Esalen Institute is open!

However, Highway 1 south of Esalen is closed indefinitely. Don't let this stop you — there are other routes to reach us. Please review these alternate route driving directions and allow for a little extra travel time while on your transformational and healing journey.

We look forward to welcoming you to Esalen.

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.)

Find a workshop
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Find a workshop:
Continuing Education
Creativity & Culture
Healing Arts & Massage
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication
Sound Healing
Yoga & Movement
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Moving into Stillness
March 4–8, 2024
March 4, 2024
  -  
March 8, 2024
March 4, 2024
Moving into Stillness
Janet Stone
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement
All Workshops

Restore.

It can take time and great effort to move away from the ego affirming busyness of modern day life toward a reflective stillness. In this workshop we will cultivate this slowing, deepening, and going within.

In a community setting, we will allow ourselves to dive below the surface of our thoughts and identities to know ourselves more intimately and untether from the chords that hold us to old behaviors and belief structures. Our practice will include:

  • Slow nourishing yoga movements.
  • Restorative postures to cultivate regeneration.
  • Meditation, mantras, writing, and intentional silence.

With the power of this land, the healing waters, strength of community, and nourishment of slowing down, we will move toward a listening, supple, healing body.

Please bring an eye pillow, and if you are driving, please also bring a bolster and sandbag.

CE Credit Available: 25 hours Continued Education credit for Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) available through Yoga Alliance; see leader.

This workshop includes an additional $220 faculty tuition.

March
Writing and Mindfulness: How to Cultivate Daily Meditation and Writing Practices
March 4–8, 2024
March 4, 2024
  -  
March 8, 2024
March 4, 2024
Writing and Mindfulness: How to Cultivate Daily Meditation and Writing Practices
Janis Cooke Newman
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

A consistent meditation practice can lower stress, improve health, strengthen relationships, and increase happiness. A regular writing practice can help you make sense of the world and your place in it while making you a better and more creative writer. This combination writing and meditation workshop invites writers and meditators of all levels to delve deeply into both practices and combine their benefits.

Our daily guided meditations will nourish your creativity by encouraging you to be present, establishing a strong mind/body connection, and helping you access emotion and empathy — all important tools for writing.

Daily bursts of free writing will provide opportunities to tap into your creative energy — without judgment — so you can do your most original and authentic writing. Both practices will be supported by discussions of the craft of writing to help you master the technical aspects of storytelling. Each day, we will set aside time to share our work in a safe and supportive environment.

By the end of the workshop, everyone will have acquired the tools necessary to develop daily meditation and writing practices — and make them stick. Participants will also receive a free month’s membership to Creative Caffeine Daily, an online community to inspire, share work, and provide feedback.

Recommended Reading: “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Writing Down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg, “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

March
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 4-8, 2024
March 4–8, 2024
March 4, 2024
  -  
March 8, 2024
March 4, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 4-8, 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.
March
Love Yourself for Everyone Else’s Sake
March 8–10, 2024
March 8, 2024
  -  
March 10, 2024
March 8, 2024
Love Yourself for Everyone Else’s Sake
Mark Abramson
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Love Yourself For Everyone Else’s Sake  

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

March
If Your Body Could Speak
March 8–11, 2024
March 8, 2024
  -  
March 11, 2024
March 8, 2024
If Your Body Could Speak
Daria Halprin
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Relationship & Communication
Yoga & Movement

The body is a living narrative, an interconnected web of our physical, emotional, and intellectual experiences. Every organ, bone, body part, and movement holds an energy, a feeling, a memory that calls our attention and seeks expression. With curiosity and care to the stories our bodies hold, we become embodied artists, choreographers of our life experience.

This workshop will be a creative exploration and discovery of what truly matters in your life through movement and art making, listening to the body, and listening to the heart. When we don’t take time or know how to be creative listeners, the body will tell its stories in disabling ways. Encountering our bodies creatively, we discover artful ways to re-story ourselves, bringing new vision to the life themes that matter to us.

A process called Body Mapping will lead participants through an art based journey with each body part. Challenges and resources will be identified and explored as rich material for movement, art making, group collaboration, and ritual. Participants will explore personal and group creativity, body-mind connections, and engage with psychological themes relevant to our historical and everyday lives.

Morning sessions will focus on somatic awareness – individual and group movement exploration to tune the physical body to sensation and feeling. Afternoon sessions will facilitate creative encounters with the art mediums of dance, drawing, and spoken and written narrative. Evening sessions will be devoted to presentations of the work created, reflection, and questions generated by the day’s work, releasing activities and meditative art practices.

Participants will explore:

Expanding body awareness through somatic movement experiences.

Utilizing the creative arts to explore life narratives. Learning methods for movement/dance and expressive arts that can be applied to their personal and professional practices.

Practicing approaches to improvisation and performance designed for the beginner and the experienced alike.

Employing the arts as a psychological process and communication tool.

The Halprin Life Art Process developed at Tamalpa Institute innovated groundbreaking work in the fields of somatics, psychology and artistic practice. Anna and Daria both worked with Fritz Perls, Ida Rolf, and Will Schultz in the early experimental days of Esalen.  

This is an approach to movement/dance as a healing art that is accessible to everyone and is offered in underserved communities. 20% of faculty tuition goes to Tamalpa ArtCorps social justice programs.

Recommended reading: The Expressive Body in Life, Art & Therapy, by Daria Halprin

March
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 8-10, 2024
March 8–10, 2024
March 8, 2024
  -  
March 10, 2024
March 8, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 8-10, 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.
March
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
March 9 – April 5, 2024
March 9, 2024
  -  
April 5, 2024
March 9, 2024
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
Sadia Bruce, J.J. Jeffries, Cara Chandler, and Douglas Drummond
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!

March
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 11-15, 2024
March 11–15, 2024
March 11, 2024
  -  
March 15, 2024
March 11, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 11-15, 2024
Teachers in Residence
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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.
March
Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
March 11–15, 2024
March 11, 2024
  -  
March 15, 2024
March 11, 2024
Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
Steven Harper
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Gestalt Practice at its core is an awareness practice in which we cultivate embodied, present-moment awareness of the unfolding experience of the here and now on a journey toward authentic growth, wholeness, and aliveness.

Drawing from the foundations of Gestalt Practice, wisdom traditions, and contemporary approaches that cultivate awareness, we’ll learn to become increasingly aware of our habitual, reactive, behavioral and emotional patterns — especially those that may no longer be skillful — for a more deeply embodied daily life. We will exercise our emotional and somatic intelligence in parallel to support, respect, and gently turn toward what arises moment to moment — to allow more space and appreciation for silence, sensation, emotional expression, and communication.

During this workshop, we will explore the rich practices and principles of Gestalt Practice. By applying them to everyday life, we’ll begin to experience the simple yet profound potential for showing up more fully and authentically for the daily presentations of living an awake life.

Gestalt Practice cultivates curiosity, equanimity, and acceptance with greater choice for creative possibilities. Rather than focusing on fixing or achievement, this approach offers methods to encourage you to:

  • Cultivate awareness and embodied presence.
  • Grow responsiveness, resilience, and choice.
  • Trust in your organism’s inherent capacity for self-regulation and co-regulation.

Together, we’ll explore the elements of this approach, primarily through experiential personal practices, interactive exercises, and Gestalt Awareness Movement. Practices and exercises will be done solo, in pairs, triads, and groups, allowing participants to grow their awareness and learn how we can deepen our relationships — to self and others. There will be time for some participants to experience classic one-to-one Open Seat practice sessions with Steven in the roles of Initiator and Reflector while in the context of the group. To enrich our understanding, we’ll touch upon the rich history, theory, and neuroscience that supports this approach.

Through Gestalt Practice, we bear witness to ineffable mysteries that can bring us to living life more fully. Participants are invited to show up:  choosing to be present, paying attention to what has heart and meaning, and open to what life presents — letting life live through us.

The workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience with the understanding that participants are exploring a model of an awareness gym or lab — not a therapy. A welcome letter will be sent upon registration along with additional information about our time together.

March
Healing Wisdom for Modern Times: You Are Your Greatest Healer
March 11–15, 2024
March 11, 2024
  -  
March 15, 2024
March 11, 2024
Healing Wisdom for Modern Times: You Are Your Greatest Healer
Erika Gagnon
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Relationship & Communication

Join ceremonial leader and wisdom carrier Erika Gagnon on a sacred journey, as we gather together and explore the healing wisdom of the “Americas.” We will learn about the importance of ancestral lineage, ceremonies and rituals, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies.

You are your greatest healer and greatest medicine, and we will examine what this means in the context of our modern daily lives as we share healing wisdom and practices together. This is your opportunity to transform trauma and unhealthy patterns, and to realign your body, mind, spirit, and soul. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a traditional South American healing ceremony, a sound healing & “doctoring” ceremony and water blessing.

You will be invited to reconnect to your authentic wisdom and power with clarity, gratitude, and forgiveness. When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage, and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you will strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life.

We are all interconnected in this giant web of life, and every day is a gift in the service of unconditional love: for yourself, your community, humanity, and our planet. If you feel the call to be a part of a new humanity that lives in harmony and balance upon this Earth, then we invite you to join us in this celebration of life.

Note: Please bring a journal to write in, and items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors and sacred objects that have meaning for you.

Special Note on Gift Economy:  For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika embraces the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support Erika and her ongoing work.

BIPOC SCHOLARSHIP: Erika has established a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color) scholarship for her workshops.  For more information on receiving one to participate, please contact her at ErikaGagnon11@gmail.com

March
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 15-17, 2024
March 15–17, 2024
March 15, 2024
  -  
March 17, 2024
March 15, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 15-17, 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.

March
Esalen® Massage for Couples, Partners and Friends
March 15–17, 2024
March 15, 2024
  -  
March 17, 2024
March 15, 2024
Esalen® Massage for Couples, Partners and Friends
Vicki Topp and Sam Sebastian
All Workshops
Healing Arts & Massage

In this introductory workshop, couples, partners, and friends will refine their relationship with touch, our forgotten language. Participants will be encouraged to ask for what they want,  listen to each other, gain sensory skills in initiating and receiving touch, experience the felt sense of muscle release, and close with a balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, massage demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during paired practice. The simple principles of Esalen® massage – presence, attending rather than fixing, self-care, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body – will build a heartfelt experience with our partner or friend, and perhaps most significantly, ourselves.

By the final session, participants will share and take home the basics of a classical Esalen massage. Experienced practitioners and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its effect as their rhythm slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact rather than technique.

Touch soothes us and evokes an opening to spirit. Participants experience a healthful balance of body, mind, and the vast awe of this natural setting. The edgy wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop sustain deeper connection.

March
Shedding the Old to Enter the Magnificent Wild: A Women’s Third Rite of Passage
March 15–17, 2024
March 15, 2024
  -  
March 17, 2024
March 15, 2024
Shedding the Old to Enter the Magnificent Wild: A Women’s Third Rite of Passage
Jovinna Chan
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Relationship & Communication

Perimenopausal and menopausal transitions are more than biological phases to endure; they are sacred passages that forge a woman into her fullest expression — as a truth-bearer, a pathfinder, a beauty maker, and a new creation.  

When the monthly cycles end,you’ll undergo tremendous transformations in your body, mind, emotions, and psyche. Crossing this monumental threshold awakens your inner sage, a wild knowing that has been sacredly woven from deep intuition and your soul’s language.

