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Upcoming Work Study Programs

Upcoming Work Study Programs

Work Study - Embodied Relational Gestalt with Michael Clemmens
April 12 - May 10, 2015

“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.

Note: This program is full with a wait list- you can apply and be on the wait list and we do not process your deposit unless you get a spot and say yes.


Legacy Program - Sharing Your Life Story with Ann Randolph
April 12 - May 10, 2015

Everything in your life, from the mundane to the extraordinary, is a story waiting to be told. During this program you can discover your own unique and powerful story. Michel de Montaigne, the great personal essayist, said, “Every man has within himself the entire human condition.” The intention of this workshop is for you delve deep into your own personal narrative. Writing from your deepest source, you can gain insight and self-understanding that can bring peace and healing. We will then make our words leap from the page to the stage, sharing them orally to uncover the power of performance to transform your life and your listeners. This is a program for those seeking to explore personal essay, memoir, solo performance, or the sacred practice of journaling.

Through improvisation, writing exercises, and group discussion, you will find your authentic voice, along with a way to express it. Ann Randolph creates a supportive, fun, and dynamic space in which to create. Topics include:

  • Writing exercises to stimulate memory
  • Learning to structure the narrative in a compelling way
  • Transforming your ideas/stories into performance
  • Discovering ways to create spontaneously
  • Overcoming performance anxiety
  • Tools to release yourself from the inner critic
  • Playing with multiple characters and contradictions within ourselves

Note: This program is full with a wait list- you can apply and be on the wait list and we do not process your deposit unless you get a spot and say yes.


Work Study - The Human as Two: Channeling in History and Practice with Jeffrey Kripal
May 10 - June 7, 2015

Channeling is a modern expression of an ancient practice found all over the world and throughout human history in numerous forms, from ancient Greek prophecy to various forms of divine possession to the revelation of scripture. Those practices generally involve a deity, ancestor, spiritual intelligence, discarnate being, or other dimension of the self speaking through a human person to an individual or a community, usually for some set purpose, crisis, or direction. They are also deeply intertwined with the history and practice of inspired writing.

Jeff Kripal is a historian and professor of religions at Rice University who specializes in the study and comparison of such altered states of mind and energy.  He will guide the group through a broad historical understanding of these practices and provide a simple model through which we might understand them in our own modern terms (from the study of comparative mystical literature and modern neuroscience). Student-scholars will also be encouraged to consider practical applications of the channeling "Human as Two" in dream-journaling, in experiences of synchronicity, and in creative writing.

Please note: this workshop is a joint session with the Legacy Program. Part of the workshop will be channeled with Paul Selig. Part will be dedicated to an open discussion of the history and theology of channeling with Paul and Jeff. The channeling itself will be distributed evenly across both groups. The guides that Paul works with are gentle and kind and provide guidance in a non-traditional manner.

Recommended reading: Selig, I Am The Word; Kripal, Authors of the Impossible.


Legacy Program - I am the Word: The Energetics of Consciousness with Paul Selig
May 10 - June 7, 2015

In his breakthrough trilogy of channeled literature, I Am the Word, The Book of Love and Creation, and The Book of Knowing and Worth, acclaimed author and medium Paul Selig recorded an extraordinary program for personal and planetary evolution as humankind awakens to its own divine nature.

In this channeled workshop, you will be introduced to and attuned to the frequency of the Word, which Paul’s guides describe as the energy of “God in Action.” You will be taught techniques for developing and sustaining higher levels of consciousness, and move through the emotional, mental, and spiritual blocks that may be keeping you from manifesting your own higher nature. Paul’s programs are deeply transformative; the energy he works with is extremely palpable and his guides are wise and joyous teachers. You will be supported in moving to the next level of spiritual evolution though a series of channeled lectures, exercises, and attunements designed to develop your own spiritual awareness and abilities.

Please note: Much of this workshop is channeled. The guides that Paul works with are gentle and kind and provide guidance in a non-traditional manner. Work Study faculty Jeff Kripal also will be at Esalen this month, and will contribute at times to this program.


