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Upcoming Work Study Programs

Work Study - Performance Theater with Peter Meyers
July 31 - August 28, 2016

This program is part of our Integral Leadership Program Summer Leadership Series.

To create lasting transformation in any environment, we need to first transform our ideas of leadership and performance. Luckily, the latest discoveries in technology, nature, and systems theory give us an entirely new model of both performance and leadership – a model that is not dependent on the decisions of a single charismatic leader but the collective wisdom that picks up and follows the pulse of the group.

As in jazz improvisation, this new model involves a constant giving and taking, a process in which everyone contributes and the dross falls away. When we find the connections between one another and follow what is present, the interdependence of all things guides us. It is in those moments of responsiveness, agility, and generosity that a unique bond of trust is formed and the creative contributions of the group emerge — sometimes as chaos and sometimes as sublime.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the performing arts, where the principles of ensemble-theater (working as a group) have been practiced, developed, and demonstrated on stages for centuries. What can the theater teach us about ways to channel the collective wisdom of the group for new ideas and breakthrough performance?

The program will focus on developing presence, creativity and leadership.

Veteran stage director, author, and global leadership consultant Peter James Meyers will guide the group through the process of creating an original ensemble theater performance developed over four weeks and offered as a gift to the community at the end of the month.

Recommended reading: Meyers, As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have it Stick.

Esalen's Integral Leadership Program (ILP) targets college-aged and recent graduates. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.esalen.org/integralleadership.


 

Legacy Group - Exploring Symbol & Personal Meaning with Branan Freeman
July 31 - August 28, 2016

This program is part of our Integral Leadership Program Summer Leadership Series.

During this month-long artistic journey led by Branan Freeman, you will immerse yourself in the stunning Big Sur landscape as you explore personal connections to symbols and archetypal imagery related to nature, animals, and organic and geometric shapes. As you uncover and create meaning based on the images most potent to you, you can develop your own personal mythology by discovering and reflecting aspects of yourself through your creations.

This art practice will be a form of mindfulness as the group engages in a variety of approaches and media, including printmaking, drawing and painting, nature-journaling, and collage. You will explore key conscious leadership skills, including self-expression, compassion, and ecological awareness, throughout the art-making process. You will come together each session for hands-on studio art time and will also take time as a group during the month for shared discussion about your art and art-making experience and a final group project.

All experience levels are welcome. No art background is necessary, and the course embraces “beginner’s mind” as all participants learn through observation, practice, and artistic risk taking in a supportive environment. The group will work indoors and outdoors, and explore the farm, garden and local landscape for inspiration, thus broadening our ecological awareness and enhancing our creations.

(A $45 materials fee will be added to the cost of the program).

Esalen's Integral Leadership Program (ILP) targets college-aged and recent graduates. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.esalen.org/integralleadership.


 

Work Study - Present-Moment Experience and Depth in Psychotherapy, The Hakomi Method with Robert Fisher and Julie Murphy
August 28 - September 25, 2016

Experience the nuances of working with mindfulness and the present moment to unfold the creative and healing capabilities of the psyche. Based on Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy, this course presents advanced skills of assessment, loving presence, and intervention that utilize present-moment experience in elegant and gentle ways. Through talk and discussion, live demonstrations, internal exercises, and practices to develop skills for healing, you can experience for yourself and learn to guide others with the following:

  • Basic principles and techniques of the Hakomi Method
  • How to use mindfulness in experiential psychotherapy and self-discovery
  • How to track the many languages of the unconscious
  • How to notice present-moment experience and the underlying models of the world that shape us
  • How to connect deeply with clients based on their moment-to-moment experience
  • How to engage in mindful exploration of the psyche
  • Creative approaches that bring live experience into therapy
  • How to become an ally to your own and your client's defenses and resistance

Authors, professors and international Hakomi trainers Rob Fisher and Julie Murphy will help guide you in exploring your inner world and learning these skills which can deepen work with others. Through these practices and exercises, you can learn to connect more deeply with yourself in compassionate and forgiving ways that permit change to occur. Rob will teach the first two weeks of this course, and Julie Murphy the second two weeks. This course is designed for all levels and no experience is required.

