Experience deep restoration, reflection and intention during the Yoga Nidra Retreat, July 14-19


Voices of Esalen Podcast

Voices of Esalen features provocative, in-depth interviews with the dynamic leaders, teachers, and thinkers who are part of Esalen Institute. The podcast is hosted by Sam Stern, former Esalen extended student and current staff member.

These podcasts are licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license.

Listen or download each episode below, or Subscribe to Voices of Esalen in iTunes.

Linda and Charlie Bloom: Relationship Experts

Linda Bloom, LCSW and Charlie Bloom, MSW, are psychotherapists and relationship counselors. They have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975, and have been married since 1972. In a very open and candid conversation, they share a host of actionable tips culled from their decades of experience with couples. Together we addressed whether couples should share their finances, whether they should be best friends, if it's okay to go to bed angry, the importance of having a strong sexual connection, how to have useful disagreements, how to apologize from the heart, and much more.

Listen or download the mp3. Released June 12th, 2019. Length: 49:12.

Look for upcoming workshops with Linda Bloom and Charlie Bloom.

Ricki Lake on "Weed the People", "Hairspray", and "The Business of Being Born"

During the Esalen Inspirational Film Festival, Ricki Lake stopped by to talk about her new documentary film, "Weed The People", which advocates for the use of cannabis for pediatric cancer patients, citing palliative care advantages as well as tumor shrinkage. She also spoke about a host of topics, including her breakthrough film, "Hairspray", advice she got from director John Waters, her first foray into documentary film as a producer (with "The Business of Being Born"), her 11-year stint as a talk show host, what it was like to Dance with the Stars, and how bereavement has changed her as a person.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 28th, 2019. Length: 31:05.

Michael Ableman on Urban Agriculture, Sustainable Farming, and Sole Food Street Farms

Michael Ableman is a farmer, author, photographer and urban and local food systems advocate. Michael has been farming organically since the early 1970s and is considered one of the pioneers of the organic farming and urban agriculture movements. He is a frequent lecturer to audiences all over the world, and winner of numerous awards for his work. He is also the founder of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens; co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms, and founder and director of the Center for Arts, Ecology and Agriculture based at his family home and farm on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. He's an awesome person, and this interview is well worth a listen.

Listen or download the mp3. Released April 24th, 2019. Length: 57:53.

Look for upcoming workshops with Michael Ableman.

Peggy Horan on Esalen in the late 1960s and Her Life in Big Sur

Peggy Horan is a long-time Esalen staff member, known far and wide for her exceptional work as an Esalen massage therapist and massage teacher. She has been practicing and teaching Esalen Massage for four decades and is the author of Connecting Through Touch, A Couples Massage Book. Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern recently visited Peggy at her home on Gorda mountain, which she shares with her husband, artist Richard Horan. Sam is joined in the interview process by Lucia Horan, Peggy’s eldest daughter, who assisted in delving into the rich legacy and history of a beloved and respected community member. They spoke about a host of topics, including the evolution of Esalen massage, midwifery in Big Sur in the 1980s, and what Esalen was like when she arrived in 1969.

Listen or download the mp3. Released April 9th, 2019. Length: 40:53.

Look for upcoming workshops with Peggy Horan.

Michael Murphy: Mysticism in Sports

The esteemed Michael Murphy is the co-founder of Esalen Institute, and a very smart guy; this is accepted as established fact. What’s somewhat less known about Michael is that he is a sports nut - and an expert on mysticism within the realm of sports. In 1972, Murphy published his first book, Golf in the Kingdom, which went on to sell more than one million copies, becoming a cult classic among athletes, with many celebrity fans, among them Phil Jackson, Bill Murray, and Tom Smothers. He is also the author of In the Zone: Transcendent Experiences in Sports, (with Rhea White), which, in the words of historian Jeffrey Kripal, “makes the case that there is a kind of spiritual underground in the sports world, and that the psychodynamics of athletics — extreme discipline, physical suffering, risk-taking, scripted trauma — bear some rather striking resemblances to the earlier cultural patterns of shamanism and mysticism.” In the Zone, in fact, is a book of case studies that make the compelling argument that sports may constitute an arena made for shifting consciousness and spontaneously inducing mystical states. So let’s dive deep — with the golfing yogi, the shaman of San Francisco ... 49ers — Mr. Michael Murphy.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 10th, 2019. Length: 44:32.

