Laura Davis is the author of seven bestselling books, including The Courage to Heal and I Thought We’d Never Speak Again. Founder of The Writer’s Journey, she leads retreats worldwide and specializes in the use of writing as a transformational tool.
Leaders at Esalen
Learn more about Esalen workshop leaders from past and present.
Erik Davis is an award-winning author and teacher. His books include The Visionary State and Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica. He has taught at UC Berkeley, Pacifica, and CIIS, and hosts the popular podcast Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network.
Laura Day has taught at Esalen Insitute for more than two decades. A New York Times bestselling author of six books on intuition in business, love, and healing, Laura travels the world creating communities of intuitives and healers. www.practicalintuition.com.
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.
Lorie Eve Dechar is the author of Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing. Her work as an alchemical healer is supported by 25 years of Chinese medical practice and extensive training in Jungian and Gestalt psychotherapy and Focusing-oriented psychotherapy.
Russell Delman studied with Moshe Feldenkrais for many years. One of the first Feldenkrais trainers, he has been teaching the method since 1975. He has also maintained a Zen meditation practice for more than 35 years, and conducts workshops and training programs internationally.
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.
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.
Harvey Deutch has been both a physical therapist and yogi for the past 30 years. His life path has blended the intricate knowledge of movement with the practice of yoga. He is the owner and one of many physical therapists at Red Hawk Physical Therapy in San Francisco, Calif.
Mick Dodge is known as the Barefoot Sensei. His work draws upon what he learned while studying diverse martial arts forms in Japan and Okinawa throughout his childhood, walking as a barefoot nomad, and living ascetically in the wild. He now lives in the Hoh Rainforest in Washington State.
William Donius is an author, speaker, and founder of Right Brain Institute. His New York Times bestselling book, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, introduces a methodology that activates the right brain and leads to innovation and transformation.
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.
Lama Drimed offers awareness teachings from Great Perfection/Dzogchen and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. His Tibetan teacher, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, recognized Lama Drimed as his lineage holder in 1995. His vision is to open dialogues that include current discoveries and the ancient tantric arts.
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.
Jennifer Dumpert is a San Francisco-based writer and lecturer, and the founder and leader of the experiential dream group Oneironauticum. She tweets a dream a day as Oneirofer.
Samantha Dunn was a PEN Award finalist for her novel, Failing Paris. She has also authored two memoirs. Her essays are widely anthologized and her writing has been featured in many publications, including O the Oprah Magazine and Ms. She teaches in the UCLA Writers Program.
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.
Steve Edelman, JD, is a veteran of many career changes: law, television broadcasting, entrepreneur, and creator of a multi-million-dollar television production company. He co-developed the Unfinished Business workshop by blending state-of-the-art video storytelling and computer assessment technology with dynamic workshop processes.
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.
Charles Eisenstein is the author of Sacred Economics and The Ascent of Humanity, a teacher and speaker considered by many to be a leading voice of his generation. He is on the faculty of Goddard College.
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.
Karen Ely is the founding director of A Woman’s Way, one of the country’s premiere women’s retreat programs, and the author of Daring to Dream: Reflections on the Year I Found Myself, A Retreat of My Own, Breathing Space, and A Safe Place to Stand (forthcoming).
Matthew Engelhart is co-owner of Café Gratitude. He has coauthored 3 books with Terces Engelhart, and when they are not on the road speaking or teaching, he and Terces live on “Be Love” Organic Farm where they grow food for their 7 restaurants.
Terces Engelhart is co-owner of Café Gratitude. She has coauthored 3 books with Matthew Engelhart, and when they are not on the road speaking or teaching, she and Matthew live on “Be Love” Organic Farm where they grow food for their 7 restaurants.
Matt Englar-Carlson is a professor of counseling and co-director and founder of the Center for Boys and Men at California State University, Fullerton. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, he specializes in educating helping professionals about the mental-health needs of men.
Scott Engler, a longtime student of presence and healing, is a practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Lomi Somatic Education. He holds a second degree black belt in Aikido and lives in Petaluma, Calif., with his wife Zuza.
