Spirit
An Invitation to Joy
October 1, 2016

Against the backdrop of the Himalayan foothills, two great spiritual masters and good friends came together to celebrate a birthday. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Emeritus of Southern Africa Desmond Tutu spent a week in friendship and conversation, culminating in what they now describe as a birthday gift to the world and an invitation to joy: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

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Anne Watts Reflects on Growing Up with Esalen and Leading an Authentic Life
November 1, 2017

Anne Watts carries the human potential movement in her DNA. As the daughter of pioneering author and philosopher Alan Watts, she grew up with people like Aldous Huxley, Charlotte Selver, and Ram Dass discussing the nature of human consciousness around the dinner table. While deeply influenced by her father, Anne forged her own path to become an educator, mediator, and counselor devoted to helping people live life from a place of authenticity and love.

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A Conversion on Awareness and Awe
August 1, 2018

Earlier this month, Esalen welcomed some of the most exciting voices in mindfulness today for two week-long workshops: The Art and Science of Mindfulness, Compassion and Awe and Loving Awareness. We recently spoke with Dan Siegel, author of the upcoming Aware: The Science and Practice of Mindfulness, and Dacher Keltner, founder of the Greater Good Science Center, who co-led with Shauna Shapiro the first workshop from August 5-10.

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Reclaiming Our Place in Wild Nature
December 1, 2018

After being displaced by numerous California wildfires and landslides, naturalist/educators and longtime Esalen community members Noël Vietor and Fletcher Tucker asked themselves how they could be in service to a new paradigm in which people are a reparative and beneficial force of nature. Their answer is Wildtender, which they launched in 2017.

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Loving What Is and Doing ‘The Work’
October 1, 2019

Byron Katie created The Work, a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches us to identify and question the thoughts that can cause suffering, as an opportunity to sink into our vast inner world, notice what we discover there and emerge from it with insights that create personal freedom.

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Exploring the ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Mystique
November 1, 2019

How do people gather today when they are not tied to a specific religion or belief system? Esalen faculty Jeff Kripal and Dana Sawyer have long been intrigued by this subject and will explore it at length in Conversations on the Edge: America, Spiritual But Not Religious, during the weekend of December 6-8 at Esalen.

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Effortless Mindfulness and Living an Awakened Life
December 1, 2019

The quest to live an awakened life is filled with numerous discoveries that allow us to become present, mindful of our mental activity and more deeply in touch with our physical being. After reaching that initial state of awakening, another desire may emerge: sustaining it. Leaning in that direction is a lovely goal, but understanding what awakening is also vital.

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Let Go and Renew the Self
December 1, 2019

Mark Nicolson, an executive coach specializing in leadership and team development for visionary entrepreneurs and catalysts for social change, made it his mission to help people and systems large and small discover the concept of renewal and become re-enchanted with their place and calling in the world. As the co-founder of T12N, an innovative program for realigning self and career, he also helped create pathways for sustaining the changes individuals truly wanted to create. Mark sheds light on this rich topic in his upcoming workshop, Designing the Life We Want: Self-Renewal in the New Year, where he creates a space for us to be vulnerable, undistracted and present.

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Five Ways To Invigorate The Spirit
January 1, 2020

A new month, a new year and a new decade all converge in January. Collectively, the human race enters brand new territory (a more soul-filled Roaring Twenties, perhaps?) and many people may be seeking ways to invigorate their spirit and experience their true human potential. Questions abound: What new practices can I implement? What new actions can I take? Culling from Esalen’s lineage of teachers, we reveal five ways to truly let the spirit shine even brighter.

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A Clear Vision for Building Peace
January 1, 2020

Three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Scilla Elworthy is a vibrant example of what we are capable of doing when we see clearly — and take action. When Scilla was just 11 years old, her four older brothers were teaching her how to fire a shotgun at their home in Galashiels, England. In one quick moment, young Scilla did something that forever changed her life path.

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A New Path Beyond The Broken Heart
January 1, 2020

David Kessler has spent much of his life assisting others cope and move through grief and his breadth of knowledge has made him one of the world’s foremost experts on healing and loss. In his latest book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, David adds another stage (meaning) to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five grief stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), which he believes is vital after the loss of a relationship.

