A 1.5 hour-long guided tour of the Osmosis Kyoto-style Meditation garden
Did you ever wonder what the story was behind the Osmosis Meditation Garden? Join Osmosis founder, Michael Stusser and tree pruning expert, Michael Alliger in this wildly popular garden tour and be inspired!
This garden makes extensive use of stone, water and deer resistant plants to express the tranquil feeling of a Japanese style design.
Visitors will be treated to an in-depth look at the underlying Zen themes built into the rock arrangements and pond layout, as well as information about the planting themes and plant materials. The garden has been built over a period of many years and was designed by the preeminent landscape designer, Robert Ketchell, of Britain.
In these times of human distancing it’s such relief to walk in nature or in a garden; to walk amongst trees with no apprehension. Feeling safe and offering no threat. Recently the thought occurred that as the human realm is swept with an invisible danger, the trees are impervious, not knowing of our dilemma, physical and psychic. (Or are they? That is a question for another time). But there is a strong sense of the shield between us and them; a boundary not to be crossed.
Then I remembered some years back when an epidemic of phytophthera invaded native trees. We called this root fungus Sudden Oak Death. Another unseen attack, but this time humans were immune, though not unaffected. Our trees were dying and scientists, arborists and foresters all scrambled to limit the damage.
The first important form of mitigation turned out to be distancing. Parks and trails were closed. Workers were advised to wrap their boots so as not to track the fungus to new areas. This rallying to trees’ defenses shines a light on the mutuality of life. And in these times of human isolation plants offer to us their own kind of solace.
Spring still drives the flower through the branch reminding us of perseverance and renewal. Floral fragrance and color stimulate insects and birds to action. While we may sit inert, separated from routine, we see that the work of the world goes on and we may in turn take action. Planting trees and flowers for a future we know will come though changed it will be.
Here at the Osmosis garden we’ve slipped into this hiatus – a chance to renovate our welcome garden. New additions of lavender, sun rose and germander complement last year’s make-over of an adjacent area where we added a prodigious Japanese lantern accompanied by flowering currant and hellebores. And as we work we see peaking around the corner the flowering crabapple, here since before the beginning, reminding us that along with the future is the past giving context to the present in time of trial.
Do you really need a reason to start scheduling your next girls’ getaway? If you don’t and are already keen on finding any opportunity to book time with your gal pals, then that’s phenomenal. But if you really do need some good inspiration on why Osmosis is your next destination for your pending girls’ getaway, then you’ve arrived.
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is located in the historic town of Freestone, nestled between river and coast, redwoods and vineyards, at the Gateway to Sonoma Wine Country. Just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, hub of gorgeous bay views, top-rated cuisine, and a booming tech economy.
We certainly cannot think of a better girls’ vacation than here!
Whether a Bay Area native or traveling into town from a further destination, we’ve got a lineup for you and your girls that will leave nothing to be desired.
Ready to unwind and spa in a Zen setting that will leave both your spirit and skin nourished and renewed? Check. Looking to experience nature in its full glory? Check. Craving to wine and dine in legendary destinations for innovative eats? Then, look no further. We’ve got the full roundup for your girls’ getaway right here.
At the heart of travel is the journey of the destination, which is where we’ll start. No matter where you’re coming from, near or far, once you arrive in the area, you’ll spot the not-to-be-missed coastline features, breathtaking views, and ventures. Delight in a truly charismatic region and rare gem-of-a-community with stunning beaches, cliff-side hiking, lush forests, and trails meant for biking and exploring.
Entrust your getaway to the Sonoma Coast via Bodega Bay or take the 10-mile, scenic roadway along Bohemian Highway, where you will find a trio of townships—Freestone, Occidental, and Monte Rio—with small-town charm that cannot be found anywhere else. Or if coming from out of town, Sonoma County (STS) Airport, in Santa Rosa, CA, will land you in the middle of pastoral tranquility. Freestone is home to Osmosis and is particularly special because it is Sonoma County’s first historic district. In this small, yet formidable community, you will find Osmosis, the highlight of your girls’ getaway.
With deep reverence for sharing and providing sacred Japanese healing rituals, Osmosis is one-of-a-kind in offering our signature spa treatment, the Cedar Enzyme Bath, and remains the one and only day spa in the US to offer this authentic, therapeutic service.