Paul Selig Returns: The Spiritual Channel takes us into the Upper Room

Paul Selig is a psychic gifted with the skill of clairvoyance. He is sometimes described as a “medium for the living.” Paul is also the award-winning author of many channeled texts, including I am the Word, The Book of Love and Creation, The Book of Mastery, and most recently, The Book of Freedom. Of course, Paul will tell you he transcribes these books, rather than writes them – that the true authors of these books are his guides. Today he brings us into the "upper room," offers insight into his own guides, speaks about the importance of Esalen on his work, and indulges Sam with a bit of channeled guidance regarding some of his personal concerns.

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 25th, 2019. Length: 59:16.

Look for upcoming workshops with Paul Selig.

Mark Coleman: Nature Deficit Disorder, Punk, and Mindfulness Meditation

Mark Coleman is the author of Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery. Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has taught there since 2000. He also holds a MA in Clinical Psychology. We spoke about the unique path that brought Mark to mindfulness meditation and how presence awareness lies at the heart of the work he does.

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 14th, 2019. Length: 39:16.

Look for upcoming workshops with Mark Coleman.

Dustin DiPerna on Integral Theory, Meditation, and Fatherhood

In this episode Dustin DiPerna, Harvard-trained scholar of world religions, meditation teacher, and author of several books, including Streams of Wisdom, Evolution's Ally, and Earth is Eden, takes on the concept of transpersonal psychology and Ken Wilber's Integral Theory with host Sam Stern. The interview covers a host of topics, including Dustin's brief foray into the fashion industry as a young man, which led to his attempt to become a monk, which then lead to his years of study with philosopher and creator of Integral Theory, Ken Wilber, and a prosperous career as a heart-centered intellectual. Dustin leads a short and beautiful meditation to close the conversation.

Listen or download the mp3. Released January 20th, 2019. Length: 48:38.

Look for upcoming workshops with Dustin DiPerna.

Mike Lousada and Louise Mazanti: New Psychosexual Paradigms of Human Evolution

Mike Lousada is a Psychosexual Somatic® Practitioner as well as a Clinical Sexologist whose psychotherapeutic influences include Body Psychotherapy, Bio-Energetics, Somatic Trauma Therapy work, and Gestalt. Louise Mazanti is a psychotherapist with a private practice in London, specializing in sex and intimacy. Together they are the authors of Real Sex, Why Everything You Learned About Sex Is Wrong. We spoke about synthesizing the masculine and the feminine, and exceeding the narrow definitions surrounding those terms.

Listen or download the mp3. Released January 8th, 2019. Length: 40:07.

Look for upcoming workshops with Mike Lousada and Louise Mazanti.

Rick Hanson: Awestruck Gratitude, Wherever You Go

Dr. Rick Hanson is a psychologist and author whose interests lie in the confluence of modern neuroscience and ancient contemplative practices. Hanson is the author of Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, Hardwiring Happiness, and most recently, Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, which discusses using positive neuroplasticity to develop vital inner strengths like grit, gratitude, and compassion. Rick is a Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and is basically a wise, compassionate, and thoughtful resource.

Listen or download the mp3. Released December 18th, 2018. Length: 40:12.

Look for upcoming workshops with Rick Hanson.

Mikey Siegel: Consciousness Hacking

Mikey Siegel is the founder of the Consciousness Hacking movement. Siegel studied computer engineering at UC Santa Cruz, then worked at NASA in the field of Intelligent Robotics. He’s also worked at the MIT Media Lab, focusing in part on social robotics. He uses technology to facilitate a path toward higher consciousness, self-realization, awakening, and transcendence.

Listen or download the mp3. Released November 25th, 2018. Length: 52:26.

Look for upcoming workshops with Mikey Siegel.

Perry Holloman on Massage, Gestalt, and Esalen's Tribe

Perry Holloman is an internationally renowned massage instructor—he has been a teacher and practitioner of Esalen Massage, Deep Bodywork, and body-oriented approaches to Relational Gestalt Process work for more than 30 years. He and his wife Johanna Holloman teach in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, and enjoy legions of faithful followers with their brand of Deep Bodywork. Together we explored a bit of the history of the last 40 years of the Esalen institute, from dishwashing to dancing, to his mentors at Esalen, and the tribal nature of the community in the 1980's. He's one of the more articulate people running around the good state of California, so sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Listen or download the mp3. Released November 8th, 2018. Length: 1:21:36.

