Selections from Esalen Journey (A Journal of Emerging Spiritual Awareness)
Part 1, October 28, 1986-December 6, 1986 (about 56 pages)
Part 11, December 10-1986-March 5, 1987 (about 68 pages)
Esalen Massage Documentation (about 22 pages)
Introduction to the Journal:
In October, 1986 I moved from Somerville, Massachusetts to live and study at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Esalen Journey is a record of those four months in Big Sur. This two-part journal records my impressions of the people I met at Big Sur, including insights and knowledge I experienced at Esalen. The journal also includes my poetry and dreams during those four months, my interactions with others and my insights into healing of body, mind and spirit.
I studied to be a massage therapist, taking a month long course. Then I stayed on as a work-scholar. I was assigned to housekeeping. My work was cleaning the hot tubs, the guest rooms and working in the laundry. In exchange for this work and some financial payment to Esalen, I was in a program to take more seminars.
However, I spent most of my free time completing my thirty practice massages to get my California State Massage Practitioner’s Certification.
Excerpts from Esalen Journey/Part 11:
December 10, 1986.
I am working here in the laundry
I bless the objects I work with
The sheets the furniture the desk
The baths which I clean
-breath into throat –
tension lifts from neck as sobs come to life – the child, alone – can only find love from objects –
she doesn’t want to be pushed, or rushed – she handles the objects with care
blessing the sheets
Thanking the stones
as she scrubs the baths
or the concrete floor of the shower
The sobs for the objects around her
when she was a child, lonely
in the children’s home
The sobs when
she spoke to the
objects around her
and they cared more for
her than the people she knew-
The housemothers, swim teachers
The dirty candy wrappers
the linen – I spoke with them as a child magician –
They gave me love –
I return the love to them now.
(End of entry for December 10,1986 of Esalen Journal).
February 19, 1987
(While at Esalen, I also gave a poetrydance performance of my creative work, accompanied by conga drums.
I met Bill Light, who described himself as a new age Christian. He was visiting Esalen and he drove me to the Henry Miller Museum, at Emil White’s place. Here is another excerpt from Part 11 of the journal):
Bill Light drove me to Emil White, an accomplished painter and old time friend of Henry Miller. Mr. White has the Henry Miller Memorabilia Museum in his home in Big Sur. His hands are shaking because he has Parkinson’s disease, as he reads my story, “The Homeopath” and then “The Casablanca.”
When we meet, he kisses my hand. I can see the sensual twinkle in his eyes. The silence in the room as he reads my words. The silence of nature and of God.
Emil White likes my work. He suggests I contact Grove Press and Ferlinghetti.
February 28, 1987.
I leave Esalen with the memory of our Work Scholar goodbye party – and of my last few days in the laundry.
“I trust that God is in me
I trust that my labor is holy
Out of this trust I live.” *
*An anonymous quote I saw on the wall in one of Esalen’s offices.
the fire of change
air of passage
the surging waterfall
the sadness, the strength
in each new connection.
(End of journal excerpts, Part 11, Esalen Journey).
Perhaps in the future more of Esalen Journey will be published.