This events-based community invites you to unplug, connect and engage your senses
Words by LESLEY McKENZIE
An herbal healing workshop. Photo by Laura Huertas.
Geneviève Medow-Jenkins learned the value of connection early on in life. “I was born and raised in this community where people were exploring the idea of what the human potential could be in,” she says of her upbringing at Big Sur’s Esalen Institute, the holistic healing center and spiritual haven where her mother still teaches workshops. When Medow-Jenkins moved to Los Angeles after graduating college, she yearned for that sense of togetherness and new opportunities for self-exploration.
What started as gatherings with her friends evolved into Secular Sabbath in 2016, an intentional community drawn together by a series of music- and wellness-driven events attracting both world-renowned and rising artists and producers. “I could always see the relationship between music being healing and part of a wellness experience, and an opportunity for people to come back into themselves and rest,” she says, recalling Esalen’s hot spring sessions, often accompanied by live music.
An aerial view of a SECULAR SABBATH gathering in Joshua Tree. Photo by Michael George.
LEFT: A Trip Kit by psychedelic wellness brand YAWN. Photo by Yawn. RIGHT: SECULAR SABBATH founder GENEVIÈVE MEDOW-JENKINS. Photo by Laura Huertas.
A STOUT TENT dwelling at a SECULAR SABBATH gathering. Photo by Laura Huertas.
Ambient music is at the heart of SECULAR SABBATH. Photo by Laura Huertas.
Inflatable mushrooms by YAWN. Photo by Laura Huertas.
Together with her partner Mike Milosh, frontman of Rhye, Medow-Jenkins has expanded the membership-based offerings to include everything from a book club to community potlucks, cooking workshops and digital detoxes. “People get to choose their own adventure within the Secular Sabbath landscape,” she says.
Gatherings spanning an afternoon to a whole weekend in locations as varied as Joshua Tree, Mexico City and Iceland feature performances by artists such as Rhye, Diplo and Flume, as well as restorative activities that may include tea ceremonies, breathwork, cold plunges and bodywork. “Secular Sabbath feels like it’s my purpose in life and I didn’t choose it. It’s just habit. It’s almost a compulsion,” she says. Annual membership from $180; secular-sabbath.com.
Feature image: SECULAR SABBATH gatherings span an afternoon to a whole weekend. Photo by Laura Huertas.
This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2022 issue of C Magazine.
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