On Our Bookshelf: Bookstore Favorites

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:

This time, we’re highlighting some classic Esalen texts along with a few hidden gems for an eclectic mix of staff favorites to stimulate curious minds and spirits. Here are a few of the titles being suggested at the bookstore these days whenever guests — especially those interested in Esalen history — ask, “What should I read next?


The Gazebo Learning Project

by Jasmine Horan

Anyone who remembers the Esalen Institute's Gazebo Park School, founded in the mid-1970s by Janet Lederman, understands that childhood is the best starting point for the Human Potential Movement. “Gazebo has long been a seed and source of inspiration,” author Jasmine Horan explained in Q&A a few years back. Her book — a documentation of the childhood program’s oral history  — outlines how Esalen’s philosophies can be “applied intuitively to any situation” and the principles that incorporated the “alternative programming adults were experiencing at Esalen.” As both an educator and student of the community, Horan, daughter of foundational Esalen Massage® teacher Peggy Horan and sister of 5Rhythms® teacher Lucia Horan, is the perfect documentarian to champion this cultural legacy. The lessons found here will help educators and parents create exceptional early starts. (To hear some of Jasmine’s thoughts on the Gazebo school and Esalen history, check out her Voices of Esalen episode from 2020.)

Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

by Day Schildkret

If one considers a life journey, the arc will primarily track and connect moments of great change — births, deaths, break-ups, moves, and more. Crucial plot points that pierce through the blurry memories of our regular busyness. But how often are the big events actually processed as we muddle our way through all that day-to-day jumble? For most of history, cultural traditions and community supported us through the good and the bad with celebrations and shared grief. Today, many feel directionless. Lost and on our own. Schildkert, the earth artist and educator behind the international Morning Altars movement, shares a “ritual recipe book” to honor the impor­tant thresholds. Informed by his Jewish education and hundreds of interviews, he identifies thirty-six (double life!) major milestones and offers 72 meaningful ways of marking and sanctifying them. A mindful instructional guide for acknowledging life as it happens.  

The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to Get What You Need

by Nancy Colier

Colier, leader of this summer’s Breaking Free From the Likability Cage workshop, offers a different type of self-help book: one specifically focused on the challenges women face and how we can reclaim balance. “When it comes to conditioning, both boys and girls are taught to behave in specific ways,” the author, psychotherapist, and interfaith minister explained in an essay for our spring newsletter, “but young girls are saddled with a particularly challenging expectation and demand: we’re taught to be selfless.” Readers (and workshop participants) can learn how to finally stop sacrificing authenticity to be appealing, which, when you look at it honestly, was always a truly terrible deal. “Eventually, being real, regardless of how it’s perceived, becomes an empowering, self-affirming, and self-loving choice, like coming home to yourself after a long journey.” For anyone ready to “open the door” and set themselves free, this is your key.

Gestalt Therapy

by Gordon Wheeler and Lena Axelsson

World-renowned Gestalt expert Gordon Wheeler — also a psychologist, prolific author, and the president of Esalen Institute — wrote the definitive text on the process-oriented approach "uniquely embedded in Esalen's DNA." (Ever since 1964, when psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who founded the field initially called "concentration therapy," arrived and Esalen and co-founder Dick Price added his own experiential imprint.) Gestalt Therapy explains the model for understanding how we, as human beings, put our experiences together. Wheeler’s work remains the field’s best introduction, covering the theory, history, and research with case examples featuring a range of clients. New readers will be shocked at how some Gestalt principles — building rapport between therapists and patients and attention to the body’s reactions to emotions — have been fully incorporated into today’s methods. A must for anyone interested in this groundbreaking form of psychotherapy.

Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Marriott and Kelley, co-hosts of the Therapist Uncensored, continue their podcast’s mission of translating the complex world and language of shrinks into “understandable and practical tools to uncover your best self.” The partners and wives share their combined 30-plus years of experience to teach listeners/readers how to untangle bad dynamics and “rewire our nervous systems toward more secure and fulfilling relationships.” If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry! The helpful illustrations and warm, relatable writing style (much like their welcoming podcast voices) make seemingly impossible challenges feel entirely achievable. “This is a cutting-edge essential read for those at any stage of the self-discovery journey who seek to make meaningful changes in their lives,” according to The Whole-Brain Child author Daniel J. Siege. “A wonderful contribution to our collective conversation about how to make our shared world a better place for us all." 

