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,