• May 31, 2012

    A human writes:

    After weeks of writing letters and making calls to Board Members I am beginning to feel that the only way to truly make an impression on the President and Board is for those of us who are not on staff to organize a demonstration or sit-in on the road at the entrance to Esalen. It would be a good way to let the “leadership” know that this issue is not going to blow over and there are many, many people who support the staff, and are willing to fight to preserve the feeling of community that has helped make Esalen great.

  • May 30, 2012

    A human writes:

    In my work I consult corporations in designing and developing their corporate and leadership culture. A lot of what I do I take from my experience at Esalen (as an extended student for almost two years). It comes as a real shock to me to see how the Esalen management is handling things. They seem to be out of touch with their base.

    The community is (or was?) what created the experience at Esalen. This is what most visitors care for and this is how Esalen is distinguishing itself from other spa and workshop locations. Where Esalen is heading now is to become just another spa that will have a hard time to distinguish itself from other ones. This new pond is way more competitive, and I have my doubts whether Esalen will be able to prevail without substantial financial investments. Welcome to the corporate world. I hope that the Esalen management finds the strength to let go of their fantasies that they fell in love with. In other words: get out of their minds and come to their senses.

    My heart and well-wishes to everyone.

  • May 30, 2012

    A human writes:

    Some years ago, I spent many days and nights on the edge of Earth — Esalen.

    Such a delicate balance existed — give & take, preserve & give up, community & solitude, dreams & manifestations, death & birth.

    Never was it a resort with a division of servers and those served. It was, and hopefully will remain, a glorious experiment, wabi-sabi, muddy, messy, perfectly unfinished.

    The operating structure felt seamless and quietly low key. Everyone, no matter the “role,” was giving & receiving.

    I hope the wise elders are available to describe all this to those newbies who may be limited in their understanding of what would be lost if the delicate balance is lost.

  • May 30, 2012

    A current Esalen community member writes:

    In response to the question, “What can I and other friends of Esalen do for you, the community members who are there?” I offer the following suggestions.

    As a seminarian, you can get in touch with the Office and express your concerns about what is happening here, and how it affects your plans to visit Esalen in the future. [+1-831-667-3003]

    As a workshop leader, you can get in touch with your contacts in Esalen’s Programs Department and express your concerns about what’s happening here, and how it affects your plans for future presence here. [+1-831-667-3013]

    Finally, if you are a donor, please get in touch with your contacts at Esalen’s Development Department (and with other donors you might know) and express your concerns about what’s happening, and how it affects your plans for future giving. [+1-831-667-3032]

    Thank you for your support.

    A Community Member Who Is Here

  • May 29, 2012

    In an internal Esalen email dated January 21, 2010, Esalen CEO Tricia McEntee wrote:

    In the interest of building a relationship of honesty, integrity, and trust, among organization employees, [any corporate survey] results should be communicated effectively by a unbiased professional and acted upon by the organization.

    In the Spring of 2011, Esalen conducted a Leadership Culture Survey, but failed to convey the results or act upon them. The results have been available for viewing, but not copying, and only for those willing to ask terminatrix Jan Sinclair to briefly unveil the secret papers in a private meeting.

    After a full year of the survey being suppressed in this way, The Nine are proud to present the results for public viewing and discussion. As unbiased professionals, we trust that Ms. McEntee will approve.

    The lowest score on the chart is for the “interpersonal intelligence” of its leadership — an area where the Institute is chartered to be a center of excellence and teaching.

    Meanwhile the data shows an almost perfect score in the area of “customer focus” in the business as a whole — an area where Esalen leadership has steadfastly insisted there is a deadly deficit, choosing to turn the Institute’s culture upside down in the name of solving this clearly imaginary problem.

    These results, and the reasons for their suppression by current leadership, speak for themselves. The respect and deference granted to these “leaders” by the community at the recent Community-Board Meeting remains a perplexing disappointment.

    UPDATE: Our original leak appears below. More complete survey results are now here.

