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.
Interested in a scholarship?Learn More
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:
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.
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:
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.
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, Angel, and Shelly guiding your steps, you’ll have the opportunity to
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, leader in social justice and mindfulness Dr. Angel Acosta, and author and activist Shelly Tygielski, you will be guided to explore:
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
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:
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!
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:
Recommended reading: The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, by 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:
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.
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.
View the continuing education syllabus.
10 hours of CE credit for Massage Therapists.
Recommended reading: Connecting Through Touch by Peggy Horan
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:
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.
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:
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.
Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you want to? Are you going in the right direction? You have never been where you are today. You have never been the age you are today, or had the experience you have today. This is your time to pause and reflect. Rarely do we allow ourselves the time to stop and look at what is changing and what we need to feel fulfilled.
This is a very interactive workshop with lots of experiential exercises. The content includes important theory and plenty of reflection time, but this workshop will not be a series of talks/lectures. There will be movement, coaching, a little dance, and lots of activity in the whole group. All participation is voluntary at all times.
Through this experiential week, we will create a courageous community to both challenge and nurture ourselves. Our goal is to step back from our lives and renew ourselves. Participants will have the opportunity to learn what brings them joy and purpose, and cultivate a vision to serve as a foundation for both the next year and next phase of life.
We will engage in a progression of individual and group exercises focused on reflection, movement, and listening to our inner wisdom. In the process, we will discover how to navigate the stages of major life transitions, practice the skills to access our intuition, and reveal which of our behaviors either support or unconsciously undermine our overall success. The experience will be especially valuable for those who are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around them.
Learn how mindfulness and self-compassion can change everything about how you feel, how you relate, and how you live — for good.
In this workshop, Dr. Shauna Shapiro — a leading scientist studying the effects of mindfulness and compassion on well-being — shows us that acting with compassion toward ourselves is the key. She explains basic brain science and offers powerful science-based practices to alleviate anxiety, boost creative thinking, and deepen our sense of belonging and purpose. With practice, we can literally rewire our brains for greater feelings of calm, clarity, connection, and joy. We will immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of Esalen, allowing the sounds of the ocean, the magnificent views, and delights of the gardens to nourish and support us.
This workshop is appropriate for anyone curious about mindfulness and compassion and how to deepen our connection with the beauty and mystery of life. All are welcome.
Recommended Reading: Shapiro, S (2022). Good Morning, I Love You: A Guided Journal for Calm, Clarity & Joy. Sounds True, Boulder, CO.
For anyone facing financial hardship, Dr. Shauna Shapiro invites you to contact her directly for tuition scholarship possibility.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Our sense of self develops in connection with others and our experiences in early relationships. They shape our beliefs — about ourselves, other people, and what is possible for us in our lives. While we cannot change the past, we can change the parts of our lives that we find difficult or unfulfilling through new experiences of contact. When our need for understanding and emotional attunement is met, our limiting beliefs can change.
In this workshop, we will:
This workshop includes time for basic gestalt awareness practices, a mixture of didactic and experiential exercises, and individual “open seat” sessions with Dorothy and with the support of the group.
Recommended reading: Korb et al., Gestalt Therapy: Practice and Theory; Mann, Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques
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, acupressure, 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:
Dr. Julie Von, a specialist in women’s health, will present the Chinese Medicine perspective on the five elements, psychosomatic 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.
Recommended reading: Spiritual Fertility, by Dr. Julie Von; Dancing with the Dharma: Essays on Movement and Dance in Western Buddhism, edited by Harrison Blum; Sweat Your Prayers, by Gabrielle Roth
Join ceremonial leader and wisdom carrier Erika Gagnon on a sacred journey, as we gather together and explore the healing wisdom of the “Americas.” We will learn about the importance of ancestral lineage, ceremonies and rituals, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies.
You are your greatest healer and greatest medicine, and we will examine what this means in the context of our modern daily lives as we share healing wisdom and practices together. This is your opportunity to transform trauma and unhealthy patterns, and to realign your body, mind, spirit, and soul. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a traditional South American healing ceremony, a sound healing & “doctoring” ceremony and water blessing prayer.
You will be invited to reconnect to your authentic wisdom and power with clarity, gratitude, and forgiveness. When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage, and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you will strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life.
