In an attempt to bring you some of the more high falutin aspects of my ride which were surprisingly inexpensive as long as you are willing to do a little of this or a little of that, I am proud to present my first piece on The Esalen Institute located in Big Sur California.
The esalen Institue was a grand design by Michael Murphy and Dick Price in 1962 as a way to explore what they believed to be the limitless potential of the Human Mind.
“…Esalen boasts breakthroughs in fields from Gestalt psychology to nuclear physics, from philosophy to economics, from body work to citizen diplomacy. Esalen sponsored Boris Yeltsin’s first visit to the United States, immediately after which he resigned from the Communist Party. The rest, as they say, is history.” Taken from the Esalen Website.
Time and again, Esalen has proven the possibilities of reconciling intellectual and experiential; mind and body; science and mysticism; immanence and transcendence; East and West; meditation and action; youthful idealism and time-tested wisdom. At a time of personal and economic stress, when demagoguery seeks to exploit fears and insecurities, Esalen continues to fulfill a critical role: to explore and promote interconnections between heart and mind, soul and body, individual and society.” From the Esalen website.
So, how do you get to go to Esalen, outside of riding your bike or driving a car? There are a few ways, you can apply to teach there, to study there, or, you can do what I did. The institute is a very private facility, BUT and I say this with huge capital letters, you may call to book yourself a spa day which will begin at midnight and end at roughly 3-4am.
My only though on this is the following – M A G I C A L.
Truly, I have not had such a wondrous time. The simple ceremony of everyone gathering at MIDNIGHT, maximum 20 people our group had 10, at the front gate, being met by your guide with a candle, crossing the parking lot replete with Ferraris and other exotic cars of the resident students and officials looking to have their minds expanded so that they may deal with the lunacy which is marking more and more the field of Diplomacy and Business, walking the narrow path to the beautiful structure which contains the hot springs and, if you are lucky or if you plan it as so, you will arrive on a full moon and by god if I am not getting goosebumps as i write simply remembering that night. It is a clothing optional affair and you of course MUST shower prior to entering. the towels are thick and soft and your options for hot pools, large cast iron tubs, veranda pools, all of which are solidly affixed to a breath taking cliffside. And given the time and the overall lack of people and the spaciousness of the place, you will find your self very alone, surrounded by candles and stillness, surrounded by the truest definition of God i have yet to come across, as with the Tao, it cannot be spoken, only known….
Looking from my pool, down the however many hundred or so feet to the waves crashing into the mountain wall, illumined by the ghostly white light of the full moon bathed in sea spray, the all pervading, not silence so much as stillness which seems to wend its way through the crash and roar of the sea below… I have never felt more sublime, more at peace with me…
This is a representation of Eco Tourism at I believe, its absolute pinnacle. Not only does one have structures which take in the natural surroundings and do them the upmost justice, but every fiber of the Institute is geared wholeheartedly towards the expansion of the human conciousness for the better of all mankind, and whats more, is this is actually felt by you as you come to the place.
That concludes what I have to say as one can only describe a beautiful seen so much before one begins to ruin it for the observer, simply put, if you have the opportunity, go, and if you do not forsee the opportunity, make it.