Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: John Vosler

Inspired by 20th-century French writer Marcel Proust, we here at Esalen have created our own version of his favorite parlor game to dig just a little deeper — and differently — into our incredible faculty and staff.

John Vosler says he wants to “share everything he has to share” — and he proves that by opening up about his values, his inspirations, and the miraculous happiness he gets seeing his students grow and heal. The multi-lineage Yoga Nidra educator and energetic bodyworker talks about listening to his nervous system, his desire for a bird’s perspective, and the idea of living at Esalen for a full month: “I’m in!”


What is Esalen to you?
It’s a sanctuary for transformation. A sacred ground that when I arrive, I feel like I’m home.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen? 
I’m leading the Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are Yoga Nidra retreat. Sharing with people the profound practice of Yoga Nidra, a practice of awakening and living truth. Creating a sacred space for people to feel safe, drop deep within, and discover the mystery. Being more alive and more connected to their true selves.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
Hearing a bass line that gets me on my feet to dance. Sharing the dance floor with others. Playing tennis. Being on retreat. Knowing my family is safe, healthy, and happy.

What is your greatest fear in your work? 
That I don’t give everything that I know. I want to be able to share with people everything that I have to share. I don’t want to die before offering everything I’m here to give.

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field? 
Joseph Campbell

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice? 
Naked Yoga Nidra.😀 I don’t know. 🤷🏻 Help!

What is your current state of mind? 
Gratitude, curiosity, and a sense of being alive at this moment in time. Humanity never ceases to amaze me. Awe and wonder at the human experience. 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Righteousness?? Complacency?

What is the quality you most like in a human?
Courageously curious? Love?

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
God, The Divine, Dean?

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
When you witness people show up thinking they’re broken and damaged and to be able to share with them tools and experiences of being whole and complete. When you receive the emails in the notes afterwards that the practices have changed their lives, shifted their perspectives, and allowed them to live more fully — more truthful in letting go of their past. It’s miraculous. I feel grateful to be having the opportunity that I do to share in this. It’s extraordinary.

Which talent would you most like to have? 
To sing and play the piano 🎹

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The courage to follow my heart and the path that I’ve taken. Sharing myself authentically with the courage to follow my heart on the path that I’ve been shown.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d love to come back as myself with the knowledge of knowing what I know now. A bird 🦅 with their incredible perspective.

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you? 
Wait, is this a joke? Am I being offered the opportunity to live at Esalen? If that’s the case, yes, I’m in! I would look forward to a month-long experience of rest, meditation, Yoga Nidra, the baths, dancing and sharing with others. I’ll work in the gardens. I’ll work in the bookstore. What do I need to do to do that?? It would be a magical experience to live on the land for a month.
(Editor’s note to John and everyone: Apply for REEP or LEEP!)

What is your most treasured possession?
My heart and soul. 

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times? 
I listen to the messages from my nervous system that remind me to breathe and balance. I spend less time on my devices. I drop off social media and I get into nature.  move my body, dance, meditate, Yoga Nidra, and drop back into that unshakable unchanging ground of being that I AM.

What is your favorite component of your work?
The intimacy of being. Being able to share with others that you may not know, and yet going to the depths of intimacy and sharing our vulnerability. I love sharing in that experience of transformation. The shared connection, the unconditional love that everybody has for each other. It’s remarkable.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My joy, laughter, and reverence. 

What do you value most in your work/practice?
The way it helps me continue to grow. When we get together collectively, it elevates everyone to their highest good. It elevates me being with these beautiful beings. And for that, I'm eternally grateful. 

Who are your inspirations?
My partner, Dean DeMarchi, my parents, Bud and Joan, my grandparents, Joseph Campbell who told me to follow my bliss. All of my teachers, Amrit Desai, Kamini Desai, Richard Miller, all of my students, and so many more.

Who is your hero of fiction? 
Wonder Woman!

Who are your heroes in real life? 
Humanity in all its expressions. 

What is your greatest regret?
I don’t really have any regrets. I guess, if anything, it would be not furthering my education.

How would you like to die? 
Awake and aware, in peace with everyone around me experiencing joy and bliss.

What is your motto?
See God in everyone and everything.

“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?


John's October 24–28 workshop, Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Really Are, is sold out. Join the waitlist and we'll contact you if there's an opening. What do you have to lose?

Sign Up

About

Esalen Team

The Proust Questionnaire: John Vosler

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire
John Vosler

Inspired by 20th-century French writer Marcel Proust, we here at Esalen have created our own version of his favorite parlor game to dig just a little deeper — and differently — into our incredible faculty and staff.

