Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Sounding the Drumbeat for a Sustainable Relationship Between People and Planet

What if the building you worked in was designed to optimize your health and wellbeing while also producing enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements? The latter is the definition of a zero energy (or net zero) building. The number of zero energy commercial buildings has doubled from 2012 to 2014, according to the New Buildings Institute, and speaks to a growing awareness of a different approach to building design.

“Fundamentally we are talking about how to change the paradigm to create better buildings with lower, or no impact, on the environment while being healthy and comfortable,” said Peter Rumsey, CEO and founder of Point Energy Innovations and a panelist at a recent Friends of Esalen event in San Francisco entitled, Transforming the Built Environment Starting Within. Other featured speakers included Esalen trustees Chip Conley and Ben Tauber, Kevin Bates, president of Sharp Development Company, Ted van der Linden, director of Sustainability at DPR Construction, and Ian-Michael Hébert, property development manager at Esalen.

Buildings are the largest single greenhouse gas emitters in modern society, more so than cars or planes, according to Peter. To address this issue, a movement is starting towards the next generation building. “There is a deeper understanding that the decision we make as individuals at home and at work have a larger impact on the environment and the future of our society,” added Peter. “People are starting to see there’s another way, and that will influence what we hand down to our children and grandchildren.”

Esalen trustee, author, and founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels Chip Conley has long been a proponent of more sustainable building practices. In addressing the 100 guests at the Esalen event, he remarked: “As one wise soul said, ‘History teaches us that humans and nations behave wisely once they’ve exhausted all the other options.’ Exhausted is a good word to describe our planet today.” In spite of this, Chip observed, we have seen rabble rousers creating “blessed unrest.”  

“They sound the drumbeat for us as people to create a sustainable relationship between humans and our living environment,” said Chip.

As part of the evening’s discussion, Esalen’s property development manager Ian-Michael Hébert provided an overview of our Campus Renewal project efforts and Esalen’s focus on sustainability. “We as a human species need to become conscious of our impact on the world around us,” he said. “This is one of the first steps to sustaining life on Earth. Yet we are not harvesting our resources – oil and gas – in a way that is reverent, in a way that is conscious of how it affects the rest of the planet.”

At Esalen, efforts have been made to incorporate best practices in sustainable building including energy efficient windows and building envelopes, reuse of  materials, use of local redwood, solar power ready systems, and the eventual use of geothermal water for heating Esalen’s kitchen and Lodge meeting rooms.

The Esalen event, hosted by long-time supporter Garrett Jacobs, is one in an on-going series of regional events designed to connect Friends of Esalen. “The event was a lively discussion about how the design of our outer world relates to the inner and how our inner world influences our environment,” said Monique Baron, director of development at Esalen. “We look forward to providing more of these learning opportunities throughout the year.”



Photography by Leila Seppa

“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

Sounding the Drumbeat for a Sustainable Relationship Between People and Planet

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

What if the building you worked in was designed to optimize your health and wellbeing while also producing enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements? The latter is the definition of a zero energy (or net zero) building. The number of zero energy commercial buildings has doubled from 2012 to 2014, according to the New Buildings Institute, and speaks to a growing awareness of a different approach to building design.

“Fundamentally we are talking about how to change the paradigm to create better buildings with lower, or no impact, on the environment while being healthy and comfortable,” said Peter Rumsey, CEO and founder of Point Energy Innovations and a panelist at a recent Friends of Esalen event in San Francisco entitled, Transforming the Built Environment Starting Within. Other featured speakers included Esalen trustees Chip Conley and Ben Tauber, Kevin Bates, president of Sharp Development Company, Ted van der Linden, director of Sustainability at DPR Construction, and Ian-Michael Hébert, property development manager at Esalen.

Buildings are the largest single greenhouse gas emitters in modern society, more so than cars or planes, according to Peter. To address this issue, a movement is starting towards the next generation building. “There is a deeper understanding that the decision we make as individuals at home and at work have a larger impact on the environment and the future of our society,” added Peter. “People are starting to see there’s another way, and that will influence what we hand down to our children and grandchildren.”

Esalen trustee, author, and founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels Chip Conley has long been a proponent of more sustainable building practices. In addressing the 100 guests at the Esalen event, he remarked: “As one wise soul said, ‘History teaches us that humans and nations behave wisely once they’ve exhausted all the other options.’ Exhausted is a good word to describe our planet today.” In spite of this, Chip observed, we have seen rabble rousers creating “blessed unrest.”  

“They sound the drumbeat for us as people to create a sustainable relationship between humans and our living environment,” said Chip.

As part of the evening’s discussion, Esalen’s property development manager Ian-Michael Hébert provided an overview of our Campus Renewal project efforts and Esalen’s focus on sustainability. “We as a human species need to become conscious of our impact on the world around us,” he said. “This is one of the first steps to sustaining life on Earth. Yet we are not harvesting our resources – oil and gas – in a way that is reverent, in a way that is conscious of how it affects the rest of the planet.”

At Esalen, efforts have been made to incorporate best practices in sustainable building including energy efficient windows and building envelopes, reuse of  materials, use of local redwood, solar power ready systems, and the eventual use of geothermal water for heating Esalen’s kitchen and Lodge meeting rooms.

The Esalen event, hosted by long-time supporter Garrett Jacobs, is one in an on-going series of regional events designed to connect Friends of Esalen. “The event was a lively discussion about how the design of our outer world relates to the inner and how our inner world influences our environment,” said Monique Baron, director of development at Esalen. “We look forward to providing more of these learning opportunities throughout the year.”



Photography by Leila Seppa

“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
Sounding the Drumbeat for a Sustainable Relationship Between People and Planet

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About

Esalen Team

Sounding the Drumbeat for a Sustainable Relationship Between People and Planet

About

Esalen Team

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