Join Jovinna as she weaves a web of story, nature, movement, and community to capture the magic of this time of life. Anchor the new story for yourself and future generations, infusing meaning and sacredness into this wild and inspired time.  

Over the weekend, there will be:

  • Practices of yoga and Conscious Dance to recharge the body and mind.
  • Time to be immersed in nature and connect with your elemental being.
  • Rituals and ceremonies to honor these important thresholds of transformation.

Let this be a time of celebration with reverence and levity as you meditate in the field of endless possibilities without your old roles, identities, and patterns.

Please bring a journal, a small piece of cloth that represents your old self, and an article of clothing that you’d like to wear for the ceremony of renewal.

This workshop includes an additional $50 faculty tuition.

March
Deep Rest, Recovery, and Renewal: From Burnout to Vitality
March 15–17, 2024
March 15, 2024
  -  
March 17, 2024
March 15, 2024
Deep Rest, Recovery, and Renewal: From Burnout to Vitality
Elissa Epel with Guest Faculty Nichol Chase
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Join us to experience deep rest and renewal! You need and deserve this.  So many of us are overtaxed by constant demands, burdens, and worries, especially those of us providing extra support for others through caregiving, healthcare, activism, and other service-oriented jobs.

We bring you expertise in the science, art, and practice of restoration from stress.

  • Learn the practical and cutting-edge science of stress resilience.
  • Be guided into states of deep rest and rejuvenation through meditation, yoga nidra, and restorative yoga.
  • Awaken all of your senses to reconnect with your body and increase vitality through gentle yoga, expressive movement, nature immersion, and sound healing.

Immersed in the beauty of nature at Esalen, our work is well supported. We will learn and practice new ways to restore ourselves, and you will develop a toolbox of short practices that support your daily rejuvenation and sustained vitality.

March
Healing Waters and the Ecology of Motion, a 5Rhythms® and Indigenous Plant Medicine Workshop
March 22–24, 2024
March 22, 2024
  -  
March 24, 2024
March 22, 2024
Healing Waters and the Ecology of Motion, a 5Rhythms® and Indigenous Plant Medicine Workshop
Douglas Drummond and Xochitl Ashe with Guest Faculty Nick Ayers
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Yoga & Movement

Nature heals. Water is life. The motion of our bodies is a tool to map our inner and outer landscapes as we navigate our life’s journey on Mother Earth.

People have always come to water and nature to receive guidance, clarity, and healing. Our weekend experience weaves the philosophy of the 5Rhythms® with sacred natural teachings inspired by the waters at Esalen Institute. We will journey together on a deep dive into the infinite source of creativity that resides within us all to balance the mind, body, and spirit. We will use the plant medicine of cacao in ceremony with the 5Rhythms movement practice to reconnect us to the flow and sacredness of water.

Together, we will:

  • Explore how to work with the ancient plant medicine of cacao to heal our hearts and move stuck emotions.
  • Share a water offering ritual to connect with the sacred waters of Esalen.
  • Experience the 5Rhythms movement practice as a catalyst and tool for integration.

Utilizing the power of the elements, we’ll practice fluidity and call upon ourselves to turn inwards, with clarity to express our outer nature, with courage to surrender to those forces bigger than ourselves, with ease to be effortless, and in the spirit of stillness to integrate our instinct and intuition.

Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth

This workshop has an additional $60 of faculty tuition.

March
Spring Equinox Yoga Retreat
March 22–24, 2024
March 22, 2024
  -  
March 24, 2024
March 22, 2024
Spring Equinox Yoga Retreat
Sarana Miller
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

March equinox, a time of transition and harmony, is a wonderful opportunity to deepen our practice of yoga. The light is returning from the dark days of winter, and balance is our theme — both on the yoga mat and for our emotional and spiritual selves. Just as the plants are beginning to bud, our own dreams, visions, and creativity are emerging from their winter gestation. The fertile and dynamic land of Esalen is a perfect setting to hold us for this exploration of Spring.

During this retreat, we will combine three healing practices to revitalize the body and calm the mind in the exquisite and rejuvenating natural environment of Esalen. Together, we will focus our attention on the practices of:

  • Yoga to yoke body and mind for present-moment awareness.
  • Meditation to cultivate concentration and empathy.
  • Chanting, or bhakti yoga, the practice of the heart.

This immersive weekend will leave us balanced, revitalized, and ready for the full and active days of Spring and Summer.

This workshop includes an additional $45 faculty tuition.

March
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 22-24, 2024
March 22–24, 2024
March 22, 2024
  -  
March 24, 2024
March 22, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 22-24, 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.

March
Mapping Your Hero’s Adventure: A Mythogenesis PlayShop
March 24–29, 2024
March 24, 2024
  -  
March 29, 2024
March 24, 2024
Mapping Your Hero’s Adventure: A Mythogenesis PlayShop
Robert Walter
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Psychology & Self-awareness

Joseph Campbell used to celebrate his birthday at Esalen. Asked why, he’d recount how Carl Jung—wondering “What myth am I living by?” and realizing he didn’t know — wrote, “I took it upon myself to get to know ‘my’ myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks.”

“That’s what a birthday is for,” Campbell would conclude, “and what Esalen is about.” In 1988, the year after Campbell died, his friends —recalling his dictum: “What you do, you do with play”—gathered at Esalen to inaugurate “Campbell Week,” a tradition that morphed into this PlayShop, which has continued annually ever since..

Who were you? What has inspired your biographical saga? What treasures hide in your basement or attic? Who are you? What’s displayed on your refrigerator? What dangles from your rearview mirror? Who do you aspire to be? What’s on your bucket list? Dare to re-vision yourself and join our springtime rebirth rituals.

You needn’t be familiar with Campbell to relive dreams, rekindle visions, and experience mythogenesis. Toward that end, we will use myth-making tools—drums & dance, music & song, medicine bags, and masks; we will play D-PiCT™; The Game of Mythogenesis; and we will engage in small- and large group activities that provide reflective and expressive opportunities for revisioning the myths that have shaped your life.

“Re-vision — the art of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, from a new critical direction — is for us an act of survival. Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves. We need to know  the past differently than we have ever known it, not to pass on a tradition, but to break its hold over us.” —Adrienne Rich

Please bring a meaningful but expendable totem, an unsung story, or an evocative song.

Recommended reading: Anything by Campbell. Anything that makes you laugh. Poetry.

March
Metta and the Divine Abodes: Meditation, Yoga, and Wisdom to Live a Better Life
March 25–29, 2024
March 25, 2024
  -  
March 29, 2024
March 25, 2024
Metta and the Divine Abodes: Meditation, Yoga, and Wisdom to Live a Better Life
Hannah Muse
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement
Mindfulness & Spirituality

The Brahmavihārās (divine abodes) are profound practices that uncover your natural capacity to live your life easefully with love, connection, wisdom, and joy. In this experiential workshop, we’ll use daily guided meditation practices, storytelling, song, relational mindfulness practices, self-directed neuroplasticity, yoga, and somatic play to explore the classical Buddhist Heart practices known as the “boundless states” or the “four immeasurables.”

In this workshop, we will explore the four Buddhist virtues and ways to cultivate them, including:

  • Loving-kindness (metta) practices for self-acceptance, relational healing, gratitude, forgiveness, and kinship with all beings.  
  • Compassion (karuna) practices for tenderness, resilience, an open-heart to suffering, and a greater sense of our shared humanity.
  • Sympathetic joy (mudita) practices for enthusiasm, authentic joy, generosity, and celebratory participation in life.
  • Equanimity (upekka) practices for wisdom, perspective, clarity, and an unwavering sense of trust.

Our days will follow a nourishing schedule of experiences and reflections balanced harmoniously with relaxing meals, community connection, and starlit soaks in Esalen’s healing baths. Music, nature, poetry, shadow work, journaling, breathwork, and ritual will all be artfully woven into our time together.

Whereas some spiritual practices are aimed at otherworldly enlightenment, the four divine abodes help us awaken to the beauty, clarity, and vast possibility available right here in our complex, often messy, mundane, and wholly sacred human experience. They are a pathway to unburdening ourselves of self-doubt, resentment, and regret. They guide our way home to that wellspring in our hearts from which unconditional love flows, where we contact our wholeness, discover radical acceptance, and remember our belonging in this world.

No matter who you are, where you are on your spiritual path, or what you’ve been through, discovering renewal is possible. Join us if you long for a deep, playful, tenderizing workshop that may touch your heart and leave you forever transformed.

March
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 25-29, 2024
March 25–29, 2024
March 25, 2024
  -  
March 29, 2024
March 25, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of March 25-29, 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.
March
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 29-31, 2024
March 29–31, 2024
March 29, 2024
  -  
March 31, 2024
March 29, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of March 29-31, 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.
March
Stories That Make Us Whole: The Power of Writing in Sacred Community
March 29–April 1, 2024
March 29, 2024
  -  
April 1, 2024
March 29, 2024
Stories That Make Us Whole: The Power of Writing in Sacred Community
Laura Davis with Guest Faculty Evelyn Hall
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Psychology & Self-awareness

When the world around us is polarized and the future is uncertain, gathering in community, living in our bodies, and expressing the truth is more important than ever.

In this transformative four-day writing workshop, we’ll use ritual and deep writing to connect with our inner voice, discover the healing power of language, and birth powerful true stories onto the page. Evocative prompts, movement, and guided meditation will lead you deeply into the world of language and story. Discover how to “find the story beneath the story,” why writers need to “slow down where it hurts,” and the secret of crafting tales rooted in the immediacy and physicality of the moment.

As we alternate periods of writing and movement with listening to each other from a place of deep acceptance, you’ll benefit from the strength of a supportive writing circle, witness the healing power of language, and experience the transformation that occurs when we tell true stories and are deeply heard. Open to anyone willing to connect with their creativity in the context of a safe, confidential community. Both emerging and seasoned writers are welcome to attend

This workshop includes a $25 materials fee.

March
The Braided Way: Bringing Ancient Wisdom Into Our Contemporary Lives Through Trance Drumming, Ceremony, and Cross Cultural Wisdom
March 29–31, 2024
March 29, 2024
  -  
March 31, 2024
March 29, 2024
The Braided Way: Bringing Ancient Wisdom Into Our Contemporary Lives Through Trance Drumming, Ceremony, and Cross Cultural Wisdom
Patricia James and Geramy Quarto
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

When the wisdom of the sky and the wisdom of the earth are braided through the human heart, then there will be a rainbow of people.

This prophecy of the Indigenous peoples speaks to the practice of braiding together traditional (earth) and contemporary (sky) knowledge to create something new that embraces both rather than replacing one or the other. Through this braiding, or weaving, we can learn to live modern lives guided by ancient wisdom, bringing the sacred home to ourselves.

In this experiential workshop, we will engage in cross-cultural practices and non-ordinary states of consciousness through trance drumming, guided journeys, and ceremony. These practices have been shared by Indigenous cultures over thousands of years to deepen connections to the self, cultivate a relationship with the planet, and find more balanced ways of being. You will be introduced to different techniques designed to ground and integrate these non-ordinary states and discover how to incorporate these teachings into your daily lives.

This workshop will cover the components of ceremony, including:

  • Purification herbs
  • Sacred altars
  • Circle work
  • Space holding
  • Methods of connecting with ancestors

In our time together, we will explore the braided way. You’ll have the opportunity to reconnect with wisdom practices that forge sacred space for self and community. Come ready to restore, reveal, and leave inspired!

Participants are encouraged to bring a Journal for note taking, a blanket or wrap for floor work, and a water container.

