Esalen is open!

Starting Friday May 17 at 6:30 a.m., Highway 1 north of Esalen will reopen with the use of a 24/7 signalized traffic control, providing unrestricted public access with one-way alternating traffic in both the north and southbound directions. Please plan travel accordingly to accommodate a brief delay of up to 10-15 minutes at the traffic control site.

Highway 1 south of Esalen remains closed. Guests traveling from points south of us, please take the alternate route through Monterey.

Learn more.

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Due to road closures along Highway 1 to our north and south, Esalen is closed through April 11.
Esalen Institute is open! However, Highway 1 to the south is closed — please review the alternate route directions.

Esalen opens May 3, 2024

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

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

Learn more.

Workshops

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Continuing Education
Creativity & Culture
Healing Arts & Massage
Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability
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Sound Healing
Yoga & Movement
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Tuning to the Frequency of Love: Sound Journeys to Transform Your Life

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

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
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Sound Healing

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The Nature of Movement: Embodiment and the Wilds

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Steven Harper
The Nature of Movement: Embodiment and the Wilds
June 17–21, 2024
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
June 17–21, 2024

“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
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Mindfulness & Spirituality
Nature & Sustainability

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Relational Gestalt Practice: Presence, Contact and Communication

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Dorothy Charles
Relational Gestalt Practice: Presence, Contact and Communication
June 17–21, 2024
June 17–21, 2024
June 17, 2024
June 17–21, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

June
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Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

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Renewing Purpose: Modern Rituals to Navigate Life Transitions

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Day Schildkret
Renewing Purpose: Modern Rituals to Navigate Life Transitions
June 21–23, 2024
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
June 21–23, 2024

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

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

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

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

Recommended Reading: Hello, Goodbye. By Day Schildkret

June
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Mindfulness & Spirituality

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Ayurveda and Emotional Wellness

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Siva Mohan with Guest Faculty Sunshine Zerda and Guest Musician QVLN
Ayurveda and Emotional Wellness
June 21–23, 2024
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
June 21–23, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June
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Yoga & Movement

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Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage

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Jenny Pareno and Ellen Watson
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
June 21–23, 2024
June 21–23, 2024
June 21, 2024
June 21–23, 2024

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

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

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

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

June
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Healing Arts & Massage

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Come Together: A Festival for IntraConnectivity and Spirit

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Daniel Siegel, Rhonda V. Magee, Tom Little Bear Nason, Elissa Epel and Douglas Drummond
Come Together: A Festival for IntraConnectivity and Spirit
June 24–28, 2024
June 24–28, 2024
June 24, 2024
June 24–28, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop has an additional $200 of faculty tuition.

June
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Leadership & Community
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

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Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony

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East Forest and Radha Weppner
Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony
June 28–July 1, 2024
June 28–July 1, 2024
June 28, 2024
June 28–July 1, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop includes an additional $290 faculty tuition.

June
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Sound Healing

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Mother Tongue: 5Rhythms® Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness

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Lucia Horan
Mother Tongue: 5Rhythms® Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness
June 28–30, 2024
June 28–30, 2024
June 28, 2024
June 28–30, 2024

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

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

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

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

This workshop will include:

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

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

This workshop includes an additional $100 faculty tuition.

June
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Psychology & Self-awareness
Yoga & Movement

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Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® Mindfulness & Art Celebration

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Lucia Horan and Douglas Drummond with Guest Musicians Sanga of the Valley, Nick Ayers and Leah Song
Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® Mindfulness & Art Celebration
July 1–5, 2024
July 1–5, 2024
July 1, 2024
July 1–5, 2024

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

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

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

This course will include:

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

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

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

This workshop has an additional $100 of faculty tuition.

July
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Yoga & Movement
Creativity & Culture
Mindfulness & Spirituality

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In(ter)dependence Weekend

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Janet Stone
In(ter)dependence Weekend
July 5–7, 2024
July 5–7, 2024
July 5, 2024
July 5–7, 2024

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

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

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

Let’s rediscover the power of connection together.

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

This workshop includes an additional $110 faculty tuition.

July
All Workshops
Yoga & Movement

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The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends

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Perry Holloman and Johanna Holloman
The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
July 5–7, 2024
July 5–7, 2024
July 5, 2024
July 5–7, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop includes an additional $50 faculty tuition.

July
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Psychology & Self-awareness

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Summer Yoga Gathering

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Janet Stone
Summer Yoga Gathering
July 8–12, 2024
July 8–12, 2024
July 8, 2024
July 8–12, 2024

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

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

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

Through yoga, mythology, chanting, dancing, and music

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

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

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

This workshop includes an additional $220 faculty tuition.

