Workshops

Workshops

Our workshops are designed to support you in the challenging work of self exploration, in partnership with some of the leading minds of the day. Join us in discovering the next frontiers of individual and societal transformation.

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This course offers a deeper immersion into the mindful flow of Esalen® Massage. Senior teachers will guide participants via presence-based meditation, touch, muscles, and movement to savor these elemental massage skills.

This course is useful to re-boot an existing practice, yet simple enough for the novice to master. Whether giving or receiving a massage, you will walk away feeling your spirits renewed and your body refreshed.

  • The instructors will offer experiential exercises, lectures and demonstrations, plus plenty of time for shared practice and specifics.  
  • You will learn to attune, to comfortably apply the long flowing strokes, and to address those troublesome places such as neck, shoulders and feet.
  • You will note the impact of breath, relaxation and touch on personal wellness, a sense of  “coming home.”
  • Self-care will be emphasized throughout the course.

There will be plenty of time for you to take in the natural scope of Esalen land and baths, and perhaps the butterflies. Join us for this invigorating workshop.

Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
December 4–9, 2022
December 4–9, 2022
December 4, 2022
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
with Dean Marson and Peggy Horan

How empowered do you feel as a woman navigating this world? What is your relationship to the feminine? And to female wisdom? Join us inside the Moon Lodge, a place for exploration — for women to find tribal and ritual healing.

The 5Rhythms is a map that teaches us how energy moves. It shows us the patterns, rhythms, and cycles of life — Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness® — and can be a direct path to the embodiment and empowerment many of us do not feel in a time of patriarchy.

This workshop will be about celebrating the body of Woman and the sacred feminine within us all. Through dance, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and ritual baths, we will share in the Sisterhood of humanity. We will poultice our wounds and celebrate the great gifts of our ancestors.

This workshop includes:

  • 5Rhythms Moving Meditation
  • Insight Meditation
  • Restorative Acupuncture
  • Women’s Health Practices
  • Women’s Counsel
  • Group Sharing
  • Spa Treatments

Dr. Julie Von, a specialist in women’s health, will present the Chinese Medicine perspective on the five elements, psycho-somatic process, restorative acupuncture, and self-care. She will teach us to prioritize these pillars and recognize when we are out of balance.

Lucia Horan will integrate the stillness of Buddhist mindfulness meditation with the moving meditations of the 5Rhythms®. In sitting meditation, we have the opportunity to observe the mind and body at rest through silent introspection. In the practice of the 5Rhythms, we engage in mindfulness while in motion. Together, these two polarities mirror the dance of life and open the door to peace, well-being, and balance.

Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
December 5–9, 2022
December 5–9, 2022
December 5, 2022
Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
with Lucia Horan and Dr. Julie Von

Fostering close, connected relationships is one of the most important things affecting the quality of our lives. Cultivating trust and openness with our loved ones, whether they be intimate partners or friends, is an essential aspect of any successful, supportive relationship.

Perry and Johanna Holloman have been intimate partners and friends for over 30 years. This weekend, they will share the most effective tools and practices that they have developed to nurture their connection to one another.

The primary tool Perry and Johanna will share is called Gestalt Inquiry. This easy-to-learn, powerful practice provides a safe context for exploring the most meaningful and sensitive aspects of relationships. Perry and Johanna like to think of it as a practice that becomes a continuing part of any successful long-term relationship because it places high value on the aspects of compassion, respect, and love of truth. As we learn to discover and safely express what is true for us, both individually, as a couple, or as friends, we deepen our heart’s capacity for intimacy and connection, which leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful shared life.

During our time together, you will learn practices and resources to integrate into your everyday life, such as:

  • Embodied practices involving movement, breath, meditation, and awareness to develop a sense of palpable presence as the foundation upon which your relationship can flourish.
  • The Art of Conscious Dialogue: learning to care as much about understanding our partner and what they’re communicating as we care about being heard and understood by them.
  • How to express needs, feelings, and appreciations in an attuned manner to deepen relational trust.
  • Understanding the “distancing behaviors” we engage in, usually as an unconscious form of defense against vulnerability and contact.
  • Learning to co-regulate each other in structured exercises, emphasizing compassion and respect so presence-based relating naturally arises.

This workshop is for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. A couple may be any two people with a history who desire a better future together, e.g., friends, partners, married or divorced spouses, parent and child, siblings, etc.

The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
December 9–11, 2022
December 9–11, 2022
December 9, 2022
The Heart of Relationship: A Weekend of Gestalt Inquiry for Couples and Friends
with Perry Holloman and Johanna Holloman

Now more than ever, it is important for us to build practices to strengthen our internal resolve and self-resourcing amidst a fundamentally transitioning society. Together, we will awaken and listen to our heart’s wisdom in this incredible four-day journey (Friday to Monday) through sound, ceremony, and self-discovery.

In this intimate and transformative workshop, you will have the unique opportunity to experience three different East Forest live music performances: an intentional ceremony, a full concert, and a group co-creative music session. Additionally, Radha will lead us in embodiment practices based upon the principles of Self Awakening Yoga, Somatic Experiencing, and Yin Yoga to create an all-levels and accessible doorway to inner insights. Ecstatic Dance and breathwork. Through the primacy of our own heart-opening, we can discover the inner pathways to resiliency and healing.

East Forest and Radha would like to offer a certain amount of scholarships to those in need. Please apply with this form. If further assistance would be helpful, you may also apply for an Esalen scholarship.

***Please note: While the retreat space and exercises are conducive to deep inner work, the facilitators and Esalen do not permit the use of or provide substances of any kind.

Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
December 9 - 12, 2022
December 9 - 12, 2022
December 9, 2022
Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
with East Forest and Marisa Radha Weppner

The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature.
—John O’Donohue

Uncertain times have shaken and are shaking our habitual ways of being. Individually and collectively, we are experiencing anxiety, disconnection, and the reality of impermanence even as we begin our journey into the ever-forming “new normal.” Now more than ever, we need to let our somatic system know safety by connecting to our somatic and emotional intelligence, easing into open-hearted social connections and the natural world — so we may settle and ground in our organism’s capacity for resilience, self-regulation, and inherent belonging.

A sense of deep belonging and connection is the natural state of our being. Our nervous system and physiology are wired to feel belonging. We are being called to greet change in manners not previously known to most of us — individually and collectively. To know and feel our belonging in these times asks us to grow awareness — to cultivate genuine heartfelt curiosity, to have courage to feel our vulnerability, and increase our capacity for authentic compassion.

Together, we’ll explore using a variety of practices:

  • Sitting, walking, and laying awareness practices that build mindfulness and embodied connection will be introduced and practiced daily.
  • Grounding and centering tools and techniques that let our nervous system, physiology, and heart feel safe and move from habitual reactivity: to choice, resilience, and trust in the body’s innate wisdom.
  • Gestalt Awareness Movement practices that invite us to trust our body’s capacity for organismic self-regulation and co-regulation.
  • You will be introduced to neuropsychology concepts and practices that can be perceptually felt and embodied in our daily life while feeling our awakening heart and inherent belonging.
  • Through exercises and time together in group, paired, and solo practices, we will have space to connect with self, others, and the natural world.

Listening deeply, life conspires to let us know the heart of interconnectedness even in the midst of the unknowable. We will draw from various wisdom traditions, contemplative practices, contemporary somatic and neuropsychology to explore ancient, yet new ways of belonging to ourselves, others, and to the other-than-human world in which we participate. When we embody the birthright of our interconnectedness and the heart of belonging, ever-changing life lives through us.

Please expect to be indoors and outdoors, on the Esalen grounds. We will work in group, paired, and solo practices. This workshop will take place on Esalen grounds.

Awakening the Heart of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Curiosity, Courage, and Compassion
Awakening the Heart of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Curiosity, Courage, and Compassion
December 12–16, 2022
December 12–16, 2022
December 12, 2022
Awakening the Heart of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Curiosity, Courage, and Compassion
with Steven Harper

End the year strong in this transformational and deeply interactive workshop with award-winning instructor Justin Michael Williams. In this once-yearly event, you will:

  • Reflect on the year past, lessons learned, and define what goals you want to set for the year ahead.
  • Define an action plan for 2023 using a scientifically proven method.
  • Learn the real science behind habit building and goal setting, and how to apply them to your everyday life so you can reach your goals faster.
  • Create a custom “power action” for the year ahead that helps you overcome limitations in the new year.
  • Come together and build accountability with a community who is ready to create change in their lives and the world.

Together, we’ll create your personal action plan for 2023 and define your steps for action, using a simple and proven method that you can take into the new year. This is your moment to reset, renew, overcome fear and self-doubt, and say “yes” to the year that lies ahead. Become more authentically inspired and motivated as you learn practical tools to overcome the hidden patterns holding you back from the power that’s inside of you. Awaken your true power for the year ahead.

This program has been designed from the ground up to welcome all people of all genders, races, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

10% of tuition goes to the Dream Bigger Foundation, which provides scholarship funds to underserved communities, and hosts the Liberation Experience, a program that works to unite people across social, political, and religious divides, and other transformational opportunities.

Recommended reading: Stay Woke, by Justin Michael Williams.

RENEW: A Ritual of Awakening for the New Year
RENEW: A Ritual of Awakening for the New Year
December 16–19, 2022
December 16–19, 2022
December 16, 2022
RENEW: A Ritual of Awakening for the New Year
with Justin Michael Williams

Winter solstice is a time to reflect — to cultivate vitality and nurture ourselves. The dark days of winter are an opportune time to slow down and make space for self-care. This winter solstice yoga retreat will focus on cultivating inner awareness. By practicing in community, we build inner vitality and brightness to return home renewed.

During this retreat, we will combine three healing practices in the exquisite and rejuvenating natural environment of Esalen to revitalize the body and calm the mind. Together, we will focus our attention on being by using:

  • Yoga: yoking body and mind to create present-moment awareness.
  • Meditation: cultivating concentration and empathy.
  • Chanting: bhakti yoga, the practice of the heart.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because the seasonal movement of the sun’s path appears to come to a stop before reversing direction at the solstices. Winter solstice is a time to pause and reflect, a time to cultivate vitality and take extra care to nurture ourselves. Moving into stillness, we can return to our lives refreshed and strengthened for the new year to come.  

All levels are welcome. Please bring a yoga mat.

Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
December 16–18, 2022
December 16–18, 2022
December 16, 2022
Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
with Sarana Miller

During this month-long program, a cohort of like-minded students will have the opportunity to lean into the richness and diversity of programming that has both grown up on campus and is being infused into its current culture. In addition to working in service to the running of Esalen, the workshop classes have been designed to support the process of healing, transformation, and joy.

Classes will be led by the Esalen Resident Faculty Team, each bringing something uniquely transformative to the daily experience. Practices will include:

  • Gestalt Awareness Practices
  • Esalen-style “check-ins”
  • Combinations of breathwork, yoga, and inspirational writing practice
  • 5Rhythms dance and movement
  • And more!

Come experience Esalen for a heartful and healing month of service and transformation!

The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
December 17 – January 13, 2023
December 17 – January 13, 2023
December 17, 2022
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
with Sadia Bruce, J.J. Jeffries, Cara Chandler, and Douglas Drummond

Soul is flow. It’s an ever-changing play of sensations and feelings. It’s how the deathless Presence meets and moves our finite human body. In this workshop, we will reclaim the body-in-motion as a doorway to the life that is unfolding just under the surface of everyday forgetting.

A formless dance form, Soul Motion allows for passionate, full-bodied movement as well as mindful inner explorations, art making, ritual, and luscious lounging. Together, we will integrate conscious movement, body-based inquiries of Gestalt Practice, and the stillness of nature for a process to transform body, heart, and spirit.

Soul Motion is a meeting between self and other in a dance that is deeply creative, nourishing and transforming. It is a movement toward the dynamic stillness at the center of all things — the place of rest at the heart of sound and motion.

During this week together, we will:

  • Dance, inspired by a wide range of music and the great sound of silence, supported by the benevolent presence of earth and sky.
  • Learn skills for stress reduction, relaxation, and renewal through conscious movement and stillness.
  • Build resonance with the movements of life around us by moving from the inside out — alone, in pairs or trios, and as a group; sometimes indoors, sometimes in nature.
  • Explore and express what is alive inside us through movement, awareness practices, and sharing in pairs and as a group.
  • Experience through movement all the landscapes of relating — to self, to the world, and to the great Mystery that we also are.
  • Spend time on the land in sitting and walking meditation, allowing ourselves to dissolve a little into space.

Open to anybody willing to move, pause, listen, and truly relax into one timeless moment. This workshop is especially helpful for people in the healing professions who work with clients, patients, and students.

CE hours for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs available; see Faculty.

There will be a celebratory Christmas Eve dinner in the Esalen Lodge.

Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
December 19–25, 2022
December 19–25, 2022
December 19, 2022
Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
with Zuza Engler and Scott Engler

“Every day is a renewal, every morning the daily miracle. This joy you feel is life.”  

Winter Solstice is a time for reflection where we can go deeper into our own darkness and touch the quietest place within the soul.  It is an opportunity for rebirth.  Come and honor this powerful time of renewal with Cristi Christensen and Daphne Tse, for a guided process of reawakening and reimagining the life and world you want to create in 2023.  

Using the map of the chakra system, one of the greatest gifts that the ancient yogis and rishis of India shared with the world, together we will reignite the seven flames of consciousness using the rituals of yoga, sound, writing, dance, and live music.

Throughout our week together, we will immerse ourselves in ritual practices that support the creative process of rekindling our power and light.

This looks like:

  • Cristi’s signature, dynamic chakra-based vinyasa, woven with mudra, pranayama, and prayer.
  • Daphne’s signature SoulSong process of voice and sound activations to unlock the power of your expression, and experience your whole being as a musical instrument of healing, creativity and expression.
  • Nada, mantra, and bhakti yoga practices.
  • Movement and chakra sounding meditations.
  • Deeply nourishing soma and yoga nidra practice, accompanied by live music.
  • Journaling exercises.
  • Release and Ignite: A solstice fire ceremony and singing circle.

Together we will explore the ancient maps of the chakras, and access the Divine through the creative arts of movement, meditation, sound, art, writing, and divination tools. With Daphne’s expert guidance, discover and create your SoulSong, a practice of uncovering, celebrating, and strengthening your authentic voice. Spend time in nature and the nourishing mineral baths to activate our chakras through the five sacred elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Join us for a journey from the darkness to the light, and a week of celebration, rebirth, and infinite possibilities.  

Recommended reading: Chakra Rituals, by Cristi Christensen

SHINE: A Creative Journey from Darkness Into Light Through Yoga, Sound, and Chakra Activation
SHINE: A Creative Journey from Darkness Into Light Through Yoga, Sound, and Chakra Activation
December 19–23, 2022
December 19–23, 2022
December 19, 2022
SHINE: A Creative Journey from Darkness Into Light Through Yoga, Sound, and Chakra Activation
with Cristi Christensen and Daphne Tse

Touch is our forgotten language. In this introductory massage course, participants learn to listen to each other, gain the sensory skill of initiating touch, experience the felt sense of touch and muscle release, and leave with some balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during the supervised practice. The simple principles of Esalen massage – presence, connection, attending rather than fixing, self-care, receptivity, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body, build a heartfelt experience with a partner or a friend, and perhaps most significantly, ourselves.

