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Current CTR Initiatives


"Our mission at Esalen to facilitate change within self and society has never been more vital than it is now." —Michael Murphy

Directed by Esalen Cofounder Michael Murphy and Professor Jeff Kripal, Esalen’s Center for Theory & Research (CTR) sponsors research, theory, and action to promote positive social change and the realiziation of the human potential.

Understanding Extraordinary Experiences and Events
February 18-23, 2018
Facilitators: Jeff Kripal and Tanya Luhrmann

This event brings together professional anthropologists and scholars of religion committed to tracking, describing, and interpreting extreme or robust religious experiences and contemporary experiencers themselves in a context of mutual trust, open conversation, and exploration. Two intellectual projects lie behind this special event: Tanya Luhrmann’s project on a comparative phenomenology of mind and spirit; and the publication of Jeff Kripal’s memoir/manifesto, Secret Body, in which Jeff calls for a “new comparativism” based on an ethnography and phenomenology of extraordinary experiences in the contemporary world.

TRACK TWO Conference
April 22-27, 2018
Facilitator: Dulce Murphy

Description pending.

Food Systems Transition Leadership Conference
October 7-10, 2018
Facilitator: Patrick Holden

Description pending.

The Super Story Symposia Series
November 25-30, 2018
Facilitator: Jeff Kripal

Description pending.

TRACK TWO Conference
December 2-7, 2018
Facilitator: Dulce Murphy

Description pending.


Underwriting is needed for project research, facilitators, translators, coordination, summary writers, occasional expert fees, travel and accommodation, and special outreach projects. 

Supporters at the $10,000 + level are invited to attend a CTR Conference of their choice, as long as donor seats are still available for the chosen conference. Housing arrangements must be made and paid for separately.

To make a donation, please call 415-459-5438 or email Jane Hartford at

Esalen Institute is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Donations to Esalen Institute are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal tax ID #94-6114235


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