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Esalen Integral Leadership Program

Please note: the Integral Leadership Program will not be offered in 2018.

For College Students and Recent Graduates

"I have also realized that so much of who I have become was due to people exposing me to new ideas and new places when I was in college and the years that followed…the Integral Leadership Program is really a service to the world that may not see the fruits for many years down the road, but will be part of the expansion and maturing of the mind of a whole generation."
— Dr. Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffettt, Religious Studies Program, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Our mission is to change the world by inspiring & supporting the next generation of conscious leaders.

Today’s world calls for a new paradigm of leadership. At Esalen, we believe that leadership is about being of service to the world and helping humanity to realize its fuller potential. Esalen’s Integral Leadership Program provides students with the opportunity to supplement university learning with an unparalleled immersion into the Esalen experience. The program explores conscious leadership skills that are critical for today’s world: emotional intelligence, ecological awareness, conflict resolution, and self-expression. Esalen’s integral, living-and-learning educational model combines classroom experiences and transformative practices with communal work and living, guided by the idea that the mental and physical dimensions of the self, other, and land are inextricably linked.

The Integral Leadership Program is open to university-enrolled, college-bound, “gap-year” students, and recent graduates. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion. Many schools offer credit for the Integral Leadership Program. Speak to your professor or external studies department to see if you qualify.

Integral Leadership Program Overview

Offered in the summer, the Integral Leadership Program helps students to build conscious leadership skills (emotional intelligence, ecological awareness, conflict resolution, and self-expression), awaken to their unique life’s calling, and cultivate a community of young, passionate people.

The onsite experience includes:

  • 28 days of shared housing in the breath-taking landscape of Big Sur
  • 38 educational class hours: presentations and interactive activities about conscious leadership and discovering one’s path
  • 32 "work-lab" hours per week in one of our departments (kitchen, cabins, farm and garden, or grounds)
  • 4 hours per week of group relational awareness practice
  • Access to daily movement classes (yoga, dance, tai chi, etc.)
  • Weekly open presentations by visiting thought leaders
  • Three meals per day prepared by the Esalen kitchen (much of it fresh from our on-site farm)
  • Access to Esalen’s famous hot springs, creative arts center, gym, gardens, pool, & meditation hut

Requirements for the Integral Leadership Certificate

  • Completion of the pre-campus workbook which includes reading, videos, and reflective questions based on the six conscious leadership skills (estimated time: 12 hours)
  • Attendance to the 45 onsite class hours
  • Completion of the 28-day guide onsite (estimated time: 10 minutes per day)
  • Completion of department work hours
  • Completion of reflective essay or project on integrating the skills developed at Esalen and how to apply them to leadership scenarios (estimated time: 8 hours)

To apply

We are not currently accepting applications.


Please address inquiries to

What Others Are Saying About ILP

“These skills have changed who I am as a human being. I went on a life chaning journey to know myself better and I have emerged a more thoughtful, compassionate and stable human being. I will take these skills with me in every conversation and in every attempt and endeavor to heal the world…I belive this leadership program, along with every moment spent being integrated into the world of Esalen, has prepared me to be a more enlightened being."
— Savannah Krueger

“I feel that I have found a bit of Esalen in me—and I will carry it with me wherever I go."
— Emma Leiken, Oberlin College

“If leaders don’t maintain harmony with the planet we will degrade and destroy it…As a leader, I will bring my love of nature with me."
— Luke Buchanan, University of Hawai’i

“When I discovered the Integral Leadership Program I knew I had to do it. I believe the best leaders are those who understand themselves, who listen to their hearts, who are compassionate and who are guided by noble values that benefit the greater good. I am on a quest to become this kind of leader."
— May Lam, Harvard Business School, Columbia University

I associated cold and stern with powerful and strong. At Esalen, over the course of the ILP month I saw how empowering sharing both my heart and mind in the workplace could be."
— Cathy della Cruz

"I've finally begun to see personal work as a means for imagining a freer world."
— Erica Detemmerman

“By allowing [space for] emotions, there is room for passion and excitement which can fuel productivity and innovation.”
— Luke Buchanan, University of Hawai’i

“The best thing about Esalen is that it provided me with the space and security to ask myself questions that I would never have thought of and I think I am a better listener now.”
— Georgia Sutter, Cal Poly State University


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