Many have had this thought at the baths: “I wish I could bottle this up and take it home with me.” Inspired by that longing and the astounding beauty that sparks healing and transformation in everyone, we’re proud to introduce Esalen’s Bathing & Spa Collection of body lotion, body wash, bath salts, and massage and body oil.
Developed on campus, under the watchful eye of Douglas Drummond, Director of Healing Arts, these products are also a labor of love.
“Much of the inspiration for the product is the reverence we have for the natural environment around us, of which we are privileged stewards,” said Drummond, “...much like the self-care one needs to have for our own healthy well-being of ourselves.”
In amazement from the first inhale, these two blends might make you feel like you’re strolling down to the baths in the open air, the sound of the Pacific Ocean soothing your soul.
Freshly landing on the shelves of the Esalen store (in person and online), the packaging is simple, but the invitation is deeper — to embody the journey of a transformational experience, much like the role of bathing historically, and culturally.
Baths were common throughout the Roman Empire as a communal activity across all classes. Japanese bathing culture is rooted in the traditions of Buddhism. In the Middle East, hammam began in the Arabic culture as a place to prepare for prayer. The Native American sweat bath and temazcal were used to keep the body clean, cure illness, revitalize, and to forge a cultural identity.
“There is a long history of healing that takes place at the baths that we continue to learn about and honor,” said Drummond. “Discovering new ways to celebrate and honor the healing that takes place, at the baths in particular, is a deeply important source of inspiration and purpose for the people that join us here.”
“The collection fits perfectly into the store’s promise of supporting transformation and rituals,” said Heather Martin, Head of Retail and Merchandising. “I’m thrilled that our guests and those buying online have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Esalen through our Bathing & Spa collection.”
“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.”
“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.
What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?
Visit the Esalen store on your next visit and bottle up the feeling of being at the baths, any time.