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Breitenbush Hot Springs logo

Ua Mau Ke o ka ‘Aina I ka Pono

“Ua Mau Ke o ka ‘Aina I ka Pono,” a Hawaiian saying (and state modo) that translates as, “The life of the land is preserved in righteousness.” When I think about living and working at Breitenbush Hot Springs, and especially when I ponder our credo, this is the saying that perpetuates my soul.

I started visiting Breitenbush as a guest over 15 years ago, and returned year after year to renew and revive, and deeply connect with Mother Earth through this very sacred land in the middle of a national forest. It was my place to reset and completely wind down during some stressful careers living in a fast paced lifestyle. I almost always came by myself for personal retreats and would start to unplug as soon as my foot hit the gas pedal onto the forest roads. […]
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Let’s Talk!

It has been an honor and a joy to call Breitenbush home for the last two and a half years.  I have lived at Breitenbush for numerous shorter periods over the last eight and a half years.  This time, however, I decided to stay for at least a three year period.  One of the biggest factors contributing to my desire to stay longer this time is how harmonious the community feels now.  Throughout several years I have witnessed an evolution in the community.  In my eyes the community as a whole is growing up, maturing, and overcoming unhealthy dynamics.  I believe healthier communication has been a main driving force for our more cohesive community.

At this year’s summer solstice event hosted at Breitenbush there was a workshop on “relationship issues.”  In a group of about 25 people we moved […]
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‘Alternative Facts,’ Alternative Thinking, Holistic Alternatives

Peter MoreEvery morning I briefly tune into the headlines of the New York Times and Fox News, just to monitor some conventional reality and keep a wary eye on the world of ‘alternative facts.’ I do this as a contrast to this alternative life I lead at Breitenbush. And each day I experience a jarring noise-to- signal static that triggers outrage at political behavior so weird and irresponsible, I wouldn’t tolerate it in my own sphere of influence. But my deeper reaction is one of growing ridicule. I cannot restrain my mirth which, like a yawn, ignites more of same the longer it persists. The news is more entertaining than any fiction. My laughter response comes in spite of knowing there are imminent dangers hanging in the balance. The fact that elected representatives lie isn’t news, but these ‘alternative facts,’

in speeches, tweets and tantrums, are so […]
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Love’s Other Names

Three years ago I came to Breitenbush to learn about love. My heart had just been broken open by the sudden cessation of a six-year relationship, and its reverberations left me hungry to live in love’s center, with or without a partner.

I came to Breitenbush to learn about love and I have. I’ve learned that love can feel like strong hugs and bright smiles and campfire harmonies. I expected this.

What I didn’t expect is that love also feels like the fibers around my heart ripping open, tearing to reveal the pink pulsing center within. I didn’t expect to feel the breeziness that comes with such vulnerability. I didn’t expect that love would ask me so often to find my own sturdy core so as not to get knocked around by other people’s storms.

Love has […]
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Breitenbush University by Mona Nicholson

My first visit to Breitenbush was in 1981.  Being here evolved…from day use, while camping at Detroit Lake with my family…to personal retreats and workshops.  Breitenbush was a place I returned to over the years to bring my life, as we say, ‘back into balance.’ 

After retiring from being a teacher and a principal, the doors opened for me to join the Breitenbush community and business.  The continuation of my spiritual pilgrimage on this sacred land now continues daily.

This month, it will be 6 years since first coming to live and work at Breitenbush.  I’m loved, accepted, cared for…and corrected, at times.  Mostly, I’m allowed to simply be me…here…now. 

Over the years, I’ve searched for a path; a credo on which I could “stand.”  The Breitenbush Credo is the closest I’ve come.  The river, mountains, trees, stones and healing […]
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What Do The Numbers Tell Us?

By Peter Moore, Business Director

Peter MoreWhat Do The Numbers Tell Us?

