Adyashanti is a spiritual teacher who experienced deep realization during 15 years of Zen practice. Founder of the Open Gate Sangha in 1996, his expression of truth springs spontaneously from emptiness, as he guides people into an intimate investigation of their true nature.
Leaders at Esalen
Learn more about Esalen workshop leaders from past and present.
Girish is an accomplished musician of many genres, and former monk infused in spiritual practice, who sings traditional Sanskrit mantras with a modern, funky, yet deeply devotional twist. He has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.
Johnsmith has been writing heartfelt songs for more than 30 years. He's won national awards and contests, was a staff songwriter in Nashville, and has recorded 6 CDs. He's taught songwriting workshops nationwide, and has been featured on NPR's “New Dimensions.”
Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer, and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. Her books include The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path, and most recently, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups.
Adam Baraz has chosen the path of the healer. He is a body worker trained at Esalen and numerous other certification programs. He is training as a life coach, counselor, and Somatic Experiencing practitioner. A dedicated practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, he is a student in Reggie Ray's training program.
Adam Wolpert is a painter, facilitator, teacher, and art program director at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org) in Sonoma County, Calif. He has offered workshops and exhibited extensively throughout California.
Alan Heathcock is the author of VOLT, which was named as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was a Barnes and Noble Discover Prize finalist. Heathcock received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and he is a Literary Fellow for the state of Idaho.
Alan Kishbaugh is a writer with many years of experience in book publishing and in urban planning, parkland, and open space preservation. He and Stella Resnick have been married for 26 years and have led couples' seminars together for even longer.
Alanna Kaivalya, author of Myths of the Asanas and Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth and Meaning Behind Mantra and Kirtan (forthcoming April 2014), teaches and speaks internationally. She is a current PhD candidate in mythology at Pacifica University.
Albert Flynn DeSilver is a poet, author, teacher, and speaker. His latest book is Beamish Boy (I Am Not My Story): A Memoir of Recovery & Awakening. Albert teaches at The Omega Institute, Spirit Rock, and at numerous writing conferences. He has been meditating, writing and teaching for almost 20 years.
Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, has studied with eminent teachers of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon for more than 20 years, including Lopon Tenzin Namdak and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He teaches internationally through the Ligmincha Institute and is assistant professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Aminah Raheem, PhD, is a transpersonal psychologist, diplomat of process work, and originator of Soul Lightening International, a non-profit organization dedicated to soul realization and wholistic health of the individual, family, and society. She is the author of Soul Lightning, Soul Return, and The Way of Soul Lightening.
Amory Lovins is chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute. Published in 31 books and more than 450 papers, his innovations linking energy, design, security, environment, and development have received many global awards. He has advised major firms and governments in 50+ countries for 40+ years on advanced energy and resource efficiency.
Amy Weintraub, MFA, ERYT-500, is the author of Yoga for Depression, offers professional trainings internationally, and is involved in ongoing research. Her evidence-based protocol is featured on the award-winning LifeForce Yoga® DVDs and CDs.
Anat Baniel best-selling author of Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits, is the creator of the Anat Baniel Method™, a powerful practice that takes advantage of the brain’s ability to change itself at any age to heal both body and mind.
Andrea Lieberstein, MPH, RD, directs Mind, Body, Spirit Programs at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, Calif. She is a mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindful eating instructor, health educator, stress management coach, and registered dietitian.
Andy Abrahams Wilson is an award-winning, Oscar®-shortlisted filmmaker and photographer. President of Open Eye Pictures, Andy emphasizes using the camera as a way to bridge – and heal – disparate parts and people, and to connect to nature, ourselves, and each other.
Angela Sherman is a licensed clinical psychologist with a longstanding interest in human-animal interactions and the benefits of incorporating animals in therapeutic work. Her practice, Change Your Lead, offers equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning in the San Francisco area.
Ann Bradney is director of the Radical Aliveness/Core Energetics Institute of Southern California. She studied under Core Energetics founder John Pierrakos and teaches internationally. Ann’s Radical Aliveness model expands Core beyond the individual, to address community healing and world issues.
Ann Randolph is an award-winning writer, performer, and educator. Her Off-Broadway hit, Squeezebox, was produced by Mel Brooks, and her current show, Loveland, just received Best Solo Show awards in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her personal essays have aired on NPR, BBC, and the Moth.
