Sunday, March 31, 2024

Thanks for Visiting: Paused


I posted regularly from 2006 to 2020. When the pandemic shut many norms of life down. I let these regular blog posts go. There is a great deal of information here for those curious to look around. Enjoy.

Warmest greetings from the Big Sur,


Friday, January 31, 2020

2020 Workshop & Retreat Schedule

Meeting Place: Land & Sea

Here is my latest schedule for my 2020 Workshops and Retreat with direct links: 

January 26-February 23, 2020 — The Ground of Belonging: A Residential Study Group at Esalen with Steven Harper (complete)

April 19-24, 2020 — Big Sur Wilderness Experience at Esalen with Steven Harper & Friends

April 30-May 3, 2020 — The Nature of Zen at Tassajara Zen Center with Steven Harper & Leslie James (enrollment open)

• May 13-20 — The Wellbeing Project: Inner Work, Bilbao Spain with Steven Harper and Co-leaders (private retreat, not open for enrollment)

Last year all workshops booked full with a waitlist. This year Esalen has given me less workshops than in the past which means programs have been booking full before the print catalog is mailed out. It is best to enroll online or call Esalen Reservations: 888-837-2536. Tassajara's enrollment is open. In past years it too has booked to capacity.

Good News: If you put yourself on the waitlist, there is a good chance you can get in if you respond quickly to Esalen's email letting you know there is an opening.

Lastly, I am having problems updating my website. Yikes! Here is a link to my website that will hopefully be updated soon and in the meantime has plenty of useful information: Steven Harper

And here for Frequently Asked Question

Love to you all from the Big Sur,


Monday, December 30, 2019

New Year Blessing

In the Spirit of the Season
May we all know our heart’s capacity for love and follow our authentic calling for life.
May the fluidity of water run through you taking you on a buoyant ride to the ocean home.
May fire burn bright and inviting, warming you and your loved ones.
May air breathe you bringing brilliant vigor to your luminous spirit.
May the earth let you know your full belonging to the world and in the whole of your being.
May space allow for the grace of silence and gratitude for all you are gifted.
May we all swim in the elemental nature of wondrous aliveness in the years to come—full of presence.
May the mystery of that which cannot be spoken touch our every thought and action—letting life live through us.

Big Love from the Big Sur,
Kes, Kai, Janna, & Steven

Monday, November 25, 2019


Cypress Sunrise

“In moments of surprise we catch at least a glimpse of the joy to which gratefulness opens the door.” 
~ David Steindl-Rast 

As we near the U.S. holiday of Giving Thanks, I am reminded to assess my own genuine feelings of gratitude. I am continuing to learn to be grateful for the almost unseen, unnoticed occurrences that present themselves daily, moment to moment. Today, I am aware of feeling grateful for all of the ways my life has been touched by the many "small" and "daily" presentations that create this rich life of ours — ocean waves, scent of trees, clean water, touch of a hand, a gesture of kindness, and 10,000 other things. 

In the human-scape I am filled with gratitude for my family and dear friends who love and support me in countless ways. In the realm of "land/sea-scape" I am grateful daily for living in relationship with Big Sur and the dynamic meeting of land and sea.

And, what comes to heart and foreground so easily is the many people who have shown up from around the world to attend workshops I led or co-lead in Big Sur, Tassajara, Austria, and come in person to explore with me in a one-to-one sessions. I am blessed to meet so many courageous and remarkable people ready to open to the inner and outer wilds and find their unique and shared way along the pathless path.

With Deep Gratitude,

P.S. Some more links if you are inclined
A Good Day by Bro. David Steindl-Rast (good friend and co-leader)
Blue Mind: Gratitude for salty ocean waves & direct contact with the sea
Meal Chant Stew  An article about food, traditional blessings, and gratitude

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Nature of Movement: Esalen, September 2019

Moving as Nature in the Wilds

I am recalling beat poet Gary Snyder's poem about how poetry comes to him. To me the path of moving as nature and knowing our deep belonging to ourselves and our earth-body. is a bit similar — we need to work/play and meet wild nature at the edges — where light meets dark.

How Poetry Comes to Me
by Gary Snyder

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the 
Edge of the light

For at me, at least, the path often includes some blundering, boulders, and fear... and this too is often how I know I am getting closer to something tender, authentic, and worthy of meeting.