    Leadership Culture Survey Results
    Summary of All Dimensions

    Leadership Culture Survey Results
    Top 10 Sub-Categories

    Leadership Culture Survey Results
    Lowest 5 Sub-Categories

  • May 17, 2012

    A human writes:

    I agree with the idea of community demonstration. I also agree that the guest feedback is highly important. If anyone has objections to the way things are going, or objections to the misuse of donated funds, speak up now. Now is the time to let these people know just how much they have let you down by squandering the esteemed positions that they hold. This situation is an alarming microcosm of the outside world and the continuous dilemma of the few holding back the many, that permeates the rest of capitalist culture. Not that that is exclusive, but I thought we were trying to take the high road and set a better example of what could be.

  • May 16, 2012

    A human writes:

    I am crying tears of both gratitude and pain. Gratitude for having been a daily community member in the not distant past, and real pain for those that are there now. Yes, drastic measures that will make the mark where it is felt most to the few who are holding back the many.

    No kale or quinoa either — for as long as it takes.

    For peace.


    Another human writes:

    I support this idea. I would love to think that intelligent communication could hold the answer, but as I have learned over the years, communication takes two parties. At the next orientation session, why don’t we all as a community sit in Huxley to offer a broader orientation about what’s going on here.

    The Nine support departmental walk-outs and orientation teach-ins. When community action is united, corporate retaliation is impossible — until there is no community left.

  • May 16, 2012

    An anonymous poet writes a call to action:

    A Day with No Kale: A Prayer for the Esalen Community

    No Kale. No towels. No sheets. No guards at the gate. No silverware. No clean tubs. No toilet paper, no flowers on the beds, no pancakes, no keys, no calls answered, no guest orientation, no tours, no midnight tubs, no staff, no revenue!

    No cute occupy signs, no pleading letters from a place of disenfranchisement to Dad & Mom.


    A statement from a place of power, of the true depth of Divine Human Potential, saying “Yes!”

    A walk out. A sit in. A real hot seat! Call the press, call the guests. No Kale!

    Empowerment for the people, Great Spirit. To not be indentured servants on Murphy’s Farm, but free men and women.

    If a day is not enough, than two, or three or five or 35! Whatever it takes to tip the financial calculation which is the only argument to which The Corporation Mind will listen. How many cancellations, how much bad press, how much chaos to equal the salary and benefits of the 3?

    A prayer for a new relationship.

    A prayer for a community that comes to know its true power.

    To the human potential – guests, and community.

    Aho Mitakuya Oyasin

  • May 12, 2012

    A current Esalen board member and Esaleaks informant closes:

    This leak ain’t the only bucket in town. Smart people everywhere.

    Talking about you, readers, writers, lovers, dreamers, workers, community.

    The Nine

  • May 12, 2012

    A pixieish messenger appears in the wooded precipice beyond Porter’s Yurt and before turning into a pine cone spouts:

    ˙ƃuıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ pɐǝɹ ƃuıʞɔnɟ puɐ ǝɹoʇsʞooq ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ lɐǝʇs

    ˙˙˙llɐq ǝɥʇ pǝddoɹp ʞɔıp puɐ ɥɔood ǝɥʇ pǝʍǝɹɔs zʇıɹɟ ǝɹǝɥʍ dn uǝʞɐʇ sɐɥ ʎʇıɔıuoɹɥɔuʎs ʇɐɥʇ ǝʌǝılǝq ı ˙ou ¿ʇı uı ǝʌǝılǝq ı op ¡ǝuo lɐɔıloqɐıp o `llıʞs snoıɹǝs ǝɯos sı ʇɐɥʇ ʍou ˙(ǝuo ʍǝu ǝɥʇ) ssɐ s’nɐʎ ɯɐs oʇ ǝzıƃolodɐ uns ǝɥʇ ƃuıssǝuʇıʍ ɟo uoıʇɐɯɹoɟsuɐɹʇ ǝɥʇ uı ɯıʍs oʇ ʇǝƃ p’ǝɥ puɐ suǝılɐ pɹnʇǝʌɐɔ ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ sǝssɐ ɹno ǝʌɐs plnoʍ (sʇnu ƃuıʞɔnɟ llɐ `ǝʌılɐ puɐ pɐǝp `ʍǝu puɐ plo) sǝıppnq sıɥ ɯoɹɟ suıɥdlop puɐ sǝʌlǝ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇsnɹʇ `ɹǝıd ʇɹoɥs ɐ ɟɟo ʞlɐʍ ƃuol ɐ ǝʞɐʇ puɐ ɥsıɟ ɐ oʇuı ǝlɔʎɔıq ɐ ʇnd p’ǝɥ ¿op ʞɔıp plnoʍ ʇɐɥʍ ˙ʞɹǝɾ ǝlɔɹıɔ uoıʇɐʇıpǝɯ ɐ uı ƃuıʇʇıɥs llɐ ǝɹǝʍ noʎ ʎɐs p’ǝɥ ˙slɹǝd zʇıɹɟ pɐǝɹ ˙ƃuıʇɐɹʇsnɹɟ ¿uǝlɐsǝ sı ʇɐɥʍ

