This retreat invites participants to open to their most elemental relationship, that which exists between the body, mind, and the natural world as it manifests through eating, breathing, and our senses. This is not a workshop about nutrition or eating, but begins with how formal mindful sensory meditations and awareness of body sensations, including eating awareness, develops mindfulness/ mindful awareness. This is how the mindfulness is learned. This awareness then widens to include the deep nourishment we receive from being in mindful relationship with each other.
Workshops with CE Credits for Nurses
Health, well-being, and longevity can be achieved through cultivating and mastering qi. Every style of qigong – including tai chi and yoga – shares a basis in essential principles. During this workshop, you will have the opportunity to awaken and refine natural healing and intuitive abilities associated with the most mysterious and neglected aspect of being: the eternal nature, or universal self.
The impact of stress on health is well recognized. Now the efficacy of stress reduction as an adjunct to medical treatment is being recognized in more and more health care settings. In 1996 Dr. Mark Abramson founded a program at Stanford University Medical Center using the 2,500-year-old technique of Mindfulness Meditation to train patients as an adjunct treatment for many different medical conditions.
Experience a weekend immersion in compassion cultivation, based on the Stanford Compassion Training program developed by psychologists, scientists, and contemplative scholars at Stanford University. Explore strategies for strengthening self-compassion, connecting with others, finding peace in difficult circumstances, and overcoming compassion fatigue. This session will include lecture, meditation, self-reflection, experiential exercises, and discussion.
More than 10 million people today use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for both mental and emotional health. Thousands of case reports and dozens of clinical trials show that EFT is extremely effective at reducing stress. This is because it combines acupressure, affirmations, and cognitive exposure therapy in an elegant yet simple self-help formula. Unhealed traumatic events from your past can compromise your health. Once emotional distress is removed with EFT, the body quickly rebalances itself.
Scottish-born psychiatrist R. D. Laing devoted his career to exploring the nature of alternative realities and heightened awareness. In this year’s workshop, designed for those in the mental health and healing professions, we will explore the nature of altered realities, including extreme states. To alter a state of awareness suggests a catalyst, an instrumentum employed to initiate a transformation in consciousness, whether by invoking mindfulness, yoga, meditation, breath work, or imbibing a drug, whether psychedelic or psychotropic.
There is a powerful connection between your emotions, intuition, and empathy. The magic comes when you learn how to tap into each of them to fully access your sensitivities without going on overload or becoming drained. Judith Orloff, a UCLA-trained psychiatrist, NY Times best-selling author, and empath, will show you how to awaken your intuition and empathy to enhance your health, work, relationships, resilience as a parent, and emotional and physical well-being.
A growing number of people are aware of the Enneagram as an accurate and profound map of personality. The nine Enneagram types are based on the three primary centers of intelligence: thinking, emotion, and instinct. However, in almost all human beings, distortions or blockages in these centers have led to a loss of connection with our essential nature and to the arising of ego structures to compensate for this loss. Thus, while our Enneagram type usually obscures our true nature with a characteristic web of defenses, it can also serve as an opening to the deeper reality of spirit.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you—don't go back to sleep. -Rumi
All methods devoted to human potential emphasize the importance of awakening to the present moment. All that we long for—love, joy, peace, harmony, truth—require the fundamental capacity for presence.
This seminar uses ancient and modern methods for directly and simply uncovering this natural capacity. Put simply, we need the capacity to: 1. Sit quietly with our own thoughts. 2. Mindfully welcome our feelings/emotions. 3. Find comfort in our own bodies.
This workshop brings together a team of internationally recognized scientists, meditation teachers, and clinicians to deepen our understanding of how to live a meaningful, healthy, and joyful life. Weaving together ancient wisdom traditions with modern neuroscience, we explore the transformative effects of meditative practices. Participants will be taught simple yet potent meditation practices, and will also learn about revolutionary research in neuroscience that offers this hopeful message: We can change and reshape our brain to live healthier, happier lives.
“As women we have a unique power of creativity in our reproductive systems,” Suzanne Scurlock-Durana writes. “That power is used not only to create new life, but also to bring personal projects into being. However, that energy can be blocked by physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma to the pelvic floor and the female organs.
This Visceral Manipulation course focuses on the pelvis, with participants studying the relationship between functional and structural mechanics of the pelvic area.