Work Study - Embodied Leadership in a Disembodied World with Don Hanlon Johnson
June 7 - July 5, 2015

From its beginning, Esalen has been the model for a new kind of leadership that builds on the complex range of human potentials and recognizes that these potentials are not just the preserve of a special few, but of every person. Michael Murphy and Richard Price exemplified that new kind of leadership in their insistence that at Esalen, no one special teacher or teaching be allowed to “capture the flag”; that it be a place where many skilled people could share what they had to offer in a climate of peership and collaboration. Esalen became a home for various strategies to develop the many potentials required for a new kind of leader. These included effective communication, how to deal with conflict, quality of contact with others, and deep inner reflection. They also included the many kinds of embodiment practices—ancient and modern—which address not only personal transformation but also the capacity to further a deeper sense of our bodily interdependence with others in our sensing, breathing, moving, and speaking.

In this program, Don Hanlon Johnson, a longtime veteran of Esalen and founder of the first graduate studies program in Somatics, located at California Institute of Integral Studies, will work with participants with the various strategies for cultivating leadership that have characterized Esalen’s history. These will include group process, meditation, investigations of each participant’s unique gifts for change, body practices to improve sensitivity, grounding, courage, imagination, and reflection on the meanings of the skills in relation to the great challenges of our era.

Recommended reading: Harding, Is America Possible?; Johnson, Body, Spirit, and Democracy.


Legacy Program - Spoken Word: Your Voice, Your Body, Your Truth with Caroline Harvey
June 7 - July 5, 2015

Experience the liberating art of spoken word (sometimes called slam or performance poetry): where powerful personal healing meets excellent literary craft. Once considered an underground niche art form, spoken word can now be found in almost every major US city and beyond. The genre is passionate and confessional, drawing influences from beat poetry, traditional poetics, theater, hip hop, punk rock, and the cross-cultural traditions of oral storytelling. Work with Berklee College of Music Professor and award-winning poet Caroline Harvey to practice communicating with intention and fearlessness. Read and discuss poems, explore writing prompts, unlock your voice, and dive into gentle experiential practices to free your body and unlock your inner howl. Lessons are adapted from expressive arts, Gestalt psychology, yoga and meditation, and literary craft. We’ll unravel the myths around “writer’s block” and “stage fright,” practice editing strategies, and delve into the ceremony of performance. Write and speak freely about your desires, identity, politics, struggles, and joys. Share your truth with confidence and compassion no matter where you are!


Work Study - High Performance Leadership: How to Unleash your Full Potential with George Kohlrieser
July 5 - August 2, 2015

Why do some leaders overcome impossible barriers, go beyond unbearable pressure and frustration, and persevere in order to achieve extraordinary outcomes in situations where others would give up? The answer to that question has never been clearer. Through their desire for relentless improvement, leaders at the edge can unlock the highest levels of performance from themselves and others, making work a more exciting place to be for themselves and those around them. Leading at the edge enables people to "play to win" rather than simply "playing not to lose."  It is a profound process of leading oneself and others.

People are facing intense pressure like never before. There are so many complex changes and challenges today, which create the necessity for high levels of engagement to reach high performance. Drawing on research on high performance from the world of sports, business, medicine, music, theater, military, and hostage negotiation, George Kohlrieser will lead participants through mini theory presentations, action learning, group process, role playing, and action planning designed to foster cutting-edge leadership skills, including how to take appropriate risk, inspire trust, drive change, and create opportunities to foster success for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

This workstudy month is focused on leadership and is an extension of our Integral Leadership Program; current college students or recent graduates get priority placement during this month.

CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs;


Legacy Group - Truly Human Leadership: Leading from the Heart of Self with Nina Merrens
July 5 - August 2, 2015

The privilege of a lifetime is being who we are. - Joseph Campbell

In order to lead ourselves and others with a sense of meaning and purpose, we first need to become closely acquainted with the calling of our authentic selves, to learn to accept and appreciate who we are, and to trust in the vision of what our individual contribution can be in the world. This requires cultural self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and a deep understanding and acceptance of where we and others come from.

This leadership program, led by Nina Merrens, combines the principles of Intercultural Competency, Personal Leadership, and Appreciative Inquiry and provides concrete support to students who wish to lead in an increasingly complex world and build a solid bridge of resources beyond Esalen into the future. The approach is based on proven experiential methods including simulations, emotional intelligence tools, mindfulness practices, vision work, intercultural frameworks, ancestor rituals and deep dialogue.