The UFO Paradox: The Celestial and Symbolic World of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

by Keith Thompson

After decades of tracking UFOs from multiple perspectives, Keith Thompson concludes the phenomenon is not only real, it comprises a “hyper-presence” that spans the globe. In case after UFO case, the same impasse is reached: compelling testimony from witnesses on one side, disparaging responses from various authorities on the other. In the fertile void of this stalemate, extraordinary possibilities — about the nature of mind and matter, and our evolutionary potential — enter the debate. Acknowledging that conferences of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helped shape his inquiry, Thompson’s new book The UFO Paradox chronicles how our engagement with the phenomenon resembles a collective rite of passage that shapes beliefs and expectations in remarkable ways. The UFO/UAP phenomenon ultimately represents a “call from the cosmos” for humanity to open to greater dimensions of reality, and to recognize that our understanding of the universe, including our place in it, is far from complete.

From Vision to Action: Remaking the World Through Social Entrepreneurship 

by John Marks

In his new book, New York Times bestselling author Marks credits the Institute as an inspiration during the creation of his worldwide international NGO: “I was able to borrow ideas from other groups, such as the Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American initiative and Harvard’s Project on Negotiation, but as far as I knew, no organization like Search had ever existed.” Even today, nothing else is quite like Search for Common Ground, an organization dedicated to peacebuilding, which has been opening opportunities for collaborations for 40 years and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Along the same lines, this practitioner’s guide to social entrepreneurship is also like nothing that has come before it. This is a master class in effective negotiation and conflict resolution that builds on a core strategy of “understanding differences and acting on commonalities.” Inspiration and lessons for anyone considering changing the world. 

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

by Jeffrey J. Kripal 

Lastly, any round-up of our bookstore favorites must include this much-loved and seminal Esalen text. From our own 2022 gift guide:

“If you’ve ever struggled to explain this place to the people in your life – Is it a retreat? Sort of, but it’s more than that. An institute? An oasis? A site for revelation? Yes, all that and so much more! — then get them this all-encompassing history of the holistic educational center known as Esalen. Or, as the author puts it, ‘a utopian experiment creatively suspended between the revelations of the religions and the democratic, pluralistic and scientific revolutions of modernity.’ Deeply researched, beginning with the Institute’s founding in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, this book recounts many of Esalen’s eras, iterations, and history-changing moments along with numerous scholars, philosophers, counterculture figures, celebrities, and geniuses that have graced these grounds. It’s the perfect present for those who have already experienced Esalen (but wish to know more), a fantastic introduction for novices (who require a little context before booking their first workshop), and an extraordinary synthesis of personalities, events, and histories — all compiled through Kripal’s beautiful prose.”

“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

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Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
On Our Bookshelf: Bookstore Favorites
Category:

This time, we’re highlighting some classic Esalen texts along with a few hidden gems for an eclectic mix of staff favorites to stimulate curious minds and spirits. Here are a few of the titles being suggested at the bookstore these days whenever guests — especially those interested in Esalen history — ask, “What should I read next?


The Gazebo Learning Project

by Jasmine Horan

Anyone who remembers the Esalen Institute's Gazebo Park School, founded in the mid-1970s by Janet Lederman, understands that childhood is the best starting point for the Human Potential Movement. “Gazebo has long been a seed and source of inspiration,” author Jasmine Horan explained in Q&A a few years back. Her book — a documentation of the childhood program’s oral history  — outlines how Esalen’s philosophies can be “applied intuitively to any situation” and the principles that incorporated the “alternative programming adults were experiencing at Esalen.” As both an educator and student of the community, Horan, daughter of foundational Esalen Massage® teacher Peggy Horan and sister of 5Rhythms® teacher Lucia Horan, is the perfect documentarian to champion this cultural legacy. The lessons found here will help educators and parents create exceptional early starts. (To hear some of Jasmine’s thoughts on the Gazebo school and Esalen history, check out her Voices of Esalen episode from 2020.)

Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

by Day Schildkret

If one considers a life journey, the arc will primarily track and connect moments of great change — births, deaths, break-ups, moves, and more. Crucial plot points that pierce through the blurry memories of our regular busyness. But how often are the big events actually processed as we muddle our way through all that day-to-day jumble? For most of history, cultural traditions and community supported us through the good and the bad with celebrations and shared grief. Today, many feel directionless. Lost and on our own. Schildkert, the earth artist and educator behind the international Morning Altars movement, shares a “ritual recipe book” to honor the impor­tant thresholds. Informed by his Jewish education and hundreds of interviews, he identifies thirty-six (double life!) major milestones and offers 72 meaningful ways of marking and sanctifying them. A mindful instructional guide for acknowledging life as it happens.  