    ˙ɯǝʇsʎs ƃuıʞooq ǝɥʇ ƃuıʌɐɹq ɹoɟ ʇɐɥʇ uı pǝpnlɔuı ǝq oʇ ǝʞıl plnoʍ ı ”`sǝoɹǝɥ“ ʎɐs noʎ ɟı ˙ssɐ ɹnoʎ ʞɔıʞ oʇ ʎɹʇ llıʍ oɥʍ ʍouʞ ı ”sɯıʇɔıʌ“ ʎɐs noʎ ɟı ¿ʎǝɥʇ ǝɹɐ ʇɐɥʍ ¿ǝǝɹɥʇ uǝlɐsǝ ǝɥʇ ˙ƃuıdǝǝʞ sı ǝɥ ɥɔıɥʍ `ɹosıʌpɐ uɐ sɐ ǝloɹ sıɥ uı ʎnƃ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ʎɹǝʌ ɐ s’ǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ pooƃ s’ʇı ˙ʎɹʇ oʇ ɯıɥ ɟo pǝıɟıɹɹǝʇ ooʇ ǝɹɐ ǝldoǝd ʇsoɯ ˙ʎɐʍ ʇɐɥʇ pǝʇɔɐɹʇxǝ ǝq ʇɥƃıɯ ploɥ `pǝǝpuı `sǝop ǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ ǝƃpǝlʍouʞ ɟo ɥʇlɐǝʍ ǝɥʇ sdɐɥɹǝd ˙ʇɥƃıɹ s’ǝɥ `sǝsɐɔ ǝɯos uı ˙˙˙˙sıɥ ʞɔns plnoɥs ǝuoʎɹǝʌǝ sʞuıɥʇ ɔıɹǝ ˙ʎɐs ll’ı llɐ s’ʇɐɥʇ puɐ `ǝnɹʇ sı ʇɐɥʇ ˙ʎlqıɹɹǝʇ uoıʇɔunɟ oʇ ɹǝɥ pǝpǝǝu ǝɹɐɯʇɥƃıu ɹǝʇndɯoɔ plo ɹǝɥʇǝƃoʇ pǝlqqoɔ ǝlqıɹɹǝʇ ǝɥʇ ¿uǝǝlɥʇɐʞ ˙qoɾ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ ʇuǝɯɐɹǝdɯǝʇ ǝɥʇ ʇou sɐɥ puɐ `ɹǝƃɐuɐɯ ǝlqıɹɹǝʇ ɐ sɐʍ ǝɥ ˙ʇǝod lnɟɹǝpuoʍ ɐ sı lǝıuɐp ˙pǝʞɔunɟǝɹ ɹou `pǝsoddo ʎlɹǝdoɹd ǝq ʇouuɐɔ ʇı os puɐ ˙pǝsɹɐd ǝq ʇouuɐɔ ʇı ǝsnɐɔǝq ¿ʎɥʍ ˙snıuǝƃ lɐɔıloqɐıp ɟo ʞɹoʍ ɐ ǝq oʇ sɯǝǝs ƃuıɹnʇʞɔxnɟǝɹ ǝɥʇ