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.
Leaders at Esalen
Learn more about Esalen workshop leaders from past and present.
Diane Waye, director of San Francisco’s Active Isolated Stretching clinic, is the leading West Coast AIS instructor. Her private practice includes Olympic athletes, 49ers, and others seeking performance and mobility optimization. Diane has specialized in AIS since 1997 and works closely with AIS founder Aaron Mattes.
Dixie Cox, cofounder of the Fun Institute in Santa Cruz, Calif., has been teaching people to re-create themselves through improvisational acting classes since 1993. She performs regularly with the improv troupes Loose Cannon Theater and Crash Test.
Dohee Lee is a performance artist and educator born in Korea and now living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She performs and teaches workshops and trainings internationally. Lee founded the Puri Project in 2004 to present interdisciplinary works that embrace the ritualistic and healing aspects of performance.
Don Hanlon Johnson is a professor at CIIS in San Francisco and the founder of the first graduate degree program in Somatics. He is the author of a body of literature on the intersections among bodily experience, the natural world, spirituality, social justice, and health.
Donald Rothberg, PhD, the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World, is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council in Northern California, and teaches meditation, daily life practice, and engaged spirituality.
Donna Eden is among the world’s most sought, joyous, and authoritative spokespersons for energy healing. Her classic book, Energy Medicine, is published in 10 languages and won Health Book of the Year in the Nautilus competition. She teaches internationally.
Donnalea Van Vleet Goelz, RSMT, RSME, is the owner and founder of Cobalt Moon Center for integrative health, in Neptune Beach, Florida. An authorized Continuum teacher since 1998, she leads workshops nationally and internationally in Continuum, tai chi, healing, and the human energy field.
Dorothy Charles has been a student and teacher at Esalen since 1982. A student of Esalen cofounder Richard Price, she combines Esalen body-centered Gestalt with relational Gestalt theory, and leads workshops in Asia, Europe, and the US.
Dorothy Kaufmann, PhD, is presently a marriage and family therapy Intern after a long career teaching and writing in the humanities. She works with couples and individuals in agencies and has a private practice in Berkeley, Calif.
Douglas R.W. Drummond teaches movement classes at the Moving Center School in New York City and leads workshops in the US and abroad. A nomad of motion, Douglas's offerings embrace the divine individuality that exists within all.
Dyrian Benz-Chartrand, PsyD, is a mindfulness and somatic psychology educator. A cofounder of Hakomi, he conducts trainings in Relational Constellations at the Constellation Institute of California. He is a longtime Diamond Approach student and co-author of Love and Belonging: Making Love Successful.
Edward Maupin, a psychologist who was an Esalen scholar-in-residence from 1966 to 1970, has practiced Rolfing since 1968, when he was trained by Dr. Ida Rolf. His early research in Zen Buddhism strongly influenced his approach to the Rolf Method.
Eleanor Criswell Hanna, director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training and an emeritus professor of psychology at Sonoma State University, is editor of Somatics, and author of How Yoga Works and Biofeedback and Somatics.
Eliza Reynolds, now 23 years old, has co-led workshops with her mother, Sil Reynolds, since she was 15. A graduate of Brown University, she coauthored Mothering & Daughtering and is a certified teen mediator and SOS-trained counselor with Planned Parenthood.
Ellen Bass has supported and inspired writers for 45 years. Her books include Like A Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love (poetry), and the best-selling The Courage to Heal. She teaches at Pacific University's low-residency MFA program.
Ellen Kindl began Harriet Goslins' Cortical Field Reeducation® as an attempt to control chronic pain after a 21-hour surgery to fuse 14 vertebra. It worked, she was certified as a teacher in 2000, and has taught at Esalen and other locations nationally since then.
Elsbeth Meuth, EdD, is the author of Sexual Enlightenment: How to Create Lasting Fulfillment in Life, Love and Intimacy. She is an internationally renowned workshop leader, intimacy expert, certified Tantra Yoga teacher, and the co-founder of the TantraNova Institute in Chicago, Ill.
Emma Seppälä is associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University and a popular science writer/speaker. Her research on happiness and yoga/meditation is featured in television, news outlets and a documentary film.
Emmett Miller, MD, is widely recognized as a founder of mind/body medicine and as the inventor of the guided-imagery audiocassette/CD. He is the author of Deep Healing and has recorded more than 50 deep-relaxation meditations and talks.
Eric Goodman, DC, is a chiropractor and teacher of proper human movement who developed the Foundation Training philosophy and program in 2009 while trying to heal his own degenerative spine that he was told required surgery. Eric has helped thousands of people heal their own chronic back pain.