We are all interconnected in this great web of life, and every day is a gift in the service of unconditional love: for yourself, your community, humanity, and our planet. If you feel the call to be a part of a new humanity that lives in harmony and balance upon this Earth, then we invite you to join us in this celebration of life.
Please bring any sacred items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors, sacred objects that have meaning for you and a journal to write in.
Special Note on Gift Economy: For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika embraces the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support Erika and her ongoing work.
SCHOLARSHIP: Erika has established a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color) scholarship for her workshops. For more information on receiving one to participate, please contact her at ErikaGagnon11@gmail.com
Everyone has a story. This workshop is about being in a safe place to finally get that story (which has been marinating in your pancreas, your liver, your heart) out onto the page. It’s about sounding like you. Using your own voice, your own language, your own rhythms, telling your own story, and taking the risk of saying, “This is who I am … This is what happened to me. And this is how I got from here to there.”
Writing a memoir is not about trying to impress anyone with how smart you are. With humor and compassion, Aronie draws you into building a safe and authentic group field, and it melts away the fear and the doubt, making your authenticity and your vulnerability the most important part of the work. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will finally get going on the book you’ve been waiting to write.
Aronie has one rule: When you finish reading, we tell you what we loved. The workshop is not about publishing. It’s about the process. You will be given prompts and time to write, and then the group will read their writings together, in the safe container built during the program. You will take away the confidence and the excitement to keep going when you get home.
Learn to activate the right side of your brain to unlock the insights necessary to break through self-limiting patterns. Based on a Nobel Prize-winning discovery in neuroscience, this methodology helps you think outside the box and live a more creative, productive, happier life.
William Donius, author of the New York Times bestseller Thought Revolution, spent a decade researching and developing this brain-enhancing methodology. He has taught these skills to a wide range of people, from students and corporate executives to scientists and artists. This innovative approach inspires more creative solutions than conventional thinking or brainstorming sessions. Through easy-to-learn exercises, you can discover ways to harness your intuition and uncover profound insights about yourself that make change possible. You’ll develop practical tools you can apply each time you face an important decision or obstacle in life. You can go home with new ways to unlock your own inner genius and create the life you long for. Please bring a notebook or journal and a pen.
Join Devarshi Steven Hartman for this deep dive into the art and science of transformative change, and discover how to build a most remarkable future. We’ll have a luxurious month together in the safe and beautiful container of Esalen to laugh deeply, relate authentically, unwind, and reset.
This four-week workshop will explore potent ways to grow toward our most noble selves. Devarshi’s yoga- and philosophy-based program offers the opportunity to view life in new ways — and to transform. We’ll explore tools for healing the past and feeling more comfortable and alive in our bodies. Through guided experiences, we’ll break free of limitations and cultivate energy to feel and experience life fully, with less fear and more joy!
Be prepared to create a loving relationship with your animal body through play and a variety of movement therapies. Be willing to try on all ranges of emotion as we wake up and turn on our ability to feel everything deeply. Be ready to listen sincerely and share with others, both one-on-one and in groups. Be open to powerful release experiences through psychodrama, breathwork, pranayama, meditation, and movement.
Devarshi has devoted his life to uncovering, studying, practicing, and teaching tools for transformation. He is respected for his gift of synthesizing traditional and modern wisdom to inspire, support, and awaken. Devarshi will help you systematically uncover the habitual, unconscious, unhelpful limiting patterns Indian philosophy calls samskaras. The art and science of yoga offer time-tested practices and remedies to overcome samskaras and achieve true freedom.
This workshop is open to all levels of experience, though our focus will be on intermediate and advanced practices. Please write directly to Ellen@Ellen-Watson.com with questions. Upon inquiry with Esalen, you will receive a questionnaire, including a medical release form you must sign and submit with your registration.
Transpersonal breathwork practices, including Holotropic Breathwork® and time-honored global, multi-cultural breathwork practices, have been validated by Western scientific methods.
Holotropic Breathwork was developed at Esalen in the 1970s by Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, with the support of his then-wife, Christina. This practice was created as a powerful way to enter non-ordinary states of consciousness without psychedelic medicines. This workshop will include four Holotropic sessions during the week.
Our days will begin with an energizing and empowering kata, led by Mac Murphy, who trained in breathwork during a seven-month immersion at the Five Immortals Temple in Wudang, Hubei Province, China. Mac will guide us in early morning qigong practice and through his Tummo- and Wim Hof-inspired breathing practices. Those interested can also take a cold water plunge at Hot Springs Creek. There will be time afterward to share feedback.