The wavelike motion of the ocean inspires the pace of Esalen Massage. Its methods include the following: Connection to the earth, self, and massage partner; an emphasis on presence rather than fixing; a respect for our natural impulse toward health and healing. Students learn to sense into the body and encourage release of muscular tension. The effects of this massage reach deep, often repairing old wounds and awakening our joyful vitality.

By the final session participants will share a simple yet comforting Esalen® massage. Experienced practitioners and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its healing effect as their pace slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact rather than only rely on technique.

Touch can evoke an opening to spirit through our innate ability to move into healthful balance or a broader sense of nature surrounding us. The edgy wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop invite this deeper natural connection. The group may include an optional evening massage ritual in the baths. This is the birthplace of Esalen Massage.

Recommended reading: Connecting through Touch, by Peggy Horan

Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
December 23–25, 2022
December 23–25, 2022
December 23, 2022
Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
with Deborah Anne Medow and Vicki Topp

Meditating in noble silence offers a special opportunity to focus inward, deeply connect with oneself, and reflect on life goals. The New Year, with its connection to the winter solstice and new beginnings, is the perfect time to silently journey inward. You are invited to set intentions and explore, through seated and moving meditation, themes of self-kindness, self-care, and nurturing.

This retreat is a quiet, reflective New Year celebration with the opportunity to discover a deep, centered place within. The week will be spent in periods of noble silence with two extended periods a day for various meditation practices. Lunch will be at a silent table. You will continue your meditation or join the open activities of the day at Esalen in mindfulness. Mark will guide you through a series of practices of both stillness and movement to build the momentum of concentration and awareness.

This mindful meditation will utilize the rich, sensual experience of Esalen — the sounds of the ocean, the feeling of the air, and the beauty of its colors and textures — as well as the rich experience of our own bodies and minds. Evenings will be open to mindfully enjoy the beauty and community, or you may choose to continue silence in inner retreat. New Year’s Eve at Esalen usually includes a community-wide celebration of some kind, which is an option but not required.

New Year Meditation Retreat: Self-Love and Kindness That Benefits All
New Year Meditation Retreat: Self-Love and Kindness That Benefits All
December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023
December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023
December 26, 2022
New Year Meditation Retreat: Self-Love and Kindness That Benefits All
with Mark Abramson

The New Year is a powerful threshold. It is an opportunity to listen deeply, reflect, restore, and create anew. This retreat invites you on an embodied journey bridging personal and collective awakening. Rather than setting new year resolutions based on the myth of self-improvement, we will set intentions from the heart of our being, celebrating who we actually are beyond limiting beliefs and the illusion of separate self.

Acknowledging the gravity of the times we face, we will exchange judgment and striving for compassion, clear-seeing, and possibility. This retreat includes meditation and mindful inquiry, relational mindfulness, conscious movement, somatic practices, deep time in nature, writing, and ritual.

Throughout our time together, we will explore such questions as:

  • What are my deepest intentions for the year ahead, for my life, and for our world in this age of global change?
  • What lessons and hidden gems are there to harvest from 2022?
  • What obstacles or limiting beliefs is it time to release, let go, and forgive — personally and on behalf of our collective?
  • How can I fully empower my essence or center, which is the source of my deepest power and my peace?
  • How can I hold myself accountable for embodying my whole self?
  • And what is the key to balance, joy, and personal sustainability in this day and age?

The New Year beckons with possibility and renewal. If we open to this invitation with wonder, curiosity, and courage, we can position ourselves to receive the true guidance within and, at the same time, embrace the support of the universe on our journey.

Awake in the New Year: Setting Conscious Intentions for Our Lives and Our World
Awake in the New Year: Setting Conscious Intentions for Our Lives and Our World
December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023
December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023
December 26, 2022
Awake in the New Year: Setting Conscious Intentions for Our Lives and Our World
with Deborah Eden Tull

Have you ever worked hard to make a change, only to find yourself slipping back into old habits? Want to supercharge your ability to stimulate behavior change in others when it comes to the issues you care about the most? Is it time to break free from old patterns and build your next chapter? This workshop is for people in the process of change and those who work as change agents with individuals, groups, and organizations and in society.

Through dialogue, experiential practice, and creative process, we will bridge the science of breakthroughs with indigenous, religious, spiritual, and secular models of transformation. You will:

  • Learn what works and what doesn’t to inspire lasting change in yourself and others.
  • Explore how peak experiences, a-ha! moments and awe can stimulate change.
  • Examine how we and those we work with can get stuck or lost, and find ways to shake free from periods of inertia or patterns that prevent us from moving forward.
  • Investigate the transformative potential of pain, hitting bottom, and post-traumatic growth.
  • Delve into stories, symbols, and metaphors of transformation to guide your path.

Join us for this transformational exploration of our most deeply entrenched behaviors. Learn how to break free from the patterns that no longer serve you — and create new habits that will change your life.

Recommended reading: Schlitz, Vieten and Amorok, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.

How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation
How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation
January 2–6, 2023
January 2–6, 2023
January 2, 2023
How We Change and Why We Don't: The Art and Science of Transformation
with Cassandra Vieten

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”  ― Mary Oliver

The New Year is an auspicious time to make changes. Are you ready to turn away from the world and greet your True Self?  How would you prepare for such an adventure?  Turning and sustaining our attention inward is a process that requires a strong foundation of steadiness in body, ease of breath, and clarity in mind. This seven-day yoga immersion is designed for beginners, those who wish to return to the basics, and sincere seekers who are ready to live an awakened life.

During our long week together, we will:

  • Experience yoga as a path of self-discovery and transformation.
  • Explore some classic hatha yoga postures with basic alignment principles.
  • Learn six different breath practices.
  • Learn basic meditation techniques.
  • Practice Conscious Communication.
  • Explore Yoga Philosophy and the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.
  • Experience deep rest and sound healing.

*Enjoy a day of contemplation and optional juice fasting/feasting (see details below).

Building a solid foundation requires us to slow down, be intentional with our actions, and transmute whatever beliefs and habits no longer serve us. You will learn to bring the experience, depth, and benefits of yoga into your daily lifestyle and make changes to live your life fully. Allow yourself to be nourished by this sacred land and the sangha gathered here to return home rejuvenated and inspired.

Please bring a journal. You are welcome to bring your own yoga mat.

Recommended Reading:  The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice  by T.K.V. Desikachar.

During this special week of contemplation and meditation, there will be a daily Juice Fasts/Juice Feasts from sunrise to sunset. The juice fast is included with the workshop, but participation is not required. As we practice slowing down and quieting our bodies and minds to connect more deeply with Spirit, we will be nourished with delicious, nutrient-dense, organic ingredients. This can be a Juice Fast by limiting or eliminating other foods during the day or a Juice Feast by simply adding these cold-pressed juices to your regular daily diet, depending on your personal goals, dietary needs, and workshop intentions. We will break fast at sunset with a simple vegan, gluten-free, and organic kitchari, a traditional cleansing food of Ayurveda, before dinner. Please reach out to Jovinna if you have any questions about the fast.

Yoga Immersion: Rebuilding the Foundation in the New Year
Yoga Immersion: Rebuilding the Foundation in the New Year
January 2–8, 2023
January 2–8, 2023
January 2, 2023
Yoga Immersion: Rebuilding the Foundation in the New Year
with Jovinna Chan

This weekend retreat welcomes couples across the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or questioning. You only need to be two human beings who want the joys of a loving relationship. If you are in love, this retreat is your opportunity to rise even higher in love. If you are in crisis, this retreat is an opportunity for healing on the deepest level. During our time together, we’ll explore loving and effective ways to transform the past negative programming we all carry into positive and vibrant connections with our partners and to our present.

Join us to experience exercises and practices designed specifically for couples, couples therapeutic coaching, group support, and time for sharing after each practice.

As couples, you’ll learn tools for deeper appreciation and relationship building, including healthy communication of feelings, seeing your partner as a mirror, understanding and respecting each other’s differences, conflict resolution, healing past hurts, sexual wellness, inner child/inner parent, taking responsibility, and developing a true inner connection.

Recommended reading: Vissell & Vissell, To Really Love a Man and To Really Love a Woman.

The Shared Heart New Year's Couples Retreat
The Shared Heart New Year's Couples Retreat
January 6–8, 2023
January 6–8, 2023
January 6, 2023
The Shared Heart New Year's Couples Retreat
with Barry and Joyce Vissell

What would the world be like if we discovered how to access our wisdom and compassion to truly live wide awake? In this retreat, Loch will present easily accessible methods that weave together different approaches to embody awakening — from neuroscience and cutting-edge psychological research to wisdom practices from around the world. You will be offered the keys to supporting the awakening as the next natural stage of human development. You will learn how to shift out of your chattering mind into an embodied, open-hearted awareness that has capacity to love and heal our critical and hurt emotional parts.

The first premise of Loch’s approach is that the freedom, connection, and awakeness we are seeking are already within us. Effortless Mindfulness does not mean it “takes no effort” but that there is an effortless awareness here already. This already installed upgrade to our way of being only needs to be enabled for us to access the capacity to heal suffering at the root and live a courageous, compassionate life.  

The retreat will include:

  • Awareness yoga (moving awareness through the body and mind).
  • Short, mico-meditations to help you immediately access awake consciousness.
  • Peer Inquiry as a way to begin to communicate from the awakened heart-mind.
  • Spontaneous qigong, gentle yoga, and embodiment exercises.
  • Methods for bringing the open-hearted, compassionate Self to soothe the stressed body, mind, and emotions.
  • Internal Family Systems-style exercises to bring our shadow parts and inner critics into healing and to reveal our authentic Self.

Required prerequisite: Participants must be familiar with the concepts of Effortless Mindfulness glimpses from either his books or mobile meditation program at www.lochkelly.org.

Recommended reading: The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, and Shift into Freedom by Loch Kelly.

Continuing education credit available for therapists, LCSW, MFT.

Effortless Mindfulness Embodied: Awakening Glimpse by Glimpse
Effortless Mindfulness Embodied: Awakening Glimpse by Glimpse
January 8–13, 2023
January 8–13, 2023
January 8, 2023
Effortless Mindfulness Embodied: Awakening Glimpse by Glimpse
with Loch Kelly

Join legendary psychedelics researcher and the father of the modern microdosing movement, James Fadiman, PhD, and microdosing educator and coach Adam Bramlage in this groundbreaking workshop to learn all about the most current and best practices in the world of microdosing.

When Fadiman’s book, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, was published in 2011, it sparked a movement across the country and around the world. Microdosing means using sub-hallucinogenic amounts of psychedelics to improve mental health, creativity, and athletic performance and alleviate depression, migraines, chronic pain, addictions, and more. This weekend of discussions, participant reports, coaching methods, and research results will explore the history, science, and best practices for safe and effective microdosing.

The workshop will feature:

  • Faculty-led presentations and discussions on microdosing.
  • Community-driven discussions on psychedelics and microdosing.
  • A history of microdosing through time, from ancestral and indigenous use to contemporary.
  • Best practices for safe and effective microdosing.
  • Risks, rewards, and contraindications when microdosing.
  • The latest science, research, and citizen-science reports on microdosing.
  • The value and benefits of coaching and integration.
  • Maximizing microdose benefits through stacking and herbal blending.

Important Note: The Saturday segments of this workshop will be live-streamed to a digital audience. The cameras will be positioned to preserve anonymity. Group discussions will happen separately within the live community and the streaming community.

Recommended Reading: Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, by James Fadiman; Science of Microdosing Psychedelics, by Torsten Passe; and A Really Good Day, by Ayelet Waldman.

Microdosing: The Safe, Surprising, and Emerging Psychedelic Frontier
Microdosing: The Safe, Surprising, and Emerging Psychedelic Frontier
January 13–15, 2023
January 13–15, 2023
January 13, 2023
Microdosing: The Safe, Surprising, and Emerging Psychedelic Frontier
with James Fadiman and Adam Bramlage

Join Dr. Deborah Egerton to learn to lead from the heart and find your place in the great rehabilitation of our humanity through love, light, and connection.

The authentic self rises when we let go of the flawed dualistic mindset — that our feminine energy provides only nurturing support and our masculine energy is strength. Setting aside this binary thinking and these stereotypical roles, we come together to honor and explore the totality of energies that allow us to be our authentic selves.

Participants will:

  • Explore the Humanity Mosaic as a method for acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating our individual identity and discover how it can reveal our blindspots.
  • Connect in group discussions to experience how actions, behaviors, and beliefs can be the result of unexplored trauma and early influences, and we will find ways to address these root causes.
  • Share experiences that allow us to see when we may be dropping into toxic behaviors and reactions and learn how they can provide a wake-up call to manage our responses to disconnects.
  • Engage in group discussions to uncover what is blocking us from accessing compassion and understanding during conflict or patterns of unconscious judgment, and find ways to lead with the heart when faced with these challenges.
  • Experience a safe and open space to find balance through reflection and strength through vulnerability.

We are faced with divides and disconnects because we have forgotten how to maintain contact with our true hearts. Messages of love and understanding have been replaced with self-preservation, isolation, and judgment — “me and mine” versus “us and ours.”

We will discuss how we have fallen into pre-programmed patterns of responses and explore the “roadblocks” we face in accessing the heart space. The unique approach of finding the root causes of our judgments, biased beliefs, and even inequitable value systems allows participants to apply what they’ve learned to real-world scenarios, take action in their lives, and lead with the heart to reconnect across any divisions.

Through guided exploration, participants will  identify our three centers of intelligence to gain access to and realign with the heart center and step into their true power. Participants will learn to uncover what “gets in the way” of finding compassion for themselves and others when faced with real-life conflict.

Leading from the Heart
Leading from the Heart
January 13–16, 2023
January 13–16, 2023
January 13, 2023
Leading from the Heart
with Dr. Deborah Egerton

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no man's land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” - Pema Chödrön

In our deepest hearts, human beings yearn for deeper love, awareness, aliveness, and creativity.  We seek to become empowered, and to become compassionate in how we see and experience the world. We desire to walk on this earth with the intention of benefiting all. But how do we get to this loving and compassionate state of being?

Join Jovinna on the sacred land of Esalen Institute for a month of embodiment practices and contemplation, and drop into a field of deep communion with Nature, Self, and Community. We invite you in to experience the transformational power of coming fully alive from aligning every separate part of yourself.

During this month-long immersion, you will learn about:

  • Releasing fear, inhibition, and judgment.
  • Increasing your life force through studying the five koshas (multi-dimensional layers of being).
  • Awakening and heightening all your senses.
  • Expanding loving-kindness towards yourself and others.
  • Cultivating awareness, presence, and peace.
  • Tuning into and acting on your life purpose.

