I’m back in Monterey again. I’m again grateful for the laid back atmosphere here, as re-entering the “real world” after Esalen can be hard.
Our workshop leader put it very well when he said that being at Esalen can be intoxicating. While you’re there you are cradeled in an atmosphere of such support, caring, and beauty it is hard to walk away from it. Everyone sighs deeply on the last day and savors the last moments as if they were manna to sustain us on a long sojourn through the desert. Perhaps they are.
In the hostel here in Monterey there is kindness and camraderie. I met up again with a British woman whom I became acquainted with my previous night here. She is an ebulliant and hardy soul. Last week we spent the morning together before I had to catch the transport to Esalen. We went out on the bay in kayaks and wondered over the beauty of the kelp beds, the seals, and the sea otters cavorting in the chilly waters.
While at Esalen I met some fabulous people and had some amazing experiences. I participated in a sweat lodge and was reborn (at least symbolically). I participated in the blessing of a couple who cemented their union and did it with joy, not envy. And I learned that a lot of people found me very likable. It was amazing.
Each time I go back the pull to stay is stronger. This is my third visit to Esalen, and while making the drive down Highway 1 on my own is incredibly scary, I’d do it over and over again just to be there again. I think that’s saying a lot.