Ann Weiser Cornell is the bestselling author of The Power of Focusing and The Radical Acceptance of Everything. She teaches her popular workshops in Inner Relationship Focusing and Getting Unblocked internationally, both in person and by telephone bridge line.
Anna Halprin was named one of “America’s 100 Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. She has created revolutionary directions for the art form and inspired fellow choreographers to take modern dance to new dimensions. She founded the San Francisco Dancer's Workshop in 1955 and the Tamalpa Institute in 1978 with her daughter Daria.
Anne Watts was deeply influenced by her father, the pioneering philosopher Alan Watts. She leads workshops on four continents, teaching adults to have more loving, fulfilling relationships. Anne has been leading Love, Intimacy and Sexuality workshops since 1985.
Anneli Molin-Skelton is living her dream of inspiring people to discover the forgotten language of their souls by embracing their sacredness and truth in movement. She is a cofounder of the movement sanctuary Spiritweaves.
Annellen Simpkins, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice who, with her husband C. Alexander Simpkins, specializes in research and practice of hypnosis, neuroscience, and meditation. Together they teach widely and have written 28 books, including Neuroscience for Clinicians, Tao of Bipolar, and Neuro-Hypnosis.
Anushka Fernandopulle has trained in Buddhist meditation for more than 20 years and is on the Teacher’s Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif. She also works as a leadership coach and organizational consultant, informed by a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Yale.
Ashley Turner is a yoga-meditation instructor, registered marriage and family therapist intern, and writer. She has several best-selling yoga DVDs, is the co-author of Aroma Yoga, and creator of popular digital programs that fuse yoga and psychology.
Athena Katsaros is a leadership and life coach, and a principal of IdeaTribe. She is a faculty member at the Coaches Training Institute. As an executive council member of Bpeace, Athena works with women leaders in Afghanistan and Rwanda.
Aviva Gold, has taught art and trained teachers for more than 30 years. Her background includes psychoanalytic, Jungian, and Gestalt psychotherapy. She is author of Painting From The Source: Awakening The Artists Soul In Everyone and Source Art in the World: How Your Authentic Creativity Heals the Planet.
Banafsheh Sayyad, MFA, LAc, is a Persian sacred dance artist, transformational teacher, and licensed acupuncturist. She is the founder of the pioneering synthesis of embodied spirituality known as Dance of Oneness® which beckons ALL to exalt. She teaches and performs worldwide.
The Banana Slug String Band is a group of lovable musicians and educators from the coastal redwoods of Northern California. Since 1987 the Slugs have dedicated themselves to making great music for kids that teaches science and a love of this green earth.
Barbara Bogatin has been a cellist with the San Francisco Symphony since 1994. She studied at the Juilliard School and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York Chamber Soloists, Connecticut Early Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and Tahoe Summerfest.
Barbara Braunstein teaches hydrotherapy at the Ashland Institute of Massage, and is a certified deep tissue practitioner, Bach flower remedy practitioner, and meditator.
Barbara Kess Evarts, EdS, practices privately as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Reno, Nevada and Panama. She is codirector of the Couple’s Institute Reno-Tahoe/International and is a teacher for Integrative Body Psychotherapy Central Institute in Los Angeles.
Barry Robbins, is a long-term Esalen teacher and former nationally-ranked athlete who has used affirmations for peak performance. A student of Michael Murphy and George Leonard, Barry continues their ground-breaking work in Integral Transformative Practice (ITP), created from decades of collective experience at Esalen. He is the vice-president of ITP International.
Barry Vissell is a psychiatrist who, with his wife Joyce, practices the medicine of unconditional love worldwide. He and Joyce have coauthored many books, including The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Meant To Be, and A Mother’s Final Gift, among others.
Benjamin Fox is a licensed massage therapist, certified Zero Balancer, and Evolutionary astrologer. He is a co-founder of A New Possibility, Inc., whose mission is to transform people's lives through healing, education, and community-building.
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist who has studied the impact and resolution of trauma on children and adults since 1982. He is professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston. He is author of Psychological Trauma and coeditor of Traumatic Stress.
Beverly Morse is a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Monica, Calif., and executive director of the Rosenberg-Kitaen Integrative Body Psychotherapy Central Institute and the 12 IBP International Institutes. She is coauthor of The Intimate Couple.
Bill Morgan, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in couples psychotherapy. He has practiced mindfulness meditation throughout his adulthood, including more than 6 years of silent retreats. He is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.
