Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: Lorin Roche & Camille Maurine

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.

Prolific authors, yogis, spiritualists, and mediators — Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine find joy in the process of helping students get into the thick of their internal genius and see their A-HAs. Lorin views nature as the real internet, and Camille protects her nervous system by prioritizing love and wonder to break any disrupting spells.


What is Esalen to you?
Lorin Roche: Esalen is where I come from. Esalen is what I model myself after since I was a teenager working in the garden, getting Rolfing sessions in the baths with Ed Maupin, attending Gestalt, studying the work of Maslow, Campbell, Huxley, Bateson, and all those genius others. 

Camille Maurine: Esalen is home — a place of inspiration and my favorite place to teach. My first Esalen adventure was in 1984, a 3-week Continuum retreat. It’s also where I have offered many workshops over the years, including my “Moving Theater of the Soul” as well as “Wild Serenity” and now “Living in Love’s Body” with Lorin. We also now offer “Deep Recovery” weekends with Maria Ramos, MD.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
LR: Always, I attempt to convey, as experientially as possible, the series of brilliant insights into how life works, how healing happens, and how the human body can receive enlightenment while in motion, in the midst of our everyday ordinary lives. I always thought that workshop leaders should teach as couples, female and male co-creating, sharing the conversation, and as equals both with each other and with those called students. We are all co-creating, co-exploring, mapping out the next iteration of the ancient wisdom traditions.

CM: My desire is to create a context for inspiration and discovery, a welcoming sacred space for participants to go deeper into the mystery of being alive, the wondrous world of energy and embodiment. I love sharing what I have discovered so far in this journey of life and my 50 years of dance, meditation, and other healing modalities. At some point, I’d love to offer a retreat based on my book, Meditation Secrets for Women, published by HarperOne.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
LR: Bodysurfing in the clear waters of the Pacific, after meditating, and then going free-diving and exploring the world under the sea.

CM: The daily flow of tending to everything I love: my personal self-care and meditation practices, the dance of intimacy with Lorin, sharing heart-to-heart with our global community in all of the events we offer.

What is your greatest fear in your work?
LR: Abuse of power. So many of my teachers, starting in 1969, took what little power they had and, once they had a group of followers, became predators, consciously or unconsciously.  They twisted the tools of liberation into tools of oppression. Also, there is so much shaming in the meditation traditions because they were never designed for “householders,” those who live in the world. I am always aware of how much self-harm people do to themselves in the name of meditation.

CM: Life is fleeting. That at the last breath I would feel I did not share all I could. 

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field?
LR: Tat Wala Baba. 

CM: Emilie Conrad, my dear friend and mentor. 

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
LR: I spent 27 years inside the Sanskrit of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, chanting it over and over at 4 in the morning, asking the text to give me ways of expressing its dynamic vitality and juiciness in modern English. I lived as if time had no hold over me and just gave myself bodily into dancing with the Sanskrit for endless hours, producing tens of thousands of pages of notes that I then condensed into extremely brief sutras, called The Radiance Sutras. 

CM: I take whatever time I need for my own well-being, relishing the feeling of “Ha! I’m getting away with this delight!” 

What is your current state of mind?
LR: I am so glad to be alive. I absolutely love the modern world. The tools I have at my disposal, as a writer, are awesomely great. I can be out walking, or surfing, and when an idea comes, a stream of inspiration, I can just say, “Hey!” and dictate it to my watch or phone, and it shows up on my computer and then I publish it a few hours later to the meditation community site. This is the fulfillment of the dream of teachers and writers since the beginning of time! 

CM: Wonder, awe, gratitude (yes, cliché but true). A wild, tender, naked heart. Amazed at how much love I can feel now. Inspired. Doing what little I can at this challenging time on Earth.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
LR: Obedience, or submission, or surrender. However you want to call it. In my PhD research, I interviewed hundreds of meditators of all types, and those who were thriving were always rebels, secretly or overtly. They customized the disciplines to fit their inner life. They did not conform to outer demands.

CM: Being virtuous, trying to fit into some ideal of perfection.

What is the quality you most like in a human?
LR: Radiant vitality and exuberance.

