Diving into Blue Mindfulness
Esalen Team
June 1, 2019

Whether you’re forest bathing or taking a plunge into an ocean wave, more and more health professionals are recognizing the importance of nature to our sense of wellbeing. When Dr. Wallace J. Nichols began work on his groundbreaking book Blue Mind over a decade ago, the tie between wellness and the environment was just beginning to emerge. The marine biologist and avid traveler knew intuitively that being in, under, and around water created a positive impact on our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing; his curiosity to learn more set him on a 10-year journey to document the science behind it.

J. will continue his work at Esalen as part of the ninth annual Blue Mind Summit to be held June 28-30. He will be joined by mindfulness expert and author of the upcoming book Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity and Joy Dr. Shauna Shapiro and neuropsychiatrist and author of Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence Dr. Daniel Siegel.

Teaching together for the first time, these three thought leaders will combine contemplative practice with science of Blue Mind — the meditative state of mind that is the antidote to the “red mind” of an overly anxious and highly connected modern world — to create the experience of Blue Mindfulness for workshop participants.

“I can’t imagine a better location in the world to combine the benefits of water and mindfulness than Esalen,” says J. who has led a multidisciplinary social movement of educators, scientists, psychologists, activists and artists in Blue Mind Summits worldwide. “We will explore the intersection of Dan, Shauna and my work and how nature can serve as medicine for our emotional health.”

The workshop will feature practical discussions on the practices of Blue Mindfulness as well as opportunities for participants to experience first-hand the healing impact of water at Esalen, which is the focal point of three sources: fresh, salt water, and mineral. What’s more, as research points to not only the benefits of proximity to water but to the reaction of awe, joy, and empathy it can create, new strategies are being made for environmental conservation. This year’s Blue Summit leaders hope to issue a position paper at the conclusion of the event to highlight the critical need to connect mindfulness work to the environment.

“My hope is that this summit will be a way for us to help protect the environment,” observes Shauna. “We need to understand how we are all connected.”

“One of the causes of human suffering, of planetary suffering, is our sense of disconnection,” adds Daniel. “We are hungry for something we can’t name. This will be a life-transforming weekend, bringing us back to the true nature of our origin and perhaps provide a pathway to healing for self and planet.” Shauna and Dan have previously led workshops at Esalen on the power of awe, wonder, empathy, mindfulness, and meditation to strengthen resilience, compassion and wisdom.

Join us for this unique experience to explore Blue Mindfulness while becoming an active co-creator of Blue Mind Summit’s evolving role in caring for our blue planet.


Esalen Team