When you choose to live in a way that generates aliveness and compassion, your own evolution has the potential to change the world. Choose to nurture and unleash your own fulfillment and well-being through the embodiment practices of yoga, dance, and sound meditation. Together we will carefully cultivate the clarity and courage to transmute the limiting beliefs and patterns that dampen your life force.

Please bring a journal for reflection and notes.  You are welcome to bring your own personal yoga mat.

Recommended reading: The Heart of Yoga, by T.K.V. Desikachar, and To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue

Becoming Fully Alive Through Yoga, Conscious Dance, and Sound Meditation
Becoming Fully Alive Through Yoga, Conscious Dance, and Sound Meditation
January 14 – February 10, 2023
January 14 – February 10, 2023
January 14, 2023
Becoming Fully Alive Through Yoga, Conscious Dance, and Sound Meditation
with Jovinna Chan

“When we experience moments of ecstasy, we taste what life is meant to be.” Gabrielle Roth

Maps hold all the information required to lead us to where we want to go. What is your destination?

In times of turmoil and change, Somatic Meditation can assist you in navigating your way out of resistance and into ecstasy. Through Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms® movement practice and mindfulness meditation, one may build a skill set that supports balance, ease, and joy. If you have been looking to increase appreciation, gratitude, and happiness, then now is a perfect time to celebrate being alive in the wild, wondrous natural beauty of Esalen.

Each day will include discourses on 5Rhythms philosophy and embodied practice, seated meditation, Dharma talks, and sharing.

There is a science to achieving ecstatic states, and this is the mastery I have come to share. This workshop is designed for all who want to join in expanding the possibility of entering altered states in a natural way.

“I want to take you to a place of pure magic… It’s the place athletes call the “zone”. Buddhists call “satori” and ravers call “trance”. I call it the Silver Desert. It’s a place of pure light that holds the dark within it. It’s a place of pure rhythm.” Gabrielle Roth

This is a substance-free event.

All workshop hours contribute toward 5Rhythms teacher training prerequisites.

Recommended Reading: Maps To Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth and Dancing With Dharma edited by Harrison Blum.

Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Retreat
Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Retreat
January 16–20, 2023
January 16–20, 2023
January 16, 2023
Maps to Ecstasy: A 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Retreat
with Lucia Horan

We invite you to celebrate the New Year under the starry skies of the new moon as we find connection, curiosity, restoration, and inspiration through alchemy crystal singing bowls, sound, and movement.

Sound Healing is one of the oldest and most natural forms of healing known to our planet. Modern science is now reinforcing what ancient cultures have always known: We live in a vibrational world, a world of frequency. All beings are interconnected through vibrational frequencies, geometry, and sound. By using sound healing intentionally, we have the opportunity to aid in our own healing processes and embrace higher consciousness.

Working with the laws of resonance and entrainment, we will have the opportunity to experience how sound can calm our hearts, soothe our nervous systems, and align our brainwave patterns to bring forth greater states of peace, focus, and joy. We will use the seven main chakras as our guide as we explore the role of sound healing in harmonizing mind, body, and spirit.

Each day will include a blend of specially curated sound journeys, movement, bespoke teachings, and experiential activities. You will also learn the basics of how to play alchemy crystal singing bowls and gain an understanding of how crystals have played and continue to play a role in evolution.

We welcome you to slow down, connect, and find the joy of listening to your soul – to feel empowered to bring new practices home and into the New Year.

Recommended reading: Sound Medicine: How to Use the Ancient Science of Sound to Heal the Body and Mind, by Kulreet Chaudhary, MD.

A Restorative Week of Sound & Movement with Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls
A Restorative Week of Sound & Movement with Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls
January 16–20, 2023
January 16–20, 2023
January 16, 2023
A Restorative Week of Sound & Movement with Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls
with Deva Munay

Touch is our forgotten language. In this introductory massage course, participants will learn to listen to each other, gain the sensory skill of initiating touch, experience the felt sense of touch and muscle release, and close with a balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during supervised practice. The simple principles of Esalen massage — presence, connection, attending rather than fixing, self-care, receptivity, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body — will build a heartfelt experience with our partners, our friends, and, perhaps most significantly, ourselves.

By the final session, participants will share the basics of a classical Esalen® massage. Experienced practitioners and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its healing effect as their pace slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact over technique.

Touch can evoke an opening to spirit — our innate ability to move into healthy balance or a broader sense of nature surrounding us. The awe-inspiring wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop invites this deeper natural connection.

Recommended reading: Connecting Through Touch by Peggy Horan.

Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
January 20–22, 2023
January 20–22, 2023
January 20, 2023
Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
with Jessica Fagan and Oliver Bailey

Liminal dreaming is found in the space between waking and sleeping. In that moment, as you pass through hypnagogia and hypnopompia, the zones of liminal dreaming, your mind is in an imaginal place. It meanders between daytime awareness and the depths of the dream. Mystics, poets, philosophers, and scientists have all studied this practice since time immemorial in the hope of catching a glimpse of the mystery of the mind.

The truth is, we all possess the ability to maintain the waking, rational mind while sinking into the free-associative, kaleidoscopic realms of the unconscious. Yet very few of us have ever develop this powerful tool for investigating consciousness.

This workshop will provide an in-depth exploration of the remarkable, transformative, and even mystical mind states of hypnagogia and hypnopompia. You will learn practical exercises for locating and lingering in these astonishing liminal dream states and gain a set of valuable tools to continue your journey and dream practice.

Sessions include:

  • Friday Evening: Understanding Liminal Dreams
  • Saturday Morning: Deep Dive into Hypnagogia
  • Saturday Afternoon: Liminal Dreaming for Creativity and Healing
  • Saturday Evening: Liminal Dreams with Other Mind States
  • Sunday Morning: Liminal Mind

Together we will explore ways that people across cultures and time have used liminal dreaming for consciousness exploration, creativity, problem-solving, and mental and spiritual healing and balance. Activities will include:

  • Yoga Nidra guided meditation
  • Exercises for accessing hypnagogia and hypnopompia
  • Using hypnagogia/hypnopompia for creativity, healing, and visionary experience
  • Experiments with oneirogens (any root, herb, food, scent, sound, etc. that promotes vivid dreaming)

Note: As we will be settling into a dreamy state throughout the weekend, you are encouraged to bring any comforting items that might assist you in relaxing: special pillow, eye mask, blanket, etc.

Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
January 20–22, 2023
January 20–22, 2023
January 20, 2023
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
with Jennifer Dumpert

All light arises from darkness, including insight, creativity, vision, and possibility. The luminous darkness is the presence and receptivity through which we also access light. It is the field of all potential that we sometimes forget in the context of ordinary life and habit. In this deeply restorative retreat, in the first month of a new year, we will commune with the luminous darkness to listen deeply, renew possibility, and set conscious intentions for our lives and world in the year ahead.

In this workshop, we will reflect on and harvest lessons from the past year and release limiting beliefs. This regenerative process is about remembering who we really are — and stepping into  possibility on behalf of our collective.

We will deepen our embodiment of compassion and clear seeing  through:

  • Meditation and Dharma talks.
  • Conscious movement and dance.
  • Embodied practices for invoking the realm of dreaming and conscious imagination and for embracing shadow and the unknown.
  • Reflective writing.
  • Relational mindfulness.
  • Deep time in nature.

This workshop, inspired by Eden’s book Luminous Darkness, draws upon the wisdom streams of Buddhist meditation and mindfulness, non-duality, deep ecology, and The Work That Reconnects.

Recommended reading: Luminous Darkness: An Engaged Buddhist Approach to Embracing the Unknown, by Deborah Eden Tull

The Luminous Darkness: Imagination, Possibility, and Conscious Intentions for 2023
The Luminous Darkness: Imagination, Possibility, and Conscious Intentions for 2023
January 22–27, 2023
January 22–27, 2023
January 22, 2023
The Luminous Darkness: Imagination, Possibility, and Conscious Intentions for 2023
with Deborah Eden Tull

For over 30 years, Paul Heussenstamm has been traveling worldwide

and teaching Art as a Spiritual Path. His beautiful soul mandalas have been created by individuals who have never painted before, and others seeking to expand their creativity through mandala practice. Mandala painting is a genuine form of meditation, cultivating inner harmony as the mandala births itself through painting participants.

Art as a Spiritual Path has been taught at Esalen since the 90’s, and we have shared the wisdom of the mandalas with participants from all over the world. The mandala, an integrated image of wholeness, dates back to ancient times. Mandala practice, while painting, opens the heart, calms the mind, and has the capacity to expand consciousness.

During this dynamic program, we will…

  • Learn to speak a new language through colors and shapes
  • Experience integration of the heart with the mind
  • Open the heart, birthing spontaneous natural creativity
  • Undergo transformation through surrendering to the practice

Reveal the artist inside each of us!

The workshop is a gentle entry into the left brain hemisphere revealing the capacity to open each of us to the creative experience. Each participant joins the workshop as an individual, while the mandala binds the group together, as we all work together to have each individual artist reveal a beautiful, meditative, and radiant mandala.

There is no experience necessary as the workshop technique has been simplified to allow either a beginner or advanced creative person to have the experience of finishing a mandala and/or another sacred image. Participants worldwide have experienced the workshop, from all artistic levels, ages 18-93.

Art As A Spiritual Path: Discovering Your Creative Mandala
Art As A Spiritual Path: Discovering Your Creative Mandala
January 22–27, 2023
January 22–27, 2023
January 22, 2023
Art As A Spiritual Path: Discovering Your Creative Mandala
with Paul Heussenstamm

When was the last time you gave something your undivided attention? Nearly 2,500 years ago, Buddha worried we had become too distracted — and that was before paper, let alone smartphones. Today our days are filled with convenient distractions that promise happiness while mostly delivering busyness and frustration. So many of us today live life in a hectic fog, working too much and noticing too little.

There is a different way. At this weekend retreat, we will disconnect, slow down, and meditate together. We will learn the ancient Zen practice of sitting still, bringing our full awareness to what is now.

Our time together will follow a gentle schedule of sitting meditation punctuated by brief lectures, group discussions, relaxing meals, and soaks in the healing baths, all while exploring the process and practice of mindful living. We’ll be listening to our own bodies, noticing the food we eat, and truly engaging with the people around us — exploring what it means to be fully present.

You will leave this retreat with everything you need to start, revive, or deepen your daily meditation practice. You will receive instruction in traditional Zen Buddhist meditation, and we will sit together in guided sessions to practice what we’ve learned. We’ll work together on everything from the mechanics of sitting posture to the mental barriers we all face. We’ll discuss how to overcome common obstacles to meditation and the many ways to incorporate more mindfulness and presence into our daily lives.

Whether you’re brand new to meditation or have been practicing for years, you will leave prepared to bring meditation into your life and mindfulness to your work and home — today and every day. Come reclaim a healthier and happier way to be!

Recommended reading: Dan Zigmond, Buddha’s Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well.

Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
January 27–30, 2023
January 27–30, 2023
January 27, 2023
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
with Dan Zigmond

Awe is the feeling of encountering vast mysteries that transcend our current knowledge and understanding of the world. In its greatest sense, it is an astonished and transformative appreciation for the moral beauty of others, for nature, for the arts — and is always rooted in a spiritual understanding of life.  

In this new, paradigm-shifting workshop, we will uncover the latest scientific understandings of awe. By engaging in evolutionary and neuroscientific approaches to the mind, and considering the narrative and cultural meanings of awe, we will begin to tease out where this feeling lives in our own minds and hearts, and learn how to cultivate it more deeply.

Together, we will discover a number of practices to cultivate this transcendent amalgam of reverence, astonishment, and admiration in our own lives and how to deepen one’s relationship to it. We’ll travel by way of reflective writing, using expressive writing principles and models from Contemplative Studies.

During our time together, we will:

  • Learn the latest science and scholarship on awe and wonder.
  • Engage in contemplative practices related to awe.
  • Learn about literary, poetic, and aesthetic approaches to awe.
  • Learn to cultivate an awe-related writing and reflective practice.

Cultivate an awareness of possibilities for awe in everyday life.

Join us for this incredible opportunity to refresh your heart and mind in the breathtaking natural setting of Esalen and Big Sur.

Awe and Wonder: An Exploration Through Science, Contemplation, and Narrative
Awe and Wonder: An Exploration Through Science, Contemplation, and Narrative
January 27–29, 2023
January 27–29, 2023
January 27, 2023
Awe and Wonder: An Exploration Through Science, Contemplation, and Narrative
with Dacher Keltner and Mollie McNeil

Get ready for six intense days of ecstatic rebirth! This unique retreat offers participants the opportunity to design their own transformative experiences. You will leave with your own practical road map for real-life integration, plus benefits you can experience immediately — and for the rest of your life. This small, personal group workshop is for you if you are prepared and 100 percent willing to:

  • Determine the aspects of your life that are calling for healing and change.
  • Move toward healing and change on the very first day.
  • Commit to an action plan.
  • Take a giant leap forward in consciousness.
  • Help create and support a small, like-minded community committed to the same leap.

Raphael Cushnir creates a safe and gentle environment to help call forth your very best, using tools such as:

  • Emotional-release work that combines vipassana, metta, and tantric approaches.
  • Journaling and vision-boarding.
  • Dyadic and triadic communication process.
  • Movement and chanting.

The highlight of this retreat is designing a unique transformative experience all your own. You leave with a practical road map for real-life integration, plus benefits you can experience immediately — and for the rest of your life.

Special note: On Tuesday night, our group will host a Freestyle Dance Jam, with Raphael as DJ, as a gift for ourselves and everyone at Esalen. Remember to pack some loose-fitting attire and get ready to rock and roll, shake and swing, and let it all go!

Recommended reading: The One Thing Holding You Back, by Raphael Cushnir.

Total Immersion for Total Transformation
Total Immersion for Total Transformation
January 29 – February 3, 2023
January 29 – February 3, 2023
January 29, 2023
Total Immersion for Total Transformation
with Raphael Cushnir

We’re taught that caterpillars turn into butterflies, but this isn’t exactly true. Before that transformation, there is an in-between stage: they become formless goo. This is the liminal space.

When we go through a major life change — no longer certain who we are or where we’re going — we, too, find ourselves formless, in liminal space.

Our culture treats the liminal space as a temporary stop on the way to being “on the other side.” In other words, we see it as a place to escape as fast as we can.

But often, the other side doesn’t come quickly. The longer we sit in the darkness, wondering why we’re not butterflies yet, feeling around for the way out, the more frustrated and anxious we feel.

But what if we could learn to not only survive this space, but find rest there? Or creativity, curiosity, and even joy?

What if we could see this time differently? Not as a purgatory to be endured on the way to something better but as a valuable and important destination in its own right?

In this compassionate, down-to-earth weekend workshop led by celebrated teacher and activist Shelly Tygielski and author and artist Emily McDowell, you’ll laugh, probably cry, and:

  • Use the tools of guided meditation, creative journaling, and artistic expression to explore what liminal space actually feels like when you stop judging it, fearing it, and trying to flee it, and simply allow yourself to be there.
  • Use the space of not-knowing as fodder for creative thinking, discovery, new ideas, and problem solving.
  • Work with your nervous system to cultivate a feeling of inner safety and shift your mindset to curiosity so you can stop making decisions from fear — no matter what’s happening externally.
  • Practice staying grounded in the present moment, silencing the voice in your head that’s hell-bent on projecting into the future or replaying the past.