Eric Maisel, PhD, is the author of more than 40 books, among them Coaching the Artist Within, Making Your Creative Mark and Why Smart People Hurt. He writes the "Rethinking Psychology" blog for Psychology Today and presents workshops nationally and internationally.
Erin Gafill is an award-winning painter, writer, and teacher with deep roots in California's art history. She is co-founder of the nonprofit Big Sur Arts Initiative, founding member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association, and author of Drinking from a Cold Spring, A Little Book of Hope.
Ernest Rossi has received lifetime achievement awards from the Erickson Foundation, 1980; American Association of Psychotherapy, 2003; American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 2008. He has published 38 books and 180 papers on therapeutic hypnosis, psychotherapy, dreams, art, beauty, truth, and creativity.
Esther Gokhale, LAc, author of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, was educated at Harvard, Princeton, SFCAOM (in Chinese medicine), and by people in non-industrial cultures worldwide. She and other certified Gokhale Method instructors offer instruction online and all around the world.
Eva Selhub, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and trained in Eastern medical practices. A clinical associate of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, she has a private practice and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School. www.theloveresponse.com and www.drselhub.com.
Flip Brown works with individuals and teams in socially responsible organizations, serving as a catalyst for increased success and satisfaction. He brings a background in international business, organic gardening, non-profit management, meditation, depth psychology, and rock ‘n’ roll to his work.
Frances Verrinder is a marriage and family therapist in San Francisco, Calif., with 35 years of psychotherapy experience with couples, families, groups, and individual adults. She is passionate about cultivating loving relationships of all kinds.
Francie White, MS, RD, specializes in the psychology of relationships to eating, exercise, and body image. She developed Tending the Feminine Psyche workshops, and she co-owns Central Coast Treatment Center for eating, exercise, and body image disorders in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Francis G. Lu is the Luke & Grace Kim Endowed Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, Emeritus, at UC Davis. Since 1987 he has co-led 28 seminars at Esalen exploring film and the transpersonal.
Francis Weller, MFT, is a community builder, teacher, and psychotherapist in Northern California. His work embodies his love of soul, the arts, ritual, and his devotion to bringing these into vibrant community. He is author of Entering the Healing Ground.
Frank Evarts, PhD, practices privately as a psychologist in Nevada and Panama. He founded Mountain Employee Assistance Program and codirects the Couple’s Institute Reno-Tahoe/International. He is a certified practitioner-teacher for Integrative Body Psychotherapy, Central Institute, Los Angeles.
Fred Luskin, PhD, is a senior consultant in wellness at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects. He is the author of Forgive for Good, Forgive for Love, and Stress Free for Good. He teaches on the importance, health benefits, and training of forgiveness, stress management, and emotional competence.
Freddy Zental Weaver is the author of Sexual Enlightenment: How to Create Lasting Fulfillment in Life, Love and Intimacy. He is an internationally renowned workshop leader, intimacy expert, certified Tantra Yoga teacher, and the co-founder of the TantraNova Institute in Chicago, Ill.
Fredric E. Rabinowitz, PhD, is professor of psychology and associate dean at the University of Redlands. He has co-authored numerous books, including Man Alive: A Primer of Men’s Issues. He was president of the APA's Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity and maintains a private clinical practice.
Fritz Smith is a physician, osteopath, cranial osteopath, certified acupuncturist, and founder of Zero Balancing. He is the author of Inner Bridges: A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure, and Alchemy of Touch.
Gabriela Bozic, MA, is a yoga teacher and cofounder of the Jivamukti Yoga Centers in Munich, Germany. She holds a master's degree in linguistics and advanced certification in Jivamukti Yoga. Gabriela leads workshops internationally and is an established presenter at yoga conferences worldwide.
Gahl Sasson has been teaching workshops on mythology, Kabbalah, and mysticism for more than a decade. His books have been translated into multiple languages and are endorsed by HH the Dalai Lama, Laura Day, and John Edward.
Gary Malkin is a seven-time Emmy® award-winning composer/producer, performer, public speaker, and consultant whose work inspires the mind, awakens the heart, and catalyzes healing. He co-created Graceful Passages to help people face life transitions with greater mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion.
Geneen Marie Haugen is a writer, wilderness explorer, scholar, and guide to the intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche. Her work has appeared recently in Parabola Journal, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth, and Thomas Berry: Dreamer of the Earth.
