Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Way Forward

Kairos, n. (kai·​ros | \ (ˈ)kī¦räs): a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment.

The world of February 2021 is not the same as the world of a year ago. No one can exempt themselves from the collective trauma created and exacerbated by three seismic events: the pandemic, anti-democratic political violence, and the upswell of  international protests for Black lives that highlighted the United States' continuous struggle toward “a more perfect union” against the forces of white supremacy. To explore paths toward healing and reconciliation — and to hold ourselves accountable for our own role in perpetuating systems of inequity — we’re rolling out The Way Forward. These quarterly virtual summits will help us all understand the roles we can play in shaping a safe, equitable future — and understand the ways we’ve contributed to the present-day crisis.

Last year, Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy offered the concept of “kairos” as a way to understand the profundity of our current crossroads. The world is shifting, we are at a precipice of great possibility, and we must each decide how we respond. How do we begin to imagine our highest humanity in the face of a pandemic that continues to claim the lives of the most vulnerable among us? How do we collectively grieve the loss of life in a moment where significant numbers of our fellow humans refuse to even believe the pandemic is real? How do we work toward a vision of a more just world as we watch the U.S. Capitol besieged by a citizenry determined to overturn a free and fair election with violence? How do we value diversity and community in the face of deep systemic inequality and disconnection?

Esalen chooses to respond by starting with ourselves. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, we made a commitment in June “to account for our inactions and to look inward to see the changes that we now need to make.” We recognize voices like George Leonard in our foundation, who had a deep commitment to the Civil Rights Movement and insisted that the work of human potential be grounded in the moral arc toward justice and collective action and will commit to have more of those voices. We understand that as a historically white institution our mission and values require us to center the voices of marginalized people whose humanity continues to be contested.

As another layer of this healing process, we have committed to repairing the wound in our relationship with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, under the guidance of trained reconciliation facilitators from the Healing and Reconciliation Institute. Looking ahead, this process may include repairing relations with other tribal leaders and sovereign nations in our area. This is the first phase of the crucial and continuous work we must do to step fully into our mission, values, and vision with truth and accountability. The Way Forward summits offer another opportunity stay focused on this critical work of reckoning while also bringing the larger community into the conversation. We know this work will not be easy. We know we will make mistakes. We also know that being transparent about this work will help us stay the course.

Please subscribe to our newsletter and follow our social media channels for updates about The Way Forward summits and stay connected with us as we navigate the long road ahead.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“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.”
–Steve

“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?“
–Rainer

“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.”
–Suzanne

“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.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“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!”
–Lori

“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.”
–Steven
“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.“
–David Z.


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?



About

Esalen Team

The Way Forward

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

Kairos, n. (kai·​ros | \ (ˈ)kī¦räs): a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment.

The world of February 2021 is not the same as the world of a year ago. No one can exempt themselves from the collective trauma created and exacerbated by three seismic events: the pandemic, anti-democratic political violence, and the upswell of  international protests for Black lives that highlighted the United States' continuous struggle toward “a more perfect union” against the forces of white supremacy. To explore paths toward healing and reconciliation — and to hold ourselves accountable for our own role in perpetuating systems of inequity — we’re rolling out The Way Forward. These quarterly virtual summits will help us all understand the roles we can play in shaping a safe, equitable future — and understand the ways we’ve contributed to the present-day crisis.

Last year, Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy offered the concept of “kairos” as a way to understand the profundity of our current crossroads. The world is shifting, we are at a precipice of great possibility, and we must each decide how we respond. How do we begin to imagine our highest humanity in the face of a pandemic that continues to claim the lives of the most vulnerable among us? How do we collectively grieve the loss of life in a moment where significant numbers of our fellow humans refuse to even believe the pandemic is real? How do we work toward a vision of a more just world as we watch the U.S. Capitol besieged by a citizenry determined to overturn a free and fair election with violence? How do we value diversity and community in the face of deep systemic inequality and disconnection?

Esalen chooses to respond by starting with ourselves. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, we made a commitment in June “to account for our inactions and to look inward to see the changes that we now need to make.” We recognize voices like George Leonard in our foundation, who had a deep commitment to the Civil Rights Movement and insisted that the work of human potential be grounded in the moral arc toward justice and collective action and will commit to have more of those voices. We understand that as a historically white institution our mission and values require us to center the voices of marginalized people whose humanity continues to be contested.

As another layer of this healing process, we have committed to repairing the wound in our relationship with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, under the guidance of trained reconciliation facilitators from the Healing and Reconciliation Institute. Looking ahead, this process may include repairing relations with other tribal leaders and sovereign nations in our area. This is the first phase of the crucial and continuous work we must do to step fully into our mission, values, and vision with truth and accountability. The Way Forward summits offer another opportunity stay focused on this critical work of reckoning while also bringing the larger community into the conversation. We know this work will not be easy. We know we will make mistakes. We also know that being transparent about this work will help us stay the course.

Please subscribe to our newsletter and follow our social media channels for updates about The Way Forward summits and stay connected with us as we navigate the long road ahead.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“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.”
–Steve

“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?“
–Rainer

“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.”
–Suzanne

“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.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“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!”
–Lori

“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.”
–Steven
“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.“
–David Z.


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?



About

Esalen Team

//