CM: Courage. I’m continually in awe at how brave “ordinary” people are — creating their life, daring to have loving relationships, taking care of family and children, making ends meet to the best of their ability despite enormous challenges.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
LR: Camille, who miraculously, I have been with for 40 years so far. We both come from tragic, broken families, and using the kinds of tools Esalen teachers, we rewrote the script.

CM: No surprise — Lorin! Mythic journey, this.

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
LR: When people get, in their bodies, right now, that the current of their own life force, their internal genius, is speaking to them right now, through sensation, spontaneous movement, electrical sensations, imagery. They are learning to move with their own inner guidance system, revealing the meditations they need to practice.

CM: Yes, seeing their AHAs! Their discovery that they can be themselves, no need to conform to some perfectionist ideal, watching them claim deeper sovereignty, freedom, and creative inspiration. Coming home to their body of LOVE.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
LR: Me. Even though I am 73, I feel like I am just now really getting it. 54 years of deep meditation, Esalen training, bodywork, dancing with Camille and doing research on the physiology and language of meditation is not enough! 

CM: Yes, me in my luminous embodied Self, in a rendezvous with Lorin to continue what we are creating. Man and Woman in complementary empowerment, evolving the human story.

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
LR: Life is always challenging. The modern world is, by any objective measure, safer and more full of opportunities than any time in human history. There is, however, more mental/emotional NOISE than before. Turn off your damn phone and walk in nature a couple of hours a day! Nature is the real internet.

CM: At the first hint of disruption in my nervous system, I stop and drop into the depths of soul, remembering my inner resources and breaking the spell. Living in love and wonder is a requirement at this point in my life.

What is your favorite component of your work?
LR: Listening to my students speak from the heart, from the body, from the current of insight and excitation they are in. Just regular, everyday people continually inventing and rediscovering all the classic meditation practices. 

CM: Dancing energy, especially with The Radiance Sutras. The intimacy of sharing with other hearts and the delight in seeing their revelations. See more along the lines of this question above.

What is your most marked characteristic?
LR: Spontaneity.

CM: Soulful expression. 

What do you value most in your work/practice?
LR: Generosity.

CM: Creativity.

Who are your inspirations?
LR: George Leonard, Aldous and Laura Huxley, Joseph Campbell, CG Jung, Gregory Bateson, Ida Rolf, Charlotte Selver, Fritz Perls – they basically saved my life, gave me the tools to suffer through my own death and rebirth, again and again, so that I could breathe freely and accept the unbounded generosity of the life force. Still working on it!

CM: Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Simone de Beauvoir, Emilie Conrad, Tsultrim Allioni, Marion Woodman and mentors in Jungian depth psychology, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, my friends and colleagues over the years. 

Who is your hero of fiction?
LR: The Bene Gesserit in Dune. The observational skills they have.

CM: Hmm, nothing coming here…

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
LR: I don’t. I do not identify with anyone in the past. This is a problem and also an opportunity. I am wanting to create something new and fresh.

CM: Golly, blank here too. I suspect that I don’t want to model myself on anyone else.

Who are your heroes in real life?
LR: Dogs. The way they love their people and flow with infinite love.

CM: No one. Everyone. So brave to be born human. The Creative Spirit. The evolutionary wisdom of Nature within us. Also… YOU for creating this soul-searching questionnaire. Lorin and I for answering it — HA!

What is your greatest regret?
LR: Not getting a bit more therapy. One of my character flaws is taking on the suffering of other people, and Fritz, or almost any therapist, would have beaten that out of me and saved me countless hours and days.

CM: Not getting academic degrees. 

How would you like to die?
LR: At 14,000 feet in the Andes on the side of a mountain.

CM: Aware.

What is your motto?
LR: The body, any body – human, animal, insect –  is full of genius. Life is a dance of adaptation and improvisation, a play of energy and matter.

CM: You are the dance of Love.

“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?


Join Lorin and Camille at Esalen for Living in Love's Body: A Meditation Retreat With the Radiance Sutras, September 5–9, and Deep Recovery: Meditation for Caregivers and Those Facing Burnout, September 30 – October 2.

