Today is Monday, July 15th. It is the middle of the month. I am tracking the days because I will be leaving eleven days from today …for five weeks. I used to love to travel and stay away from home for a month at a time. Travel was a delicious temporary escape from a relationship that was unfulfilling. I eventually left that relationship for good. Now I am in a time and place with a partner who is also my best friend. I do not want to leave him or the home we are creating together.
My commitment to spend a month (which has grown to five weeks) at Esalen Institute assisting the workshops and session-work of Suzanne Scurlock-Durana began before I left my marriage.Esalen coast
The time I spend at Esalen is always magical and gratifying. I have the opportunity to meet people from around the world who are bright lights in the human experience. Esalen attracts people in transition…between relationships, homes, careers, countries…it attracts seekers and seers, artists and dancers, poets and mystics, musicians and healers. On any given day, conversations overheard in the lodge or at the baths run the gamut from quantum physics to fantasy-art. Profoundly intimate stories of human trauma are frequently shared. People in the midst of intense personal process openly disclose their experiences with the circles of support that are always available.
This mission statement, written in the early years of Esalen, gives a clue to what makes Esalen exceptional. “Esalen Institute is a center to explore those trends in the behavioral sciences, religion and philosophy which emphasize the potentialities and values of human existence.”esalen lodge
The history of Esalen between 1960 and 2013 is worthy of the books that have been written about it and it has not been Utopia by any stretch of the imagination. Even with all its human failings, the land, the intentions of the founding fathers, and the many open-hearted individuals who call Esalen home, continue to support positive growth and change for many of us who come back year after year. The phrase “human potential movement”, coined by George Leonard and Michael Murphy in 1965, concisely sums it up.
I hate to leave home for a month, but if I am going to go anywhere, I am grateful it is Esalen.esalen garden

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