Look for upcoming workshops with Perry Holloman.

Suzanne Scurlock-Durana: Healing from the Core

Suzanne Scurlock-Durana is one of the world’s leading authorities on conscious awareness. A longtime leader at Esalen, Suzanne is a Craniosacral therapist and an instructor with the Upledger Institute. She created the comprehensive Healing From the Core training curriculum, empowering her audience with practical tools that enable them to experience joy in each moment without burning out. She also teaches a popular women-only course at Esalen called Healing the Pelvic Floor. Suzanne is about using full body presence to improve every aspect of your life, from your health and well-being to your relationships, your career, your creativity, and your financial health.

Listen or download the mp3. Released October 19th, 2018. Length: 55:12.

Look for upcoming workshops with Suzanne Scurlock-Durana.

Steve Paulson on NPR and the Art of the Interview

Steve Paulson is the Executive Producer and one of the founders of the beloved NPR radio show, To The Best Of Our Knowledge. He is a master interviewer, having conducted many thousands of interviews over the course of a 27-year career. Steve has been a contributing writer for, Slate, Huffington Post and The Atlantic. His radio reports have also been broadcast on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. His book, Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion & Science, was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. He’s working on another book exploring the intersection between science, philosophy and spiritual experience, which will probe the edges of science and such oddities as psychedelics and near-death experiences.

Listen or download the mp3. Released September 9th, 2018. Length: 37:28.

Look for upcoming workshops with Steve Paulson.

Janet Stone: Global Yoga Warrior

Janet Stone is a beloved yoga teacher and longtime faculty at the Esalen Institute. Janet grew up on a self-described “slightly crazy hippie farm” in Northern California, where she ate tofu, baled hay, and cleaned rabbit cages. As an adult she spent eleven inspiring years in film and TV production, then traveled the world, visiting New Zealand, Egypt, and then northern India, where she began her yoga journey. Janet lives in San Francisco and continues to travel the world, teaching and leading. Some of her favorite things, per her website, include "Tantric Shaivism (go, Hareesh), Egyptian Licorice Mint Tea, the search for the perfect whoopie-pie (found many times), the New Yorker, great stretchy jeans (no, not jeggings), tall boots, long boards, flip-flops, warm toes, KCRW, inner exploration, curiosity, carpooling, that spot under the tree in Golden Gate Park, sunsets from Bingin, Bali, bath time, story time, snack time, picnic time, anytime with my girls." She is an articulate and passionate speaker about yoga, life, humility, the concept of "enoughness," meditation, why Esalen works, and more.

Listen or download the mp3. Released August 17st, 2018. Length: 39:07.

Look for upcoming workshops with Janet Stone.

Pico Iyer on Esalen, Big Sur, the Dalai Lama and Global Soul

Pico Iyer is a British-born essayist and novelist, known for his outstanding travel writing. Iyer was a King's Scholar at Eton College, and was awarded a Congratulatory Double First in English Literature at Oxford University, then received his second master's in literature at Harvard. Iyer has known the 14th Dalai Lama since he was in his late teens, when he accompanied his father to Dharamshala, India, in the early 1970s. Iyer taught literature at Harvard before joining Time magazine in 1982 as a writer on world affairs. After his home in Santa Barbara burned to the ground in 1990, Iyer was left without any possessions. In 1992 he relocated to Nara, Japan, where he has lived since, with his wife Hiroko Takeuchi. Some of his notable books include Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home; The Open Road: the Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama; and most recently, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.

Listen or download the mp3. Released August 1st, 2018. Length: 44:02.

Look for upcoming workshops with Pico Iyer.

Stanislav Grof on Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Holotropic Breathwork, and His Life at Esalen

Stanislav Grof is not only one of the godfathers of psychedelic psychotherapy—not only one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology—not only a renowned researcher into the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness to gain insights into the human psyche—he was also an integral part of the fabric of Esalen Institute during the 1970's and 1980's, helping to shape the culture in Big Sur via his popular workshops and month long programs. In this interview, we talked about his relationship with Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy and how Stan came to be invited to live and teach at Esalen in the 1970's (where he created the practice of holotropic breath work, in part out of necessity to abide with the law), his abiding affection for Esalen co-founder Dick Price, and his collaborations with Fritjof Capra, Gregory Bateson, Rupert Sheldrake, as well as many more legendary teachers. Definitely tune in to the man, the myth, the legend—Stan Grof.

