Last week I was lucky enough to be a guest at the Esalen Institute, the storied consciousness raising retreat and spa in Big Sur, California,for a conference on Consciousness and Transformation in Healthcare hosted by Esalen and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.You may have heard of Esalen, with it's legendary hot tubs perched atop the Sequoia-studded cliffs that tower over the breathtaking Pacific Ocean vista, it is an icon of the Sixties--amazingly still alive and thriving today.For thousands of years Esalen was a sacred Native American site for rejuvenation and healing.In the 1950s, visionary Michael Murphy rediscovered the site, long abandoned by native tribes, and he reimagined Esalen as a healing retreat center for anyone interested in embarking on a mind-bending journey.
My last night there, I participated in an extraordinary collective meditation whereby we relaxed in the hot tubs as a musician played the Didgeridoo, an aboriginal horn with a deep pitch that sounds like a cross between a water buffalo in heat and that Swiss horn in the Ricola commercials. Our muscles were loosened up by the heat of the tubs, our minds were set loose by the geological magnificence of the Big Sur environment and the Didgeridoo, which we experienced in surround-sound as he walked all around the tubs as he played, vibrated at a frequency that allowed all of us to reach a new level of meditative calm. Now this is a place where you can increase your energy!
What is most obvious from being at Esalen is the need to connect.In Chapter 6 of THE SOURCE I write about the importance of connection with each other, with nature, with God and the universal spirit that provides guidance to open hearts and minds. With all that's happened in the world over the past few weeks, in this time of extreme stress and turmoil, it is even more important that we recognize the incredible healing power of connecting to all the resources at our disposal. Taking vacations and breaks from routine are critically important to allow time to rejuvenate and to reconnect with parts of yourself and with the planet that you really don't have time for when you're on the daily work treadmill.
In the coming blog entries I will talk about how you can take the refreshed mind, body and spirit that you feel from a good vacation, and actually increase its presence in life after vacation with simple daily exercises. Here's to your continued energy and health!