Passions of the Innkeepers
It has been a while since I posted to this Blog.
Today, I want to revisit the Inn – and to write about the Inn is inevitably to write about ourselves. Joan and I have poured our lives into this place. It is not a sacrifice – although our kids in a pique might say that it has been.
We care about everything here – the material – from toilet seats (you should see the back-up supply) to beds – we always have a couple of back-ups of each size and only buy the finest available. We care about our guests’ “experiences” – and provide opportunities to get out of doors – not just walking around, but paddling the beautiful Big River Estuary, mountain biking Mendocino’s many trails and back roads. If you want to learn about the forest or marine ecology, naturalist Ryane Snow PhD will take you for an interpretive foraging hike. If you want to experience art – after perhaps years – Joan, an arts specialist, will provide a joyful “play shop.” Learn cooking – we put a class together; there’s yoga, tai chi, acupuncture. Don’t want to do anything – you don’t have to.
Our gardens are beautiful and inspiring and are continually photographed, painted. Visitors come from many of the other inns to explore them and talk to Master Gardener Dana and her staff.
All of this gets me to the point:
We believe life is inherently joyful. Although many if not most of us often lose sight of it, joy is within us; it is our heritage. The Chinese understood that joy is embracing “what is”. Most of us are caught in the conflict between “what is” and our ideas of what should be. And our notions of “what should be” are essentially the “desires” that the Buddha noted lay at the root of suffering. Similarly, “should be” underlies the conflicts that the great 20th century philosopher Krishnamurti identified as the source of our mental entanglements and unhappiness.
Fifteen years ago, we began offering programs on mindfulness and health, hosting Jack Schwarz’s Aletheia Institute. Today, working with local practitioners – acupuncturists, nutritionists, Chinese herbalists, naturalists, artists, massage therapists – we have created the Center for Living Well that provides life enhancing programs to help assure a joyful life.
Our programs are designed to help our participants deeply appreciate “what is” – their bodies and the world around them. Underlying the practices, techniques and information is an emphasis on becoming deeply aware and manifesting awareness through action.
Our passion is that our guests, diners, canoeists leave Mendocino at ease, but enlivened. Yes, we have desire, and that is that when guests leave they leave with a deeper appreciation of themselves, of their partners, their lives.