March
Come Alive: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
April 1–5, 2024
April 1, 2024
  -  
April 5, 2024
April 1, 2024
Come Alive: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
Justin Michael Williams
All Workshops
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality

“Being always on the go, on the grind, and non-stop producers has us ‘living’ our lives, but are we fully alive?” —Justin Michael Williams

Here’s the truth: If you can worry, you can meditate.

Learn how to ACTUALLY meditate, the true science behind meditation, and why it’s difficult for so many people. Build a practice that doesn’t just help you relax, but becomes a tool to help you become more empowered and aligned with your true self. On the beautiful grounds of Esalen, come and play, dance, sing, learn a deep practice you can take home with you, and come alive in your everyday life. Awaken to the truth of who you are, your creative power, and your soul’s calling.  With daily meditation practice, intentional ritual-building, TED Talk-style lessons, live music, and a dance party on Wednesday night — this class will rejuvenate your spirit and bring you back home to yourself.

All are welcome. From “I never meditated before,” to “I tried it, but it doesn’t really work for me,” to “I use an app sometimes,” to life-long practitioners looking for a new technique of awakening.

In this workshop, you will be invited to learn:

  • The true science behind meditating and what most people get wrong.
  • The reason why meditation is hard for most people, and how to overcome the inner dialogue that stops you from practicing.
  • The five myths about meditation and how to avoid them when building your practice.
  • A scientifically proven way to build a daily meditation ritual that you can do at home, well after the retreat is over.

This is your time to give back to yourself, do something loving for yourself, and remember the truth of your existence in a space of community, family, nature, kindness, and deep connection. Take your power back and claim your true self and story of your one big miraculous journey of life.

From the ground up, this program has been designed to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Expect a deeply rejuvenating week with a diverse group and a profoundly opening experience.

You are worthy.

You are enough.

We rise together.

This is your time — come alive.

Recommended reading: Stay Woke by Justin Michael Williams

April
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 1-5, 2024
April 1–5, 2024
April 1, 2024
  -  
April 5, 2024
April 1, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 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.
April
The Space Between: Where Tensegrity Meets the Subtle Body
April 1–5, 2024
April 1, 2024
  -  
April 5, 2024
April 1, 2024
The Space Between: Where Tensegrity Meets the Subtle Body
Kate Flore and Kevin Dockery
Healing Arts & Massage
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

“A brain without a body couldn’t think.” — Moshe Feldenkrais

“We want to get you to a place where gravity is your friend, a nourishing force.” — Dr. Ida P. Rolf

Human beings are relational by nature. We are an intricate web of anatomy, energy, space, and time that takes shape through our life experiences. Our physical structure, function, and sense of self are reflected in our fascial layers and formed by our early development, by principles of self-organization, and by how we engage with our environment.

When we fall into habitual patterns, parts of ourselves become undeveloped, unseen. If our bodies are given a setting in which to relate to gravity, others, and our environment with curiosity and attunement, we can be free to move and relate with more choice and ease.

Using the grounds, waters, and spirit of Esalen as our laboratory, Kate and Kevin will use the Feldenkrais Method and Gestalt process as a guide to contact and nurture the influences of the subtle body – our relationship to ground, gravity, and the space between.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Identify the habitual relational patterns that prevent us from cultivating ease in our lives.
  • Investigate how the subtle body is influenced by the principles of emotional anatomy, tensegrity, neuroplasticity, and self-organization through experiential movement.
  • Be guided through Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons tailored toward the subtle body and creating more sophistication in functional movement.
  • Explore sensation, weight, gravity, and relationship through movement and contact.
  • Learn tools of Gestalt Relational Process to increase presence and awareness and integration of ourselves.

Recommended Reading: Feldenkrais, The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion; Gladis, Tales of a Wounded Healer: Creating Exact Moments of Healing; Bodywise: An Introduction to Hellerwork for Regaining Flexibility & Well-Being.

April
The Essence of Soul, The Anatomy of Being: An Embodied Exploration of Consciousness
April 1–5, 2024
April 1, 2024
  -  
April 5, 2024
April 1, 2024
The Essence of Soul, The Anatomy of Being: An Embodied Exploration of Consciousness
Gitanjali Hemp
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Creativity & Culture

Open to the mysteries and remember the full truth of who and what you are — a magical multidimensional human being and an integral part of all creation. Join Gitanjali, creator and founder of the Syntara System School of Energy Awareness, as she leads you on a skillfully curated journey through your subtle body and morphogenic energy fields, exploring consciousness in deeply integrated and embodied ways.

Culturally, we don’t have a lot of language or context for the unseen realms. In this experiential workshop, we will explore ancient practices and innovative frameworks that will allow you to integrate the sacred with the mundane, becoming a more powerful and compassionate co-creator of the world we know is possible.

Some of the techniques we will use are:

  • Meditation and visualization
  • Transmission teachings
  • Energy work
  • Subtle body movement
  • Breathwork
  • Journaling
  • Relational skills

Together, we will gather on these sacred lands, commune with the natural world, embody our essence nature and remember our deep belonging. Honoring all that has come before as we move with awareness towards an emergent future.

Some of the frameworks shared will include:

  • The Torus: the fundamental energy pattern of all creation.
  • The Aspects of Being: a structural map of our ephemeral nature.
  • The 4 States of Consciousness: a simple model to presence and partner with our awareness and mindfully transform our perceptual state.
  • Resonant Stories: a framework that grants access to the intersection of our soul lineage with our ancestral lines, paradoxically rooting us more firmly in the present.

Our days will follow a nourishing schedule of experiential practices woven together with refined structural teachings, delicious meals, community connection, soaks in the healing waters, and reciprocity with the nature spirits and land.

This work is accessible to beginners while being nuanced enough for those more advanced on the path. Join us!

April
Designing the Life We Want: Self Renewal in the Spring
April 5–7, 2024
April 5, 2024
  -  
April 7, 2024
April 5, 2024
Designing the Life We Want: Self Renewal in the Spring
Mark Nicolson
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
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 includes an additional $15 of faculty tuition.

April
Ancestral Plant Medicine
April 5–7, 2024
April 5, 2024
  -  
April 7, 2024
April 5, 2024
Ancestral Plant Medicine
Xochitl Ashe and Guest Faculty Kyle McBride
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
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.

April
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 5-7, 2024
April 5–7, 2024
April 5, 2024
  -  
April 7, 2024
April 5, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 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.
April
Esalen Environmental Stewardship: Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience and Human Well-Being Through the Esalen Farm & Garden
April 6–19, 2024
April 6, 2024
  -  
April 19, 2024
April 6, 2024
Esalen Environmental Stewardship: Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience and Human Well-Being Through the Esalen Farm & Garden
Teachers In Residence
All Workshops
Nature & Sustainability

Land and water are both sacred and foundational to Esalen. Deepening our knowledge of these natural treasures is crucial to protecting the planet. We are planting seeds for new opportunities to strengthen connection and understanding of the world around us through hands-on experiences that can be applied into daily life, working towards solutions.

Join the Esalen community for a two-week exploration that grounds the mind, body, heart, and spirit through connecting with nature. This eco-journey illuminates the importance of living harmoniously and in an intentional way. We are the caretakers of this Earth and we are responsible for its survival.

This immersion focuses time on and in Esalen’s Farm & Garden. Be prepared to get your hands dirty learning sustainable farming practices throughout the two weeks. We will also broaden our discussions to encompass other environmentally important topics such as climate, environmental justice and watershed conservation.

Classes will be led by the Esalen resident faculty in addition to visiting teachers to support the cultivation of sustainable daily practices.

Together, we’ll dig into:

  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Climate and environmental justice
  • Ocean and watershed mindfulness
  • Gestalt Awareness practices
  • Esalen-style “check-ins” — a six-decade practice of community mindfulness
  • Breathwork, yoga, and inspirational writing practices

Ensuring the world’s and humanity’s survival is our responsibility as Earthly citizens. Become a part of the Esalen community and discover the power and beauty of Mother Nature while experiencing transformation through service!

April
Integrative Gestalt Practice™: Embracing Our Different Parts
April 8–12, 2024
April 8, 2024
  -  
April 12, 2024
April 8, 2024
Integrative Gestalt Practice™: Embracing Our Different Parts
Perry Holloman and Johanna Holloman
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Integrative Gestalt Practice™ is a method of self-inquiry developed by Perry and Johanna Holloman over the last 30 years. Self-inquiry is a powerful practice for discovering and living that which is most authentic in us.

This in-depth program is for those wanting to experience the practice of Gestalt Inquiry to support their self-exploration. Integrative Gestalt Practice is particularly helpful in life transitions and with vital questions affecting the quality of our lives and relationships (family, friends, intimate partners), careers, and overall life purpose. The powerful tools presented in this seminar will continue to be helpful in daily life long after. The practice of Gestalt Inquiry can imbue us with an internal sense of agency, clarity, and strength and connect us to what many describe as a sense of “inner guidance.”

In this workshop, we will explore the different internal “parts,” or “sub-personalities,” which arise in different situations, such as our workplaces, in our intimate relationships, or with our families of origin. Becoming familiar with and accepting these different aspects of ourselves — which function to support and protect us — is an important part of developing “integrated awareness,” which can bring our different parts into working relationships with each other, giving us a sense of wholeness and clarity in life.

Perry and Johanna will combine experiential practices involving breath, movement, and structured “inquiries” in dyads and triads with individual “open-seat” work to create a well-rounded program suited for people who want to self-explore in a safe group setting.

Recommended Reading: Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Frederick S. Perls and Steve Andreas, Diamond Heart Book One Elements of the Real in Man by A. H. Almaas

This workshop includes an additional $50 faculty tuition.

April
Awake in the Body: Buddhist Meditation, Yoga, and Shadow Work
April 8–12, 2024
April 8, 2024
  -  
April 12, 2024
April 8, 2024
Awake in the Body: Buddhist Meditation, Yoga, and Shadow Work
Chandra Easton
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement

We will become our opposite if we do not learn to accommodate the opposite within us. — Carl Jung

At the heart of contemplative life is the archetypal journey home to our essential nature, our basic goodness. The Buddha taught that we come to experience this essential nature through the embodied integration of meditative quiescence (shamatha) and contemplative insight (vipashyana). In this workshop, we will cultivate quiescence and insight through the “four applications of mindfulness” of the body, feelings, mental states, and phenomena, which invite us to develop a self-aware gaze, or metacognition.

We will meditate indoors and out, practice gentle yoga, and learn how to work with challenges along the path through Feeding Your Demons® (FYD). This Buddhist-based practice is an exquisite five-step process in which we offer attention and compassion to our inner obstacles, our “demons,” rather than struggle with them. In this context, demons are those thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that block our experience of freedom. A 2018 FYD pilot study found that FYD was associated with increased self-compassion, emotion awareness and self-regulation, satisfaction with life, and decreased stress, craving, depression, and intolerance for uncertainty. FYD transcends spiritual constructs, serving as a meaningful tool for anybody, regardless of religious affiliation or personal philosophy.

In this retreat, you will experience:

  • Meditation indoors and in nature, gazing over the Pacific Ocean, weather permitting.
  • Discussions on the seminal Buddhist teachings called the “four applications of mindfulness.”
  • Feeding Your Demons (FYD) practice.
  • FYD with drawing/art.
  • Gentle and accessible therapeutic yoga to bring more comfort and ease to your meditation practice and your life.