Zuza Engler has been on the spiral path of kinesthetic investigation into consciousness for more than two decades, in motion, stillness, and process inquiry. She is a long-term practitioner of Buddhism, Soul Motion™, and Gestalt Awareness Practice.
Ulrika Engman, E-RYT 500, is an Anusara-certified yoga teacher and Halprin Life-Art practitioner. Ulrika’s unique style blends the transformative power of yoga with movement and the expressive arts. She leads yoga workshops and retreats worldwide.
Roxanna Erickson-Klein, RN, PhD, was trained in hypnosis by her father, Milton Erickson. Through her work she gives an inside perspective of the healing power that hypnosis can offer. She is a registered nurse and counselor with extensive experience teaching and applying hypnotic techniques.
Robin Fann-Costanzo has a lifelong background in dance and movement. An Esalen® Massage practitioner, CranioSacral practitioner, and certified yoga instructor, she has taught and assisted Esalen® Massage trainings, yoga retreats, and Upledger Institute trainings.
Warren Farrell is author of the best-sellers Why Men Are The Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power. His Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. He has appeared on more than 1,000 TV shows worldwide.
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.
Levi Felix is the founder and CEO of Digital Detox and Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults. He has been featured in the New York Times, New Yorker, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere, and he helped curate Fast Company's “Complete Printable Guide to Unplugging.”
Mariah Fenton Gladis, founder/director of the Pennsylvania Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training for more than three decades, leads workshops and trainings around the US and in Europe. She is recognized for the sensitive and creative way she practices the art of Gestalt.
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.
Lisa Firestone is a clinical psychologist, Director of Research and Education at the Glendon Association, and the Senior Editor of Psychalive.org. Dr. Firestone is the co-author of The Self Under Siege, Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships, and Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.
Robert Fisher, MFT, is an international Hakomi trainer, adjunct professor at CIIS and JFK Universities, and author of Experiential Psychotherapy With Couples. He is the lead instructor of the Certificate Program at CIIS for Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy and a keynote speaker at national psychotherapy conferences.
Lisa Fong, of the Artemisia Natural Perfume line, has studied natural perfumery exclusively with Mandy Aftel since 2002. Her fragrance compositions are known for their beauty and elegant structure. Lisa is an accomplished violinist, mathematician, flamenco dancer, and urban agriculturist.
Thomas Michael Fortel is a longtime yoga practitioner/teacher, influenced by the Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Anusara styles of Hatha yoga, and drawing from his devotional experience in Bhakti yoga. He travels widely, sharing his love for yoga.
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.
Ronald J. Frederick, PhD, is a psychologist and author of the award-winning book Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want. He lectures and facilitates workshops nationally.
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.
Seena Frost, LMFT, MDiv, is a clinician, teacher, poet, and gardener from California, and the founder of the SoulCollage® process. She wrote SoulCollage® Evolving and has recorded several CDs. Currently she trains SoulCollage® facilitators.
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.
Marc Gafni’s teaching is marked by a deep transmission of heart, love, and leading-edge provocative wisdom. A visionary scholar, public intellectual, and spiritual artist, he is the author of ten books, including the award-winning Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment.
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.
Lori Galperin, LCSW, earned her graduate degree in clinical social work at Tulane University. She has authored various journal articles and book chapters and has treated several thousand inpatients. She has trained more than 100,000 clinicians throughout the US Canada, and Europe.
Michelle Gannon, PhD, is a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist, relationship expert, and Hold Me Tight workshop leader for couples. She is a certified therapist in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Michelle has co-led more than 100 workshops.
Rolf Gates conducts Vinyasa teacher trainings and programs internationally. His work has been widely featured in television and in print. As a former US Army Ranger and social worker Rolf brings his eclectic background to his teaching and his life. He is the author of Meditations from the Mat. www.rolfgates.com.
Michael Gelb is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. He has written 13 books, including How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age.
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.
Siegmar Gerken, PhD, has pioneered body-oriented and heart-centered therapy and humanistic psychology since 1971. He is the founder of Core Evolution® and the Energy & Consciousness Programs™. He teaches at SBGI, conducts mindfulness-based trainings and has a private practice in Mendocino and the Bay Area, Calif.