Recommended Reading: Weiss and Johanson, Hakomi Mindfulness Centered Somatic Psychotherapy.


 

Legacy Group - Leadershp & Presence with Suzanne Scurlock-Durana
August 28 - September 25, 2016

The more present we are in ourselves, the more present we can be with someone else.

Presence is the hidden key to successful leadership. This seemingly elusive skill is learnable, and this Legacy program led by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana contains the steps, through experiential work that is designed to help you pay attention to the subtle cues you receive from your body and the surrounding environment all the time. This will then give you access to your own, highly valuable inner landscape – the wisdom of your body-mind-spirit, which significantly enhances your ability to be more fully present as a leader. In this month we will share how to:

  • Assess your energy reservoir and refill when you are depleted
  • Be more able to BE present vs. DOING all the time
  • Be aware of, but not absorb, the emotions of others
  • Make healthy connections (empathy vs. sympathy)
  • Stay open hearted and clear headed
  • Have more powerful leadership conversations

The deeper layer of this program will help you more fully utilize the navigational system of your body, including wisdom of the heart, gut, bones, feet, and legs.

If you feel overwhelmed at times by your feelings or those around you, this course will help you develop your body and energy field into a container that can hold and modulate the whole range of human emotions. Learning to build this capacity within your navigational field enables you to have feelings and learn from them. Please bring a journal for reflection time and notes, as well as a binder for handouts.

This workshop is especially useful for those in the helping and healing professions in working with their clients and patients.

Required reading and listening: Scurlock-Durana, Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom, book and audio download or CD.

CE credit for massage


 

Work Study - Deep Bodywork® with Rob Wilks and Paul Wehrman
September 25 - October 23, 2016

Deep Bodywork, as created by Perry Holloman over the last twenty-five years at Esalen Institute, is a method that integrates the qualities of a flowing Esalen® Massage with the therapeutic effectiveness of deep tissue work. Using deep tissue methods, massage practitioners can enter the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, freeing previously dense, hardened areas, which may have become chronically painful due to a lack of fluid exchange and energy flow. As these areas soften and “re-organize,” their chronic tension patterns release, revitalizing living tissues with blood, lymph, and chi (life) energy. Because living systems like the human body require a constant flow of chi energy to self-organize and heal, blockages to that flow within our tissues can create longer-term health problems like joint and soft tissue pain, movement restriction, and circulatory problems.

This month with Rob Wilks and Paul Wehrman will focus on exploring the modality of deep bodywork as a healing art, and is designed for massage and bodywork practitioners seeking to incorporate effective deep tissue techniques into their work. We will explore the common areas (back, neck, shoulders, hips, etc.) where these chronic tension patterns tend to stagnate. Students will be taught how to effectively address these areas using gravitational energy, proper use of body mechanics, the importance of working slowly, and self-care practices. Professional massage experience is highly recommended for this advanced-level class. Please visit www.deepbodywork.com for more information.

Recommended viewing: Deep Bodywork I: Healing the Back, Shoulders and Hips (DVD), available at www.deepbodywork.com.

CE credit for massage;


 

Legacy Group - Motion Theater with Nina Wise
September 25 - October 23, 2016

It is our nature to be free—and to express that freedom spontaneously and without hesitation through song and dance, poetry and play. Moreover, we each have the ability to wake up to who we already know ourselves to be: people dedicated to a sane and just world made up of individuals who celebrate their common humanity and this planet of indescribable beauty through singing, dancing, playing, and caring for all sentient beings.

This improvisation workshop in Motion Theater allows the creativity that resides within us to have a voice. “Everyone has a story to tell,” says Nina Wise. “And stories reside as much in the body as in the mind. So we begin with movement—slow stretches to open the body. We open the voice with playful classical- and jazz-based exercises. We meditate to calm the heart, dance to free the spirit, find a way to effortlessly compose with language. This journey leads to giving voice and physicality to the private characters and inner realities that live in the subconscious mind and the cells of our bodies.”

The sessions will include meditation, gentle and vigorous movement, exploring the range of vocal expression, writing exercises, as well as solo, duet, and ensemble improv games.

