Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Everything

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 — and know simplicity as blessing; may we let ourselves be touched by our heart's capacity to open — giving and receiving; may we be blessed with freedom from suffering — and know kindness in all of it's expressions; may we tune in — listen deeply to the pulsing beat — and dance the dance that no one else can dance.

from the wilds of the Big Sur...


Friday, November 30, 2012

Emerging Earth: In the path of a molten lava flow

Across cultures and wisdom traditions there is the practice of giving gratitude. As my workshop season of 2012 winds down I find myself grateful for the many people who show up for the adventures of this life. To those that have supported in some way (both seen and unseen) the work and workshops I offer — thank you. To those that have participated in the many workshops, retreats, and other adventures we co-create — thank you.

This fall I had the good fortune to make my way out to the lava flows on the big island of Hawaii with my son Kes. It was a gift and blessing to witness the incredible "birthing" of new rock, the molten fluid dynamics of that which I normally see as solid. I came away from the experience with a feeling of hope, aliveness, and sense of trust in the constant change and movement of this very animate world. For this and many other blessings — I am grateful.

In Thanks-Giving,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nature of Movement: Esalen, October 2012

Nature of Movement: Rockin' the Wilds of Big Sur

What a great range of weather we received for the last wilderness program of the season. Certainly a remarkable day by the ocean at Andrew Molera... even for an "local."

Deep gratitude to you all for choosing to play, inquire, and be curious together about our capacities for centering, grounding, belonging, and embodiment.

Here are links:
Nature of Movement Photo Set
Nature of Movement photos as Slideshow
John's Nature of Movement Photo Set: Many great photos!
Iron Star Inc: Penny's incredible restoration work.

And as homework:
Another poem to inspire your journey into your "other" world(s).

Lastly... Breath, Gravity, Balance of Field...  aligning Hara, Heart, Head. Two claps, one bow.

Wild heartfelt regards from the Sur,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Art of Pilgrimage: Green Gulch Zen Center, September 2012

On the path near Green Gulch
Here are links:
Art of Pilgrimage Photo Set
Art of Pilgrimage Slideshow
Green Gulch Zen Center Photos
Alida's Experience on her Blog: SimplyFlow 

Here is a version of the Zen story that Jeremy told after lunch from the "Book of Serenity"

Zen Teacher Earth Treasury asked the monk Dharma Eye as he was leaving the monastery, "Where are you going?"
Dharma Eye said, "I am going on pilgrimage."
Earth Treasury said, "What is the purpose of pilgrimage?"
Dharma Eye said, "I don't know."
Earth Treasury said, "Not knowing is most intimate."
Dharma Eye was greatly awakened at these words.

Thanks to Jeremy Levie for co-leading this event with me... and to Linda for her gracious assistance throughout the day. Hope to see you next year if not sooner.

I invite you to pause for a moment... and for the next three breaths... I invite you to open your awareness and attend to whatever arises. May we all live "most imtimately."


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Belonging to Earth: Esalen, September 2012

Belonging to the Big Sur

“The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges and tell a good story when we get back home.”
~ Gary Snyder

I sure hope you are all tellin' good stories about our adventures exploring the inner and outer wilds. Somewhere deep inside there is a seed growing in the fertile ground of knowing our belonging. I look forward to seeing the blossom and fruition of these seeds.

Here are some links:
Fullscreen  Slideshow of Photos
Trees of Big Sur
Articles about the Natural History Big Sur 

Links to group member's sites:
Andrea's: Propeller
Holly's: IODP
Michael Kline
Kathryn's: Kathy Hughes Realty
Send me any additional personal links and I will add to this post.
Wild regards from the Big Sur,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Esalen 2012

Deep in the Bonsai Redwoods

Diversity and community supported by the shared love of the wilds... are words that come to mind. I marvel at the courageous presence with which many of our group are facing the challenges that life's unfolding sometimes brings. I am touched by the kindness and generosity of spirit — given and received. I come away from our time together inspired and hopeful. I wish us all deep peace in the journeys ahead.

BSWE Photo Set
BSWE Photos as Fullscreen Slideshow
Poems to Live By: Here you will find some of the poems I read.

Links to group member's sites:
Wendy Green Yoga
Barefoot Story Weaver
Michael Newman Mediation
Donna Schwarz Consultants
Oregon Flute Store: Jo Ann's
Send me any additional personal links and I will add to this post.

Big Big Sur love to you all,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Half Century of Human Potential, Esalen 2012

A Half Century of Human Potential, Esalen 2012 with Jeffery Kripal

"When the ocean surges,
don't let me just hear it.
Let it splash inside my chest!"
~ Rumi

A day in the wilds of Big Sur with Jeff Kripal's Esalen Work Scholar group. Thanks to the group for a wonderful day. Special thanks to Anna and Isabel for assisting and to Jeff for the collaboration.

Here are some links:
Photo Set from the day
Fullscreen Slideshow of the day
Jeffery Kripal: Jeff's website and projects



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simply Wild at Esalen July 2012

Simply Wild: Experiencing Nature

When the ocean surges,
don’t let me just hear it.
Let it splash inside my chest!
~ Rumi
The week was simple. We strolled through the wilds of Big Sur on hikes, soaked in the natural mineral hot springs, ate good wholesome food, communed with ourselves, others, and nature... and celebrated Interdependence Day on the 4th. Once again, I am so grateful for how we all came together to experience the wilds — both inner and outer.

Here are some links:
Simply Wild Photo Set
Simply Wild Photos as Fullscreen Slideshow
The Summer Day (The poem we started off the workshop with)
Poems to Live By (More poems)
Climate Rabbi (Warren's site)

Thanks for all the wonderful support of Adam and Isabel.