The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to Get What You Need

by Nancy Colier

Colier, leader of this summer’s Breaking Free From the Likability Cage workshop, offers a different type of self-help book: one specifically focused on the challenges women face and how we can reclaim balance. “When it comes to conditioning, both boys and girls are taught to behave in specific ways,” the author, psychotherapist, and interfaith minister explained in an essay for our spring newsletter, “but young girls are saddled with a particularly challenging expectation and demand: we’re taught to be selfless.” Readers (and workshop participants) can learn how to finally stop sacrificing authenticity to be appealing, which, when you look at it honestly, was always a truly terrible deal. “Eventually, being real, regardless of how it’s perceived, becomes an empowering, self-affirming, and self-loving choice, like coming home to yourself after a long journey.” For anyone ready to “open the door” and set themselves free, this is your key.

Gestalt Therapy

by Gordon Wheeler and Lena Axelsson

World-renowned Gestalt expert Gordon Wheeler — also a psychologist, prolific author, and the president of Esalen Institute — wrote the definitive text on the process-oriented approach "uniquely embedded in Esalen's DNA." (Ever since 1964, when psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who founded the field initially called "concentration therapy," arrived and Esalen and co-founder Dick Price added his own experiential imprint.) Gestalt Therapy explains the model for understanding how we, as human beings, put our experiences together. Wheeler’s work remains the field’s best introduction, covering the theory, history, and research with case examples featuring a range of clients. New readers will be shocked at how some Gestalt principles — building rapport between therapists and patients and attention to the body’s reactions to emotions — have been fully incorporated into today’s methods. A must for anyone interested in this groundbreaking form of psychotherapy.

Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Marriott and Kelley, co-hosts of the Therapist Uncensored, continue their podcast’s mission of translating the complex world and language of shrinks into “understandable and practical tools to uncover your best self.” The partners and wives share their combined 30-plus years of experience to teach listeners/readers how to untangle bad dynamics and “rewire our nervous systems toward more secure and fulfilling relationships.” If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry! The helpful illustrations and warm, relatable writing style (much like their welcoming podcast voices) make seemingly impossible challenges feel entirely achievable. “This is a cutting-edge essential read for those at any stage of the self-discovery journey who seek to make meaningful changes in their lives,” according to The Whole-Brain Child author Daniel J. Siege. “A wonderful contribution to our collective conversation about how to make our shared world a better place for us all." 

The UFO Paradox: The Celestial and Symbolic World of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

by Keith Thompson

After decades of tracking UFOs from multiple perspectives, Keith Thompson concludes the phenomenon is not only real, it comprises a “hyper-presence” that spans the globe. In case after UFO case, the same impasse is reached: compelling testimony from witnesses on one side, disparaging responses from various authorities on the other. In the fertile void of this stalemate, extraordinary possibilities — about the nature of mind and matter, and our evolutionary potential — enter the debate. Acknowledging that conferences of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helped shape his inquiry, Thompson’s new book The UFO Paradox chronicles how our engagement with the phenomenon resembles a collective rite of passage that shapes beliefs and expectations in remarkable ways. The UFO/UAP phenomenon ultimately represents a “call from the cosmos” for humanity to open to greater dimensions of reality, and to recognize that our understanding of the universe, including our place in it, is far from complete.

From Vision to Action: Remaking the World Through Social Entrepreneurship 

by John Marks

In his new book, New York Times bestselling author Marks credits the Institute as an inspiration during the creation of his worldwide international NGO: “I was able to borrow ideas from other groups, such as the Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American initiative and Harvard’s Project on Negotiation, but as far as I knew, no organization like Search had ever existed.” Even today, nothing else is quite like Search for Common Ground, an organization dedicated to peacebuilding, which has been opening opportunities for collaborations for 40 years and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Along the same lines, this practitioner’s guide to social entrepreneurship is also like nothing that has come before it. This is a master class in effective negotiation and conflict resolution that builds on a core strategy of “understanding differences and acting on commonalities.” Inspiration and lessons for anyone considering changing the world. 