Work Study - Speak to Inspire with Peter Meyers
August 2 - August 30, 2015

The opportunity to lead comes to us every day. Whether we're at the dining room table, in a conference room, or on a public platform, leadership in action is about bringing our best ideas into the world in ways that move others to action. 

Speak to Inspire is about creating a vision and dramatically increasing your ability to move hearts and minds through the power of the spoken word. It’s about the performative side of leadership. Peter Meyers will draw on his three decades of experience as a stage actor, director, and consultant to leaders in organizations across 29 countries. This is a dynamic, creative, and playful program that can help you recognize and release your hidden potential. You will be taught strategies for overcoming your fears (or limiting mindsets) and increasing your awareness of how to authentically influence the people around you.

The program will focus on these goals:

  • Structuring clear, compelling narratives in any setting
  • Using professional performance techniques to deepen your leadership presence and amplify your message
  • Managing your emotional state and transforming your fear into passion
  • Elevating your confidence, poise, and power in high-stakes situations
  • Building greater trust and rapport in one-to-one conversations
  • Storytelling and the power of sensory language
  • Recognizing blocks to effective dialogue and building bridges to engage and influence a conversation
  • Engaging in tough conversations without sacrificing a relationship or personal bond

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


Legacy Program - Leadership and Presence with Suzanne Scurlock-Durana
August 2 - August 30, 2015

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.


Work Study - 5Rhythms® Dance and Conscious Movement Practice with Geordie Jahner
August 30 - September 27, 2015

The body is the vessel in which the transformation process takes place. - James Hillman.

5Rhythms is an internationally recognized conscious movement practice that explores dance and movement as a healing art, as an expressive art, as a form of meditation, and as medicine.

During this month-long immersion in conscious movement practice led by Geordie Jahner, participants are offered a beautiful opportunity to ignite their ability to:

  • Nourish and deepen their creative relationship with self
  • Cultivate mindfulness, presence and awareness in the body
  • Connect movement, feeling, imagination and spirit
  • Cultivate a physical language for their emotions
  • Cultivate and deepen emotional intelligence, fluidity, resilience, and authenticity
  • Apply conscious movement principles to their lives

The sessions (totaling 40 hours of training) include a balance of playful exploration, thoughtful inquiry, and powerful exercises for skill-development. Participants will embark on deep personal discovery using movement, drawing, writing, sharing, and witnessing, while learning about and exploring the essential qualities of each of the 5Rhythms: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness. These Rhythms can bring our physical, emotional, and spiritual energies more fully into motion.


Legacy Group - Inspired by Nature: Creative Expression in Esalen's Big Sur Landscape with Christina Dauenhauer
August 30 - September 27, 2015

“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 directly to the leader)


Work Study - Streams of Energy with Jim Gallas
September 27 - October 25, 2015

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;


Legacy Program - Leadership for Radical Engagement with Mark Fairfield
September 27 - October 25, 2015

Under the guidance of community health leader and Gestalt trainer/author Mark Fairfield, The Relational Center in Los Angeles, Calif., has pioneered an innovative leadership training that inspires people around the globe to be more empathically engaged, to join and support social movements, and to catalyze a culture of interdependency. A relational leadership approach assumes that personal transformation and human potential are intricately tied up with the transformation and possibilities of the social context and natural environment. With this month-long relational leadership training program, Esalen and The Relational Center team up to offer participants cutting-edge tools in grassroots community organizing, somatic engagement, and shared leadership. It incorporates a strategic storytelling tradition to build trust, identify overlapping values, and elicit collective empathy. It also promotes a relational approach designed to teach and be sustained through peer support and more likely to be replicated through culture. The program provides a comprehensive learning experience designed to produce inspiring, skilled, and engaged leaders whose striving for personal transformation is bound up with social, economic, and environmental justice. During the month, Mark Fairfield will be joined by visiting teachers Lucien Demaris and Cedar Landsman. Lucien will bring his expertise in relational somatic work, and Cedar will share hers in grassroots community organizing.


Work Study - Relational Gestalt Practice with Dorothy Charles
October 25 - November 22, 2015

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.


