The moment I walk through the door of Touching Earth I feel a sense of something right away. It may sound simple to say it’s special but there is truly an amazing feeling in the space. The floor to ceiling windows invite the beautiful serenity of nature indoors to create a peacefulness. There are moments when a group first gathers, whether our sangha or a yoga group, when there is chatter and settling down. After everyone becomes quiet the calm envelops us all. The size of the main room, the basic comfort without distraction, the safe, warm feeling all contribute to a relaxed, yet encouraging space to breathe deeply, meditate and have discussion. It’s a beautiful space to practice yoga as well, for all the same reasons. There is a camaraderie during the time spent at Touching Earth, perhaps encouraged by the comfort of the surroundings. How fortunate to have such a place close by yet feel as though it’s somewhere very different.
Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Elesa. Without our much loved, very insightful, highly intelligent meditation teacher, there would not be such a place. She has a beautiful soul, shining and reaching out to everyone. The yoga instructors are very gifted and bring their own wonderful energy to this place as well. All join in creating an incomparable experience.
– Barbara K.
Every time I visit Touching Earth, I feel like I am coming home. This place has an energy that provides a vast sense of space that is warm and welcoming. The first time I visited, I felt like I’d returned home to loved ones who were anxiously awaiting my arrival. It provides a sense of profound peace, joy and love. Elesa is an amazing teacher who brings out the best in everyone. She lovingly guides you on a journey into yourself. She invites you to look deeply, honestly, without judgment and then she gently encourages you to come to an understanding of who you really are and what you aspire to be. I am forever grateful for Touching Earth, for Elesa, and for all the beautiful souls I have met through Elesa!
– Bridgit Farai Charandura Gooden, RYT (Pilates/Yoga/Meditation Teacher & Practitioner)
For me, Touching Earth is a spiritual environment where I can walk out of my hectic paced life and immediately walk into my spiritual life. It has a calm and peaceful energy that keeps building by the day. Surrounded by nature makes it perfect. Guided by our teacher, Elesa, in our different classes, we are brought to new heights in our spiritual growth of mind, body and soul. Elesa is the heart and soul of Touching Earth and her energy makes it the special place that it is. The vibrational energy will continue to grow as well with those who come to learn there and teach there. I am always a different person walking out than I was walking in and I feel blessed to have someone so special in my life who is building this unique and special environment for so many to grow.
– Susie M.
For me, Touching Earth is a much needed respite from the rest of the world. It is a rare gem to find a place like Touching Earth nestled among the trees in such a highly populated area. Touching Earth gives me a chance to slow down and reconnect with all that is good and beautiful in our world. It’s like going to camp, or in my case, like coming home again and again every time I walk through the door.
– Nancy P. MA, LSW, RYT
In the fast paced world in which we live, who doesn’t need respite from the ‘white noise?’ Who doesn’t need to step back, step away, or step off the daily treadmill? What Touching Earth gives me is that space…a place to step away from…a haven to step into…into myself, into my being, into Peace. Immersed in Nature, the peaceful, beautiful surroundings soothe the body, mind and spirit. You, reading this…Come. Give yourself permission. Savor. Treasure YOU…at Touching Earth.
– Margie G.S.
Be prepared to bring your whole self to Touching Earth. You will be enfolded in the beauty of nature and the very special heartfelt wisdom of Elesa Commerse.
– Kitty Downey, RYT, CMT
Touching Earth is a very unique learning space for the yoga and mediation student who is looking for a deeper practice. Elesa Commerse and Ceily Levy have lovingly transformed a simple, beautiful home in a natural wood setting into a quiet, inspiring mindfulness center offering a variety of classes that encourage the student to connect with themselves and the natural environment surrounding them. Anyone who wants to experience a holistic approach to learning the art of mediation and yoga will want to study at Touching Earth.
– Carol Swann, RYT, Restorative Yoga teacher at Temple of Kriya Yoga, in Chicago
Touching Earth…sort of like coming home…on so many levels. Touching Earth is a house set back off the road with an amazing view of TREES…big trees…trees with a history. Literally, the house is nestled in the woods. And so, when the time comes for me to relax in a yoga pose or sit in meditation, I feel like I am supported and nourished by Mother Earth. I can go deep and surrender. My own Bodhi Tree experience. This is Touching Earth.
– Shelley H.
“Elesa Commerse teaches from a place of deep acceptance that, for all her students, offers a profound healing. Her teachings are steeped in loving kindness and generosity. Her language, sensitivity, chanting and poetry touch places in our being that are so hard to reach, they nourish the innermost chambers of the heart.”