Participants will explore breathing practices designed to calm the nervous system and elicit effects documented in The Relaxation Response and The Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson, MD, co-founder of the Harvard Mind-Body Clinic.
Our three-hour afternoon sessions will be entirely dedicated to the study of Holotropic Breathwork, which begins with both “sitter” and “breather” guided into full body relaxation. The sitter then assumes a comfortable position close to the breather’s upper body with access to the head and shoulders. Accelerated breathing is supported by evocative music specifically chosen to move upward through the chakra system. The last hour is for resolution, including possible bodywork and creative expressions of our experiences, such as drawing mandalas, writing poetry, and more.
To read more about Holotropic Breathwork, please read Stan Grof’s book The Holotropic Mind, or review these videos: Stanislav Grof – Holotropic Breathing (YouTube), Stanislav Grof: Holotropic Bodywork Workshop [Part 1] (YouTube), James Nestor Had a “Transformative” Experience in His Holotropic Breathing Class (YouTube)
In this new workshop offering from Michaela Boehm, we’ll explore our relationship to relationships. Through a series of solo explorations, partnered processes, considerations, and somatic movements, we’ll work with our constrictions, concerns, and contractions around intimacy and desired connections.
You will have the opportunity to identify and articulate your conscious and unconscious beliefs around dynamics and connections in your life; patterns inherited from your upbringing; imprints formed from previous relationships; and your own assumptions about yourself. Learn how to trace these influences and how they cumulatively shape your nervous system and the expressions of your body.
Bodily imprints influence our whole life trajectory, including romantic partners, livelihoods, behaviors, and coping mechanisms. We will engage in specific somatic explorations to facilitate awareness and release and sensitize the body for greater availability.
Join Michaela for this journey into the depths of Intimacy and and an exploration of the body as you:
Together, we will release old patterns, enliven all senses, and discover the tools for full-bodied liberation.
Are you longing to be in the beauty of the outdoors to relish in the wonder of nature? After a long year spent looking at too many screens, step outside and meditate, serenaded by the lulling sounds of the ocean, cradled by rolling hills, and uplifted by exquisite gardens.
Following ancient spiritual traditions that value the transformative power of nature, this experiential workshop will be spent meditating entirely outdoors, surrounded by the natural beauty and mystery of Esalen. Whether under a blazing sunset or in the stillness of a copse of cypress trees, we will open to the profound serenity and wisdom of nature. We will cultivate mindfulness — being present to ourselves while developing a contemplative relationship with our natural environment. This practice leads to beautiful states of joy, peace, wonder, love, and connection with oneself, one another, and the larger web of life.
During our time together, there will be:
Guest faculty Hakim Davy Tafari will teach alongside Mark and Lori, blending his meditative practice with street and trail running.
This workshop is appropriate for beginning and experienced meditators who are curious about meditation, mindfulness, and how to deepen their connection with the beauty and mystery of the natural world. Be prepared for unexpected rapture, delight, mystery, and stillness.
Special Note: This workshop will be held as a 2-night, 3-day, and also have the option to extend your time and workshop content into a third night and fourth day. To extend your time with Mark and Lori, select the “Additional Night” option when completing your reservation.
Recommended reading: Awake in the Wild by Mark Coleman and A Field Guide to Nature Meditation by Mark Coleman
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on technique to help detect and correct imbalances in the craniosacral system that may cause sensory, motor, or intellectual dysfunction. It is used to treat a myriad of health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ dysfunction, chronic fatigue, motor coordination difficulties, eye problems, endogenous depression, hyperactivity, and central nervous system disorders. Participants will be taught the detailed anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system, its functions in health, and its relationship to the disease processes. Half of the class time will be hands-on, developing the sensitive palpatory skills needed to detect subtle stimuli in the human body.
Class material will concentrate on palpation and its potential as an evaluative and therapeutic process; fascial and soft-tissue release methods; and the pressurestat model, which explains the mechanism of the craniosacral system. Participants will be taught a ten-step protocol for evaluation and treatment of the entire body. By the end of this intensive program, participants should be able to identify and localize significant restrictions and imbalances in the craniosacral system.
Introductory level training. Professional healthcare practitioner, student in healthcare program or graduate awaiting licensure/accreditation with experience in sensitive, light-touch palpation.
