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Voices of Esalen Podcast

Our podcast showcases in-depth interviews with the dynamic teachers and thinkers who are part of Esalen Institute. Hosted by Sam Stern, a former Esalen student and current staff member, the podcasts have featured engaging conversations with authors Cheryl Strayed and Michael Pollan, innovators Stan Grof and Dr. Mark Hyman, teachers Byron Katie, Mark Coleman and Jean Houston, Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy, and many more.

These podcasts are made possible in part by the support of Esalen donors and are licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

Listen to the latest episodes here, and subscribe to Voices of Esalen on Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Latest Episode:
Payton Nyquvest: Psychedelic Healing and Psychedelic Therapy in the For-Profit Space
January 27, 2022

Payton Nyvquest is Co-founder and CEO of Numinus, a for-profit psychedelic company based in Canada that empowers people to heal and be well through the development and delivery of safe, evidence-based psychedelic-assisted therapies. Payton has more than 15 years experience working in finance, investment and retail banking. He pivoted to the emerging psychedelics industry not long after ayuasahca helped him experience deep relief from a lifelong battle with chronic pain. At Numinus, he guides teams in strategy, innovation, research and clinic network expansion and is responsible for raising more than $70 million for Numinus in the past year.

Together we talked about the difference between a for-profit and non-profit psychedelic organization, how he works in conjunction with MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (which is a non profit), how he sees psychedelic services intersecting with existing health care protocols in the united states, why Numinus is a publicly traded company, why he believes his company’s stock price will rise, and how being a father to a young child has influenced the direction his life has taken.

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Q and A with Sam
January 13, 2022

A glimpse under the hood at Voices of Esalen. Host Sam Stern interviews himself, entertaining questions including:

  • How and why did you start Voices of Esalen?
  • What was the first episode of the show and what was it about?
  • Were the first episodes popular?
  • How many people listened to them?
  • What are your favorite podcasts and who are your favorite hosts?
  • Who have been some of your favorite people to talk to?
  • What is the most challenging thing about hosting a podcast?
  • What episode gave you some simple practical advice?
  • What concepts have you most appreciated being exposed to while talking to your guests?
  • Who would you consider your wisest teacher?
  • What is your recording set up like?
  • Who created your theme music?
  • What mistakes did you use to make as a host that you don’t make now?
  • What have been the hardest interviews you did, hosting Voices of Esalen?
  • Do you have any advice for folks who might want to start their own podcast?
  • And what will you be focusing on for most of this year’s interviews?

Listen in and learn about the show's evolution.

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Jon Hopkins: Music for Psychedelic Therapy
December 10, 2021

Jon Hopkins is a Grammy-nominated electronic musician and producer who’s collaborated with the likes of Brian Eno and Coldplay, scored award-winning films such as Gareth Edwards’ Monsters, and has recently released his sixth studio album, Music For Psychedelic Therapy, which aims to function as a trusted and luminous guide for an hour-long psychedelic experience. We unpack his creative process and hopes for this hour-long album, which is specifically designed to mirror the length of a therapeutic ketamine journey. We also got into a fascinating conversation about what other recording artists provided inspiration for creating music for psychedelic journeys.

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Encore Presentation: Dr. Jeffrey Kripal on the Cultural History of Esalen
November 26, 2021

Jeff Kripal is an historian of religions — his work includes the study of comparative erotics and ethics in mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religions, and the history of Western esotericism from gnosticism to New Age religions. He’s also the author of the book Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion — a must read for anyone interested in unpacking the conditions of history surrounding Esalen’s birth in the early sixties.

This interview was originally published in 2016.

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Jazsalyn: black beyond
November 12, 2021

Jazsalyn is the creative and curatorial Director of black beyond, a radical space for artists and activists to define alternate realities for Blackness. As an anti-disciplinary artist, she combines new media and community organizing practices to reimagine Black futures and to decolonize and re-indigenize social and creative practice. Her work has been featured in CULTURED Magazine, Vogue, The New Yorker, and Huffington Post.

