• June 12, 2012

    A human writes:

    As a very long term staffer of Esalen, the yearnings and comments of Larger than us all ring true for me as well. What we want for Esalen long-term always needs to be put in the context of what is happening right now, and what is working — what stands to be impacted as a consequence of this upgrade. Impatience has no place here.

    From all of the reports (Ventana and the current survey), Esalen’s biggest problems are finding ways to deal with conflict safely and creatively. Addressing this issue realistically and head-on would in turn allow us to maneuver gracefully through changing seas.

    Your emphasis on a non-profit organization’s mandate to serve humanity could take many shapes and forms. However, I appreciate your underlining it because it seems to have been left out of the discussion on the ground (although not the rhetoric throughout the catalog, etc.).

    I am particularly grateful regarding your defining of the various communities. At most Esalen “staff meetings,” the external community, as well as the current community of workshop attendees and leaders, is completely omitted from the discussion.

    I am disillusioned by today’s lack of congruence through the management structure. That we can co-create and build trust on one day, and fire three people with 15 minutes notice the next, is beyond belief, particularly if it really had been planned for 5 years as one top exec retorts. That we can talk about communication and fail to use those same skills to address the hard topics is beyond belief. The response of the top leadership to the discussions has been underwhelming at best. It may well be that they just don’t get it because of the isolated nature of the organization structure regarding the roles of directors and trustees. When we speak of change, I must notice that a few of today’s exec team are not solution focused, but rather maintain their “rightness”, a reactionary view as prevalent as the one the writer suggested above.

    To the author of Larger than us all, thanks for your two years of service to the ’tute, as well as your on-going interest and vision. It is exactly your community that is now making me proud to continue to stand with Esalen.

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