George Kohlrieser is a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. His research, teaching, and consulting incorporate the lessons learned as a clinical psychologist and hostage negotiator. He is the author of Hostage at the Table and Care to Dare.
George Protos has studied the “pointing-out” style of meditation with Daniel Brown since 1995. He leads weeklong retreats and an ongoing meditation study group in Marin County, Calif., and created an online user support group for meditators.
Gerald Smith is a licensed psychologist who has maintained a private practice in San Mateo, Calif., since 1964. He has led more than 100 workshops at Esalen since 1966. He is the author of Couple Therapy and Hidden Meanings.
Gina Ogden, PhD, LMFT, is a sex therapist, researcher, and shamanic practitioner who leads workshops internationally. She conducted the only nationwide survey on sexuality and spirituality (ISIS). Her latest books are Women Who Love Sex, The Heart and Soul of Sex, and The Return of Desire.
Govind Das is a California-based kirtan singer, yoga teacher, and servant of the divine. Together with his wife Radha, he is director/owner of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, Calif. Their commitment to love, service, and devotion is the essence which is reflected and transmitted through their music and teachings. www.bhaktiyogashala.com
Greg Steltenpohl, founder and former CEO of Odwalla, Inc., values environmental sustainability, employee empowerment, creative corporate culture, and community-based marketing. Greg currently spearheads projects that bring value-added products from farm producers to the consumer.
Gregg Chadwick is a painter based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif. His work has appeared in galleries all over the world, as well as in the book collection, The Speed of Light.
Gregg Levoy, author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life and This Business of Writing, is a former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico who teaches widely on the subject of callings.
Gustavo Rabin is a psychologist and an organizational consultant based in Silicon Valley, Calif. He specializes in improving leadership skills of individuals and the effectiveness of teams and organizations. Gustavo is also a cofounder of Skyline Group.
Gwyneth Moss is a founding EFT Master. Gwyneth's teaching, known as The Moss Method of EFT, is clear, simple, and direct with an abundance of intelligence and humor. She is also certified in neuro linguistic programming and the Human Givens approach to psychotherapy.
Hank Wesselman is the author of 8 books on shamanism including the Spiritwalker Trilogy, Awakening to the Spirit World (with Sandra Ingerman), and The Bowl of Light. He conducts anthropological research in Ethiopia investigating the mystery of human origins.
Harriet Goslins developed Cortical Field Reeducation. A Feldenkrais practitioner and Integrated Awareness teacher for 30 years, her background is in psychosynthesis, applied kinesiology, muscle energy, craniosacral work, and social anthropology. She has been teaching at Esalen for 29 consecutive years.
Harvey Deutch teaches yoga with a unique blend of precise technical expertise and signature humor. He has been a physical therapist and yogi since 1982. He is well known for making two-dimensional anatomy come to life, off the page and onto the mat.
Heather Munro Pierce founded TransDance® and has led inspirational, transformative, and healing movement for more than 20 years nationally and internationally. She is the creative force behind the dance meditation audio CD Embodied Awakening Through the Elements.
Heidi Sormaz, PhD, is the founder, owner, and director of Fresh Yoga. A senior Forrest Yoga Mentor, she has been practicing and teaching since 1996. As a yogi, she teaches embodied self-care as a response to the uncertainty of life.
Heike Liss is an artist who works in a variety of media, including photography, video, drawing, sculpture, site-specific installation, and public intervention. She studied ethnology and social anthropology as well as visual art. Her award-winning work has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and at film festivals.
Henry Shukman, associate Zen master of Sanbo Zen, teaches at Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM, and Sonnenhof in Schwarzwald, Germany. He is also a prize-winning poet and novelist, and frequent contributor to Tricycle and the New York Times.
Ira Israel, LPCC, LMFT, E-RYT500, is a psychotherapist, certified yoga therapist, and the author of several books, including Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety. He has graduate degrees in psychology, philosophy, and religious studies, has taught mindfulness to thousands of fellow therapists, and writes about mindfulness and yoga exclusively for the Huffington Post.
Isabelle Benarous is a Neuro-Linguistic-Programming trainer and author of Break the Code of Your Illness. She founded the Bioreprogramming® Institute, which is dedicated to teaching practical technologies for the resolution of conflicts related to health disorders and other life challenges.
Ivy Mayer Lavie, MFT, is influenced by Somatic Experiencing, the Hakomi Method, and her teaching experience, including for The Marin School, The Moving Center School, Spirit Rock, and Yes!. She offers Coming of Age programs, psychotherapy, trauma and resiliency work, and movement workshops.
