Esalen opens May 3, 2024

Visitors are now able to access Esalen as well as other businesses and trails in northern Big Sur via twice-daily convoys on Highway 1 operated by Caltrans.

Convoys run only at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day. These are the only opportunities to travel into and out of Big Sur, so visitors must plan accordingly.

Learn more.

Workshops

Our workshops are designed to support you in the challenging work of self exploration, in partnership with some of the leading minds of the day. Join us in discovering the next frontiers of individual and societal transformation. (Interested in a scholarship? Learn more here.)

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Find a workshop:
Continuing Education
Creativity & Culture
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Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
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Psychology & Self-awareness
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Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
May 31–June 3, 2024
May 31, 2024
  -  
June 3, 2024
May 31, 2024
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
Dan Zigmond
Mindfulness & Spirituality
All Workshops

When was the last time you gave something your undivided attention? Nearly 2,500 years ago, Buddha worried we had become too distracted — and that was before paper, let alone smartphones. In 2022, our days are filled with convenient distractions that promise happiness while mostly delivering busyness and frustration. So many of us today live life in a hectic fog, working too much and noticing too little.

There is a different way. For this weekend workshop, we will disconnect, slow down, and meditate together. We will learn the ancient Zen practice of sitting still, bringing our full awareness to what is now.

Our time together will follow a gentle schedule of sitting meditation punctuated by brief lectures, group discussion, relaxing meals, and soaks in the healing baths, all while exploring the process and practice of mindful living. We’ll be listening to our own bodies, noticing the food we eat, and truly engaging with the people around us – exploring what it means to be fully present.

Together we will explore everything you need to start, revive, or deepen your daily meditation practice. You will receive instruction in traditional Zen Buddhist meditation and we will sit together in guided sessions, practicing what we’ve learned. We’ll work together on everything from the mechanics of sitting posture to the mental barriers we all face. We’ll discuss how to overcome common obstacles to meditation and the many ways to incorporate more mindfulness and presence into our daily lives.

Whether you’re brand new to meditation or even if you’ve been practicing for years, join us in learning how to bring meditation into your life and mindfulness to your work and home – today and every day. Come reclaim a healthier and happier way to be.

Recommended Reading: Buddha’s Office, by Dan Zigmond

May
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 31 - June 2, 2024
May 31–June 2, 2024
May 31, 2024
  -  
June 2, 2024
May 31, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 31 - June 2, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

May
Awe and Wonder: An Exploration Through Science, Contemplation and Expressive Writing
May 31 – June 2, 2024
May 31, 2024
  -  
June 2, 2024
May 31, 2024
Awe and Wonder: An Exploration Through Science, Contemplation and Expressive Writing
Dacher Keltner and Mollie McNeil
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Awe is the feeling of encountering vast mysteries that transcend our current knowledge and understanding of the world. In its greatest sense, it is an astonished and transformative appreciation for the moral beauty of others, for nature, for the arts — and is always rooted in a spiritual understanding of life.  

In this new, paradigm-shifting workshop, we will uncover the latest scientific understandings of awe. By engaging in evolutionary and neuroscientific approaches to the mind, and considering the narrative and cultural meanings of awe, we will begin to tease out where this feeling lives in our own minds and hearts, and learn how to cultivate it more deeply.

Together, we will discover a number of practices to cultivate this transcendent amalgam of reverence, astonishment, and admiration in our own lives and how to deepen one’s relationship to it. We’ll travel by way of reflective writing, using expressive writing principles and models from Contemplative Studies.

During our time together, we will:

  • Learn the latest science and scholarship on awe and wonder.
  • Engage in contemplative practices related to awe.
  • Learn about literary, poetic, and aesthetic approaches to awe.
  • Learn to cultivate an awe-related writing and reflective practice.
  • Cultivate an awareness of possibilities for awe in everyday life.

Join us for this incredible opportunity to refresh your heart and mind in the breathtaking natural setting of Esalen and Big Sur.

Please bring a notebook or a journal and a pen.

May
Integrative Gestalt Coaching™
June 1–28, 2024
June 1, 2024
  -  
June 28, 2024
June 1, 2024
Integrative Gestalt Coaching™
Perry Holloman and Johanna Holloman
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Integrative Gestalt Coaching™ (IGC) is a comprehensive and interactive therapy method Perry Holloman developed over the last 40 years while living at Esalen. He and his wife, Johanna, travel and teach this approach in the USA, Europe, and Asia, working with individuals and groups and coaching businesses and communities.

This month-long program is designed for people who want to learn basic skills in the practice of Gestalt, applicable to both their personal lives as well as their work with individuals and groups.

Gestalt places high value on the development of awareness in the realm of our internal experience (personality structure) and our relational experience (family relationships, intimate relationships, professional relationships, and other dynamics). Developing awareness of how our internal experience influences our relationships — and how those relationships transform us personally — can have a powerful impact on the quality of our lives and will be a central focus of our time together.

Perry and Johanna have developed experiential exercises supported by theoretical knowledge to create a well-rounded program suited for persons who want a month of self-exploration and also those ready to cultivate Gestalt Coaching skills for their work with individuals and groups.

Recommended Reading: Aware by Dan Siegel and Breath by James Nestor

This workshop includes a $30 material fee.

June
Designing the Life We Want
June 3–7, 2024
June 3, 2024
  -  
June 7, 2024
June 3, 2024
Designing the Life We Want
Mark Nicolson
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you’d like? Are you going in the right direction? You have never before been where you are right now. You have never been the age you are today, never had the experiences you now possess. This is your time to pause and reflect. We rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to stop and look at what is changing — or discover what we truly need to feel fulfilled.

This very interactive workshop will include lots of experiential exercises. Though we will cover valuable theory and there will be plenty of reflection time, this will not be a series of talks/lectures. There will be movement, coaching, a little dance, and lots of activity. All participation will be voluntary at all times.

Our goal is to step back from our lives and renew. We will create a courageous community to both challenge and nurture ourselves. Participants will have the opportunity to learn what brings them joy and purpose, and then cultivate a vision to serve as a foundation for both the next year and next phase of life.

We will engage in a progression of individual and group exercises focused on reflection, movement, and listening to our inner wisdom. We’ll discover how to navigate major life transitions and learn skills to access our intuition. We will uncover the behaviors that support our overall success, and reveal which ones undermine our goals and fulfillment. If you are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around you, this program of renewal will be especially valuable.

This workshop has an additional $30 of faculty tuition.

June
Creative Path: Hiking and Artistic Connection on the Big Sur Coast
June 3–7, 2024
June 3, 2024
  -  
June 7, 2024
June 3, 2024
Creative Path: Hiking and Artistic Connection on the Big Sur Coast
Fletcher Tucker and Noël Vietor
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Nature & Sustainability
Relationship & Communication

Sitting in stillness to draw a flower, tracing the mountain’s slope with brushstrokes by eye, following the sound of waves down corridors of memory, and free association through writing – these are gestures of connection as much as they are creative acts. Join us for an intimate creative workshop on the enchanted grounds of Esalen Institute and along the trails of the Big Sur coast to explore art making as a relational practice with the wild.

Immersed in the outdoors during the first lovely days of summer, we will write, draw, and craft to nourish our innate creative capacities and cultivate kinship with the land. We will hike to set ourselves on the creative path, grounding our bodies and opening our senses as we move through the landscape. While emphasizing a spirit of play and practice over product and gathering inspiration and materials from the environment, we will engage with a variety of media as pathways of meaningful connection with the self and the natural world.

Acknowledging Big Sur to be a precious, biodiverse wilderness and the sacred ancestral land of the Esselen Tribe, our artistic gestures will be humble offerings of reverent attention to the living world. May we joyfully participate in a collective creativity – one we share with the trees, boulders, rivers, birds, and all beings – to honor the Earth and our interconnectedness.

Activities will include:

  • Writing exercises in prose and poetry inspired by the land.
  • Botanical, landscape, and experiential drawing practices.
  • Wildcrafting paintbrushes and inks from sustainable materials in the environment.
  • Check-in circles to facilitate meaning-making and relationship-building amongst our cohort.
  • Mindfulness and nature awareness practices to expand awareness of self and landscape.

Please note that this workshop is for people with all levels of creative practice, including those with no previous experience. You do not need to identify as an “artist” to participate. Various hiking abilities can be accommodated, but bear in mind that day hikes will be up to five miles long with rugged, uneven, and sometimes steep terrain. Participants must be able to sit on the ground for periods of time. If you have any questions about your ability to participate, please read the workshop FAQs or email info@wildtender.com. Answers to frequently asked questions about the workshop can be found here.

This workshop includes a $40 material fee and $60 of additional tuition for park fees and art supplies.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 3-7, 2024
June 3–7, 2024
June 3, 2024
  -  
June 7, 2024
June 3, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 3-7, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Poetry and the Page: Writing as a Healing Path
June 3–7, 2024
June 3, 2024
  -  
June 7, 2024
June 3, 2024
Poetry and the Page: Writing as a Healing Path
Heidi Rose Robbins
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

We are going to write. We are going to gather and fill our notebooks with prose, poetry, and possibility.

The moment we dare to show up on a blank page, we begin to transform our pain and fear. We reclaim energy when we write our truths. The page is a great reflection of our inner lives and offers the possibility of the new. In our days together, Heidi will share poetry and prose and offer prompts for inspiration and exploration.

We will definitely explore the beauty of poetry, but we will write in all manner of forms. Do not feel that you need to write poetry this week. Write anything and everything. You will have space and time and plenty of inspiration to put your heart on the page.

Now and then, we will also share our work with one another. When we read our work out loud, we catalyze the changes we are exploring in our lives. When we name something about ourselves or our world and sound it forth, we begin to set it free or make it manifest!

Heidi’s writing has spanned decades. Her love of poetry infuses all that she writes. Esalen itself is a nature poem, and to write in a landscape that is poetic is truly a gift.

Join Heidi for a weeklong of nourishing, deep-diving days.

Recommended reading: Everyday Radiance: 365 Zodiac-Inspired Prompts for Self-Care and Self-Renewal by Heidi Rose Robbins; Zodiac Love Letters by Heidi Rose Robbins; Wild Compassion by Heidi Rose Robbins; This Beckoning Ceaseless Beauty by Heidi Rose Robbins

June
The Art of Non-Sleep Deep Rest: A Rejuvenating Yoga Nidra Retreat
June 7–9, 2024
June 7, 2024
  -  
June 9, 2024
June 7, 2024
The Art of Non-Sleep Deep Rest: A Rejuvenating Yoga Nidra Retreat
Kelly Boys
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

In this retreat, you will get in touch with a deep relaxation to rejuvenate the body and the mind through non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) and yoga nidra. No matter your reasons — whether you need a break from the constant pressure, are in a life transition, or just want to delve deeper into your meditation practice — this retreat will provide space and time for contemplation and reflection.

The term non-sleep deep rest, coined by Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, refers to a waking state of deep relaxation that maintains awareness. Evidence suggests reaching this state through NSDR protocols such as yoga nidra can reset dopamine levels and provide other physical and mental health benefits — including better sleep and enhanced neuroplasticity.

We’ll go on an inner journey together, and the hope is we’ll emerge more connected to both ourselves and our life paths to leave feeling refreshed and deeply rested.

Together, we will:

  • Practice yoga nidra for restoration and rejuvenation.
  • Discover the connection between nondual meditation and yoga nidra for deepening our meditation practices.
  • Reflect on where we are in our lives and leave with a greater sense of self-connection and clarity.
  • Dialogue about meditation for connection and community.
  • Learn about the link between non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) and better sleep.

Suggested Reading: The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What’s Right in Front of You, By Kelly Boys

This workshop includes an additional $50 faculty tuition.

June
Embodied Voice
June 7–9, 2024
June 7, 2024
  -  
June 9, 2024
June 7, 2024
Embodied Voice
The Brothers Koren
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

Come home to your whole body instrument and discover your unique sound!

Isaac and Thorald Koren have been guiding people home to their voices for over 20 years, through their original embodied approach.

They both believe singing and speaking are radical acts of self-expression and that exploring your instrument with full freedom takes tremendous courage. Science confirms the healing power of the voice — that intentional vocal toning creates measurable vitality and joy in our lives and empowers our whole body experience of life itself.

During this weekend exploration of your Embodied Voice, the brothers set a safe space for you to reclaim your power and connection to your body through a series of practical and experiential practices that require no prior musical or singing ability. Through simple and fun exercises, they will help you ground down into the gravity of your whole body instrument and sound out powerfully what it feels like to be you and alive.

The benefits are clear: from finding new freedom and trust in your singing and speaking voice, to moving through voice trauma and learning to use your voice as a sacred healing tool. Practically, whether speaking at a conference, teaching a class, or singing in an arena, we see it as all one center of personal gravity, held deeply in the Embodied Voice you’ve been gifted this lifetime. These are joyful and rewarding practices that you can integrate into your daily life.

The brothers’ method invites you away from performing and welcomes you into a real time experience of your voice, reclaiming a new relationship to your own expressive self, deepening a  connection to the music of the Earth and the resonance of life.

The brothers  invite you to experience your voice as incomparable, unmistakable, fascinating, and wholly distinct. They welcome you to experience your soul’s voice through fun and embodied practices of self-expression, union, and communion.

No musical or singing experience required.

Beginners encouraged!

June
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 7- 9, 2024
June 7–9, 2024
June 7, 2024
  -  
June 9, 2024
June 7, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 7- 9, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Into the Field of Possibility: Meeting Your Essence Through Dance
June 10–14, 2024
June 10, 2024
  -  
June 14, 2024
June 10, 2024
Into the Field of Possibility: Meeting Your Essence Through Dance
Jovinna Chan
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Dance is one of the world’s most ancient transformative rituals. From the whirling dervish to the Shamans, the waltz to the rave, we dance for joy, healing, and connection — guided by wisdom that transcends the thinking brain.

This five-day retreat is an invitation to come together to awaken the forgotten wild, ignite your creativity, and dance our way to wholeness. Through an alchemical combination of movement, nature, and sound healing, we’ll reconnect our bodies and minds,  digest our feelings and emotions, and open ourselves to the wisdom of our hearts. Most of all, we’ll expand our vision to include a bigger perspective on our spiritual and human interconnectedness.

The practices we’ll cultivate this week will help you:

  • Release fear, inhibition, and judgment.
  • Trust your body’s innate wisdom to guide you.
  • Revive a sluggish nervous system.
  • Clear energetic blockages.
  • Step into your uniqueness and self-expression with confidence.

Allow yourself to be nourished by this sacred land, the hot spring waters, the time we share together, and the friends you’ll make. Experience the beauty, awe, and wonder of being alive so you may return home rejuvenated and inspired to continue walking your unique life path.

