To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Away & Back – Delights, Dreams, Depth at Esalen

For decades I’ve wanted to travel to Esalen, take a workshop and immerse myself in this unique Big Sur land of delights, dreams and depth. The delights are the land, waters, air, light and their gifts. The dreams are the calling from dreamtime at night, and the depth is exploring into the mystery and connection of soul and nature. A perfect combination.

esalen-garden-goddess-feature-blog-creativity-for-the-soul copyGarden Goddess dances in garden overlooking the ocean

DELIGHTS – The delights are in the waters; the ocean, a river that dances from mountain canyon through forest to merge with the Pacific, and hot springs mineral water that fills warm pools with healing water.


Esalen-river-into-ocean-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogWhere the river flows into the ocean

esalen-baths-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogHot springs mineral water baths and massage house

The land delights with gardens filled with flowers and food, and buildings that honor place and purpose.

esalen-garden-goddess-lodge-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogGarden in the mist with path to lodge where food is served and people gather.

esalen-meditation-hut-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogMeditation hut next to river where the heartbeat of earth and ancients can be heard

esalen-passion-flower-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogView from my workshop classroom, with passion flower leading up the path

DREAMS – Dreams are the calling from dreamtime at night.  My  journey to Esalen began months before the first step away from home. A powerful dream took place weeks before I even had any idea I would be going.



jouney-book-dreams-cover-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogI  created a mandala art journal origami book to help me explore this dream and others.  I dreamed of a strange figure that I had never seen before in an unknown setting. Weeks later I signed up for a workshop. I knew my this dream was part of my going.  Several days after signing up for the course, while walking through the St. Louis Art Museum I saw the exact figure from my dream in a Native American art exhibit.



journey-book-labyrinth-frog-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThe dream felt like a labyrinth into a cave of the unknown. Thoughts, intentions, prayers, fears all walked with me into this labyrinth.





Other dreams were recorded and brought to light. Again these mandalas and art journaling let me process deeper.

journey-book-badger-crystals-blog-creativity-for-the-soul copyA dream of a badger under a bridge. One of my Zuni fetishes is a badger who has traveled with me. Another dream of crystals emerging from water. My hands feel connections.



journey-book-dreams-boat-frog-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogLots of water dreams with a frog emerging in one.



journey-book-dreams-DETAIL-boat-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogFloating in water, walking in water, discovering things in water. All these were in my dreams.



journey-book-dreams-origami-book-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogArt Journal Mandala origami book unfolded

DEPTHS – The embrace of a mandala circle holding these images and words keeps them in the circle of a mandala’s wisdom. These art journals let me explore these dreams with many thoughts and feelings brought up almost instantly when I view the images. I can revisit the images of my dreams directly.

Dreams wrap us in the arms of mystery and guide us to our depths. I continued keeping a dream journal during my workshop and now at home. I am creating more dream journal mandala origami books.

The depth of the Esalen experience was also in what was revealed by the land. The depth of mystery was experienced within a mushroom fairy circle I visited often.

esalen-fairy-ring-mushrooms-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogMushroom fairy circle, a place I meditated in

The land revealed something I first saw at night as I spent time outside in nature. I sat at dusk and let myself feel the connection, power and love of earth. Almost ready to leave I told myself to stay a little longer. I sat back down, looked up and saw a figure of a native dancer with headdress and ceremonial clothes held in motion in the branches of a tree on the cliff edge with ocean below.


I can’t wait to spend more time at Esalen, a place of delights, dreams and depth. Fortunately that essence has been carried home and lives on in my daily life.


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