Thanks to all for how fully you went to meet yourselves, each other, and the Big Sur at "the edge of light."

Here are some requested links:
Photos (three of these are from Jenny!)
Poems to Live By
Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
Nature of Zen
Voices of Esalen Podcast
The Joy System
Hiking with Gary

Mary Oliver Tribute in NYT (Today is Mary Oliver's Birthday)
Supernature: Esalen and the Human Potential Movement

As my public workshop season at Esalen comes to a close for 2019 I feel so deeply blessed and filled with gratitude for those of you that showed up for this workshop — The Nature of Movement. This spacious feeling of gratefulness extends to all of the people that have made the journey to Big Sur and chose to show up in wakeful awareness and walk the wild path together.

Deep bow to each of you,


Friday, August 30, 2019

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen, August 2019

Big Sur State of Mind

Deep gratitude to a each and everyone and the collective community we co-created during our 5 days together. A constellation of things came together: weather, trails, tides, generosity of spirit, courage, choosing to show up, and 10,000 other seen and unseen things to bring us all that we experienced.

“Nature also means the physical universe, including the urban, industrial, and toxic. But we do not easily know nature, or even know ourselves. Whatever it actually is, in will not fulfill our conception or assumptions. It will dodge our expectations and theoretical models. There is no single or set “nature” either as “the natural world” or “the nature of things.” The greatest respect we can pay to nature is not to trap it, but to acknowledge that our own nature is also fluid, open, and conditional.” ~ Gary Snyder, from No Nature

Poems to Live By
Redwood article
Caitlin's Mountain Sea Adventures
Ticks! All you need to know
Workshop & Retreats for early 2020 (Esalen just went live with registration)
Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Bonus Link:
The Water Song (Caitlin taught part of it to us): The River 

Two Claps and One Deep Heartfelt Bow,


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Walk on the Wild Side: Esalen, July 2019

Wild in the Wilds
click on image to enlarge

What a unique pleasure to have a group of "new-ness." A whole group of new-to-me and so many of you new to Esalen showing up fresh and alive — true beginner's mind. There is nothing quite like your first time. I had an exceptional experience with you all and so appreciated how much our group engaged with wilds of Big Sur. As John Muir experienced, "I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

Exploring both the inner and outer wilderness terrain, excellent weather, celebrating interdependence day, walking the wild path of the Big Sur, and the ineffable experiences that inspire and conspire to create aliveness — may the very best or our experiences ripple out into your life and into the world.

Here are some links that were requested and a few more:
Poems to Live By
Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (I will co-lead the opening retreat there April 30, 2020)
John Muir: Nature Visionary
John Muir on Wikipedia
Supernature: Esalen and the Human Potential Movement (the first episode of a documentary about Esalen)

Links for our group:
Antwan: Sentient Wellness
Chenoa: Live Limitlessly
Caitlin: Mountain Sea Adventures
Joy: The Joy System 

With a heartfelt knell to touch the ground and a touch to the heart — may we all find our way along the path listening deeply to the wild call from within — and follow this calling in action and in being.

Big Love from the Wilds of the Big Sur,


P.S. Heartfelt shout out to my wild soul-sisters Joy and Caitlin for everything they brought to our circle.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Supernature: Esalen and the Human Potential Click on the image above to view

Supernature: This is the first episode of the impact and history of Esalen on the inquiry into the human potential by Scott Hulan Jones.

I had a great time helping as a "location manager" for much of the B-Roll footage as well as being interviewed. Scott has much more to come and I look forward to future episodes. He is hoping this will be picked up by some larger producer so he can finish the series. Please like, comment, and subscribe to his channel to help this project along.

Heartfelt regards from the BigSurNation,


Friday, June 28, 2019

Simply Wild: Esalen, June 2019

Simply Wild! On the Inner and Outer Wild Path

What a lovely constellation of people gathered together for our time together. I find myself filled with hope and a warm open heart when I witness the wonderful portals that you (this group) decided to step through to create our individual and collective communitarian experience — alone and together — in connection with self, other, and the ineffable.

I hope your agreements have supported you in integration into your "other" life.