This workshop is like dreaming on your feet. Expect to surprise yourself and to become more playful and at ease before an audience. You might even find that the sense of wellbeing achieved during the workshop not only expands your creative abilities, but also enhances your experience of daily life. And while it is not therapy, the work can be surprisingly, delightfully, holistically healing.”


 

Work Study - Streams of Energy with Jim Gallas
October 23 - November 20, 2016

Jim Gallas leads this program of Eastern bodywork and movement, including Reiki 1 Certification, a thorough overview of Shiatsu Massage, an introduction to meridian theory, and an easy-to-learn, powerful Chi Kung form. Various meditations, self-massage, and improv games will be used to encourage awareness and expression. The program is designed to open students to their own innate healing potentials, to the power of safe, therapeutic touch, and to being more fully present in their ongoing unfolding. Participants will also receive valuable tools to facilitate the healing of others. In a spirit of compassion, laughter, and expanding awareness, students will be nurtured and nourished by the group interaction and by a deeper connection to Self.

CE credit for massage;

(A $10 materials fee will be added to the cost of the program.)


 

Legacy Group - Embodied Relational Gestalt with Michael Clemmens
October 23 - November 20, 2016

“We develop relationships with ourselves and others through the physicality of our vision, smell, touch, and movement,” says Michael Clemmens. “These relationships, or dances, shape what we believe is possible and how we behave in the present. In this program, our focus will be on the ways in which we create relationships through our bodies. By attending to our present dance with others, we can become more aware of our existing context and optional ways of interacting.

“The structure of the program will be experiential exercises, practice sessions, and group discussion to develop our awareness of self and the group. We will begin with our earliest movements (prior to birth) and then explore how we co-create our bodily membership in the more complex gestalts of family, groups, and cultures. Our goals will be to experience how we create relationships through embodiment, and to develop skills in attending to ourselves and others.”

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs.


 

Work Study - The Art of Skillful Living: Leadership, Love and Freedom with Coby Kozlowski
November 20 - December 18, 2016

We are all called to leadership as agents of inspiration, purpose, and change. Leadership is about being of service to the world, and every moment is an opportunity for leadership. Leadership also is an inward journey to the depths of what it means to be human. Leadership is about being fully expressed, about being called to your greatness, and about having the courage to act in ways that are in alignment with your highest and awakened self.

The world is shifting; this rapid change is an invitation to participate in the evolution of consciousness. In this program led by Coby Kozlowski, students will have the opportunity to deepen the meaning of leadership by investigating belief systems, understanding the nature of consciousness, diving into emotion regulation, discovering the key to collaboration, and facilitating change using the lens of contemplative wisdom, yoga philosophy, expressive arts, and group discussion. Through this interactive, lecture-based, and highly experiential program, students can begin to embody the integral leadership model, discover the leader within, and connect with and act on a personal calling. By liberating the heart/mind and stepping fully into authenticity, you can inspire others to do the same and become agents of change. This is the new way of leadership.


 

Legacy Group - Mindful Communication with Jean Morrison
November 20 - December 18, 2016

This month we’ll rigorously integrate the internationally recognized process called Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which is also known as Compassionate Communication. With certified NVC trainer, Jean Morrison, you are offered the opportunity to strengthen your ability to:

  • Honor your authentic self
  • Live from a consciousness of compassion, for yourself and with others
  • Make peace with conflict, which affects emotional health and well-being
  • Replace habits of mind and language that create distress and walls of separation with new habits that create connection, understanding, and healing
  • Liberate your thinking and reactions in order to transform the gifts of anger, hurt, and guilt into energy and expressions that serve life
  • Clarify and express your emotions and needs, distinct from blame
  • Make empowering requests distinct from demands and expectations
  • Apply NVC principles and skills to your goals and aspirations

The sessions include a balance of playful exploration, thoughtful inquiry, powerful exercises for skill-development, and sharing of best practices with participants’ real situations. Each participant will receive a 30-page binder and booklet. Journal pages are included in the binder with simple tracking of key events of the day and short processes to connect with the content of the course. For more information about Jean and NVC, please visit www.groktheworld.com.

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs; CE credit for nurses.


