Travels with Penelope

Travel, Food, Wine, Spirituality and Everything Else

January 21, 2014 Earthing


I am beginning to see this term in unearthly places. The email I received today from The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif. for example revealed that it now offers earthing to its guests.

What on earth is earthing?

One night a week men and women gather at The Women’s Center a mile north of The Montage to dance to new age, transcendent music. On an occasion when I joined them for a session a facilitator suggested that the dancers allow their bodies to flow freely with the rhythm of the music, and to get in touch with the earth.  It was a ponderous, meditative evening with each of us wrapped in our own silent thoughts as we slowly and spontaneously glided around the room. On hearing that the Montage was offering earthing, I was convinced that it must be a dance form akin to what I had experienced at The Women’s Center.  Intrigued, I googled earthing.

A number of websites  popped up on my computer screen.  To sum up several, earthing is when a human touches the earth as in taking off his or her shoes to stand or walk on bare feet. I remembered earthing as a young child barely out of diapers. Sharp sheaves of grass poked at my feet as I ran across the lawn trying to catch bees. A few years later I recall grains of hot sand searing my soles as I ran from the protection of my beach towel down to the water’s edge at Laguna Beach and the cooling off as I jumped into the foam salt water.

Some sites spoke of the health benefits of earthing. One claimed that we need the electrical exchange with the earth. Contemporary life, living in cities, working in buildings at desks on computers so it seems, has disconnected us from this exchange.

The website for the Earthing Institute claims that, “Our immune systems function optimally when our bodies have an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth. Research indicates that electrons from the Earth have anti-oxidant effects that can protect the body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences. In situations where barefoot contact with the Earth is impractical, one can use various conductive systems that have been developed for the purpose of reconnecting people to the Earth. An Earthing sheet on a bed or an Earthing mat placed under the bare feet or wrists while using a computer are prime examples.

Along this vein I recall a teaching from one of my Native American teachers. I will call him, He Who Knows What He Sees, taught me that the earth has the capacity to heal our ills and transform our negativities.  “Allow them, he counseled, “to drain through the soles of your feet. The earth will receive those energies and transform them. Follow up by offering gratitude.”

Another site offered twenty-five products the two mentioned above, designed to help with earthing when someone cannot get outside to have a one on one encounter. The items ranged from $19.00 to a far more expensive $259.00.

On request the concierge at The Montage will guide guests to the best earthing walks along the beach. With the mass of distractions that living in a high tech world contains I wonder how many guests would walk in awareness of the sand beneath their feet were it not for the fact that the Montage has organized a program called earthing.

Laguna Beach is an earther’s paradise.  One of the most beautiful ribbons of coastline and energetically powerful in Southern California it has attracted those whose lives afford them the luxury of its resorts and hi-end rentals since back in the day. It is a thriving center for the arts. Spiritual seekers retreat to Laguna to do their walking meditations along its shore. The great yogi Paramahansa Yogananda visited in 1949.

At a workshop I attended in the nineties The Queen of Dreams, Heather Valencia wife of the late Yaqui Chief informed me that in earlier times Native Americans gathered for ceremony in the hollowed out shallow caves along the shoreline of one of Laguna’s breath-taking beaches.  She encouraged me to go seek out that beach and search for the vortex in its caves.  I did just that and found it, but only after three years of searching.

Perhaps there is something to earthing.
















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