August 9, 2009
High View Church Farm, the Cult where I grew up and Esalen
Okay, Esalen isn’t a cult, it isn’t even like a cult, so don’t get your panties in a bunch. It’s just weird to me here, because I always talk about the bad parts of growing up at that cult, having my head stuck in a garbage pail, being starved, being beaten with sticks, ropes, fern sticks, (hurts more than it sounds, when you have a bundle of them, draws blood) having my ears boxed etc, it was waterboarding for children but what I forget is the great parts and I remember them when I come to Esalen.
The organic food. We raised all of our own food, and it was good. We ate fresh chicken and pork, and we ate in communal dining halls and had these great meals of organic salads and steamed vegetables and organic farm roast chicken that was just great.
Esalen has a healthy organic environment. You can come and go as you please. It’s for people in a growth stage of their life, so the people you meet are amazing, passionate and curious. High View was for people who had decided to stop their life. They never changed their hair style, clothing style, religion or a single thought again. They were just going to blindly follow the leader guy for the rest of their lives. My mother and sister are still there. They’ve been there for 43 years so I suppose that’s working out for them.
Back to Esalen, the feeling you get here is that people are at some precipice in their life and the workshop leaders are giving them all these tools, like flying instructions and a para-sail or hang gliders (I asked my husband which it was, he said the word I’m searching for here is “suicide”) and then they are going to jump off the cliff and start gliding. Adventurous people, funny people, sexy people, take-off-your-clothes in the baths people. I like these Esalen people.
Some of them get up early to meditate. I like the concept of meditation and contemplation, but not the actual doing of it. While I am running, I meditate. But sitting still? And meditating? That sounds like a lot of work. Too much sitting down time for the Kate with nothing electronic to keep the hands busy. I hardly have enough time now for press, work, family, run, write, sleep. If I had to meditate too, the whole time I would be thinking about what I should be doing; that’s not the point.
Oh, and get this, I met this woman who does cranial work. Yes, there is a whole field of people who work on your cranial area. I like this idea. Someone is teaching a workshop here on how to live your life more passionately. If I live my life with any more passion, I won’t be able to sleep. My life feels quite passionate enough. I wake and breathe life passionately. I sleep passionately. I will wake passionately tomorrow and drive back to Los Angeles and fly to Ghost Ranch.