Esalen is a world-renowned holistic learning retreat center located at the cliffs edge in Big Sur, CA. The remote natural setting is an invitation for guests and faculty to explore and realize their human potential through experience, education, and research. Esalen is a creative laboratory, an incubator of human potential asking the daring and curious questions that traditional university and religious institutions can’t and/or won’t.
Esalen is a nonprofit that offers weekend and weeklong workshops designed to facilitate self-exploration, personal growth, and healing in a group setting.
Esalen is now accepting workshop proposals for the 2024 calendar year.
Please carefully read below to see if you meet the criteria for this workshop period. If you do, submit your workshop proposal. If you do not meet this current criteria, we look forward to reviewing your offering for future opportunities.
Thank you for taking the time to review our current workshop criteria. We look forward to reviewing your proposal.Submit a Workshop Proposal
Launched in 2020, the Teacher in Residence program is a new Esalen offering that welcomes educators and leaders across an array of experiences and perspectives. Example disciplines include yoga, meditation, creative expression, writing/journaling, sound healing, nature awakening, etc. Balanced with independent time to explore and create, teachers will spend 8-10 hours of time each week leading classes available to all guests and staff. While the program features a grounded blueprint, teachers are encouraged to bring their own unique approach.
The program residency is funded by Esalen. This includes access to the Esalen campus and facilities, private accommodation, and meals across the duration of one's time in the program. Program participants will also have the opportunity to have their work highlighted across Esalen's social media, online channels, and other communications.
We are currently reviewing applications for late 2021.
Esalen works with faculty who have a deep understanding and level of experience in their field. The demonstrated ability to bring a depth of understanding to the room, as well as the ability to create and hold a safe space for our guests and students to thrive and learn in, is paramount. Often, faculty have an existing student base and/or a wide appeal.
A weekend workshop generally consists of 10 hours of class time; a weeklong workshop generally consists of 22 hours.
Esalen provides basic audio/visual equipment for our workshops and private conferences. If a workshop has more complex AV requirements, arrangements must be discussed during the contracting process, and finalized no later than 30 days before the workshop begins. Due to our remote location and limited bandwidth, most meeting rooms lack internet access, and no live streaming or extensive data downloading is possible anywhere on campus.
Philosophers, artists, theologians, writers, scientists, musicians, psychologists — they all help us expand our understanding of who we are, and Esalen has been informed and shaped by all of them. Early leaders like Ansel Adams, Timothy Leary, Gia-fu Feng, Virginia Satir, B.F. Skinner, and Buckminster Fuller. Scholars-in-residence Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, and Stanislav Grof. Workshop instructors Susan Sontag, Ray Bradbury, Moshé Feldenkrais, Ken Kesey, and Aldous Huxley. An Esalen faculty list doubles as a list of some of the most transformative luminaries of the 20th century.
Hero photo: Angie Smith
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55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920