Breitenbush Hot Springs was homesteaded in 1904, becoming privately owned land. An enormous investment was subsequently made in the late ‘20s to build the Lodge, cabins and infrastructure of the original resort. Nearly a century later our Breitenbush Community Co-op is engaged in a 2nd phase of deep investment, with two purposes: 1. Maintain and upgrade the existing structures and infrastructure; 2. Design, engineer and build new structures/infrastructure that support those of us who live, work, grow and play at Breitenbush, and our guests who visit us. To carry these initiatives forward requires some numbers.

Last November our Board of Directors passed a new rate proposal for fiscal year 2017. It signals an increase in what we charge our guests. It’s not unusual for an organization to pass a rate hike, especially when inflationary pressures […]
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From ‘Holy’ to ‘Holistic’

By Peter Moore, Business Director

Peter MoreFrom ‘Holy’ to ‘Holistic’

For more than 30 years, the annual “International Holistic Centers Gathering” (IHCG), has brought together founders, administrators and program directors from holistic centers located throughout the world. The term ‘Holistic’ equates to personal growth and self-actualization; participating centers are un-affiliated with political parties or religious institutions. Each year the IHCG convenes at a different center in the world and a deep conversation ensues. I’ve had the sincere pleasure to attend the annual IHCG over the past decade and both I and Breitenbush Hot Springs have benefitted in many ways from the unique mind-meld and practical information exchanged between colleagues involved in this meaning-making field. What a gift.

In spring, 2013, I attended the IHCG at Esalen Institute, in California. There I met a first-time participant, Isabelle Duchesneau. She told us about a new holistic center […]
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Housing a Village

Peter MoreBy Peter Moore, Business Director

We all need housing. From city centers to Wildland-Urban Interfaces (WUI: it’s pronounced ‘woo-ee’) like Breitenbush, everyone needs a place to live. And because humans are so inventive and adaptive, our species has come up with a lot of ways to provide for this need. At Breitenbush, housing for workers has changed over the decades since our community was founded. When I got here in 1978, I could have had two houses, one on either side of the river, because there were no guests and lots of empty cabins. Since opening to serve the public more than 30 years ago our staff numbers have grown to keep up with burgeoning guest occupancy, and pressure for housing is greater now than ever before.

Although the “Tiny House” movement has been gaining momentum for well over a decade in the USA, Breitenbush has […]
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University of the Soul, China

By Peter Moore, Business Director

In October this year, I will visit China for the first time. I love Asia and earlier in my life spent a couple of years in Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma and Thailand, but never China. My visit this year isn’t a tourist thing; I’ll be attending a Centers Gathering (www.centersgathering.org) at New Haiwen (www.newhaiwen.com.cn), a Chinese retreat & conference center, and will later give a talk at an international conference where I’ll speak about the benefits of starting and managing such a center.

Attending the Centers Gathering is a continuance of a pattern I’ve involved myself in over the past decade, and written about (University of the Soul, Breitenbush Newsletter/Catalog, Fall, 2011). This annual event is a gathering of administrators and program directors representing centers from every continent. We have convened for three decades, each year at a different center, in the US, British Isles, […]
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The Ender of Assigned Gender

A big stir around our circle recently has been a conversation/debate about what defines gender and who gets to decide. It appeared as a proposal to both recognize and actively support transgender people in their struggle for inclusion and acceptance in society, starting with women-only events at Breitenbush (whether sponsored by Breitenbush or not). It is noted that transgender people are perhaps the most persecuted population of all, suffering a host of abuses, from sexual violence to ridicule, ostracism, shunning, lack of public services, loss of employment and family abandonment, among other cruelties. To be clear, Breitenbush has always recognized the self-stated gender of women in Breitenbush-sponsored women-only events. However, there is one women-only event sponsored by a group (not Breitenbush) that invites “women born women” only. This group of women has been coming to Breitenbush for 30-years and might be variously described as: radical feminist warriors at the forefront of the revolution to […]
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