Paradise Found – Osmosis Day Spa SanctuaryMay 13th, 2011 | By Clout and About | Category: Spas & Wellness
In my perfect world, there would be no deadlines – no stressing over food, restaurants, chefs and books to review. This has been a crazy roller coaster ride and though it has been a delight to no end, I do acknowledge the importance of getting away from it all to regroup, rejuvenate and let go. Last week, we discovered a unique oasis hidden in the small town of Freestone, CA.
At first glance, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary was a very unassuming place but the wonders revealed just beyond its main building left me speechless. It was as if I entered another realm. The walk through the bamboo path towards the meditation garden was a sight to behold. Hard to believe I was still in California, and even more difficult was the urge to leave this place and go back to my crazy hectic world. Whatever scents permeated the air throughout my morning visit, they made it feel like a surreptitious catalyst to once again unite my senses.
It was a stunning spring day and I quickly found myself having completely surrendered to the tranquility offered by the meditation garden. It’s amazing how much a person can heal just communing with nature – twenty minutes of nothing but peace. That’s all it took for me to regain myself.
Osmosis was apparently having a big event that evening so we were fortunate to meet Michael Stusser that day as the staff busily prepared for their Vegan party event. Michael was such a gracious person – despite the demands that were expected of him in preparation for that evening – he still made great effort to make us feel at home, spending ample time touring us around the property and educating me about the whole fermentation revolution.
From the enlightenment I received on the beneficial properties of the Cedar Enzyme Bath to the history of Freestone and Osmosis – you could say I was treated to a bountiful treasure of wisdom and wellness. It was probably the walk back to the meditation garden with Michael which I deem most priceless. How cool is it to know about the role karma and fate plays in destined friendships? Many moons ago, back when Michael was studying Traditional Landscape design in Kyoto, Japan, he and a classmate of his vowed to do a future project together.
Just like many young friendships, Michael Stusser and Robert Ketchell went on to plot their own courses and establish their careers and it wasn’t until 20-some-odd years later that they found themselves reunited by a mutual friend. By then Robert had become a renowned British horticulturalist and was the chairman of the Japanese Garden Society and principle of Sansui Design. The internet and email have played major roles as well as Robert is based in the United Kingdom. “I’ve always wanted to do a meditation garden but did not have the expertise, knowledge or vision to mentally create one. When I spoke to Robert – who was an expert in Sansui design – it only took him a few days to come up with a blueprint of what I really had hoped to see in this empty spot I had” Michael explained.
An aerial view of the meditation garden from the top is a clear representation of the four elements – water, fire, earth and water – it also symbolized bounty and peace. Michael pointed out that this place of reflection was homage to the Zen parable Ox and Oxherder. All throughout the path you would see rock formations of the significant roles of the master and his creature which ultimately provides enlightenment – and the realization of harmony between the Oxherder (the ego) and the Ox (the Buddha Self). For me it felt like the change of seasons. As I walked around the garden, every view and angle transported me to a different time.
We sipped some organic herbal tea blend mixed with enzymes made from more than 25 different, organically grown plants. As a digestive aid the enzyme tea is soothing and warm, and works in conjunction with the metabolic processes occurring in the Cedar Enzyme Bath treatment. I was still mentally processing and blown away by the phenomenon of naturally occurring heat in fermented cedar and ready for my entire body to bake in it.
The cedar enzyme bath was laid out perfectly for my body to be in the most comfortable and relaxed position. It felt like a custom made cloud-like recliner. It was amazingly and immediately detoxifying – I could feel all the negative energy and poisonous stress leaving my entire body. After I rinsed off, the ionized spray shower infused with Vitamin C was like the cherry on top of whipped cream.
Then I was ready for the massage, and it was the best I’ve had in years! All I could hear were birds and a brook. The experience went a step above all other spas I’d ever enjoyed. Spa music can be nice and relaxing, but here at Osmosis there was only the music provided by nature. I dozed off for what seemed like an hour but was probably only few seconds. I’ve never been so relaxed in my life. The strokes of my masseuse were applied patiently, more like caressing and didn’t feel rushed at all. I could definitely feel her transfer her energy.
This was, indeed, paradise found.