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.
Leaders at Esalen
Learn more about Esalen workshop leaders from past and present.
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 14 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.
Jett Psaris author of Undefended Love and Taking the Midlife Leap, teaches others to use intimate relationship and the midlife journey as catalysts for psycho/spiritual transformation. She has been teaching workshops about how to inhabit the full spectrum of one’s humanity for the past 25 years.
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 Early Ecology, an outdoor educational program for children and families in the Bay Area, and is a former director of Esalen Institute’s Gazebo Park School. Joanna is inspired by the natural world, human kindness, and the power of play.
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.
Johann Berlin is the CEO of Transformational Leadership for Excellence, an innovative leadership and wellness training program that fosters happiness and social connectedness in the corporate, NGO, and government sectors. Johann has led experiential sessions that facilitate an exploration of wellbeing, equanimity, and happiness, at leading institutions like the Stanford Center for Compassion, Harvard University, Dartmouth On Purpose, and TedEx London.
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.
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.
Joseph Price has been a psychotherapist, teacher, spiritual follower, and author since 1974. He lives on beautiful Discovery Bay, and practices at Quail Hollow Psychotherapy in Sequim, Wash.
Josh Volk has studied and practiced vegetable farming in the Northeastern US, desert Southwest, California, and the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. He helped develop and manage Sauvie Island Organics CSA, a 20-acre vegetable farm in Portland, Oregon. Josh also works as a consultant, writer, and teacher.
Jovinna Chan, E-RYT 500, is co-founder of Shakti Initiation and leads transformational programs around the world. She is a faculty member of Pranotthan School of Yoga, served as the assistant dean, 200-and 500-hour teacher trainer for the Kripalu School of Yoga, and she’s also certified in LetYourYogaDance and Soul Motion™.
Joyce Catlett, MA, has collaborated with Dr. Robert Firestone in writing 13 books including Fear of Intimacy; Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion; The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships, and The Self Under Siege. She is co-producer of Glendon Associations 45 training video programs.
Joyce Vissell is a masters-level nurse/psychotherapist who, with her husband Barry, founded the Shared Heart Foundation dedicated to changing the world one heart at a time. Together they write a syndicated column for 80 periodicals worldwide.
Juanita Lew, Taoist Master Share K. Lew’s wife, partner and co-teacher of 34 years, teaches traditional Taoist healing arts such as chi kung and meditation. Juanita Lew's decades of teaching carries on Master Lew's 1300-year-old monastic style of chi kung. She has taught across the US and Esalen since 1991.
Judith Hemming practices and teaches Constellations worldwide. She has developed and taught applications of the systemic approach in family, educational, and organizational contexts. She is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and the director of Moving Constellations in the United Kingdom.
Judith Orloff, MD, is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and New York Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional Freedom, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Intuitive Healing.
Juergen Bamberger is a Gyrotonic® master trainer who has been educating and certifying instructors worldwide for more than 20 years. Originally a professional dancer with a degree in dance education, Juergen has studied many modalities of movement arts, bodywork, and human anatomy.
Julie Baker is a psychotherapist specializing in empowerment of the individual’s authentic voice, recovery from substance abuse, and navigation of life transitions. She works with creative process as an expression of one’s inner landscape. She has a private practice in Marin County, Calif.
June Gruber, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University and director of the Positive Emotion and Psychopathology Laboratory. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has authored more than 60 journals and articles and received several early career awards from the APA, SRP, and NARSAD.
Karen Cook is an acupuncturist with more than 25 years of experience in the movement arts. She has been teaching Yoga since 1997, influenced by Thomas Fortel Yoga and SpectorDance. Her love of movement is her joy and invites all to open to their divine light.
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).
Karishma Darby is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in the Sierra Foothills, Calif. Her passion is awakening consciousness within and in relationship with others. She facilitates workshops, active and silent mediation, and relationally centered psychotherapy groups.
Katchie Ananda is an internationally recognized yoga and dharma teacher whose leadership in yoga and social change prompted Yoga Journal to name her one of five top yoga teachers making change in the world.