All are welcome. Please bring loose, comfortable clothing, a journal, and writing implements. Paper and art supplies will be provided. If you have art supplies you like, such as colored pencils, pens, pastels, or watercolors, feel free to bring them.

Recommended Reading: Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness by B. Alan Wallace and Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict by Tsultrim Allione.

This workshop includes an additional $5 for materials.

April
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 8-12, 2024
April 8–12, 2024
April 8, 2024
  -  
April 12, 2024
April 8, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 8-12, 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.
April
Awaken The Artist Within: The Sketchbook Immersion
April 8–12, 2024
April 8, 2024
  -  
April 12, 2024
April 8, 2024
Awaken The Artist Within: The Sketchbook Immersion
Erin Gafill and Tom Birmingham
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

Learn to tap the source and break through creative barriers during this hands-on workshop. Together, we’ll explore a variety of mediums and techniques to find entry into creative expression, including:

  • Color blocking
  • Watercolor sketching
  • Observational image making
  • Timed free writing
  • Abstracting from nature

The poet Rumi speaks of a river of joy that courses through the world. Through these creative practices, we invite that river to flow freely through us and the powerful energy of Esalen’s natural environment to fill us, dissolving internal blocks and flowing through our hands onto the page.

The core of this workshop is inspiration and energy, but we’ll explore techniques and design principles that will inform your aesthetic and native mark-making language in an intuitive way, without fear of criticism or failure.

We’ll provide multimedia sketchbooks to fill with your artistic experiments. They’ll serve as a repository, a totem, a teacher, and a reminder of what you can achieve when you dip into the river of joy.  The blank white pages, which you will fill with a treasured collection of artistic ideas, will be a metaphor for our process.

Whether you are a seasoned professional in the arts or you’ve never picked up a paintbrush, these immersive sessions will awaken the artist within and help you make peace with your inner critic.

There is a $60 material fee for this workshop. All essential materials, including acrylic paints, watercolors, paintbrushes, writing pens, collage materials, sketchbooks, and painting surfaces — everything you need to participate fully in each exercise. Feel free to bring your favorite pens, brushes, or other art-making tools.

Recommended Reading: Drinking From a Cold Spring, a Little Book of Hope, and Color Duets by Erin Lee Gafill

April
Return to Source: Authenticity in Motion, a 5Rhythms® Workshop
April 12–14, 2024
April 12, 2024
  -  
April 14, 2024
April 12, 2024
Return to Source: Authenticity in Motion, a 5Rhythms® Workshop
Douglas Drummond
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel comfortable in your own skin? How do you “do” you?

Return to Source is a dance and movement-based deep dive into the 5Rhythms® movement meditation practice to explore, celebrate, and connect to the beautiful authenticity that is you. Your authentic presence is as unique as your own fingerprint. It is a source of great potential that requires courage, curiosity, and support to harness. The motion of our bodies in alignment with our intentional breath is an accessible tool to sculpt, hone, and discover your unique self.

During this impactful weekend, you will have the opportunity, through movement, group shares, and sensory awareness, to explore your edges, move with intention, and unearth your own relationship to authentic being.

In this dynamic program, we will explore:

  • Movement
  • Group sharing
  • Sensory awareness
  • Leadership exercises
  • Didactic practices

The 5Rhythms® can be a powerful lens through which we can track, express, and embrace how sensation moves and is felt within the body. Return to Source honors the maps of the 5Rhythms® practice through authentic expression of the body, in all shapes and forms.

No prior experience necessary.

Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth

This workshop has an additional $60 of faculty tuition.

April
Meet Your Better Half: Unlock Your Right Brain
April 12–14, 2024
April 12, 2024
  -  
April 14, 2024
April 12, 2024
Meet Your Better Half: Unlock Your Right Brain
William Donius
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness

Learn to activate the right side of your brain to unlock the insights necessary to break through self-limiting patterns. Based on a Nobel Prize-winning discovery in neuroscience, this methodology helps you think outside the box and live a more creative, productive, happier life.

William Donius, author of the New York Times bestseller Thought Revolution, spent a decade researching and developing this brain-enhancing methodology. He has taught these skills to a wide range of people, from students and corporate executives to scientists and artists. This innovative approach inspires more creative solutions than conventional thinking or brainstorming sessions. Through easy-to-learn exercises, you can discover ways to harness your intuition and uncover profound insights about yourself that make change possible. You’ll develop practical tools you can apply each time you face an important decision or obstacle in life. You can go home with new ways to unlock your own inner genius and create the life you long for.

Please bring a notebook or journal and a pen.

Recommended Reading: Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius by William Donius

April
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 12-14, 2024
April 12–14, 2024
April 12, 2024
  -  
April 14, 2024
April 12, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 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.
April
Effortless Mindfulness: How to Live an Awakened Life
April 14–19, 2024
April 14, 2024
  -  
April 19, 2024
April 14, 2024
Effortless Mindfulness: How to Live an Awakened Life
Loch Kelly
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

What would the world be like if we discovered how to access our wisdom and compassion to truly and fully live? In this retreat, Loch will present easily accessible methods that weave together different approaches to embody awakening — from neuroscience and cutting-edge psychological research to modern versions of ancient wisdom practices from around the world. You will be offered the keys to supporting the awakening as the next natural stage of human development. You will learn how to shift out of your chattering mind into an embodied, open hearted presence that has capacity to love and heal both our judgemental and hurt emotional parts.

The first premise of Loch’s nondual approach is that the freedom, connection, and awakeness we are seeking are already within us. Effortless Mindfulness does not mean it “takes no effort” but that there is an effortless awareness here already. This already installed upgrade to our way of being only needs to be enabled for us to access the capacity to heal suffering at the root and live a courageous, compassionate life.  

The retreat will include:

  • Awareness yoga (moving awareness through the body and mind).
  • Short, mico-meditations to help you immediately access awake consciousness.
  • Peer Inquiry as a way to begin to communicate from the awakened heart-mind.
  • Spontaneous qigong, gentle yoga, and embodiment exercises.
  • Methods for bringing the open-hearted, compassionate Self to soothe the stressed body, mind, and emotions.
  • Internal Family Systems-style exercises to bring our shadow parts and inner critics into healing and to reveal our authentic Self

Required prerequisite: Participants must be familiar with the practices  of Effortless Mindfulness from either Loch’s Mindful Glimpses app or his books.  www.mindfulglimpses.com

Recommended reading: Mindful Glimpses App, The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, and Shift into Freedom by Loch Kelly.

April
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 15-19, 2024
April 15–19, 2024
April 15, 2024
  -  
April 19, 2024
April 15, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 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.
April
5Rhythms®: Grief, Loss, and the Body in Motion
April 19–22, 2024
April 19, 2024
  -  
April 22, 2024
April 19, 2024
5Rhythms®: Grief, Loss, and the Body in Motion
Lucia Horan and Peter Selwyn
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Yoga & Movement

This is an era of chaos, change, and grief for the world. As we continue moving through these unprecedented times, we are required to face difficulties that may seem insurmountable. We invite you to a weekend retreat to hold together what should not be held alone.

Have you experienced loss and the natural emotions of sadness, anger, fear, and love? How do you process your losses and move through your life? Many of us have not yet found safe and effective ways of expressing these emotions and we can feel burdened, both emotionally and physically, with the cumulative weight of our unfinished business.

Using the tools of the 5Rhythms movement practice combined with a process of grief work grounded in emotional presence, non-judgment, and supportive witnessing, participants will come together in a safe space to help heal mind, body, and spirit:

Lucia is a dancer and Trauma Sensitive mindfulness teacher with more than 25 years of global teaching experience. She will facilitate the 5Rhythms movement practice as a way of experientially accessing and transforming the emotional states that come with grief.

Peter is a physician with more than thirty years of experience in HIV/AIDS, palliative care, and grief work for caregivers, and was certified as a 5Rhythms teacher in 2021. He will facilitate an exploration of stages of grief, using story-sharing as part of releasing and working through losses.

The weekend also includes didactic and experiential sessions focused on natural and distorted emotional responses to grief, caregiving vs. caretaking, and more.

Please bring photos or other mementos of anyone whose memory you would like to bring into the workshop.

Suggested Reading: Surviving The Fall by Peter Selwyn, Dancing With the Dharma Edited by Harrison Blum, Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth

This workshop includes an additional $75 faculty tuition.

For more information about 5Rhythms, click here.

April
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
April 19–22, 2024
April 19, 2024
  -  
April 22, 2024
April 19, 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.

April
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 19-21, 2023
April 19–21, 2024
April 19, 2024
  -  
April 21, 2024
April 19, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 19-21, 2023
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.
April
Esalen Environmental Stewardship: Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience and Human Well-Being Through the Esalen Farm & Garden
April 20 – May 3, 2024
April 20, 2024
  -  
May 3, 2024
April 20, 2024
Esalen Environmental Stewardship: Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience and Human Well-Being Through the Esalen Farm & Garden
Teachers In Residence
All Workshops
Nature & Sustainability

Land and water are both sacred and foundational to Esalen. Deepening our knowledge of these natural treasures is crucial to protecting the planet. We are planting seeds for new opportunities to strengthen connection and understanding of the world around us through hands-on experiences that can be applied into daily life, working towards solutions.

Join the Esalen community for a two-week exploration that grounds the mind, body, heart, and spirit through connecting with nature. This eco-journey illuminates the importance of living harmoniously and in an intentional way. We are the caretakers of this Earth and we are responsible for its survival.

This immersion focuses time on and in Esalen’s Farm & Garden. Be prepared to get your hands dirty learning sustainable farming practices throughout the two weeks. We will also broaden our discussions to encompass other environmentally important topics such as climate, environmental justice and watershed conservation.

Classes will be led by the Esalen resident faculty in addition to visiting teachers to support the cultivation of sustainable daily practices.

Together, we’ll dig into:

  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Climate and environmental justice
  • Ocean and watershed mindfulness
  • Gestalt Awareness practices
  • Esalen-style “check-ins” — a six-decade practice of community mindfulness
  • Breathwork, yoga, and inspirational writing practices

Ensuring the world’s and humanity’s survival is our responsibility as Earthly citizens. Become a part of the Esalen community and discover the power and beauty of Mother Nature while experiencing transformation through service!

April
Common Ground: A 5Rhythms® Dance, Mindfulness and Art Celebration
April 22–26, 2024
April 22, 2024
  -  
April 26, 2024
April 22, 2024
Common Ground: A 5Rhythms® Dance, Mindfulness and Art Celebration
Lucia Horan and Douglas Drummond with Guest Musicians Sanga of the Valley and Nick Ayers, Guest Artist Tracy Powell, and Guest Speaker Renee Lertzman
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Yoga & Movement

Spring brings renewal to our lands. After the isolating winter chill, it is time to expand, bloom, and gather in community. During this full moon week, including Earth Day, we’ll celebrate with a campus-wide event that will weave together our most potent offerings: the 5Rhythms® dance, mindfulness, meditation, and art!

Together, we’ll honor our common ground as living beings and our interconnection with Mother Earth. We will dance in nature and be danced through the 5Rhythms, Gabrielle Roth’s map of the earth’s primary energies and their movement through our bodies and in the world around us. Working with this system helps us to attune and align with ourselves, one another, and the earth. Dance supports neuroplasticity and uses the body’s intelligence to help us experience reality in a more balanced and healthy way.