 

Work Study - The Heart of Buddhism with Noah Levine and Vinny Ferraro
December 18, 2016 - January 15, 2017

The Buddha offered a timeless teaching on how to live a life that is sourced from kindness, compassion, and appreciation. These teachings and practices are as applicable today as they were two thousand years ago. We all have the ability to access the innate wisdom and compassion of the heart—all we have do is turn inward through meditation and eventually we will uncover an endless source of happiness.

During this course, Noah Levine will be joined by Spirit Rock Community Dharma teacher Vinny Ferraro for a program that combines the regular and Legacy work study groups for a unique synergy. Legacy work scholars will have the opportunity to join the regular work study group for some portions of the course, and vice versa. Together, Levine and Ferraro will guide you into your heart’s depths through a series of guided meditations, small group explorations, lectures, and dialogue. The month will be based upon the Buddha’s teachings of the Divine Abodes of heart—kindness, compassion, appreciation, and equanimity, as well as an in-depth process of forgiveness.

All levels of experience are welcome, but be warned you will be asked to open your heart and stand undefended in the presence of your own truth.


 

Work Study - Opening the Creative Channel with Johnsmith
January 15 - February 12, 2017

If you told the story of your heart, what story would you tell? If your life was a song, what would that song be? Have you thought, “I can't sing- I don't play an instrument, and I'm scared of that.” This program, led by Johnsmith, is for those who don't think they can sing, who are afraid, who were told they can't carry a tune, and who don't play an instrument. This is an invitation to go to your edge and discover the beauty of expressing your story and spirit through creativity and song.

The focus of this program is to open the creative heart through prose, singing, songwriting, storytelling, and poetry. With a mindful and playful attitude, along with the magic and natural beauty of Esalen, we’ll court the Muse and immerse ourselves in creative flow.

The program utilizes the following activities and exercises:

  • Journaling, writing exercises, song assignments, and co-writing
  • Songwriting tools including verse and chorus writing, rhyming, and metaphor
  • Solo and group singing, performance, and impromptu jams

Playing a musical instrument is not necessary, but you are welcome to bring one if you play. Johnsmith’s workshops help students cultivate a fun, dynamic, and safe place to experience our creative selves. John will also be inviting guest artists and staff to assist during the month.


 

Legacy Group - How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation with Cassandra Vieten
January 15 - February 12, 2017

How do people, both individuals and groups, make foundational shifts in their worldviews that give rise to radically new ways of being in the world? This Legacy group led by Cassandra Vieten will examine what science, religious and spiritual traditions, and modern transformative practice movements have to say about how people change. The group also will examine how we can get stuck or lost, and how to shake free from periods of inertia or patterns that prevent our growth.

Activities and topics for participants include:

  • Learning about the emerging science of transformation
  • Exploring indigenous, religious, spiritual, and secular models of transformation
  • Examining the role of peak experiences, Aha! moments, extraordinary moments, and awe in transformation
  • Investigating the transformative potential of pain, struggle, hitting bottom, and post-traumatic growth
  • Engaging in experiential practices designed for transformation
  • Delving into stories, symbols, and metaphors of transformation
  • Mapping your own lifelong transformative journey

Participants also will work toward applying what they've learned as they move forward after the Legacy month. A limited amount of one-on-one coaching will be offered for those who are working toward a career in consciousness transformation.

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs.


 

Work Study - Beyond the “Revolving Door”: Gestalt Relational Constellations with Gordon Wheeler and Nancy Lunney-Wheeler
February 12 - March 12, 2017

“In certain parts of our lives, we move forward with strength and relative ease, adding new learning and new capacity to familiar areas of comfort and confidence,” the leaders write. “And then we have other areas where we may navigate with greater difficulty and challenge – or sometimes not at all. Strong areas and flat sides alike may be in public or private areas, in work life or in relationships, in goals accomplished or hopes and dreams deferred – or even longings just avoided altogether, to avoid disappointment.

“Our difficult areas of living may be particular relationships or types of relationship, specific skills or whole types of learning and growth, in making commitments or just daring to move at all toward our dearest dreams. Why? Why do our patterns of living have this tendency to get stuck, and what can we do about it?

