Humanity
The Way Forward: How To Stay Inspired, Reintegrate, and Find Hope in the Shadow of the Pandemic | An Esalen Digital Summit
February 23, 2021

This March 13 & 14, Esalen Institute proudly presents the first of our digital summit series, The Way Forward: How To Stay Inspired, Reintegrate, and Find Hope in the Shadow of the Pandemic. The Way Forward Digital Series will explore the concept of collective trauma, how it both unifies and divides us, and most importantly, how we can face it together to heal on a local and national level.

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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Esalen’s Statement on the Present Racial Crisis
July 13, 2020

In June 2020, Esalen released a statement regarding the present racial crisis. This page provides additional clarity on how Esalen, as an organization, will work in very practical and substantive ways to be more inclusive. We value your feedback and insights as we collectively move forward to make these important changes.

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Technology and Social Change Connect at Web of Change
October 1, 2015

More than 100 self-described thinkers and doers in social media, digital strategy, and social change converged at Esalen in October for an innovative annual conference called Web of Change. Founded in 2001, Web of Change alumni have gone on to lead transformational change in such organizations as Greenpeace, Presente.org, 350.org, and the National Counsel of La Raza. This year’s conference attracted more than 400 applicants.

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Bridging Personal Growth and Social Change
December 1, 2015

When social entrepreneur Aaron Pereora was named a Fellow with the Ashoka organization – a worldwide network of more than 3,000 change makers leading positive social change – he was struck by how many of his peers struggled with their own well-being and the effect this struggle had on their work. Having completed an extensive sabbatical himself after serving as co-founder of CanadaHelps and Vartana, Aaron knew the transformative effect of personal development. From this experience, he and several colleagues created the Wellbeing Project to connect inner work with social change.

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Esalen Hosts WisdomWomen
December 1, 2015

For the first time in its history, Esalen will host a property-wide gathering for women in January as a call to action for participants to advance their vision for a life-affirming world. The gathering is led by Michelle Stransky, formerly with Wisdom 2.0, as part of her brainchild WisdomWomen. Joining Michelle is Konda Mason, co-founder and CEO of Hub Oakland, and Sally Kempton, an internationally known spiritual teacher, and other women leaders.

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Cross Pollination Across the Generations: Food Movement Leaders Renew at Esalen
March 1, 2016

Regeneration, rebirth, resilience, revival, relationship… Elders and youngers of the farming persuasion circled round for a week of connecting and spinning yarns around these themes and more late January at Esalen. These agrarians, like anyone else involved in the burgeoning food movement, fuel their work with a passion for creating positive change that ripples outward and effects virtually every big issue we as a species currently grapple with: climate change, world peace, social justice, biodiversity, physical, spiritual, and mental health… the list goes on.

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Cultivating Wellbeing for Change Makers
May 1, 2016

Many times those who are supporting and leading positive social change within their communities also may need support in their personal lives. Esalen is proud to be a co-creator of The Wellbeing Project, a program focused on helping social entrepreneurs lead healthier and more balanced lives. The catalyst of this project, Aaron Pereira, shares his story with us.

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Birthing a Movement: WisdomWomen Returns to Esalen
December 1, 2016

Just a year ago, former Wisdom 2.0 staffer Michelle Stransky was preparing to see her vision of a community of women leaders come to life at the first-ever gathering of WisdomWomen at Esalen. Many of those in attendance became WisdomWomen founding members and have helped to create a community seeking to build our world from a different paradigm.

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Gratefulness Practice in Troubling Times
December 1, 2016

In this season of troubling darkness and inspiring light, we lean into our gratefulness practice, remembering the blessings and joys of friends like you as you offer gifts of resources and support for Esalen and for all our great work together. Most precious of all is your companionship on the journey, as we walk together the paths of transformation in this challenging age.

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Co-Creating a World We Know Is Possible
January 1, 2018

In the middle of a career shift, WisdomWomen founder Michelle Stransky took a huge leap into the unknown. As she navigated the transition, she followed her curiosity and soon pinpointed her next endeavor: to create an experimental space for women to develop and share their gifts as leaders. WisdomWomen was born, and Esalen — with its long history as fertile soil for breakthrough ideas and social movements — was a natural place for it to emerge.