We will be accompanied by world-famous musicians Sanga of the Valley and Nick Ayers. With Tracy Powell, our artist-in-residence, you will bring into being a series of community-made, “created in nature” pieces. In addition, TED speaker and environmental psychologist Renee Lertzman will discuss the importance of “attunement” with the environment and how to inspire and create a better future.

This course will include:

  • 5Rhythms dance at inside and outside venues, by daylight and moonlight
  • Creating art in nature
  • Trauma-sensitive mindfulness, including a Dharma talk, sitting and walking meditations
  • Group sharing circles, optional groups for men and women’s circles
  • Live music and recorded music

In this fiercely changing landscape, some may feel emotionally called to grieve or may be disconnected and numb from all that is happening. These practices will offer a pathway into conversation with the natural forces. In the splendor of nature, we will celebrate the gift of life on this Earth. Join us for a week of celebration of the Earth and our bodies!

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 includes $100 of additional faculty tuition.

April
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 22-26, 2024
April 22–26, 2024
April 22, 2024
  -  
April 26, 2024
April 22, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of April 22-26, 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.
April
Hardwiring Happiness: Rewire Your Mind for Calm, Clarity, and Joy
April 26–28, 2024
April 26, 2024
  -  
April 28, 2024
April 26, 2024
Hardwiring Happiness: Rewire Your Mind for Calm, Clarity, and Joy
Shauna Shapiro
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Revolutionary findings in neuroscience have demonstrated that we can literally re-architect the very structure of our brains. In fact, we can even rewire our neurology to be more focused, calmer, and happier.

In this workshop, Dr. Shauna Shapiro — a leading scientist studying the effects of meditation on well-being — will teach you the most powerful science-based practices for increasing the neural pathways of happiness. She’ll explain basic brain science and offer a clear roadmap for living a joyful, connected, and meaningful life. Be prepared for unexpected transformation and delight.

During this weekend workshop, we’ll learn:

  • Science-based practices to increase your baseline level of happiness.
  • How to cultivate greater joy, gratitude, and connection.
  • To integrate these practices into our everyday lives.

Recommended Reading: Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire the Brain for Calm, Clarity + Joy by Shauna Shapiro & Good Morning, I Love You: A Guided Journal for Calm, Clarity + Joy by Shauna Shapiro

*This workshop includes an additional $390 faculty tuition. For anyone facing financial hardship, Dr. Shauna Shapiro invites you to contact her directly for tuition scholarship at slshapiro@scu.edu.

April
Embodying Resilience: A Movement Workshop on Stability and Chaos
April 26–28, 2024
April 26, 2024
  -  
April 28, 2024
April 26, 2024
Embodying Resilience: A Movement Workshop on Stability and Chaos
Andrea Juhan
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

The seemingly opposing forces of stability and chaos are powerful currents we navigate daily. The dance between the two can become an intense emotional process that leaves us yearning for a sense of balance and ease.

Without inner stability, chaos can easily overwhelm, flood, and leave us feeling lost. We must redefine chaos, which is often compared to a natural disaster: a hurricane of emotion, a tsunami of details, a whirlwind schedule. These descriptions denote a quality of being out of control and unsafe. Learning to stabilize ourselves in an embodied way provides grounding, safety, a means to pace ourselves, and a resilient inner core. It transforms chaos from hazard to opportunity.

When we can meet chaos with an embodied sense of stability, we can expand our curiosity and delight in the unknown and unpredictable. This workshop will equip you with the physical and emotional tools needed to navigate the storms we encounter both within and outside ourselves.

10 CE units available 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 4 years after the course concludes.
  • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Nicole@AndreaJuhan.com

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

April
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 26-28, 2024
April 26–28, 2024
April 26, 2024
  -  
April 28, 2024
April 26, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of April 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.
April
The Deep: An Immersive Esalen Experience
April 29–May 5, 2024
April 29, 2024
  -  
May 5, 2024
April 29, 2024
The Deep: An Immersive Esalen Experience
Sadia Bruce, Jovinna Chan, J.J. Jeffries and Cara Chandler
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Yoga & Movement

Join us for a total reset done the Esalen way: seven powerful days tending to heart, mind, body, and spirit. Reconnect with your sense of purpose and power while immersed in the medicine of our iconic, energized setting within a community of similarly minded seekers.

Not for the faint of heart, this deep retreat experience is a heroic dose of Esalen. You’ll engage daily with our lineage practices (Sensory Awareness, breathwork, intuitive movement, Gestalt process, and more) as never before —  intensely, purposefully, and under the close and compassionate care of our world-class resident faculty to usher you toward the most expansive version of yourself yet.

Each morning begins with embodied movement and seated meditation practice, followed by a silent communal breakfast. You’ll spend the first part of your day experiencing Sensory Awareness and Gestalt process. After some integration time and a nourishing lunch, you’ll transition to a yoga-based therapeutic movement session.

Afternoons are devoted to one-on-one, presence-based coaching sessions and bodywork with expert practitioners and gifted energy workers. A communal dinner is followed by either the balancing, down regulating practice of transformational breathwork accompanied by music at the silent baths — an experience reserved for this group — or the sublimely transportive modality of Yoga Nidra.

Prior to arrival, you’ll connect privately with a faculty member to set your intentions for the week. During your time at the Institute, you will experience:

  • Daily morning meditation and embodiment practice.
  • Therapeutic movement and breathwork each afternoon.
  • Small group and one-on-one Gestalt coaching sessions that allow you to metabolize your learnings.
  • Opportunities to engage with the healing properties of the water and the land.
  • A private ceremonial bathing ritual.
  • Two Esalen Massages.
  • An alternative healing service (astrology reading, Reiki, energetic cleansing)
  • Premium accommodations and communal meals
  • Additional only-at-Esalen encounters designed expressly for your cohort

We’ll follow up with you after your experience, and you’ll have the opportunity to join a remote reintegration session and receive guidance to help you stay on the path.

This experience is most appropriate for those in sound health. The activity level, while accessible and adaptive, is high.

This workshop includes an additional $500 tuition fee.

April
Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are
April 29–May 3, 2024
April 29, 2024
  -  
May 3, 2024
April 29, 2024
Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are
John Vosler
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

April
Leading with the Heart: Standing in our Authentic Power through the Wisdom of the Enneagram
April 29–May 3, 2024
April 29, 2024
  -  
May 3, 2024
April 29, 2024
Leading with the Heart: Standing in our Authentic Power through the Wisdom of the Enneagram
Dr. Deborah Egerton
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Join Dr. Deborah Egerton for this exploration into how to lead from the heart when faced with life’s challenges. Find your place in the rehabilitation of our humanity through love, light, and connection.

Setting aside binary thinking and the assignment of stereotypical roles, we come together to honor and explore the totality of the energies that allow us to be our authentic selves rather than a version of ourselves. The authentic self rises when we let go of the flawed dualistic mindset that our feminine energy provides only nurturing support and our masculine energy is our source of power and strength. Understanding how to access the totality of our being is to embrace the guiding force of love that resides within. In Leading From The Heart, participants will step into their true power. Together we will explore concepts that are often foreign to the feminine — how to bypass the heart in an attempt to demonstrate strength and avoid exposing ourselves as leaders to the undesirable types of vulnerability.

This workshop is designed to provide a guided exploration into the center of our being by identifying our three centers of intelligence, thus gaining access to and realignment with the heart center. Participants can expect to uncover what “gets in the way” of finding compassion for themselves and others when faced with real-life conflict. Together we will cultivate the skills and awareness for true connection and for presence to lead with our hearts.

Participants will:

  • Explore the Humanity Mosaic as a method for acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating our individual identity and discover how it can reveal our blindspots.
  • Connect with one another in group discussions to experience how actions, behaviors, and beliefs can be the result of unexplored trauma and early influences, and find ways to address the root causes of our patterns of behavior.
  • Share experiences that allow us to see when we may be dropping into toxic behaviors and reactions and learn how they can provide a wake-up call to manage our responses to disconnects.
  • Participate in group discussions to uncover what is blocking us from accessing compassion and understanding during conflict or patterns of unconscious judgment and find ways to lead with the heart when faced with future challenges.
  • Experience a safe and open space to find balance through reflection and strength through vulnerability.

We are faced with so many divides and disconnects because we have forgotten how to maintain contact with our true hearts. We have left behind the messages of love, kindness, and understanding taught to us by our ancestors, parents, teachers, pastors, rabbis, spiritual leaders, and counselors, and replaced them with self-preservation, isolation, and judgment—”me and mine” versus “us and ours”. As we dive into the inner work, we will discuss how we have fallen into pre-programmed patterns of responding to challenges and explore the “roadblocks” each of us face when accessing the heart space. The unique approach of finding the root cause of our judgment, biased beliefs, and possibly inequitable value systems allows participants to apply what they’ve learned to real-world scenarios and take action in their lives to reconnect across any division they may be facing by leading with the heart.

Recommended reading: Foundational Enneagram Knowledge https://www.deborahegerton.com/enneagram and https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

This workshop includes a $50 materials fee.

April
Wild Pilgrimage: Backpacking Journey to Esalen
May 3–5, 2024
May 3, 2024
  -  
May 5, 2024
May 3, 2024
Wild Pilgrimage: Backpacking Journey to Esalen
Fletcher Tucker and Emily Linders
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Psychology & Self-awareness

Embark on an intentional wilderness journey through the sublime and seldom-traveled backcountry of Big Sur, concluding at the coastal grounds of the Esalen Institute. Among the fleeting gifts of Spring – free-flowing creeks, boundless wildflower fields and vibrant wildlife – immerse in the wild with an intimate cohort (up to twelve participants), practice awareness and community, and learn fundamental skills to feel at home on the earth.

Over the course of five nights and full days on the trail, we will embody a contemporary form of pilgrimage, traveling as reverent guests through this sacred wilderness (historic Esselen tribal territory). We will rise with the sun, carry only what we need, wander with presence and curiosity, and gather meaning from our inner and outer landscapes. Much of our time on the trail will be spent in spacious, contemplative, and challenging hiking. As the sun sets behind the mountains, we will share stories and meals by the fire, and sleep beneath a blanket of stars.

Inspired by Esalen’s co-founder Dick Price, who found healing and transformation wandering the Big Sur wild, we will engage Gestalt practices from the Esalen lineage – including group check-ins to help us connect with ourselves, each other, and the land. As we hike and camp, we will engage with what the landscape reveals, encounter philosophies and poetry of the wild, and learn foundational wilderness and backpacking skills.

After our trek, we will arrive at Esalen for a weekend of rejuvenation and integration of our wilderness time. Through the ardor and intentionality of our trek, may we shed some of what no longer serves us, and connect deeply with the sacred, living world.

Highlights of our Wild Pilgrimage include:

  • Four nights and five days of backpacking in the Big Sur backcountry, in the contemplative spirit of pilgrimage
  • Foundational backpacking and wilderness skills
  • Natural history, philosophy, and nature connection practices
  • Gestalt practices from the Esalen lineage
  • Weekend of integration at Esalen

Important Note: This is a partner program with Wildtender, an organization working at the intersection of wilderness and wisdom traditions. Visit wildtender.com/esalen2024 for more details and to apply. Please note the full experience takes place over seven days, from Monday, April 29th to Sunday, May 5th. Prior to registering with Esalen you must have registered and paid tuition fees through Wildtender for the wilderness portion of the program.