“Gestalt Relational Constellations (GRC) offers a new methodology for taking a fresh look at our strengths as well as our challenges, and a whole new approach to doing something about it. Using the whole group in service to each person and their particular issues in turn, we find answers to old riddles in our own psyches and lives – and support for new moves and new strength in some long-stuck areas of living. Often participants report that they learn as much from others’ issues as from exploring their own. Join us for a month of intimacy, adventure, and deep learning, through laughter and tears, new connections, and new possibilities in living.”

GRC grows out of the pioneering work of Bert Hellinger and his followers, with the addition of a deep Gestalt commitment to embodied experience and support. GRC may be used to explore underlying dynamics of any issue — family of origin, current family system, interpersonal or work issues, or even such “internal systems” as important decisions or crossroads in our lives.

Recommended reading: Hausner, Even if it Costs Me My Life.


 

Legacy Group - Inspired by Nature: Creative Expression in Esalen’s Big Sur Landscape with Christina Dauenhauer
February 12 - March 12, 2017

“On Esalen’s property we have the opportunity to experience Big Sur’s dynamic wilderness, from the redwood forest to the rocky coastline,” writes Christina Dauenhauer. “During this program, we’ll come into contact with our own, individual inspiration through basic awareness practice, creating art out in the environment, and hiking. Slowing to the rhythms of nature, we will engage our creativity, while connecting with ourselves.

“We will use traditional and non-traditional media to explore nature and our place within it. You are encouraged to bring materials you are interested in using; Nature and Christina also will supply basic tools to create. The focus of our creative explorations and experimentation will be about the journey and play, not the result. You will delve into and have the opportunity to expand your creative capacity and discover new insights about yourself.”

All levels of artistic ability are welcome. Be prepared for the physical challenges of Big Sur, as well as sitting in stillness and creating in a natural environment. You will need to sign a waiver to explore wilderness areas. Please bring good walking shoes, a notebook/sketch book, and a small bag/backpack to carry supplies and water.

($45 materials fee paid at the time of registration)


 

Work Study - Relational Gestalt Practice with Dorothy Charles
March 12 - April 9, 2017

Living a full and connected life requires our capacity to feel and to make use of our emotional experience. Much of the alienation and separation that occurs in our relationships and family life is the result of the fear of feelings. We disconnect from our emotional life when we are afraid of being overwhelmed, humiliated, or perceived as weak or inadequate, only to pay the price later in isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Our relationships improve and deepen as a result of our ability to feel at ease with our own feelings and to be present with the feeling of others. In this workshop led by Dorothy Charles, we will create a safe and supportive environment in which our emotions can be met with curiosity, interest, and acceptance. The format will​ combine Gestalt Process, small group work, dyadic awareness exercises, discussion, and opportunities for individual work with the leader.

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs.


 

Legacy Group - Deep Bodywork® with Rob Wilks
March 12 - April 9, 2017

Deep Bodywork, as created by Perry Holloman over the last twenty-five years at Esalen Institute, is a method that integrates the qualities of a flowing Esalen® Massage with the therapeutic effectiveness of deep tissue work. Using deep tissue methods, massage practitioners can enter the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, freeing previously dense, hardened areas, which may have become chronically painful due to a lack of fluid exchange and energy flow. As these areas soften and “re-organize,” their chronic tension patterns release, revitalizing living tissues with blood, lymph, and chi (life) energy. Because living systems like the human body require a constant flow of chi energy to self-organize and heal, blockages to that flow within our tissues can create longer-term health problems like joint and soft tissue pain, movement restriction, and circulatory problems.

This month with Rob Wilks will focus on exploring the modality of deep bodywork as a healing art, and is designed for massage and bodywork practitioners seeking to incorporate effective deep tissue techniques into their work. We will explore the common areas (back, neck, shoulders, hips, etc.) where these chronic tension patterns tend to stagnate. Students will be taught how to effectively address these areas using gravitational energy, proper use of body mechanics, the importance of working slowly, and self-care practices.

Professional massage experience is highly recommended for this advanced-level class. Please visit www.deepbodywork.com for more information.

Recommended viewing: Deep Bodywork I: Healing the Back, Shoulders and Hips (DVD), available at www.deepbodywork.com.


