Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Five Ways To Invigorate The Spirit
Category:
Spirit

A new month, a new year and a new decade all converge in January. Collectively, the human race enters brand new territory (a more soul-filled Roaring Twenties, perhaps?) and many people may be seeking ways to invigorate their spirit and experience their true human potential.

Questions abound: What new practices can I implement? What new actions can I take? Culling from Esalen’s lineage of teachers, we reveal five ways to truly let the spirit shine even brighter.

1. Unleash Your Creativity Expressing creativity can unleash the inner stirrings of the heart and spirit. The good news: One doesn’t have to be Mozart or Bon Jovi, Louisa May Alcott or Toni Morrison. We can be ourselves. Most people are creative and may not even realize it.

Devoting some part of each day (10 minutes, a half-hour, one hour) to expressing your own magical swirl of creativity, whether it be drawing, singing, writing, dancing or movement, planning your spring garden crop or even reading something aloud with newfound vigor, creates a wonderful outlet for creative expression.

At Esalen, dedicated spaces for dance and the Art Barn, in which seminarians can pick up a paintbrush and explore on canvas, are ideal havens where creativity blooms. Where’s yours?

2. Communicate With Intention In an ever-expanding tech world, where individuals appear to be more connected to one another through electronic devices, more and more, we often hear that perhaps we are not. A recent Psychology Today report notes that loneliness now affects up to 47 percent of adults in America—double the number affected nearly 20 years ago.

So how can we strengthen the true personal ties that bind? What are ideal ways to communicate and “connect” with one another more effectively?

At Esalen, Gestalt practice was first introduced by Fritz Perls in 1964. Esalen co-founder Dick Price added his own dimensions from other traditions to create his own unique Gestalt Practice and it became deeply embedded in Esalen's DNA.

Basic Gestalt begins with awareness itself — awareness of self, awareness of others, awareness of relationship and support in our shared experiential field. At Esalen, Gestalt-informed dialogue and communication is based on inquiry, transparency and a shared commitment to understanding each communication from others from within.

This open-inquiry continues until each person is content that each of their positions are understood and that the values and emotional choices behind their positions are understood. The goal: To move beyond “debate” and evolve toward greater inclusiveness and complexity.

3. Learn Something New “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself,” said Abraham Maslow, the psychologist best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the man Esalen co-founders Michael Murphy and Dick Price found highly influential.

With more than 300 workshops each year, education is treasured at Esalen. Learning something new, whether it be about oneself, the environment, a shared history, a new way of being, or, say ... how that honey bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip … expands the mind and opens the pathway to realize one’s true human potential for greater learning. Who’s game?

4. Engage in Physical Movement In workshops, Esalen faculty such as 5Rhythms® instructor Lucia Horan, illuminate how beneficial movement is not only for physical health, but also for emotional and spiritual well-being. The philosophy behind 5Rhythms, for instance, uses the idea of a “wave map” to bring attention to how energy moves and shifts through five different types of movement—Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness.

Each “rhythm” has its own cadence and style and by engaging in them, it opens up new pathways for us to explore our spirit and tap into our divine self.

5. Be Mindful of the Breath Year-round many seasoned faculty arrive at Esalen and through various workshops remind seminarians to slow down, sit in stillness and become mindful of their breath. A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology reveals that by focusing on how we breathe and the pace of our breathing can have optimal effects on our mind and body.

In fact, when we pay attention to our breath, brain regions linked to emotion, attention and body awareness are activated. Better yet: Paying attention to the breath for an extended period of time (five minutes, 15 minutes, more), creates an opportunity to become more in touch with ourselves and our inner nature. Relish the inhale. Hail the exhale.

“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 Invigorate The Spirit

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Spirit

A new month, a new year and a new decade all converge in January. Collectively, the human race enters brand new territory (a more soul-filled Roaring Twenties, perhaps?) and many people may be seeking ways to invigorate their spirit and experience their true human potential.

Questions abound: What new practices can I implement? What new actions can I take? Culling from Esalen’s lineage of teachers, we reveal five ways to truly let the spirit shine even brighter.

1. Unleash Your Creativity Expressing creativity can unleash the inner stirrings of the heart and spirit. The good news: One doesn’t have to be Mozart or Bon Jovi, Louisa May Alcott or Toni Morrison. We can be ourselves. Most people are creative and may not even realize it.

Devoting some part of each day (10 minutes, a half-hour, one hour) to expressing your own magical swirl of creativity, whether it be drawing, singing, writing, dancing or movement, planning your spring garden crop or even reading something aloud with newfound vigor, creates a wonderful outlet for creative expression.

At Esalen, dedicated spaces for dance and the Art Barn, in which seminarians can pick up a paintbrush and explore on canvas, are ideal havens where creativity blooms. Where’s yours?

2. Communicate With Intention In an ever-expanding tech world, where individuals appear to be more connected to one another through electronic devices, more and more, we often hear that perhaps we are not. A recent Psychology Today report notes that loneliness now affects up to 47 percent of adults in America—double the number affected nearly 20 years ago.

So how can we strengthen the true personal ties that bind? What are ideal ways to communicate and “connect” with one another more effectively?

At Esalen, Gestalt practice was first introduced by Fritz Perls in 1964. Esalen co-founder Dick Price added his own dimensions from other traditions to create his own unique Gestalt Practice and it became deeply embedded in Esalen's DNA.

Basic Gestalt begins with awareness itself — awareness of self, awareness of others, awareness of relationship and support in our shared experiential field. At Esalen, Gestalt-informed dialogue and communication is based on inquiry, transparency and a shared commitment to understanding each communication from others from within.

This open-inquiry continues until each person is content that each of their positions are understood and that the values and emotional choices behind their positions are understood. The goal: To move beyond “debate” and evolve toward greater inclusiveness and complexity.

3. Learn Something New “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself,” said Abraham Maslow, the psychologist best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the man Esalen co-founders Michael Murphy and Dick Price found highly influential.

With more than 300 workshops each year, education is treasured at Esalen. Learning something new, whether it be about oneself, the environment, a shared history, a new way of being, or, say ... how that honey bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip … expands the mind and opens the pathway to realize one’s true human potential for greater learning. Who’s game?

4. Engage in Physical Movement In workshops, Esalen faculty such as 5Rhythms® instructor Lucia Horan, illuminate how beneficial movement is not only for physical health, but also for emotional and spiritual well-being. The philosophy behind 5Rhythms, for instance, uses the idea of a “wave map” to bring attention to how energy moves and shifts through five different types of movement—Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness.

Each “rhythm” has its own cadence and style and by engaging in them, it opens up new pathways for us to explore our spirit and tap into our divine self.

5. Be Mindful of the Breath Year-round many seasoned faculty arrive at Esalen and through various workshops remind seminarians to slow down, sit in stillness and become mindful of their breath. A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology reveals that by focusing on how we breathe and the pace of our breathing can have optimal effects on our mind and body.

In fact, when we pay attention to our breath, brain regions linked to emotion, attention and body awareness are activated. Better yet: Paying attention to the breath for an extended period of time (five minutes, 15 minutes, more), creates an opportunity to become more in touch with ourselves and our inner nature. Relish the inhale. Hail the exhale.

“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 Invigorate The Spirit
Category:
Spirit

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About

Esalen Team

Five Ways To Invigorate The Spirit

About

Esalen Team

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