Bill Plotkin, founder of Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute, is a depth psychologist, wilderness-based soul guide, and agent of cultural evolution. Author of Soulcraft, Nature and the Human Soul, and Wild Mind, he has guided thousands of people through initiatory passages in the underworld of soul.
Bill Wade, PhD, is a licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, and codirector of the Milton Erickson Institute of Houston. He is coauthor of Brain Change Therapy (2012, WW Norton). He has taught meditation and given Dharma lectures at various Buddhist temples.
Bob Doppelt is a counseling psychologist and ecologist grounded in socially engaged Buddhism. He integrates these fields into his work as a climate and sustainability consultant, educator, researcher, and writer. His most recent book is From Me to We.
Bradley Lewis MD, PhD, is an associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and a practicing psychiatrist. He has interdisciplinary training is in humanities and psychiatry and his recent books are Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice and Depression: Integrating Science, Culture, and Humanities.
Brenda Hillman is the author of nine prize-winning collections of poetry, most recently Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire. Named by Poets and Writers as one of the 50 most inspiring writers in the world, Hillman lives in the Bay Area where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry at Saint Mary's College in Moraga.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk, psychologist, and author, has lectured on five continents. He was Spiritual Teacher in Residence at Esalen, and is concerned with the unique challenges and opportunities of our time.
Byron Katie Byron Katie’s The Work has been bringing freedom to millions of people for more than twenty years. Her books include the bestselling Loving What Is, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, and A Thousand Names for Joy.
C. Alexander Simpkins, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice, and, with Annellen M. Simpkins, is the author of 24 books. Together they study and research mind and brain, teach meditation and hypnosis in seminars and workshops, and live in San Diego, Calif.
Camille Maurine co-authored Meditation Secrets for Women and Meditation 24/7. A dancer and performing artist who has taught movement, meditation, and expression since 1975, Camille is the creator of kinAesthetics and the transformational Moving Theater process.
Cari Hernandez is an artist and photographer who was born and raised in northern California. Cari teaches, lectures, and shows her work nationally, is a founding board member of International Encaustic Artists (IEA), and was the creator and director of IEA’s annual retreat and conference.
Carley Hauck, MA, is the president of Intuitive Wellness and works as an integrative life coach and wellness consultant. Her background includes yoga, meditation, coaching, nutrition, and research. She teaches on the subjects of happiness, positive psychology, and mindful eating at Stanford University.
Carol DeSanto is the cofounder of Nervous System Energy Work and a psychotherapist in private practice. She has been a longtime student of Rev. Rosalyn Bruyere. Her special interests in energy work encompass addiction-recovery, health and healing, and work with cancer and chronic illness.
Carol Kershaw, EdD, is a psychologist, codirector of the Milton Erickson Institute of Houston, and coauthor of Brain Change Therapy. She is an international trainer and has produced several programs on personal growth and creating lasting solutions.
Carol Studer is a lifelong horsewoman who teaches horsemanship methods specializing in Centered Riding. These techniques promote body awareness, confidence, and harmony in the relationship with horses. She brings this knowledge to her equine specialist role at Change Your Lead.
Caroline Harvey, MA, LMT, a performance poet and professor at Berklee College of Music, has been featured on HBO's Def Poetry, in print, and on film. Caroline tours in Europe, the US, and Canada. Her recent collection, Bird Wing or Bone Marrow, received international acclaim.
Caroline Muir, founder of the Divine Feminine Institute and coauthor of Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving, inspires women of all ages to claim their birthright to be all they can be and to delight in their sexuality.
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is president and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a licensed clinical psychologist in San Francisco, and vice-president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. She co-wrote Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.
Catherine Ann Jones, MA, is an award-winning playwright (Calamity Jane, On the Edge, The Women of Cedar Creek ) and screenwriter (The Christmas Wife, Unlikely Angel, Touched by an Angel series). She also is a writing consultant and author of The Way of Story and Heal Your Self with Writing.
Chandra Easton studied Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, and translated Tibetan Buddhist texts on meditation with B. Alan Wallace. Chandra has taught meditation and yoga since 2001.
Charles Eisenstein is a speaker, writer, and social philosopher who focuses on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. He is the author of Sacred Economics, Ascent of Humanity, and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know Is Possible.
