What to Bring! Esalen is REMOTE!
Please read this carefully, before and as you pack for Esalen. Esalen is in a remote location and stores are essentially inaccessible. Esalen also has diverse weather conditions, so please be prepared.
Clothing: Bring comfortable, informal layering clothing for a variety of weathers. In September, Big Sur is often cool in the morning, and sunny and warm in the afternoon. While snow and meteor showers are highly unlikely, rain may happen, so bring an umbrella and rain gear. Bring a hat. If nudity is not your thing when bathing in public, then bring a swimsuit.
Swimsuits are optional in both the mineral baths and pool.
The pool is excellent for water exercise or lap swimming.
The mineral baths are healing. Don’t miss out because you prefer to wear a suit. Bring it.
Flashlight: A flashlight or a headlamp can be helpful but is not critical when walking around Esalen at night, e.g., from your room to the lodge, the baths, etc. Nowadays most paths have minimalistic lighting. If you like to go off path or have decreased night vision please consider bringing a headlamp—available at camping stores. Don’t forget batteries.
Beads for bead exchange: 60 beads as noted above
Items for the community 'altar': Please bring any items that symbolize an aspect of your own health and creativity that you want to nurture, embody, honor or explore during (and after) TOOER. Note: These items will return home with you.
Musical instruments: (guitar, drum, ukulele, piccolo, voice, bells, etc.) Whatever you enjoy that opens up your creativity, please bring.
Books, CDs, DVDs, or other materials for the TOOER Resource Center: We will have a community library of books, DVD’s CD’s etc. that we have found useful in medicine, self-help, career management and so on. You can 'check out' these resources for use during TOOER and reclaim your own items at the end of the retreat. Please mark all items clearly with your name.
Note: We cannot lend materials from the TOOER Resource Center after the conference. (There are several apocryphal stories about borrowed materials after TOOER 1.0. Materials were lost at sea, stolen in foreign countries, eaten by babies, pets, etc.)
Also note: Esalen has video viewing rooms available. In addition to the TOOER Resource Center, you can use Esalen's own, very extensive video collection of talks and workshops that have been given at Esalen over several decades.
Toiletries, sunscreen, medications, NSAIDS and tylenol, chocolate and legal drugs: Esalen is in a remote location on the Big Sur coast. The nearest bank, pharmacy, and large grocery store are in the Carmel/Monterey Area, about a 1 hour drive north. The Esalen Bookstore does have a great collection of CDs, books, audiotapes and incense, but very few other items. Esalen does not change personal checks into cash. They will take personal checks and credit cards to pay for massage and for items in the bookstore. Please bring enough “supplies”—toiletries, sunscreen, etc. Esalen does not allow illegal drugs, pets (except for service animals) or guests. Please see their website for details. They do serve limited alcohol outside the dining room, and you are welcome to bring your own wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage. Internet is extremely limited and is turned off during meal times. Cell phone reception is also extremely limited due to Esalen’s remote location. Usage of electronic devices during your stay is discouraged. However, you can rest assured that urgent communication with the outside world is possible when necessary.
TOOER community sharing: One or two nights we’ll have community sharing, and share songs, music, beads (see above) or any other activity you would like to share (eg a board game, coloring book, etc). Please bring whatever materials you would like to share with others! This is entirely optional, and can be whatever you want it to be.