Learn More

About

Esalen Team

The Proust Questionnaire: Lorin Roche & Camille Maurine

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire
“Turn off your #$%! phone and walk in nature a couple of hours a day!”

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.

Prolific authors, yogis, spiritualists, and mediators — Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine find joy in the process of helping students get into the thick of their internal genius and see their A-HAs. Lorin views nature as the real internet, and Camille protects her nervous system by prioritizing love and wonder to break any disrupting spells.


What is Esalen to you?
Lorin Roche: Esalen is where I come from. Esalen is what I model myself after since I was a teenager working in the garden, getting Rolfing sessions in the baths with Ed Maupin, attending Gestalt, studying the work of Maslow, Campbell, Huxley, Bateson, and all those genius others. 

Camille Maurine: Esalen is home — a place of inspiration and my favorite place to teach. My first Esalen adventure was in 1984, a 3-week Continuum retreat. It’s also where I have offered many workshops over the years, including my “Moving Theater of the Soul” as well as “Wild Serenity” and now “Living in Love’s Body” with Lorin. We also now offer “Deep Recovery” weekends with Maria Ramos, MD.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
LR: Always, I attempt to convey, as experientially as possible, the series of brilliant insights into how life works, how healing happens, and how the human body can receive enlightenment while in motion, in the midst of our everyday ordinary lives. I always thought that workshop leaders should teach as couples, female and male co-creating, sharing the conversation, and as equals both with each other and with those called students. We are all co-creating, co-exploring, mapping out the next iteration of the ancient wisdom traditions.

CM: My desire is to create a context for inspiration and discovery, a welcoming sacred space for participants to go deeper into the mystery of being alive, the wondrous world of energy and embodiment. I love sharing what I have discovered so far in this journey of life and my 50 years of dance, meditation, and other healing modalities. At some point, I’d love to offer a retreat based on my book, Meditation Secrets for Women, published by HarperOne.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
LR: Bodysurfing in the clear waters of the Pacific, after meditating, and then going free-diving and exploring the world under the sea.

CM: The daily flow of tending to everything I love: my personal self-care and meditation practices, the dance of intimacy with Lorin, sharing heart-to-heart with our global community in all of the events we offer.

What is your greatest fear in your work?
LR: Abuse of power. So many of my teachers, starting in 1969, took what little power they had and, once they had a group of followers, became predators, consciously or unconsciously.  They twisted the tools of liberation into tools of oppression. Also, there is so much shaming in the meditation traditions because they were never designed for “householders,” those who live in the world. I am always aware of how much self-harm people do to themselves in the name of meditation.

CM: Life is fleeting. That at the last breath I would feel I did not share all I could. 

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field?
LR: Tat Wala Baba. 

CM: Emilie Conrad, my dear friend and mentor. 

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
LR: I spent 27 years inside the Sanskrit of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, chanting it over and over at 4 in the morning, asking the text to give me ways of expressing its dynamic vitality and juiciness in modern English. I lived as if time had no hold over me and just gave myself bodily into dancing with the Sanskrit for endless hours, producing tens of thousands of pages of notes that I then condensed into extremely brief sutras, called The Radiance Sutras. 

CM: I take whatever time I need for my own well-being, relishing the feeling of “Ha! I’m getting away with this delight!” 

What is your current state of mind?
LR: I am so glad to be alive. I absolutely love the modern world. The tools I have at my disposal, as a writer, are awesomely great. I can be out walking, or surfing, and when an idea comes, a stream of inspiration, I can just say, “Hey!” and dictate it to my watch or phone, and it shows up on my computer and then I publish it a few hours later to the meditation community site. This is the fulfillment of the dream of teachers and writers since the beginning of time! 

CM: Wonder, awe, gratitude (yes, cliché but true). A wild, tender, naked heart. Amazed at how much love I can feel now. Inspired. Doing what little I can at this challenging time on Earth.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
LR: Obedience, or submission, or surrender. However you want to call it. In my PhD research, I interviewed hundreds of meditators of all types, and those who were thriving were always rebels, secretly or overtly. They customized the disciplines to fit their inner life. They did not conform to outer demands.

CM: Being virtuous, trying to fit into some ideal of perfection.

What is the quality you most like in a human?
LR: Radiant vitality and exuberance.