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Way of Nature at Esalen, June 2012

The Way of Nature: The Practice of the Wild

What a journey! I have a whole new meaning to the "practice of the wild." I so appreciate how we each so uniquely showed up this week for such a full range of experiences — both expected and unexpected. For some very clear moments I felt deeply supported while supporting... and for this I am grateful to you all.

I hope you all journey forth with gems from our week. As as David Whyte says, "...what urgency calls you to your one love? What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?" (See: What to Remember When Waking)

Here are links to:
Way of Nature Photo Set
Way of Nature Photos as Full-Screen Slideshow
Among the Wonderful by Stacy Carlson
Poems to Live By: Some poems we read during the week, plus some...

Feel inspired to support Big Creek Reserve?:
Donate to Big Creek
Volunteer Stewardship Program

Special thanks to Stacy, Isabel, and wilds of Big Sur.

Love to you all,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fathers & Sons at Esalen 2012

Celebrating Father's Day in the Tradition of the Old Ways

Over the ages, fathers and sons have journeyed together into the wilds of nature, traveling light, living simply, and stepping together on the path of what is known and what is unknown as students and teachers for one another. This is a time for fathers and sons to come together as individuals, family, and community to explore the natural wild areas of Big Sur and the relationship of father and son in a community of men... and so it shall be.

Here are links to:
What to Remember When Waking (for the path ahead)

I am so deeply touched by our individual and collective willingness to show up for the moment, ourselves, each other, and the larger community of beings. I come away from our weekend inspired by young men that are aware and finding their voice, fathers dedicated to a path of mindful parenting, and a collective of men of all ages that are curious about life.

With Deep Gratitude,

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Walk on the Wild Side: Esalen, May 2012

Walk on the Wild Side: Hiking the Big Sur Country

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul." ~John Muir.

Here are some links:
Poems to Live By For many of the poems of the week
Trees of Big Sur To finally give you names of the trees we saw
PBS Documentary of John Muir
Skiing the Sacred Headwaters Trevor's Expedition
Megan's Site 
Return by request from Katie
Bear Creek Studios by request

Taking a deeper breath than normal and allowing an extended audible exhale. Inviting a "seed" moment that you experienced during our time in the wilds of Big Sur to become real and present. Invite this seed quality to embody in the world you now inhabit.

With Gratitude,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Nature of Zen: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center 2012

Nature of Zen at Tassajara

Many deep bows to all of you that showed up to walk the pathless path. This is my favorite time to be a Tassajara. We were blessed with so many gifts.

Here are a number of links that touch some part of our time together:
Mindful by Mary Oliver
iThou Meditation House: the on-line sitting group that I spoke of in one meeting

Many thanks to the students and staff at Tassajara, Tjarn, Myogen Steve St├╝cky, and the wilds of the Santa Lucia Mountains.

With a warm heart... two claps and one bow,

Steven (Mojo-san)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: April 2012

 Exploring the wilds of the Big Sur

What a grand way to begin my workshop season. I was so touched our first evening to see so many returning friends, and then to feel the fullness with which everyone "jumped" in. I continue to appreciate the power of how community forms and supports our experience of the wilderness.

Here are links:
BSWE Photo Set
BSWE Photos as Slideshow
Sometimes by David Whyte

The following links are from various conversations I had with individuals in our group:
Redwoods (scroll to bottom to see albino redwoods)
Stones (Paintings)
Oaks of California

With Gratitude!


Monday, April 30, 2012

Middlebury Fellowship: April 2012

Every year for the last five years I have had the pleasure of taking a group of up and coming environmental journalist out on a hike into the Big Sur. The program is part of the Middlebury Fellowship for Environmental Journalism and is led by authors Bill McKibben and Christopher Shaw. This year author Rebecca Solnit was once again one of the faculty members.

Here are links:
Photos of the group hike
Slideshow of the photos
Bill McKibben
Rebecca Solnit
Christopher Shaw

Warm regards from the wilds of the Sur,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Esalen Office Goes Wild

The Esalen Office in Big Creek

Always a good reminder to listen to my own words...

"Wildness, rich diversity, and the dramatic meeting of edges — both inner and outer — converge to create the place we call Big Sur. Here the elements meet, greet, and co-create. Fire, Air, Earth, and Water come together in a manner so clearly on display that we have no choice but to come to our senses and awaken in our human body."

Each year I take the Esalen Office crew out for a hike in the wilds. I do this in gratitude for the hard work they do day in and day out. They, along with many other people, are the ones that make it possible for me to do what I do. And... it is always good to re-mind myself as I remind others to "come to our senses and awaken in our human body."

Warm greetings from the Sur,


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blue Living Marble

Living Earth

On this extra "leap" day of the year I find myself once again appreciating the ride we are on. The earth itself (and all of us on it) are flying around the sun at 66,600 mph. Even at this speed we don't quite make our full journey around the sun. It actually takes us about 365.25 days to make the full circle. Through the Julian and then Gregorian calendar we added in a day every forth year. Different cultures use other ways of counting the days, seasons, years, and marking time.

Even though it is not quite the case... I like to think of today as a "extra" day that we are all gifted — a good time to ask the question that poet Mary Oliver asks in one of her poems — "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Or framed for today, "What is it you are doing/being with your one wild and precious day?"

Warm regards from the wilds of the the Big Sur,


To see the full poem by Mary Oliver: The Summer Day

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Bit of History

Before Esalen Institute was formed in 1962, there was Big Sur Hot Springs. This is a photo of the entrance from Highway 1. Very little landscaping or development had been done at the time.

My friend Jeff Kripal and Scott Jones are working on a documentary about Esalen. Here are links to learn more about their project:
Supernature - Kickstart (check out the two trailers)
Supernature - Scott Jones' website