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.
Lara Gillease is an Anat Baniel Method practitioner for 13 years. Lara works with adults with chronic pain including back and neck pain as well as high performers from dancers to musicians and special needs children. She is also a Pilates teacher. Lara took Anat Baniel’s training from 1996-2000. She has been working and assisting in the Anat Baniel Method’s training program for adults and special needs children for the past 2 years.
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.
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.
Simon Goland is an educator, facilitator, and consultant who facilitates transformational learning processes internationally for organizations, groups, and individuals. Simon is deeply passionate about ways we connect with and express our individual callings and vocation in the world.
Richard Gold has been practicing and teaching Oriental healing arts since 1978. A graduate in Thai Massage from the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand, he is chairman of the board of the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego, Calif.
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.
Philip Goldberg is a meditation teacher, spiritual counselor and public speaker. His latest book is the award-winning American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West.
Mary Goldenson, PhD, is the author of It’s Time: No One's Coming to Save You. She is a clinical psychologist currently specializing in the resilience we need to live life. She has a private practice in Los Angeles focusing on relationships, transitions, and mediation. Mary has been working with Esalen for almost 40 years.
Myra Goodman grew up in NYC, totally disconnected from the source of her food. In 1984 she cofounded Earthbound Farm (now the largest grower of organic produce in the US) in her backyard garden. She has authored three cookbooks that share her passion for delicious food and a healthy planet.
Soren Gordhamer is the founder of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. He has written several books, walked for a year through various countries, and has taught mindfulness to incarcerated youth, trauma workers in Rwanda, teachers in Nigeria, and at US technology companies.
Nitsan Gordon, MA DT, is the director of Together Beyond Words. She has led peace building trainings in the Middle East and the USA since 1994. "The compassionate leadership awakened in our groups gives me hope that peace is possible," she says.
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.
Sara Gottfried, MD, is a Harvard-educated integrative physician, speaker, and author. She is a nationally-recognized yoga instructor, maverick thought leader, and online teacher/mentor in the areas of women's health, hormones, yoga and sacred balance across the lifecycle. Her methods have been featured in workshops, film, TV, and magazines. She is the author of the bestselling book, The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive & Vitality Naturally with The Gottfried Protocol.
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.
Marci Graham is a facilitator for the Human Awareness Institute (HAI). She leads with a spirit of inquiry infused with fierceness and softness. Marci has a 25 year history of soul searching and personal relationship transformation through movement and creative expression.
Linda Graham, MFT, integrates modern neuroscience, mindfulness practices, and relational psychology in her nationwide trainings. She is the author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being and publishes a monthly e-newsletter, "Resources for Recovering Resilience".
Diane Greenberg, a senior instructor at Charles and Caroline Muir's Source School of Tantra, is a certified tantric educator with over 15 years' experience. She leads women's empowerment groups and has been a professional bodyworker more than 20 years.
Lynda Greenberg has been practicing art for 30 years and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree. She teaches at Antelope Valley and Harbor colleges, among others. She was trained by Dr. Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Kevin Griffin is the author of One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps and A Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path of Recovery. A cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network, he is a leader in the mindful recovery movement.
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.
Michael Griffith is a marriage and family therapist in San Francisco, Calif., who specializes in working with teenagers, men, couples, and families. He is also a dentist who specializes in treating traumatized patients, as well as a figurative painter.
Pierre Grimes is founder and president of the Academy of Platonic Studies and the Noetic Society. He wrote Philosophical Midwifery: A New Paradigm for Understanding Human Problems. He has led workshops and meditation retreats for 30 years.
Mingtong Gu is an internationally recognized teacher and healer who received his training from a variety of Grandmasters in China and at the world's largest Qigong hospital.
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.
Yeyen Gunawan opened the award-winning La Vie Organic Cafe and La Vie Pure Food Collective in Santa Cruz, Calif. She discovered raw food in 2004 and uses it to fuel her passion for health and wellness.