Listen or download the mp3. Released July 18th, 2018. Length: 43:14.

Ken Dychtwald on 1970's Esalen, Bodymind, XPRIZE, and Beating Alzheimer's

Ken Dychtwald is a lifelong friend of Esalen and certified amazing guy. Besides being the best-selling author of more than ten books, he's a ground-breaking gerontologist, a psychologist, an educator, a professional lecturer (one of the best to ever pick up a microphone), a superb storyteller, a consultant to several White House administrations, an amazing father and husband—and apart from all that, he knows quite a lot about Esalen back in the day. This interview with Ken gets into Esalen in the 1970's, and digs into the work of Will Schutz, famous for his encounter groups, and the psychodrama technique that came with it. Ken and host Sam Stern also talk about Ken's seminal book, Bodymind, which he developed in his early twenties, and how he came to be at the forefront of the holistic health movement at its inception, as well as his lifelong work with aging populations, culminating in a bold initiative with the XPRIZE foundation that aims to defeat Alzheimer's.

Listen or download the mp3. Released July 2nd, 2018. Length: 1:08:20.

Dr. Mark Hyman on the Most Powerful Medicine: Food

Dr. Hyman is an eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of functional medicine. He is the Director the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and a regular medical contributor on many television shows, including CBS This Morning, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The View, and The Dr. Oz Show. In this episode Dr. Hyman and host Sam Stern discuss many topics, including healthy fats, what NOT to eat, organ meats, dairy (nature's perfect food, if you're a calf, says Mark), fluoridated water, and more. This podcast is full of actionable knowledge. Have a listen.

Listen or download the mp3. Released June 14th, 2018. Length: 44:16.

Look for upcoming workshops with Mark Hyman.

Bob Walter on the Life and Work of Joseph Campbell

Bob Walter is the executive director and board president of the Joseph Campbell foundation. Walter was Joseph Campbell’s editor for the last ten years of his life and the editorial director of "The Historical Atlas of World Mythology." Following Campbell’s death in 1987, he served as literary executor of Campbell’s estate, and continues to oversee the publication of Joseph Campbell’s writings. In this episode, Walter talks about the work and the life of Campbell, a central figure in Esalen’s history, as well as the human potential movement. Bonus: this episode contains some original Joseph Campbell clips taken from a speech he gave at the Esalen institute, on October 12th, 1967, entitled, “Freud, Jung, and Kundalini Yoga.” Enjoy.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 18th, 2018. Length: 51:14.

Look for upcoming workshops with Bob Walter.

Jean Houston on Quantum Theory and Concurrent Realities

Jean Houston is an interdisciplinary thinker and author, known for her ability to weave together history, culture, spirituality, and science. Dr. Houston is the author of 26 books and has worked in over 100 countries. She recently came to Esalen to teach about quantum theory and concurrent realities, and in this episode of Voices of Esalen she talks with host Sam Stern about her relationships with Margaret Mead, Joseph Campbell, Alduous Huxley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Deepak Chopra, and Hilary Clinton, among other fascinating topics.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 4th, 2018. Length: 40:42.

Look for upcoming workshops with Jean Houston.

Ben Tauber on Life, Work, and Endless Curiosity

Ben Tauber is a former member of Esalen's Board of Trustees and former Executive Director. During this conversation that took place during Ben's tenure as Executive Director, he and Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern spoke about Ben's youth and teenage years, the nature of the company he created and made successful before joining Esalen, his creative relationship with Esalen's co-founder, Michael Murphy, how he battled cancer and emerged victorious, what it was like to come to the helm at Esalen in the midst of a natural disaster, and much more.

Listen or download the mp3. Released April 26th, 2018, updated November 21st, 2018. Length: 49:44.

Steven Harper on Wilderness in Big Sur and at the Esalen Institute

Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, author, artist, and longtime teacher at the Esalen Institute. He focuses on wild nature as a vehicle for awakening; his work is inspired by a deep connection to inner wild nature. Steven is a contributor to the emerging field of ecopsychology, and has written at length on the subject. He was also a longtime student and close friend of Esalen co-founder Dick Price, and in our conversation, he speaks about his history with Dick, Esalen in the 1980’s, what it was like to raise a family in Big Sur, and how he continues to connect to wild spirit.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 20th, 2018. Length: 1:13:20.