Recommended reading: Upledger and Vredevoogd, CranioSacral Therapy (chapters 1-6); Upledger, Your Inner Physician and You.
CE credit for massage; see leader.
CE credit for nurses; see leader.
CE credit for acupuncturists course category 1; see leader.
CE credit for physical therapists in CA; see leader.
Vibration Transformation is the art and practice of transforming the vibrations (or energies) of your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to align with your truest, deepest, highest self.
As Albert Einstein said, “Everything in life is vibration.” We are all vibrational beings. Everything in our universe is made up of energy and vibrations. We are constantly interacting with the people, places, and things around us through our own personal vibrational field. If we choose, we can transform our vibrations to match our most authentic selves and become capable of so much more.
By creating daily health and wellness practices, you will clear stress and tension to heal and restore yourself — shifting vibrations to consciously manifest the life you envision for yourself and the world. How we treat our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits — the way we eat, move, breathe, meditate, believe, rest, and sleep — impacts our energy in both life-affirming and life-depleting ways, affecting our overall vibrations.
In this workshop, we will explore:
By crafting your own one-of-a-kind daily health and wellness program, you’ll be able to pursue the things that matter most to you in life, raising your self-worth and creating a vibrational field that lets you meet your full potential.
Most of us have experienced a flow state at least once or twice. On the dance floor, it sometimes happens that you find yourself in a state of exquisite surrender to the spirit that dances us; those timeless moments when we disappear and all that’s left is Emptiness Dancing.
Often these moments feel like “happy accidents,” a sudden flash of grace over which we have no control or choice. The purpose of this weekend is to practice being prone to these happy accidents — to cultivate an openness so this state of grace becomes an everyday possibility.
In this workshop, you’ll experience a movement-based curriculum centered around:
Open Floor Movement Practice uses universal principles of movement to anchor us in this vast space. Our bodies organically know about emptiness, and at the same time, it can be quite a journey to arrive at this place willingly, even longingly. As with any journey, there are skills to learn, habits to unlearn, and a need for curiosity. This course is an opportunity to say “Yes!” to this blessing.
Recommended reading: Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti
Open to people of all backgrounds and experience levels, this workshop will explore the lessons that traditional African spirituality can teach us about creation, how the universe was brought into being, how to manifest things we want in the world, and how to fashion a life filled with divine harmony. It will first introduce the world of African ritual through a screening of Marques Redd’s highly acclaimed film Obi Mbu (The Primordial House): An Igbo Creation Myth — a fantasia of dance and theatrical performance.
From there, we will:
Transcendent and practical, traditional African rituals are an important part of our global spiritual heritage. They can help you effect transformation, cultivate vitality, and expand your consciousness. This workshop will provide you with many tools that you will be able to use to plug directly into potent spiritual energy and empower your life!
In his later years, Joseph Campbell celebrated his birthday at Esalen. Explaining why, he’d recount how Carl Jung — wondering “What myth am I living by?” and realizing he didn’t know — wrote, “I took it upon myself to get to know ‘my’ myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks.”
“That’s what a birthday is for,” Campbell would conclude, “and what Esalen is about.” The year after Campbell died, his friends — recalling his dictum: “What you do, you do with play” — gathered at Esalen to inaugurate “Campbell Week,” a tradition that morphed into this playshop 30 years ago and still continues today.
Who were you? What has inspired your biographical saga? What treasures hide in your basement or attic? Who are you? What’s displayed on your refrigerator? What dangles from your rearview mirror? Who do you aspire to be? What’s on your bucket list? Dare to re-vision yourself and join our springtime rebirth rituals.
You needn’t be familiar with Campbell to relive dreams, rekindle visions, and embrace myth-making tools like drums and dance, music and song, or masks, medicine bags, and altars. Individual small- and large-group activities will provide reflective and expressive opportunities to retool the myths shaping your life. Bring a meaningful but expendable totem, unsung story, or evocative song.
“Re-vision — the art of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering … from a new critical direction — is … an act of survival. Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.… We need to know … the past, and know it differently than we have ever known it, not to pass on a tradition, but to break its hold over us.” —Adrienne Rich
“What you do, you do with play.” —Joseph Campbell
Recommended reading: Anything by Campbell. Anything that makes you laugh. Poetry.