– Tias Little author of The Thread of Breath, River Flow and Freeing the Bird of Prana
“Elesa says her mother taught her how to love, and now, through extensive training, self-study, and personal practice, she’s made it her life’s work to teach others the wisdom of the heart. Every time I chant with her, listen to her speak, or simply sit in the presence of her calm strength, my understanding of what this means grows. She inspires me with her humility, grace, and quiet power to ‘raise the vibration,’ as she once put it. Elesa’s ability to demonstrate compassion, loving kindness, and peace is limitless. Her commitment to teaching Truth, integrity, and healing is beyond measure.”
– Kim Wilcox, CYT 500hr, Moksha Yoga Faculty
“Besides being an excellent meditation teacher, Elesa is also an experienced meditation practitioner. She understands the deeper implications of the energies created in meditation and how people can use them to create positive effects in their own lives.”
– Swami Karasananda-ji The Temple of Kriya Yoga
“I have been deeply touched by Elesa’s teaching and by the compassionate, non-judgemental and warm presence she brings to all those with whom she communicates. Her gift for speaking with kindness and truth, listening clearly, and sharing inner contentment derived from years of personal meditation practice are clearly brought forth in her teaching. In her teaching, Elesa demonstrates a gift for making people feel fully recognized and accepted as they are…Her maturity, insight, strength and wish to aid and inspire others to improve their own lives through the practice of meditation are wonderful assets for a teacher. I consider it a privilege to know Elesa and believe that her students will recognize her as a resource for inspiration, healing and inner peace.”
– Swami Margapali-ananda The Temple of Kriya Yoga
“I originally signed up for Elesa Commerse’s meditation class because I was looking for ways to reduce the stress in my life. In the class, Elesa introduced many different meditation techniques so we could each find what worked best for us. I found ways to reduce my stress, and I found so very much more. Through her gentle, compassionate example, Elesa encouraged me to look more deeply inside myself, to find peace and gentleness and joy within and to offer it back to the world. At the same time, she helped me to be more aware of each moment, to be more focused, to appreciate what is around me. Elesa started my search for answers to questions I hadn’t realized I was asking. I continue to take classes with Elesa, and continue to truly appreciate her natural abilities as a teacher and the warmth and caring she brings with her wherever she goes.” – Renee Schwartz Chicago, Illinois “Elesa, you have the most beautiful heart and smile. Your presence brings peace and loving kindness to the largest room. It’s almost as if I can see this aura of love around you. You opened my eyes to life and living and love and I thank you for that enlightenment. Can I take you home!”
– Linda B. Cleveland, Ohio
“Elesa…thank you so much for your wonderful presence and invaluable teachings at the retreat. Your words of wisdom and compassion have made a profound impact on my heart and soul. You appear as an angel with mighty wings and I thank the divine grace of God that I was able to fly alongside you — to discover the breadth, width, and strength of my own wings. Elesa, you are an enormous inspiration. Back here in Melbourne I have started a women’s circle — a gathering of (feathery) friends to share poetry, literature, stories, myth and music — I hope to generate the planting of compassionate seeds for myself and for others, as you have for me. Namaste, Elesa.”
– Amber P. Melbourne, Australia
“Your presence was a much needed gift. During your classes, I felt my heart open and some energy in my body/mind/spirit shifted — I felt a deep sense of peace and love in your presence. Thank you for being here with us. It was BEAUTIFUL — you are BEAUTIFUL…as my mother used to say to me, you are amazing grace.”
– Jenise B. Santa Fe, New Mexico
“This was profoundly powerful for me! I was most deeply touched by the loving kindness meditation. I so appreciated your generosity in making time for me to speak with you. Thank you so much for making such a beautiful contribution to my life.” – Katy D. Colorado Springs, Colorado “Elesa is filled with peace and loving kindness that spills out with every smile and look she sends your way.” – David L. Jasper, Georgia “Elesa helped me feel worthy of love.”
– Carrie W. Bluffton, South Carolina
“Elesa, your presence and kind eyes are an invitation for peace and joy. I truly appreciated being in your presence. Thank you.”
– Farzaneh N. Pasadena, California
“My heart opened…I…became more of who I am meant to be.”
– Kate M. Santa Fe, New Mexico
“Dear Elesa…You are so very precious. Thank you for sharing your stories and your love and for your wonderful meditations. You have touched my heart deeply and I will remember you with tenderness and your beautiful smile with joy. In lovingkindness,”
– Clare Enmore, Australia
“The meditation with Elesa was gorgeous. I think mostly it was her own radiance and beauty that was the greatest inspiration.”