This workshop includes an additional $100 faculty tuition.

June
Finding Your Spirit Guides: Building A Relationship with the Unseen World
June 10–14, 2024
June 10, 2024
  -  
June 14, 2024
June 10, 2024
Finding Your Spirit Guides: Building A Relationship with the Unseen World
Brenda Rose
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

We all have spirit guides. They are part of your soul family and spiritual GPS. Tuning into them takes patience, trust, and assistance from the Other Side. Learn to access your spirit guides in this kind-hearted immersion that welcomes seekers at all levels of experience and at any stage of healing.

This unique class dives deeply to understand and amplify the unseen support, healing, and unconditional love from spirit guides. Most people are unaware of the guides they are born with, let alone how to connect with them. Yet many of us have experienced a loving presence at critical moments of our lives or in our moments of serenity. What would be possible for your life if you could access that unconditional love, support, and guidance in a more dependable way?

This special and intensely personal class is designed for those who are ready to connect with the spirit guides who are always by your side, just waiting to assist, support, play, and dance with you. Connecting with your spirit guides is a profoundly intimate and expansive experience. Once this connection is made, it is forever — to utilize as you wish and create whatever you desire of it.

This course will introduce and connect you with your guides and set in place a framework to engage with them steadily and reliably. Each session is interactive and includes instruction and meditation practices to ensure that your experience creates the conditions for spiritual expansion. With support, you can better focus your energies to live an empowered, compassionate life that you love. The support and love available to you from the unseen world means you are never truly alone or disconnected.

This class is for the moderately experienced spiritual seeker who is energetically sensitive, open, and curious to receive support from beyond the veil. Previous meditation practice is helpful but not required. This course is great for people who:

  • Have a regular meditation practice and want to experience more active guidance and inspiration from the Spirit World.
  • Experience intuitive hits but get frustrated or doubt themselves because they don’t have the experience regularly.
  • Somewhat understand what meditation is, are clear there’s something beyond what we can touch, and are passionately curious to learn more.
  • Are in need of spiritual restoration and are ready to show up and reconnect with the most resilient part of themselves: their Spirit.

This workshop has a $30 material fee.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 10-14, 2024
June 10–14, 2024
June 10, 2024
  -  
June 14, 2024
June 10, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 10-14, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Art As A Spiritual Path: Discovering Your Creative Mandala
June 10–14, 2024
June 10, 2024
  -  
June 14, 2024
June 10, 2024
Art As A Spiritual Path: Discovering Your Creative Mandala
Paul Heussenstamm
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

For over 30 years, Paul Heussenstamm has been traveling worldwide and teaching Art as a Spiritual Path. His beautiful soul mandalas have been created by individuals who have never painted before, and others seeking to expand their creativity through mandala practice. Mandala painting is a genuine form of meditation, cultivating inner harmony as the mandala births itself through painting participants.

Art as a Spiritual Path has been taught at Esalen since the 90’s, and we have shared the wisdom of the mandalas with participants from all over the world. The mandala, an integrated image of wholeness, dates back to ancient times. Mandala practice, while painting, opens the heart, calms the mind, and has the capacity to expand consciousness.

During this dynamic program, we will…

  • Learn to speak a new language through colors and shapes
  • Experience integration of the heart with the mind
  • Open the heart, birthing spontaneous natural creativity
  • Undergo transformation through surrendering to the practice

Reveal the artist inside each of us!

The workshop is a gentle entry into the left brain hemisphere revealing the capacity to open each of us to the creative experience. Each participant joins the workshop as an individual, while the mandala binds the group together, as we all work together to have each individual artist reveal a beautiful, meditative, and radiant mandala.

There is no experience necessary as the workshop technique has been simplified to allow either a beginner or advanced creative person to have the experience of finishing a mandala and/or another sacred image. This workshop includes an additional $25 for materials.

June
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
June 14–17, 2024
June 14, 2024
  -  
June 17, 2024
June 14, 2024
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
Warren Farrell
All Workshops
Relationship & Communication

Since falling in love is biologically natural, but sustaining love is biologically unnatural, Soul Mate focuses on the art and discipline of sustaining love. You begin with learning how to appreciate your partner so specifically and frequently that your partner feels fully seen and loved.

You then practice both the art and discipline of hearing your partner’s criticisms without becoming defensive. For example, so you don’t have to fear “walking on eggshells” before sharing a concern, your partner first learns how to prepare her or himself to emotionally associate your criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved.

Soul Mate is designed as the next evolutionary shift beyond active listening. Active listening allowed the criticizer to feel heard, but failed to teach the person hearing the criticism how to emotionally associate the criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved. The problem? Unless the receiver of criticism feels safe the person sharing their concern cannot feel safe.

You will learn a series of practices you may integrate into your everyday life:

Six methods of sustaining a “conflict free zone” for 166 hours of your 168-hour week.

A “Caring and Sharing Time” the remaining two hours by practicing six mindsets that allow you to not feel defensive when criticized.

“Eight Wisdoms” as a foundation for deepening your love

The four “depleters of love,” aka the “Four C’s” (Criticisms, Complaints, Controlling, and Complacency)

How to use your new skills with your children, parents and colleagues at work.

How to use music and dancing to revitalize your love (to be practiced by dancing before each session)

To sustain your practice after the workshop, I invite you to multiple free, ongoing, group follow-up calls to resolve stumbling blocks. If you wish to review the insights and exercises at any time, you will also have the option of purchasing a Zoom version of the course.

This workshop is for couples of all genders and sexual orientations.  Developed over the past 30 years, the workshop is also used by many health professionals in their work with clients and patients.

Recommended resources: Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, pp. 1-87, by Dr. Warren Farrell; additional video content on warrenfarrell.com.

June
Tibetan Yoga, Breath & Sound: Understanding and Practicing with Our Subtle Body
June 14–16, 2024
June 14, 2024
  -  
June 16, 2024
June 14, 2024
Tibetan Yoga, Breath & Sound: Understanding and Practicing with Our Subtle Body
Alejandro Chaoul
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement

Tibetan yogis, monks, and nuns are human like you and me; they have feelings, emotions, and obstacles in their lives, and they understand ancient yogic practices that help them enrich those lives and overcome those obstacles. These same practices can benefit and transform our lives, too.

Tibetan mind-energy-body wellness practices remained secret recipes for centuries. Only in the last couple of decades, as they have been researched scientifically, have they started to become known in the West, where they are now practiced by thousands of people. Those who engage with them can discover and tap into a radical sense of presence — an aliveness in the midst of chaos,  like a lotus flower coming out of the mud or the sun illuminating everything without bias.

During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan mind-energy-body wellness by:

  • Experientially practicing meditative yogic techniques.
  • Utilizing the healing power of breath-energy and sounds as links to support a healthy body and a more aware state of mind.
  • Learning the current scientific research in the field.

All are welcome at this workshop, which will encourage participants to explore the potential of their subtle bodies as described in yogic and medical texts. Composed of channels and chakras, these powerful tools for meditative practice can benefit all and be brought into everyday life.

This workshop includes an additional $20 of faculty tuition.

June
Tuning to the Frequency of Love: Sound Journeys to Transform Your Life
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
  -  
June 21, 2024
June 17, 2024
Tuning to the Frequency of Love: Sound Journeys to Transform Your Life
Deva Munay
All Workshops
Sound Healing

Those who know the secret of sound know the mystery of the whole universe. – Hazrat Inayat Khan

Come away with peace of mind, a joyful heart, and sacred nourishment for your very best summer! Join us for this celebration of the solstice as we tune into the frequency of love through a series of sound journeys with alchemy crystal singing bowls. By working with universal laws, sound journeys have the ability to usher us into an altered state of consciousness. Many physicists call this the quantum field, and often shamans refer to it as unity or cosmic consciousness. From this expanded state we can release stress, blockages, and tension held within to bring forth greater states of joy and well-being.

During our time together, we will delve into ancient sound practices as well as modern scientific research. This will allow us to gain an understanding, on both somatic and cognitive levels, of how the power of sound can transform our lives.

Each day will include specially curated sound journeys, mindfulness practices, movement, bespoke teachings, and community connection. Supported by the earth, healing mineral waters, fresh ocean air, and starry skies, we invite you to slow down and drop into the serenity of rest as the outside world recedes, allowing your soul’s wisdom to shine through.

Together, we will explore the grace states of compassion, courage, gratitude, joy, generosity, and love. As we gain greater awareness of how our frequencies impact our relationships and health on all levels, we can begin to rewire limiting beliefs, befriend our fears, and bring our energy centers back into balance, transforming our world from the inside out.

June
The Nature of Movement: Embodiment and the Wilds
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
  -  
June 21, 2024
June 17, 2024
The Nature of Movement: Embodiment and the Wilds
Steven Harper
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability

“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.”~ Alan Watts

Throughout the ages and across cultural traditions, nature has inspired the human spirit. The wilderness of Big Sur allows us to imprint the collective wisdom of this alive and wild coast in our bodies. The ancient redwood-forested canyons, dramatic meeting of earth and sea, and soft grassy hills remind us of the presence, wisdom, and deep sense of belonging that live in each of us.

This workshop will present simple yet profound practices designed to help us access our connections with the essential movement processes of life — and enhance our capacity to both participate and innovate. Along with physical practices, group discussions, and direct experience of nature, we will draw on ancient movement traditions of tai chi, aikido, and contemporary somatic practices that offer ways of centering, grounding, and knowing our belonging to the greater community of being.

During our time together, we will venture out on four to eight-mile hikes. Being immersed in the wild we are in an intimate embodied sensory dialogue that literally invites us to come to our senses. We will experience increasingly refined awareness and explore perceptual practices to enhance our sensitivity to all the wilderness offers, and reawaken the elements of wilderness within. With awakened senses, we can receive nature’s richness and beauty, inspiring a deepening relationship with grounding, centering, and embodiment.

All evenings and most meals will be at Esalen. All levels of experience are welcome, although participants should be prepared for vigorous physical activity that the mountains of Big Sur require — and the opportunity to simply sit still in quiet reflection. More information and a waiver will be sent upon registration. For an equipment list and frequently asked questions about Steven’s workshops, visit FAQs.

An additional $80 of faculty tuition and $40 to cover park fees have been added to this workshop.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 17-21, 2024
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
  -  
June 21, 2024
June 17, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 17-21, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Relational Gestalt Practice: Presence, Contact and Communication
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
  -  
June 21, 2024
June 17, 2024
Relational Gestalt Practice: Presence, Contact and Communication
Dorothy Charles
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

In 1938, researchers at Harvard University began a 75-year study that addressed life’s fundamental question: What makes a good life? The Grant Study, also known as the Harvard Study of Adult Development, found strong relationships to be the clearest predictor of life satisfaction.

In Relational Gestalt practice, direct and response-able communication is essential for creating intimacy and strengthening our bonds to others. The benefits that flow from solid relationships with partners, relatives, and friends, can be a source of connection and great joy in our lives.

Sometimes, the ways we’ve learned to communicate in relationship creates more distance rather than contact with the people who are important to us.

In this workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to become aware of the ways you communicate; you’ll have the chance to learn, unlearn, and practice ways of communicating to enhance your connection to others. Together, we will explore how the past may be keeping you from making use of the contact that is available in the here and now.

Over the course of the weekend, we will use dyads, repeating questions and open seat sessions designed to facilitate communication and understanding.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 21- 23, 2024
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
  -  
June 23, 2024
June 21, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 21- 23, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Renewing Purpose: Modern Rituals to Navigate Life Transitions
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
  -  
June 23, 2024
June 21, 2024
Renewing Purpose: Modern Rituals to Navigate Life Transitions
Day Schildkret
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

As life changes, we also must change — yet this isn’t guaranteed. Too many of us get stuck at our thresholds. Ritual can help us cultivate discernment, recognize gains and losses, and conjure possibility. Join us for a transformative workshop designed to provide the skills and understanding needed to create your own modern rituals. Learn to reflect, reimagine, and renew the purpose of your life’s next chapter.

Guided by award-winning author, artist, teacher, and ritualist Day Schildkret, you are invited to:

  • Learn the ins and outs of this ancient technology to expertly navigate change.
  • Learn the power of “symbolic action” to align your psycho-spiritual experience.
  • Craft your own modern ritual to mark your personal threshold and rediscover yourself.
  • Discover the 7-step Morning Altars practice to use nature, art, and ritual for understanding and meaning.
  • Experience the support and witness of others also renewing their life’s purpose.
  • Create custom “Threshold Wonderings” that provide reflection, refinement, and direction.
  • Discover the meaning-making skills needed to step into your life thresholds with renewed grace and purpose.

This workshop is designed for anyone in a life transition who wants to renew their life’s purpose. Crafted with great care, we welcome all genders, races, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Threshold moments are meant to be crossed together. Join us if you feel your transition has become protracted or need greater support and attention to skillfully move to your next chapter.

Recommended Reading: Hello, Goodbye. By Day Schildkret

June
Ayurveda and Emotional Wellness
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
  -  
June 23, 2024
June 21, 2024
Ayurveda and Emotional Wellness
Siva Mohan with Guest Faculty Sunshine Zerda and Guest Musician QVLN
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

The latest research clearly demonstrates the powerful impact emotional experiences have on our health and longevity. While we know this to be true, we don’t always know how to be emotionally well.

During this weekend, we’ll open the door to greater emotional intelligence and perception. With a combination of lectures, interactive exercises, live music, breathwork, movement (yoga and dance), and meditation, we’ll practice understanding our feelings — and how to respond to them.

We’ll explore emotional wellness through the lens of Ayurveda, customizing our healing based on what we are experiencing in real time. This, in turn, increases our depth of connection with ourselves and others.

In this experiential workshop, we’ll be invited to learn Ayurvedic approaches to:

  • Emotional wellness
  • Self-assessment
  • Psychospiritual healing
  • Customizing healing tools

There will be movement in this program. Guest faculty QVLN + Sunshine Zerda will lead us in a transformational dance experience with guided somatic release. Everyone, from beginners to advanced students of Ayurveda, is welcome.

Recommended Reading: Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers and Students by Dr. Siva Mohan (Chapter on Emotional Wellness)

June
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
  -  
June 23, 2024
June 21, 2024
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
Jenny Pareno and Ellen Watson
All Workshops
Healing Arts & Massage

This workshop is a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy the natural beauty of Esalen’s land while gaining a foundation in Esalen® Massage. Senior teachers and staff will guide you in this experience of connection and presence translated to the massage table.