Charles Muir has been a professional yoga teacher since 1967. Director of the Source School of Tantra Yoga, he is quoted in 125 books in print on Tantra, relationship, sex, and yoga. He is co-author of Tantra: the Art of Conscious Loving, which is printed in 9 languages.
Charlie Bloom is an educator, therapist, and seminar leader. He and his wife Linda are cofounders of Bloomwork and coauthors of Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love and 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married. He has facilitated workshops internationally since 1986.
Charlie Cascio managed the Esalen kitchen for six years. He is a chef, restaurateur, consultant, and lecturer on vegetarian and living foods who has worked and taught in the US and throughout Europe for more than 30 years. Charlie wrote the Esalen Cookbook.
Charu Rachlis, born and raised in Brazil, has been teaching yoga in San Francisco since 1997. She teaches in a Bhakti lineage. She has a 20-year history of Tibetan Buddhist meditation, and is strongly influenced by Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga.
Cheryl Strayed is the bestselling author of the memoir Wild, the essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch. Her writing has appeared in The Best American Essays and numerous magazines. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Christa Lancaster is cofounder of North of Eden Archetypal Dreamwork, a master dream analyst, and a master teacher at the Center for Archetypal Dreamwork. Her books include Flesh Off the Bone: Dream Descent through Past Life Trauma and Sex, Trauma and Conjunctio.
Christian de la Huerta has been a writer, speaker, and retreat and group facilitator for more than 20 years. Author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Coming out Spiritually, he is currently working on a new book called The Soul of Power.
Christian Pedersen is a relationship specialist and certified life coach, and has led relationship trainings for hundreds of singles and couples. He has a private coaching practice for men and has studied with The Option Institute, The Relationship Skills Center, and Abraham-Hicks.
Christopher Germer is a clinical psychologist in private practice, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, and a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He leads workshops internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion, and is author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
Christopher Griffin is a Master ChiRunning/ChiWalking Instructor, mentoring with the founder of ChiRunning/ChiWalking, Danny Dreyer. Chris lives in Marin County, Calif., and travels throughout the US and Internationally teaching this technique.
Chungliang Al Huang teaches Tai Ji philosophy, East/West synthesis, and the art of movement meditation. He is the founder-president of the Living Tao Foundation and director of Lan Ting Institute in the Sacred Mountains of China.
Cida Vieira has choreographed and performed in the US, South America, and Europe, with dance groups and artists including Xuxa, Ray Charles, Daniela Mercury, and Airto Moreira. Born at the heart of the dance circles of Brazil, currently Cida teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Claude Stein has 29 years of experience blending psychology and voice training. His clients include RCA, Warner Bros., Sony, Atlantic, Island Records, Juilliard, the New York Actors Institute, Sprint, Siemens, JPMorgan, NASA, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Clifford Henderson is cofounder of the Fun Institute in Santa Cruz, Calif., a school of improv and solo performance. She’s had numerous plays and sketch comedies produced in the SF Bay Area. Her published works include The Middle of Somewhere, Spanking New, and Maye’s Request.
Clifford Saron is associate research neuroscientist at Center for Mind and Brain and MIND Institute at UC Davis. His main research directions are investigating effects of contemplative practice from a multidisciplinary perspective, and multisensory integration in children with autistic spectrum disorder.
Coby Kozlowski, MA, E-RYT, is a professional life coach, inspirational speaker, yoga and dance teacher, expressive arts therapist, and expert in transformative leadership. She is the founder of Souluna Life Coach Certification ™, Sacred Lasya Yoga Teacher Training, and rEvolution 180: Karma Yoga Leadership School.
Corinne Bourdeau is president and founder of 360 Degree Communications, an agency specializing in films that celebrate and enrich the human spirit through social change. Bourdeau’s portfolio includes Academy Award®-winning documentaries such as The Cove, Samsara, The Way, and Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
Cornelia Gerken integrates a spectrum of psychosomatic and healing approaches. With her husband Siegmar, she cofounded and codirects the International Institute of Core Evolution. She is the founder of CoreSoma.
Cris Williamson's body of work includes more than 30 albums. Recognized by Performing Songwriter Magazine as one of the decade’s most influential songwriters, her groundbreaking record, The Changer and the Changed, remains a best-selling independent record.
Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to fully integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching. She is the founder of NYC’s OM yoga Center and author of Yoga Body Buddha Mind and May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind, among other books.
