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Esalen faculty represent a spectrum of disciplines, experiences, and perspectives — current faculty members include Premal Shah, founder of Kiva.org; Robert Walter, Joseph Campbell’s longtime editor; mindfulness researcher Shauna Shapiro; Wisdom 2.0 creator Soren Gordhamer; and the Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers.
Browse all our faculty, past and present:
Abigail De Kosnik is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Berkeley Center for New Media and in the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies. She is the author of Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom.
Adam Baraz is the founder of Samadhi Bodywork and has taught meditation at Spirit Rock. Adam has studied meditation under renowned spiritual teachers, and has spent many months in retreat. Adam is passionate about helping others discover the clarity, warmth, and power concealed in the depths of the human body.
Adam Leonard works with Google executive leaders and teams to navigate complexity and develop their full human potentials through organizational development consulting, executive coaching, leadership team facilitation, and meditation. He co-authored Integral Life Practice and co-edited The Simple Feeling of Being.
Adam Pearce co-founded the LoveYourBrain Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers programs to build community and foster resilience for people with TBI and their caregivers. Drawing on his experience as a caregiver and vipassana practitioner, Adam leads retreats based on the pillars of mindfulness, movement, community, and nutrition.
Adam Rumack has facilitated transformative processes with individuals, groups, and organizations in some of the most challenging and beautiful places in the US. He is the executive director of The Ojai Foundation, a council trainer, and an Ashtanga yoga instructor. His work has taken him from the wilds of Big Sur to maximum security prisons, and many places in between.
Adam Smiley Poswolsky is a millennial workplace expert, keynote speaker, best-selling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough and 13-time counselor for Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults. Smiley has inspired thousands of professionals to find more meaning in their work lives.
Adam Wolpert is a painter, facilitator, teacher, and art program director at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (oaec.org) in Sonoma County, Calif. He has offered workshops and exhibited extensively throughout California.
Ahmed Alashwa teaches meditation at Stanford University using neuro and biofeedback technologies. He focuses on accelerating brain learning, flow states and peak performance. Ahmed teaches from unscripted direct experience. His workshops on human flourishing run throughout the world.
Aimee Ringle is a songleader, instrumentalist and storyteller living in Port Townsend, Washington. Her celebrated leadership and cross-pollination at various singing gatherings around the country is now honed at home with her weekly, all ages singing group, Sounding Joy.
Alan Heathcock is the author of VOLT, which was named as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was a Barnes and Noble Discover Prize finalist. Heathcock received a fellowship from the NEA and he is a literary fellow for the state of Idaho.
Alan Kishbaugh is a writer with many years of experience in book publishing, urban planning, and parkland, and open space preservation. He is the author of the memoir Deep Waters: Frank Waters Remembered in Letters and Commentary. He and Stella Resnick have been married since 1987.
Albert Flynn DeSilver is a poet, author, teacher, and speaker. His latest book is Beamish Boy (I Am Not My Story): A Memoir of Recovery & Awakening. Albert teaches at The Omega Institute, Spirit Rock, and at numerous writing conferences. He has been meditating, writing, and teaching for almost 20 years.
Alberto Villoldo, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and best-selling author who has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for over 30 years. He is the founder of the Four Winds Society, and his most recent book is The Heart of the Shaman: Stories and Practices of the Luminous Warrior.
Alejandra Campoverdi is a women's health advocate and the founder of the Well Woman Coalition and LATINX & BRCA at Penn Medicine's Basser Center for BRCA. She is a certified holistic cancer specialist.
Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, has studied with eminent teachers of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon for more than 20 years, including Lopon Tenzin Namdak and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He teaches internationally through the Ligmincha Institute and is faculty in the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Alexandra Katehakis, PhD, LMFT, is founder/clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, co-author of Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence, and author of Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction.
Alexis Slutzky, MFT, is a mentor, educator, guide, and facilitator whose work supports cultural restoration through deep listening and inquiry, nature connection, grief tending, community ritual and conversation. Alexis holds a Master’s Degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University.
Alison Luterman is the author of three poetry books — The Largest Possible Life, See How We Almost Fly, and Desire Zoo — and one e-book of essays. She teaches creative writing at the Writing Salon and at workshops around the country.