May
Cultivating Vitality in Body, Mind, and Spirit: The Ecosystem of Mental Well-Being
May 3–6, 2024
May 3, 2024
  -  
May 6, 2024
May 3, 2024
Cultivating Vitality in Body, Mind, and Spirit: The Ecosystem of Mental Well-Being
Cassandra Vieten and Elissa Epel with Guest Faculty Nichol Chase
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

What is vitality? Exuberance, vibrance, sparkle, spirit, and verve — terms rarely found in psychology textbooks. Vulnerability to depression and anxiety is widespread, and our culture traditionally emphasizes reducing symptoms with drugs that alter certain neurotransmitters, which is only part of the picture. We are living in a new era where vulnerabilities can become strengths, and what used to be stigma becomes common humanity. Good mental health is being redefined in terms of stress resilience, post-traumatic growth, and vitality.

This workshop explores evidence-based tools for living a vibrant life, even in the presence of stress, depression, anxiety, or any pain we may be carrying. We will help you build your own ecosystem of mental well-being — including new ways to foster vitality and purpose through caring for the brain, body, and gut. In this workshop, we’ll review the latest scientific findings on practices such as:

  • Hot and cold exposures
  • Optimal physical challenges
  • Breathing techniques
  • Meditation
  • Embodied movement

A mental health renaissance is underway. Mental well-being is being redefined, and a range of evidence-based, whole-person approaches are gaining ground. Learn from renowned authors and cutting-edge scientists to create a flourishing ecosystem of mental well-being for yourself and your clients.

Additional embodiment practices will be provided by Guest Faculty Member Nichol Chase.

Nichol’s yoga practice is informed by a vast and eclectic set of influences that blend invigorating flow with precise and insightful instruction and extensive study with a variety of innovative teachers. She is a Garrison Institute Fellow and a faculty member and teacher trainer for The Mazé Method.

12 CE credits available for professionals through the Spiritual Competency Academy.  Additional Continuing Education information here.

Recommended reading: The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease by Elissa Epel; The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel; Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals by Cassandra Vieten; Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life by Cassandra Vieten

This workshop includes an additional $30 of faculty tuition.

May
The Relational Leader
May 3–5, 2024
May 3, 2024
  -  
May 5, 2024
May 3, 2024
The Relational Leader
Kerena Saltzman and Ben Saltzman
All Workshops
Leadership & Community
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

When you are a leader, often people don’t understand all the complexities you face or the weight of your responsibilities. Being in charge can be isolating and lonely; it can feel like others are looking at a projected image instead of the real you.

Whether you’re leading an organization, managing a team, or are a coach, you know your capacity to form solid and trusting relationships is key to your success. You must become a “Relational Leader.”

As we move into higher levels of leadership and influence, we must bravely face our inner psychology to “get real” about the hidden core relational patterns holding us back.

In this workshop, we will create opportunities to shift these patterns through experiential activities, small group work, and Gestalt-based experiences. You will discover new skills to understand others, dynamic ways to build rapport quickly, and the confidence to navigate conflict and tension. Along the way, you’ll get to know a new network of like-minded leaders you can tap into for understanding and support.

  • Discover your hidden relational patterns.
  • Learn new skills to understand other people’s worldviews.
  • Learn dynamic ways to build rapport quickly.
  • Gain the confidence to navigate conflict and tension.
  • Create a network of like-minded leaders you can tap into for support.

Join us for this incredible opportunity to connect, grow, and become.

This workshop includes an additional $100 in faculty tuition.

May
True Self Mastery: The Art and Practice of Living Well
May 4–31, 2024
May 4, 2024
  -  
May 31, 2024
May 4, 2024
True Self Mastery: The Art and Practice of Living Well
Anne Van de Water
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Have you ever felt like you wanted to start over, or simply begin again – right now – in a more authentic, healthy, and sustainable way? One of the most consistent regrets of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live a life true to themselves.

No matter what you have been through, if you choose to, it is possible to cultivate a new path of true self-mastery, practicing the art of living well as your true self aligned with your full potential.

No matter where you have been, it is possible to make the choice and actively cultivate a new path of true self-mastery. By practicing the art of living well, you can live a life aligned with your full potential for health and happiness,

Visualize what that might mean:

  • always knowing how to stay connected to your truest, deepest, and highest self;
  • loving and caring for your body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit;
  • consciously creating the life that you envision for yourself.

You can choose to walk this path, and in this workshop we will be defining and practicing the steps.

Together we will visualize a life that moves forward from this moment in full alignment with your true self. Together, we will build the skills needed for navigating your life’s journey with a clear direction, motivation, and inspiration.

In this month-long deep dive, we will be doing the inner work. You will have access to:

  • High Performance Life Coaching
  • Health and Wellness Embodiment Practices
  • Self Inquiry and Journaling
  • Guided Visualization
  • One-on-One, Group-Sharing, and Connection Exercises

We will first uncover your innermost true self, and then, together, we will manifest that being into reality. Join Anne for this personally revelatory program.

Note about mobility: As this workshop includes embodiment practices such as physical Yoga poses, it is recommended that participants are comfortable with physical movement or are comfortable modifying movement so that the Yoga poses are accessible for them or are comfortable visualizing the movements if they are not physically able to do them.

May
Divine Eros and the Diamond Approach: Exploring the Relationship Between Love and Desire on the Spiritual Journey
May 6–10, 2024
May 6, 2024
  -  
May 10, 2024
May 6, 2024
Divine Eros and the Diamond Approach: Exploring the Relationship Between Love and Desire on the Spiritual Journey
Jessica Britt and Vince Draddy
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness

Join us as we dive into the mystery of spirit and matter in our human lives.

There are great and painful misunderstandings about the relationship between our physical nature, expressed in our instincts; our emotional nature, expressed through our relationship to love; and our spiritual nature. For centuries, these three realms have been held in opposition to one another. This is best expressed in the apparent polarity between heaven and earth. During our time together, we will dive deep into these apparent polarities, opening up the possibility that these realms not only serve each other but are expressions of each other.

We will inquire into these realms through the lens of the Diamond Approach, a modern-day spiritual path that utilizes the wisdom of modern psychological perspectives and ancient spiritual knowledge. Through this inquiry, we will uncover the interplay between the forces of the human soul and our most subtle spiritual nature. Rather than seeing spirit and the body as separate realms, our explorations will reveal them to be a unified expression of the true harmony of our nature. The power, excitement, and passion we all possess can become our entry into the deepest realms of the soul.

We will engage your direct experience through sensing, inquiry, meditation, and group exercises to support your understanding and experience of what we call Divine Eros. We will support the meeting of these forces with a love of truth expressed in curiosity, kindness, and respect.

By opening up the realm of the Eros, we can see how love not only unites the mind and body but also our desire for a deeper connection with the realization of our spiritual natures. Eros, which includes sexuality, is a profound force in the soul whose liberation is needed for deep inner work. The body and its forces can become vehicles for direct experience of the sacred nature of our instincts and desires, including our desire for freedom.

Our exploration will be grounded in meditation practice as a way to understand the various forces at work in our spiritual practices.

May
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 6-10, 2024
May 6–10, 2024
May 6, 2024
  -  
May 10, 2024
May 6, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 6-10, 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
How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation
May 6–10, 2024
May 6, 2024
  -  
May 10, 2024
May 6, 2024
How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation
Cassandra Vieten with Guest Faculty Nichol Chase
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Have you ever worked hard to make a change, only to find yourself slipping back into old habits? Want to supercharge your ability to stimulate behavior change in others when it comes to the issues you care about the most? Is it time to break free from old patterns and build your next chapter? This workshop is for people in the process of change and those who work as change agents with individuals, groups, and organizations and in society.

Through dialogue, experiential practice, and creative process, we will bridge the science of breakthroughs with indigenous, religious, spiritual, and secular models of transformation. You will:

  • Learn what works and what doesn’t to inspire lasting change in yourself and others.
  • Explore how peak experiences, a-ha! moments and awe can stimulate change.
  • Examine how we and those we work with can get stuck or lost, and find ways to shake free from periods of inertia or patterns that prevent us from moving forward.
  • Investigate the transformative potential of pain, hitting bottom, and post-traumatic growth.
  • Delve into stories, symbols, and metaphors of transformation to guide your path.

Join us for this transformational exploration of our most deeply entrenched behaviors. Learn how to break free from the patterns that no longer serve you — and create new habits that will change your life.

Additional embodiment practices will be provided by Guest Faculty Member Nichol Chase.

Nichol’s yoga practice is informed by a vast and eclectic set of influences that blend invigorating flow with precise and insightful instruction and extensive study with a variety of innovative teachers. She is a Garrison Institute Fellow and a faculty member and teacher trainer for The Mazé Method.

Continuing education credit is available for professionals through the Spiritual Competency Academy, an approved sponsor of CE by the American Psychological Association. If you plan to apply for CE credit, please notify the Faculty during your first workshop session. Additional Continuing Education information here.

This workshop includes an $30 of additional faculty tuition.

May
Introduction to Esalen Massage®: The Art of Healing Touch
May 6-10, 2024
May 6, 2024
  -  
May 10, 2024
May 6, 2024
Introduction to Esalen Massage®: The Art of Healing Touch
Char Pias and Silvia Guersenzvaig
Healing Arts & Massage

This workshop invites you to enjoy Esalen in the springtime as you gain foundational skills in our famed massage modality. Senior teachers will guide you in this experience of mindful touch translated to the massage table. Through lectures, brief demonstrations, and supervised practice, they will introduce the basics: quality of touch, rapport, massage skills with “the listening hand” and effective body mechanics.

The slow-paced practice of Esalen massage sets the stage for a pleasurable natural healing process to emerge, rather than any focus on “fixing.”  You will learn how to drape and how to easily apply Esalen’s signature integrative strokes, detail,  gentle stretches, with a concluding  pause. You will be encouraged to effectively share your experience. By  the end of the week, you’ll have the tools to offer comforting massage to friends back home. You may even enjoy giving a massage  as much as receiving one.

Classroom tools include exercises designed to awaken the senses and illuminate the value of boundaries in healing work, demonstrations, and tableside guidance tailored specifically for your experience level. The class is appropriate for the new and curious as well as the professional seeking to refresh their senses and the quality of their touch.

24 hours of continuing education provided by the faculty through Esalen Massage and Bodywork Association Teachers.

May
Welcoming Spring with Fresh, Fun, and Renewing Yoga
May 10–12, 2024
May 10, 2024
  -  
May 12, 2024
May 10, 2024
Welcoming Spring with Fresh, Fun, and Renewing Yoga
Ulrika Engman
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Welcome spring and nourish the spirit of renewal with this fresh and cleansing Mother’s Day weekend yoga workshop. By moving and weaving body, mind and spirit  through creative variations of Sun Salutes we revolve around the solar plexus to stimulate metabolism and a radiant, nourishing flow of energy.

All practices focus on sloughing off the old and welcoming new energy with playful flows, gentle backbends, and energizing movements. Learn prana pulsing, coconut oil joint rejuvenation, simple chi activation, the art and science of dry brushing for healthy skin, and tension-clearing yoga for the face and feet.

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature into movement medicine. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, to form and to formlessness, to the unique individual and collective universal patterns.

Make sure to bring a dry brush, body oil for the skin, and your playful self for this fun, seasonal renewal weekend — deep nourishment for body, mind, and spirit!

Participants should have a minimum of three months of yoga practice.