Meredith Haberfeld is acclaimed for her work with individuals, couples, and families. She participated in the creation of the life coaching program at MIT, and her advice has been included in Forbes, Woman’s Day, and Yoga Journal magazines.
Daria Halprin, is a dancer, teacher, therapist, and co-founding director of Tamalpa Institute. She leads workshops and trainings internationally. Her books include The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy, Body Ensouled, Enacted and Entranced, and Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy.
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.
Patrice Hamilton has worked in the fields of education and counseling for more than 20 years. She holds an MEd in counseling, is a certified Cortical Field Reeducation practitioner and teacher, a certified Hakomi Practitioner (The Refined Method), and is trained in Esalen Massage.
Roma Hammel, PhD is an experienced, fully certified Realization Process teacher, an anti-racist activist, and a long-time practitioner of QiGong. A master teacher, Roma works with individuals and groups to catalyze bodymindspirit transformations. She offers small group series and individual sessions in Los Altos Hills, CA.
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, and Just One Thing. Founder of the Wellspring Institute and an Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center, his Just One Thing newsletter has over 91,000 subscribers.
Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, author, artist, and Big Sur resident. He has led both traditional and experimental wilderness expeditions internationally for more than 35 years. He has an MA in psychology and his work focuses on wild nature as a vehicle for awakening.
Susan Harper has been teaching and contributing to Continuum since 1975. She is the developer of Body of Relating Training, inspired by the teachings of Chris Price's Gestalt Awareness Practice, and she co-developed Portals of Perception with Hubert Godard.
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.
Sylvia Haskvitz, MA, RD, is a certified NVC trainer and nutritionist, and author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit. She offers Nonviolent Communication training and Eat by Choice workshops worldwide. She cares about what goes into your mouth and what comes out of it. www.eatbychoice.net.
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.
Susan Hauser was voted "Best Yoga in Marin" by Marin Magazine, and was recognized by Lululemon as a 2012 Ambassador. She studied with Baron Baptiste and her classes follow the Baron Baptise Vinyasa style. Susan found yoga after the loss of her husband to cancer in 2003.
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.
Michele Hébert, (E RYT-500), co-founder of the Raja Yoga Institute, has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1977 in private practice, yoga teacher trainings, and group retreats. She is the author of The Tenth Door: An Adventure through the Jungles of Enlightenment.
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.
Toni Herbine-Blank is a facilitator and senior trainer for the Center for Self Leadership in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy. She develops and presents trainings, workshops, and retreats, and has created an in-depth curriculum to train therapists in IFS couples therapy.
Paul Heussenstamm comes from a family immersed in art and spirituality. At 35, he began painting in earnest after a single art class expanded into a consuming passion, a new profession, and a new perspective on life. He understands mandalas as psychic maps and symbols of wholeness.
Julia Butterfly Hill is an activist, writer, and poet. She is the author of The Legacy of Luna, coauthor of One Makes The Difference, and founder of the nonprofit organization Circle of Life. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards and distinctive honors, she is an internationally recognizable figure in environmental activism. www.juliabutterfly.com.
Ellen Ressler Hoffman, MA, PC, is a licensed psychotherapist in Beachwood, Ohio. She is trained in the Maudsley approach and Gestalt Body Process Psychotherapy. Ellen is also a dancer with over 25 years of professional experience. She integrates her body wisdom with an evidence-based, embodied relational approach in her work.
Lee Holden is a senior teacher for Mantak Chia, the Taoist master, and has edited several bestselling books on Taoist sexuality. He is a leading Qi Gong instructor whose DVD series has been featured on PBS and is the author of 7 Minutes of Magic: Recharge Your Body Each Day with Qi Gong.
Lucia Horan was born into the family of the 5Rhythms® and raised at Esalen Institute. She became a 5Rhythms® teacher in 1997, is now internationally recognized, and a current faculty member of Gabrielle Roth’s Moving Center School, NY.
Jonathan Horan is Gabrielle Roth's son and closest collaborator. He is on the core faculty of her international institute, The Moving Center. Jonathan has been immersed in the 5Rhythms® practice throughout his life and continues to be a key catalyst in its evolution.