Alison Raby is co-founder and inclusion advocate at Digital Raign. She is a connector, facilitator, and serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience. She is a board member for The Virtual World Society and served on the Wisdom 2.0 early development team. Her current focus is on diversity/inclusion, socially conscious business, and research on augmented mindfulness through emergent tech.
Allan Badiner is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology, and Mindfulness in the Marketplace. He is also a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine and serves on the board of Project CBD.
Allie Stark is a life coach, speaker, and podcast host. Her work is centered around Reclaiming Your Instinct, which focuses on quieting the clamor of social training and realigning with a deeper truth. Allie's facilitation provides tools to support individuals and organizations to reconnect with their intuition.
Amanda Ball, MS, based her post-graduate studies in counseling on Karla McLaren’s work. She is a co-creator and lead instructor of the Dynamic Emotional Integration® (DEI) licensing program, and she is double licensed as a DEI trainer and consultant.
Amelia Nagoski is a conservatory-trained choral conductor, specializing in the embodiment of music, emotion and connection. She is co-author, with Emily Nagoski (her twin sister), of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.
Amishi Jha, PhD, is a neuroscientist and associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Miami, and director of contemplative neuroscience for the UMindfulness Initiative. She studies the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, and resilience.
Amory Lovins is cofounder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute. Published in 31 books and more than 470 papers, his innovations linking energy, design, security, environment, and development have received many global awards. He has advised major firms and governments in 65+ countries for 40+ years on advanced energy and resource efficiency.
Amy Ippoliti travels the globe helping people bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern day life. She has appeared on the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine, and inside numerous publications nationally and internationally.
Amy Shinal, MSW, LCSW, is an integrative psychotherapist and clinical director at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
Amy Weintraub, MFA, ERYT-500, is the author of Yoga for Depression, offers professional trainings internationally, and is involved in ongoing research. Her evidence-based protocol is featured on the award-winning LifeForce Yoga® DVDs and CDs.
Ananda Yogiji connected with a cacao shaman in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, who shared with him his way of holding cacao ceremonies and how to connect with the spirit of cacao. Inspired by this wisdom, he began sharing cacao ceremonies with Jaya Lakshmi. Together they have held over 100 cacao ceremonies worldwide.
Anat Baniel, best-selling author of Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits, is the creator of the Anat Baniel Method™, a powerful practice that takes advantage of the brain’s ability to change itself at any age to heal both body and mind.
Andrea Davis is an intuitive facilitator of Family Constellation Work. She has shared this work extensively at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and InsightLA, and consults nationwide with dharma teachers, psychotherapists, and medical doctors. She is also a certified teacher of Gabrielle Roth 5Rhythms.
Andrea Juhan, PhD, MFT, is a therapist and dancer, and for three decades a student/teacher of Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms, Gestalt Awareness Practice and Integrative Body Psychotherapy. She has created her own form of movement practice called Open Floor, and together with other gifted teachers she co-founded Open Floor International.
Andrea Lieberstein, MPH, RD, RYT is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and mindful eating instructor and coach who leads mindfulness meditation retreats and mindful eating trainings internationally. Andrea was a leader in developing and implementing mindfulness and mind-body programs at Kaiser Permanente Northern California for over 20 years.
Andrea Shanti is a master herbalist and proprietor of Holistic Body Therapy, an internationally distributed line of wild-crafted and plant-based health products. Certified in shamanic studies, yoga, and massage, Andrea leads classes in creative empowerment and natural medicine.
Andrew Sealy is a connection catalyst, yoga artist, and movement creator. Through the unique practice of yoga and mindful living, Andrew embodies progressive knowledge while positively influencing and empowering his students. Andrew’s teachings aim to answer the question: How can we adapt to create and evolve to sustain?
Andy Abrahams Wilson is an award-winning, Oscar®-shortlisted filmmaker and photographer. President of Open Eye Pictures, Andy emphasizes using the camera as a way to bridge – and heal – disparate parts and people, and to connect to nature, ourselves, and each other.
Aneel Chima is director of the Division of Health and Human Performance and of the Stanford Flourishing Project at Stanford University. The question animating his work is: What is the future of human flourishing in a hyper-complex, ever-accelerating culture where technology is everywhere?
Angie Thurston is a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School who works to deepen spiritual community amid increasing religious disaffiliation. She is the co-author of How We Gather and Something More, two reports profiling new forms of meaningful community in America. She is dedicated to connecting and supporting innovative community leaders nationwide.
