Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Esalen’s Statement on the Present Racial Crisis

In June 2020, Esalen released a statement regarding the present racial crisis. This page provides additional clarity on how Esalen, as an organization, will work in very practical and substantive ways to be more inclusive. We value your feedback and insights as we collectively move forward to make these important changes.

Overview

What is your plan moving forward?

The Board Task Force will take a short time to review Esalen’s foundational documents and processes, which are some of the inputs required to spark inner work and systemic change. We are examining cultural elements that have created the current reality at Esalen and how we can create a more inclusive reality moving forward. We also hear calls from our community to post a landing page with FAQ and metrics for accountability. We will work on this and come back with a next step quickly.

How did you get to the goal of 20 percent to start?

Setting this goal now and reaching it within a year will take a lot of internal work. What is not noted in the statement but is clear to us throughout the organization is that by setting these goals and remaining accountable to them, we are setting ourselves up for rigorous examination. There may be stumbling blocks along the way. We promise to be open, vulnerable and to take your reflection into account as we lay out our path forward and our future goals. As we achieve milestones we will set new goals.

Why is it taking this amount of time?

In an effort to now take systemic and systematic racism seriously we wanted to lay out clear goals rather than only a statement of solidarity. We have examined the past and are determined to work in very practical and substantive ways to address what is clearly the present edge and future of human potential. The time is now.

What are your plans for organizational change?

We are deeply committed to exploring this with input from a diversity of perspectives and delineating necessary steps in an effort to shift Esalen's consciousness, culture and racial composition. Changes will occur at all levels and all aspects of the organization.

What changes will you make to the property?

The top piece of feedback that we have received in this regard is that it is uncomfortable to be the only person of color in any room, particularly the Esalen Lodge. Esalen is integrating training and opportunities for staff and community to engage in the kind of introspection that we hope will create a safe and welcoming community. In addition, we are working with partner organizations to develop outreach programs that are intended to address additional ways and means of attracting BIPOC students, faculty and staff into the Esalen community. We welcome engagement and support in this regard at friends@esalen.org.

Engagement

How are you working with the indigenous peoples?

We acknowledge that healing and reconciliation work is deeply needed with the indigenous peoples on whose land Esalen Institute now sits and whose name we have adapted as our own. We are currently in conversation with several key partners to support this foundational work. Out of deference for that process and all involved, we ask for your patience. We recognize this is long overdue and when we have the opportunity to share more with respect and consideration for all involved, you can rest assured we will do so. Until then, we hear you and welcome further conversation at friends@esalen.org.

How do BIPOC faculty apply to teach at Esalen?

Our Programming team is always looking to amplify emerging ideas and voices, as we seek to support the inner and outer work necessary to co-create a more just and equitable future for all. We welcome BIPOC leadership and voices to show us the way. Please follow this link to find out more about the process and share what you’d like to offer.

How is Esalen addressing financial inclusivity?

Esalen is committed to scholarship and has already allocated $500,000 to seed a scholarship endowment as well as yearly allocation of scholarship. We have amended our scholarship program to include all workshops as eligible for scholarship as well as including scholarship support for travel and cost of living adjustments.

We issue scholarship through the Scholarship Committee and we are proud to say that we have a careful and inclusive scholarship issuance policy that takes many factors into consideration including membership in a marginalized community. Though we do not have a scholarship specifically for BIPOC community members, making scholarship funds available is not the core issue—what we need is more applicants.

Outreach program

We recognize that scholarship is by no means the only way to bridge the gap into communities not normally served and met by Esalen and we are working with partner organizations to develop outreach programs that are intended to address additional ways and means of attracting BIPOC Board members, Advisors, students, faculty and staff into the Esalen community.

Continuing the conversation

If you’d like more information please reach out to us at friends@esalen.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Esalen’s Statement on the Present Racial Crisis

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

In June 2020, Esalen released a statement regarding the present racial crisis. This page provides additional clarity on how Esalen, as an organization, will work in very practical and substantive ways to be more inclusive. We value your feedback and insights as we collectively move forward to make these important changes.

Overview

What is your plan moving forward?

The Board Task Force will take a short time to review Esalen’s foundational documents and processes, which are some of the inputs required to spark inner work and systemic change. We are examining cultural elements that have created the current reality at Esalen and how we can create a more inclusive reality moving forward. We also hear calls from our community to post a landing page with FAQ and metrics for accountability. We will work on this and come back with a next step quickly.

How did you get to the goal of 20 percent to start?

Setting this goal now and reaching it within a year will take a lot of internal work. What is not noted in the statement but is clear to us throughout the organization is that by setting these goals and remaining accountable to them, we are setting ourselves up for rigorous examination. There may be stumbling blocks along the way. We promise to be open, vulnerable and to take your reflection into account as we lay out our path forward and our future goals. As we achieve milestones we will set new goals.

Why is it taking this amount of time?

In an effort to now take systemic and systematic racism seriously we wanted to lay out clear goals rather than only a statement of solidarity. We have examined the past and are determined to work in very practical and substantive ways to address what is clearly the present edge and future of human potential. The time is now.

What are your plans for organizational change?

We are deeply committed to exploring this with input from a diversity of perspectives and delineating necessary steps in an effort to shift Esalen's consciousness, culture and racial composition. Changes will occur at all levels and all aspects of the organization.

What changes will you make to the property?

The top piece of feedback that we have received in this regard is that it is uncomfortable to be the only person of color in any room, particularly the Esalen Lodge. Esalen is integrating training and opportunities for staff and community to engage in the kind of introspection that we hope will create a safe and welcoming community. In addition, we are working with partner organizations to develop outreach programs that are intended to address additional ways and means of attracting BIPOC students, faculty and staff into the Esalen community. We welcome engagement and support in this regard at friends@esalen.org.

Engagement

How are you working with the indigenous peoples?

We acknowledge that healing and reconciliation work is deeply needed with the indigenous peoples on whose land Esalen Institute now sits and whose name we have adapted as our own. We are currently in conversation with several key partners to support this foundational work. Out of deference for that process and all involved, we ask for your patience. We recognize this is long overdue and when we have the opportunity to share more with respect and consideration for all involved, you can rest assured we will do so. Until then, we hear you and welcome further conversation at friends@esalen.org.

How do BIPOC faculty apply to teach at Esalen?

Our Programming team is always looking to amplify emerging ideas and voices, as we seek to support the inner and outer work necessary to co-create a more just and equitable future for all. We welcome BIPOC leadership and voices to show us the way. Please follow this link to find out more about the process and share what you’d like to offer.

How is Esalen addressing financial inclusivity?

Esalen is committed to scholarship and has already allocated $500,000 to seed a scholarship endowment as well as yearly allocation of scholarship. We have amended our scholarship program to include all workshops as eligible for scholarship as well as including scholarship support for travel and cost of living adjustments.

We issue scholarship through the Scholarship Committee and we are proud to say that we have a careful and inclusive scholarship issuance policy that takes many factors into consideration including membership in a marginalized community. Though we do not have a scholarship specifically for BIPOC community members, making scholarship funds available is not the core issue—what we need is more applicants.

Outreach program

We recognize that scholarship is by no means the only way to bridge the gap into communities not normally served and met by Esalen and we are working with partner organizations to develop outreach programs that are intended to address additional ways and means of attracting BIPOC Board members, Advisors, students, faculty and staff into the Esalen community.

Continuing the conversation

If you’d like more information please reach out to us at friends@esalen.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Esalen’s Statement on the Present Racial Crisis

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About

Esalen Team

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Esalen’s Statement on the Present Racial Crisis

About

Esalen Team

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