Here are some links that were requested plus some bonus ones for those of you that have the time:
Tick Encounter: My favorite tick site
Tassajara Zen Center (April 30th 2020, I will lead the opening retreat of the season with Leslie James the head teacher at Tassajara)
Ecopsychology: The Way of Wilderness
Waters of the Sur: article for Esalen's website and catalog

Group member sites:
Marietta Bajer's Art
Steve's Wolf's site

Supernature: Esalen and the Human Potential: The first episode of a movie about Esalen. I think you might find it worth the watch.
Voices of Esalen Podcast: Interview with me... for those that haven't gotten tired of my storytelling

Special thanks to Gary and Heather for their incredible support and presence. And, thanks Maxie for starting a thread.

Deep Bow of Gratitude,


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Nature & Contemplation: Esalen, May 2019

 Nature & Contemplation gets wild
click on image to view larger photo

Well, well, well, we had a week of anomalies! From the May weather anomaly, to me being under-the-weather anomaly, to a changing adaptive group & schedule anomaly.

It seems everything conspired (breathed together) to create all of the conditions for a true week of contemplation with wild nature as our primary teacher. Our capacity to be adaptive to the unfolding present moment led to surprises and many fresh moments — where everything can be.

Here are some requested links:
Poem to Live By
Mary Oliver Tribute in NYT
Tick Resource 
Big Sur Trails by VWA
Meal Chant Stew: on Bro. David's site
Contemplation of a Monk (poem for Bro. David)

I hope you are all weaving your essential qualities in the the fabric of you "other" lives and asking the open question, "What calls to you your one love?"

Love and gratitude (both/and),


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Nature of Zen: Tassajara, April 2019

Nature of Zen: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

The annual opening of Tassajara with the first retreat of the guest season is one of the ways I mark time. I have made the pilgrimage to Tassajara for over 40 years during this time of year. Each time I find the land and the place changed and different. From years where I saw 6 inches of snow to 105 degree temperatures, from the black char and white ashes of wildfire to the hillsides carpeted with wildflowers and the plants shouting "green."

That everything changes and everything in interconnected is felt viscerally and intimately apparent as I make my way through the wild terrain that holds and supports Tassajara. The concepts of impermanence and interconnectedness are perceptually touched through direct experience and bare awareness.

Here are some links:
Nature of Zen Photos
Tassajara Photos
Poems to Live By
Dharma Talks by Zen Center Teachers
Leslie's talk at the beginning of last year's guest season

Deep bow to you all for showing up so fully.

Gratitude from the Big Sur,


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen, April 2019

Big Sur Wilderness Experience

We opened the first workshop of my season at Esalen with excellent hiking weather and catching the height of the wildflower bloom. Thank you all for showing up so fully!

Here are some of the links requested:
Poems to Live By
Mary Oliver Article in NYT
Condors in Central California
Tribal Ground: Chris Price

I hope the threads of the Big Sur wilds are still weaving their way into your daily life in seen and unseen ways that let life live through you.



Thursday, May 09, 2019

Ground of Belonging: Esalen, February 2019

Ground of Belonging

After many year of taking a break from leading month-long work scholar months at Esalen I stepped back into the new Residential Education month-long program. I had an amazing and courageous group of people in our group and two great assistants.

I have been so full with workshops, retreats, and other commitments I am just now getting around to posting photos.

Here is a link to some photos, plus some reminders from the resource sheet I already sent:
Ground of Belonging Photos
The Joy System: Joy Margolis
Poem to Live By
Tribal Ground: Chris Price

With deep gratitude,


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Workshops & Retreat for 2019

Big Sur Winter Storm 

Most of my 2019 public workshops have been scheduled and are up on my website. Many have already booked full! Take a look to see what might call to you: 2019 Workshops & Retreats.

Many, if not most, of us are starved for genuine contact with and experience of wild nature. Wildness brings us to aliveness in a manner few other environments can — nourishment for the unnameable terrain deep within.

I invite you to join me on a journey and let yourself be touched by the healing beauty of wild nature. In the meantime, as we head more fully into spring, may we all find moments of pure delight, simply being, and deep gratitude in our unique unfolding lives.