 

Work Study - Write Your Life for the Page and the Stage with Ann Randolph
April 9 - May 7, 2017

As we write, we are both describing and deciding the direction that our life is taking.
–Julia Cameron

This is an invitation for you to discover your own unique and powerful story and the profound transformation that occurs when speaking it out loud. During this program led by Ann Randolph, you’ll be taught how to trust your creative impulses, thus embracing all of who you are. By becoming the author of your own life and learning how to tell your own story, you can not only begin to craft your experience into a compelling narrative, but you will also unleash a sense of purpose in your own life you never thought possible. Through writing exercises, group discussion, and improvisation we will support one another in creating and speaking our stories. Topics include:

  • Writing to simulate memory
  • Crafting story structure
  • Creating spontaneously
  • Writing on our feet
  • Overcoming performance anxiety
  • Releasing yourself from the inner critic
  • Transforming ideas/stories into performance

This is a workshop for those interested in personal essay, memoir, or solo performance, and for anyone seeking to bring more meaning to their life through writing. All levels welcome.


 

Legacy Group - Transforming Your Identity, Discovering Your Authentic Self with Tanya McGinnity
April 9 - May 7, 2017

Our emotions can be hugely important in determining the quality of our lives. They occur in every relationship we care about – in the workplace, friendships, with family members, and in our intimate relationships. Emotions can, and often do, arise very quickly. Our conscious self usually does not participate in or even witness what, exactly, triggers an emotion at any particular moment. That speed can save our lives in an emergency, but it can also ruin our lives when we react rather than respond.

 

Using an Emotional Intelligence framework, Tanya McGinnity will lead participants on a journey to witness their current capabilities and be encouraged to reach their highest potential. By establishing trust we create an energetic container in which participants will feel safe to dive deep into their souls through guided imagery and self-reflective questioning. By reflecting on negative patterns they will be able to determine the false identities that have been informing their negative self-talk. This transformative course is dedicated to a deep exploration of vision, identity, values, and emotions in order to live intentionally and with purpose, connected with a radiant life force.


 

Work Study - Embodied Relational Gestalt with Michael Clemmens
May 7 - June 4, 2017

“We develop relationships with ourselves and others through the physicality of our vision, smell, touch, and movement,” says Michael Clemmens. “These relationships, or dances, shape what we believe is possible and how we behave in the present. In this program, our focus will be on the ways in which we create relationships through our bodies. By attending to our present dance with others, we can become more aware of our existing context and optional ways of interacting.

“The structure of the program will be experiential exercises, practice sessions, and group discussion to develop our awareness of self and the group. We will begin with our earliest movements (prior to birth) and then explore how we co-create our bodily membership in the more complex gestalts of family, groups, and cultures. Our goals will be to experience how we create relationships through embodiment, and to develop skills in attending to ourselves and others.”

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs.


 

Legacy Group - Coming Alive through Conscious Dance, Meditation, and Yoga Philosophy with Jovinna Chan
May 7 - June 4, 2017

Are you ready to tap into your potential for deeper love, awareness, aliveness, and creativity? Then pause from your routine, and take on the role of a devoted apprentice to the mastering the mystery and science of being YOU.

During this Legacy immersion, experience the inner power that results from aligning every part of yourself with spirit. Through the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and conscious dance, unleash and nurture your own fulfillment and well-being. Be prepared to discover that your presence can move mountains and overcome separation in the world! Jovinna Chan invites you to drop into a field of deep communion that also includes resting, resetting, and awakening. In this program you can expect to:

  • Cultivate awareness, presence, and stillness
  • Release fear, inhibition, and judgment
  • Acquire transformational skills based on the yogic study of the koshas (multi-dimensional layers of being)
  • Master conscious communication skills, especially the art of listening
  • Design and implement a lifestyle rooted in yoga practices (postures, breath, and meditation) and conscious dance
  • Tune into and act on your life purpose

This program invites you to experience the core connection of body, heart, mind, and spirit. Create a practice that you can draw on for the rest of your life. You can make a difference in your own world. And that difference can change the world around you.

Please bring a yoga mat, and a journal for reflection and notes.


 


 

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