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Esalen Integral Leadership Program

Esalen Integral Leadership Program

Our mission is to change the world by inspiring & supporting the next generation of conscious leaders.

In this program, students have the opportunity to supplement their university experience with an experience unlike any other. The Integral Leadership Program is a 28-day living and learning immersion experience, set in breathtaking Big Sur. The program combines a rigorous course of study in an area of conscious leadership and transformative practices with communal work and living. Esalen’s learning culture reaffirms the idea that the mental and physical dimensions of the self, other, and land are inextricably linked.

Develop enhanced skills in:

  • emotional intelligence
  • self-expression
  • compassion
  • ecological awareness
  • conflict resolution
  • cross-cultural communication
"I have also realized that so much of who I have become was due to people exposing me to new ideas and new places when I was in college and the years that followed…the Integral Leadership Program is really a service to the world that may not see the fruits for many years down the road, but will be part of the expansion and maturing of the mind of a whole generation." Dr. Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffettt, Religious Studies Program, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Today’s world calls for a new paradigm of leadership. At Esalen, we believe that:

  • Being a leader starts with leading one’s self
  • Leadership is about being of service to the world
  • Everyone is capable of being a leader
  • Leadership is needed in every corner of the world
  • True leadership is about the evolution of consciousness, helping humanity to become more

This program is offered annually and focuses on topics such as sustainability/integral ecology, social justice, citizen diplomacy, conscious business, or other topics related to the meaning of being human. Each topic is meant to be interdisciplinary and will draw from students in various area of study. In addition to Integral Leadership study, students will give their own presentations about their work, allowing for collaboration, innovation, and building networks.

Esalen also offers an Integral Leadership track for any students enrolled in a workstudy or legacy programs offered in June, July, and August.

Click here for class offerings. The Integral Leadership track includes pre-campus readings and reflections, three meetings on campus, and a post-campus reflection paper. Students who take the Integral Leadership track will receive a certificate upon completion.

Program Components

  • 28 days of shared living, learning, and working at Esalen Institute in Big Sur
  • 45 educational class hours: presentations and activities about conscious leadership and student-lead presentations 
  • 30 hours of work per week in the kitchen, cabins, farm and garden, or grounds department
  • 4 hours per week of group Gestalt Practice
  • Daily yoga, dance, or movement classes
  • Weekly open presentations by cutting-edge thought leaders
  • Three meals per day prepared by the Esalen kitchen, plus 24-hr access to coffee, tea, and our fresh-baked bread bar
  • Access to hot springs, creative arts center, gym, gardens, pool, & meditation hut

Click here to download and view the program brochure as a PDF file.

How to Participate

The Integral Leadership Program is open to university-enrolled, college-bound, “gap-year” students, and to recent graduates. To receive credit through your school, talk to your professor, advisor, or external studies department.

To apply, email MaryAnne Will at workstudy@esalen.org.

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