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

by Jeffrey J. Kripal 

Lastly, any round-up of our bookstore favorites must include this much-loved and seminal Esalen text. From our own 2022 gift guide:

“If you’ve ever struggled to explain this place to the people in your life – Is it a retreat? Sort of, but it’s more than that. An institute? An oasis? A site for revelation? Yes, all that and so much more! — then get them this all-encompassing history of the holistic educational center known as Esalen. Or, as the author puts it, ‘a utopian experiment creatively suspended between the revelations of the religions and the democratic, pluralistic and scientific revolutions of modernity.’ Deeply researched, beginning with the Institute’s founding in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, this book recounts many of Esalen’s eras, iterations, and history-changing moments along with numerous scholars, philosophers, counterculture figures, celebrities, and geniuses that have graced these grounds. It’s the perfect present for those who have already experienced Esalen (but wish to know more), a fantastic introduction for novices (who require a little context before booking their first workshop), and an extraordinary synthesis of personalities, events, and histories — all compiled through Kripal’s beautiful prose.”

“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

On Our Bookshelf: Bookstore Favorites

About

Esalen Team

< Back to all articles

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:

This time, we’re highlighting some classic Esalen texts along with a few hidden gems for an eclectic mix of staff favorites to stimulate curious minds and spirits. Here are a few of the titles being suggested at the bookstore these days whenever guests — especially those interested in Esalen history — ask, “What should I read next?


The Gazebo Learning Project

by Jasmine Horan

Anyone who remembers the Esalen Institute's Gazebo Park School, founded in the mid-1970s by Janet Lederman, understands that childhood is the best starting point for the Human Potential Movement. “Gazebo has long been a seed and source of inspiration,” author Jasmine Horan explained in Q&A a few years back. Her book — a documentation of the childhood program’s oral history  — outlines how Esalen’s philosophies can be “applied intuitively to any situation” and the principles that incorporated the “alternative programming adults were experiencing at Esalen.” As both an educator and student of the community, Horan, daughter of foundational Esalen Massage® teacher Peggy Horan and sister of 5Rhythms® teacher Lucia Horan, is the perfect documentarian to champion this cultural legacy. The lessons found here will help educators and parents create exceptional early starts. (To hear some of Jasmine’s thoughts on the Gazebo school and Esalen history, check out her Voices of Esalen episode from 2020.)

Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

by Day Schildkret

If one considers a life journey, the arc will primarily track and connect moments of great change — births, deaths, break-ups, moves, and more. Crucial plot points that pierce through the blurry memories of our regular busyness. But how often are the big events actually processed as we muddle our way through all that day-to-day jumble? For most of history, cultural traditions and community supported us through the good and the bad with celebrations and shared grief. Today, many feel directionless. Lost and on our own. Schildkert, the earth artist and educator behind the international Morning Altars movement, shares a “ritual recipe book” to honor the impor­tant thresholds. Informed by his Jewish education and hundreds of interviews, he identifies thirty-six (double life!) major milestones and offers 72 meaningful ways of marking and sanctifying them. A mindful instructional guide for acknowledging life as it happens.  

The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to Get What You Need

by Nancy Colier

Colier, leader of this summer’s Breaking Free From the Likability Cage workshop, offers a different type of self-help book: one specifically focused on the challenges women face and how we can reclaim balance. “When it comes to conditioning, both boys and girls are taught to behave in specific ways,” the author, psychotherapist, and interfaith minister explained in an essay for our spring newsletter, “but young girls are saddled with a particularly challenging expectation and demand: we’re taught to be selfless.” Readers (and workshop participants) can learn how to finally stop sacrificing authenticity to be appealing, which, when you look at it honestly, was always a truly terrible deal. “Eventually, being real, regardless of how it’s perceived, becomes an empowering, self-affirming, and self-loving choice, like coming home to yourself after a long journey.” For anyone ready to “open the door” and set themselves free, this is your key.

Gestalt Therapy

by Gordon Wheeler and Lena Axelsson

World-renowned Gestalt expert Gordon Wheeler — also a psychologist, prolific author, and the president of Esalen Institute — wrote the definitive text on the process-oriented approach "uniquely embedded in Esalen's DNA." (Ever since 1964, when psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who founded the field initially called "concentration therapy," arrived and Esalen and co-founder Dick Price added his own experiential imprint.) Gestalt Therapy explains the model for understanding how we, as human beings, put our experiences together. Wheeler’s work remains the field’s best introduction, covering the theory, history, and research with case examples featuring a range of clients. New readers will be shocked at how some Gestalt principles — building rapport between therapists and patients and attention to the body’s reactions to emotions — have been fully incorporated into today’s methods. A must for anyone interested in this groundbreaking form of psychotherapy.

Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Marriott and Kelley, co-hosts of the Therapist Uncensored, continue their podcast’s mission of translating the complex world and language of shrinks into “understandable and practical tools to uncover your best self.” The partners and wives share their combined 30-plus years of experience to teach listeners/readers how to untangle bad dynamics and “rewire our nervous systems toward more secure and fulfilling relationships.” If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry! The helpful illustrations and warm, relatable writing style (much like their welcoming podcast voices) make seemingly impossible challenges feel entirely achievable. “This is a cutting-edge essential read for those at any stage of the self-discovery journey who seek to make meaningful changes in their lives,” according to The Whole-Brain Child author Daniel J. Siege. “A wonderful contribution to our collective conversation about how to make our shared world a better place for us all." 

The UFO Paradox: The Celestial and Symbolic World of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

by Keith Thompson

After decades of tracking UFOs from multiple perspectives, Keith Thompson concludes the phenomenon is not only real, it comprises a “hyper-presence” that spans the globe. In case after UFO case, the same impasse is reached: compelling testimony from witnesses on one side, disparaging responses from various authorities on the other. In the fertile void of this stalemate, extraordinary possibilities — about the nature of mind and matter, and our evolutionary potential — enter the debate. Acknowledging that conferences of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helped shape his inquiry, Thompson’s new book The UFO Paradox chronicles how our engagement with the phenomenon resembles a collective rite of passage that shapes beliefs and expectations in remarkable ways. The UFO/UAP phenomenon ultimately represents a “call from the cosmos” for humanity to open to greater dimensions of reality, and to recognize that our understanding of the universe, including our place in it, is far from complete.

From Vision to Action: Remaking the World Through Social Entrepreneurship 

by John Marks

In his new book, New York Times bestselling author Marks credits the Institute as an inspiration during the creation of his worldwide international NGO: “I was able to borrow ideas from other groups, such as the Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American initiative and Harvard’s Project on Negotiation, but as far as I knew, no organization like Search had ever existed.” Even today, nothing else is quite like Search for Common Ground, an organization dedicated to peacebuilding, which has been opening opportunities for collaborations for 40 years and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Along the same lines, this practitioner’s guide to social entrepreneurship is also like nothing that has come before it. This is a master class in effective negotiation and conflict resolution that builds on a core strategy of “understanding differences and acting on commonalities.” Inspiration and lessons for anyone considering changing the world. 

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

by Jeffrey J. Kripal 

Lastly, any round-up of our bookstore favorites must include this much-loved and seminal Esalen text. From our own 2022 gift guide:

“If you’ve ever struggled to explain this place to the people in your life – Is it a retreat? Sort of, but it’s more than that. An institute? An oasis? A site for revelation? Yes, all that and so much more! — then get them this all-encompassing history of the holistic educational center known as Esalen. Or, as the author puts it, ‘a utopian experiment creatively suspended between the revelations of the religions and the democratic, pluralistic and scientific revolutions of modernity.’ Deeply researched, beginning with the Institute’s founding in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, this book recounts many of Esalen’s eras, iterations, and history-changing moments along with numerous scholars, philosophers, counterculture figures, celebrities, and geniuses that have graced these grounds. It’s the perfect present for those who have already experienced Esalen (but wish to know more), a fantastic introduction for novices (who require a little context before booking their first workshop), and an extraordinary synthesis of personalities, events, and histories — all compiled through Kripal’s beautiful prose.”

“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

< Back to all Journal posts

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
On Our Bookshelf: Bookstore Favorites
Category:

This time, we’re highlighting some classic Esalen texts along with a few hidden gems for an eclectic mix of staff favorites to stimulate curious minds and spirits. Here are a few of the titles being suggested at the bookstore these days whenever guests — especially those interested in Esalen history — ask, “What should I read next?


The Gazebo Learning Project

by Jasmine Horan

Anyone who remembers the Esalen Institute's Gazebo Park School, founded in the mid-1970s by Janet Lederman, understands that childhood is the best starting point for the Human Potential Movement. “Gazebo has long been a seed and source of inspiration,” author Jasmine Horan explained in Q&A a few years back. Her book — a documentation of the childhood program’s oral history  — outlines how Esalen’s philosophies can be “applied intuitively to any situation” and the principles that incorporated the “alternative programming adults were experiencing at Esalen.” As both an educator and student of the community, Horan, daughter of foundational Esalen Massage® teacher Peggy Horan and sister of 5Rhythms® teacher Lucia Horan, is the perfect documentarian to champion this cultural legacy. The lessons found here will help educators and parents create exceptional early starts. (To hear some of Jasmine’s thoughts on the Gazebo school and Esalen history, check out her Voices of Esalen episode from 2020.)

Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

by Day Schildkret

If one considers a life journey, the arc will primarily track and connect moments of great change — births, deaths, break-ups, moves, and more. Crucial plot points that pierce through the blurry memories of our regular busyness. But how often are the big events actually processed as we muddle our way through all that day-to-day jumble? For most of history, cultural traditions and community supported us through the good and the bad with celebrations and shared grief. Today, many feel directionless. Lost and on our own. Schildkert, the earth artist and educator behind the international Morning Altars movement, shares a “ritual recipe book” to honor the impor­tant thresholds. Informed by his Jewish education and hundreds of interviews, he identifies thirty-six (double life!) major milestones and offers 72 meaningful ways of marking and sanctifying them. A mindful instructional guide for acknowledging life as it happens.  

The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to Get What You Need

by Nancy Colier

Colier, leader of this summer’s Breaking Free From the Likability Cage workshop, offers a different type of self-help book: one specifically focused on the challenges women face and how we can reclaim balance. “When it comes to conditioning, both boys and girls are taught to behave in specific ways,” the author, psychotherapist, and interfaith minister explained in an essay for our spring newsletter, “but young girls are saddled with a particularly challenging expectation and demand: we’re taught to be selfless.” Readers (and workshop participants) can learn how to finally stop sacrificing authenticity to be appealing, which, when you look at it honestly, was always a truly terrible deal. “Eventually, being real, regardless of how it’s perceived, becomes an empowering, self-affirming, and self-loving choice, like coming home to yourself after a long journey.” For anyone ready to “open the door” and set themselves free, this is your key.

Gestalt Therapy

by Gordon Wheeler and Lena Axelsson

World-renowned Gestalt expert Gordon Wheeler — also a psychologist, prolific author, and the president of Esalen Institute — wrote the definitive text on the process-oriented approach "uniquely embedded in Esalen's DNA." (Ever since 1964, when psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who founded the field initially called "concentration therapy," arrived and Esalen and co-founder Dick Price added his own experiential imprint.) Gestalt Therapy explains the model for understanding how we, as human beings, put our experiences together. Wheeler’s work remains the field’s best introduction, covering the theory, history, and research with case examples featuring a range of clients. New readers will be shocked at how some Gestalt principles — building rapport between therapists and patients and attention to the body’s reactions to emotions — have been fully incorporated into today’s methods. A must for anyone interested in this groundbreaking form of psychotherapy.

Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Marriott and Kelley, co-hosts of the Therapist Uncensored, continue their podcast’s mission of translating the complex world and language of shrinks into “understandable and practical tools to uncover your best self.” The partners and wives share their combined 30-plus years of experience to teach listeners/readers how to untangle bad dynamics and “rewire our nervous systems toward more secure and fulfilling relationships.” If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry! The helpful illustrations and warm, relatable writing style (much like their welcoming podcast voices) make seemingly impossible challenges feel entirely achievable. “This is a cutting-edge essential read for those at any stage of the self-discovery journey who seek to make meaningful changes in their lives,” according to The Whole-Brain Child author Daniel J. Siege. “A wonderful contribution to our collective conversation about how to make our shared world a better place for us all." 

The UFO Paradox: The Celestial and Symbolic World of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

by Keith Thompson

After decades of tracking UFOs from multiple perspectives, Keith Thompson concludes the phenomenon is not only real, it comprises a “hyper-presence” that spans the globe. In case after UFO case, the same impasse is reached: compelling testimony from witnesses on one side, disparaging responses from various authorities on the other. In the fertile void of this stalemate, extraordinary possibilities — about the nature of mind and matter, and our evolutionary potential — enter the debate. Acknowledging that conferences of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helped shape his inquiry, Thompson’s new book The UFO Paradox chronicles how our engagement with the phenomenon resembles a collective rite of passage that shapes beliefs and expectations in remarkable ways. The UFO/UAP phenomenon ultimately represents a “call from the cosmos” for humanity to open to greater dimensions of reality, and to recognize that our understanding of the universe, including our place in it, is far from complete.