Both warm and fragrant, this particular treatment boasts a myriad of health benefits including a more balanced central nervous system, joint and muscle pain relief, and skin exfoliation. This is truly a must-do when you’re here. Cozy up for an informal tea ceremony before your session and meditation in the gardens following your 75-minute facial or massage. Then, visit our gift shop for organic skincare products and other totally unique treasures found in the boutique.
From spa onward, get ready to celebrate and support artisan food culture in what is being called the New Province among Sonoma County’s distinct and beloved small towns. Then, you and your girls can extend your relaxation from a day of therapeutic spa treatments into the night by experiencing local restaurants and wineries. You’ll immediately become a regular to some of the most innovative and diverse wining and dining scenes that California is well-known for.
This getaway is one we certainly believe you and crew will be satisfied with. It will allow you to unplug and immerse yourself into an area that is so connected to life and nature’s elements, which will beautifully surround you and your favorite girls. And, not to mention, superb Insta-worthy photos to swoon over again and again. Unapologetically cue the skyline photos, spa session, and foodie snaps for others to see and experience, too. Then, be prepared to gab about a getaway to remember for years to come.
Despite whether you end or begin your girls’ getaway with Osmosis, it’s the perfect kickstart to deeply enrich the moment for everyone involved. Experience the tremendously satisfying peace and tranquility that going inward, while being together with friends, can bring; it’s a collective moment to mindfully relish and cherish. And, hopefully, a moment you and your chosen gal pals, will agree to continue and make a tradition of.
Osmosis is here to provide a healing environment in resonance with nature that promotes clarity and connection. So, come ready for an experience of ultimate relaxation and renewal—both equal parts unforgettable and enchanting.
This rejuvenating day combines the best elements of spa and meditation. Participants will pause and sit down on this bountiful earth in the peacefulness of the Osmosis meditation garden, cultivating presence and awareness of body heart and mind. This meditation retreat is a well crafted day weaving meditation, spa experiences, connection and quiet time in nature in our 6-acre sanctuary of secluded creekside meditation gardens.
The program includes sitting and walking meditation, a dharma talk, a cedar enzyme foot-bath, a customized 75-minute massage, organic lunch prepared by Fork Roadhouse, time for quiet reflection and conversation around how to continue the practice in our daily lives.
Chris Fortin is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of SFZC’s Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. She is guiding teacher of Sonoma County’s Lotus Sangha and Dharma Heart Zen (dharmaheartzen.com) and a senior teacher in the Everyday Zen Foundation. Her commitment is to cultivating kindness and compassion in our everyday lives.
Tickets for the morning Dharma Talk only $25. Limited space available.
Summer. A time for being in nature. For fresh air. When our skin gets to feel the warm sun, lie in the cleansing sand. The season designated for relaxation. So what are the best ways to relax at Osmosis this summer? Luckily for us, our beautiful place along Salmon Creek in the scenic village of Freestone makes for a wonderful getaway. Our outdoor areas allow time in nature which is so vital to our physical, mental, and emotional restoration! Here are our top five ways to enjoy Osmosis during the season of abundance.
Massage in the Pagodas. Take a stroll down the wooded paths to a private pagoda and enjoy the songs of nature as you treat your muscles, your skin, and your mind, to some healing kneading.
Hammocks. Need we say more? Sway in the soft breeze along Salmon Creek and rock yourself into a blissful summer dream while receiving a Metamusic sound therapy session.
Lunch in the forest. Taste the bounty of local Sonoma County farms while enjoying a fresh, local meal prepared by Fork Roadhouse. Get lost in the views from our eating areas tucked away among the trees.
Summer Skin Care. Let one of our expert estheticians rejuvenate you face, heal sun damage, and hydrate your skin–leaving you looking and feeling your best.
Meditation Gardens. Soak up some rays or relax in the shade. Let your mind come to stillness as you soak in the tranquility of Heart Mind Pond. Take a deep breath. This is what summer is all about.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, make sure you get out and enjoy this beautiful part of the country! These majestic natural landscapes make for wonderful getaways. The time in nature is so important to our physical, mental, and emotional restoration!