Through lecture, demonstration and practice with your fellow students, you  will be introduced to the essentials, including quality of touch, rapport, a respect for our natural impulse toward healing, and mindful body mechanics. You will listen to what is felt as well as what is said. You will learn how to comfortably drape, and how to easily apply the foundational long, integration strokes and gentle stretches. You will have plenty of time for guided practice and to effectively share your experience. At the end of the weekend, you will be able to give a simple massage to friends and family back home.

Esalen massage promotes feelings of wholeness and reconnects us with our natural state of being. Teaching tools include experiential exercises to awaken the senses, demonstrations, and tableside guidance appropriate for you. The class will enjoy an optional evening in the hot tubs, birthplace of Esalen® Massage. The class is appropriate for the new and curious as well as the professional who would like to rejuvenate their senses and the quality of their touch.

10 hours of CE credit will be provided by the faculty.  For more information on CE email EMBA@esalen.org.

June
Come Together: A Festival for IntraConnectivity and Spirit
June 24–28, 2024
June 24, 2024
  -  
June 28, 2024
June 24, 2024
Come Together: A Festival for IntraConnectivity and Spirit
Daniel Siegel, Rhonda V. Magee, Tom Little Bear Nason, Elissa Epel and Douglas Drummond
All Workshops
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

We live in times of rapid change and high stress. You are not alone if you’re experiencing the unease of increasing personal, societal, and global pressures — the pain of witnessing widespread social injustices and devastating ecological crises. These shared challenges create opportunities for us to heal from within in order to heal the world — to reconsider our relationships to our inner lives, one another, and the planet — to choose a life of peak purpose, intraconnectedness and interdependence.

A collective trauma of modern life is the portrayal of our identities as fundamentally separate. And yet, who we are is part of a tapestry of wholeness that modern culture often tells us does not exist.

Indigenous and contemplative teachings for thousands of years have offered insights into the deeply connected reality of our lives. Today science is catching up with this ancient wisdom. This gathering is a celebration and a sacred opportunity to shape cultural evolution towards a world of compassion and connection.    

Esalen Institute is excited to present a timely curation of five individual powerhouses in their fields of expertise: Dan Siegel (interpersonal neurobiology), Elissa Epel (science of stress), Rhonda V Magee (soulfulness and the inner work of social justice), Esselen Tribal Elder, Tom Little Bear Nason and Douglas Drummond (reconciliation and somatic facilitator), and powerful musicians: Sanga of the Valley, Nick Ayers, and Tihikpas. This unique synergy of leading voices across body, mind, relationships and spirit disciplines is designed to nurture connections not only with your fellow participants, with your own body/mind, but also with your own ancestors, and the ancient, sacred Esselen land that the Esalen Institute resides upon.

This weaving of the inner and the inter- can simply be named as the intraconnected nature of the wholeness of our fully integrated lives. Expect a renewed way of experiencing life, a more mindful and socially just way of connecting to other humans, and the profound feeling of the interdependence of our planet with a sense of purpose. This synergistic and immersive journey of exploration and intraconnectedness of the self links our inner lives to those of fellow humans and to all of nature — creating deeper ways to bring healing and transformation into our shared world.

The Come Together Festival of IntraConnectivity and Spirit will be guided by practices reflecting both indigenous and contemporary wisdom. You will explore deep lessons from embodied mindfulness, interpersonal neurobiology, and the sacred hoop — the four directions of the sacred hoop of life.

Why do we need this? To establish, renew, and recharge our commitments to stewardship of our communities and Mother Earth in these rapidly changing and transformational times.

This campus wide festival of togetherness and intraconnection will involve deep listening, experiential activities, lectures, and discussions. Come ready to receive and to give. We will incorporate ritual, meditation, nature immersion, and movement into each day.

Come together with Tom Little Bear, Rhonda Magee, Elissa Epel, Dan Siegel and Douglas Drummond as we create new pathways to sacred connection and explore, learn, laugh, love, and bring healing to ourselves and our world.

If this invitation speaks to your heart, you are already joined with us in spirit! Join us this June to experience connecting in-person, on sacred land.

This workshop has an additional $200 of faculty tuition.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 24-28, 2024
June 24–28, 2024
June 24, 2024
  -  
June 28, 2024
June 24, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of June 24-28, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
June
Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony
June 28–July 1, 2024
June 28, 2024
  -  
July 1, 2024
June 28, 2024
Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony
East Forest and Radha Weppner
All Workshops
Sound Healing

Now more than ever, it is important we build practices to strengthen our internal resolve and self-resourcing amidst a dynamically shifting society. Together, we will listen to our heart’s wisdom in this rich four-day journey (Monday to Friday) through sound, ceremony, and self-discovery.

In this intimate and transformative workshop, you will have the unique opportunity to experience multiple East Forest’s live music performances. Additionally, Radha will lead us in embodiment practices of Self-Awakening Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Pranayama to create an all-levels and accessible doorway to inner insights. Through the primacy of our own heart-opening and felt experience, we can discover the inner pathways to fortitude and healing.

East Forest and Radha would like to offer a certain amount of scholarship to those in need. Please apply with this form. If further assistance would be helpful, you may also apply for an Esalen scholarship.

***Please note: While the retreat space and exercises are conducive to deep inner work, the facilitators and Esalen do not condone the use of or provide substances of any kind.

  • Intimate live musical performances by East Forest
  • Group co-creative musical process with East Forest
  • Daily morning yoga and meditation practices
  • Awe-inspiring time in nature
  • Yoga
  • Pranayama
  • Meditation and group insight exercises
  • Journaling
  • Dance party

This workshop includes an additional $290 faculty tuition.

June
Mother Tongue: 5Rhythms® Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness
June 28–30, 2024
June 28, 2024
  -  
June 30, 2024
June 28, 2024
Mother Tongue: 5Rhythms® Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness
Lucia Horan
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Yoga & Movement

Rhythm is the universal mother tongue. It is the language of the soul. — Gabrielle Roth

Silent introspection through seated meditation and the dynamic movement practice of the 5Rhythms® both support unlocking gateways to celebration and joy. Together, we will unite these healing modalities in an environment that cultivates peace, balance, and well-being. Through sweat and stillness, we will ride the rhythms of the mother tongue and turn the heart toward self-realization.

The 5Rhythms dance method, focused on presence versus performance, is where movement becomes the metaphor for all of life. It teaches us how energy moves and where it gets stuck. The rhythms of Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness help us to more skillfully understand and navigate the inner and outer landscapes of reality.

Trauma-sensitive mindfulness builds a container to hold both movement and stillness in a way that supports all you are facing. This approach offers tools that allow you to both “work with” and “be with” what is present.

This workshop will include:

  • 5Rhythms practice and theory (expect both gentle and vigorous movement)
  • Trauma-sensitive mindfulness practice and philosophy
  • Seated meditation
  • Walking meditation
  • Live music
  • Sound healing
  • Sharing circles

Please note that though this is trauma-informed work, trauma is not the specific focus of this workshop.

This workshop includes an additional $100 faculty tuition.

June
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 28-30, 2024
June 28–30, 2024
June 28, 2024
  -  
June 30, 2024
June 28, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of June 28-30, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

June
Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® Mindfulness & Art Celebration
July 1–5, 2024
July 1, 2024
  -  
July 5, 2024
July 1, 2024
Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® Mindfulness & Art Celebration
Lucia Horan and Douglas Drummond with Guest Musicians Sanga of the Valley, Nick Ayers and Leah Song
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

When we experience moments of ecstasy, we taste what life is meant to be. — Gabrielle Roth

The 5Rhythms® maps hold all the information required to lead us where we want to go. What is your destination? There is a science to achieving ecstatic states, and this is the mastery we have come to share. This workshop is designed for all who want to discover these possibilities for entering altered states in a natural way.

"I want to take you to a place of pure magic ... It's the place athletes call ‘the zone.’ Buddhists call ‘satori’ and ravers call ‘trance.’ I call it the Silver Desert. It's a place of pure light that holds the dark within it. It's a place of pure rhythm,” wrote Gabrielle Roth. Her dance and somatic meditation can assist you in navigating your way out of resistance and into ecstasy and help you build a skill set that supports balance, ease, and joy. If you have been looking to increase appreciation, gratitude, and happiness, now is a perfect time to celebrate being alive in the wild, wondrous, natural beauty of Esalen.

This course will include:

  • 5Rhythms dance both indoors and outside by daylight and moonlight
  • Creating art in nature through group projects with resident artists
  • Trauma-sensitive mindfulness, including Dharma talk and sitting and walking meditations
  • Group sharing circles with optional men’s and women’s circles
  • Live and recorded music
  • An evening program guest speaker

Lucia and Douglas, the dancing duo, invite you to join them for a week of dance and celebration under the new moon. Together with our team of musicians and artists, we seek to bring you inspiration and lightness so you return home feeling nurtured and alive.

Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth, Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth, Connections by Gabrielle Roth, Dancing with the Dharma edited by Harrison Blum

This workshop has an additional $100 of faculty tuition.

July
Self-Guided Explorations Week of July 1-5, 2024
July 1–5, 2024
July 1, 2024
  -  
July 5, 2024
July 1, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of July 1-5, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
July
In(ter)dependence Weekend
July 5–7, 2024
July 5, 2024
  -  
July 7, 2024
July 5, 2024
In(ter)dependence Weekend
Janet Stone
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Through yoga and intentional music crafted from ancient beats, we’re thrilled to gather as a community to celebrate our inter-dependence.

We’ll dive into meditation, pranayama, chanting, yoga asana, dance, hot baths, lovingly prepared food, open time, and space for connection, creativity and collaboration.

Meet us at sacred Esalen on the cliffs, in the hot baths, in the redwoods, on the mat, in the heart.

Let’s rediscover the power of connection together.

10 hours of Continuing Education hours are available with Yoga Alliance; See leader.

This workshop includes an additional $110 faculty tuition.

July
The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
July 5–7, 2024
July 5, 2024
  -  
July 7, 2024
July 5, 2024
The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
Perry Holloman and Johanna Holloman
All Workshops
Relationship & Communication
Psychology & Self-awareness

Fostering close and connected relationships is one of the most important things affecting the quality of our lives. Cultivating trust and openness with a loved one, whether with an intimate partner or friend, is an essential aspect of any successful, supportive relationship.

This weekend, Perry and Johanna Holloman, intimate partners and friends for over 30 years, will share the most effective tools and practices they have developed to nurture their connection to each other.

The primary tool Perry and Johanna will share is called Gestalt Inquiry. This easy-to-learn, powerful practice provides a safe context for exploring the most meaningful and sensitive aspects of relationships. Perry and Johanna like to think of it as a practice that becomes a continuing part of any successful long-term relationship because it places high value on compassion, respect, and love of truth. As we learn to discover and safely express what is true for us, individually, as a couple, or as friends, we deepen our heart’s capacity for intimacy and connection, which leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful shared life.

During our time together, you will learn practices and resources to integrate into your everyday life, such as:

  • Embodied practices involving movement, breath, meditation, and awareness to develop a sense of palpable presence as the foundation upon which your relationship can flourish.
  • The Art of Conscious Dialogue: learning to care as much about understanding our partner and what they’re communicating as we care about being heard and understood by them.
  • How to express needs, feelings, and appreciations in an attuned manner to deepen relational trust.
  • Understanding the “distancing behaviors” we engage in, usually as an unconscious form of defense against vulnerability and contact.
  • Learning to co-regulate each other in structured exercises, emphasizing compassion and respect so presence-based relating naturally arises.

This workshop is for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. A couple may be any two people with a history who desire a better future together, e.g., friends, partners, married or divorced spouses, parent and child, siblings, and others.

This workshop includes an additional $50 faculty tuition.

July
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 5-7, 2024
July 5–7, 2024
July 5, 2024
  -  
July 7, 2024
July 5, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 5-7, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
July
Summer Yoga Gathering
July 8–12, 2024
July 8, 2024
  -  
July 12, 2024
July 8, 2024
Summer Yoga Gathering
Janet Stone
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Let’s meet together at Esalen, beneath the summer sun, and immerse in the power of movement, community, music, and the glory of this land and her three waters.

Janet Stone, joined by a luminous cast of musicians and teachers, will welcome you to a journey so rich with connection and an opportunity to reset.

At the edge of the world, we will look simultaneously inward and outward to reintegrate ourselves into the natural world and our deep inner wisdom.

Through yoga, mythology, chanting, dancing, and music

We’ll create a different kind of playground for the internal senses.

Come dance, sit, and wonder with us as we honor the naturalness of transition, the outward and inward, and the waxing and waning of this precious life. Please bring a yoga mat.

CE Credit Available: 30 hours of continued education credit for registered yoga teachers (RYT) available through Yoga Alliance; see leader.

This workshop includes an additional $220 faculty tuition.

July
Journey to Wholeness: Embodying the Ancient Teaching of Yoga and Yoga Nidra into Your Modern Life
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
  -  
July 19, 2024
July 12, 2024
Journey to Wholeness: Embodying the Ancient Teaching of Yoga and Yoga Nidra into Your Modern Life
John Vosler and Laura McKinzie
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement

The highest spiritual practice is self observation without judgment. — Swami Kripalu

Welcome to Esalen, a sacred haven, where the echoes of nature harmonize with the rhythms of self-discovery. This workshop invites you to embark on a transformative seven-day experience designed to nourish your mind, body, heart, and spirit. Take a deep dive into yoga wisdom and immerse yourself in the profound teachings of Yoga and Yoga Nidra.

More than a workshop, this experience can help you discover the roadmap to your true self. Guided by seasoned instructors, we’ll explore the intricacies of the ancient science of Yoga and Yoga Nidra to create a foundation for conscious living.

We believe in weaving the timeless threads of ancient practices into the fabric of contemporary life. Our workshop is a celebration to synthesize this age-old wisdom with the modern world and all of its demands. Discover how these teachings become a guiding light in your daily existence.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just beginning your journey, our workshop caters to all. With a focus on modifications for diverse bodies, we create a safe space where rejuvenation and restoration are accessible to everyone.

Experience a holistic integration of body, mind, and soul through a carefully curated blend of Yoga, Yoga Nidra, meditation, mindfulness, and immersive nature experiences that goes beyond the mat, fostering a transformative environment to extend into all aspects of your life.

Escape the mundane and embrace the extraordinary.  Embark on a transformative journey for rejuvenation, for self-discovery, and to find your true, whole self.

July
Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life
July 12–14, 2024
July 12, 2024
  -  
July 14, 2024
July 12, 2024
Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life
Raphael Cushnir
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

“To live in accord with love is to set your heart on fire. In the crucible of such an inferno all convention burns away. What’s left is an entirely new kind of existence, one full of passion, presence and infinite possibility.” — Setting Your Heart on Fire

What if you could fall absolutely in love with every moment? What if you could use love’s radiance to heal your deepest wounds and break through any personal challenges — career, relationships, family, weight, self-esteem, addiction, anything?