Recommended reading: Sit Down to Rise Up by Shelly Tygielski

How to Be Goo: Navigating and Thriving in the Liminal Space
How to Be Goo: Navigating and Thriving in the Liminal Space
February 3–5, 2023
February 3–5, 2023
February 3, 2023
How to Be Goo: Navigating and Thriving in the Liminal Space
with Shelly Tygielski and Emily McDowell

This workshop is a weekend of exploration and celebration. It is the season to express ourselves and play as we celebrate Black History Month together. We will also honor and recognize our own humanity as we explore what triggers us, and learn to respond in ways that lead to our own inner healing.

Using empathy exercises, interactive drama, visualization, song, and movement, we will work to uncover our layers of internalized bias and gently work through them. These pursuits are openings for us to move towards resilience and empowerment without shame or blame. This workshop can be helpful for those in leadership roles as well as those working with diverse populations.

During this workshop, we will experience:  

  • Empathy exercises. A pathway to healing, this is an opportunity to roleplay a scenario and “walk in another’s shoes” to understand a viewpoint different from one’s own perspective.
  • Interactive dramatic presentations. These experiences give participants a way to introspect but will be entirely voluntary. They can choose or not choose, if they feel comfortable, to take a minor non-talking role. That way, participants do not feel they are on the “hot seat” or being pointed out. Also, participants can choose to make comments (or not) afterward based on their comfort level. This type of presentation also helps inspire one’s sensory perception as this learning style is visual and kinesthetic.
  • Trigger management. An important element when we deal with oppression of any sort is how we respond. Rather than react in a way that will be regretful, one can benefit from learning ways to manage triggers. Oftentimes, underneath the reaction is fear. When we learn how to manage our triggers, we can become more comfortable, which helps dismantle fear.

This workshop can be especially useful for educators, therapists, and anyone interested in a new and gentle approach to addressing unconscious bias and trigger work. Together, we shall build a bridge to connect our heart centers to the path that nourishes and heals us.

Exploring and Restoring Our Path to Healing
Exploring and Restoring Our Path to Healing
February 3–5, 2023
February 3–5, 2023
February 3, 2023
Exploring and Restoring Our Path to Healing
with LaVerne McLeod

This retreat presents a full set of teachings for Mahamudra meditation. The practice of Mahamudra, or Great Seal, originated in Northern India with the great mahasiddha Saraha. From Saraha, the practice expanded into several lineages that grew to include 84 wandering masters. These masters of Mahamudra were said to sing their students into enlightenment.

Over the course of this five-day program, students will be taught a detailed map of the four yogas of Mahamudra: One-Pointedness, Non-Elaboration, One-Taste, and Non-Meditation.

During this program, students will:

  • Experience many short sessions of meditation.
  • Be taught the basic tools of concentration.
  • Receive wisdom and insight into the true nature of thoughts, emotions, and perception.
  • Be taught to access a wide-open awareness that is deeply interconnected to everyone and everything.
  • Receive detailed instructions about the stages of the meditation path.  

Using the body as a gateway, students will begin with learning the stages of tranquility. Throughout the retreat, students will receive specific meditation instructions from Mahamudra masters like Tilopa, Maitripa, Sabari, and Niguma. All meditation sessions will be guided.

The retreat will culminate in an extraordinary insight practice where students will be given instructions to recognize the true nature of awareness as vast, non-dual, and unconditionally loving.

Each session builds on the previous one. Attendance at every session is required.Recommended reading: Pointing Out the Dharmakaya, by Thrangu Rinpoche,  Essentials of Mahamudra, by Thrangu Rinpoche

Recommended reading: Pointing Out the Dharmakaya, by Thrangu Rinpoche,  Essentials of Mahamudra, by Thrangu Rinpoche

The Great Seal: Introduction to Mahamudra Meditation
The Great Seal: Introduction to Mahamudra Meditation
February 5–10, 2023
February 5–10, 2023
February 5, 2023
The Great Seal: Introduction to Mahamudra Meditation
with Dustin DiPerna

Great leaders encourage collaboration, promote inclusion, and make others feel seen and heard. Their greatest tool? Compassion. Compassion isn’t a static trait that people either have or don’t have; we all have the ability to grow our compassion intentionally through practice. A clinical psychologist and renowned expert in compassion, Dr. Shapiro uses her scientific and clinical expertise to give us concrete strategies for compassionate leadership. You will be introduced to the surprising science behind compassion, the latest research on neuroplasticity, and the most powerful tools and practices to lead teams that are connected, collaborative, creative, and successful. You will be given a science-based roadmap to re-engineer internal states, manage stress, boost creativity, and cultivate a culture of safety and connection.

Together we will:    

  • Explore the science of compassion and how it facilitates learning, connection, and trust.
  • Train in powerful, science-based practices of self-compassion and mindfulness to cultivate essential skills for leadership.
  • Develop our skills to build connection, safety, and belonging in individuals and teams.

This workshop is appropriate for anyone curious about leadership, compassion, and how to deepen a sense of community and purpose. These practices have the power to transform our individual and collective lives.  All are welcome.

Recommended Reading: Shapiro, S. (2020) Good Morning, I love you: Mindfulness + Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire the Brain for Calm, Clarity + Joy.  Sounds True, Boulder, CO.

Compassionate Leadership
Compassionate Leadership
February 10–12, 2023
February 10–12, 2023
February 10, 2023
Compassionate Leadership
with Shauna Shapiro

The soothing quality of massage is a delightful antidote for stress or that out-of-sorts feeling. Sharing a massage heightens non-verbal connection and awakens sensory awareness. Whether you’re a novice or professional, this workshop will guide you through the basic concepts of Esalen Massage in a pleasant, easy-to-follow format.

With brief lecture demonstrations and plenty of at-the-table guidance, the instructors will offer the essential elements, highlighting the foundational long, integrating strokes and gentle stretches. Grounding, sensing, contact, and the impact of touch will be introduced and practiced with classmates, building a firm base. The professional caregiver or practitioner can also refresh their existing work with Esalen’s pace, presence, and sensitivity — “the listening hand.” Don’t be surprised if you come away realizing you like giving a classic Esalen massage as much as you like receiving one.

Arrive prepared to enjoy the healing waters of Esalen’s natural hot mineral springs and the serene beauty of the Esalen land. The sound of the waves and the flowing strokes harmonize into an extraordinary massage experience.

  • Participants will recognize and appreciate the value of touch in quality of life, relationships, and health and healing.
  • Participants will learn to give a safe and soothing massage session using the basic connection, receptivity, and signature long slow strokes encompassing the body, pausing for integration.
  • Participants will learn to monitor and take care of themselves while sharing a massage session.
  • Participants will experience asking for what they want in receiving a massage session and sharing their experience and gratitude.
  • Participants will learn to listen with their hands as well as their ears.

Recommended Reading: Connecting Through Touch by Peggy Horan

Esalen® Massage: The Basics
Esalen® Massage: The Basics
February 10–12, 2023
February 10–12, 2023
February 10, 2023
Esalen® Massage: The Basics
with Daniela Urbassek and Char Pias

Have you ever felt like you wanted to start over, or simply begin again — right now — in a more authentic, healthy, and sustainable way? One of the most consistent regrets of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live a life true to themselves.

No matter what you have been through, if you choose to, it is possible to cultivate a new path of true self mastery, practicing the art of living well as your true self, aligned with your full potential.

Visualize what that might mean:

  • Always knowing how to stay connected to your truest, deepest, and highest self
  • Loving and caring for your body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit
  • Consciously creating the life that you envision for yourself

You can choose to walk this path, and in this workshop we will be defining and practicing the steps.

Together we will visualize a life that moves forward from this moment in full alignment with your true self. Together, we will build the skills needed for navigating your life’s journey with a clear direction, motivation, and inspiration.

In this month-long deep dive, we will be doing the inner work. You will have access to:

  • High performance life coaching
  • Health and wellness embodiment practices
  • Self-inquiry and journaling
  • Guided visualization
  • One-on-one sharing, group haring, and connection exercises

We will first uncover your innermost true self, and then, together, we will manifest that being into reality. Join Anne for this personally revelatory program.

Note about mobility: As this workshop includes embodiment practices such as physical Yoga poses, it is recommended that participants are comfortable with physical movement, or comfortable modifying movement so that the Yoga poses are accessible for them, or comfortable visualizing the movements if they are not physically able to do them.

True Self Mastery: The Art and Practice of Living Well
True Self Mastery: The Art and Practice of Living Well
February 11 – March 10, 2023
February 11 – March 10, 2023
February 11, 2023
True Self Mastery: The Art and Practice of Living Well
with Anne Van de Water

This workshop explores ways of representing and befriending our inner experience. Therapies that work all start from a basic sense of calm and safety. The calmer we are, the more we can allow ourselves to know what we know, and to feel what we feel.

Trauma changes the way the brain processes information and the body engages with the world. Trauma makes people afraid to know what they know and feel what they feel. This is expressed in heartbreak, and the state of being out of sync with oneself and one’s surroundings. This course explores how, because of altered biological systems, traumatized people continue to be trapped by their history and react to current experience in a myriad of ways as a replay of the past, and shows ways to break the cycles of re-enactment and suffering.

We will study and experience the capacity of EMDR, yoga, Internal Family Systems, sensorimotor practices, psychodrama, theater work, and neurofeedback to help people overcome a traumatic past and regain the capacity to be fully alive in the present.

Recommended reading: The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van de Kolk

Trauma, Memory and the Restoration of One’s Self
Trauma, Memory and the Restoration of One’s Self
February 12–17, 2023
February 12–17, 2023
February 12, 2023
Trauma, Memory and the Restoration of One’s Self
with Bessel van der Kolk and Licia Sky

To breathe well is to live well. When we befriend the breath, we expand our capacity for choice, change, joy, and healing. When we embody breath — allowing limbs and bones to express outwardly the dynamic, unceasing pulsation of life within — we touch freedom.

In this new and electrifying experiential workshop, we’ll explore and deepen our connection to our breathing bodies through a number of somatic pathways: embodied movement, breathwork, presencing exercises, meditation in motion, and sound.

Operating from philosopher Havi Carel’s conception of breath as “a juncture of the physiological, psychological, existential, spiritual, and cultural,” we’ll practice dancing and digging at this intersection and, in effect, access a felt reconnection to our wholeness.

Join Sadia in her signature practice, which draws from her many deep pools of training and experience. This deeply embodied practice will include:

  • A movement practice that draws equally from hatha yoga, calisthenics, ritual, Qigong, dance, and your own intuition.
  • Intuitive breathwork and pranayama to help you connect more honestly to the nature of your aliveness.
  • Sounding practices to liberate the use of your voice and guide you toward expanded breath capacity.
  • Guided dance rituals to help you develop inner attunement and feel the limitless power of embodied expression.
  • Restorative moving meditation to access the powerful convergence of attention and surrender, giving you an embodied understanding of the power of yielding to both breath and life.

Together, we’ll form a sacred community of breathing beings and establish conditions for the unobstructed flow of life force within and around our bodies — and our lives. The natural, subtly explosive intimacy that exists between body and breath — and between you and your breathing body— can emerge anew, rendering you more sensitized to desire, pleasure, purpose, and power; to who you are, what you want, and why.

The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
February 13–17, 2023
February 13–17, 2023
February 13, 2023
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
with Sadia Bruce

Have you ever wondered if your own mind and body hold the key to unlocking a path to transformation? Today the word “Tantra” has an incredible array of culturally specific meanings in South Asia and around the world, ranging from the exploration of anything strange to the carrying out of a guru’s instructions, and, yes, the word also applies to sexual practices.

One overarching meaning that encompasses all is this: Tantra, an applied method of acquiring freedom from external interference and of obtaining self-sovereignty (Sanskrit: svādhikāra) along this very path to transformation.

Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating signature series to explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will immerse ourselves in the latest findings from academic research and ethnographic “participant observation” that challenge and reframe our conventional understandings of what Tantra was, is, and can be. Staying true to the roots of Esalen, we will intertwine the research and discussion with authentic Indian folk music performances and guided meditations to bring these new understandings creatively to life in your mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will illuminate Tantra’s connections to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices in an eye-opening and unforgettable way.

In this workshop, you’ll be invited to:

  • Develop an embodied understanding of Tantra.
  • Learn to communicate your personal practice to friends and family using your new academic, researched-based understanding.
  • Creatively explore your divine potential.
  • Enjoy the benefit of overcoming negative projections and self-generated illusions.
  • Learn practical modes of meditation, including internal visualization and externalization through mandalas.
  • Understand the connections of Tantra to art and music, and see a broader continuum of its relevance in life.

We invite you to join us for this series of workshops that will blend meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into Tantra’s power and therapeutic potential. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Recommended reading: Chapter One of The Hindu Tantric World by André Padoux

Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Freedom and Self-Sovereignty
Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Freedom and Self-Sovereignty
February 17–20, 2023
February 17–20, 2023
February 17, 2023
Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Freedom and Self-Sovereignty
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú

Have you noticed the painful effects of  self-judgment? Do you feel tormented by negative critical self-talk and the harsh words of the inner critic?  Are you prone to judging everything you do as not good enough, not quite right, not living up to some impossibly high standard. Do you find yourself harshly judging your meditation, your practice or your other spiritual practices?

If you wish to be more free from the influence of the inner critic, then this workshop offers tried and tested methods for overcoming the challenges of self-judgment

During this course you will be shown:

  • How to recognize judging thoughts;  
  • Learn to deal effectively with inner critic attacks;
  • Discover how to distinguish between negative judgment and wise discernment;
  • The importance of self- acceptance, self-compassion and  love as an antidote to the critic;
  • The need and role of humor in helping us with the critic;
  • Cultivating forgiveness in response to judgment.

The course will be a combination of talks, and interactive exercises, mindfulness, self-compassion and loving kindness techniques and meditations. This will be a practical and experiential  course taught with lightness, compassion and humor and the need to not take ourselves too seriously.

Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic
Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic
February 17–19, 2023
February 17–19, 2023
February 17, 2023
Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic
with Mark Coleman

Join us at the edge of the world as we explore the depths of our wild and playful hearts! Immersed in the powerful container of Esalen lands and held by seasoned guides Gitanjali Hemp and Hannah Muse, you’ll be led through an intentionally curated arc of somatic exploration, energy work, yoga, guided visualization, relational play, and embodied ritual to remember your true nature and rediscover your uninhibited joy.

Bring your curiosity and childlike wonder as we remember how to be free from the conditioning that holds us back. With the new moon, nourishing daily practice, and community connection as our allies, we’ll contact the untamed aliveness at the core of our being.

Hannah will share storytelling, song, yoga (flow, restorative, yin), breathwork, and creative mindfulness-based play that awaken the immediacy of experience and invite us to fall madly in love with life itself.

