Taking A Bath

Allan Hunt Badiner

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The next time a community runs low on water, it might hope that monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India are in the area. Consider recent events at Esalen Institute, the Big Sur, California human-potential laboratory where Alan Watts and other visionaries held forth in the Sixties. Esalen has been rebuilding its famed clothing-optional, spring-fed baths, which were destroyed in a 1998 mudslide. While digging the foundation of the new $2.5 million facility, on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, workers dislodged a large snake. They hit another snag while attempting to connect the hot springs to the new structure. Geologists, hydrologists, and geothermal engineers were consulted. Perhaps the construction was causing disharmony in the environment, one of the builders ventured.

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