During this course, students will:
• Be taught to identify, receive, and conduct Jean-Pierre Barral's method of evaluation and treatment for the organ systems of the pelvic cavity, including the integration of the pelvic organs with the complex ligament systems of that body region
• Discover techniques for differentiating between somatic and visceral causes for pelvic and low back problems
CranioSacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive, hands-on technique to help detect and correct imbalances in the craniosacral system that may cause sensory, motor, or intellectual dysfunction. It is used to treat a myriad of health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ dysfunction, chronic fatigue, motor coordination difficulties, eye problems, endogenous depression, hyperactivity, and central nervous system disorders.
“The acceptance of this invitation carries with it the responsibility of daily presence in both group discussions and hands-on practice sessions,” writes Chas Perry. “During the week, participants will do “multiple therapist” work as therapeutic/facilitative participant on the table as the recipient of the work, and as a contributor to the group discussions. This class structure creates cohesiveness and bonding in the group, which is not easily duplicated under any other circumstances.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapeutic method for healing trauma-based problems. Shedding new light on trauma survival —including sexual and physical abuse, accident and surgical trauma, and grief — EMDR is opening doors of the heart to genuine spiritual transformation. This course is for mental-health professionals who are licensed to provide treatment. Through lecture, hands-on practice, and demonstrations, participants will be shown:
• Protocols and procedures for using EMDR with a wide range of diagnostic categories
This workshop is packed with useful skills for rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul, including practical tools to energize your daily life, skills for meeting life’s challenges with new resources that grow stronger over time, practices to help you tune into your body’s wisdom in the face of stress, and steps for re-charging your system to calm physical tension and quiet your mind.
Zero Balancing (ZB) is a nondiagnostic system of healing which clarifies and coordinates energy fields in the body, balances body energy with body structure, and focuses on bone energy and the skeletal system. Science has shown that energy and matter are fundamentally coupled; psychology has shown that the mind and body are interconnected. ZB embodies both perspectives. It is based on the experience that balancing the body’s energy with its structure has a direct positive effect on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Medical Qigong has powerful roots in ancient healing traditions and also in modern science. The Healer Within™ Practices, developed from a Chinese Medical Qigong known as Bu Zheng Qigong or Vitality Enhancement Method, help your body utilize its own extraordinary medicine through these four essential practices:
• Body practices - posture and movement
• Breathing practice
• Self-applied massage
• Mind focus practice - mindfulness meditation
In today’s demanding world, we all need full access to our inner and outer resources in order to survive and thrive. Are you tired of feeling scattered and pulled in too many directions? Do you love feeling grounded and mindfully aware? Would you like to experience more resilience under stress and access your creativity and joy to your deepest potential?
Tai Chi Easy is a practice that combines gentle exercises, breath practices, self-massage, and meditation to help you experience a refreshing, healing boost to body, mind, and spirit. Developed by master teacher Roger Jahnke, Tai Chi Easy enhances energy (qi) to strengthen and cleanse the body and mind. According to Chinese Medicine and philosophy, qi is the vital essence that creates health, well-being, and harmony.
During this workshop, you will be taught tai chi principles including breathing, relaxation, and mindfulness.
Empathy is possibly your most essential skill. It helps you understand yourself and others, and it is the core skill in your ability to communicate and relate to the world around you. However, many of us trip over empathy because we were never taught how it works. In this workshop, you’ll be taught new ways to work with your empathy and your emotions in order to create more successful connections. You’ll explore:
• The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, which makes empathy clearly understandable
The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe, and the study of its structure and function is one of the most rapidly developing fields in contemporary science. Yet many great mysteries remain, including understanding the brain processes involved in memory, perception, mental illness, and arguably the greatest unanswered question in all of science: How are consciousness and mind related to the physical processes within the brain?
“In our previous classes, we’ve focused on teaching the practice of Deep Bodywork for specific segments of the body,” write the leaders. “In this seminar, we will focus on giving a full body massage, and integrating Deep Bodywork into the session as a whole. We will show you how to apply deep work on both sides of the body while maintaining the flowing, integrative quality which is the signature of Esalen Massage.
This workshop is a wonderful opportunity for you to enjoy the beauty of Big Sur and the healing waters of the Esalen hot springs, while gaining a foundation in the art and practice of Esalen Massage. During the week, participants will be taught massage methods that address the whole body: Esalen’s signature long, flowing strokes that support feelings of wholeness, connection, and integration; passive joint movement; and a variety of techniques to work with the major muscle groups of the body.