Gitanjali will share energetic transmission teachings, guided visualizations, creative process, improvisational play, and organic movement. Through these experiences you will be invited to partner with the unseen realms, and to awaken the magical and the mystical in the heart of All.

Our days will follow a nourishing schedule of rich experiential practices balanced with delicious meals, rest, and starlit soaks in Esalen’s healing baths.  

No matter who you are or where you are on your spiritual path, join us in experiencing radical renewal and radiant well-being. Vast possibility awaits you.

Falling in Love with Existence: Rewilding at the Edge of the World
Falling in Love with Existence: Rewilding at the Edge of the World
February 20–24, 2023
February 20–24, 2023
February 20, 2023
Falling in Love with Existence: Rewilding at the Edge of the World
with Hannah Muse and Gitanjali Hemp

The Artist lives within everyone! Art can be made out of just about anything! It’s a time to leave the critic behind and allow oneself to play, nourish, and replenish the creative spirit. It’s also a time to enjoy the company and camaraderie of like-minded peers. Now is your time to discover the joys of art based on community and collaboration and to find out how meaningful and grand a shared, creative experience can be

In this transformative workshop, we will use repurposed material in a whole new context of re-creation.

Come experiment with a vast array of reused materials to create mixed-media mosaics, sculptures, and collages. There will be an assortment of recycled glass, metals, wood, plastics, paper, photographs, fabrics, and old artifacts — bits and pieces of the past and present.

In a beautiful, nurturing, supportive setting, we will reclaim and shape society’s scraps and discarded objects into re-imagined meaning. Find your own inner voice of expression as you delve into the process of creating art out of different materials and mediums,  and learn new skills.

Not only will you have the opportunity to explore your own expression and immerse yourself in solo creations, we will also engage in a collaborative group project to enter the whimsical world of community-oriented magic and play.

There is a transformative joy that comes from engaging with others in the artistic process. It opens doors unseen and forges deeper bonds between people. This exciting, shared experience teaches us how beautiful it is to break down barriers and collaborate.

This workshop is geared toward anyone with the desire to create. From the beginner to the advanced, this is a time to explore new possibilities. Together we will:

  • Explore our own creativity and immerse ourselves in solo artistic expression.
  • Engage in a collaborative group project and enter the whimsical world of community-oriented magic and play.
  • Leave the critic behind and allow ourselves to play, nourish, and replenish the creative spirit.
  • Discover the joys of art based on community and collaboration and how meaningful and grand a shared experience can be.

If there are any recycled materials, special mementos, poems, or photos you would like to bring and include in our creations, please feel free!

Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
February 20–24, 2023
February 20–24, 2023
February 20, 2023
Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
with Dana Albany and Michael "Flash" Hopkins

There are many misconceptions about Reiki, a practice said to have originated anywhere from Egypt to Tibet — or even from angels and aliens. But what’s real? And what is Reiki? Where did it come from? Why are there so many different kinds? And how do they compare?

This extended weekend course offers students a chance to learn the fundamentals of Reiki from both historical and experiential perspectives. During this class, we will discuss Reiki’s origins in Japan, how it was influenced by other practices, and how it evolved over time. While this is not a Reiki certification class, attendees will learn various aspects of Reiki practice, including forms of meditation taught by Reiki’s founder, Usui Mikao, and have opportunities to experience self-treatment and partner work.

You will be taught forms of meditation designed to strengthen one’s ability to connect to Reiki’s universal source and to increase the flow of Reiki through one’s body.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in an empowerment ceremony. Reiki initiation is not offered in this course, but we will discuss what initiation entails and how to choose an authentic Reiki master, if you choose that path.

Fundamentals of Reiki: Japanese Roots to Modern Practice
Fundamentals of Reiki: Japanese Roots to Modern Practice
February 24–27, 2023
February 24–27, 2023
February 24, 2023
Fundamentals of Reiki: Japanese Roots to Modern Practice
with Diane Domondon and Justin Stein, PhD

Psychedelics produce powerful effects on the mind, including the intensification of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions and the loosening of psychological defenses. As chemicals, psychedelics probe connections between brain physiology and consciousness, among the most interesting and mysterious arenas in contemporary science.

As plant and fungal-medicine teachers, psychedelics have been used for millennia by Indigenous cultures to amplify connections between mind and world. Modern science has been researching psychedelics for 150 years. Just 70 years ago, psychedelics were one of the driving forces in the early days of biological psychiatry.

However, the popular use of some of these substances in the 1960s contributed to severe legal regulation, halting research and public discussion. Interest in psychedelics has now returned to mainstream science, accompanied by a great deal of enthusiasm and media attention. In the context of this rush to pull these powerful medicines into the framework of biomedical science and commercial healthcare, we will pause to take an expansive look at what these plant and fungal spirit beings have to teach about the nature of mind and reality.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Learn about the historical uses, botanical characteristics, chemistry, and place in contemporary culture of various plant medicines.
  • Reflect on how best to meet the current information flood about psychedelic medicines and their use.
  • Explore relevant mind states through experiential mindfulness exercises and meditations.

Join us for this incredible workshop led by two of Esalen’s longtime and celebrated scholar-practitioners.

Psychedelic Medicines and the Nature of Mind and Consciousness
Psychedelic Medicines and the Nature of Mind and Consciousness
February 24–26, 2023
February 24–26, 2023
February 24, 2023
Psychedelic Medicines and the Nature of Mind and Consciousness
with David Presti and Kristi Panik

At its core, Gestalt Practice is an awareness practice in which we cultivate embodied, present-moment awareness of the unfolding experience of the here and now on a journey toward authentic growth, wholeness, and aliveness.

Drawing from the foundations of Gestalt Practice, wisdom traditions, and contemporary approaches that cultivate awareness, we’ll learn to become increasingly aware of our habitual, reactive, behavioral and emotional patterns — especially those that may no longer be skillful — for a more deeply embodied daily life.

We will exercise our emotional and somatic intelligence in parallel to support, respect, and gently turn toward what arises moment to moment — to allow more space and appreciation for silence, sensation, emotional expression, and communication.

During this workshop, we will explore the rich practices and principles of Gestalt Practice. By applying them to everyday life, we’ll begin to experience the simple yet profound potential for showing up more fully and authentically for the daily presentations of living an awake life.

Gestalt Practice cultivates curiosity, equanimity, and acceptance with greater choice for creative possibilities. Rather than focusing on fixing or achievement, this approach offers methods to encourage you to:

  • Cultivate awareness and embodied presence.
  • Grow responsiveness, resilience, and choice.
  • Trust in your organism’s inherent capacity for self-regulation and co-regulation.

Together, we’ll explore the elements of this approach, primarily through experiential personal practices, interactive exercises, and Gestalt Awareness Movement. Practices and exercises will be done solo, in pairs, triads, and groups, allowing participants to grow their awareness and learn how we can deepen our relationships — to self and others.

There will be time for some participants to experience classic one-to-one Open Seat practice sessions with Steven in the roles of Initiator and Reflector while in the context of the group. To enrich our understanding, we’ll touch upon the rich history, theory, and neuroscience that supports this approach.

Through Gestalt Practice, we bear witness to ineffable mysteries that can bring us to living life more fully. Participants are invited to show up:  choosing to be present, paying attention to what has heart and meaning, and open to what life presents — letting life live through us.

The workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience with the understanding that participants are exploring a model of an awareness gym or lab — not a therapy. A welcome letter will be sent upon registration along with additional information about our time together.

Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
February 26 – March 3, 2023
February 26 – March 3, 2023
February 26, 2023
Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
with Steven Harper

We are all participants in the ancient and the modern, the ego and the unconscious, the personal and the transcendent — though we all seem to forget these dual allegiances. When we go into nature, when we listen to music, when we encounter the numinous in whatever form it may manifest, we are reminded of our own truest nature, and we long for the reunion. Despite this, our egos inevitably feel threatened by the mysteries of these dualities; therefore, we all need ways of “re-membering” ourselves.

Throughout human history, shamans, mystics, and healers have found portals and pathways that challenge the ego’s primacy in order to encounter the Other within and emerge from the depths transformed. Carl Jung took a pathway he called Active Imagination, plunging himself into a dialogue with his soul that produced The Red Book. In this workshop, we will use Jung’s journey as a template to discover the creative potential accessible to us all.

As a unique mediator of opposites, music unfolds out of the interdependent relationship of consonance and dissonance. This workshop will explore music from neurobiological, spiritual, and experiential perspectives.

Through music’s ecstatic nature — live improvisations inspired by ancient healing techniques and  performances of original music as well as the works of J.S. Bach, Robert Schumann, Philip Glass, and Arvo Pärt — you will be guided into yourself and reminded of yourself. Listen and allow the music to be the mediator of the dialogue.  

To explore and deepen your relationship with the unconscious, we will work with practices such as:

  • Deep listening experiences through music to generate alternate states of consciousness
  • Guided self-analysis
  • Journaling
  • Group discussion
  • Active imagination exploration
  • Lecture and study
  • Film

Throughout the week, we will focus on practices for deep listening and the week will culminate in a concert inspired by Jung’s Red Book. Bringing decades of experience as Jungians, psychotherapists, and professional musicians, John and Rodney will set the stage for an exploration of those portals and pathways within.

Portals and Pathways: Ecstatic Experience, Music, and The Red Book
Portals and Pathways: Ecstatic Experience, Music, and The Red Book
February 27 – March 3, 2023
February 27 – March 3, 2023
February 27, 2023
Portals and Pathways: Ecstatic Experience, Music, and The Red Book
with John W. Price Ph.D., LPC and Rodney Waters

Join Janet in this nourishing and revitalizing weekend, designed to replenish the nervous system and adrenals, boost the immune system, and ground our hearts and minds in simplicity. We will drop down through body-mind-spirit to find space between effort and surrender, allowing our internal systems to release toxins and integrate the powerful wellness generated by our bodies through our physical practices. Slow and fluid movement, restorative postures, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), and chanting will refill the mind, body, and spirit.

We will create space in our body for introspection and move out of the cyclical fight-or-flight response to cultivate sustainable power, rest and healing.

We’ll practice:

  • Slow yoga to build sustainable power.
  • Restorative postures for regeneration.
  • Meditation toward stillness.
  • Pranayama to balance hormones and the whole being.
  • Chanting to awaken the heart’s longing.

Please bring an eye pillow. If you are driving, please also bring a sandbag and bolster.

CE Credit Available: 10 hours CE credit for Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) available through Yoga Alliance; see leader.

Nourish
Nourish
March 3–5, 2023
March 3–5, 2023
March 3, 2023
Nourish
with Janet Stone

Our emotions are essential to our survival. Like breathing, we do not choose to feel our emotions – we automatically emote in response to the challenges and opportunities of life. While emotions are vital to our human existence, emotional reactions can become the source of interpersonal challenges in our lives. Often, these strong emotional reactions are triggered from far below the surface of conscious thought.

Automatic reaction is not our only option, however. We can learn to bring conscious awareness to our emotions, and train our minds to respond to difficult emotions in constructive ways. Even our pleasant emotions can be enhanced by conscious awareness. We can savor the good and feel appreciation, rather than grasp for joy.

In developing emotional awareness, we can increase our ability to hold the full range of our human experience with compassion and curiosity.  

Throughout this experiential workshop, we will offer the foundational science and practice of emotional awareness, woven together with an experience of heart-opening and interactive contemplative art. We will draw from the evidence-based Cultivating Emotional Balance training, which integrates the wisdom traditions of modern psychology, emotion research, and ancient contemplative practices as a path for transformation.

Each session will balance learning, being, and connecting. Within our sweet container, we will explore:

  • Teachings on the scientific and contemplative foundations of emotional awareness.
  • Being with guided meditations and reflective practices to develop mindful awareness and compassion for our patterns and habits, while connecting to inner sources of joy and appreciation.
  • Connective practices, including discussion and small group work, to investigate the roots of our emotions through the mapping of our emotional episodes.

As we map our emotions, we may uncover the stories underlying our triggers, perceptions, and responses. These stories are often humblingly familiar. In their sharing, it is possible to understand and feel the interconnection of emotions, interconnection with each other, and forge new narratives to make meaning with our emotional lives.

Join us for this weekend of transformative exploration and practice.

Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance
Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance
March 3–6, 2023
March 3–6, 2023
March 3, 2023
Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance
with Eve Ekman and Teague O'Malley

In Visceral Manipulation 1 (VM1), you will study the models and theories of functional biomechanics as viewed from Barral's innovative approach.

Workshop highlights include:

  • Learning manual skills to locate, evaluate and normalize primary areas of dysfunction within the abdominal cavity
  • Exploring the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes and ligaments
  • Examining the relationship of organs and structural or neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Assessing the quality of functional activity and somatic structures as they relate to an overall pattern

Note: Initial registration for this workshop is through the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators (IAHE) only. IAHE is a coalition of curriculum developers united to advance innovative therapies through high-quality continuing education programs. To begin the registration process, please call 1-800-233-5880. Only after you have registered with IAHE will you be able to register with Esalen. For Esalen pricing chart, see www.esalen.org/page/workshop-pricing-partner-programs.

24 hours credit

CE credit for physical therapists in CA; see leader.

CE credit for acupuncturists; see leader.

CE credit for massage; see leader

CE credit for nurses; see leader

Required reading: Barrel, Visceral Manipulation..

In addition to reading the textbook, please familiarize yourself with the definitions and/or locations of the anatomical terms available at: www.barralinstitute.com/docs/prestudy-materials/VM1_Pre-Study_Material.doc

The Barral Institute’s Visceral Manipulation 1: Abdomen 1 (VM1)
The Barral Institute’s Visceral Manipulation 1: Abdomen 1 (VM1)
March 5–10, 2023
March 5–10, 2023
March 5, 2023
The Barral Institute’s Visceral Manipulation 1: Abdomen 1 (VM1)
with Dee Dettmann Ahern

Restore.

It can take time and great effort to move away from the ego affirming busyness of modern day life toward a reflective stillness. In this workshop we will cultivate this slowing, deepening, and going within.

In a community setting, we will allow ourselves to dive below the surface of our thoughts and identities to know ourselves more intimately and untether from the chords that hold us to old behaviors and belief structures. Our practice will include:

  • Slow nourishing yoga movements.
  • Restorative postures to cultivate regeneration.
  • Meditation, mantras, writing, and intentional silence.

With the power of this land, the healing waters, strength of community, and nourishment of slowing down, we will move toward a listening, supple, healing body.

Please bring an eye pillow, and if you are driving, please also bring a bolster and sandbag.

CE Units Available: 25 Continuing Education hours are available with Yoga Alliance, see leader.

Moving into Stillness
Moving into Stillness
March 6–10, 2023
March 6–10, 2023
March 6, 2023
Moving into Stillness
with Janet Stone

True happiness is not about acquiring anything; instead, it comes from opening to the natural joy and aliveness inside you. As we are bombarded with messages that heighten our fear and sadness about the world, more than ever, it is vital to understand the importance of joy as a central aspect of mindfulness practice. We need to remember how to stay connected to that place inside that makes life worth living. Our cultivation of well-being and joy can become our gift to a troubled world.