All of this happens naturally when you stop trying to change your life and instead learn to relax into it. This workshop is designed to meet you where you are and then call forth your very best.  You’ll discover the simple, practical steps necessary to feel all emotions with willingness and compassion, uncover and transform your limiting beliefs; and create a life of greater ease, joy, and exquisite connection.

This weekend is primarily experiential. It’s designed with the recognition that your heart is already on fire – our job is to remove what’s dampening the flame. The key explorations and practices of the gathering:

  • Take place solo, in dyads and triads
  • Focus on the use of precise attention
  • Are mainly centered in the body
  • Feature  movement and active imagination
  • Culminate in an “inner surfing” modality that combines vipassana, metta, and tantric approaches

Special note: On Saturday night our group will host a Freestyle Dance Jam, with Raphael as DJ, as a gift for ourselves and everyone at Esalen that night. Remember to pack some loose fitting attire and get ready to rock and roll and shake and swing and let it all go!

Recommended reading: Cushnir, Setting Your Heart on Fire, and The One Thing Holding You Back.

This workshop includes an additional $15 faculty tuition.

July
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 12-14, 2024
July 12–14, 2024
July 12, 2024
  -  
July 14, 2024
July 12, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 12-14, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

July
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
July 12–14, 2024
July 12, 2024
  -  
July 14, 2024
July 12, 2024
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
Sadia Bruce
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

To breathe well is to live well. When we befriend the breath, we expand our capacity for choice, change, joy, and healing. When we embody breath — allowing limbs and bones to express outwardly the dynamic, unceasing pulsation of life within — we touch freedom.

In this new and electrifying experiential workshop, we’ll explore and deepen our connection to our breathing bodies through a number of somatic pathways: embodied movement, breathwork, presencing exercises, meditation in motion, and sound.

Operating from philosopher Havi Carel’s conception of breath as “a juncture of the physiological, psychological, existential, spiritual, and cultural,” we’ll practice dancing and digging at this intersection and, in effect, access a felt reconnection to our wholeness.

Join Sadia in her signature practice, which draws from her many deep pools of training and experience. This deeply embodied practice will include:

  • A movement practice that draws equally from hatha yoga, calisthenics, ritual, Qigong, dance, and your own intuition.
  • Intuitive breathwork and pranayama to help you connect more honestly to the nature of your aliveness.
  • Sounding practices to liberate the use of your voice and guide you toward expanded breath capacity.
  • Guided dance rituals to help you develop inner attunement and feel the limitless power of embodied expression.
  • Restorative moving meditation to access the powerful convergence of attention and surrender, giving you an embodied understanding of the power of yielding to both breath and life.

Together, we’ll form a sacred community of breathing beings and establish conditions for the unobstructed flow of life force within and around our bodies — and our lives. The natural, subtly explosive intimacy that exists between body and breath — and between you and your breathing body— can emerge anew, rendering you more sensitized to desire, pleasure, purpose, and power; to who you are, what you want, and why.

July
Land-Embodied Stewardship: An Exploration of our Earthly Potential
July 13–26 , 2024
July 13, 2024
  -  
July 26, 2024
July 13, 2024
Land-Embodied Stewardship: An Exploration of our Earthly Potential
Teachers In Residence
All Workshops
Nature & Sustainability

We are all interconnected — humans, nature, and the land. Through a deep dive into Esalen’s lineage practices and relational awareness techniques, we will engage with the land as our primary teacher, recognizing it as a locus of learning and wisdom. As we tend to the land, we simultaneously tend to ourselves, nurturing a reciprocal relationship that feeds both body and soul.

Land-Embodied Stewardship is a transformative two-week program designed to explore the intersection of human potential and land-based stewardship within the vibrant community of Esalen. Central to the experience is the practice of embodiment — engaging not just the mind, but also the body and heart through multisensory land-based education. Applying mindfulness, inquiry, breathwork, and body-based practices, seekers will deepen their connection with the land, fostering a profound sense of stewardship grounded in personal development.

This program offers a holistic approach to environmental consciousness, recognizing that true stewardship involves both scientific understanding and experiential connection. Seekers will learn sustainable farming practices from Esalen’s Farm & Garden experts, engaging in hands-on activities such as planting, weeding, composting, and connecting with our rich, biodynamic soil. Together, we will navigate the complexities of environmental responsibility, finding solace and inspiration in community as we work toward healing the land and ourselves.

Join us on this journey of co-creation and renewal, as we strive to always leave land better than how we found it, cultivating a future where humans and nature thrive in harmony.

July
Total Immersion for Total Transformation
July 14–19, 2024
July 14, 2024
  -  
July 19, 2024
July 14, 2024
Total Immersion for Total Transformation
Raphael Cushnir
All Workshops
Relationship & Communication
Psychology & Self-awareness

Get ready for ecstatic rebirth! This small group workshop is for you if you are prepared and 100 percent willing to:

  • Determine the aspects of your life that are calling for healing and change.
  • Move toward healing and change on the very first day.
  • Commit to an action plan.
  • Take a giant leap forward in consciousness.
  • Help create and support a small, like-minded community committed to the same leap.

Raphael Cushnir creates a safe and gentle environment to help call forth your very best, using tools such as:

  • Emotional-release work that combines vipassana, metta, and tantric approaches.
  • Journaling and vision-boarding.
  • Dyadic and triadic communication process.
  • Movement and chanting.

The highlight of this retreat is designing a unique transformative experience all your own. You leave with a practical road map for real-life integration, plus benefits you can experience immediately— and for the rest of your life.

Special note: On Tuesday night, our group will host a Freestyle Dance Jam, with Raphael as DJ, as a gift for ourselves and everyone at Esalen. Remember to pack some loose-fitting attire and get ready to rock and roll, shake and swing, and let it all go!

Recommended reading: The One Thing Holding You Back, by Raphael Cushnir

This workshop included an additional $25 faculty tuition.

July
Openness to Belonging Through Film: Transforming Intolerance by Embracing the Other
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
  -  
July 19, 2024
July 15, 2024
Openness to Belonging Through Film: Transforming Intolerance by Embracing the Other
Francis Lu
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Through mindful viewing of eight feature films — today’s vehicles of myth — participants will open their hearts to the quality of belonging with and to others that is so important in our time. We will trace how cinema’s greatest directors have depicted intolerance and ways to embrace the other through compassion, love, and recognition of our interdependence as humans. Your cinematic repertoire will include films directed by D.W. Griffith, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Kon Ichikawa, Kenneth Branagh, Celine Song, and more.

Employing methods developed over the course of 28 film seminars co-led by Francis Lu and Brother David Steindl-Rast, this seminar will include mindful film viewing, contemplative reflection, and group interactions focused on each participant’s unique experience of these carefully curated films. As Joseph Campbell taught, “the images of myths are reflections of the spiritual and depth potentialities of every one of us …Through contemplating those, we evoke their powers in our own lives to operate through ourselves.”

The viewing experience will be supported by 4K Blu-Ray video projection and a surround sound of seven loudspeakers.

5.5 CE Credits for Health Professionals are available for an additional $35 fee payable to the workshop leader. Click here for details.

Dr. Lu personally recommends, but does not require, that participants use N95 masks during the workshop sessions, which will be provided.

For further information about the seminar, please contact Francis Lu, MD, at francislumd@gmail.com

July
Embodied Writing and Spiritual Practice
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
  -  
July 19, 2024
July 15, 2024
Embodied Writing and Spiritual Practice
Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Erik Davis
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Part writing workshop and part tantric retreat, this unique practice week explores the relationship between personal writing and subtle body practices.

Religious historian and Tantric practitioner Sravana Borkataky-Varma will lead experiential sessions largely stemming from Hindu Goddess Tantra practices. Award-winning author and scholar Erik Davis will then guide the group in reading and writing exercises, developing skills and techniques that will help us creatively express our embodied experiences.

Exercises and opportunities will include:

  • Chakra and subtle body meditations.
  • Reading short texts to understand how writing engages subtle embodied experience.
  • Using elements of writing, including metaphor, poetry, and spontaneous  language, to capture and express your own inner work.
  • Techniques to develop an ongoing writing practice that supports a deepening engagement with meditation and embodied life.

Over the days, we will collectively cultivate a feedback loop between writing, discussion, and inner work. Through this alchemical process, participants will learn to more intimately and poetically clarify their subtle experiences, while at the same time using the power and energy of such practices to fire up and inspire their writing life.

This workshop has an additional $50 of faculty tuition.

July
Self-Guided Explorations Week of July 15-19, 2024
July 15 - 19, 2024
July 15, 2024
  -  
July 19, 2024
July 15, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of July 15-19, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
July
The Shared Heart Summer Couples Retreat
July 19–21, 2024
July 19, 2024
  -  
July 21, 2024
July 19, 2024
The Shared Heart Summer Couples Retreat
Barry Vissell and Joyce Vissell
All Workshops
Relationship & Communication
Psychology & Self-awareness

Imagine your relationship expressing the true depths of your love and commitment. If you are in love, this retreat is an opportunity to rise even higher in love. If you are in crisis, it is an opportunity for healing on the deepest level. We all carry some degree of negative programming from our past, and there are loving and effective ways to transform this programming into a positive and vibrant celebration of our connection.

During this workshop, you will experience exercises and practices for you to do with each other, therapeutic coaching of each couple by the Vissells, the support of other couples and time for sharing after each practice.

You’ll acquire a collection of tools for deeper appreciation and communication building, including healthy communication of feelings, our partner as a mirror, understanding and respecting each other’s differences, conflict resolution, healing past hurts, sexual wellness, inner child/inner parent, taking responsibility and developing a true inner connection. Take the opportunity to explore these tools with your partner during the workshop and learn to incorporate them into everyday life as you continue to improve your relationship at home. For more information, visit www.SharedHeart.org.

This workshop welcomes couples of all gender and sexual orientations.

Recommended Reading: Vissell and Vissell, To Really Love a Man and To Really Love a Woman.

July
Stages of Tranquility and Insight
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
  -  
July 28, 2024
July 26, 2024
Stages of Tranquility and Insight
Dustin DiPerna
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Asanga’s Nine Stages of Staying is one of the oldest and most comprehensive systems of concentration in the Buddhist tradition. Sometimes called the Elephant Path, this approach was originated by the great Buddhist master in 506 A.D., and it is now the main method of training the mind in the Tibetan tradition.

In this weekend meditation retreat, participants will learn the stages of the Elephant Path using the body as the primary object of concentration. Students will also receive an introduction to the basic stages of ordinary insight. By the end of our time together, students will have all the instructions necessary to successfully incorporate a robust meditation practice into everyday life.

Training the mind in this way can lead to a direct experience of equanimity and can put the student in a range of practice wherein pointing out the real nature of the awakened mind is possible.

No experience with meditation is required. If you have your own preferred meditation pillow and mat, please bring them.

July
Breaking Free From the Likability Cage: A Replenishing and Empowering Workshop for the Emotionally Exhausted Woman
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
  -  
July 28, 2024
July 26, 2024
Breaking Free From the Likability Cage: A Replenishing and Empowering Workshop for the Emotionally Exhausted Woman
Nancy Colier
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Summer is the time to take a break, step off the treadmill of modern life, take care of oneself, and refill the tanks before gearing up for the busyness of fall. What does taking care of yourself really mean—for you? What do you want and need at this moment in your life; what genuinely takes care of you?

For many women, these are questions we never ask ourselves, much less express or dare to live by. We’ve been trained to know what everyone else wants and needs but not what we want and need. We know who we are in all of our roles to and for other people, but not who we are for ourselves. We sacrifice authenticity for likability, abandoning ourselves in order to be pleasing and manage other people’s perceptions of us. But there’s a longing inside us that wants to live a more truthful and vital life—a life that’s truly ours.  

This is a workshop for that longing. Through teaching, meditation, journaling, and dyad and group dialogue, you will be invited to:

  • Become aware of where and how you abandon yourself by taking care of others at the expense of yourself.
  • Free yourself from the likability cage and let go of being who everyone else needs you to be.
  • Make the shift from doing self-care to being self-caring, rebuild your relationship with yourself to be on your own side, and reconnect with your truth.  
  • Bring your own still small voice back into the conversation and into your life.
  • Build the tools (and courage) for an authentic life, tell the truth, and value a relationship with yourself as much as with others.
  • Come to trust, believe, and know that you matter.

The good news is this: Once you recognize the call of your own wanting, you’re already in the process of changing and reconnecting with your inherent vitality. “What do I want?” starts showing up as a question that matters, and indeed, you start showing up as someone who knows that she matters. Join this weekend of adventure and build the real-life tools, behaviors, and choices to live this change forward and create a truthful and self-affirming life.

July
Natural Healing: A Spiritual Journey of Return
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
  -  
July 28, 2024
July 26, 2024
Natural Healing: A Spiritual Journey of Return
Margaret Harrsen and Michael Ventura
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Healing Arts & Massage

Healing ourselves is a journey of return. During this weekend workshop, you will be invited to learn about the practice and traditions of “curanderisma” (folk medicine) to bring forth awareness and attune us to our individual healing journeys. Through meditative and contemplative practices, touch, prayer, plants, and natural elements, their work honors a lineage of centuries-old wisdom to bring a sense of well being to those seeking renewal.

This workshop will include:

  • Optional morning movement and mediation practice.
  • The Point of Origin: A session focused on the navel and abdominal massage for somatic release and greater self connection.
  • Barridas (Plant Sweepings): Foraging and working with plant and herb bundles to cleanse energies.
  • Empathic Connection: An exploration with our intuition, revealing how to listen and connect with each other, and ourselves, more deeply.
  • Limpia con Huevo (Washing with an Egg): A lesson sharing the practice of clearing and divining one’s energies with the use of an egg.
  • Evening Moon Meditation and Flowering Bathing.

Through Margaret and Michael’s teachings, you’re invited to connect to your own innate healing potential and have the ability to support others with love and intention.

July
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 26-28, 2024
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
  -  
July 28, 2024
July 26, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of July 26-28, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
July
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
July 27 – August 23, 2024
July 27, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
July 27, 2024
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
Sadia Bruce, J.J. Jeffries, Cara Chandler, and Jovinna Chan
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Join us for an extended opportunity to explore the true essence of Esalen, and find yourself in the process. Like a snapshot of all that we do here on campus, this workshop is composed of enlivening and heart-opening classes that are driven by Esalen’s founding areas of focus: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, and Community.

During this month-long program, a cohort of like-minded students will have the opportunity to lean into the richness and diversity of programming that has both grown up on campus and is being infused into its current culture. In addition to working in service to the running of Esalen, the workshop classes have been designed to support the process of healing, transformation, and joy.