Warmest regards from the Big Sur,


Friday, December 21, 2018

Season Blessings on the Solstice

Wishing each and everyone of us happiness and moments of raw wild beauty in the coming year…

In the midst of the fullness of our busy lives—space.
In the midst of the constant chatter of daily life—silence.
May we all recognize the moments when less is more—know
simplicity as blessing.
May we let ourselves be touched by our heart's capacity
to open—giving and receiving.
May we re-member to pause in this moment—breathing in presence
May we be blessed with freedom from suffering—know kindness, compassion, and empathy
May we live close to the mystery—letting life live through us.
May we tune in—listen deeply to the pulsing beat—and
live the life that no one else can live.

With Gratitude from the Big Sur,
Kes, Kai, Janna, and Steven

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Center of the Universe

Pico Blanco, Big Sur (graphite on paper)
click on image to enlarge

By some accounts, by both Rumsen and Esselen native peoples of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Pico Blanco is said to be the center of creation — where everything came into being.

Every culture has it's own unique creation story. Every culture, community, or wisdom tradition has some story about how the world was created and how we humans, along with others, came to be. It is one critical ways we define ourselves as a group.

We as individuals have our own 'creation' stories, about who we are, how we came to be, what we do, and more. These stories, for better or worse, define us. We can use them to narrow or expand our sense of who we are and what we can or can't be and do.

I am curious these days about the stories I have told and currently tell myself about who I be. They range from quite limiting and narrow, to expansive and open to a range of possibilities. At this point in my life I am finding it is a good time to question the stories, especially those that lurk in the shadowy, barely conscious, parts of my being and examine where they came from and if they serve me.

Perhaps one of the reasons I feel so at ease in wild nature, is I tend to shed the skin of the stories of self and more easily slip into the experience of just being, without a story. I love a good story as much as anyone. I also love when the stories fade to black and there is no separation, no words — just being.

In curiosity and wonder


Monday, October 15, 2018

Nature of Movement: Esalen, October 2108

Nature of Movement: Embodiment and the Wilds
click on image to enlarge

Throughout the ages and across cultural traditions, nature has inspired the human spirit. The wilderness of Big Sur allows us to imprint the collective wisdom of this alive and wild coast in our bodies. The ancient redwood-forested canyons, dramatic meeting of earth and sea, and soft grassy hills remind us of the presence, wisdom, and deep sense of belonging that live in each of us.

Requested and suggested links:
Photos: All are downloadable
Poems to Live By
Voices of Esalen Podcast with Steven (telling even more stories)
Meditation Timer App (I use this daily on my phone)
Meal Chant Stew an article by me on Bro. David's site: Gratefulness
Adam's websites: Open Circle, Mysore Yoga

I have only gratitude for each and everyone of you. Ours was the last of my Esalen workshops for 2018, and what a wonderful way to bring the season to a close. My gratitude runs deep to each of you and collectively for deciding to physically show up and furthermore to show up with awareness. Without you I would not have the opportunity to keep learning in this manner of walking the wild path.

Breath... Gravity... Balance (of awareness field)... may we all keep finding our ways along this wondrous and wild path.

Deep bow to you — to you and Big Sur,


Ana y Mario: Because you know Bro. David you might enjoy this poem: Contemplation of a Monk or listening to me read it to him via the internet: Contemplation of a Monk

Friday, October 05, 2018

Way of Nature: Esalen, September 2018

Still clear pool at the confluence of everthing!
Click on image to enlarge

"If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

May we each find ourselves able to move between the conceptual and perceptual, the perceptual to the conceptual, knowing our world and that this world is much grander and awesome than we can fully perceive or fully imagine. May the mystery live close to our hearts and never leave us alone.

Here are links both requested and suggested:
Photos (anyone get a group photo?)
Poems to Live By
Voices of Esalen Podcast (interview with me, if you want more stories)
Tassajara Zen Center
Nature of Zen at Tassajara
Big Creek Reserve & Big Creek Reserve Donation
California Condors
Bramble Outdoor (Trevor's outdoor equipment company)

Let me know if any of you have photos you have uploaded to a site and I will add a link here.

In Wildness,


Now sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all you votes for dancing.
~ Hafiz

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Walk on the Wild Side: Esalen, September 2018

Walk on the Wild Side
click on photo to enlarge

I sit here at my computer feeling back into the week and the full range of weather, personalities, experiences and feel deeply grateful. Thank you for showing up to be "full in" for yourselves, each other, our group, Big Sur. So many nuggets of true gold — peak experiences as well as space for an authentic range of emotions to rise to the surface — as we sauntered along with these mountains, this place, this moment as our holy land.