Jack Rosenberg is in private practice in Venice, Calif. Founder and clinical director of the Rosenberg-Kitaen Integrative Body Psychotherapy Central Institute and the 12 IBP International Institutes, he authored Total Orgasm and coauthored Body, Self, and Soul and The Intimate Couple.
Jacqueline Kabat is a Manhattan-based comedian who performs stand-up at popular comedy clubs like Gotham and Caroline’s on Broadway. She has studied with Amy Poehler, warmed up audiences at ABC Studios with Mario Cantone, and teaches comedy improvisation. She is working on a documentary called Comedy Improv Can Save The World.
Radha is a California-based kirtan singer, yoga teacher, and servant of the divine. Together with her husband Govind Das, she is director/owner of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, Calif. Their commitment to love, service, and devotion is the essence which is reflected and transmitted through their music and teachings. www.bhaktiyogashala.com
Jai Uttal, a sacred music composer, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combines influences from India with influences from American rock and jazz, creating a stimulating and exotic multicultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. Jai has been leading kirtans for more than 30 years.
James Baraz has been teaching meditation since 1978. He leads workshops internationally, is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif., and has taught his popular online Awakening Joy course since 2003. James coauthored Awakening Joy with Shoshana Alexander.
James Guay grew up fundamentalist Christian and experienced "ex-gay" conversion attempts. He testified at the California State Assembly Committee supporting SB 1172, which prohibits "therapy" to change the sexual orientation of minors by licensed psychotherapists. James practices psychotherapy in West Hollywood, Calif.
Jamie Marich, PhD, author of Trauma and The Twelve Steps and EMDR Made Simple, is the founder of Dancing Mindfulness. A passionate educator on innovative, holistic methods for the treatment of trauma and addiction, Marich travels the country offering continuing education workshops and retreats.
Jane Baraz has been practicing meditation since 1976 and leads Awakening Joy workshops internationally. She served on the board of directors at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and helped start the Spirit Rock Family Program. Jane is a life coach who helps women live with more purpose, balance, and fulfillment.
Janet Stone traveled to India in 1996, where she dedicated herself to a conscious evolution through yoga. Janet blends a wealth of knowledge and yoga experience to create a unique, vigorous-yet-sumptuous approach to Vinyasa yoga. She teaches in San Francisco, and leads retreats internationally.
Jaquelin Levin teaches VitalDanza in Los Angeles, Esalen, and internationally. She trained in psychology, performing arts, and was also initiated into the medicine way. She considers herself an Inspiratrix - one who moves the mover.
Jaqueline Lapa Sussman, psychotherapist and seminar leader, is the director of projects for the International Imagery Association, and a collaborator with Dr. Akhter Ahsen. She is the author of Images of Desire and Freedom from Failure.
Jean Couch, originally known for her classic Runner's Yoga Book, has shown thousands of people of all ages how to improve their health. She most recently taught 50 physicians and their spouses, one of whom wrote, "I now have hope for me and my patients."
Jean Kristeller, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has used meditation-based interventions for eating disorders and obesity for more than 20 years. She receives NIH funding, is a founder of The Center for Mindful Eating, and is currently on the faculty at Indiana State University.
Jean Morrison, MA, has been a certified NVC trainer since 1989. She also is an author and materials designer with a background in psychology and counseling. In all of her work, she emphasizes whole brain learning and thinking and “wholistic” health.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, author, speaker, advocate for a UN 5th World Conference on Women, former clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF, and former board member of the Ms. Foundation.
Jeanine Becker teaches negotiation at Stanford Law School and provides strategy and collaboration consulting. Her work empowers students and clients to access all of their wisdom and integrate their analytical strengths, embodied knowing, and authentic relational capacities.
Jeff Mendelsohn founded New York Recycled Paper in 1991, and New Leaf Paper in 1998. He has focused his career on building a highly successful green business and driving a fundamental shift toward sustainability in the paper industry.
Jeffrey Kripal is chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He has written four books focusing on the comparative erotics and ethics of mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religious traditions, and the history of Western esotericism.
Jenn Sherer is a certified Balance Instructor, and she co-owns and co-directs the Balance Center, in Palo Alto, Calif.
Jennifer Allen, LMFT, ATR-BC, author of Bone Knowing, is also an artist, art therapist, and psychotherapist in private practice. She has been active in Medicine Wheel, Mystery School, and Elder’s Council groups since 2001.