Anjali Gupta, MD, is an emergency medicine and sports medicine physician working in the California Bay Area. She served as the wellness chair for her emergency department for several years and enjoys fostering a community of spiritually healthy physicians. She loves spending time in nature, doing yoga, cycling and travel.
Ann Bradney, CPRA, is the founder and director of the Radical Aliveness Institute. The Radical Aliveness model is a distinct approach to working with groups and individuals that addresses healing on the personal, interpersonal and systemic levels.
Ann Mortifee is an artist, performer, storyteller, workshop facilitator, and keynote speaker. Her albums, book, concerts, musicals, and musical scores for ballet, opera, film, and TV have generated numerous national and international distinctions.
Ann Randolph is an award-winning writer, performer, and educator. Her off-Broadway hit, Squeezebox, was produced by Mel Brooks. Her current show is Inappropriate in All the Right Ways. Her personal essays have aired on NPR, BBC and The Moth.
Ann Weiser Cornell is the best-selling author of The Power of Focusing and The Radical Acceptance of Everything. She teaches her popular workshops in Inner Relationship Focusing and Getting Unblocked internationally, both in person and by telephone bridge line.
Anna Halprin was named one of “America’s 100 Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. She has created revolutionary directions for the art form and inspired fellow choreographers to take modern dance to new dimensions. She founded the San Francisco Dancer's Workshop in 1955 and the Tamalpa Institute in 1978 with her daughter Daria.
Anna Pierce-Slive has gotten her hands dirty as the garden supervisor for Esalen’s Farm & Garden and at the University of California at Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Her teaching blends a passion for plants with the urgency for social change to work towards more equitable and healing relationships between people and the land.
Anna-Lisa Adelberg is a recognized healer, spiritual teacher, and co-founder of the Luminous Awareness Institute that offers students an awakening and healing path synthesized from Tibetan Buddhism, developmental psychology, neurophysiology, and subtle energy.
Anne Ornish created and directs Ornish Lifestyle Medicine’s digital platform, Empower. Anne has more than 20 years of advanced training in yoga, meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and is a certified Integrative Health & Spirituality practitioner through the California Pacific Medical Center.
Anne Watts was deeply influenced by her father, the pioneering philosopher Alan Watts. She leads workshops on four continents, teaching adults to have more loving, fulfilling relationships. Anne has been leading workshops since 1985.
Annellen Simpkins, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice who, with her husband C. Alexander Simpkins, specializes in research and practice of hypnosis, neuroscience, and meditation. Together they teach widely and have written 28 books, including Neuroscience for Clinicians, Tao of Bipolar, and Neuro-Hypnosis.
Anthony Giacobbe is a former Esalen executive chef. Inspired by international travels, his culinary style is fresh, bright, and showcases seasonal ingredients. Currently the executive chef for an organic catering company, Anthony is known for his engaging personality and kitchen DJ skills.
Anushka Fernandopulle, MBA, studied at Harvard and Yale, and is on the Teacher's Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She teaches retreats globally, bringing Eastern practices to Western modern life and making them accessible to individuals and organizations.
Arielle Ford is a leading personality in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. Since 1990, she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. She is the author of nine books, including the international bestseller The Soulmate Secret.
Ashanti Branch, MEd., is an inner-city teacher who invited underachieving African-American and Latino males into a support group called The Ever Forward Club. Members achieved a 100 percent high school graduation rate, with 93 percent attending college, military or a trade school. He has now formed ten Ever Forward Clubs.
Ashley Turner is a yoga-meditation instructor, licensed psychotherapist, and writer. She is the founder of Yoga Psychology, co-founder of Urban Priestess, a modern-day mystery school for women, creator of nine best-selling yoga DVDs, and co-author of Aroma Yoga.
Athena Katsaros is an executive coach and leadership trainer who works with leaders to become catalysts for positive change in their organizations and in the world. She cofounded Open A Door Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing young women leaders in post-conflict countries.
Aubrey Streit Krug directs The Land Institute’s Ecosphere Studies program. She is a co-author of The Omaha Language and The Omaha Way.
Aviva Gold, has taught art and trained teachers for more than 30 years. Her background includes psychoanalytic, Jungian, and Gestalt psychotherapy. She is author of Painting From The Source: Awakening The Artists Soul In Everyone and Source Art in the World: How Your Authentic Creativity Heals the Planet.