July
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Yoga & Movement

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Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life

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Raphael Cushnir
Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life
July 12–14, 2024
July 12–14, 2024
July 12, 2024
July 12–14, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop includes an additional $15 faculty tuition.

July
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The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation

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Sadia Bruce
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
July 12–14, 2024
July 12–14, 2024
July 12, 2024
July 12–14, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Land-Embodied Stewardship: An Exploration of our Earthly Potential

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

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

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

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

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

July
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Total Immersion for Total Transformation

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Raphael Cushnir
Total Immersion for Total Transformation
July 14–19, 2024
July 14–19, 2024
July 14, 2024
July 14–19, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This workshop included an additional $25 faculty tuition.

July
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Journey to Wholeness: Embodying the Ancient Teaching of Yoga and Yoga Nidra Into Your Modern Life

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John Vosler and Laura McKinzie
Journey to Wholeness: Embodying the Ancient Teaching of Yoga and Yoga Nidra Into Your Modern Life
July 15–19, 2024
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
July 15–19, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July
Mindfulness & Spirituality
Yoga & Movement

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Openness to Belonging Through Film: Transforming Intolerance by Embracing the Other

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Francis Lu
Openness to Belonging Through Film: Transforming Intolerance by Embracing the Other
July 15–19, 2024
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
July 15–19, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July
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Embodied Writing and Spiritual Practice

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Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Erik Davis
Embodied Writing and Spiritual Practice
July 15–19, 2024
July 15–19, 2024
July 15, 2024
July 15–19, 2024

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

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

Exercises and opportunities will include:

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

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

This workshop has an additional $50 of faculty tuition.

July
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The Shared Heart Summer Couples Retreat

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Barry Vissell and Joyce Vissell
The Shared Heart Summer Couples Retreat
July 19–21, 2024
July 19–21, 2024
July 19, 2024
July 19–21, 2024

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

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

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

This workshop welcomes couples of all gender and sexual orientations.

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

July
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Stages of Tranquility and Insight

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Dustin DiPerna
Stages of Tranquility and Insight
July 26–28, 2024
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
July 26–28, 2024

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

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

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

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

July
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Mindfulness & Spirituality

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Breaking Free From the Likability Cage: A Replenishing and Empowering Workshop for the Emotionally Exhausted Woman

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Nancy Colier
Breaking Free From the Likability Cage: A Replenishing and Empowering Workshop for the Emotionally Exhausted Woman
July 26–28, 2024
July 26–28, 2024
July 26, 2024
July 26–28, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

July
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Psychology & Self-awareness
Relationship & Communication

Are you looking to immerse yourself in the peace, space, and natural majestic beauty of our campus without taking a workshop?

Choose Your Dates
Letting go of entrenched ideas — who we are, how the world works, our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth encourages us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This more flexible, less structured model of change encompasses both personal and communal, aligning with the core of our mission. Self-Guided Explorations are designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops for a more freeform, spacious healing journey. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural majestic beauty of our campus, exploring the edges of personal growth and open group classes when compelled. 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.Our dynamic open 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. A closing circle on the final day provides a reflective conclusion to your time with us. Feeding mind and body.Savor three hearty, healthy meals per day. Our kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local Big Sur 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 dramatically over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, the baths and tubs are an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
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Are you looking to immerse yourself in the peace, space, and natural majestic beauty of our campus without taking a workshop?

Choose Your Dates
Letting go of entrenched ideas — who we are, how the world works, our place in it — is a challenge. It takes energy. Time. Space. Security. This growth encourages us to examine ourselves and understand our connection to the whole. This more flexible, less structured model of change encompasses both personal and communal, aligning with the core of our mission. Self-Guided Explorations are designed to function outside of the group structures of our workshops for a more freeform, spacious healing journey. These experiences are for those who want to immerse themselves in the peace, space, and natural majestic beauty of our campus, exploring the edges of personal growth and open group classes when compelled. 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.Our dynamic open 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. A closing circle on the final day provides a reflective conclusion to your time with us. Feeding mind and body.Savor three hearty, healthy meals per day. Our kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local Big Sur 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 dramatically over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen from its inception, the baths and tubs are an ideal place to reflect, find clarity, and set new intentions.
All Workshops Yoga Movement Mindfulness Spirituality Creativity Culture Nature Sustainability
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