Feb 20, 2009

Four Waters

This is a photo of Esalen's baths, a clothing-optional facility fed by natural hot springs. You soak in the sulfur-infused water while looking up at the stars and listening to the waves crash below you. It's incredibly peaceful and spiritually powerful. Big Sur used to be inhabited by the Esalen Indians and for thousands of years they used these hot sulfur waters for healing.

I enjoy the way in which clothing-optional hot tubs break down
barriers between people and present a shared experience that engenders trust and respect for diversity. I've found that ease of connection woefully lacking from my interaction with most people in New York City. And of course I also love looking at bodies -- I find the human form beautiful, even when it strays from what Hollywood and Madison Avenue ideals.

As special as the baths are, they would be incomplete without the other three waters of Esalen -- the ocean crashing below you, the fresh water for drinking that flows out of the Ventana wilderness, and the rain which sustains the ecosystem and replenishes the hot springs.

Shaman revere the elements as fundamental forces in our world that sustain our lives. Our shared experiences with the elements ties together all living things and allows us to connect with our ancestors as well. The four waters of Esalen create a strong bond that's essential to its powerful spirituality.

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