FOURWINDS COUNCIL
Mission Statement


The Fourwinds Council is a cooperative association of four spiritual centers located in the Santa Lucia Mountain range of Central California in what is known as Big Sur. The centers are all located in and adjacent to the Ventana Wilderness and the Los Padres National Forest. The membership includes:

New Camaldoli Hermitage
Esalen Institute
Esselen Cultural Center
Tassajara Zen
Mountain Center

The Fourwinds Council was formed following the guidance of the Esselen Indian prophecy of the reconvergence of the four original root races, the red, yellow, black and white tribes from the four directions who would come back together here at the western edge of the universe: The Ventana Wilderness, Big Sur.

The Fourwinds Council is developing cooperative initiatives among the four centers to promote a deeper understanding and respect for the paths of personal and social transformation which each center represents. To that end quarterly gatherings are held at each of the centers. Although each of the member organizations has its own unique mission, we have similar objectives and values. We were drawn to this area to create places of learning for a larger culture; to provide places of retreat and spiritual renewal; to explore the deeper dimensions of what it means to be a human being; to learn and to teach respect for the Earth, and to live in balance with her limited resources. We also share similar interests in the land that sustains and connects us, the Los Padres National Forest and the Ventana Wilderness.

The Fourwinds Council views wilderness as a precious resource, a resource not to be developed or exploited, but to be appreciated and enjoyed for itself. For us this land of Big Sur is a sanctuary, a sacred place where we may meet ourselves and nature in a simple, yet profound way. With the noise, pollution and busy-ness of our cities pushing at us relentlessly, the peace and solitude of the wilderness is a gift to treasure and protect against all pressures for development. To that end we are taking an active role as advocates for the wilderness and will work with all appropriate agencies, public and private, who have jurisdiction and responsibility for gathering information and making decisions about its use.

Many Blessings!

New Camaldoli Hermitage
Esalen Institute
Esselen Cultural Center
Tassajara Zen
Mountain Center
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