When we flow, we grow—even in the midst of challenging circumstances. In the meantime, take note of these online offerings from several Esalen faculty.

Stay connected. Visit http://www.esalen.org/learn.

“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
Five Ways to Bring Esalen in Your Home
Category:
Spirit

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About

Esalen Team

Five Ways to Bring Esalen in Your Home

About

Esalen Team

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