From Vision to Action: Remaking the World Through Social Entrepreneurship 

by John Marks

In his new book, New York Times bestselling author Marks credits the Institute as an inspiration during the creation of his worldwide international NGO: “I was able to borrow ideas from other groups, such as the Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American initiative and Harvard’s Project on Negotiation, but as far as I knew, no organization like Search had ever existed.” Even today, nothing else is quite like Search for Common Ground, an organization dedicated to peacebuilding, which has been opening opportunities for collaborations for 40 years and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Along the same lines, this practitioner’s guide to social entrepreneurship is also like nothing that has come before it. This is a master class in effective negotiation and conflict resolution that builds on a core strategy of “understanding differences and acting on commonalities.” Inspiration and lessons for anyone considering changing the world. 

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

by Jeffrey J. Kripal 

Lastly, any round-up of our bookstore favorites must include this much-loved and seminal Esalen text. From our own 2022 gift guide:

“If you’ve ever struggled to explain this place to the people in your life – Is it a retreat? Sort of, but it’s more than that. An institute? An oasis? A site for revelation? Yes, all that and so much more! — then get them this all-encompassing history of the holistic educational center known as Esalen. Or, as the author puts it, ‘a utopian experiment creatively suspended between the revelations of the religions and the democratic, pluralistic and scientific revolutions of modernity.’ Deeply researched, beginning with the Institute’s founding in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, this book recounts many of Esalen’s eras, iterations, and history-changing moments along with numerous scholars, philosophers, counterculture figures, celebrities, and geniuses that have graced these grounds. It’s the perfect present for those who have already experienced Esalen (but wish to know more), a fantastic introduction for novices (who require a little context before booking their first workshop), and an extraordinary synthesis of personalities, events, and histories — all compiled through Kripal’s beautiful prose.”

“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

On Our Bookshelf: Bookstore Favorites

About

Esalen Team

< Back to all articles

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:

This time, we’re highlighting some classic Esalen texts along with a few hidden gems for an eclectic mix of staff favorites to stimulate curious minds and spirits. Here are a few of the titles being suggested at the bookstore these days whenever guests — especially those interested in Esalen history — ask, “What should I read next?


The Gazebo Learning Project

by Jasmine Horan

Anyone who remembers the Esalen Institute's Gazebo Park School, founded in the mid-1970s by Janet Lederman, understands that childhood is the best starting point for the Human Potential Movement. “Gazebo has long been a seed and source of inspiration,” author Jasmine Horan explained in Q&A a few years back. Her book — a documentation of the childhood program’s oral history  — outlines how Esalen’s philosophies can be “applied intuitively to any situation” and the principles that incorporated the “alternative programming adults were experiencing at Esalen.” As both an educator and student of the community, Horan, daughter of foundational Esalen Massage® teacher Peggy Horan and sister of 5Rhythms® teacher Lucia Horan, is the perfect documentarian to champion this cultural legacy. The lessons found here will help educators and parents create exceptional early starts. (To hear some of Jasmine’s thoughts on the Gazebo school and Esalen history, check out her Voices of Esalen episode from 2020.)

Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

by Day Schildkret

If one considers a life journey, the arc will primarily track and connect moments of great change — births, deaths, break-ups, moves, and more. Crucial plot points that pierce through the blurry memories of our regular busyness. But how often are the big events actually processed as we muddle our way through all that day-to-day jumble? For most of history, cultural traditions and community supported us through the good and the bad with celebrations and shared grief. Today, many feel directionless. Lost and on our own. Schildkert, the earth artist and educator behind the international Morning Altars movement, shares a “ritual recipe book” to honor the impor­tant thresholds. Informed by his Jewish education and hundreds of interviews, he identifies thirty-six (double life!) major milestones and offers 72 meaningful ways of marking and sanctifying them. A mindful instructional guide for acknowledging life as it happens.  

The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to Get What You Need

by Nancy Colier

Colier, leader of this summer’s Breaking Free From the Likability Cage workshop, offers a different type of self-help book: one specifically focused on the challenges women face and how we can reclaim balance. “When it comes to conditioning, both boys and girls are taught to behave in specific ways,” the author, psychotherapist, and interfaith minister explained in an essay for our spring newsletter, “but young girls are saddled with a particularly challenging expectation and demand: we’re taught to be selfless.” Readers (and workshop participants) can learn how to finally stop sacrificing authenticity to be appealing, which, when you look at it honestly, was always a truly terrible deal. “Eventually, being real, regardless of how it’s perceived, becomes an empowering, self-affirming, and self-loving choice, like coming home to yourself after a long journey.” For anyone ready to “open the door” and set themselves free, this is your key.