Classes will be led by the Esalen Resident Faculty Team, each bringing something uniquely transformative to the daily experience. Practices will include:

  • Gestalt Awareness Practices
  • Esalen-style “check-ins”
  • combinations of breathwork, yoga, and inspirational writing practice
  • 5Rhythms dance and movement
  • And more!

Come experience Esalen for a heartful and healing month of service and transformation!

July
Empowering Creativity
July 29–August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
  -  
August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
Empowering Creativity
Daria Halprin
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement
Creativity & Culture
Psychology & Self-awareness

Since time immemorial, movement, dance, and the expressive arts have provided individuals and communities with a sense of soulful expression, healing, inspiration, spirit, and connection. We now need to reconnect with these ways more than ever.

The Life/Art Process®, developed by Anna Halprin and Daria Halprin, bridges body awareness, art expression, and psychological processes, providing people with an opportunity to experience dance and the expressive arts as a way to learn, heal, expand creativity, and develop new strategies for personal and professional life. This groundbreaking, innovative approach to human development, embodied creativity, and transformative learning began in the 1950s, and the tradition continues today.

Daria Halprin’s work connects dance, somatics, psychology, and artistic practices to foster personal, group, and community development and creativity. In this workshop, movement, dance, drawing, poetic dialogue,  reflective exchanges, and witnessing practices will generate new thresholds of exploration and expression, catalyzing new resources for daily life.

Morning sessions will focus on somatic awareness and individual and group movement exploration to tune the physical body to sensation and feeling. Afternoon sessions will facilitate creative encounters through dance, drawing, and spoken and written narratives to explore our life experiences. Evening sessions will be devoted to questions generated by the day’s work, reflection, and releasing activities, including creative play and meditative art practices.

Participants will be invited to :

  • Experience how movement, dance, and expressive arts can be applied to their personal and professional practices.
  • Develop body/mind awareness and connection.
  • Expand creative expression.
  • Experience improvisation and performance.
  • Explore old material in new ways and generate new resources to bring into daily life.
  • Play with artistic expression as a psychological tool.

No previous artistic experience is necessary. This workshop is designed for everyone.

Recommended Reading: The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy by Daria Halprin

July
Holotropic Breathwork®: Expanded States of Consciousness
July 29 – August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
  -  
August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
Holotropic Breathwork®: Expanded States of Consciousness
Stacia Butterfield
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Creativity & Culture
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine

For thousands of years across many cultures, enhanced states of consciousness have been used as a strategy for meaningful transformation and self-exploration — marking life’s major transitions and rites of passage and deepening one’s connection to self, community, and the natural world.

In this workshop, we will gather in the rich field of community for an immersive experience and personal exploration of enhanced states of consciousness. Our time together will include strategies for navigating, integrating, and preparing for these experiences. Holotropic Breathwork® offers language, method, and structure for turning inward and working with deeply personal material as it emerges, uniquely, from one’s own intrinsic intelligence. We will be supported by time-honored practices that are simple, yet powerful. These unique states can offer us unmediated access to the self as a deep source of healing, insight, and evolutionary potential. Participants will experience four Holotropic Breathwork sessions, with two as “breather” and two as “sitter.” Your time assisting others in “non-ordinary state” space will complement your personal exploration. Additionally, contemplative practice, movement, expressive arts, and time in community will support the integration process throughout the week.

Originating from the pioneering psychedelic researcher, Stanislav Grof, and his late wife, Christina Grof, Holotropic Breathwork is a particularly useful practice for those interested in or training to work in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

This workshop is suited for all those of heart who are curious about exploring enhanced states of consciousness and opening to an evolutionary process of unfolding. New or novice explorers/breathers are very welcome, along with experienced navigators/breathers. The fundamental urge to grow, to heal, and to be transformed in a truly authentic way drives us not outward but inward, toward the depths of our own being, toward a deep mystery within. This inward journey strengthens and nourishes our senses in a way that can revitalize our daily lives with creative and emergent energy.

Recommended Reading: Holotropic Breathwork by Stan Grof

July
Self-Guided Explorations Week of Jul 29-Aug 2, 2024
July 29 – August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
  -  
August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of Jul 29-Aug 2, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
July
Esalen Massage® and Meditation
July 29 – August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
  -  
August 2, 2024
July 29, 2024
Esalen Massage® and Meditation
Dean Marson and Brita Ostrom
All Workshops
Healing Arts & Massage
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Esalen Massage is a moving meditation, a practice in presence and mindfulness, and a loving healing art. When practiced with focused attention, massage comes from a deep, quiet place that resides inside each of us. This practice of meditation helps access the parasympathetic nervous system, where healing originates. As we give a massage, this healing state of mind can permeate the field that practitioner and receiver create together.

In guided sessions, we will explore the practice of sitting meditation to prepare and quiet our minds, and the fundamentals of Esalen Massage as a meditative and self-reflective practice. Special focus will be on quality of touch, breath awareness, centering, and sensitive rapport between partners. The signature long strokes will support a sense of wholeness and integration.  Instruction in detailed work for the shoulders, hips, limbs and neck will contribute to the massage experience. There will be supervised practice daily as students exchange massages, with the support of their experienced teachers.

Beginners as well as seasoned practitioners will welcome this week to explore Esalen Massage and meditation, while enjoying the natural beauty of the Esalen grounds.

This workshop is especially useful for those in the helping and healing professions in working with their clients and partners.

26 hours of NCBTMB approved continuing education provided by the faculty through the Esalen® Massage and Bodywork Association Teachers.

July
Reclaiming Your Authentic Power
August 2–4, 2024
August 2, 2024
  -  
August 4, 2024
August 2, 2024
Reclaiming Your Authentic Power
Justin Michael Williams
All Workshops
Leadership & Community
Relationship & Communication
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Doing personal growth work while still engaging in self-sabotaging behavior is like watering a garden full of weeds and expecting roses to bloom. Learn to overcome negative patterns and transform your pain into authentic power.

In this dynamic three-day workshop with best-selling author and teacher Justin Michael Williams, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Discover your unique energy signature.
  • Study a proven system to help redefine your life on your terms.
  • Learn the eight hidden forms of fear and how to overcome them.
  • Break beyond the hidden toxic habits that sabotage your growth.
  • Create a custom “power action” that helps you overcome limitations.
  • Come together and build accountability with other conscious people who are ready to create change in their lives and the world.

Learn about the practical behavioral changes you can make to help you overcome the hidden patterns standing in the way of your goals. Together, we’ll create your personal action plan and define your “next best move” so you have a ritual for change that lasts well after the retreat. This is your moment to reset, overcome fear and self-doubt, and say “yes” to the life that’s waiting for you.

This program has been designed from the ground up to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. All meditation experience levels are welcome as well.

Recommended Reading: Stay Woke by Justin Michael Williams

August
Graceful Exit: Preparing for a Good Death
August 2–5, 2024
August 2, 2024
  -  
August 5, 2024
August 2, 2024
Graceful Exit: Preparing for a Good Death
Andrew Holecek
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Mindfulness & Spirituality

We all face death, but how many of us are actually ready for it? Whether our own demise or that of a loved one comes first, how prepared are we? This workshop offers a wide array of resources and teachings to help participants address that final unfinished business and make the most out of every moment that comes before it.

All of life is held within the context of its inevitable extinction. By acknowledging and preparing for death now, we will find ourselves living more fully and fearlessly. Join us as we celebrate the preciousness of life, and ready ourselves and others for this final journey. We will explore how to die a good death and help others pass, engaging with meditations and contemplations that prepare us for letting go. As the Buddhist tradition proclaims, “If you die before you die, then when you die, you will not die.”

With preparation, we can transcend death, turning the greatest obstacle into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and even attain enlightenment. The bardo teachings lead to the death of death. The journey through the bardos is a journey into our mind, so by exploring the bardos, we are exploring ourselves. The teachings apply to any moment that ends – which means they also relate to daily life and can help you live fully within the time you are given.

Together we’ll explore:

  • Meditations that prepare you for the end of life
  • Teachings that support the meditations
  • Discussion groups to create a sense of community  

We hope you’ll join us for this exploration into the unknown, so that we may all return – fearless, and full of compassion for ourselves and those transitioning from this life.

Recommended Reading: Preparing to Die by Andrew Holecek

This workshop has an additional $20 of faculty tuition.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 2 - 4, 2024
August 2–4, 2024
August 2, 2024
  -  
August 4, 2024
August 2, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 2 - 4, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Wisdom and Medicine of the Earth: Healing The Planet And Ourselves
August 2–4, 2024
August 2, 2024
  -  
August 4, 2024
August 2, 2024
Wisdom and Medicine of the Earth: Healing The Planet And Ourselves
Lindsay Branham
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

“Just as there is a relationship of mind to body, so there is a relationship of body to Earth.” - Carl Jung

Most of us have lost our connectedness to the living world. At the same time, climate change, mental health challenges and chronic illness have skyrocketed. Connection to our bodies and the Earth is the missing piece for sustainable healing.

In this experiential workshop, we will focus on reclaiming our birthright: a deep, and connected relationship with the Earth. A relationship with nature as a pathway to relational and physical healing can holistically transform your life through offering an ongoing source of timeless compassionate love and awareness. Because this is intrinsic to who you are, and we are the Earth.

Set amongst the beautiful Esalen grounds, with the Redwood trees and Pacific ocean, one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, we will practice both groundbreaking somatic methods based on body awareness science and relational attachment theory, and ancient Buddhist contemplative tools that will support you to foster a connection with nature.

We will mindfully listen to musician John Newton share his own relationship to nature through his original fingerstyle guitar music, reminiscent of the primitive guitar tradition of North America and chamber folk music of the British Isles. 

Through embodied mindful awareness, and nature connection practice, you will:

  • Slow down and receive nourishment from connection to the Earth.
  • Experience a loving, interdependent relationship with nature.
  • Gain tools to support your own body's innate intelligence for healing. 
  • Find embodied support for navigating climate collapse, grief, and more.

Return home with the budding beginnings of a life-long relationship with the Earth that will help you to remain centered, joyful, and more resourced in an anxious world.

Recommended Reading: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

August
Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are
August 5–9, 2024
August 5, 2024
  -  
August 9, 2024
August 5, 2024
Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are
John Vosler
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Experience five days of deep rest, reflection, and rejuvenation. Using the profound practice of Yoga Nidra, movement and guided meditation. We will restore the body, clear the mind, and shift the habitual patterns that keep us from being calm, clear and balanced.

Yoga (meaning “union”) Nidra (meaning “sleep”) is a path to that liminal state of being between waking and sleeping. This is where you can systematically release stored physical, emotional, and mental tensions.

Let go of old beliefs and habits that keep you stuck in the past and fearful of the future. Experience your emotions fully, knowing you have unchanging, unshakable ground beneath you — a calm inner presence that allows you to see clearly.

We will work with both our bodies and our minds and  create clear intentions to live, not from unconscious and automatic past programming but from a new perspective — an aware, deliberate way of being. We will learn how to take this felt sense of being — this new awareness of the True Self — back into our personal lives, family lives, work lives, and love lives.

Together, we will cultivate new tools to help us negotiate those times when we are under stress and feel lost, tired, and confused — when we forget who we are. These guiding instruments will help put us on the path to gaining life mastery,  welcoming your challenges, and remembering your True Being.

This workshop is an opportunity to recognize one’s wholeness, the truth of who you are, and that deep down inside is an inner peace that has always been there.

All that is being asked of you is to show up, lie down, and let go. Yoga Nidra will do the rest. Please bring blankets, a yoga mat, an eye pillow, and anything else you need to lie comfortably on the floor for extended periods of time. And we’ll have opportunities to practice outside, so bring layers!

Recommended Reading: Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep, by Kamini Desai; and Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation Healing, by Richard Miller

August
Transforming Adversity Into Insight: Feeding Your Demons and Cultivating Emotional Balance
August 5–9, 2024
August 5, 2024
  -  
August 9, 2024
August 5, 2024
Transforming Adversity Into Insight: Feeding Your Demons and Cultivating Emotional Balance
Chandra Easton and Eve Ekman
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

Across various wisdom traditions, there is a common yet paradoxical invitation: Turn toward what is difficult to find freedom from what is difficult. However, when we find ourselves feeling anxiety, loss, judgment, irritation — the full bouquet of difficult emotions — facing these feelings is the last thing we want to do. Fortunately, there are trainable, evidenced-informed practices to help us transmute adversities into joy and insight. By turning toward our challenges, we uncover the wisdom within them, and they transform into our allies.

Teachers and authors Chandra Easton and Eve Ekman have been teaching these transformative tools together and apart for more than a decade. Easton’s expertise draws from her intimate knowledge and practice of Tantric Buddhism and her teachings on the evidenced-based practice of Feeding Your Demons® (FYD) internationally. FYD is a guided five-step process that transforms our so-called “demons” of difficult emotions into our allies. Ekman’s expertise lies in her application of contemporary psychological science of well-being and emotion awareness, sharing the evidenced-based practice of Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) with the world. CEB draws from contemporary emotion science and develops our emotion granularity by mapping our emotion episodes.

In this training, Easton and Ekman guide participants to transform the mind, which is afflicted by our tendency toward enacting destructive emotions. At the heart of all these practices is an ability to transform adversity and joy into the path of our awakening. In contemporary psychological terms, we investigate our so-called “negative” emotional experiences to identify the stories and patterns that occlude our innate compassionate, pro-social nature.

This weekend will include guided meditations based on FYD and CEB, discussions, and time for integration and practice outdoors, weather permitting.

Suggested reading: Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict by Tsultrim Allione & Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron.

This workshop includes an additional $5 materials fee and $110 in faculty tuition.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 5-9, 2024
August 5–9, 2024
August 5, 2024
  -  
August 9, 2024
August 5, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 5-9, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Revitalize Your Purpose with Forest Bathing
August 9–11, 2024
August 9, 2024
  -  
August 11, 2024
August 9, 2024
Revitalize Your Purpose with Forest Bathing
Sylvie Rokab
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Relationship & Communication

What does nature / the cosmos have in store for your life today? What yearns to be birthed in and through you? What if Nature can help you release what stands in your way?

Join us in this deep partnership with the more-than-human world at wondrous Esalen to help you identify and dissolve the obstacles towards manifesting your life purpose.

Discover the alchemy of “forest bathing” – the Japanese practice of mindfully experiencing nature through the senses, which studies have found to improve health, elevate mood, and heighten creativity and problem solving.

Workshop leader Sylvie Rokab will guide you on a journey with Esalen’s spectacular land, waters, mountains and other beings – with invitations that help you clarify and (re)discover the beauty of your uniqueness, talents, and gifts that only you can offer to the world.