Look for upcoming workshops with Steven Harper.

Dorothy Charles on the History of Gestalt at Esalen

Dorothy Charles writes, "The practice of being present is simple and not easy. We call it a practice because that’s what it takes – returning to the moment whenever I notice that I’m not present." Dorothy is a long-time and beloved teacher and Gestalt Practitioner at Esalen since 1985, where she continues to lead workshops and training groups. Dorothy received her training at Esalen with Richard and Christine Price. She lives in Aptos, California, where she and Christine Price lead and curate Tribal Ground, an educational and congregational organization dedicated to Gestalt Awareness Practice, Relational Gestalt Practice, and recognizing the sacredness in both life and death.

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 13th, 2018. Length: 51:35.

Look for upcoming workshops with Dorothy Charles.

Kristin Neff on the Power of Self-Compassion

Dr. Kristin Neff writes, "Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a 'stiff upper lip' mentality, you stop to tell yourself 'this is really difficult right now,' how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?" In this conversation, Kristin describes the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion, describes the scientific research she has been conducting in self-compassion, and gives us a few simple, actionable techniques to help direct compassion toward ourselves.

Listen or download the mp3. Released January 19th, 2018. Length: 30:56.

Look for upcoming workshops with Kristin Neff.

David Crow, Master Herbalist, on Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, and Grassroots Healthcare

David Crow is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of botanical medicine and grassroots healthcare. He is a master herbalist, aromatherapist and acupuncturist with over 30 years experience in the Ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems, as well as a renowned author, poet, and co-founder of The Learning Garden at Venice High School in Los Angeles, one of the country's largest and most successful school gardens. We explore the ins and outs of essential oils, aromatherapy, flower essences, ayurveda, psychedelics, energy bodies, and gardening.

Listen or download the mp3. Released December 8th, 2017. Length: 59:20.

Look for upcoming workshops with David Crow.

Alison Raby and James Hanusa on Digital Raign: VR, AR, AI, and Emerging Technology

Digital Raign is a conference that recently convened at Esalen with the intention of creating an "experiential ecosystem," dedicated to exploring the links between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, and essential human nature. Co-founders Alison Raby, founder of Mariposa Search, LifeBeforeDeath and Co-Founder of Wisdompreneurs, and James Hanusa, cultural strategist, entrepreneur, and advisor to Burning Man, walk us through uncharted territory in this interview. If you're looking to learn about new technologies and holistic ways to relate to them, this talk will provide helpful information.

Listen or download the mp3. Released November 28th, 2017. Length: 44:58.

Look for upcoming workshops with Alison Raby or James Hanusa.

Phillip Burrus, former Executive Chef at Esalen, on Sustainability, Land Stewardship and Great Food

Today we take a small step back in time to speak with Phillip Burrus, longtime member of the Esalen community and former Executive Chef. Recorded in the spring of 2017, only days before Phillip and his wife Isabel Chave-Manso set off for the next chapter of their lives in Spain, host Sam Stern spoke at length with Phillip about his take on sustainability, the importance of locally-grown produce in food preparation, land stewardship, and community in Big Sur. Phillip is a brilliant guy. If you want to learn more about what goes on in one of the best healthy kitchens in California, have a listen. Music for this episode is by Nico Holloman.

Listen or download the mp3. Released October 19th, 2017. Length: 41:12.

Byron Katie on Living Without Suffering

Byron Katie was severely depressed in her early thirties. For almost a decade, she spiraled down into rage and self-loathing, battling constant thoughts of suicide. Then one morning in February 1986, she experienced a life-changing realization: "I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn't believe them, I didn't suffer. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional." In this episode, Katie and Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern discuss The Work, the philosophy and process of self-inquiry that Byron Katie has brought to millions of people across the world, as well as her new book, "A Mind at Home with Itself," written with her husband Stephen Mitchell. Please enjoy this remarkable and revelatory conversation.

Listen or download the mp3. Released October 13th, 2017. Length: 30:40.

Look for upcoming workshops with Byron Katie.

Ken Dychtwald interviews Ben Tauber

Ken Dychtwald — gerontologist, psychologist, educator, lecturer, television host, and lifelong friend of Esalen — interviews executive director Ben Tauber during a recent weekend at the Esalen Institute, covering new ground to the delight of a lively audience. Music produced by Nico Holloman.

