Esalen is the most spectacularly beautiful retreat center you could ever imagine. It is a place for spiritual healing, growth and renewal and it is also an educational institute focused on topics including human potential, developing positive futures and planetary transformation. It is right on the ocean in Big Sur, California. At Esalen you normally will sign up for a class during the day and have time in the evening to soak in the natural hot springs which overhang the Pacific ocean along the Big Sur coastline. The hot springs are phenomenal!! The hot water runs right out of the cliff and into the ocean as you perhaps get to watch the sun or moon set over the ocean or see the grey whales going by. They are “clothing optional” but don’t let that keep you away. If, like me, you are a pretty iffy about public nudity, then just go after dark or wear a bathing suit or both. You might get the star show of your life, or maybe get to watch the moon set over the Pacific, all while listening to the crashing surf just below you.
Esalen specializes in their own particular massage technique and massage is available at the bath-house, adding to the overall healing effect of a visit there. The subject matter of the many weekend and weeklong workshops offered ranges across innumerable personal growth, relationship, healing, spiritual awakening, alternative lifestyle or spiritual teachings workshops and much more than I can list here.
Grounded in the wildly alive but delicate Big Sur landscape, Esalen enjoys a deep relationship with the elemental forces of nature. Not only the power of the ocean, but also the streams, the gardens, the night sky there is so wonderful. There is also the most wonderful community of people who have built and sustain community there and they add immensely to its specialness. Oh and the food! They serve really great meals with plenty of options during your time there, and you don’t have to do the dishes (unless you really want to!)
Esalen is a place not to be missed.