Jennifer Berezan is a singer/songwriter, teacher, and activist. Her groundbreaking work as a recording artist and teacher has established her as a leading voice in the field of music, ritual, and healing. She has released 8 albums and produces large-scale multicultural, ecstatic ritual events.
Jennifer McChristian is an award-winning artist who was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. In 1986, she moved to California, where she was an animation artist for Disney and Nickelodeon, among other studios. She has studied under Robert Blue, Karl Dempwolf, and Steve Huston, and leads painting and drawing workshops internationally.
Jerome Front teaches at Pepperdine University and across the US, and has written about mindfulness, contemplative living, and mindful approaches to relationships. He leads retreats and clinical and corporate trainings, and is an LMFT in private practice.
Jerry Kermode is a woodturning artist and teacher in Sebastopol, Calif. He is known as much for his sense of humor and friendly manner as for his ability with the chisel. He helps people understand the subtle nuances of cutting wood without fear or trepidation.
Jessica Spain has a passion for teaching others to grow food. She has fourteen years of diverse agricultural experiences, from raising milk goats in California to working on a barley farm in Iceland. She is the former Esalen Farm Supervisor.
Jill Purce, international pioneer of the sound-healing movement, rediscovered ancient vocal techniques, the power of group chant, and spiritual potential of the voice as a magical instrument for healing and meditation. She is the author of The Mystic Spiral and Overtone Chanting Meditations.
Jim Gallas, a Shiatsu teacher for more than 15 years, has led workshops in California and internationally. Creator of the DVD Zen Thai Table Shiatsu: Deep and Effective Body Work with Ease, Jim also teaches Reiki, anatomy, yoga, and chi kung.
Jim Kepner is a psychologist and the author of Body Process and Healing Tasks. He teaches internationally on the application of Gestalt Body Process Psychotherapy to healing in trauma, stress, and illness. Jim is the co-originator of Nervous System Energy Work.
Jim McCormick has practiced Zero Balancing for more than 40 years, and taught for more than 35 years. He was the first teacher of ZB after Fritz Smith. He practices acupuncture and ZB in Cambridge, Mass., and is president of Zero Balancing Touch Foundation.
Jim Tamm, a former judge who has mediated more than 1,500 disputes, is the author of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Reduce Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships. He is on the faculty of the International Management Program at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Jnana Gowan, a yoga instructor since 1999 and an “urban ceremonialist,” is the director of Powerhouse Education, a company dedicated to health and well-being. She integrates ceremony and ritual from the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition (from Peru) into her teachings.
Joanna Claassen has been an outdoor and early childhood educator since 2000. She runs the Oakland PEECE Project for children, youth, and families in the Bay Area, and is a former director of Esalen Institute’s Gazebo Park School. Joanna is inspired by Reggio Emilia, permaculture, and No Child Left Inside.
Joanna Cowan is a Thai massage therapist, yoga instructor, and the first Gokhale Method teacher in Portland, Ore. She has been personally trained by Esther Gokhale and has helped hundreds of students regain their primal posture and a pain-free life.
Joanne Beaule Ruggles visual artist and professor emeritus, was named finalist for Cal Poly State University's Distinguished Teaching Award (2000), and was granted its Distinguished Research Award (2004). Subsequently she received artist grants from James Irvine, Puffin, and Capelli d'Angeli Foundations.
JoAnne Chartrand-Benz has been a European-trained somatic psychology educator since 1979. Her specialty is in somatic, transpersonal, relational psychology, and trauma work. She teaches Family Constellation trainings. She is a Somatic Experience practitioner, a student of the Diamond Approach, and co-author of Love and Belonging.
Joseph Cavanaugh is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in the Sierra foothills and a psychology instructor at a local community college. He has facilitated personal-growth workshops throughout California for the past 30 years.
John Marks is president and founder of Search for Common Ground, an international conflict transformation organization. He also heads Common Ground Productions. A best-selling, award-winning author, in 2006 he was awarded a Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship.
John Perkins, a leading authority on shamanism and transformation, New York Times best-selling author of 8 books including Shapeshifting and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has taught at institutions around the world. He is co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance and founder of DreamChange.
John Robbins is author of Diet for a New America and many other bestsellers, founder of EarthSave International, and one of the most popular bloggers on the Huffington Post. He is a recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, and dozens of other honors.
Jon Schreiber, DC, is the director of the Breema Center and the Breema Clinic. He has been teaching Breema worldwide since 1980, and is the author of numerous books and articles on the philosophy, principles, and practice of Breema.