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The Wellbeing Project Broadens Impact with New Initiatives
December 1, 2018

In 2015, Esalen joined a small group of other nonprofits to co-create the Wellbeing Project, a global initiative to shift the social change field culture from one of frequent burnout to supporting inner well-being. The Project structures its approach around four pillars: experiential programs, research and evaluation, convening and storytelling.

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Exploring the Future of Masculinity
August 1, 2019

Adam Leonard and Dustin DiPerna first met 15 years ago helping to produce a series of integral workshops in Colorado. They re-connected years later when they found themselves participating in similar communities and conversations in California, and ultimately embarked on a teaching collaboration that embraces theory (having a good map) with practice (experiencing the actual territory).

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Journeys in Gender
September 1, 2019

Esalen’s original series, Conversations on the Edge, facilitates thought-provoking conversations around pressing issues of our time. In these curated weekend events, spread out throughout the year, leading experts and visiting teachers come together in lightning talks, group discussion and idea-sharing. ‍

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Caring for the Caregivers
April 1, 2020

The current pandemic has created a heightened awareness of the sacrifices made by nurses, doctors, first responders and other caregivers in the face of unprecedented circumstances. Apart from the threat of physical harm, many in the healthcare profession as well as social change professions such as activists and teachers face mental and emotional challenges as well.

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The Inner Work of Healing from Racism
June 1, 2020

Esalen’s first online retreat was a free community offering entitled “Building Bridges of Belonging: The Inner Work of Healing from Racism and Moving Towards Positive Social Transformation.” More than 60 participants attended the online retreat in early June, which was facilitated by Jessica Hartzell and Lacy Shannon of Esalen's Community and Advancement team, and Programs Specialist Tanja Roos, and led by two Esalen faculty: University of San Francisco law professor Rhonda V. Magee, an expert on mindful teaching and learning, race and law; and Kamilah Majied, a social justice leader and mental health therapist.

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Esalen Statement on Our Present Racial Crisis
June 1, 2020

For nearly 60 years, we at Esalen have committed ourselves to the exploration and actualization of human potential, a future humanity envisioned in ways at once deeply individual, radically interpersonal, politically active, plurally embodied and genuinely global. The recent national events and protests around the murder of George Floyd on May 25 and the still unrealized dream of a truly inclusive American society have shown us in too familiar and yet fundamentally new ways that we have not lived up to our own legacy.

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Justin Michael Williams Guides Community Toward Social Justice in Dynamic Online Workshop
August 1, 2020

In July, Esalen hosted faculty-singer-author Justin Michael Williams for a mini-residency. Justin’s presence on property was so nourishing that Esalen’s Community and Advancement team invited him to host a 90-minute online workshop as an opportunity to meet Justin, experience the work he is doing in the world and explore the topics of equality and race.

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Eldra Jackson III on Racism, 'Toxic Masculinity' and Rehabilitation
September 1, 2020

Eldra Jackson III has harnessed the power of transformation and tapping into his human potential. As a 24-year inmate in the California prison system, he was given ample opportunity to turn inward, and when he discovered Inside Circle, his inner journey took a significant turn, which led to his release in 2014.

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The Power to End Racism Lies Within Us
September 1, 2020

“Almost every piece of work or literature that I've read on racism is built on one assumption: that it cannot end. Or at best, that it will be a ‘lifelong fight.’ That ending racism will be something that ‘will probably never happen in our generation.’”

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Founded in 1962, Esalen is non-profit center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research. Esalen is a pioneer on the leading edge of consciousness, where spiritual possibility, intellectual rigor, somatic practice and sustainable living converge toward an integrated realization of the human potential. Esalen sponsors pioneering initiatives and offers personal, spiritual, and social transformation practices for workshop participants, residential staff and interns. Located on California’s scenic Big Sur Coast, Esalen welcomes more than 17,000 visitors each year.