Esalen is open!

Starting Friday May 17 at 6:30 a.m., Highway 1 north of Esalen will reopen with the use of a 24/7 signalized traffic control, providing unrestricted public access with one-way alternating traffic in both the north and southbound directions. Please plan travel accordingly to accommodate a brief delay of up to 10-15 minutes at the traffic control site.

Highway 1 south of Esalen remains closed. Guests traveling from points south of us, please take the alternate route through Monterey.

Learn more.

Learn more.

Due to road closures along Highway 1 to our north and south, Esalen is closed through April 11.
Esalen Institute is open! However, Highway 1 to the south is closed — please review the alternate route directions.

Esalen opens May 3, 2024

Visitors are now able to access Esalen as well as other businesses and trails in northern Big Sur via twice-daily convoys on Highway 1 operated by Caltrans.

Convoys run only at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day. These are the only opportunities to travel into and out of Big Sur, so visitors must plan accordingly.

Learn more.

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Teach at Esalen

Join us at the leading edges of consciousness,
where spiritual possibility, intellectual rigor, somatic practice, and sustainable living create ripe conditions for expanding human potential.

Esalen is a world-renowned holistic learning retreat center located at the cliffs edge in Big Sur, CA. The remote natural setting invites 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 universities and religious institutions can’t 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 2025 calendar year.

2025 Workshop Proposal Criteria

Please carefully review the criteria for holding a workshop at Esalen. If you do meet these standards, please submit your workshop proposal. For all other teaching inquiries, such as open schedule teaching, conference hosting, or our teacher/artist in residence program, please email

  • The Workshop Facilitator(s) must be actively practicing and have up-to-date credentials in their field of study.
  • The proposed workshop must either have been attended by at least 20 participants in the past, OR, you as workshop facilitator(s) are established Esalen faculty actively developing a new workshop.
  • The workshop contents can fit into either a weeklong period (Mon-Fri, 22 hours of content) or weekend (Fri-Sun, 10 hours of content).
  • The workshop content connects meaningfully to one of the following overarching content threads at Esalen:
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Creativity and Curiosity
  • Interconnection / Intraconnection: Equality, Equity, Justice, Togetherness
  • The Healing Arts: Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit
  • Our Planet through the lens of sustainability and regeneration

Thank you for taking the time to review our current workshop criteria. We look forward to reviewing your proposal.

Submit a Workshop Proposal

Teacher in Residence proposals

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.

Teacher FAQ

What qualifications do teachers need?
How many hours of class time are in a  workshop?
What technology needs can Esalen accommodate?
Past Faculty

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 influential leaders include Ansel Adams, Timothy Leary, Gia-fu Feng, Virginia Satir, B.F. Skinner, and Buckminster Fuller. Past scholars-in-residence include Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, and Stanislav Grof. Workshop instructors have included 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.

All faculty
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Hero photo: Angie Smith