Gestalt Therapy

by Gordon Wheeler and Lena Axelsson

World-renowned Gestalt expert Gordon Wheeler — also a psychologist, prolific author, and the president of Esalen Institute — wrote the definitive text on the process-oriented approach "uniquely embedded in Esalen's DNA." (Ever since 1964, when psychiatrist Fritz Perls, who founded the field initially called "concentration therapy," arrived and Esalen and co-founder Dick Price added his own experiential imprint.) Gestalt Therapy explains the model for understanding how we, as human beings, put our experiences together. Wheeler’s work remains the field’s best introduction, covering the theory, history, and research with case examples featuring a range of clients. New readers will be shocked at how some Gestalt principles — building rapport between therapists and patients and attention to the body’s reactions to emotions — have been fully incorporated into today’s methods. A must for anyone interested in this groundbreaking form of psychotherapy.

Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley

Marriott and Kelley, co-hosts of the Therapist Uncensored, continue their podcast’s mission of translating the complex world and language of shrinks into “understandable and practical tools to uncover your best self.” The partners and wives share their combined 30-plus years of experience to teach listeners/readers how to untangle bad dynamics and “rewire our nervous systems toward more secure and fulfilling relationships.” If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry! The helpful illustrations and warm, relatable writing style (much like their welcoming podcast voices) make seemingly impossible challenges feel entirely achievable. “This is a cutting-edge essential read for those at any stage of the self-discovery journey who seek to make meaningful changes in their lives,” according to The Whole-Brain Child author Daniel J. Siege. “A wonderful contribution to our collective conversation about how to make our shared world a better place for us all." 

The UFO Paradox: The Celestial and Symbolic World of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

by Keith Thompson

After decades of tracking UFOs from multiple perspectives, Keith Thompson concludes the phenomenon is not only real, it comprises a “hyper-presence” that spans the globe. In case after UFO case, the same impasse is reached: compelling testimony from witnesses on one side, disparaging responses from various authorities on the other. In the fertile void of this stalemate, extraordinary possibilities — about the nature of mind and matter, and our evolutionary potential — enter the debate. Acknowledging that conferences of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helped shape his inquiry, Thompson’s new book The UFO Paradox chronicles how our engagement with the phenomenon resembles a collective rite of passage that shapes beliefs and expectations in remarkable ways. The UFO/UAP phenomenon ultimately represents a “call from the cosmos” for humanity to open to greater dimensions of reality, and to recognize that our understanding of the universe, including our place in it, is far from complete.

From Vision to Action: Remaking the World Through Social Entrepreneurship 

by John Marks

In his new book, New York Times bestselling author Marks credits the Institute as an inspiration during the creation of his worldwide international NGO: “I was able to borrow ideas from other groups, such as the Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American initiative and Harvard’s Project on Negotiation, but as far as I knew, no organization like Search had ever existed.” Even today, nothing else is quite like Search for Common Ground, an organization dedicated to peacebuilding, which has been opening opportunities for collaborations for 40 years and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Along the same lines, this practitioner’s guide to social entrepreneurship is also like nothing that has come before it. This is a master class in effective negotiation and conflict resolution that builds on a core strategy of “understanding differences and acting on commonalities.” Inspiration and lessons for anyone considering changing the world. 

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

by Jeffrey J. Kripal 

Lastly, any round-up of our bookstore favorites must include this much-loved and seminal Esalen text. From our own 2022 gift guide:

“If you’ve ever struggled to explain this place to the people in your life – Is it a retreat? Sort of, but it’s more than that. An institute? An oasis? A site for revelation? Yes, all that and so much more! — then get them this all-encompassing history of the holistic educational center known as Esalen. Or, as the author puts it, ‘a utopian experiment creatively suspended between the revelations of the religions and the democratic, pluralistic and scientific revolutions of modernity.’ Deeply researched, beginning with the Institute’s founding in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, this book recounts many of Esalen’s eras, iterations, and history-changing moments along with numerous scholars, philosophers, counterculture figures, celebrities, and geniuses that have graced these grounds. It’s the perfect present for those who have already experienced Esalen (but wish to know more), a fantastic introduction for novices (who require a little context before booking their first workshop), and an extraordinary synthesis of personalities, events, and histories — all compiled through Kripal’s beautiful prose.”

“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