So much "walks with me." Play is my gold nugget of the week and I am reminded of Suzuki Roshi's words, "What we are doing here is so important we better not take it too seriously." I hope we are all finding ways to weave the true gold into the fabric of daily life.

Here are the many (record breaking) requested links that I hope help in the process of weaving. The photos from both sites are downloadable:
Steven's Photos
John's Photos
Poems to Live By
Tribal Ground: Christine Price
Voice of Esalen: Podcast Interview with Steven: In case you want stories
Tassajara Zen Center & Nature of Zen at Tassajara
Gratefulness: Bro. David's site and an article they published on their site: Meal Chant Stew
The Hermitage
John Muir: Nature's Visionary my favorite book about his life (there are many)
For Fun: How Muir are you? 
More about Redwoods

Big love from the Big Sur,


P.S. One more for inspiration: Don't Go Back to Sleep

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen, August 2018

 Experiencing Big Sur Wildness
click on image to enlarge

Delicious... the first word that comes to mind as I feel back into our week together. I so appreciate each and every one of you and how we entered so fully into our time together. I hope the ripples continue to stir you to the core and that you ripple out to benefit all beings.

Here are some requested links to keep the waves in motion:
Poems to Live By: Poems from the trail and more...
Ventana Wilderness Alliance: Trails and Trail conditions for the Big Sur & Santa Lucia's
Voices of Esalen: Interview with Steven (if you haven't heard enough stories!)
Mountain Sea Adventures: Cat's (Caitlin's)website
The Joy System: Joy's website

Special gratitude to my remarkable assistants and wilderness medicine sisters Joy and Cat. And, a deep bow and heartfelt gratitude to each of you for showing up so we can dive in the the wilds — alone & together. May we weave many threads of our time together into the fabric of our lives.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Blue Mind: How The Light Gets In

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light get in"
~ Leonard Cohen
Blue Mind: How The Light Get In: Photos from two years of morning swims

Inspired by reading a book called Blue Mind by Wallace Nichols, I have taken again to regular morning swims (sometimes a quick dip) in the Pacific Ocean at a beach near our home. I've been going simple without my wet suit, making it part of my morning ritual. Some days it is sunny, windy, foggy, thick fog, big waves, small waves, the sand changes, the tides change — I change. Some days it is "perfect" other days it is not quite "perfect" in my mind. Every day I am grateful.

Which brings me to a Leonard Cohen song/poem called Anthem. The part that sticks in my head is:
"Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"

I am reminded to let go of my idea of perfection — what I have to offer, and what is offered to me. When I stand in a place of great equanimity and gratitude it is usually more interesting... and some light gets in. Here are some photos of the changing days at the same beach each morning — clear and foggy

Wishing you Light,


P.S. Happy Birthday Dad! What a blessing to have had you as my father.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen, July 2018

Big Sur Wild Ones
(Click on image to enlarge)

Once again I continue to be in awe of how wild nature so wonderfully invites us into ourselves, into connection with others, and in interconnectedness with the — other than —  perhaps greater than, human world.

And, once again, I am touched by the courage to choose vulnerability, authenticity, and risk heart-felt connection with self, others, and place — Big Sur.

Here are some requested links to help weave the threads of the wilds into you daily life:
Photos (I took very few, but got a few good group photos)
Carla's Stunning Photos
Poems to Live By
Voices of Esalen: Podcast Interview of Steve (if you want more stories about Esalen)
Tick Encounter (my favorite tick site from the University of Rhode Island)
Tribal Ground (Chris Price's Gestalt Awareness Practice)
Dick Price Celebration: This is a video I put together around 8 years ago for what would have been Dick's 80th birthday. Even though it is on Facebook, and they try to get you to sign-in or join, you can get around this by clicking, "Not Now" hidden at the bottom of options. I have added this here because of the number of people expressed curiosity about Dick... perhaps because of my story at the warm springs.
Joy's Site

If I missed anyone's site let me know and I will add it...

May you live the life that no one else can live.