CM: Courage. I’m continually in awe at how brave “ordinary” people are — creating their life, daring to have loving relationships, taking care of family and children, making ends meet to the best of their ability despite enormous challenges.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
LR: Camille, who miraculously, I have been with for 40 years so far. We both come from tragic, broken families, and using the kinds of tools Esalen teachers, we rewrote the script.

CM: No surprise — Lorin! Mythic journey, this.

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
LR: When people get, in their bodies, right now, that the current of their own life force, their internal genius, is speaking to them right now, through sensation, spontaneous movement, electrical sensations, imagery. They are learning to move with their own inner guidance system, revealing the meditations they need to practice.

CM: Yes, seeing their AHAs! Their discovery that they can be themselves, no need to conform to some perfectionist ideal, watching them claim deeper sovereignty, freedom, and creative inspiration. Coming home to their body of LOVE.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
LR: Me. Even though I am 73, I feel like I am just now really getting it. 54 years of deep meditation, Esalen training, bodywork, dancing with Camille and doing research on the physiology and language of meditation is not enough! 

CM: Yes, me in my luminous embodied Self, in a rendezvous with Lorin to continue what we are creating. Man and Woman in complementary empowerment, evolving the human story.

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
LR: Life is always challenging. The modern world is, by any objective measure, safer and more full of opportunities than any time in human history. There is, however, more mental/emotional NOISE than before. Turn off your damn phone and walk in nature a couple of hours a day! Nature is the real internet.

CM: At the first hint of disruption in my nervous system, I stop and drop into the depths of soul, remembering my inner resources and breaking the spell. Living in love and wonder is a requirement at this point in my life.

What is your favorite component of your work?
LR: Listening to my students speak from the heart, from the body, from the current of insight and excitation they are in. Just regular, everyday people continually inventing and rediscovering all the classic meditation practices. 

CM: Dancing energy, especially with The Radiance Sutras. The intimacy of sharing with other hearts and the delight in seeing their revelations. See more along the lines of this question above.

What is your most marked characteristic?
LR: Spontaneity.

CM: Soulful expression. 

What do you value most in your work/practice?
LR: Generosity.

CM: Creativity.

Who are your inspirations?
LR: George Leonard, Aldous and Laura Huxley, Joseph Campbell, CG Jung, Gregory Bateson, Ida Rolf, Charlotte Selver, Fritz Perls – they basically saved my life, gave me the tools to suffer through my own death and rebirth, again and again, so that I could breathe freely and accept the unbounded generosity of the life force. Still working on it!

CM: Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Simone de Beauvoir, Emilie Conrad, Tsultrim Allioni, Marion Woodman and mentors in Jungian depth psychology, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, my friends and colleagues over the years. 

Who is your hero of fiction?
LR: The Bene Gesserit in Dune. The observational skills they have.

CM: Hmm, nothing coming here…

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
LR: I don’t. I do not identify with anyone in the past. This is a problem and also an opportunity. I am wanting to create something new and fresh.

CM: Golly, blank here too. I suspect that I don’t want to model myself on anyone else.

Who are your heroes in real life?
LR: Dogs. The way they love their people and flow with infinite love.

CM: No one. Everyone. So brave to be born human. The Creative Spirit. The evolutionary wisdom of Nature within us. Also… YOU for creating this soul-searching questionnaire. Lorin and I for answering it — HA!

What is your greatest regret?
LR: Not getting a bit more therapy. One of my character flaws is taking on the suffering of other people, and Fritz, or almost any therapist, would have beaten that out of me and saved me countless hours and days.

CM: Not getting academic degrees. 

How would you like to die?
LR: At 14,000 feet in the Andes on the side of a mountain.

CM: Aware.

What is your motto?
LR: The body, any body – human, animal, insect –  is full of genius. Life is a dance of adaptation and improvisation, a play of energy and matter.

CM: You are the dance of Love.

“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?


Join Lorin and Camille at Esalen for Living in Love's Body: A Meditation Retreat With the Radiance Sutras, September 5–9, and Deep Recovery: Meditation for Caregivers and Those Facing Burnout, September 30 – October 2.

Learn More

About

Esalen Team

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