Our Recent Esalen Workshops and Their Place in the World

The Esalen workshops in August were among the most moving and powerful workshops I have even been a part of. What was this magic that brought just the right people together in such a supportive and intentioned environment? What allowed us all to open and flower in such beautiful and mutually supportive ways? I was inspired to be working with so many clear, powerful, and spiritually intentioned beings. And I know that we are just the tip of the iceberg; all over the world sincere, heart-centered souls are awakening to the demands of this time, to act in abundance and compassionate power. There is a tipping point and we are headed in that direction!

On the way back from Esalen though, I turned on the car radio. I had been on a ten day media fast; and the levels of anger and the number of people venting frustration (more often than not in the name of God) were jarring and depressing. So, how are we to proceed in light of this? The “see no evil” section of the consciousness movement tells us to “ignore them, they are in their own illusions” and to go on envisioning only light. The “alarmists” remind us that such a strategy was employed with regard to Hitler and the National Socialist Party before the outbreak of World War II, and that we must be on vigilant guard against governments and corporations promoting genetically engineered crops, non-reproductive seeds, numerous vaccination scams, and the manipulation of the world economy by banks and multi-nationals, etc.

I often try to placate my heart when it cries for justice, telling myself that human evolution is an extremely slow process, that one needs patience, and that we are all in this world together. The fantasy of a “rapture” in which the “good stay and the bad just disappear” is un-redeeming and hence unappealing to me. Would a loving mother or father exclude some of their children from their unconditional care and not others?

What I learned at Esalen was not an “answer,” but a clarifying strategy that may be helpful. Instead of only trying to “do good” (and risk seeing oneself in opposition to others “doing bad”), how about opening to “feeling good?” What if one form of kneeling and kissing the ground five times a day would be to stop at opportune times and ask, “How am I feeling in my body right now?” “Am I breathing in and out into the glory of this moment in the most open, conscious, and effective way possible?”

A number of years ago, I was accosted by a “true believer” who looked at my workshop offerings and asked. “Aren’t you afraid of going to Hell? It’s mighty hot down there?”

“Not really,” I replied, “I’ve already been there. It was hot, it burned a lot of pain, regret, and disease out of me, and I’m still here.”

So, I am with Adlai Stevenson on Eleanor Roosevelt, “She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness.” If we could tune in a few times a day to feeling good, right here, right now, in this body; it might become a habit. And feeling good in your body, not just your physical body, but all the way to the expanded body of Gaia, is hard to argue with.

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