May
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 10-12, 2024
May 10–12, 2024
May 10, 2024
  -  
May 12, 2024
May 10, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 10-12, 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
Heart, Broken, OPEN: Cultivating Emotional Balance
May 10–12, 2024
May 10, 2024
  -  
May 12, 2024
May 10, 2024
Heart, Broken, OPEN: Cultivating Emotional Balance
Eve Ekman
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Relationship & Communication

Our emotions help us respond to the threats and opportunities in our daily lives and profoundly impact our individual and collective well-being. Feeling the joys and pains of our emotions is universal, yet what makes us emotional and how we respond is unique. We become emotional without our conscious awareness. Developing emotional awareness is like navigating this otherwise invisible inner landscape by holding the full range of our human experience with compassion and creativity.  

In this experiential workshop, we will draw from the evidence-based Cultivating Emotional Balance training, which integrates the wisdom traditions of modern psychology and emotion research and ancient contemplative practices as a path for transformation.

Each session will balance learning, being, and connecting. Learning will include teachings on the scientific and contemplative foundations of emotional awareness. We practice being with guided meditations and reflective practices to develop mindful awareness and compassion for our mental and emotional patterns and habits. Connective practices include discussion and small group work to investigate the roots of our emotions through mapping of our emotional episodes. Mapping our emotional episodes is like slowing down the reel and seeing the story beneath what triggers us, how we feel, and how we respond to our fears, delights, frustrations, enjoyments, feelings of shame, and more.

The foundation for emotional awareness is connected with our internal longing for contentment and flourishing, reflections on genuine well-being and meaningful life, and meditations that establish the clarity of intention and commitment to our own and other’s well-being. Through learning, being, and practicing with our emotions, we can remove the “dust from the gold” of our compassionate hearts.

May
Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
May 13–17, 2024
May 13, 2024
  -  
May 17, 2024
May 13, 2024
Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
Ulrika Engman
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

Revamp, reinvigorate, and polish your luminous self this season with innovative yoga practices for body, mind, and spirit! This yoga renewal workshop includes energizing movement, flow yoga, core activations, meridian sequencing, tapping, rejuvenating holds, and cleansing rituals based on the five elements.

Yoga for the skin sloughs off the old with a potent five-step cleansing ritual. Revitalizing and fluid yoga sequences stimulate the body before thoughtfully weaving muscles and mind together into a recreated and radiant being. We will even take advantage of the potent Esalen springs with a specific bathing ritual. The daily practices of the sparkling Yoga Summer Renewal workshop will be fresh, fun, and rejuvenating — and will leave you feeling the same!

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature for movement medicine. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed, with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, the form and the formless,  the unique individual and the collective universal patterns.

Participants should bring a dry brush, coconut oil, and a facial clay mask.

May
Love Thy Nature: Forest Bathing for Homecoming and Belonging
May 13–17, 2024
May 13, 2024
  -  
May 17, 2024
May 13, 2024
Love Thy Nature: Forest Bathing for Homecoming and Belonging
Sylvie Rokab
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability

What if you could heal modern-life isolation and thrive by deepening your bond with nature? By combining the ancient practices of forest bathing and mindfulness, this program guides you to awaken pleasurable embodiment, experience awe and wonder, and learn simple yet powerful daily practices to deepen connection with yourself, your loved ones, and all existence.

Join Sylvie Rokab as she leads you in meditative and sensorial experiences that lift the veil of separation to reveal the wondrous synergies of your inner and outer nature. Our culture’s dominant mindset of the solo self dissolves as nature reveals its marvelous web of “intra-connection” of which we all are a part.

Experience the alchemical power of the Esalen land, its sacred more-than-human stories, and the nature mindfulness processes that revitalize the body,  awaken the heart, and lift the spirit.

Sylvie closes the program with a tea ceremony – in joyful celebration of the nature-loving connections and practices you’ve created for yourself, your community and world.

Our time together includes:

  • Sensorial nature experiences
  • Talks on 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 deeper sense of belonging to their community and our spellbinding world.

** Tuesday night provides an optional viewing of the film Love Thy Nature with a post-screening Q&A with Sylvie. Wednesday offers a wilderness excursion at the stunning Julia Pfeiffer State Park.

This workshop includes a $25 park entrance fee.

May
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 13-17, 2024
May 13–17, 2024
May 13, 2024
  -  
May 17, 2024
May 13, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 13-17, 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
Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Doorway to Joy, Connection, and Wonder
May 17–19, 2024
May 17, 2024
  -  
May 19, 2024
May 17, 2024
Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Doorway to Joy, Connection, and Wonder
Mark Coleman and Lori Schwanbeck
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Are you longing to feel enlivened by nature and expand beyond the virtual world, revitalizing your senses, body, and heart? Together, with the exhilarating Big Sur coastline, towering redwoods, and verdant gardens, we will access the clarity of the mind, feel the aliveness in the body, and the expansiveness of the heart.  

Following spiritual traditions that value the transformative power of nature, this experiential workshop will be spent meditating entirely outdoors in the awe-inspiring beauty of Esalen. Whether during a sunset meditation, while listening to the roaring waves, or as we sit graced in the stillness of cypress trees, we’ll open to the profound serenity and wisdom of nature through a variety of sensory and embodied awareness practices.

You will learn about the practice of mindfulness — the capacity to be fully present to ourselves and the world around us — and then explore this quality of attention as you enter a contemplative relationship with both your inner and outer nature. You will discover how nature supports cultivating expanded states of joy, wonder, and a loving connection with oneself, others, and the larger web of life.  

Recommended reading: Awake in the Wild and A Field Guide to Nature Meditation by Mark Coleman

This workshop includes an additional $100 of faculty tuition.

May
Relational Gestalt Practice: The Transformative Power of Emotion
May 20–24, 2024
May 20, 2024
  -  
May 24, 2024
May 20, 2024
Relational Gestalt Practice: The Transformative Power of Emotion
Dorothy Charles
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Our sense of self develops in connection with others and our experiences in early relationships. They shape our beliefs — about ourselves, other people, and what is possible for us in our lives. While we cannot change the past, we can change the parts of our lives that we find difficult or unfulfilling through new experiences of contact. When our need for understanding and emotional attunement is met, our limiting beliefs can change.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Learn skills that will increase our presence and awareness.
  • Improve our ability to make good contact.
  • Explore how to establish healthy boundaries.
  • Develop and track awareness of our physical sensations and emotions.
  • Communicate our needs and wants effectively.
  • Discover habitual relational patterns that prevent us from cultivating the type of connection we long for.

This workshop includes time for basic gestalt awareness practices, a mixture of didactic and experiential exercises, and individual “open seat” sessions with Dorothy and with the support of the group.

Recommended reading: Korb et al., Gestalt Therapy: Practice and Theory; Mann, Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques

May
Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Springtime
May 20–24, 2024
May 20, 2024
  -  
May 24, 2024
May 20, 2024
Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Springtime
Steven Harper
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
Psychology & Self-awareness

Esalen is the trailhead to one of the most spectacular mountainous coastlines in the world. With the Big Sur wilderness as the primary teacher, participants will explore the beauty of this wild coast — one of the most spectacular mountainous coastlines in the world —  which includes ancient canyons of redwoods, dramatic coastal beaches, rugged rocky mountains, and soft grassy slopes.

Drawing from nature and using various experiential awareness practices, individuals will be encouraged to open to the landscapes of both the natural world and their inner world. It is said that Big Sur is not just a place but a state of mind. This wilderness experience seeks to merge mind and place, then to embody what is learned.

Participants in this weeklong workshop will venture out into the emerging springtime magnificence of Big Sur on day-hikes between four to eight miles. Steven will draw from a wide range of contemporary and age-old wisdom traditions, borrowing from psychology, meditation, aikido, and the natural sciences to weave together a holistic experience of self and the natural world.

Each hike will begin right after breakfast and conclude in time to enjoy the hot springs and dinner at the Lodge. Evening sessions will include informal sharing and basic awareness practices with attention to incorporating what we’ve learned into our daily lives.

All levels of experience are welcome. Be prepared for the invigorating challenge of 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.

This workshop has $80 of additional faculty tuition and $40 for park entrance fees.

May
The Wisdom of Aging: Self-Care, Community, Inquiry, and Celebration
May 20–24, 2024
May 20, 2024
  -  
May 24, 2024
May 20, 2024
The Wisdom of Aging: Self-Care, Community, Inquiry, and Celebration
Jim Gallas
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication
Yoga & Movement

How do we celebrate aging and become wisdom holders for our communities in a youth-obsessed culture? As we ripen into the late summers and autumns of our lives, how can we let go of what no longer serves us and enjoy the abundance of each precious moment?

The experience of living through many years and different eras affords the ability to see life through the lens of compassionate presence. In this retreat, we will celebrate this perspective and create space in our hearts and minds for joy and curiosity about the future.

During this time together, we will:

  • Build the foundations of a consistent, sustainable self-care practice, including qigong, gentle meridian stretches, and shiatsu self-massage.
  • Explore the profound influence of breath on the autonomic nervous system and the relationship between breath and the quality of mind.
  • Open to the subtleties of the energy body, thus recognizing ourselves and all things as manifestations of the life force.
  • Develop healthy routines for a daily sitting practice and learn to consider meditation as intimacy with the self.
  • Practice silent inquiry, followed by group dialogue about grief, loss, death, mentorship, gratitude, and freedom.
  • Savor poetry from different wisdom traditions as nourishment from the divine.
  • Dance and sing — or, if you prefer, walk and hum — and play improv games offering laughter as gifts of the spirit.

Students aged 50 and older are welcome. Basic mobility is required; otherwise, please come with someone who can assist you. You must be able to lie on the floor and put your legs up the wall for five minutes and accept your physical limitations without judgment. Please come with a beginner’s mind, even if you’re not a beginner.

Recommended Reading: Still Here by Ram Dass

May
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 20-24, 2024
May 20–24, 2024
May 20, 2024
  -  
May 24, 2024
May 20, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 20-24, 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
RITUAL: Full Moon Women's Retreat
May 20–24, 2024
May 20, 2024
  -  
May 24, 2024
May 20, 2024
RITUAL: Full Moon Women's Retreat
Sianna Sherman
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Alchemize your life with the wisdom of the 13 moons! This is a spirited call to soul sisters, magic makers, and wise women of all ages. If you feel called to awaken and amplify your magic, this is for you.

Women throughout the ages have gathered under the light of the full moon, steeping in the mysteries and soaking in the healing essence of moonlight. Rituals with the moon help to heal the body, channel the emotions, and guide the soul with real power.

When we come together in true sisterhood, profound healing happens within a woman’s psyche. The heroine’s journey awakens to guide and help us navigate life with greater joy, confidence, and authenticity. We learn how to recognize and dismantle toxic narratives to live with full radiance.

In this immersive retreat, participants will dive deep into the realm of priestess — learning how to honor their own heroine’s journey with rituals, inner trance, storytelling, divination, shadow skills, astrological understanding, moon magic, and embodied wisdom. Through a combination of experiential activities and soulful connections, this will be a brave space container for personal growth, healing, and alchemical transformation with daily ritual, yoga, meditation, connection with nature, dream tending, and earth ceremony.

During this pilgrimage, we will celebrate through:

  • Sacred rituals to awaken your inner priestess and tap into your innate wisdom.
  • The Heroine’s Journey to retrieve your soul’s purpose and gifts.
  • Intuitive development to enhance your intuitive gifts through hypnosis, trance, and earth-based ceremony.
  • The magic of the moon with crafting spells and dream-tending skills.
  • Alchemical Archetypes to learn the Wheel of the Priestess and how to work with each archetype for your life.
  • Sisterhood and connection to build deep connections through sharing circles, collaborative rituals, and initiations.
  • Self-reflection through journaling and integration of experiences and teachings.