Legacy Group - Practicing Presence through Body Centered Awareness with Patrice Hamilton
October 25 - November 22, 2015

"The issues are in the tissues.” Habitual beliefs and behaviors formed early in life lead to habitual ways of responding that limit life experience. Our bodies are our greatest resource. They provide a direct path for exploring these unconscious beliefs and the emotions tied to them. By increasing awareness of our bodies, we connect with the here and now, where change and growth are possible.

This experiential class will blend the slow, developmental movement of Cortical Field Reeducation® with the mindfulness practices of Hakomi and Gestalt. Patrice Hamilton use these awareness practices to assist individuals in reclaiming and integrating forgotten or denied aspects of self.

Working in a supportive group environment creates a container in which new ways of moving and being can be explored and expressed. Exploring with curiosity and compassion allows for release of physical restrictions and suppressed emotions. You will emerge feeling more grounded and comfortable in your body, with an increased capacity to remain present within yourself and with others.

CE credit for bodyworkers.


Work Study - Embodied Relational Gestalt with Michael Clemmens
November 22 - December 20, 2015

“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.”


Legacy Program - Unveil Yourself through Mindfulness, Yoga and Conscious Dance with Jovinna Chan
November 22 - December 20, 2015

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.


Work Study - Deep Bodywork® with Rob Wilks and Paul Wehrman
December 20, 2015 - January 17, 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 for more information.

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

CE credit for massage


Legacy Program - The Buddhist Path of Awakening with Vinny Ferraro
December 20, 2015 - January 17, 2016

This program will be focused on the insight meditation practices of mindfulness and the heart practices of the Buddha. Life presents us with the challenge of living from a place of wisdom and its resulting true happiness, rather than from delusion and its corresponding suffering. This path of awakening leads us towards the wisdom of living skillfully.

By simply observing our bodies and minds, we begin to know experience as it presents itself. As understanding deepens, we learn to live life with a wiser and more loving heart. Led by Vinny Ferraro, the program aims to guide participants toward developing a personal practice of coming home, and a greater sense of how to care for ourselves. By strengthening our own understanding, we can use everything in life as food for freedom.

The program will guide participants in practicing mindfulness in many different modalities, including sitting, walking, and sharing in a small group setting.


Work Study - Integral Way Tai Chi® with Kenn Chase and Victoria Chase
January 17 - February 14, 2016

Regular practice of tai chi ch’uan can have profound effects on our neuro-biology, and it produces many health benefits. Through the centuries the Chinese have utilized tai chi ch’uan as a healing art. We now have current medical research to confirm the power of tai chi as an optimal preventive as well as restorative healing technique.

During this program taught by Kenn Chase and Vicki Chase, participants will be taught traditional Yang style tai chi ch’uan through Kenn Chase’s unique Integral Way practice, which incorporates Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement™, chi gung, and meditation practices. Didactic sessions will be included to enhance the understanding of medical, philosophical, and psychological applications.

Integral Way Tai Chi is an organic, evolving process of consciousness — a special domain in which people enhance and deepen their sense of self. This synchronistic interplay of mind-body awareness leads ultimately to a more comprehensive and complete experience. It is a moment-by-moment meditation of who we are and how we live.

Tai chi moves are based on nature; therefore, practicing tai chi at Esalen enhances the experience. As we tune into the subtle moves inherent in the natural world, we become increasingly tuned into the peace, beauty, and balance our natural world offers us.

During this program we will take an excursion to New Camaldoli Hermitage for group meditation in their sacred chapel, and a trip to the spectacular Sand Dollar Beach for Tai Chi by the Sea. No experience necessary and experienced practitioners welcome. This workshop is appropriate for health care professionals wishing to incorporate tai chi and/or stress management techniques into their professional practice.

CE credit Pending for acupuncturists; CE credit for nurses.


