By Leslie Hawes
It can feel so overwhelming when one takes into account how much destruction of the environment happens in their lifetime, and the longer you’re alive, the more devastating environmental destruction can seem. Fortunately, nature is cyclical and destruction is an essential component that must happen for life to occur.
I’ve been on the earth just a little over 40 years now. I hail from the east side of the Cascade Range, but am now sinking roots on the west side. I currently live, work and play at Breitenbush Hot Springs (BBHS). Curiously, BBHS and I are the same age! We’ve both spent our entire lifetime in Oregon. In that time, we have witnessed the permanent removal of many trees, specifically in these two areas. Most of the those trees that have been removed are due […]
“I often found myself wondering if I was a mistake—if my existence was entirely faulted from the start, designed for destruction and disappointment.” -Sara Rodriguez
I remember the first time I read this quote. Oh how it resonated inside me. Often happy, outgoing, social and playful on the outside. But on the inside I was scared, anxious and slipping into a dark hole. It seemed that time after time, the choices I made would lead me to pain, heartache and stress. Was it that my heart and passion were too overpowering? Did it cause me to leap before my brain had a chance to pull me back? Or was it that I was making my way down the wrong road? And if I’m making my way down the wrong road… how do I find strength to turn around […]
“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. […]
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 […]
Support Breitenbush and celebrate its reopening with Ecstatic Dance & Movement!
It’s affordable by design (the majority of proceeds go to help us recover from our wildfire evacuation). This retreat offers an unprecedented opportunity to dance with hundreds of people in celebration of our reopening!
What better way to unplug from the world and connect with community than to share a few days doing ecstatic dance, yoga, Contact Improv, tea ceremony, breathwork, and related modalities? Pick and choose from a variety of conscious movement sessions, plus enjoy the natural hot springs and delicious meals Breitenbush is famous for! Whether you come alone or with friends, the ecstatic movement community is warm and welcoming—and a great place to make new friends.
♥ Registration is only $110 plus lodging or camping
♥ Register by […]
Every 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
By Peter Moore, Business Director
What 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 […]
By Peter Moore, Business Director
From ‘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 […]