Heartfelt Gratitude from the Sur,


P.S. Meal Chant Stew (a story of gratitude)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fathers & Sons: Esalen: June 2018

Father's & Sons: Celebrating Father's Day
Click to enlarge photo

This workshop has become one in which I mark the passage of time, the growth of my sons, the passing of my father, the changes in my own life. Each Father's Day weekend we have offered this workshop, originally with 3 generations, my father, me, and my sons. As time progresses I find myself more humble and grateful for the long lineage that brings me here today.

This year was the smallest group we've probably ever had. This allowed for more time with each other, as a group, and perhaps for windows of more intimacy. I was touched to have so many returning fathers and sons, as well as welcome a new family into our group.

Poems to Live By
Meal Chant Stew (a story of gratitude and family)
Adam's Sites:
Open Circle
Kes's Site

Voices of Esalen Podcast: Lastly, host Sam Stern invited Kai in to our interview to assist in asking questions and feeding me lines. Many parts turn into telling not only Esalen stories, but family stories, even father and son stories. I hope you enjoy.

May we all be blessed with resilient, healthy, and evolving relationships with our fathers and sons!

Heartfelt Blessing from the Big Sur,


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Simply Wild: Esalen, June 2018

Simply Wild and on the Path

How sweetly we came together, appreciating our differences, recognizing our similarities, and choosing to be in connection. Most groups come together... when groups take a life of their own this gives me great hope for the human condition and the state of wild nature. Thank you all for your grace, courage, and intimacy.

Here are many links requested and from side conversations:
Photos (many of these are from Alyson, they are all downloadable)
Kristin's Photo Set (some great photos)
Poems to Live By
Ticks (my favorite)
Big Creek Donation page
Tribal Ground (Chris Price & Gestalt Awareness Practice)
Voices of Esalen Podcast: Sam interviews Steve

Our Group:
Kristin's EVOL^ Films
Alyson's Site
Jet Pens: Larry's Site
Steve's Art Work (by request from a side conversation on the trail)
If I missed anyone, send your site along and I will add it

Deep gratitude from the wilds of the Big Sur,


Friday, May 25, 2018

Nature & Contemplation: Esalen, May 2018

Nature and Contemplation
click on photo to enlarge
"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller

As I sit to write this post and feel back into the week I notice some quality of hope — to see and feel wild beauty being appreciated and loved. Perhaps we can find our way to reclaiming the wild beauty that lives in each of us, collectively, and all around us.

One important measure of a healthy ecosystem is diversity. We had a diverse range of interests and places of curiosity. I appreciated how were able to "listen" and follow a sense of "organismic self-regulation" and each find our unique ways in the context of a group as support. I see this reflected in the number of record breaking links requested for this post. And, a first time ever book tour into the wilds of the Esalen bookstore. There were many other firsts... all to be celebrated. 

Here are many links, some of which were personal requests, others for the group:
Lelani's Photos of our time together (make sure you see all of the sets)
Poems to Live By (poems I used in our workshop, plus many more.
Voices of Esalen Podcast: Interview with Steven (More stories, with Kai as one of the guest hosts) Bro. David Steindt-Rast's website

Some of Steve's writing related to our workshop or requested:
Waters of the Sur by Steven Harper for Esalen
Ecopsychology: Way of Wilderness  by Steven Harper
Published writings by Steven Harper

Noël & Fletcher:
Wildtender Tending Inner & Outer Wilderness
Gnome Life Records
Cold Spring Fletcher's latest.

Ticks My favorite of the many sites on ticks

I will end here with this poem of encouragement:

Don't Go Back To Sleep
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

~ Rumi translated by Coleman Barks
From Essential Rumi

With Heartfelt Wildness,


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen April 29-May 4 2018

Big Sur Wild Ones
click on photo to enlarge

WOW! What a way to start my 40th year of leading workshops at Esalen. What to say?

Perhaps silence is best. Humor me... take a moment to feel your feet on the ground... hara, heart, head in alignment... receive a fuller breath than normal all of the way to the top of the lungs, and an extended slightly audible exhale. Open awareness...

May you feel fully the seed qualities that are walking with you from our time together in wild nature of the Big Sur.

