Have you ever been to Esalen? My first time was in August. I had written down in early January that one of the goals I had for myself this year was to go to Esalen. In August, I was in the midst of making a lot of important changes in my life and decided spending a weekend at Esalen would be a great way to transition into the new.

I decided to take a workshop with Rick Jarow assisted by Dawn Avery. My friend Sura knew Rick so we all drove up together and had 5 great hours of getting to know each other; we were squeezed in tight while driving from LA to Big Sur with 4 people and Dawn’s cello sitting in my jetta!

We arrived safely and with smiles. Five minutes after setting my backpack down on my bunk, I walked into a movement class where I shook and boogied, dropped into my body and got into the Esalen flow. I then ate a delicious dinner made with love and vegetables from an organic garden grown on the property. After dinner I went for a soak in the tubs–spectacular. Great conversation. Subtle moments. Crashing waves. Seaweed. Birds. Salt air. An evening workshop intro. Sleep.

The next day, I had an enjoyable workshop morning and a wonderful Esalen afternoon. I slept on the grass in the sunshine, listening to the waves. I sat in the round meditation room. I played in a fairy pool. I walked through the organic garden. I spent more time in the tubs. And, I walked into the art barn and made a painting of my “key”. Earlier in the day during a group exercise with Rick, I had envisioned the key as an entry point to new events in my life.

Keyhole

Keyhole

As a retreat center, Esalen is wonderful — carefully designed and landscaped for the ultimate experience. The land itself is breathtaking and magical. It holds space for each of the workshops and provides a container for transformational change. The land works in harmony with people there — encouraging them towards truth. I felt this first hand.

I had a wonderful time. Not only was Rick’s conversation, workshop and message perfect for me at the time, the land enhanced and highlighted the entire experience.

I felt rejuvenated and re-freshed after my weekend at Esalen and am excited to go back when the moment is right! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend a visit.

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