Listen or download the mp3. Released September 13th, 2017. Length: 25:15.

Michael Murphy, Co-Founder of Esalen, on the Institute's Origin Story

Michael Murphy is the co-founder of Esalen Institute, a key figure in the Human Potential Movement and an extraordinary human being. He is the author of many remarkable books, including Golf in the Kingdom, The Future of the Body, Jacob Atabet, and In the Zone: Transcendent Experience in Sports. In this interview, Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern spoke with Michael about the 1960's and how Esalen was born, touching upon his encounters with notables like Hunter S. Thompson, Alduous Huxley, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Timothy Leary, Sri Aurobindo, Abraham Maslow, and Esalen's co-founder Richard Price. Michael also describes his own origin story, from his altar boy roots to his journey to India, Big Sur, and beyond. Music for this episode was created by Esalen's own Daniel Knipprath.

Listen or download the mp3. Released January 20th, 2017. Length: 53:12.

Jeff Kripal on the Cultural History of Esalen Institute

Jeff Kripal is Chairman of the Board of Esalen Institute and holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. His fascinating work includes the history of psychic phenomena, comparative erotics and ethics in mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religions, and Esalen Institute itself. He is the author of the foundational text Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion, a must-read for anyone interested in Esalen Institute. His present areas of writing and research include the articulation of a New Comparativism within the study of religion that will put “the impossible” back on the table again, a robust and even conversation between the sciences and the humanities, and the mapping of an emergent mythology or “Super Story” within paranormal communities and individual visionaries. Have a listen to our conversation on the cultural and historical forces at play during the origin of Esalen Insitute. The theme music for this episode is Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released November 28th, 2016. Length: 51:19.

Shauna Shapiro on a Scientific Perspective on Mindfulness

Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on mindfulness. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University, and co-author of the books The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. Shauna and Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern discuss a way into meditation and mindfulness that is, somewhat surprisingly, not predicated around spirituality — rather, one that is focused on science and research. Their conversation covers several of Shauna's clinical research studies, which include work with women with breast cancer, as well as increased empathy with physicians. The music for this episode is called Tell the Future by Cory Gray, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released October 12th, 2016. Length: 43:24.

Look for upcoming workshops with Shauna Shapiro.

Paul Selig, I am the Word: The Extraordinary Life of a Spiritual Channel

Paul Selig is considered one of the foremost mediums working today. He is the author of several extraordinary works of channeled literature, including I Am the Word, The Book of Love and Creation, The Book of Knowing and Worth, and The Book of Mastery. Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern spoke to Paul at length about his work  before becoming a medium, when he was a well known playwright and director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College. They discuss the creative process and explore connections between creativity and the work of channeling before turning to the content of Paul's work and the remarkable message of his guides. This is a must-listen episode for those who are fascinated by the art of channeling, and those who find their interest piqued by the message of the Word. The music for this episode is Slow Dissolve, courtesy of

Listen or download the mp3. Released August 26th, 2016. Length: 1:05:20.

Look for upcoming workshops with Paul Selig.

Caroline Harvey on Poetry, Performance, Gender, and Activism

Caroline Harvey is an accomplished poet and educator whose work explores ideas of the sacred and the profane. Nominated for the 2013 Best Poets Award and a 2012 Pushcart Prize, she has shared stages and classrooms with Alicia Keys, Livingston Taylor, Melissa Ferrick, Donna De Lory, and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), and is dedicated to conscious evolution and intelligent rebellion. The conversation with host Sam Stern covers gender politics, teaching, authenticity, her love for the Grateful Dead, and how to avoid a predictable poetic cadence. Caroline also shares several of her fantastic new poems. Music for this episode is by Esalen's own Sierra Snyder, who records under the moniker of See Seer. The track is There Will Be Music Despite Everything.

Listen or download the mp3. Released August 10th, 2016. Length: 58:55.

Look for upcoming workshops with Caroline Harvey.

Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond on Writing from the Heart

This week's episode is a special one. Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern is joined by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, both brilliant writers and co-hosts of the podcast Dear Sugar Radio, an existentialist and compassionate take on the age-old form of the advice column. Cheryl Strayed is well known for her memoir, the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, which was made into a feature film released in 2014. She is also the author of Tiny Beautiful Things, Torch, and Brave Enough. Steve Almond is the author of CandyFreak, My Life in Heavy Metal, God Bless America, and many other terrific books. In their far-ranging conversation with Sam, Cheryl and Steve share their wisdom and convey their understanding of writing as an exploration of human nature and human experience. Music for this episode is from Weinland - the track is Hardly Worth Saving used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released July 26th, 2016. Length: 46:06.

Look for upcoming workshops with Cheryl Strayed or Steve Almond.

Mark Whitwell on the Heart of Yoga

Mark Whitwell is a brilliant yogi and an impassioned teacher, the student of Krishnamacharya, and an all-around funny, sweet, wonderful dude. Host Sam Sterne was privileged enough to sit with Mark for an afternoon, hear him play his sitar, and speak about many topics, chief among them Mark's book, The Promise of Love, Sex, and Intimacy: How a Simple Breathing Practice Will Enrich Your Life Forever. Music for this episode is Jason Shaw's Running Waters, used under an Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released June 28th, 2016. Length: 54:36.

Look for upcoming workshops with Mark Whitwell.

Alexandra Katehakis on Erotic Intelligence

Alexandra Katehakis is the Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles and the author of Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction. She's also the co-author of the award-winning daily meditation book, Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence, from which she reads during this far-reaching interview. We touch on a host of subjects, including the difference between desire and eroticism, the value of examining sexual fantasy and peak sexual experiences, the meaning of trauma in today's world, the many faces of sex addiction and love addiction, how to find novelty within one's long-term sexual relationships, and much more. The music for this episode is Dryness by Ketsa, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 23rd, 2016. Length: 50:41.

Look for upcoming workshops with Alexandra Katehakis.

Paula Shaw on The Max

"The purpose of THE MAX is to discover yourself beyond who you know yourself to be. It is a voyage through your own humanity—a journey to discover the extent of your self-expressive power." Paula Shaw has been leading a workshop called "The Max" at Esalen for nearly 30 years. Today, we talk to her about the roots of The Max, touching upon her history with est and her experiences with the Actor's Theater of New York. The music for this episode is Sleep Seeds by Graham Bole from the album "First New Day," licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 23rd, 2016. Length: 51:36.

Look for upcoming workshops with Paula Shaw.

Ian-Michael Hébert on Esalen's Renewal and the Fine Art of Sustainable Development

Ian-Michael Hébert, Property Development Manager at Esalen Institute, comes aboard to talk to host Sam Stern about the state of Esalen's campus renewal project, the challenges and triumphs of sustainable building, and plans for the future. They discuss Stanislav Grof's holotropic breathing, shamanic portals, perinatal matrices, re-experiencing one's own birth, fatherhood and how amazing it is, visions of a post-capitalistic society, intergenerational alchemy, Ian-Michael's admiration for Dick Price and the Murphy family, his roots in the wilds of Alaska, Esalen as a refuge for revolutionaries, and much more. The music for this episode is Dave Depper's All the Pieces Come Together, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released May 4th, 2016. Length: 43:36.

Look for upcoming workshops with Ian-Michael Hébert.

Sam Berne on Vision Therapy and Integrative Health

Dr. Sam Berne is known internationally as a pioneer in vision science, integrative health, and subtle energy therapies. He has developed innovative methods for healing the mind-body-spirit through eye therapy. In this episode, Dr. Berne talks through a process and offers concrete techniques to host Sam Stern to strengthen his vision, while exploring somato-emotional territory.

Listen or download the mp3. Released April 20th, 2016. Length: 56:39.

Look for upcoming workshops with Sam Berne.

Patrice Hamilton: Immersive Experience - Body Centered Awareness

In this episode, Patrice Hamilton guides us through Body Centered Awareness. The aim of this practice is to become aware of your own somatic experiences and patterns, expanding your capacity for more fluid and functional movement. Patrice has been assisting people in self-discovery as a teacher and counselor for over 25 years. Body Centered Awareness is her work as a somatic educator and counselor. She draws upon her training in Cortical Field ReEducation, a movement education practice, the Hakomi method, and Gestalt. Music for this episode is Tranquility by Purple Planet.

Listen or download the mp3. Released April 6th, 2016. Length: 24:21.

Look for upcoming workshops with Patrice Hamilton.