This workshop is based on James Baraz’s popular 5-month Awakening Joy course that thousands have taken since 2003. You will learn basic principles and other supportive practices to develop your natural capacity for well-being and happiness, presented in a user-friendly way.

This workshop offers practical tools to incline the mind towards joy through silent meditation and interactive experiential processes.

Themes include:

  • Inclining the mind toward healthy states
  • How mindfulness weakens negative and strengthens positive mind states
  • Gratitude practices to deepen well-being
  • Working skillfully with difficulties
  • The power of letting go
  • Integrity practices and healing from the past
  • Learning to love ourselves
  • Compassionate action

Recommended reading: Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness by James Baraz

Awakening Joy: Finding Well-Being in Difficult Times
Awakening Joy: Finding Well-Being in Difficult Times
March 10–12, 2023
March 10–12, 2023
March 10, 2023
Awakening Joy: Finding Well-Being in Difficult Times
with James Baraz and Jane Baraz

“Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is important to me?”

Asking yourself these questions will activate your inner authenticity and allow you to move forward and live your life in alignment with your truest self. The answers to these questions will help you navigate life’s journey with direction, motivation, and inspiration.

Perhaps the greatest regret of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live a life true to themselves. In this workshop, you will reconnect with your authentic self through a series of exercises, such as guided meditation, self-inquiry, journaling, Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as Tapping), and one-on-one and group sharing and embodiment practices. This curated process is designed to allow you space to get clear about:

  • Your purpose
  • Your core values
  • Your message
  • Your big vision

With that clarity, you can create your manifesto, a written statement declaring who you truly are. Let that sink in: We will first uncover this hidden self, and then, together, we will manifest this being into reality.

Together we will explore:

  • Guided Meditation to calm the mind and tap into your inner guidance and higher potential
  • Self Inquiry: asking powerful questions to connect with your true self and what matters most to you
  • Journaling with a focus on cognitive processing to reduce stress, improve memory, boost mood, regulate emotions, increase physical vitality, and improve relationships
  • Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping to clear subconscious blocks and rewire your subconscious mind

One-on-one and group sharing and embodiment practices to connect and share learn practical tools to help reprogram your subconscious mind and heal your connection with your truest, deepest, highest self. You will also have the opportunity to apply these insights to cultivate authentic interactions with others. As you deepen the embodiment of your native self, you’ll experience the great freedom of simply being you. This is one of the greatest victories you can possibly achieve: living a courageous life true to yourself — with no regrets.

Please bring a journal and pen to every session.

Authentic Alignment
Authentic Alignment
March 10–12, 2023
March 10–12, 2023
March 10, 2023
Authentic Alignment
with Anne Van de Water

Regardless of your spiritual background, the word “Grace” evokes a felt sense of something simple, yet beautiful; subtle, yet substantial. It is a tender reality which has perhaps always existed in the background of your awareness, where its presence may arise more explicitly in life’s transitions and transformations. But what exactly IS grace? And – importantly –  how do we gain access to it?

Grace can be defined as the direct experience of Divine Presence coming alive from within you. Experiencing grace can reconnect you to the source of love, clarity, peace, strength, and joy. Grace is more available than you might think to help you live with spiritual depth. It can support you while you learn to embody and integrate your noble qualities deeper into daily life and begin to radiate the benefits to your loved ones and community.  

In this retreat, Miranda will share rich teachings and practices to help you relax out of ego fear and control, and take you on a journey into the four dimensions of grace:

  • Grounding in Grace
  • Receiving the Blessings of Grace
  • The Transforming Power of Grace
  • Embodying Grace more deeply into your life

Within a palpable atmosphere of unconditional love, we will explore the most important themes of your life and these times. Through powerful inquiry exercises, meditation practices, beautiful music, and group reflection, we will illuminate your obstacles and let your consciousness refine so that you can relax more substantially to the luminous presence at your core.

Miranda has been guiding others into direct experience of the sacred for over thirty years internationally. She shares a feminine approach to spiritual surrender and non-dual realization based on the practice she calls Ego Relaxation, and is dedicated to loving others all the way home into the freedom and wholeness of our true nature.

As part of the workshop, you will receive a copy of Miranda’s new “Cultivating Grace” illustrated cards and Guidebook, containing skillful practices and inspirational prompts to support your practice flourishing long after the workshop itself.

Recommended reading: The Way of Grace: The Transforming Power of Ego Relaxation, by Miranda Macpherson

Cultivating Grace
Cultivating Grace
March 10–13, 2023
March 10–13, 2023
March 10, 2023
Cultivating Grace
with Miranda Macpherson

During this month-long program, a cohort of like-minded students will have the opportunity to lean into the richness and diversity of programming that has both grown up on campus and is being infused into its current culture. In addition to working in service to the running of Esalen, the workshop classes have been designed to support the process of healing, transformation, and joy.

Classes will be led by the Esalen Resident Faculty Team, each bringing something uniquely transformative to the daily experience. Practices will include:

  • Gestalt Awareness Practices
  • Esalen-style “check-ins”
  • Combinations of breathwork, yoga, and inspirational writing practice
  • 5Rhythms dance and movement
  • And more!

Come experience Esalen for a heartful and healing month of service and transformation!

The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
March 11 – April 7, 2023
March 11 – April 7, 2023
March 11, 2023
The Essence of Esalen: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, Community
with Sadia Bruce, J.J. Jeffries, Cara Chandler, and Douglas Drummond

Being always on the go, on the grind, and non-stop producers has us “living” our lives, but are we fully alive?

Here’s the truth: If you can worry, you can meditate.

How? Join me for the chance to learn the truth behind meditation and why it’s difficult for so many people, and build a practice that doesn’t just help you relax, but becomes a tool to help you become more fully alive.

Come to the beautiful grounds of Esalen and play, dance, sing, and develop a deep practice that you can take home with you. Awaken to the truth of who you are, your creative power, and your soul’s calling.

With daily meditation practice, intentional ritual-building, TED Talk-style lessons, live music, morning movement, and a dance party — this class will rejuvenate your spirit and bring you back home to yourself.

All are welcome. From “I never meditated before,” to “I tried it, but it doesn’t really work for me,” to “I do an app sometimes,” to life-long practitioners looking to learn a new technique of profound awakening through a dynamic way of practicing.

What we’ll discuss:

  • Why meditation is hard for most people, and how to overcome the inner dialogue that stops you from practicing.
  • The five myths about meditation and how to avoid them when building your practice.
  • A scientifically proven way to build a daily meditation ritual that you can do at home, well after the retreat.

This is your time to give back to yourself, do something fun, and remember the truth of your existence in a space of community, family, nature, kindness, and deep connection. Take your power back from fear and claim your true vision and story of your one big miraculous life.

From the ground up, this program has been designed to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Expect a deeply rejuvenating week with a diverse group and a profoundly opening experience.

You are worthy.
You are enough.
We rise together.
This is your time — come alive.

Come Alive: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
Come Alive: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
March 13–17, 2023
March 13–17, 2023
March 13, 2023
Come Alive: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
with Justin Michael Williams

Join us for this unique opportunity to explore the masculine traditions of the Esselen Tribe, integrated with the fundamentals of 5Rhythms® movement practice. Answer the call of 55000 Highway 1’s healing waters and join Douglas and Little Bear on a hero’s journey. Together, we will explore  what it means to embody the sacred masculine in this modern world. With courage, integrity, and receptivity, as a group we will create renewed understandings of masculinity and how we as men ‘walk our talk.’

Healthy and uplifting rites of passage are an important aspect of humanity, and yet, largely missing from modern society. People of all walks of life and religions went through different experiences in order to prove that they were ready to move into their next stage of life. Men were traditionally taught by their fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, but this traditional upbringing is frequently missing for many. In order to overcome the accepted norms of masculinity, it is important for men to be able to find solace with one another, to relate at the heart level, and to learn from each other.

In this weeklong workshop we will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the practice of acknowledging the land
  • Use dance, voice, and 5Rhythms® movement to feel into our bodies
  • Participate in the reconstruction of traditional rites of passage
  • Seek deeper connection with Mother Earth

The intention for our week together are to create a sacred space for men to come together and reignite our sacred fire, as well as to build a new bridge to manhood, to gentle warriorhood.

If you would like to begin your own journey to understand the past and present of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey Country or to support the tribe in the progress of its work, please visit www.esselentribe.org.

Healing Waters: Rites of Passage & The Embodied Masculine
Healing Waters: Rites of Passage & The Embodied Masculine
March 13–17, 2023
March 13–17, 2023
March 13, 2023
Healing Waters: Rites of Passage & The Embodied Masculine
with Tom Little Bear Nason and Douglas Drummond

This is an era of chaos, change, and grief for the world. As we continue moving through these unprecedented times, we are required to face difficulties that may seem insurmountable. We invite you to a weekend retreat to hold together what should not be held alone.

Have you experienced loss and the natural emotions of sadness, anger, fear, and love? How do you process your losses and move through your life? Many of us have not yet found safe and effective ways of expressing these emotions and we can feel burdened, both emotionally and physically, with the cumulative weight of our unfinished business.

Using the tools of the 5Rhythms movement practice combined with a process of grief work grounded in emotional presence, non-judgment, and supportive witnessing, participants will come together in a safe space to help heal mind, body, and spirit:

  • Lucia is a dancer and meditation teacher with more than 25 years of global teaching experience. She will facilitate the 5Rhythms movement practice as a way of experientially accessing and transforming the emotional states that come with grief.
  • Peter is a physician with more than thirty years of experience in HIV/AIDS, palliative care, and grief work for caregivers, working in a community now heavily affected by Covid-19, and will facilitate an exploration of stages of grief, using story-sharing as part of releasing and working through losses.

The weekend also includes didactic and experiential sessions focused on natural and distorted emotional responses to grief, caregiving vs. caretaking, and more.

Please bring photos or other mementos of anyone whose memory you would like to bring into the workshop.

View the continuing education syllabus.

CE credit for nurses.
CE credit for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs.
CE credit for massage.

Grief Dancer
Grief Dancer
March 17–20, 2023
March 17–20, 2023
March 17, 2023
Grief Dancer
with Lucia Horan and Peter Selwyn

“We will become our opposite if we do not learn to accommodate the opposite within us.”  – Carl Jung

At the heart of contemplative life is the archetypal journey – returning home to the ground of our essential being, our true nature, which is love. Buddhism teaches that when we split from the  “ground of being,” we can either take the path of remembrance or forgetting.

The path of remembrance teaches that when we remember who we truly are, we know that we are the ground, and we feel whole and can experience the liberation and freedom of nirvana. On the other hand, if we take the path of forgetting (which is what most of us have taken), we forget that we are the ground, which leads us to samsara, to feeling lost, empty, anxious, alone, and disconnected from love.

Whether we experience nirvana or samsara depends on our own minds, the crux is that they are not two different places – they are states of mind.

Meditation is one of the most impactful tools we have for cultivating positive mental states, states of being that enable us to experience the ground as it truly is, and gain confidence and maturity. This is the teaching on “one ground, two paths, two results” that we will explore together.

“Our fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

In this retreat, we will complement our meditation practice with shadow work called Feeding Your Demons® (FYD), an exquisite five-step process whereby we offer attention and compassion to our inner obstacles, our “demons.” In this context, demons are those thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that block our experience of freedom. This process is greatly beneficial when working with various personal demons and other dilemmas of modern life. A 2018 FYD pilot study found that working through this process was associated with increased self-compassion, emotional awareness, and self-regulation, satisfaction with life, and decreased stress, craving, depression, and intolerance for uncertainty. FYD transcends spiritual constructs, serving as a meaningful tool for anybody, regardless of religious affiliation or personal philosophy.

In this retreat, you will experience:

  • Meditation practices indoors and out in nature, gazing over the Pacific Ocean, weather permitting.
  • Teachings and discussions on the seminal Buddhist teaching of “one ground, two paths, two results.”
  • Five step Feeding Your Demons® personal process.  
  • Gentle and accessible therapeutic yoga to bring more comfort and ease to your meditation and your life.

Please bring loose, comfortable clothing, a journal, writing implements, and if you have art supplies, such as colored pencils, pens, pastels, and/or watercolor, feel free to bring them. Paper and art supplies will also be provided in the workshop.

One Ground, Two Paths and Two Results: A Meditation, Yoga, and Shadow Work Retreat
One Ground, Two Paths and Two Results: A Meditation, Yoga, and Shadow Work Retreat
March 17–20, 2023
March 17–20, 2023
March 17, 2023
One Ground, Two Paths and Two Results: A Meditation, Yoga, and Shadow Work Retreat
with Chandra Easton

Enjoy a rising tide of empowerment as you end your daily guessing game about life and receive the guidance you seek when you say “Yes!” to learning the Beauty of Tarot.  

This workshop is an introductory level deep-dive into the powerful insights of tarot, how to cultivate them for yourself, and how to begin reading cards for others in your life. Together we will initiate this ancient and fascinating daily practice into your life as the sacred land of Esalen welcomes you.  

Join renowned master teacher Brenda Rose in a playful and magical journey through the sacred stories of tarot.  You’ll have the chance to gain a meaningful connection with the cards and their stories, and build toward giving insightful readings.  Information on how to read the stories of tarot will be shared and in a unique way that books or online information cannot convey.  The Beauty of Tarot amplifies your spiritual transformation as you cultivate more unconditional love and intuitive guidance in your daily life.  

This is an immersive and interactive workshop.  The stories and magic of tarot will come to life as you practice giving and receiving readings with your classmates, under the supportive guidance of Brenda Rose and her graduate students.  We’ll discuss vibrant tarot spreads together and discover how both the obvious and esoteric stories of tarot’s stories are activated.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Meditate and work energy practices prior to every tarot reading.
  • Engage with each of the tarot cards through their stories and interpretations.
  • Give readings while practicing inclusive, judgment-free, and projection-free language.
  • Receive readings with grace and openness while practicing inclusive, judgment-free, and projection-free language.

Brenda will also provide you with instruction beyond tarot, so you can enhance your spiritual and energetic ‘hygiene’.  Repeated application of these mystic practices will help you to deliver valuable readings without being energetically drained and build your confidence and skill as a tarot reader.

To provide you with continued support when you return home and begin offering readings for your family and friends, this workshop tuition also includes Brenda’s original deck, The Beauty of Tarot, and a workbook chronicling each card.  

This immersion welcomes all levels of experience, from “I’ve always been curious” to “I’ve had a deck for years” to “I’ve been doing readings but want to deepen my understanding of the cards” and more.  As a result, every student will have the opportunity to gain immense insight from this tarot class and Esalen community.

Learning Tarot: Awakening The Magic of Your Own Inner Guidance
Learning Tarot: Awakening The Magic of Your Own Inner Guidance
March 20–24, 2023
March 20–24, 2023
March 20, 2023
Learning Tarot: Awakening The Magic of Your Own Inner Guidance
with Brenda Rose

When the world around us is polarized and the future is uncertain, gathering in community, living in our bodies, and expressing the truth is more important than ever.

