Big SurThere’s nothing like contrast – from the high foggy cliffs of Big Sur to a late winter storm in Maine: Yesterday I dropped my skis outside the woodshed and took off over the lake and up into the woods. Everything dolloped in white, all the sounds hushed in a virgin coverlet with just the skiit-skiit of my loping tracks through the snow. In my mind’s ear, I can still hear the endlessly variable but steady soothing breath of the surf on the rocks below our cabin at Esalen. In the woods right now it’s the raucous crows and wind shushing the pines overhead.

Life at home subsumes you quickly after a month away – the ‘honey-do’ list of things that broke while I was gone, the questions that need answering in the office, the deadlines that come alive again.

I took a lot away from my time in Esalen. Aside from a deep rest, it was great to get back to, and find people on for, deep somato-emotional healing. Yes, the folks landing at that hippie heaven are in transition and ergo somewhat less than grounded. Yes, I am so much older now than when I first landed there myself so a lot of the questions still giving them angst are well and truly answered for Quan and I.

But for years I have been unwittingly training myself to deliver high volume of technical information to professionals of one stripe or another, so rarely – especially since I have not really practiced for a few years now – do I get to return to the deeper pattern healing that originally brought me into this work.

So, my gratitude to Esalen – even if its latest iteration has the same corporatist problems plaguing the rest of the country – for providing the space for such work, and my gratitude to the work scholars and staff – however harried and plagued by visions of perfect relationships or easy spiritual journeys – who came to the course and offered themselves for healing, heart and soul.

Big Sur