– Natalie London, England
“I was quite riveted by how the spirit moved through you. I liked that you used notes. The whole experience deepened my understanding of love and my commitment to be more conscious about it.”
– Preston W. Bradenton, Florida
“Elesa’s languaging expands my capacity to love myself and others and gives me a richer vocabulary to express that love.”
– Meghan B.
“Elesa Commerse is a wonderful meditation teacher. Her warmth and vitality make her classes a joy to participate in. Elesa gently leads her students down the path to peace and clarity of mind, while making the practice of meditation accessible. I came to Elesa’s classes to learn more about meditation and to get some guidance with establishing my own practice. I learned a variety of techniques and have found some that I really resonate with and use regularly. Elesa’s classes provide a peaceful respite from the chaos of daily life. But more importantly, her classes have shown me that through meditation, I can access this peacefulness at any time and in any place because it exists within me.”
– Lara P. Chicago, Illinois
“I am simply so very grateful for this most wonderful opportunity to meet you and work with you this week — a most welcome surprise…your voice and presence feel magical to me! I was able to settle in and be present and calm in a way I had never before been able to reach…a letting go and coming to at the same time. Thank you. Thank you.”
– Lisa C. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Thank you also for inviting Elesa to join with us — she has and is a pool of gentle energy that melts the hardened heart with her love. God Bless you Elesa in every step of your path.”
– Gail M. Annandale, Townsville, Australia
“Each day I felt the clouds of deception were lifted, allowing me to experience a part of my flower nature. Your presence is like having the Divine hand ever so near…”
– Level III Yoga Teacher Trainee
“Elesa shares her knowledge with an energy filled with grace, patience, courage and compassion. The combination of personal stories and touching poetry struck resonance in my heart and spirit everyday.”
– Michelle B.
“While I have read about meditation and have tried meditation on my own and in groups during yoga trainings, this was my first experience having a teacher. Elesa is a loving, knowledgeable person who expanded my experience of and knowledge of meditation. This experience left me wanting more!”
– Ann B. Bloomington, Illinois
“I have been to several meditation trainings but did not enjoy them. The way you taught us and spoke to us really opened my desire to meditate more and to have a deeper understanding of what meditation does for me.”
– Michelle K. Vail, Colorado
“Elesa teaches with genuine passion. Her clear presence is very inspirational.”
– Tiffany T. London, England
“I felt Elesa was radiating love to all of us. She was accepting of all; kind; helpful and generous in her teachings. My heart was touched deeply.”
– Cathy J. Athens, Georgia
“It was a blessing walking a few steps with you along our path.”
– Sheila S. Findlay, Ohio
“I enjoyed how Elesa covered a variety of styles of meditation. I was able to find one that was accessible to me.”
– Level III Yoga Teacher Trainee
“My experience is highlighted by Elesa’s nature – pure essence Self – being who she is in each moment. That is the greatest teaching I am with. How to be your gentle Truth, bold Truth, Wisdom Truth in each precious breath.”
– Alana G.
“Once again, your loving-kindness in presenting the practice and knowledge of meditation truly reflect your passion for it. It is an inspiration for me and a door opener to be present for life and to live in the moment. Thank you!”
– Lori Chicago, Illinois
“An overall wonderful experience. I learned so much and felt so much! Thank You!”
– Maya K. Israel
“You have a warm and gracious manner. Your voice is gentle and melodic. I enjoyed hearing you speak. Really liked the emphasis on flowers throughout the discussions. It tied everything together in a very loving manner.”
– Francie S. Juneau, Arkansas
Thanks for all the tools that I received to help me be present and receptive to the moments and people that life provides! Thanks also for all of the inspirational quotes and poems. And most of all, for your wisdom!
– Lauri B. Ketchum, Idaho
“I looked forward each morning to sharing the hour with Elesa – her voice, her presence, her gift she brings to each student. I feel like I’m in a better world because of people like her.”
– Karen A. Atlanta, Georgia
“Just being close to you made me feel like I was with a very special person.”
– Diane M. Santa Fe, New Mexico
“Just being in Elesa’s presence I feel lighter, safe and relaxed. Her words and voice and message are both helpful and beautiful. She reminds us of just how good we are as we are and encourages us to keep growing and challenging ourselves.”
– Sandy N. Chicago, Illinois
“I would love to study with you.”
– Judy M. Santa Fe, New Mexico
“In her loving, caring, knowledgeable ways, Elesa Commerse has unlocked the mystery of meditation for me. Thanks to Elesa’s mindful teaching, I now possess a greater desire to meditate and understand a variety of meditation techniques to practice. I look forward to future classes with Elesa.”
– Lori Norman Evanston, Illinois