Work Study - The Art and Science of Living Well, Together with Linda Nicholls
February 14 - March 13, 2016

We are all interwoven within a dynamic, complex web of interdependent relationships. Whether we notice it or not, we are not separate from our engagement with others. Ironically, despite our multiple intelligences, tech smarts, mindfulness development, brilliant systems, getting along with one another in everyday life remains one of the most challenging endeavors humans undertake. Linda Nicholls is a senior faculty of The Haven, an international personal and professional development center in Canada. The Haven specializes in methods to integrate multiple east/west disciplines, including wisdom from science, psychotherapy, existential thought, and eastern philosophy, and this program draws from that rich well to guide participants in cultivating their relational skills. Our goals for this program are to:

  • Experience the juiciness of living life more fully
  • Deepen self-knowledge and move beyond self-imposed limits
  • Open to and express deeper dimensions of feeling in ways that enhance your life and relationships
  • Gain valuable insights to strengthen health and well-being
  • Learn and practice a transformative paradigm for communicating
  • Rediscover joy and meaning in life
  • Expand your capacity for harmonious, loving and fulfilling relationships

Through experiential exercises, body practices, and verbal and nonverbal conversations, each participant will travel their unique relationship landscape. Domains of relational territory visited by the group will include boundary definition, shadow and projection, engaging in conflict, deepening intimacy, sexuality conversations, and inward relating such as inner critic self-talk. The goal of this month-long study is to learn to recognize our individual impact and responsibility for the success and health of our relationships, which can enrich and strengthen our ability to live in harmonious interdependence.


Work Study - Seeing Eye to I: Learning the Art of Wellness with Sam Berne
March 13 - April 10, 2016

The eyes reveal many mind-body patterns related to health. For example, neuroscience shows that the eye pathway connects directly and influences brain function, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Hanna Somatics presents that prenatal infant movements affect adult postural, visual, and cognitive patterns. Traditional Chinese Medicine conveys that many of the energy meridians connect to the eyes, especially the liver (the major detoxification organ of the body).

This month-long program led by Sam Berne uses The Berne Method®, an individualized approach that begins by guiding each student to self-discover the visual patterns and imprints he or she may be using as an adaptive response to stress, trauma, and cultural conditioning. Sam will then offer a developmental process of eye-brain mindful awareness activities, Continuum movement, medicinal essential oils, and other subtle energy therapies to help students increase creativity and vitality. Sam believes the group dynamic or unified field amplifies healing. His gentle and humorous approach creates a safe, trusting environment for students to increase their wellness potential by learning deeper self-responsibility, self-regulation, and sustaining health practices.

Behind The Berne Method® are a diverse variety of disciplines, including vision therapy, biofield analysis, quantum physics, somatic movement, craniosacral therapy, dolphin-assisted therapy, and photo (light) therapy with respect to expanding human potential.

Required reading: Berne, I Sense: At Play in the Field of Healing (book or audio download), Creating Your Personal Vision: A Mind-Body Guide for Better Eyesight (book).

( $30 materials fee paid directly to the leader)


Work Study - Embodied Relational Gestalt with Michael Clemmens
April 10 - May 8, 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.”


Work Study - Write Your Life for the Page and the Stage with Ann Randolph
May 8 - June 5, 2016

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 learn 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 learn 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.


Work Study - Bhavagad-Gita: Wisdom, Literature and Leadership with Brad Lewis
June 5 - July 3, 2016

The Bhagavad-Gita is the most popular and widely studied of the Hindu scriptures. Plus, it has become a classic of world literature, inspiring such diverse writers and artists as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Phillip Glass, Anita Desai, and Chitra Divakaruni. Most recently, it has become an invaluable resource for developing cross-cultural principles of management, leadership, and positive psychology.

This program is led by Bradley Lewis, New York University cultural studies professor and practicing psychiatrist. The month is devoted to an appreciative and critical study of the Gita’s lessons. When you pick up a copy of the Gita, it is encouragingly slim and may seem like a quick read. But if you delve into its philosophy for living, wisdom, and meaning, you'll find that it is a most enriching companion and a lifelong friend worthy of careful and detailed study. As Mahatma Gandhi put it: “When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see no ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad-Gita.”

Our Work Study program approaches the Bhagavad Gita through dialogic and participatory spirituality. It includes the following activities:

  • Appreciative and critical reading and discussion focusing on personal, political, and philosophic dimensions of the text
  • Spiritual and experiential exercises inspired by the Gita (yoga, meditation, chanting)
  • Creative arts and expression inspired by the Gita (memoir, music, visual arts, opera, film)
  • Engaged spiritual practice by applying wisdom gleaned from the Gita to larger work study activities
  • Journal writing and journal sharing of our processes together



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