Master Yang is a traditionally trained, internationally recognized taiji and qigong grandmaster who has distilled essential aspects of these arts into an easy-to-learn program suitable for people of all ages and physical abilities. His Evidence-Based Taiji and Qigong (EBT and EBQ) programs were originally designed for research interventions to yield maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time.
Esalen Massage is a moving meditation, a practice in presence and mindfulness, and a loving healing art. When practiced with focused attention, massage comes from a deep, quiet place that resides inside each of us. The practice of meditation can help access the parasympathetic nervous system, where healing originates. As we give a massage, this healing state of mind can permeate the field that practitioner and receiver create together.
Our stress and its symptoms are maintained unconsciously as a distraction from emotional issues and harmful thinking. By addressing these issues, the body can let go, thereby improving physical health and enhancing performance and the ability to feel joy.
This weekend is an opportunity for people practicing Zero Balancing to reconnect with Fritz Smith, with Zero Balancing, and with each other.
“It is critically important," says Fritz, "to periodically meet with like-minded people and to openly, freely, and safely discuss problems, insights, and successes of your work—in this case, the leading-edge therapy of balancing energy and structure.”
During this course, you will learn about the physiological mechanism of disease and will participate in hands-on training to facilitate the SomatoEmotional Release process. By the end of the course, you should be able to dissipate residual effects of past trauma and negative emotional experiences from the body and mind of your patients/clients. In order to observe closure for sessions you are involved in, please make sure the instructor is aware of any pregnancies in the group.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams
During an Esalen Massage, we experience a remarkable web of interdependence: a listening touch, a deepening breath, our nervous system soothed in connection with another. When we receive a massage we remember an easier time and "come home."
Cultures and spiritual traditions since the beginning of civilization have grappled with how to live a human life from a place of spiritual wisdom. How do we integrate the truth of the inner life with the requirements of our outer life? What supports us? The Enneagram and the Fourth Way tradition from which it springs can offer some answers to these questions. This new workshop will be an exploration of the deeper aspects of the Enneagram: the Essential Qualities, the Virtues, and the Holy Ideas.
Using principles of experiential anatomy, this workshop explores the balance between sensitive and structural touch, and the interplay of nervous system, skeleton, and muscles. These concepts serve to awaken sensory awareness, fine-tune physical skills, and deepen personal connection with self and others; all are skills that enhance the ability to give good bodywork sessions.
Spinal awareness is a combination of the Feldenkrais Method®, Taoist energetic science, and the Esalen experience. In this workshop, participants will experience movements that help bring new awareness as well as maintain health and assist in the rehabilitation of pain, tension, stiffness, limitation, and injury.
The use of joy and humor will be the undertone of this time together. Real freedom in the body is also freedom of spirit and fun.
Just as an acorn contains all the information to become an oak tree, you were born with a user’s manual for your life—including purpose, well-being, and peace of mind—right inside your own heart. How can we access and decode that user’s manual? This workshop introduces the tools and practices developed over twenty-five years of peer-reviewed research at the HeartMath Institute. The HeartMath process shows us that the concept “follow your heart” is not just a poetic metaphor, but can be methodically manifested by anyone.
Esalen offers numerous levels of basic massage certification. For an overview of these offerings, please visit www.esalen.org/page/esalen-massage-certification-programs-overview.
Explore the world of spontaneous creation, an unpredictable territory beyond the expected where no rules apply. In a respectful and nurturing studio environment, you’ll receive individual attention and gentle guidance to help you open to inspiration, creativity, growth, and change. Using the powerful tool of “process arts,” you’ll be supportively invited to:
• Discover a creative voice that’s entirely your own
• Trust your intuitive perception, not the mind’s critical chatter
• Follow your energy rather than what looks good or makes sense
Self-compassion is the heart of mindfulness. It is warm-hearted, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience that allows us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with encouragement, forgive ourselves when needed, care for others, and be more fully ourselves. Rapidly expanding research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.
Deep bodywork, practiced with great sensitivity, is one of the most effective healing modalities available to the bodywork practitioner. Through slowly opening the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, we connect the mind to normally unconscious "stuck" areas of the physical body, which can release enormous amounts of previously held energy. This energy then becomes available to support the body’s innate capacity to self-organize and self-heal, enabling practitioners to support clients in overcoming previously stubborn, seemingly intractable physical conditions.
Esalen offers numerous levels of basic massage certification. For an overview of these programs, please visit www.esalen.org/page/esalen-massage-certification-programs-overview.