Our time together includes:

  • Sensorial nature experiences
  • Talks on purpose, forest bathing, and mindfulness
  • Deep sharing / listening circles
  • Contemplative practices
  • Music and tea ceremony

Participants often share that their stress dissolves, confusion lifts, insights awaken — and they take home a renewed sense of belonging, meaning and purpose in their lives.

Recommended Viewing: Love Thy Nature

August
Unlock Your Intuitive Mind: Tap into Your Higher Consciousness
August 9–11, 2024
August 9, 2024
  -  
August 11, 2024
August 9, 2024
Unlock Your Intuitive Mind: Tap into Your Higher Consciousness
William Donius with Guest Faculty Joseph Perreta
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality
All Workshops

Learn to call on your spirit guides and tap into your intuitive mind. Join us in a transformative workshop combining scientifically proven brain-enhancing techniques with intuitive guidance to help you break free from self-limiting patterns and create the life you desire.

This workshop brings together two powerful approaches to help you develop tools for personal growth and transformation. Through easy-to-learn exercises, you will learn how opening neural pathways to your higher consciousness can bring valuable insights into areas where you may feel stuck. By thinking outside the box and accessing your intuitive mind, you have the ability to unlock your creative potential and experience increased productivity and happiness.

Guest faculty Joseph Perreta, a certified psychic medium, will guide you in connecting with your support system on the other side. Joseph’s ability to channel messages directly from the spirit world offers validation, clarification, healing, and peace. His presence will enrich your experience and provide a deeper understanding of the spiritual realm.

Throughout the workshop, you will develop practical tools that you can apply whenever you face important decisions or obstacles in life. By harnessing your intuition and uncovering profound insights about yourself, you will gain the clarity and confidence needed to make positive changes.

Our intention is to empower you to unlock your intuitive mind and carry these transformative practices with you long after the workshop ends. Please come prepared with a notebook or journal and a pen to capture your experiences and reflections.

This workshop has two options on length of stay: a traditional weeklong of two nights or a long weekend of three nights. The extended stay workshop will include more workshop content which is reflected in the extended stay schedule.

August
Deepening Our Connection to Reiki: Japanese Roots to Modern Practice
August 9–11, 2024
August 9, 2024
  -  
August 11, 2024
August 9, 2024
Deepening Our Connection to Reiki: Japanese Roots to Modern Practice
Diane Domondon and Justin Stein
All Workshops
Healing Arts & Massage

Misconceptions about Reiki place its origins anywhere from ancient Egypt to Tibet — even from angels and aliens — but we hold the truth in the palms of our hands. In this workshop, we’ll explore the roots of this Japanese practice and discover the transformative power of universal life energy through Reiki meditations and transmissions.

Over this weekend, students will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Reiki from both historical and experiential perspectives. We will discuss how this energy-healing technique originated in Japan, find out how it was influenced by other practices and cultures, and study how it evolved over time.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn:

  • Various aspects of Reiki practice.
  • Meditations taught by Reiki’s founder, Usui Mikao.
  • Practices to connect to Reiki’s universal source and increase the flow of Reiki through one’s body.
  • Reiki’s Japanese origins and how it is practiced and taught today

Participants will receive empowerment ceremonies called reiju or Reiki blessings. We will experience the power of Reiki self-treatments, how to give full Reiki treatments to others, and how to receive Reiki from another, all within the unique Reiki-filled space that is Esalen.  

Participants interested in Reiki initiation and certification please email Diane at nycreikimaster@gmail.com, for more information.

“​​Reiki is medicine for me — both inward and outward. When I first received Reiki, it was in an inward way. It opened me and made me feel what space is, what energy is, and what the universe is.” — Shinobu Saito, a Reiki Master initiated by Hawayo Takata

This workshop includes an additional $60 faculty tuition.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 9-11, 2024
August 9–11, 2024
August 9, 2024
  -  
August 11, 2024
August 9, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 9-11, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 12-16, 2024
August 12–16, 2024
August 12, 2024
  -  
August 16, 2024
August 12, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 12-16, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Chakra Rituals: A Balancing ACTivation, Celebration of Life through Embodied Movement and Live Music
August 12–16, 2024
August 12, 2024
  -  
August 16, 2024
August 12, 2024
Chakra Rituals: A Balancing ACTivation, Celebration of Life through Embodied Movement and Live Music
Cristi Christensen and Marques Wyatt
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

The chakra system is one of the greatest gifts the ancient yogis and rishis of India shared with the world: a powerful spiritual map for our healing and the awakening of our consciousness so we can fully come alive! This week is an invitation to explore this map and unlock the unbridled joy, creative power, and freedom that lives inside of you.

The ultimate goal of yoga is to live in embodied enlightenment. It is to know and feel the current of mukti (the force of liberation that expands you in the direction of pure potentiality and higher consciousness) and to feel and celebrate bhukti (the gift of embodiment and all the pleasures and abundance of earthly reality). This workshop offers us the opportunity to bring these concepts into reality and into our living beings.

Through embodied ritual practices of yoga, live music, dance, meditation, sounding, and communion with nature, you will begin to shape an intimate connection with each of your energy centers. Together we will work to break through the blockages that keep you stuck and stagnant — preventing you from healing and experiencing the fullness of your power and life. We will dive deeply into the chakra system through accessible, dynamic, and interactive discussions and exercises.  

Each day, Cristi will guide us in her signature, dynamic chakra-based vinyasa, woven with mudra, kriyas and pranayama, supported by the sacred rhythms and healing soundscapes of our musical guides. DJ Marques Wyatt and DVINE1, aka Joel Long, will be playing sitar and percussion.

These practices will be enhanced by a variety of daily rituals, ranging from:

  • Interactive lectures and discussions about each of the chakras.
  • Movement meditations
  • Transformational dance practices, including The Deep Exhale Experience and JourneyDance.
  • Deeply nourishing soma practice and journaling.
  • Spending time in nature to activate our chakras through the five sacred elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space.

Join us as we turn the yoga dance floor into a ritual of self-expression. You’re invited to experience every ritual as a prayer to your highest self to return you home to your body and nature, awaken pleasure, and give you permission to feel. Ignite your power. Heal your heart. Claim your vision and voice. Connect to your own divinity and celebrate this gift of life!

Recommended reading: Chakra Rituals by Cristi Christensen

August
Queer Liberation: Setting Your Inner Child Free Through Creative Expression
August 12–16, 2024
August 12, 2024
  -  
August 16, 2024
August 12, 2024
Queer Liberation: Setting Your Inner Child Free Through Creative Expression
Adam Clark and Udim Isang
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

How much joy we experience in life is limited by our ability to show up each day with unapologetic authenticity. For many people who identify as LGBTQIA2S+, feeling safe or supported to live authentically may not have been an option. As a result, many of us live disempowered lives— stuck in jobs, relationships, and routines that we no longer identify with. In turn, many of us have been able to break free from those past lives but still carry the weight of grief and trauma that come from years of living inauthentically.

This interactive, thought-provoking, and supportive workshop is designed to help you move away from the pain of the past, and  set your inner child free into a safe, welcoming and vibrant relationship with you and your Self. During this week, you will explore a series of creative exercises individually and together as a group.  By tapping into the voice of your inner child, releasing what no longer serves you, there is safer and more gentle space for experiencing  joy like never before.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about Queer history, theology and activism.
  • Practice written, sound and physical storytelling.
  • Explore meditation as a form of social resistance.
  • Experience healing modalities through dance, breathwork and sound baths.
  • Gain insights about your limitations and strategize your next steps to live more authentically in joy.

This workshop is welcome to anyone who identifies as an LGBTQIA2S+ person or, a family member or friend of someone seeking to live more authentically in partnership with their inner child, and discover ways to support the LGBTQIA2S+ people in their lives.

Recommended Reading: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Post-Gay by David Alderson, The Empty Chair: Tales From Gestalt Therapy by Vikram Kolmannskog,  Body Bliss: A Guided Pleasure Journal for Exploration and Self-Love by Robin Denise.

August
Writing and Mindfulness: A Practice for Navigating Difficult Times
August 12–16, 2024
August 12, 2024
  -  
August 16, 2024
August 12, 2024
Writing and Mindfulness: A Practice for Navigating Difficult Times
Janis Cooke Newman
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

A daily writing practice and a consistent meditation practice have the power to ground us during difficult times. Writing gives us perspective and helps us make sense of the world. Mindfulness teaches us how to make space for the joy as well as the fear.

This experiential meditation retreat and writing workshop invites writers and meditators of all levels to delve deeply into both practices. We’ll begin each day with a burst of free writing — what Natalie Goldberg calls ‘writing practice’ — generating work we will share with each other in a safe and supportive environment.

We will follow with guided meditations crafted to help us develop the resources necessary to cope in times of crisis, as well as nourish our creativity. Our meditations encourage presence to the world, forge strong mind/body connectivity, and greater access to our emotions and empathy.

The workshop’s meditations are supported by prompted bursts of free writing designed to help us tap into our creative energy, bypass our internal judge, and bring out our most original and deeply felt writing. We’ll explore how the dual practices of free writing and journaling can support us during times of uncertainty and change.

There will be time to write and time to share what we’re writing with the group. Everyone will leave with the tools and the inspiration to cultivate their own daily meditation and daily writing practices.

August
Love Yourself for Everyone Else's Sake
August 16–18, 2024
August 16, 2024
  -  
August 18, 2024
August 16, 2024
Love Yourself for Everyone Else's Sake
Mark Abramson
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Mark Abramson designed the course as a deep dive into self-compassion after seeing students achieve self-kindness from work with his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic at Stanford University. Thirty years of teaching have taught Dr. Abramson that bringing kindness and compassion to one’s self is truly the most altruistic of all practices.

Imagine always being able to count on your own mind being kind to you — no matter what challenges life presents. That is your birthright, and now is the time to claim it! Immerse yourself in this mindfulness-based approach to self-love and compassion.  

Mindfulness, meditation, and contemplative practices have entered all spheres of our society, including corporate settings, sports,  performance, medicine, and psychology. Science has confirmed that ancient mental and physical training systems, such as meditation practices, confer health benefits for immunity, brain architecture, and pain management, as well as mental and physical resilience.

During our time together, you are invited to:

  • Learn mindfulness meditation practices.
  • Connect and experience your own loving attention.
  • Learn to take back control of your body/mind to create a more peaceful you.

Throughout the weekend, you will have the opportunity to unite your body, mind, and soul into a self-nourishing whole person while strengthening your ability to give love to others by first loving yourself.

Recommended Reading: Love Yourself For Everyone Else’s Sake by Mark Abramson

August
Ancestral Plant Medicine
August 16–18, 2024
August 16, 2024
  -  
August 18, 2024
August 16, 2024
Ancestral Plant Medicine
Xochitl Ashe
All Workshops
Nature & Sustainability
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Relationship & Communication

What if our lives could feel magical? What if we felt supported in every way?

Join us for this delightful weekend as we connect with plants, ancestors, and ancient wisdom from Mesoamerica and Peru to nourish our hearts and replenish our spirits.

Ayni is the Quechua word for “sacred reciprocity” — the way we humans can be in the right relationship with the world around us. These are the times that Indigenous prophecies have long predicted: an opportunity to create the life and the world that we know is possible. We will work with our ancestors to build our spiritual support team and partake in a plant medicine ceremony with cacao. We will learn how to make specific offerings to the land that help you create magic in your life.

Being at Esalen provides a special opportunity to be in connection with the elemental spirits of the native coastline and the sacredness of the land where the sweet and thermal waters meet the ocean.  

During our time together:

  • We will learn the ancient Peruvian philosophy of Ayni — how to live in sacred reciprocity.
  • We will learn to make offerings to connect with a team of support.
  • We will be supported by the sacred plant medicine of cacao in a ceremonial space that supports our emotional release and healing.
  • We will experience the power of plants and community healing.

Our weekend will feature guest faculty whose magic will enhance our experience and understanding.

Kyle McBride is an international chef, food justice advocate, fermenter, and wild food enthusiast. He draws inspiration from the abundance and diversity of nature and seeks to honor our sacred connection to the earth through his food.

As an Indigenous medicine woman, it is my privilege to share the Quechua and Mazotec traditions that honor living in the right relation with the Earth for thousands of years. I invite you to share a weekend of Earth-based practices in the community with love, support, and guidance.

Bring pictures of ancestors and anything that you want to add to our altar.

This workshop has an additional $60 added for materials.  

August
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 16-18, 2024
August 16–18, 2024
August 16, 2024
  -  
August 18, 2024
August 16, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 16-18, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Life as a Ceremony: South American Indigenous Wisdom for Healing and Connecting with the Earth
August 19–23, 2024
August 19, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
August 19, 2024
Life as a Ceremony: South American Indigenous Wisdom for Healing and Connecting with the Earth
Xochitl Ashe
All Workshops
Nature & Sustainability
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Relationship & Communication

We need the medicine of joy, magic, and fun. What if our lives could feel like a sweet ceremony, where all is sacred? What if we felt supported in every way? Join us for this delightful week as we connect with plants, ancestors, and ancient wisdom from Mesoamerica and Peru to nourish our hearts and replenish our spirits.

We will work with our ancestors to build our spiritual support team and partake in a plant medicine ceremony with cacao. We will learn various daily spiritual practices, including offerings to the land to help you create and connect to the magic in your life and within yourself.

Our week will feature guest faculty whose magic will enhance our experience and understanding.

Kyle McBride is an international chef, food justice advocate, fermenter, and wild food enthusiast. He draws inspiration from the abundance and diversity of nature and seeks to honor our sacred connection to the Earth through his food.

During our time together, we will:

  • Learn and embody the ancient Peruvian philosophy of belonging to ourselves, one another, and the Earth.
  • Create an ancestral altar to connect with the ancient energies of the land.
  • Engage in practices to support the ancestral connections beyond your workshop.
  • Offer daily Earth-based ceremonies to deepen our connections to Earth and the land we are on, including foraging for fresh ingredients to create a sacred shared meal.
  • Be supported by two sacred plant medicine cacao ceremonies in a safe space for our heart well-being and healing.
  • Experience the power of healing in community.

Being at Esalen provides us a special opportunity to be in connection with the elemental spirits of the native coastline and the sacredness of the land where the sweet and thermal waters meet the ocean.

Participants are invited to bring a drum or rattle/maraca.

This workshop has an additional $70 added for materials.  