In this transformative five-day writing workshop, we’ll use ritual and deep writing to connect with our inner voice, discover the healing power of language, and birth powerful true stories onto the page. Evocative prompts, movement, and guided meditation will lead you deeply into the world of language and story. Discover how to “find the story beneath the story,” why writers need to “slow down where it hurts,” and the secret of crafting tales rooted in the immediacy and physicality of the moment.

As we alternate periods of writing and movement with listening to each other from a place of deep acceptance, you’ll benefit from the strength of a supportive writing circle, witness the healing power of language, and experience the transformation that occurs when we tell true stories and are deeply heard. Open to anyone willing to connect with their creativity in the context of a safe, confidential community. Both emerging and seasoned writers are welcome to attend.

Stories That Make Us Whole: The Power of Writing in Sacred Community
Stories That Make Us Whole: The Power of Writing in Sacred Community
March 20–24, 2023
March 20–24, 2023
March 20, 2023
Stories That Make Us Whole: The Power of Writing in Sacred Community
with Laura Davis

And there came a time when the risk of remaining closed tight in a bud far outweighed the risk it took to bloom.” – Anaïs Nin

Spring is the season of new beginnings; it brings major shifts and changes. It is a time of rebirth and renewal, as well as rigorous expansion. Spring brings a powerful uplifting energy is needed to help crack a seed and push it through cold, hardened soil so the plant can bud and bloom.

This transformative spring energy is not only all around us — it’s within us. It’s time to till our inner soil, release layers of winter sludge, and reset our inner conditions for growth — and to bloom along with the expansion towards summer.

Join Jillian for a deeply clearing Spring Equinox Retreat, designed to help you remove heaviness and invite in fresh energy, preparing you to fully bloom into the season and into your life. With an emphasis on grounding and opening to flow along with change, Jillian will weave together teachings and practices to help you thrive during times of paradox, ambiguity, and contradiction, as well as embrace hope, love, beauty, and joy. More than ever, we can benefit by pausing and restoring our energy, aligning with nature and nurturing ourselves so we can better nurture our world.

To further this potent practice, renowned musician and composer Garth Stevenson will add deeply healing vibrations of the bowed double bass; helping us cultivate the balance between the rigorous energy of spring and the spacious promise of new beginnings.

Through mindful slow-flow yoga, restorative yoga, meditation, and more, you’ll bloom back into your body and your life as you explore:

  • Releasing blocked energy and melting layers of deeply held tension.
  • Receiving the rejuvenating benefits of a variety of Ayurvedic “spring cleaning” practices.  
  • Reconnecting with yourself through yoga nidra and restorative yoga.
  • Expanding through revitalizing and uplifting yoga and meditation practices.  
  • Cultivating a balance of groundedness and openness that allows you to be with life’s challenges while expanding your ability to choose how you wish to meet the present moment.

Join us for this special weekend at Esalen.

Garth Stevenson was raised in Western Canada, where nature became his primary inspiration and the common thread between his life and music. His albums, Alpine, Flying, and Voyage, are informed by his experiences carrying his 160-year-old double bass into nature, including Antarctica and Tuva.

Begin Again: Expanding Into The Spring Equinox, A Yoga, Meditation, & Restorative Retreat
Begin Again: Expanding Into The Spring Equinox, A Yoga, Meditation, & Restorative Retreat
March 24–27, 2023
March 24–27, 2023
March 24, 2023
Begin Again: Expanding Into The Spring Equinox, A Yoga, Meditation, & Restorative Retreat
with Jillian Pransky and guest musician Garth Stevenson

The practice of writing involves our whole selves. It requires both an awareness of the world around us, as well as a strong connection to how our bodies move through and respond to that world.

Taught by a published author and long-time meditator, along with a certified yoga teacher and wellness expert, this workshop is designed to nourish and inspire the whole writer. Using a combination of mindfulness exercises and yoga, free writing and self-care techniques, we’ll explore all the ways we can nurture and feed our own creativity.

Over the course of our time together, we will use guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to discover new ways of rendering the world on the page, of writing authentically about complex human emotions.

We will also spend time learning how to restore our bodies after a focused writing session, and how to use our bodies to draw out and nourish our creative projects.

Everyone will leave the workshop with both a self-care toolkit to take home, as well as strategies for developing both a daily writing and a daily mindfulness practice.

Nourishing the Whole Writer
Nourishing the Whole Writer
March 27–31, 2023
March 27–31, 2023
March 27, 2023
Nourishing the Whole Writer
with Janis Cooke Newman and Saeeda Hafiz

When we increase our awareness of our somatic sense of self, we can create new options for developing more effective psychological and physical patterns. This experiential workshop blends slow, developmental movement explorations with individual and group Gestalt work to address how habitual, unconscious beliefs and behaviors formed early in life lead to habitual ways of responding that limit life experience.

Through mindfulness, explorations of forgotten movement patterns, and Relational Gestalt  Practice, we contact the here-and-now, where change and growth are possible. As we become more present in our bodies, we may discover an inability to identify what we are feeling, or that — because of painful memories, and difficulty experiencing feelings directly — we have been avoiding them.

This is a relational process. Working in an empathic, supportive group setting creates a container in which new ways of moving and being can be expressed and explored. This workshop provides the experience of making contact with people who are present and accepting, making it possible to develop a greater capacity for feelings. We can then learn to use our feelings as guides that help us live more authentically, moving beyond habits of being and relating that no longer serve us. In addition, changes in habitual muscular holding patterns result in a body that is better able to support changes made on any level — emotional, physical, or psychological.

Recommended reading: Korb, et al, Gestalt Therapy: Practice and Theory; Mann, Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques; Feldenkrais, The Potent Self; Kurtz, Body-Centered Psychotherapy, Hanna, Somatics

Relational Gestalt and Body Centered Awareness
Relational Gestalt and Body Centered Awareness
March 27–31, 2023
March 27–31, 2023
March 27, 2023
Relational Gestalt and Body Centered Awareness
with Dorothy Charles and Patrice Hamilton

The body is a living narrative, an interconnected web of our physical, emotional, and intellectual experiences. Every organ, bone, body part, and movement holds an energy, a feeling, a memory that calls our attention and seeks expression. With curiosity and care to the stories our bodies hold, we become embodied artists, choreographers of our life experience.

This workshop will be a creative exploration and discovery of what truly matters in your life through movement and art making, listening to the body, and listening to the heart. When we don’t take time or know how to be creative listeners, the body will tell its stories in disabling ways. Encountering our bodies creatively, we discover artful ways to re-story ourselves, bringing new vision to the life themes that matter to us.

A process called Body Mapping will lead participants through an art based journey with each body part. Challenges and resources will be identified and explored as rich material for movement, art making, group collaboration and ritual. Participants will explore personal and group creativity, body – mind connections, and engage with psychological themes relevant to our historical and everyday lives.

Morning sessions will focus on somatic awareness – individual and group movement exploration to tune the physical body to sensation and feeling. Afternoon sessions will facilitate creative encounters with the art mediums of dance, drawing, and spoken and written narrative. Evening sessions will be devoted to presentations of the work created, reflection and questions generated by the day’s work, releasing activities and meditative art practices.

Participants will explore:

  • Expanding body awareness through somatic movement experiences.
  • Utilizing the creative arts to explore life narratives. Learning methods for movement/dance and expressive arts that can be applied to their personal and professional practices.
  • Practicing approaches to improvisation and performance  designed for the  beginner and the experienced alike.
  • Employing the arts as a psychological process and communication tool.

The Halprin Life Art Process developed at Tamalpa Institute innovated groundbreaking work in the fields of somatics, psychology and artistic practice. Anna and Daria Halprin both worked with Fritz Perls, Ida Rolf, and Will Schultz in the early experimental days of Esalen.  

This is an approach to movement/dance as a healing art that is accessible to everyone and is offered in underserved communities.

20% of faculty tuition goes to Tamalpa ArtCorps social justice programs

Recommended reading: The Expressive Body in Life, Art & Therapy, by Daria Halprin

If Your Body Could Speak
If Your Body Could Speak
March 31 – April 3, 2023
March 31 – April 3, 2023
March 31, 2023
If Your Body Could Speak
with Daria Halprin

Somewhere inside you — buried deeply, or maybe just below the surface — there is a story you’ve been wanting to tell. This is the workshop that will help you tell it. Through mindfulness practices, writing, and movement, you will have a chance to connect to that deeper authentic story and that deeper authentic You. No matter where you are on your journey, beginner or expert, there is space for you here.

And in this space, we will disconnect from our devices and our default-world lives, and immerse ourselves in the open air of Esalen.

In a group setting, you will be guided to move your body, find your breath, observe your mind, and fill pages with your words. This workshop will include:

  • Journaling and creative writing
  • Finding and writing your story
  • All-levels holistic yoga
  • Awareness meditations
  • And a playful and supportive community

As educators, storytellers, and human do-ers, Cara and Darnell truly believe in growth and happiness. They have co-created this course while they worked together at Esalen as Teachers in Residence to help connect the seekers to their paths, and to encourage them to find ways to get from where they are to where they want to be. Join Cara and Darnell for this amazing long weekend, and lean in to the symbiotic relationship between movement and writing, and the magic that happens when they come together.

Uncover Your Story with Writing, Yoga, and Mindfulness
Uncover Your Story with Writing, Yoga, and Mindfulness
March 31 – April 3, 2023
March 31 – April 3, 2023
March 31, 2023
Uncover Your Story with Writing, Yoga, and Mindfulness
with Cara Chandler and Darnell Lamont Walker

Our bodies reflect the natural world. The Five Phases of Chinese medicine (wu xing 五行) mirror our inner and outer terrain, reflecting our bodies, seasons, life cycles, and more. Embody the Five Phases through movement, art, and nature. Experience how the Five Phases manifest within and around you. Personalize your Nourishing Life (yang sheng 養生) practices, adapt to changing seasonal rhythms, and come home to the wild beauty of your inner radiance.

Practice yoga asana, intuitive movement, creative expression, and nature connection with the Five Phase archetypes of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. This is a welcoming introductory course particularly suited for newcomers to Chinese medicine and also experienced practitioners seeking to deepen their practice.

We’ll begin with an overview of the Five Phases, focus on one phase each session, then refine our Nourishing Life practices. With each phase, we will:

  • Move — practice yoga asana and intuitive movement to experience the phases by aligning body, breath, and Spirit.
  • Create — explore journaling, drawing, and other expressive arts to integrate our understanding.
  • Immerse — identify the phases within ourselves and in nature, recognize imbalance, and learn lifestyle medicine tools for restoring dynamic equilibrium.
  • Connect — explore the Esalen landscape with nature connection activities to welcome direct insights from the Five Phases in their natural splendor.

As the world shifts and shapes us, we can choose how we dance with our inherent gifts and challenges. Observe the Five Phases within and around you to honor your limits, embody your highest potential, and transform your greatest weaknesses into your greatest strengths.

Nourishing Life: Embodying the Five Phases of Chinese Medicine
Nourishing Life: Embodying the Five Phases of Chinese Medicine
April 3–7, 2023
April 3–7, 2023
April 3, 2023
Nourishing Life: Embodying the Five Phases of Chinese Medicine
with Jiling Lin

We all long to be happy. Happy as in deep contentment. We all long to feel at ease, to be at peace, to know that we’re okay and that life is okay. Most of us are deeply habituated to looking for this happiness outside ourselves, to grasp and scramble for an experience that, at best, ends up being fleeting, and then something we long for again. We forget that this feeling we desire is already seated in the heart of who we are — and that it’s always available if only we look within. When we do, we can transform far more than just our own lives.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever touched this peace, this contentment, this deep knowing of who you truly are?
  • Have you ever struggled because you recognized the world around you did not reflect this experience of humanity’s true nature?
  • When faced with the enormity of the collective problems before us, how can one individual’s spiritual practice make a tangible difference in our world?

These questions will guide our time together on retreat as we explore how meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative technologies designed for the realization of personal freedom can — and must — be applied collectively. Our daily meditation practice will serve as a framework onto which we will begin to weave teachings with personal reflections. You will have the opportunity to connect to yourself and others and the world beyond in solo and group exercises, and discussion that inspire us to put our values into action.

We hope you will join us in remembering the deepest truth of who we are, with the intention of using this understanding to transform our own lives and the world we share.

Opportunities for scholarships/BIPOC scholarships are available by application for this retreat.

https://www.caverlymorgan.org/theheartofwhoweare

The Heart of Who We Are: Personal Freedom and Collective Change
The Heart of Who We Are: Personal Freedom and Collective Change
April 3–7, 2023
April 3–7, 2023
April 3, 2023
The Heart of Who We Are: Personal Freedom and Collective Change
with Caverly Morgan

As the world becomes an ever more challenging place, many of us are asking (in our better moments) how we can be of service. This workshop rests on the notion that the best version of the world must begin with the best version of each of us. Learn the tools you need to bridge the gap between the inner and outer world in a tangible way and show up for this life as fully as you can.

Every great movement for social change has been animated by people who understood and applied the power of the human heart. In daunting times, it is sometimes easier to default to fear, but a reboot that starts within can affect positive social change.

With Yolanda and Shelly guiding your steps, you’ll have the opportunity to

  • Connect to a deeper sense of purpose and a desire to show up.
  • Understand the tools you need to build strong and sustainable work in the outer world.

Communicate more effectively to deepen your impact.

In this compassionate, interactive, and down-to-earth workshop led by teacher, poet, and activist Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and author and activist Shelly Tygielski, you will be guided to explore:

  • Interactive guided meditation, creative journaling, and narrative healing techniques to tap into your subconscious mind, accessing your internal tools of  expressive and authentic communication.
  • Yolanda’s “Archaeology of Self”™ methodology to dig deep and “peel back layers” of your life and life experiences.
  • Mindfulness tools to create self-awareness and a tangible connection to the outer world, inspiring you to move to action.
  • Tapping into your emotions and reactivity as they relate to what is happening in the world-at-large, learning how to both sit with events and respond to them with efficacy.

Humanity must start embracing a new story, one that enables us to bring more kindness to ourselves and into the world. Understanding how to heal our personal and generational wounds combined can lead us to directly address the problems of our world. Join us at Esalen for this life-changing program.


Recommended reading: Sit Down to Rise Up by Shelly Tygielski (New World Library); The Peace Chronicles by Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz; Love from the Vortex by Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

Inner Work for the Outer World
Inner Work for the Outer World
April 7–10, 2023
April 7–10, 2023
April 7, 2023
Inner Work for the Outer World
with Shelly Tygielski and Yolanda Ruiz

For centuries, humans have looked to myths to make meaning of our lives. Stories of the deities can bring fresh perspectives to our own unique Hero’s journey, ease us through transitions, and act as maps to greater clarity. We’ll combine the power of these ancient tales with yoga and other experiential practices to help us tap into creativity and joy while awakening our spirits to possibility.

This workshop offers a unique and playful opportunity to commune with the deeper aspects of self through movement, inquiry, and storytelling. Our focus this weekend will be on the deities and lore that promise new beginnings and grace.

