Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: Shamini Jain

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.

Shamini Jain, PhD, is the Founder and CEO of the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI), Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, and one of our esteemed faculty. Her work blends clinical psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, vocal performance, and East Indian spiritual practices. Here, she eloquently shares with Esalen what inspires her in both work and life.


What is Esalen to you?
Freedom and Beauty.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
I’m honored to be teaching and facilitating workshops at Esalen on healing through connecting with our energy and creativity. As a scientist and clinical psychologist, as well as a singer, I’ve explored the power of energy (which we scientists describe as the biofield) for healing — from research, clinical practice, and performance. Whether we look at the power of our biofields from a scientific or practice-based perspective, it’s very clear: we have enormous power to heal ourselves, and others. I’m honored to share what I know and help others fully embrace their healing potential in these experiential workshops.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being at Peace — meaning being with Oneness.

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
Singing heavy metal.

What is the quality you most like in a human?
Truthfulness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My children.

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
Seeing my participants light up with joy when they realize the power of their creativity and ability to heal.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Besides flying? The ability to paint what I see.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to have more patience.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having two incredible children. I can’t take credit for their talents, wit, or beauty, but I’m still amazed that they came out of me.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A rose.  

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you?
Heaven on Earth. 

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
I connect with nature for support. Nature helps ground me and release my mind so that I can more easily come into my practice, no matter how frazzled I might feel from the inputs of the day.

What is your favorite component of your work?
Teaching others how to free their voice and their energy along with it.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Depends on who you ask. Some would say my eyes. Others would say my ability to communicate, and others would say my relentless drive to forward the science and practice of healing through my nonprofit, the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI). For me, these days, it’s my passion for living fully.

What do you value most in your work/practice?
The freedom to weave multiple streams of wisdom and practice together, whether it be from ancient Eastern spiritual teachings, psychoneuroimmunology and biofield science research, clinical psychology, or vocal performance. I also deeply value and honor the ability to bring together scientists, healers, and artists who further help to marry these wisdom streams through our education and research work at CHI.

Who are your inspirations?
These days, dedicated and talented musicians inspire me the most because of their dedication to Music and their craft. It takes a certain humility to channel musical excellence. The most amazing musicians I’ve met are always the most humble.

“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

The Proust Questionnaire: Shamini Jain

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire
Shamini Jain

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.

Shamini Jain, PhD, is the Founder and CEO of the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI), Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, and one of our esteemed faculty. Her work blends clinical psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, vocal performance, and East Indian spiritual practices. Here, she eloquently shares with Esalen what inspires her in both work and life.


What is Esalen to you?
Freedom and Beauty.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
I’m honored to be teaching and facilitating workshops at Esalen on healing through connecting with our energy and creativity. As a scientist and clinical psychologist, as well as a singer, I’ve explored the power of energy (which we scientists describe as the biofield) for healing — from research, clinical practice, and performance. Whether we look at the power of our biofields from a scientific or practice-based perspective, it’s very clear: we have enormous power to heal ourselves, and others. I’m honored to share what I know and help others fully embrace their healing potential in these experiential workshops.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being at Peace — meaning being with Oneness.

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
Singing heavy metal.

What is the quality you most like in a human?
Truthfulness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My children.

What about your work brings you the most happiness? 
Seeing my participants light up with joy when they realize the power of their creativity and ability to heal.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Besides flying? The ability to paint what I see.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to have more patience.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having two incredible children. I can’t take credit for their talents, wit, or beauty, but I’m still amazed that they came out of me.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A rose.  

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you?
Heaven on Earth. 

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
I connect with nature for support. Nature helps ground me and release my mind so that I can more easily come into my practice, no matter how frazzled I might feel from the inputs of the day.

What is your favorite component of your work?
Teaching others how to free their voice and their energy along with it.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Depends on who you ask. Some would say my eyes. Others would say my ability to communicate, and others would say my relentless drive to forward the science and practice of healing through my nonprofit, the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI). For me, these days, it’s my passion for living fully.

What do you value most in your work/practice?
The freedom to weave multiple streams of wisdom and practice together, whether it be from ancient Eastern spiritual teachings, psychoneuroimmunology and biofield science research, clinical psychology, or vocal performance. I also deeply value and honor the ability to bring together scientists, healers, and artists who further help to marry these wisdom streams through our education and research work at CHI.

Who are your inspirations?
These days, dedicated and talented musicians inspire me the most because of their dedication to Music and their craft. It takes a certain humility to channel musical excellence. The most amazing musicians I’ve met are always the most humble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: Shamini Jain

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About

Esalen Team

The Proust Questionnaire: Shamini Jain

About

Esalen Team

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