Jazsalyn was interviewed for today’s episode by Michelle McCrary. Michelle is a daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, mother, wife, and friend who lives on occupied Duwamish land in the Pacific Northwest. She has roots in Coastal Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  When she's not leading the Communications team at Esalen, she's training to become a facilitator with the Healing and Reconciliation Institute, tending to her winter garden, reading her way through a massive pile of books on her nightstand, and working on the screenplay for her horror anthology.

Some links from this great conversation:

black beyond at www.nyfa.org/

newart.city/show/blackbeyond XR on New Art City

black beyond

Instagram @blackbeyond_
Twitter @blackbeyond_

And here’s a dublab mix from black beyond — alternate realities
Featured artist KESSWA reps Detroit and explores afro surrealist soundscapes across genres on this continuum of alternate realities.

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Sandor Katz: Fermentation Journeys
October 29, 2021

Sandor Katz has taught hundreds of workshops demystifying fermentation and empowering people to reclaim this transformational process. His book, The Art of Fermentation, received a James Beard award and was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In 2009, he was named one of Chow magazine’s top “provacateurs, trendsetters, and rabble-rousers.” This self-described "fermentation fetishist" treats us to a discussion of his new book, Fermentation Journeys. We talk about food writing and favorite food writers, the benefits of fermentation, being an adventurer in the kitchen, and what's fermenting in his refrigerator.

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Vivien Sansour on the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library
October 18, 2021

Vivien Sansour is the founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library. Trained in the field of Anthropology, Vivien has worked with farmers worldwide on issues relating to agriculture and independence. She is a 2020-2021 Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative Fellow at Harvard University where she is working on an autobiographical book documenting her work saving seeds in Palestine and around the world. Together we discussed how food sovereignty aligns with the struggle of Palestinian resistance, how biodiversity reflects and intersects with cultural diversity, how the military occupation of Palestine affects the farming practices that go on there, and how love is the greatest form of resistance to colonial oppression. She's brilliant.

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Sansour teaches Becoming Of The Land: Right Relationship Without Dominance - Understanding The Terrains We Inhabit, December 17–20.

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Jack Kornfield's 1983 Talk at Esalen: My Dharma Journey
October 1, 2021

This episode captures Jack Kornfield's lecture/ Dharma talk at Esalen on September 15th, 1983. Kornfield, one of the most articulate and compassionate voices in modern Western Buddhism, is co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah, about whom he speaks at length in this lecture. Kornfield has taught meditation worldwide since 1974 and is considered one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practices to the West. He’s the author of a host of books, including 1977’s Living Dharma, 1993’s A Path with Heart, and 2001’s After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. This talk is at turns funny, wise, and insightful. It awakens a certain kind of spirit in the listener. We're grateful to Kornfield for his continuing association with the Esalen Institute, and continuing devotion to the path of the heart.

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Justin Michael Williams: Fear and Faith
September 16, 2021

Justin Michael Williams is an author, speaker and musician who works at the intersection of social justice, mindfulness, and personal growth. Justin has become a pioneering voice of color for the new healing movement. His mission is to make sure that all people, of all backgrounds, have access to the information they need to change their lives. Together, we discussed the science of transformation, what it means to combat forces of oppression (in a healthy way), identity labels (and how they function for good and for bad within the activist framework), what it means to go beyond anti-racism, Justin's current take on the human potential movement, and more.

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Ayana Young: For the Wild
August 19, 2021

Ayana Young is a protector of wild nature and host of the podcast For the Wild - an interview-based show that examines and champions intersectional environmental and social justice, deep ecology, and land-based restoration. Topics include the Future History of Water, Queering Permaculture, Unruly Beauty, the Divine Time of Fungal Evolution, the Violence of Globalization, and much more. Together we talked about capitalisim, her involvement with the early stages of Occupy Wall Street, why she lives off the grid and how exactly that works with being an activist and media producer, the manner in which she curates her guests and creates episodic structure, and her thoughts on the future of humanity. Visit her work at forthewild.world/podcast.

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