Katherine Woodward Thomas is the bestselling author of Calling in "The One," licensed psychotherapist, transformative educator, creator of the Conscious Uncoupling Program, and co-founder of the Feminine Power Global Community serving over 100,000 women worldwide.
Katie Hendricks, PhD, BC-DMT, has been a pioneer in the field of body-mind integration for more than 40 years. She leads seminars and trainings in the core skills of conscious living. Her books include At the Speed of Life, Centering and the Art of Intimacy, Conscious Loving, The Conscious Heart, and Lasting Love.
Kathryn Rossi, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and certified yoga instructor (RYT 500). She recently coedited the 16-volume Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson. She and Ernest Rossi are in private practice in Los Osos, Calif.
Katie Hafner is the author of the memoir, Mother Daughter Me, which was featured by the New York Times and Oprah. Hafner was on staff at the New York Times for more than a decade, and she is the author of five previous books.
Katy Butler is the author of Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death , a New York Times Notable Book of 2013. Her award-winning personal essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the NY Times Magazine, Best American Essays, and Best Buddhist Writing.
Kelly Boys is a certified iRest® Yoga Nidra teacher and is the former director of operations for the Integrative Restoration Institute. She has taught iRest to veterans with PTSD, the incarcerated, cancer survivors, and those with substance abuse addictions. She works for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
Ken Koles is an acupuncturist who developed the use of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and Oriental medicine in private practice and as an instructor with The Cleveland Healing Arts Institute. He studied Oriental medicine in Japan, China, and Taiwan and has studied CST since 1979.
Kenn Chase, founder of Integral Way Tai Chi™, has taught Yang-style tai chi since 1969. He is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and integrates Awareness through Movement® into his unique teaching approach. Teaching locally and internationally, he consults with corporations, hospitals, and privately.
Kenneth Cohen, MA, a qigong master-level teacher, is the author of The Way of Qigong and best-selling Sounds True audio/video programs. Dynamic and inspiring, with more than 40 years of experience, he is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Energy Medicine.
Kerena Gordhamer Saltzman, LCSW, is a presenter, trainer, and Gestalt therapist. She designs and facilitates group experiences that create authenticity, vitality, and deeper connection. She also founded 20s Creating Connection, an organization that provides in-person and virtual counseling to 20-somethings in overwhelming life transitions.
Kevin Griffin is the author of the Buddhist recovery books One Breath at a Time and A Burning Desire, and the music CD Laughing Buddha. He trained at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where he currently leads Dharma and recovery classes and retreats. He has been in recovery since 1985.
Kia Miller is certified in both kundalini and hatha yoga. As a teacher, she possesses the ability to translate subtle teachings in a highly accessible way. She teaches workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings internationally. Kia's passion is to share the kundalini tradition infused with bhakti.
Kristi Panik, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice and on the clinical staff of the University Student Health Services at UC Berkeley, Calif.
Kristin Neff, PhD, is an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneering researcher into the psychological health benefits of self-compassion. She is the author of Self-Compassion and Self-Compassion: Step-by-Step, and is featured in the book and documentary The Horse Boy.
Krys Hunter is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist and EFT practitioner. She is employed by the California State Department of Corrections and maintains a private practice in Stockton, Calif. Krys has extensive experience using EFT in group work with challenging populations.
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.
Larry Payne was named one of America's most respected yoga teachers by the Los Angeles Times. He is coauthor of Yoga for Dummies and Yoga Rx, and founder of Yoga Therapy Rx and Prime of Life Yoga certification programs at Loyola Marymount University.
Laura Davis is the author of seven best-selling 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.
Laura Day has taught at Esalen Insitute for more than 2 decades. A New York Times bestselling author of 6 books on intuition in business, love, and healing, Laura travels the world creating communities of intuitives and healers.
Laura Kunysz is a senior CFR instructor and cranio-sacral therapist. She has a background in Esalen Massage, Somato-Emotional Release work, the Chickly Brain Curriculum, energy healing, and lymph drainage. She is in private practice in California.