August
Reunion with the Wild Earth:  Hiking and Nature Connection in Big Sur
August 19–23, 2024
August 19, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
August 19, 2024
Reunion with the Wild Earth: Hiking and Nature Connection in Big Sur
Fletcher Tucker
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Relationship & Communication

How would it feel to move into a meaningful relationship with the living world? Beyond a mere passive appreciation of nature? In the long arc of human history, people across all cultures and traditions have lived in communion with the lands they called home. Though this intrinsic connection has been largely severed in our modern age, the perspectives and practices common to our respective Earth-reverent ancestors are not lost. They lie dormant in the land, among the wild beings, and in our own animal bodies, waiting patiently to be remembered and renewed.

Immersed in the beauty of the Esselen tribal lands now known as Big Sur, we will humbly walk the trails in pursuit of reunion with the wild Earth. We will set out each morning for hikes amongst ancient redwoods, golden grasslands, and fragrant chaparral. Our community and teachers will include the plants, animals, stones, and all aspects of the wild landscape. Acknowledging Big Sur to be the ancestral territory of the Esselen tribe, we will endeavor to behave as reverent and respectful guests on sacred land.

Along the trail, we will cultivate innate capacities for presence and wonder, build ecological knowledge, and explore pathways of reciprocity and connection with the natural world. Pausing together to learn from the land, we will participate in some of the most potent work of our time: rejoining our great family on this wild Earth.

Hiking notes:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the workshop can be found here.
  • Various hiking abilities can be accommodated, bearing in mind that day hikes are three to eight miles long with uneven and often steep terrain. If you have any questions about your ability to participate, please read the workshop FAQs or email info@wildtender.com.

This workshop includes an additional $60 of faculty tuition and $40 park fees.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 19-23, 2024
August 19–23, 2024
August 19, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
August 19, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 19-23, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Falling in Love With Existence at the Edge of the World: Yoga and Myth
August 19–23, 2024
August 19, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
August 19, 2024
Falling in Love With Existence at the Edge of the World: Yoga and Myth
Hannah Muse
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?” —Gabrielle Roth

Take a break from the mundane and let yourself be enchanted again. You are not a project to be solved but a remarkable mythopoetic mystery to be lived! This yoga workshop offers a profound and playful opportunity to commune with the deeper aspects of self through movement, inquiry, and storytelling.

Since the beginning, humans have looked to stories to make meaning of our lives. By learning the stories and songs of the ancestors, we reclaim a sense of belonging. Revered mythologist and 1960s Esalen faculty Joseph Campbell wrote, “Mythology is the penultimate truth—penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words.”

Our experiential practices will remind us how precious our lives truly are. Experiences include:

  • Storytelling and archetypal wisdom
  • Rewilding, fireside ritual, and song
  • Yoga (all levels) and somatic exploration
  • Breathwork and meditation
  • Self-inquiry and writing

Our nourishing schedule is balanced harmoniously with relaxing meals, community care, and soaks in Esalen’s healing baths. Music, nature, poetry, connection, and ritual are exquisitely curated for your hero/heroine’s journey.

Whether you’re searching for renewed meaning in life, navigating life’s complex transitions, or simply love being enchanted, this workshop will help awaken your spirit to courage, enrich your heart with devotion, and widen your perspective to vast possibility. You might just fall in love with existence again.

Grace awaits.

August
Mosaic Art: Patterns in Nature
August 19–23, 2024
August 19, 2024
  -  
August 23, 2024
August 19, 2024
Mosaic Art: Patterns in Nature
Wilma Wyss
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

Nature provides us with space to quiet our souls, gain perspective, and harness our creativity. Explore Esalen’s stunning grounds to find places that resonate and inspire your mosaic art, be it big vistas, small individual succulents, or anything in between. Mosaic is a slow and contemplative art form, perfectly suited for Esalen’s restorative setting.

In this mosaic workshop, we’ll discuss patterns found in nature, which translate beautifully into the medium of mosaic. Conceive, develop, and realize your own mosaic project, with guidance offered by mosaic artist Wilma Wyss. You will sketch initial concepts in pencil, and Wilma will work one-on-one with you as you develop your concept into mosaic artwork. We compose with a wide selection of stained glass. Demonstrations include cutting and shaping the stained glass, adhesives, and use of color. Presentations illustrate relevant examples and the power of pattern.

Known for her joyful teaching style and her creative use of materials, Wilma provides individual instruction to foster your creativity. This workshop is designed for participants who may have some experience with mosaic, as well as anyone who has never touched a wheeled nipper. All tools and materials are provided to complete one or more wall-hung mosaics.

Contact wilma@wyssdesign.com if you plan to bring your own tools and materials.

August
Afro Flow Yoga: Release, Flow and Heal Our Sacred Waters
August 23–25, 2024
August 23, 2024
  -  
August 25, 2024
August 23, 2024
Afro Flow Yoga: Release, Flow and Heal Our Sacred Waters
Leslie Salmon Jones and Jeff W. Jones
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Yoga & Movement

Join us for a weekend to remember as we delve into the depths of the human soul, guided by the visionary founders of Afro Flow Yoga®.

This workshop is an immersive experience weaving together the healing powers of yoga, dance, live music, and the ancient wisdom of African and Indigenous cultures. Together, we will embark on a sacred exploration, connecting with our inner selves and the healing energies of the sacred waters, igniting personal and collective transformation.

During this workshop, we will explore:

  • Yoga and dance fusion, a core element of Afro Flow Yoga that invites personal and collective transformation through movement and rhythm.
  • Live music, singing, and storytelling. Let Jeff and Leslie’s soulful melodies and captivating narratives guide you on a journey of self-discovery and connection with the world around you.
  • Ancient wisdom immersion. Immerse yourself in the wisdom of our Ancestors for insights into our interconnectedness with nature and all living beings.
  • Nature connection. Reconnect with the earth’s grounding energy, the flow of water, and the vitality of the forest to foster a deep sense of unity and belonging.
  • Embodied storytelling. Experience Afro-Indigenous embodied storytelling of the 500-year prophecy, remembering and awakening our sacred instructions and healing of our sacred waters through ritual, dance, and live music.
  • Community cultivation. Raise the collective vibration and cultivate community in a heart-centered, non-judgmental environment where every participant is honored and supported on their journey.

Join us for a weekend of harmony, healing, and empowerment as we unlock the symphony of our souls and unleash our true potential.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 23-25, 2024
August 23–25, 2024
August 23, 2024
  -  
August 25, 2024
August 23, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 23-25, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
August
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
August 23–25, 2024
August 23, 2024
  -  
August 25, 2024
August 23, 2024
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
Jennifer Dumpert
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

Liminal dreaming is found in the space between waking and sleeping. In that moment, as you pass through hypnagogia and hypnopompia, the zones of liminal dreaming, your mind is in an imaginal place. It meanders between daytime awareness and the depths of the dream. Mystics, poets, philosophers, and scientists have all studied this practice since time immemorial in the hope of catching a glimpse of the mystery of the mind.

The truth is, we all possess the ability to maintain the waking, rational mind while sinking into the free-associative, kaleidoscopic realms of the unconscious. Yet very few of us have ever develop this powerful tool for investigating consciousness.

This workshop will provide an in-depth exploration of the remarkable, transformative, and even mystical mind states of hypnagogia and hypnopompia. You will learn practical exercises for locating and lingering in these astonishing liminal dream states and gain a set of valuable tools to continue your journey and dream practice.

Sessions include:

  • Friday Evening: Understanding Liminal Dreams
  • Saturday Morning: Deep Dive into Hypnagogia
  • Saturday Afternoon: Liminal Dreaming for Creativity and Healing
  • Saturday Evening: Liminal Dreams with Other Mind States
  • Sunday Morning: Liminal Mind

Together we will explore ways that people across cultures and time have used liminal dreaming for consciousness exploration, creativity, problem-solving, and mental and spiritual healing and balance. Activities will include:

  • Yoga Nidra guided meditation
  • Exercises for accessing hypnagogia and hypnopompia
  • Using hypnagogia/hypnopompia for creativity, healing, and visionary experience
  • Experiments with oneirogens (any root, herb, food, scent, sound, etc. that promotes vivid dreaming)


Note: As we will be settling into a dreamy state throughout the weekend, you are encouraged to bring any comforting items that might assist you in relaxing: special pillow, eye mask, blanket, etc.

August
Vibrant Silence: Qigong and Meditation
August 23–25, 2024
August 23, 2024
  -  
August 25, 2024
August 23, 2024
Vibrant Silence: Qigong and Meditation
Jim Gallas
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement

Our awareness of energy both expands and becomes more subtle as we deepen into relaxation.

The ancient Chinese practice of Qigong, often translated as “cultivating Life Force”, is a system of movement that relaxes and energizes the body/mind. You will find this form “Wai Dan Gong” easy to learn and a powerful means of  experiencing  Life Force in and around you. We will enjoy moving on the Earth, under the heavens, while gazing at the Pacific. Wai Dan Gong is an excellent preparation for sitting, walking and standing meditation.  Saturday morning will be held as a retreat, we will keep noble silence until lunch. At other times we will share with compassion and humor our experiences of riding the wild waves of the mind.

In this rejuvenating weekend we will explore:

  • the 25 movements of Wai Dan Gong.
  • sitting meditation (you may sit in a chair, 20 minutes maximum).
  • walking and standing meditations.
  • gentle meridian stretches.
  • a full body self massage routine.

Please come ready to enjoy a deep sense of ease and an expanded sense of the energy body.

August
Ground of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Courage, Connection and Community
August 24 – September 20, 2024
August 24, 2024
  -  
September 20, 2024
August 24, 2024
Ground of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Courage, Connection and Community
Steven Harper
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. ~ John O’Donohue

Many of us have the experience of not belonging — to ourselves, family, community, workplace, this earth. This disconnect expresses itself in a divided self, dysfunctional relationships and communities, and the destruction of the very planet that birthed and sustains us.

However, a sense of belonging and deep connection is the natural state of our being. To know and feel our belonging asks us to have courage, curiosity, and compassion. A deep longing calls us to risk intimacy, vulnerability, and a willingness to feel how life conspires to let us know our interbeing.

When we somatically know our belonging — experience it in our bodies — we engage in the world feeling supported and with greater ease and grounding as we face life’s challenges, joys, and inherently ever-changing nature. This monthlong workshop will be a whole-organism, experiential inquiry into what belonging might be for each of us individually and collectively.

Although not a linear path, we’ll explore:

  • The intrapersonal — our belonging to self.
  • The interpersonal — our belonging to others through individual relationships and in community.
  • The transpersonal — our belonging to the “other than,” which is perhaps even greater than the human world with webs of communities.

The group will discover and practice contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate belongingness, including:

  • Contemporary psychology and neuroscience
  • Gestalt Practice in the Esalen tradition
  • Meditation and mindfulness practices
  • Aikido and Gestalt Awareness Movement
  • Direct experience of the natural world

Special attention will be given to “what walks with us” in our daily lives as we weave together an eclectic and holistic experience. When we embody the birthright of our interbeing and the ground of belonging, life lives through us.

August
Luminous Darkness: Restoring Our Authentic Power A Women’s Retreat
August 26–30, 2024
August 26, 2024
  -  
August 30, 2024
August 26, 2024
Luminous Darkness: Restoring Our Authentic Power A Women’s Retreat
Deborah Eden Tull
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

All light arises from darkness. This includes insight, creativity, vision, and possibility. Darkness is not the absence of light, but a vital, regenerative, and healing expression of nature and consciousness. Join us for a restorative and empowering women’s retreat based in embodied meditation, relational mindfulness, and conscious dance.

Together we will shift away from the world of concepts and ideas, and step into the wisdom and poetry of our bodies and connection with the earth. We will slow down, listen deeply, and explore the invitation of endarkenment alongside enlightenment. We will celebrate inner-connection and interconnection, deepening our kinship with ourselves, each other, the more-than-human world, and the invisible realm.

In the dark, we can soften mental effort and open our hearts to fresh perception. We can see and sense more clearly, beyond the mind of separation, in order to remember who we really are. We can release limiting beliefs and bring our whole selves into the circle of compassion. The challenges we face today require us to let go of our familiar compass and re-learn how to meet the unknown with presence, curiosity, courage, and grace. We can learn to access the emergent map that comes from embodiment, receptivity, deep listening, intuition, inner vision, and relational intelligence.

This workshop includes meditation and inquiry, dharma talks, relational mindfulness, ritual, conscious dance, somatic practices, and deep communion with nature.

This workshop is for women of all ages, colors, backgrounds, and disciplines at all phases and seasons of their life’s journey. This includes anyone who identifies as female or non-binary in the wider

Recommended Reading: Relational Mindfulness by Deborah Eden Tull and Luminous Darkness: An Engaged Buddhist Approach to Embracing the Unknown by Deborah Eden Tull

This workshop includes an additional $40 faculty tuition.

August
Libido: Riding the Waves, an Open Floor Movement Workshop
August 26–30, 2024
August 26, 2024
  -  
August 30, 2024
August 26, 2024
Libido: Riding the Waves, an Open Floor Movement Workshop
Andrea Juhan
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication
Yoga & Movement

Variety may be the one and only truly universal characteristic of human sexuality. — E. Nagoski

The ups and downs of our days, months, and years are unpredictable, but change will always be constant and reliable. The energy we call libido, in all the ways we might perceive it — as sexuality, vitality, creativity, aliveness, pleasure, and more — can shift and often be elusive and hard to maintain. Wanting moves us toward some situations and away from others. The sensations and desires of our libidos change through our different life cycles and relationships. Sometimes, the answer is yes, sometimes no, but the most likely answer is maybe. Libido energy is deeply contextual.

One thing we know for sure is that libido is always on the move. We cannot always know how, where, or why; what turns us on and brings pleasure is always a moving target.

Conscious dance practice offers the skills we need to ride these waves — to stay connected to the emerging truth of our libido energies. We can develop the capacity to move toward and with desires or, when we are on the wrong track, away from them. Open floor movement practice can teach our bodies how to up-regulate, bring more energy to a situation, and down-regulate to settle, create space, or take more time without shutting down or losing focus.

Dancing with others provides opportunities to communicate and track attraction, aversion, consent, and non-consent.

Recommended Reading: Come as You Are By Emily Nagoski

CE units pending for full attendance of this course

  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain their certificate of attendance for four years after the course concludes.
  • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Nicole@AndreaJuhan.com.

For questions about CE, contact the Spiritual Competency Academy at info@spiritualcompetencyacademy.com.

August
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 26-30, 2024
August 26–30, 2024
August 26, 2024
  -  
August 30, 2024
August 26, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of August 26-30, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Source to Screen: Accessing, Manifesting, and Transmitting Great Ideas
August 26–30, 2024
August 26, 2024
  -  
August 30, 2024
August 26, 2024
Source to Screen: Accessing, Manifesting, and Transmitting Great Ideas
Paola di Florio and Peter Rader
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

This immersive week-long lab is for creators of all kinds––writers, inventors, filmmakers, musicians, and entrepreneurs––anyone who wishes to integrate their spirituality and creativity to tap into the deepest source of inspiration and higher intelligence as they bring guided work into the world.