Ann Bradney on Radical Aliveness

"When you can engage the powerful feelings of others without the need to control or tame them, that’s radical aliveness." Ann Bradney is the founder and director of the Radical Aliveness Institute, where she facilitates challenging and exciting work that asks individuals to be fully present and honest to their energy and emotions. "When you can learn to hold a space where conflict and challenge are welcome because they serve as doorways to fresh insights, that’s also radical aliveness." The music for this episode is VYVCH's Barely Baked, included under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 30th, 2016. Length: 50:10.

Look for upcoming workshops with Ann Bradney.

Susan Collin Marks on Peacemaking and the Power of Presence

Susan Collin Marks is an internationally renowned peacemaker and peacekeeper. She's worked for nearly three decades forging peace, including in her native South Africa, where she worked intimately with the nation's transition from apartheid after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. Additionally, she has helped facilitate ongoing dialogue in the Middle East and established peace-building programs in Africa. Honors include a Peace Fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace, the Institute for Noetic Science’s Creative Altruism award, a Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, President Jimmy Carter’s Waging Peace Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from the UN University of Peace. She is also an outstandingly warm and generous person. Our conversation was far-ranging, and included her insights into how peace functions on a personal level, as well as her history with the Esalen Institute. The music for this episode is Siesta by Jahzzar, licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 23rd, 2016. Length: 49:15.

Look for upcoming workshops with Susan Collin Marks.

Julie Szabo on Social Activism in the Age of Radical Diversity and Escalating Technology

Julie Szabo is the coordinator of Web of Change, an organization dedicated to examining the influence of escalating technology on the movement of social change. We spoke about many issues pursuant to being an activist in today's changing landscape, including increased racial diversity, the need for conscious self-care, a diversification of critical issues, the death of click-bait and the return to long-form, and much more. Music for this episode is 3 to the 6 to the 0 by Velella Vellella, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 17th, 2016. Length: 32:37.

Aaron Pereira on How to Engage in Social Change Sanely

Aaron Pereira is the creator of the Well-Being Project, an institution that actively works towards creating healthful and realistic avenues for agents of social change to engage in self-care. We chatted about Paris, avoiding burnout and the martyr syndrome, and his own success with somatic experiencing and the Esalen Institute. The theme song for this episode is by Kevin MacLeod (, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 10th, 2016. Length: 26:46.

Michaela Boehm on Sexual Chemistry and the WIld Woman's Way

Michaela Boehm is a teacher and clinician specializing in deep intimacy and the art of maintaining healthy polarity within self and relationship. She received a formal, classical Tantric education from a female teacher in a Kashmiri Shaivism tradition from the age of 16. She is also the co-founder of a Malibu celebrity drug rehabilitation center, and for 13 years has taught with David Deida. This conversation is a lot of fun, and touches upon Michaela's life and her ten-year marriage, the possibility of healthy sexual media, polygamy and its pitfalls, and ways to maintain a healthy balance with a partner. The theme song for this episode is Daily Beetle by Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Listen or download the mp3. Released March 3rd, 2016. Length: 49:27.

Look for upcoming workshops with Michaela Boehm.

Rick Hanson on Hardwiring Happiness

Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain and Hardwiring Happiness joins us to discuss neuroscience, love, happiness, and wisdom. We get into a wealth of topics, including neuroplasticity, contentment, mindfulness, and basic practices that can enable us to better find happiness. Theme music from

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 24th, 2016. Length: 39:18.

Look for upcoming workshops with Rick Hanson.

Peter Meyers on on Conscious Communication and Effortless Public Speaking

Peter Meyers is the creator of High Performance Leadership Communication, and in this interview, he teaches several basic, effective tools to overcome fear of speaking in public. Theme music from

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 17th, 2016. Length: 52:34.

Look for upcoming workshops with Peter Meyers.

Ann Randolph on Speaking the Unspeakable and Being Inappropriate In All the Right Ways

Ann Randolph is a solo performer, a playwright, a talented teacher, and a comedy genius. She stopped into Esalen during the fall of 2015 to co-teach a workshop with Alanis Morrisette. While she was here, she talked with Voices of Esalen host Sam Stern about her hilarious new autobiographical solo show, "Inappropriate In All The Right Ways." Theme music from

Listen or download the mp3. Released February 16th, 2016. Length: 1:01:38.

Look for upcoming workshops with Ann Randolph.


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