Together we’ll explore:

  • Asana (yoga for all levels)
  • Guided meditation and Pranayama (gentle breathwork)
  • Self-inquiry and journaling
  • Mantra and song
  • Fireside ritual
  • Storytelling and archetypal awareness

This nourishing schedule of experiential practices will be balanced harmoniously with relaxing meals, community connection, and soaks in Esalen’s healing baths. Music, nature, poetry, relational play, and ritual will all be woven together artfully. Renewal awaits!

Yoga, Myth, and Inquiry: Opening to Possibility
Yoga, Myth, and Inquiry: Opening to Possibility
April 7–9, 2023
April 7–9, 2023
April 7, 2023
Yoga, Myth, and Inquiry: Opening to Possibility
with Hannah Muse

This will be an extraordinary opportunity to learn the ancient healing art of qigong from one of the most respected qigong grandmasters in the world today. After absorbing the essentials of balanced posture, alignment, and breathing, you’ll enjoy step-by-step instruction in all 12 movements of Hunyuan (Primordial) Qigong. This comprehensive system of meditative energy exercises purges the body of toxic or stagnant qi (circulating life force), clears the major acupuncture meridians, and teaches you how to gather and absorb qi from nature.

Primordial Qigong is meditation in motion and includes the two most famous forms of Taoist Meditation: the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Energy Circulation, in which the solar (yang) and lunar (yin) energies flow in harmony, an essential key to vitality and longevity. You will also learn how to recharge the three dan tians, the body’s primary energy “batteries,” to increase your storehouse of resilient qi (life force) as a buffer against stress and other challenges to well-being. During discussion time, we’ll discover how science explains the benefits of qigong and how the practice is redefining our understanding of health. Primordial Qigong is the legacy of Ken’s teacher Madame Gao Fu, in direct lineage from the founder of the “medical qigong” movement in modern China. The course is perfect for beginners and all levels.

In this weeklong workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Learn all 12 movements of Hunyuan (Primordial) Qigong for strong, resilient energy.
  • Practice the two most famous forms of Taoist Meditation: the Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Orbits (or Energy Circulation techniques) to awaken and harmonize the primary acupuncture meridians.
  • Recharge the internal “batteries,” the dan tians, and learn about their connection with slow, deep breathing.
  • Improve posture, alignment, movement efficiency, and breathing.
  • Discover how science measures the healing benefits of qigong and how the practice is redefining human health and human potential.

Recommended reading: The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, by Kenneth Cohen

Primordial Qigong: Vibrant Health, Harmony with the Tao
Primordial Qigong: Vibrant Health, Harmony with the Tao
April 9–14, 2023
April 9–14, 2023
April 9, 2023
Primordial Qigong: Vibrant Health, Harmony with the Tao
with Kenneth Cohen

There is an inner community inside of us, a community of selves. Some have a voice, and some are quiet. Some are known through sensation, emotion, and thought. Other selves have agendas, advice, and accusations.

Each of these selves has a history, an emotional state, and a felt sense in the body. Each represents a particular aspect or part of our (mostly) Unified Self. In mindful movement, we can substantiate selves that have been hiding or cast out. We can learn to calm the selves that work overtime, find unknown selves, and embody a self we have been waiting to become.

Andrea facilitates a dynamic, non-judgmental, well-informed dance playground to embody these inner conversations. This practice is not only fun and awakening, but an exploration of any distinct part of our personalities can help illuminate what is held within and what its cost is. Additionally, the creativity of dance illuminates new possibilities and choices.

Come join us for this essential and transformative work, where we will explore:

  • Movement dance
  • Inquiry/self-reflection
  • Sharing
  • Individual process
  • Group process

When we allow it, the embodiment of our different selves supports integration, shared knowledge, and congruence within whom we call “me, myself, or I.” Learning the practice of learning the ten Core Movement Resources anchors us in the felt sense of that which moves from one self to another. It’s often hard to taste this in our day-to-day life, but put those selves, intentionally, into movement on the Open Floor, and who we are beyond a self is often surprisingly available to us.

Open Floor Movement: Community of Selves
Open Floor Movement: Community of Selves
April 10–14, 2023
April 10–14, 2023
April 10, 2023
Open Floor Movement: Community of Selves
with Andrea Juhan

In this basic skills workshop, couples, partners, and friends will refine their relationship with touch, our forgotten language. Participants will learn to listen to each other, gain sensory skills in initiating and receiving touch, experience the felt sense of muscle release, and close with  a balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, massage demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during  paired practice. The simple principles of Esalen massage – presence, connection, attending rather than fixing, self-care, receptivity, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body – will build a heartfelt experience with our partner or friend, and perhaps most significantly, ourselves.

By the final session participants will share the basics of a classical Esalen® massage. Experienced practitioners  and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its healing effect as their rhythm slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact rather than technique.

Touch evokes an opening to spirit as we tap our innate ability to move into healthful balance and a recognition of our natural field. The edgy wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop invite this deeper connection.

Recommended Reading: Connecting through Touch by Peggy Horan

Esalen® Massage For Couples and Friends
Esalen® Massage For Couples and Friends
April 14–16, 2023
April 14–16, 2023
April 14, 2023
Esalen® Massage For Couples and Friends
with Dean Marson and Robin Fann-Costanzo

Since falling in love is biologically natural, but sustaining love is biologically unnatural, Soul Mate focuses on the art and discipline of sustaining love. You begin with learning how to appreciate your partner so specifically and frequently that your partner feels fully seen and loved.

You then practice both the art and discipline of hearing your partner’s criticisms without becoming defensive. For example, so you don’t have to fear “walking on eggshells” before sharing a concern, your partner first learns how to prepare her or himself to emotionally associate your criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved.

Soul Mate is designed as the next evolutionary shift beyond active listening. Active listening allowed the criticizer to feel heard, but failed to teach the person hearing the criticism how to emotionally associate the criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved. The problem? Unless the receiver of criticism feels safe the person sharing their concern cannot feel safe.

You will learn a series of practices you may integrate into your everyday life:

  • Six methods of sustaining a “conflict free zone” for 166 hours of your 168-hour week.
  • A “Caring and Sharing Time” the remaining two hours by practicing six mindsets that allow you to not feel defensive when criticized.
  • “Eight Wisdoms” as a foundation for deepening your love
  • The four “depleters of love,” aka the “Four C’s” (Criticisms, Complaints, Controlling, and Complacency)
  • How to use your new skills with your children, parents and colleagues at work.
  • How to use music and dancing to revitalize your love (to be practiced by dancing before each session)

To sustain your practice after the workshop, I invite you to multiple free, ongoing, group follow-up calls to resolve stumbling blocks. If you wish to review the insights and exercises at any time, you will also have the option of purchasing a Zoom version of the course.

This workshop is for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. A couple may be any two people with a history who desire a better future e.g., parents or partners, married or divorced; newlyweds; parent-child; siblings; etc.). Developed over the past 30 years, the workshop is also used by many health professionals in their work with clients and patients.

Recommended resources: Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, pp. 1-87, by Dr. Warren Farrell; additional video content on warrenfarrell.com.

Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
April 14–17, 2023
April 14–17, 2023
April 14, 2023
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
with Warren Farrell

Experience “process painting” with Stewart Cubley and staff.

In this expressive painting workshop, participants will enjoy artistic freedom — creating without the pressure to perform, produce, or succeed. Everyone will be a beginner. Whether you are a veteran painter or picking up a paintbrush for the first time, this experience will be about the creative process rather than technique, training, or expertise.

In the respectful and nurturing studio environment, you’ll receive individual attention and gentle guidance to:

  • Discover a creative voice that’s entirely your own.
  • Trust your intuitive perception, not the mind’s critical chatter.
  • Follow your own authentic energy rather than painting for others.
  • Experience your imagination as a doorway to deeper knowing.
  • Reveal the hidden invitations in so-called “creative blocks.”
  • Explore process painting as a genuine path to spiritual awakening.

One of the myths of art is that you have to feel inspired and confident in order to create. On the contrary, not-knowing allows innocence, accepting imperfection yields compassion, and risking vulnerability opens the door to breakthrough and awe. In that spirit, there will be no critiques, analyses, or judgments of the work. This workshop may interest people from a wide variety of disciplines, including art, education, counseling, social change, and meditative practices.

All materials are supplied, including high-quality, non-toxic liquid tempera on paper and high-quality brushes.

Awakening the Creative: The Painting Experience
Awakening the Creative: The Painting Experience
April 16–21, 2023
April 16–21, 2023
April 16, 2023
Awakening the Creative: The Painting Experience
with Stewart Cubley

Winter sluggishness, begone! Kick your heels up and welcome the spirit of renewal with this fresh, fun cleansing yoga workshop for springtime. Usher out the cold remnants of last season lingering in your body with Sun Salute variations that revolve around the solar plexus to stimulate metabolism and a radiant flow of energy.

All practices focus on sloughing off the old and welcoming new energy with playful flows, gentle backbends, and energizing movements. Learn prana pulsing, coconut oil joint rejuvenation, simple chi activation, the art and science of dry brushing for healthy skin, and tension-clearing yoga for the face and feet.

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature into movement medicine. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, to form and to formlessness, to the unique individual and collective universal patterns. Ulrika’s unique approach to yoga is “anatomy meets astronomy for body and mind.”

Make sure to bring a dry brush, body oil for the skin, and your playful self for this fun, seasonal renewal weekend — spring cleaning for body, mind, and spirit!

Participants should have a minimum of three months of yoga practice.

Welcoming Spring with Fresh, Fun, and Renewing Yoga
Welcoming Spring with Fresh, Fun, and Renewing Yoga
April 21–23, 2023
April 21–23, 2023
April 21, 2023
Welcoming Spring with Fresh, Fun, and Renewing Yoga
with Ulrika Engman

What is the relationship between our physical substance and subtle bodies? In this workshop, we aim to individually and collectively understand physical and subtle bodies and their importance and relationship in Tantric traditions. Together, we’ll trace the historical development of the Tantric body with its physiology of wheels and channels. We will also review the desire of the Theosophists and later New Age authors to map the so-called “astral body” and earlier cosmic bodies onto the Tantric body.

Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú as we explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will immerse ourselves in the latest findings from academic research and ethnographic “participant observation” that challenge and reframe our conventional understandings of what Tantra was, is, and can be. Staying true to the roots of Esalen, we will intertwine research and discussion with authentic Indian folk music performances and guided meditations for a creative, visceral experience for the mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will illuminate Tantra’s connections to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices in an eye-opening and unforgettable way.

We invite you to join us in this workshop that blends meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into Tantra’s power and therapeutic potential. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Wheels and Breath, The Tantric Body: Tantra, The Body, and The Release (an Esalen Signature Series)
Wheels and Breath, The Tantric Body: Tantra, The Body, and The Release (an Esalen Signature Series)
April 21–24, 2023
April 21–24, 2023
April 21, 2023
Wheels and Breath, The Tantric Body: Tantra, The Body, and The Release (an Esalen Signature Series)
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú

Revamp, reinvigorate, and polish your luminous self this season with innovative yoga practices for body, mind, and spirit! This yoga renewal workshop includes energizing movement, flow yoga, core activations, meridian sequencing, tapping, rejuvenating holds, and cleansing rituals based on the five elements.

Yoga for the skin sloughs off the old with a potent five-step cleansing ritual. Revitalizing and fluid yoga sequences stimulate the body before thoughtfully weaving muscles and mind together into a recreated and radiant being. We will even take advantage of the potent Esalen springs with a specific bathing ritual. The daily practices of the sparkling Yoga Spring Renewal workshop will be fresh, fun, and rejuvenating — and will leave you feeling the same!

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature for movement medicine. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed, with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, the form and the formless,  the unique individual and the collective universal patterns. Ulrika’s unique approach to yoga is “anatomy meets astronomy for body and mind.”

Participants should bring a dry brush, coconut oil, and a facial clay mask.

Participants should have a minimum of three months of yoga experience.

Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
April 24–28, 2023
April 24–28, 2023
April 24, 2023
Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
with Ulrika Engman

Esalen is the trailhead to one of the most spectacular mountainous coastlines in the world. With the Big Sur wilderness as the primary teacher, participants will explore the beauty of this wild coast — one of the most spectacular mountainous coastlines in the world —  which includes ancient canyons of redwoods, dramatic coastal beaches, rugged rocky mountains, and soft grassy slopes.

Drawing from nature and using various experiential awareness practices, individuals will be encouraged to open to the landscapes of both the natural world and their inner world. It is said that Big Sur is not just a place but a state of mind. This wilderness experience seeks to merge mind and place, then to embody what is learned.

Participants in this weeklong workshop will venture out into the emerging springtime magnificence of Big Sur on day-hikes between four to eight miles. Steven and Gary will draw from a wide range of contemporary and age-old wisdom traditions, borrowing from psychology, meditation, aikido, and the natural sciences to weave together a holistic experience of self and the natural world.

Each hike will begin right after breakfast and conclude in time to enjoy the hot springs and dinner at the Lodge. Evening sessions will include informal sharing and basic awareness practices with attention to incorporating what we’ve learned into our daily lives.

All levels of experience are welcome. Be prepared for the invigorating challenge of physical activity and the opportunity to simply sit still in quiet reflection. More information and a waiver will be sent upon registration. For an equipment list and frequently asked questions about Steven’s workshops, visit FAQs.

Please note: Participants need to be capable of moderate exercise. Hikes will be between four to eight miles.

Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Springtime
Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Springtime
April 24–28, 2023
April 24–28, 2023
April 24, 2023
Big Sur Wilderness Experience: Springtime
with Steven Harper and Gary Marcoccia

We all face death, but how many of us are actually ready for it? Whether our own demise or that of a loved one comes first, how prepared are we? This workshop offers a wide array of resources and teachings to help participants address that final unfinished business and make the most out of every moment that comes before it.

All of life is held within the context of its inevitable extinction. By acknowledging and preparing for death now, we will find ourselves living more fully and fearlessly. Join us as we celebrate the preciousness of life, and ready ourselves and others for this final journey. We will learn how to die a good death and help others pass, exploring meditations and contemplations that prepare us for letting go. As the Buddhist tradition proclaims, “If you die before you die, then when you die, you will not die.”

With preparation, we can transcend death, turning the greatest obstacle into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and even attain enlightenment. The bardo teachings lead to the death of death. The journey through the bardos is a journey into our mind, so by exploring the bardos, we are exploring ourselves. The teachings apply to any moment that ends – which means they also relate to daily life and can help you live fully within the time you are given.

Together we’ll explore:

  • Meditations that prepare you for the end of life
  • Teachings that support the meditations
  • Discussion groups to create a sense of community  

We hope you’ll join us for this exploration into the unknown, so that we may all return – fearless, and full of compassion for ourselves and those transitioning from this life.

Graceful Exit: Preparing for a Good Death
Graceful Exit: Preparing for a Good Death
April 28 – May 1, 2023
April 28 – May 1, 2023
April 28, 2023
Graceful Exit: Preparing for a Good Death
with Andrew Holecek
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