Here are some links that were requested by the group or from side conversations:
Photos: You should be able to view photos and download any you wish.
Poems to Live By: I read: Mindfulness, Morning Poem, Hokusai Says, and others
Voices of Esalen: Podcast interview with Steven: Direct, Sound Cloud, iTunes
Gratefulness: Meal Chant Stew

Trails in Big Sur:
Hiking in Big Sur
Ventana Wilderness Alliance

Ticks: There are many sites on ticks this is one of the best. Read to be informed and educated, not to scare yourself.

Gratitude to Big Sur, Esalen Institute, all of our teachers and ancestors — may we share the beauty freely.

Big hug from the Big Sur,


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Nature of Zen: Tassajara Zen Center, April 2018

Nature of Zen: Tassajara
click on photo to enlarge

"But do not ask me where I am going, As I travel in this limitless world, Where every step I take is my home."
~ Dogen Zenji (founder of Soto Zen)

In every step and every moment we can find our home — our deep belonging of interbeing. Gratitude to all of you that showed up to step on the pathless path and wander and wonder in the wilds of the inner and outer intimate terrain of Nature.

Here are some links:
Group Photos
Henry's Photos
Meal Chant Stew (an article about Tassajara, the meal chant, gratitude, and more)
Hokusai Says
Poems to Live By
Voices of Esalen: A recent podcast interview.
Among the Wonderful by our own Stacy Carlson

May we find home in every step and may every step benefit all our relations.

Two Claps, One Bow,


P.S. Special thanks to Leslie James for making herself available to us all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Voices of Esalen: Steven Harper - Stories of Esalen, Wilderness, and Life in Big Sur

Dick Price: Co-founder of Esalen Institute (photo by Joyce Lyke)

2018 will mark my 40th year of offering workshops at Esalen. I have been blessed to be able to offer well over 300 workshops during this time at Esalen on a range of subjects, with outstanding co-leaders, and awesome (yes, awesome) participants.

As part of this milestone Esalen recently recorded an interview for their podcast series "Voices of Esalen." Sam Stern, the podcast host, invited my oldest son Kai in to participate in the interviewing. If you have some time to listen here are some links to the podcast depending on how you prefer to listen:

iTunes: Steven Harper: Voices of Esalen
SoundCloud: Steven Harper: Voices of Esalen

It was a bit strange to hear my own voice and a surprise to hear what stories emerged from the questions that were asked. I expect at least half of the stories I told resembled consensual reality.

If you are interested in what I am offering this year: 2018 Workshops and Retreats



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Workshops & Retreats for 2018

Big Sur

Most of my 2018 public workshops have been scheduled and are up on my website. Many have already booked full! Take a look to see what might call to you: 2018 Workshops & Retreats.

Many, if not most, of us are starved for genuine contact with and experience of wild nature. Wildness brings us to aliveness in a manner few other environments can — nourishment for the unnameable terrain deep within.

I invite you to join me on a journey and let yourself be touched by the healing beauty of wild nature. In the meantime, as we head more fully into spring, may we all find moments of pure delight, simply being, and deep gratitude in our unique unfolding lives.

Warmest regards from the Big Sur,


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflections: 2017

Ancient Portals

The oldest human remains were discovered this year in Morocco surprising anthropologist. The find pushes back Homo sapiens from 200,000 years ago to 300,000. The 100,000 years difference is challenging previous understanding of both the time and place of human evolution. Like many inquiries each new find or answer only posses more questions and more mysteries to be pondered, or simply lived with.

In reflecting on 2017 Morocco comes to foreground. Not only did I lead a retreat there with close friends, but I had time and space to travel and be. There is a long history of mixing cultures in places like Marrakech where you can find yourself in a narrow passageway in the old medina and feel transported back 1000 years ago. My time in the western Sahara dessert with the Berber people goes even further back. Morocco gave me time and a place to reflect on what makes a life of wellbeing and welldoing — one of aliveness. I don't have clear answers, but I think I may have better quest-tions stirring my curiosity and creativity.

The following are links to photo sets of my time there along with a Jackson Browne song about something fine he found in Morocco.

You can browse the photos or play them as a slide show:
Morocco Travel
Morocco: Textures, Passages, Colors
TWP Morocco

Something Fine: Jackson Browne

May the year 2017 come to a peaceful close and I look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Big Wild Love,