In the words of Carl Jung, “People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.” By breaking down this process of allowing into three stages (Creation, Manifestation, and Transmission), we will walk together along an impactful, sacred path designed for cohesion, connection, incubation, and transformation.

We live in a world of great distraction that doesn’t encourage deep listening. We must reverse those outer-facing sensory “searchlights” and go inwards. When you dive into the field of all possibilities, ideas surprisingly find you with a very specific intention. As you attune to that purpose, you gain discernment, direction, momentum, and flow.

Over the course of five days, you’ll face the “demons” that get in the way of meaningful work, including inertia, ego, outer blocks, and inner resistance. You will discover how obstacles can be an in your process develops organic, sustainable partnerships, growth, and co-creation.

In this workshop, you’ll be guided through:

  • Nonlinear brainstorming to invite new and deeper relationships to ideas.
  • “Hotseat Exercises” and small group breakouts to foster vulnerability and creative risk-taking
  • Kinetic creation, such as yoga, meditation, and energy balancing, to increase attunement
  • Radical pivots and adaptivity to meet obstacles with poise and intelligence.
  • Case studies.

Employing timeless principles from Vedic philosophy, this class will use nonlinear brainstorming to deepen our inspiration, along with experiential exercises. You will do yoga, breathwork, meditation, and movement to tap into the matrix of your creative capacity. You’ll recalibrate intentions and goals. Every step of the lab will contain practical solutions to push through whatever is in your way.

The lab is open to creators of all levels. You can attend either as an “incubator” (with a specific project or idea that you want to workshop) or as an “observer/participant” (to glean knowledge about conscious creation by watching the process unfold and also participating). In either case, you must submit a one-page application describing your background and creative goals. If you’re bringing a project to the lab, please describe it in one paragraph, tell us where you are with it, and where you want to take it.

Recommended Reading: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.

August
Heart Of Listening: A Relational Mindfulness Retreat
August 30 – September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
  -  
September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
Heart Of Listening: A Relational Mindfulness Retreat
Deborah Eden Tull
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Relationship & Communication

While we sometimes draw a division between sitting meditation and how we show up to the beautiful and messy field of socializing and relationships, relational mindfulness helps us bridge this divide. Every relationship we will ever have begins with our relationship with ourselves. Beyond the myth of separation, conditioned beliefs, and false divisions that feed human consciousness, belonging is the radical wholeness that leaves no part out. It awakens us to authentic power — shared power rather than “power over.”

Belonging is the state of freedom in which we know, sense, and feel ourselves both as whole and part of the whole. Belonging is a remembrance of who and what we already are — and a recognition of the unconditional and all-welcoming nature of the living intelligence that holds and animates us. The quality of our life experience is determined by the focus of our attention. This retreat is an opportunity to let everyday life — from the easy moments to our greatest challenges — be our sacred laboratory for belonging to ourselves and one another more deeply.

Through embodied meditation and the nine principles of relational mindfulness from Eden’s Relational Mindfulness: A Handbook for Deepening Our Connection with Ourselves, Each Other, and Our Planet, we will deepen our capacity for receptivity, deep listening, attunement, ease, joy, reciprocity, earth connection, collaboration, and co-creativity with life. By softening effort and getting out of the way, we will allow life to guide us home to our natural state of belonging.

Our exploration will include meditation, relational mindfulness and inquiry, deep time in nature, somatic awareness, and conscious dance. This work spans personal and collective transformation.

All are welcome — from experienced meditators and those new to practice.

Recommended Reading: Relational Mindfulness: A Handbook for Deepening Our Connection with Ourselves, Each Other, and Our Planet, by Deborah Eden Tull

August
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 30 - September 1, 2024
August 30 – September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
  -  
September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of August 30 - September 1, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.

August
Unfolding Potential: Healing Transgenerational Trauma through Systemic Constellation Work
August 30 – September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
  -  
September 1, 2024
August 30, 2024
Unfolding Potential: Healing Transgenerational Trauma through Systemic Constellation Work
Stephan Hausner
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

Despite our greatest efforts, some of us still struggle to create happy relationships and live our lives fully.

These difficulties and challenges are often related to unconscious bonds and loyalties to our family. Systemic constellation work is the method we will use to recognize, understand and resolve these unconscious ties and hidden loyalties.

In this workshop we will experience how transgenerational trauma may affect our relationships, our health and well-being, and we will encounter transformative solutions to free ourselves from recurrent patterns or symptoms and illnesses.

Learning, healing, and evolving are all part of the very same movement!

This program is for anyone who wants to learn about trauma-informed systemic constellation work as a holistic approach to health and healing and to restoring relationships.

Recommended Reading: Even if it costs me my life by Stephan Hausner

This workshop has an additional $50 of faculty tuition.

August
Into the Field of Possibility: Meeting Your Essence Through Dance
September 2–6, 2024
September 2, 2024
  -  
September 6, 2024
September 2, 2024
Into the Field of Possibility: Meeting Your Essence Through Dance
Jovinna Chan
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Dance is one of the world’s most ancient transformative rituals. From the whirling dervishes to the shamans, the waltz to the rave, we dance for joy, healing, and connection — guided by wisdom that transcends the thinking brain.

This five-day retreat is an invitation to come together to awaken the forgotten wild, ignite your creativity, and dance our way to wholeness. Through an alchemical combination of movement, nature, and sound healing, we’ll reconnect our bodies and minds, digest our feelings and emotions, and open ourselves to the wisdom of our hearts. Most of all, we’ll expand our vision to include a bigger perspective on our spiritual and human interconnectedness.

The practices we’ll cultivate this week will help you:

  • Release fear, inhibition, and judgment.
  • Trust your body’s innate wisdom to guide you.
  • Revive a sluggish nervous system.
  • Clear energetic blockages.
  • Step into your uniqueness and self-expression with confidence.

Allow yourself to be nourished by this sacred land, the hot spring waters, the time we share together, and the friends you’ll make. Experience the beauty, awe, and wonder of being alive so you may return home rejuvenated and inspired to continue walking your unique life path.

This workshop includes an additional $100 faculty tuition.

September
Designing the Life We Want
September 2–6, 2024
September 2, 2024
  -  
September 6, 2024
September 2, 2024
Designing the Life We Want
Mark Nicolson and Caitlin Wild
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you’d like? Are you going in the right direction? You have never before been where you are right now. You have never been the age you are today, never had the experiences you now possess. This is your time to pause and reflect. We rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to stop and look at what is changing — or discover what we truly need to feel fulfilled.

This very interactive workshop will include lots of experiential exercises. Though we will cover valuable theory and there will be plenty of reflection time, this will not be a series of talks/lectures. There will be movement, coaching, a little dance, and lots of activity. All participation will be voluntary at all times.

Our goal is to step back from our lives and renew. We will create a courageous community to both challenge and nurture ourselves. Participants will have the opportunity to learn what brings them joy and purpose, and then cultivate a vision to serve as a foundation for both the next year and next phase of life.

We will engage in a progression of individual and group exercises focused on reflection, movement, and listening to our inner wisdom. We’ll discover how to navigate major life transitions and learn skills to access our intuition. We will uncover the behaviors that support our overall success, and reveal which ones undermine our goals and fulfillment. If you are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around you, this program of renewal will be especially valuable.

This workshop has an additional $30 of faculty tuition.

September
Wild Presence: Relational Gestalt Practice in Nature
September 2–6, 2024
September 2, 2024
  -  
September 6, 2024
September 2, 2024
Wild Presence: Relational Gestalt Practice in Nature
Dorothy Charles, Noël Vietor and Fletcher Tucker
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

“Wilderness, by itself, has its own way of teaching. The direct experience of wilderness can spontaneously bring wholeness back into the human community.”  – Manual of Gestalt Practice in the Tradition of Dick Price

When we are present in the here and now, every moment in the natural world represents an opportunity to enrich, heal, and clarify our relationships to the Earth, ourselves, and one another. Esalen’s co-founder Dick Price spent much of his time hiking in the Big Sur wilderness, and he believed that wild nature supported wholeness and healing for himself and others. With roots in the Gestalt tradition and values Dick developed at Esalen, Relational Gestalt Practice is designed to help us live our lives with increased awareness and embodied presence — and can be powerfully explored within the natural world.

For five days, we will immerse in awareness practices and deep nature connection on the sacred grounds of the Esalen Institute and in the Big Sur wild (ancestral lands of the Esselen People). Together, we will explore our inner and outer landscapes by mindfully engaging with biodiverse wilderness and Gestalt practices under the open sky. Dorothy Charles, co-founder of Tribal Ground Circle and founder of Relational Gestalt Practice, will support the cultivation of presence, awareness, and the authentic expression of our hearts and minds. Wildtender co-founders Noël Vietor and Fletcher Tucker will guide our reconnection with the living world through a framework of kinship. A community of wild relations — redwood groves, ravens, mossy boulders, and all the beings and aspects of Big Sur — will expand our circle to include the more-than-human world.

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the workshop can be found here.
  • Various hiking abilities can be accommodated, bearing in mind that day hikes for this workshop will be up to four miles long with rugged, uneven, and sometimes steep terrain. Participants must be able to sit on the ground for periods of time. If you have any questions about your ability to participate, please read the workshop FAQs or email info@wildtender.com.

This workshop includes an additional $60 of faculty tuition and $40 park fee.

September
Self-Guided Explorations Week of September 2-6, 2024
September 2–6, 2024
September 2, 2024
  -  
September 6, 2024
September 2, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of September 2-6, 2024
Teachers in Residence
All Workshops

Letting go of entrenched ideas — of who we are, of how the world works, of our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth asks us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This model of change encompasses both personal and communal, and it’s always been at the core of Esalen.

Guided explorations are an evolution of programming designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural beauty of our campus to do the work of their own personal growth. The beauty of our Big Sur campus supports serenity for the mind, the body, the spirit, and offers nourishment for all three.

  • Exploring human potential. The dynamic class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher welcomes you as you begin your stay, while a closing circle on the final day provides a mindful way to conclude your experience.
  • Feeding mind and body. Savor three healthy meals a day. Our dynamic kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.
  • Creating space for reflection. Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, they’re an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
September
A Journey Into the World of Dreams: Exploring the Depths of the Unconscious
September 6–8, 2024
September 6, 2024
  -  
September 8, 2024
September 6, 2024
A Journey Into the World of Dreams: Exploring the Depths of the Unconscious
Machiel Klerk
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Machiel Klerk will lead participants on a journey into the mysterious world of dreams. Through various experiential exercises and discussions, we will explore how to tap into the wisdom and guidance of our inner selves, unlocking new levels of creativity, insight, and personal growth.

Dreams are a powerful tool for accessing the inner workings of our psyche and connecting with our souls. In this weekend workshop, we will learn how to use dream incubation to access the guidance and wisdom of our souls. We will journey into the world of dreams using tangible and practical techniques to work with them, reflect on them, and identify their “lessons.”

Through a series of exercises and discussions, participants will explore the power of intention-setting and ritual as tools for accessing dream guidance. They will learn how to create a safe and sacred space for dream incubation and have the opportunity to practice techniques for working with their dreams.

By the end of the weekend, participants will have:

  • Their personalized toolkit for continuing to connect and explore the depths of their soul through dreams.
  • A way of connecting and communicating with the dream figures.
  • The knowledge and understanding to receive guidance from their dreams — on their own.
  • New perspectives on understanding the world of dream.  

Machiel will guide participants in the ever-present world of dream and help them connect and communicate to dream figures and experience different dream states of consciousness. Discover how dreams can be used to unlock deeper levels of creativity, insight, and personal growth.

Recommended Reading: Dream Guidance Connecting To the Soul Through Dream Incubation by Michiel Klerk

This workshop has an additional $30 of faculty tuition.

September
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
September 6–9, 2024
September 6, 2024
  -  
September 9, 2024
September 6, 2024
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
Dan Zigmond
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

When was the last time you gave something your undivided attention? Nearly 2,500 years ago, Buddha worried we had become too distracted — and that was before paper, let alone smartphones. In 2022, our days are filled with convenient distractions that promise happiness while mostly delivering busyness and frustration. So many of us today live life in a hectic fog, working too much and noticing too little.

There is a different way. For this weekend workshop, we will disconnect, slow down, and meditate together. We will learn the ancient Zen practice of sitting still, bringing our full awareness to what is now.

Our time together will follow a gentle schedule of sitting meditation punctuated by brief lectures, group discussion, relaxing meals, and soaks in the healing baths, all while exploring the process and practice of mindful living. We’ll be listening to our own bodies, noticing the food we eat, and truly engaging with the people around us – exploring what it means to be fully present.

Together we will explore everything you need to start, revive, or deepen your daily meditation practice. You will receive instruction in traditional Zen Buddhist meditation and we will sit together in guided sessions, practicing what we’ve learned. We’ll work together on everything from the mechanics of sitting posture to the mental barriers we all face. We’ll discuss how to overcome common obstacles to meditation and the many ways to incorporate more mindfulness and presence into our daily lives.

Whether you’re brand new to meditation or even if you’ve been practicing for years, join us in learning how to bring meditation into your life and mindfulness to your work and home – today and every day. Come reclaim a healthier and happier way to be

Recommended Reading: Buddha’s Office, by Dan Zigmond

September
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
September 6–8, 2024
September 6, 2024
  -  
September 8, 2024
September 6, 2024
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
Daniela Urbassek and Malachi Stone
All Workshops
Healing Arts & Massage

This workshop is a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy the natural beauty of Esalen’s land while gaining a foundation in Esalen® Massage. Senior teachers and staff will guide you in this experience of connection and presence translated to the massage table.

Through lecture, demonstration and practice with your fellow students, you  will be introduced to the essentials, including quality of touch, rapport, a respect for our natural impulse toward healing, and mindful body mechanics. You will listen to what is felt as well as what is said. You will learn how to comfortably drape, and how to easily apply the foundational long, integration strokes and gentle stretches. You will have plenty of time for guided practice and to effectively share your experience. At the end of the weekend, you will be able to give a simple massage to friends and family back home.

Esalen massage promotes feelings of wholeness and reconnects us with our natural state of being. Teaching tools include experiential exercises to awaken the senses, demonstrations, and tableside guidance appropriate for you. The class will enjoy an optional evening in the hot tubs, birthplace of Esalen® Massage. The class is appropriate for the new and curious as well as the professional who would like to rejuvenate their senses and the quality of their touch.

September