Rooted in the RITUAL Mystery School, this is a transformative journey into the path of the priestess to quantum leap your life in Sisterhood. Magic is afoot!

May
Secrets of Great Relationships: For Individuals and Couples
May 24–26, 2024
May 24, 2024
  -  
May 26, 2024
May 24, 2024
Secrets of Great Relationships: For Individuals and Couples
Charlie and Linda Bloom
All Workshops
Relationship & Communication

For one human being to love another, that is the most difficult of all of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, for which all other work is but preparation. — Rainer Maria Rilke

A great relationship requires more than just staying together. Until we enjoy trust, intimacy, caring and love with our partner, we are merely sharing an arrangement, not a true partnership. Yet for an alarming number of couples, the dreamy honeymoon period of infatuation can quickly dissolve into a cold and joyless relationship or end in divorce. The biggest mistake that many people make is not that they expect too much from their relationships, but that they desire too little. A true partnership can be a means through which our deepest longings are awakened and ultimately realized.

In this experiential workshop, we will work in dyads, small groups and the group as a whole. The lecture component will be interactive, with plenty of time for Q&A from the group. We’ll also practice mindfulness meditation. Together we will examine the unique qualities that exceptional relationships embody and identify the various means through which it is possible to develop and integrate those qualities, and to manage the inevitable differences that arise. We will identify and engage in practices that can transform the quality of connection in ways that promote co-creativity, unconditional acceptance and spiritual awakening. This workshop provides tools that can promote enduring love and deep intimacy.

Recommended reading:  Happily Ever After and 39 Other Myths About Love, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last and That Which Doesn’t Kill Us : How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places by Charlie and Linda Bloom

May
Beyond Duality: Healing Wisdom and Ceremony for Personal Health and Well-being
May 24–26, 2024
May 24, 2024
  -  
May 26, 2024
May 24, 2024
Beyond Duality: Healing Wisdom and Ceremony for Personal Health and Well-being
Erika Gagnon
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Relationship & Communication

Join ceremonial leader and wisdom carrier Erika Gagnon on a sacred journey as we gather to look beyond the false duality of a divided self and the destructive concept of “self versus nature” to discover how to live in harmony and balance within ourselves and the world around us.

You are your greatest healer and greatest medicine. This is your opportunity to examine what that means while sharing healing wisdom and practices. This workshop will offer the tools to transform trauma and unhealthy patterns, to realign your body, mind, spirit, and soul, and to honor and heal all you have inherited from your ancestral lineage, along with the social, cultural, racial, religious, and historical energies tangled in your lives. You will learn about the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies.

Learn about the importance of ceremonies, sacred altars, and medicinal plants and participate in a traditional South American healing ceremony, a sound healing and “doctoring” ceremony, and a water blessing prayer ceremony.

You will be invited to reconnect to your authentic wisdom and power with clarity, gratitude, and forgiveness. When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life.

We are all interconnected in this giant web of life, and every day is a gift in the service of unconditional love for yourself, your community, humanity, and our planet. If you feel the call to be a part of a new humanity that lives in harmony and balance upon this Earth, we invite you to join us in this celebration of life.

Note: Please bring a journal to write in, and items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors and sacred objects that have meaning for you.

Special Note on Gift Economy:  For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika embraces the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support Erika and her ongoing work.

BIPOC SCHOLARSHIP: Erika has established a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color) scholarship for her workshops.  For more information on receiving one to participate, please contact her at ErikaGagnon11@gmail.com

May
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 24-26, 2023
May 24–26, 2024
May 24, 2024
  -  
May 26, 2024
May 24, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Weekend of May 24-26, 2023
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
We Are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Empowered Elemental Healing
May 27–31, 2024
May 27, 2024
  -  
May 31, 2024
May 27, 2024
We Are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Empowered Elemental Healing
Erika Gagnon and Jovinna Chan
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement
Sound Healing
Mindfulness & Spirituality

We are not separate from nature. We are nature. If we separate from nature, then we separate from ourselves.

Join Erika Gagnon and Jovinna Chan for their first collaborative workshop: a dynamic weaving of ancient wisdom, somatic movement and dance, sound healing, breath practices, and traditional ceremonies and rituals.  

The four elements are the basis of life on this planet and the foundational makeup of our human body. Our ancestors understood our interconnected relationship with nature, but in this modern society, we are forgetting to honor this sacred truth. This is an opportunity for us to gather in community, remember our origins, and support one another as we reconnect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet.

In this workshop:

  • We will embody and explore Earth, Air, Fire, and Water and how they relate to the body, mind, spirit, and soul and to the Chakra system.
  • We will examine how the elements influence our thoughts, emotions, and physical health and how we can transform and heal unhealthy patterns.
  • There will be opportunities to participate in a traditional South American healing ceremony, a sound healing and “doctoring” ceremony, and a water blessing prayer.

When we live in harmony and balance within ourselves, with others, and with the world around us, we naturally realign with our higher purpose. If you feel this call, we invite you to join us for this celebration of life.

Please bring a journal to write in, an eye pillow for sound healing, and items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones or ancestors and sacred objects that have meaning for you.

Special Note on Gift Economy: For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika and Jovina embrace the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity, and their compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feelings of gratitude, value and their desire to support Erika, Jovinna, and their ongoing work.

Scholarship: Erika has established a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) scholarship fund for her workshops. For more information on receiving a scholarship to participate, please contact her at ErikaGagnon11@gmail.com.

May
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 27-31, 2024
May 27–31, 2024
May 27, 2024
  -  
May 31, 2024
May 27, 2024
Self-Guided Explorations Week of May 27-31, 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
Holotropic Breathwork®: Expanded States of Consciousness
May 27–31, 2024
May 27, 2024
  -  
May 31, 2024
May 27, 2024
Holotropic Breathwork®: Expanded States of Consciousness
Stacia Butterfield
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Psychedelics & Plant Medicine
Mindfulness & Spirituality

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

May
Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
May 27–31, 2024
May 27, 2024
  -  
May 31, 2024
May 27, 2024
Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
Dana Albany and Michael "Flash" Hopkins
All Workshops
Creativity & Culture

The Artist lives within everyone! Art can be made out of just about anything! It’s a time to leave the critic behind and allow oneself to play, nourish, and replenish the creative spirit. It’s also a time to enjoy the company and camaraderie of like-minded peers. Now is your time to discover the joys of art based on community and collaboration and to find out how meaningful and grand a shared, creative experience can be.

In this transformative workshop, we will use repurposed material in a whole new context of re-creation.

Come experiment with a vast array of reused materials to create mixed-media mosaics, sculptures, and collages. There will be an assortment of recycled glass, metals, wood, plastics, paper, photographs, fabrics, and old artifacts — bits and pieces of the past and present.

In a beautiful, nurturing, supportive setting, we will reclaim and shape society’s scraps and discarded objects into re-imagined meaning. Find your own inner voice of expression as you delve into the process of creating art out of different materials and mediums,  and learn new skills.

Not only will you have the opportunity to explore your own expression and immerse yourself in solo creations, but we will also engage in a collaborative group project to enter the whimsical world of community-oriented magic and play.

There is a transformative joy that comes from engaging with others in the artistic process. It opens doors unseen and forges deeper bonds between people. This exciting, shared experience teaches us how beautiful it is to break down barriers and collaborate.

This workshop is geared toward anyone with the desire to create. From the beginner to the advanced, this is a time to explore new possibilities. Together, we will:

  • Explore our own creativity and immerse ourselves in solo artistic expression.
  • Engage in a collaborative group project and enter the whimsical world of community-oriented magic and play.
  • Leave the critic behind and allow ourselves to play, nourish, and replenish the creative spirit.
  • Discover the joys of art based on community and collaboration and how meaningful and grand a shared experience can be.

If there are any recycled materials, special mementos, poems, or photos you would like to bring and include in our creations, please feel free!

This workshop includes an additional $110 for art materials.

May
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
Tantra: Freedom, Embodiment, and Transformation
June 3–7, 2024
June 3, 2024
  -  
June 7, 2024
June 3, 2024
Tantra: Freedom, Embodiment, and Transformation
Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú
All Workshops
Mindfulness & Spirituality

Have you ever dived into the ocean of Tantra? Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú as we explore Tantric practices and perspectives on topics like freedom from external interference and self-sovereignty (Sanskrit svādhikāra), the link between physical and so-called “subtle bodies,” and the creation of physical mandalas (maṇḍala) or circles and other shapes that potentially can transform our internal and external environments.

Together, we will immerse ourselves in the latest research and ethnographic “participant observation” that challenge and reframe our conventional understandings of what Tantra was, is, and can be. Staying true to the roots of Esalen, we will also intertwine discussion with authentic South Asian folk musical performances, songs, and guided meditations for a creative, visceral experience for the mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will illuminate Tantra’s connections to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices in an eye-opening and unforgettable way.

In this workshop, you’ll be invited to:

  • Develop an embodied understanding of Tantra.
  • Creatively explore your divine potential.
  • Enjoy the benefit of overcoming negative projections and self-generated illusions.
  • Learn practical modes of meditation, including internal visualization and externalization through mandalas.

We invite both couples and individuals to join us in this workshop that blends meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into Tantra’s power and therapeutic potential to unlock a happier and more fulfilling life. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Please Note: This workshop is NOT about “Tantric Sex” and experiencing enhanced sexual pleasures, although many discussions will address gender identity and sexuality.

This workshop includes an additional $100 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
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
The Enneagram and Healing Humanity: A Modern Entry Into Enneagram Work
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
  -  
June 21, 2024
June 17, 2024
The Enneagram and Healing Humanity: A Modern Entry Into Enneagram Work
Dr. Deborah Egerton
All Workshops
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Join Enneagram master educator Dr. Deborah Egerton for this foundational exploration of the Enneagram. Experience the work through her unique approach to the Enneagram, which stems from a deep, rooted understanding that as humans we all have a desire to belong.

Through a blend of experiential activities and a deep dive into inner work, you’ll be empowered with new tools, knowledge, and community connection to begin your Enneagram journey.  

The Enneagram, when studied and implemented correctly, teaches us how to be together in community through connection and interrelatedness. Our ability to relate to one another is dependent on how we invest our time and efforts into understanding the connections.

We will explore each of the 9 Points of the Enneagram through the basic fear and basic desire, core motivation, levels of development, and the connections to the other energies within the Enneagram.

Participants will:

  • Connect with their peers in group discussions to experience how their dominant Enneagram energy can manifest differently.
  • Use group discussion, experiential activities, and Q&A sessions to help determine where they “stand on the Enneagram map.”
  • Examine the Levels of Development, exploring and discussing how each of our Enneagram energies can look when operating from a healthy, average, and unhealthy level.
  • Share experiences that allow us to see when we may be dropping into toxic behaviors and reactions and learn how they can provide a wake-up call to manage our responses to challenges.

As we dive into each Enneagram energy, we will discuss how the energy can manifest in the real world and look at the way in which these energies navigate challenges across differences. The unique approach of learning the Enneagram through this inclusive and comprehensive method allows participants to apply what they’ve learned to real-world scenarios and take action in their lives to reconnect across any division they may be facing.

Join us for this comprehensive and inclusive exploration of the timeless Enneagram wisdom.

Recommended reading: Foundational Enneagram Knowledge https://www.deborahegerton.com/enneagram and https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

This workshop has a $50 materials fee.

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