Laurel Parnell is a psychologist, author, consultant, and EMDR trainer who has trained thousands of clinicians internationally. The author of numerous books, including the forthcoming Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma, she maintains a private practice in San Rafael, Calif.
Laurie Cahoon s a licensed acupuncturist, Zero Balancer, and advanced Process Acupressure practitioner in private practice in Petaluma, Calif. She is a certified teacher of Process Acupressure 1 Gateway To Soul and Inner Child Healing.
Leah Alchin began her Tantric education in 1997. She is an advanced certified Tantra Educator with the Source School of Tantra Yoga and has her own private practice. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she is a powerful advocate of Tantric sexual awakening and healing.
Leah Weiss, PhD, is a senior teacher of the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Program, a lecturer at the Stanford Business School, and creative Lead for Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab.
Lee Holden is a senior teacher for Mantak Chia, the Taoist master, and has edited several best-selling 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.
Lee Klinger Lesser led Sensory Awareness workshops with Charlotte Selver. She has taught workshops in English and Spanish for more than 34 years. She also leads diversity and equity trainings, and has been developing a program to support returning veterans through sharing mindfulness and meditation practices.
Leslie Cerier, is an international chef, educator, recipe developer, farm-to-table caterer, health coach, TV guest chef/presenter, and author of 6 cookbooks specializing in local, seasonal, organic vegetarian, and gluten-free cooking for health, vitality, and pleasure.
Liam McDermott is a permaculture activist, massage therapist, and professionally trained chef with a degree in literature from Stanford University. He leads workshops and caters at several hot springs in central California: Esalen Institute, Tassajara Zen Monastery, and Wilbur Hot Springs.
Linda Bloom is a licensed clinical social worker and educator. She and her husband Charlie 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.They have facilitated workshops internationally since 1986.
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".
Linda Nicholls, DipC, PhD, is a dynamic facilitator with an extensive background in group process. Her direct yet compassionate approach establishes a respectful foundation for discovering genuine whole-person health and harmony. She has developed and taught energetically engaging workshops on five continents.
Linda Prout, MS, is a speaker, nutritionist, and author of Live in the Balance – The Groundbreaking East-West Nutrition Program. She works with clients worldwide, creating personalized nutrition, lifestyle, and coaching programs coupled with energy medicine.
Linda Trichter Metcalf, author and educator, created the practice of Proprioceptive Writing (PW) in the mid-1970s. Founder of the PW Center, currently located in the Bay Area of California, she teaches, conducts PW therapy, and leads the PW Teacher Certification Program.
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.
Lissa Rankin, MD, was featured on the public television special, “Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine.” Dr. Rankin founded the Whole Health Medicine Institute. She is on a grass roots mission to heal health care.
Lorenzo Cohen is professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Cohen conducts research examining the biobehavioral effects of programs aimed at reducing the negative aspects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life and clinical outcomes.
Lori Anne Schwanbeck is a mindfulness-based somatic psychotherapist. Lori developed Sense and Sensibility, a sensory-focused mindfulness treatment for emotional regulation, which she teaches internationally. She is cofounder of Mindfulness Therapy Associates, located in San Francisco. www.mindfulnesstherapy.org.
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.
Lorin Roche has meditated since 1968. He is the author of The Radiance Sutras, a new translation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, and coauthor of Meditation Secrets for Women and Meditation 24/7. His other books include Meditation Made Easy, Breath Taking, and Whole Body Meditations.
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.
Lydia Kan is a creative changemaker and somatic coach who helps entrepreneurs and leaders develop gravitas, stand in their values, and achieve aspirations. She has supported Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, IMD Business School, UBS, Deloitte, the Mowgli Foundation, and numerous others on five continents.
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.
Lynne Twist a global activist, consultant, speaker, and award-winning author of The Soul of Money, has dedicated her life to global initiatives that create a sustainable future for all. Lynne is a co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance and the founder and president of the Soul of Money Institute.