Dan Clurman is a Feldenkrais Practitioner and personal coach who integrates somatic work with his coaching. He has led Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes for more than 10 years. His books include Floating Upstream and You’ve Got To Draw The Line Somewhere.
Dana Moore, MAR, MA, LPCC is a therapist who uses elements of contemplative spirituality supported by neuroscience to treat psychological trauma. Dana co-developed the Yoga Program at the Trauma Center and regularly teaches at the International Trauma Conference in Boston.
Daniel Brown is an associate clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. He is author of 13 books, including Transformations of Consciousness (with Ken Wilber and Jack Engler) and Pointing Out the Great Way: The Stages of Meditation in the Mahamudra Tradition. He has taught meditation retreats since 1972.
Daniel Ellenberg, PhD, is founder/director of Strength with Heart men’s groups and workshops, co-founder of Relationships That Work, and a principle in the Rewire Leadership Institute. A leadership coach, organizational trainer, and psychotherapist, Daniel is co-author of Lovers for Life and is in private practice in the Bay Area.
Daniel Rechtschaffen, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist and author of The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students. He organizes the Mindfulness in Education conference at the Omega Institute, and leads mindfulness trainings for schools and communities around the world.
Daniel Wile, PhD, is a couple therapist in private practice in Oakland, Calif. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has published 3 books and numerous articles on couples, and gives professional workshops nationally and internationally.
Daphne Rose Kingma is the best-selling author of ten books on love and relationships. Her most recent book, The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook, is a heartfelt guide to living through very hard times.
Darren Huckle, LAc, has a private practice as an herbalist and acupuncturist in Santa Cruz, Calif. He teaches holistic health modalities including herbal medicine, nutrition, acupuncture, and qi gong at Five Branches University and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dave Stringer is an innovative artist of the new kirtan movement. His sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel. An articulate and engaging public speaker, Stringer probes the dilemmas of science and spirit with a wry and unorthodox sense of humor.
David Allen, a graduate of UCLA School of Medicine, has 25 years of experience in anti-aging and preventative medicine, as well as in alternative treatment of acute and chronic diseases. He is board-certified in emergency medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and body-mind medicine.
David Feinstein, PhD, a clinical psychologist, has served on the faculties of The Johns Hopkins Medical School and Antioch College. His books have won eight national awards, including the USA Book News 2007 Book of the Year in the Psychology/Mental Health Category.
David Lukoff, PhD, is professor of psychology at Sofia University in Palo Alto, Calif., a licensed psychologist, author of 80 articles, and co-author of the DSM-IV and DSM-5 category Religious or Spiritual Problem. He has been actively involved with the mental health consumer movement since 1994.
David Newman (Durga Das), is an author, inspirational teacher, devotional singer, and recording artist. He has released nine CDs, is the creator of the Stay Strong Project, and founder of Yoga On Main. He has been featured on NPR, in the Washington Post and Yoga Journal among many others.
David Presti is a neuroscientist at the University of California in Berkeley. His areas of expertise include the chemistry of the human nervous system, the effects of drugs on the brain and mind, and the scientific study of mind and consciousness.
David Richo, PhD, MFT, is a psychotherapist, writer, and workshop leader who shares his time between Santa Barbara and San Francisco, Calif. He combines psychological and spiritual perspectives in his work. He is the author of many books, most recently, How to be an Adult in Love.
David Schiffman has taught at Esalen for 40 years. His work combines creative elements ranging from sweet mischief to intelligent risk taking and including ceremony, music, movement, and inner work. He has been a consultant to California Institute for Integrative Studies and Saybrook Institute, in San Francisco.
Davida Taurek has a diverse background in the creative arts and is a certified instructor of Watsu®, WaterDance®, Motion Theater®, and the 5Rhythms®. She is core faculty for the Moving Center School in California and leads classes and workshops worldwide.
Dawson Church, PhD, is the award-winning author of The Genie in Your Genes. He founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare to study promising new healing techniques. He shares how to apply these new practices to health and athletic performance through EFT Universe.
Dean Marson teaches Esalen® Massage and Ocean Yoga. He integrates meditation, movement, and bodywork practices to assist people in enlivening their bodies and their lives. He has led workshops at Esalen and internationally for more than 20 years.
Debra Moffitt is the award-winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery. Her workshops use spiritual practices to inspire creativity and encourage people to follow their heartfelt calling.