Beyond the events themselves I've been thinking a lot about the environments in which I've experienced them, which despite some clear differences are very similar. Both are set in amazing natural landscapes, both are intentional communities and both collective businesses grounded in the spiritual realm.
I'm taken back to my years living the communal 'back to the land' dream in rural NE Vermont in the early 70s and the subsequent urban communal years through the 80s in Boston and San Diego. I haven't forgotten the unique hell-realms of communal living, but I must admit the simple life in nature, immersed in right livelihood and intimate relationships with others also has its attractions.
Sculpture in the vegetable garden at Esalen
The path up to the Shinto Shrine above the Great Stupa at Shambhala