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Uncovering Grace and Healing for Gay Men
February 1, 2020

Ron Frederick and Timothy J. Beyer are on a mission to enhance the lives of gay men who find it challenging to feel present in their lives and closer to the people they love. In their upcoming workshop, Emotional Mindfulness, Connection and Healing for Gay Men, Ron (pictured right) and Timothy (below) explore the origins of certain fears inherent in gay men, how those fears create a sense of detachment from the wisdom and power within and present guideposts toward empowerment.

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The Wisdom of Taking Action
February 1, 2020

In conversation, Marianne Williamson sparks a mix of intrigue and inspiration, often honing in on such deeper questions as: how do we become our best selves? The longtime activist, former 2020 presidential hopeful and bestselling author of A Return To Love and A Politics of Love, joins leaders in business, mindfulness and social change at this year’s Wisdom 2.0.

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The Wisdom of Play
February 1, 2020

If mindfulness is being in love with the present moment, then play is the most fun access point to that state. In their upcoming workshop, The Power of Play and Human Connection in the Digital Age, Adam Smiley Poswolsky (pictured right) and Brady Gill (below) create a tech-free “playshop” designed to awaken our creative potential and illuminate the wisdom and grace available when we intentionally bring play and playfulness into our lives and our work. Adam, a millennial workplace expert and the best-selling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough and Brady, a writer/performer and camp director of Camp Anywhere, a summer camp for grown-ups, share more with Esalen News.

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The Courage To Lead
March 1, 2020

Esalen faculty Peter Bregman got into leadership coaching in a serendipitous way. He attended a college camping trip “by mistake” and became so intrigued with the concept of outdoor leadership that he went on to form his own company. Culling from some of the wisdom he learned outdoors, Peter is now a coach, teacher and best-selling author, assisting successful people to become better leaders and build more effective teams.

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Reflections on Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey
March 1, 2020

This month marks what would have been Joseph Campbell’s 116th birthday. A revered mythologist who spent many of his birthdays teaching at Esalen, he once said, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” For many people, that was Joe. His fervent quest to understand and embody the courageous hero’s journey found in ancient myths—and to share how deeply embedded those tales were in the stories of our own lives—influenced millions of people.

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Ram Dass and the Courage to Face Our Fears
March 1, 2020

“Dying is the most important thing you do in your life; it’s the great frontier and love is the art of living as a preparation for dying,” says Mirabai Bush, who was a frequent collaborator with the late Ram Dass and is founder and senior fellow at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. “Ram Dass taught me that allowing ourselves to dissolve into the ocean of love is not just about leaving this body, it is also the route to Oneness and unity with our own inner being while we are still here. If you know how to live and to love, you know how to die.”

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The Gift of Nature During Uncertain Times
May 1, 2020

Esalen faculty, author and artist Day Schildkret believes connecting more with nature can be one of the most valuable opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Internationally known for his morning altars, a stunning array of sublime mandalas he creates daily from natural materials, as well as his of book, Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit through Nature, Art and Ritual, Day has inspired people across the globe to be awed with impermanent earth art.

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Relational Mindfulness During COVID-19 and Beyond
May 1, 2020

“One of the teachings of Relational Mindfulness is turning towards rather than away,” says Esalen faculty, dharma teacher and author Deborah Eden Tull. “That principle really addresses the conditioned tendency in our world to turn away from all forms of difficulty, pain, discomfort and challenging emotion because we may not feel adequate to meet it. Instead, we can learn how to turn towards it, welcome it and everything that arises.”

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Stepping Into Our Fullest Potential
June 1, 2020

Esalen faculty and award-winning author of channeled texts Paul Selig has repeatedly been asked: “What comes next during these challenging times?”‍“I don't know what will come next during the pandemic, but I think what has begun will be going on for some time,” says Paul, who leads I Am the Word: The Energetics of Consciousness July 31 through August 2, and in a campus-wide workshop August 2-7 at Esalen.

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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.