MJ Ryan is a change expert who coaches executives and entrepreneurs around the world. The creator of a Microsoft women’s leadership pilot program, her clients include Shell, Facebook, Cisco, and Aon-Hewitt. She is the author of This Year I Will…and other titles.
Marc Andrus, Rt. Rev., is the Episcopal Bishop of California. His leadership has focused on key issues related to peace and justice, including immigration reform, climate change, civil rights for LBGT persons, and health care.
Marc Bregman is the founder of Archetypal Dreamwork, cofounder of North of Eden, and a master teacher at the Center for Archetypal Dreamwork. His books include Flesh Off the Bone: Dream Descent through Past Life Trauma, and Sex, Trauma and Conjunctio.
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.
Marc Lesser is CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. He was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center and former director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center. He is the author of Know Yourself, Forget Yourself.
Margaret Wakeley strives to change the world one grateful person at a time as the community development coordinator for A Network for Grateful Living (ANG*L). She is also a cabaret singer, recording artist, and voice-over actor based in Ithaca, New York.
Maria Lucia Bittencourt Sauer has practiced spiritual healing in Brazil, Switzerland, France, Austria, and the US since 1982. She has been a resident student and teacher at Esalen and conducts trainings and seminars internationally.
Mariabruna Sirabella, LMFT, MS, is a mentor, artist, and holistic clinician who facilitates programs and rituals internationally as a trainer in SoulCollage® and BodYnvocations™ (Imagination in Motion based on the Orixas). She blends indigenous wisdom and Jungian humanistic psychology to open mind and heart, and free personality and soul.
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.
Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, is a psychotherapist and the author of seven books, including the award-winning Eyes Wide Open and Halfway Up the Mountain. She founded The Yoga and Psyche Method based on current trauma research, neuroscience, and ancient yogic practices.
Marilyn Tam is an author, speaker, consultant, certified coach, business leader (former CEO Of Aveda, president of Reebok and vice president of Nike), and humanitarian. She is the author of The Happiness Choice, and presenter of the radio show, The Happiness Choice on FMG Network. She writes for Huffington Post.
Mark Abramson is part of the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine and heads Stanford’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. He teaches at Stanford's School of Medicine and is on staff at Stanford Hospital.
Mark Coleman is author of Awake in the Wild. He has studied Buddhist meditation since 1984. He is a Spirit Rock meditation teacher and has led wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru. Mark is also a coach and therapist.
Mark Matousek is a bestselling author whose books include Sex Death Enlightenment, The Boy He Left Behind, When You’re Falling, Dive, and Ethical Wisdom. He is creative director of V-Men, an organization to end violence against women and girls. His teaching focuses on personal writing as a wisdom path.
Mark Nicolson is an organizational consultant based in Silicon Valley, Calif. He specializes in leadership development and in the effectiveness of teams and organizations. He is also the co-founder of Ventana Group, LeadershipDNA, and the Tutu Peace Ambassadors.
Mark Stevens is a psychologist and director of University Counseling Services at California State University, Northridge. Mark has been facilitating men's groups and workshops since 1982. He is the past- president of Division 51 Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity of APA.
Mark Watts is the son of philosopher Alan Watts. He is a filmmaker and archivist, and currently is growing the Alan Watts Mountain Center in Pt. Reyes, north of San Francisco, Calif.
Mark Whitwell has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with the teachings of Krishnamacharya through his students T.K.V. Desikachar and Srivatsa Ramaswami. He travels the world teaching yoga and is the author of Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection and The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy.
Martine Amita Algier is a certified trainer with The Center for Nonviolent Communication and a founding member of the West Marin Community Mediation Board, teaching and consulting with families, business groups, schools, and other organizations in California and Europe since the 1960s.
Mary Elizabeth Murphy is an expert at creating innovative grassroots campaigns for independent films that target niche markets. She has worked on the Academy Award®-winning film The Cove, and other indie hits such as Pina, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Buck, and The Way.