Monday, January 12, 2009

Four Winds Council

Four Winds Council at Esalen: January 2009

The Four Winds Council is cooperative association of four retreat centers located in or near the Ventana Wilderness and the Los Padres Forest in Monterey County, California. Members includes New Camaldoli Catholic Hermitage, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the Native American Esselen tribe's "Window to the West", and Esalen Institute. The council is formed to develop cooperative initiatives among the four centers and to promote a deeper understanding and respect for the paths of personal and social transformation that each center represents.

After years of individually developing and maintaining working relationships with Tassajara, the Hermitage, and Little Bear/Fred Nason Sr., I decided to convene a meeting of representatives of each centers to see what if anything we wanted to be or do together. I facilitated the first meeting and recorded on flip charts the work, discussion, and brainstorming. In spring of 1993 we unofficially named and previously unnamed peak, “Four Winds Peak”. We offered a workshop at Esalen in 1994 that I convened and acted as facilitator for the program. We met four times a year at each place. I reduced my involvement sometime in 1995 or 96 although I have continued a relationship with each of the places. The Council has continued to meet over the years.

This January I was invited to attend a meeting at Esalen. How exciting it was for me to see many old and new friends from Tassajara, the Esselen Tribe, the Hermitage, and Esalen all in one place. It makes me happy to see the "tradition" continue.