John Vosler says he wants to “share everything he has to share” — and he proves that by opening up about his values, his inspirations, and the miraculous happiness he gets seeing his students grow and heal. The multi-lineage Yoga Nidra educator and energetic bodyworker talks about listening to his nervous system, his desire for a bird’s perspective, and the idea of living at Esalen for a full month: “I’m in!”


What is Esalen to you?
It’s a sanctuary for transformation. A sacred ground that when I arrive, I feel like I’m home.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen? 
I’m leading the Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Are Yoga Nidra retreat. Sharing with people the profound practice of Yoga Nidra, a practice of awakening and living truth. Creating a sacred space for people to feel safe, drop deep within, and discover the mystery. Being more alive and more connected to their true selves.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
Hearing a bass line that gets me on my feet to dance. Sharing the dance floor with others. Playing tennis. Being on retreat. Knowing my family is safe, healthy, and happy.

What is your greatest fear in your work? 
That I don’t give everything that I know. I want to be able to share with people everything that I have to share. I don’t want to die before offering everything I’m here to give.

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field? 
Joseph Campbell

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice? 
Naked Yoga Nidra.😀 I don’t know. 🤷🏻 Help!

What is your current state of mind? 
Gratitude, curiosity, and a sense of being alive at this moment in time. Humanity never ceases to amaze me. Awe and wonder at the human experience. 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 
Righteousness?? Complacency?

What is the quality you most like in a human?
Courageously curious? Love?

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
God, The Divine, Dean?

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
When you witness people show up thinking they’re broken and damaged and to be able to share with them tools and experiences of being whole and complete. When you receive the emails in the notes afterwards that the practices have changed their lives, shifted their perspectives, and allowed them to live more fully — more truthful in letting go of their past. It’s miraculous. I feel grateful to be having the opportunity that I do to share in this. It’s extraordinary.

Which talent would you most like to have? 
To sing and play the piano 🎹

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The courage to follow my heart and the path that I’ve taken. Sharing myself authentically with the courage to follow my heart on the path that I’ve been shown.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d love to come back as myself with the knowledge of knowing what I know now. A bird 🦅 with their incredible perspective.

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you? 
Wait, is this a joke? Am I being offered the opportunity to live at Esalen? If that’s the case, yes, I’m in! I would look forward to a month-long experience of rest, meditation, Yoga Nidra, the baths, dancing and sharing with others. I’ll work in the gardens. I’ll work in the bookstore. What do I need to do to do that?? It would be a magical experience to live on the land for a month.
(Editor’s note to John and everyone: Apply for REEP or LEEP!)

What is your most treasured possession?
My heart and soul. 

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times? 
I listen to the messages from my nervous system that remind me to breathe and balance. I spend less time on my devices. I drop off social media and I get into nature.  move my body, dance, meditate, Yoga Nidra, and drop back into that unshakable unchanging ground of being that I AM.

What is your favorite component of your work?
The intimacy of being. Being able to share with others that you may not know, and yet going to the depths of intimacy and sharing our vulnerability. I love sharing in that experience of transformation. The shared connection, the unconditional love that everybody has for each other. It’s remarkable.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My joy, laughter, and reverence. 

What do you value most in your work/practice?
The way it helps me continue to grow. When we get together collectively, it elevates everyone to their highest good. It elevates me being with these beautiful beings. And for that, I'm eternally grateful. 

Who are your inspirations?
My partner, Dean DeMarchi, my parents, Bud and Joan, my grandparents, Joseph Campbell who told me to follow my bliss. All of my teachers, Amrit Desai, Kamini Desai, Richard Miller, all of my students, and so many more.

Who is your hero of fiction? 
Wonder Woman!

Who are your heroes in real life? 
Humanity in all its expressions. 

What is your greatest regret?
I don’t really have any regrets. I guess, if anything, it would be not furthering my education.

How would you like to die? 
Awake and aware, in peace with everyone around me experiencing joy and bliss.

What is your motto?
See God in everyone and everything.

“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?


John's October 24–28 workshop, Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Really Are, is sold out. Join the waitlist and we'll contact you if there's an opening. What do you have to lose?

Sign Up

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: John Vosler

John Vosler says he wants to “share everything he has to share” — and he proves that by opening up about his values, his inspirations, and the miraculous happiness he gets seeing his students grow and heal. The multi-lineage Yoga Nidra educator and energetic bodyworker talks about listening to his nervous system, his desire for a bird’s perspective, and the idea of living at Esalen for a full month: “I’m in!”

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John's October 24–28 workshop, Yoga Nidra Retreat: Rest, Restore, and Remember Who You Really Are, is sold out. Join the waitlist and we'll contact you if there's an opening. What do you have to lose?

Sign Up

About

Esalen Team

The Proust Questionnaire: John Vosler

About

Esalen Team

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