Integrative Gestalt Practice™ is a method of self-inquiry Perry and Johanna Holloman developed over the last 30 years. They travel and teach this approach globally, working with individuals, groups, and communities.
This in-depth program is for individuals, couples, and friends wanting to experience the practice of Gestalt Inquiry to support their self-exploration. Integrative Gestalt Practice is particularly helpful in life transitions and with vital questions affecting the quality of our lives and relationships (family, friends, intimate partners), careers, and overall life purpose. The powerful tools presented in this seminar can help support the emergence of what is most authentic in us and will continue to be helpful in daily life long after this week is over. The practice of Gestalt Inquiry imbues us with an internal sense of agency, clarity, and strength, connecting us to what many describe as a sense of “inner guidance.”
Gestalt places high value on the development of awareness. Working with individuals within the group setting allows all participants to connect and learn about themselves individually, shedding light on how they relate to the essential elements in their lives. Exercises done in dyads and triads helps participants “metabolize” their individual experiences, creating a powerful container for self-exploration and personal transformation.
Perry and Johanna will combine experiential practices involving breath, movement, and short guided meditations with individual “open-seat” work to create a well-rounded program suited for people who want to self-explore in a safe group setting.
We look forward to seeing you!
Come home to your whole body instrument and discover your unique sound!
We believe singing and speaking are radical acts of self-expression and that exploring your instrument with full freedom takes tremendous courage. Science confirms what we see in our own experience — that intentional vocal toning creates measurable vitality and joy in our lives and empowers our whole body experience of life itself.
As your new brothers in Voice, we set a safe space for you to reclaim your power and connection to your body. The benefits are clear: Whether it be speaking at a conference, teaching a class, or singing in an arena, we see it as all one center of personal gravity, held deeply in the Embodied Voice you’ve been gifted this lifetime.
We forego performing and welcome experience as our methodology. We forego comparison and embrace an inner path to reclaiming a new relationship to our own voice as an instrument of our soul and a connection to both the Earth and the resonance of life.
So often, we are taught with the methodology of measurable results — competition and comparison as the benchmarks for success. Instead, this workshop lovingly invites you to take an entirely different path. We invite you to see that you are incomparable, unmistakable, fascinating, and wholly distinct as a voice. We welcome you to experience your soul’s voice through fun and embodied practices of self-expression, union, and communion.
In this module, you will identify the key elements of your voice and outline how you use your voice in your relationships, at home, at work, and in your community at large, and how you use it to set boundaries. You will become aware of your body as an instrument that was made to sing and immerse yourself in the music you truly love.
During this weekend exploration of your Embodied Voice, we set a safe space for you to reclaim your power and connection to your body through a series of practical and experiential practices that require no prior musical or singing ability. Through simple and fun exercises, we will help you ground down into the gravity of your whole body instrument and sound out powerfully what it feels like to be you and alive.
What is vitality? Exuberance, vibrance, sparkle, spirit, and verve — terms rarely found in psychology textbooks. Vulnerability to depression and anxiety is widespread, and our culture traditionally emphasizes reducing symptoms with drugs that alter certain neurotransmitters, which is only part of the picture. We are living in a new era where vulnerabilities can become strengths, and what used to be stigma becomes common humanity. Good mental health is being redefined in terms of stress resilience, post-traumatic growth, and vitality.
This workshop explores evidence-based tools for living a vibrant life, even in the presence of stress, depression, anxiety, or any pain we may be carrying. We will help you build your own ecosystem of mental well-being — including new ways to foster vitality and purpose through caring for the brain, body, and gut. In this workshop, we’ll review the latest scientific findings on practices such as:
A mental health renaissance is underway. Mental well-being is being redefined, and a range of evidence-based, whole-person approaches are gaining ground. Learn from renowned authors and cutting-edge scientists to create a flourishing ecosystem of mental well-being for yourself and your clients.
Additional embodiment practices will be provided by Guest Faculty Member Nichol Chase.
Nichol’s yoga practice is informed by a vast and eclectic set of influences that blend invigorating flow with precise and insightful instruction and extensive study with a variety of innovative teachers. She is a Garrison Institute Fellow and a faculty member and teacher trainer for The Mazé Method.
15 CE credits available for professionals through the Spiritual Competency Academy. Additional Continuing Education information here.
Recommended reading: The Stress Prescription: Seven Days to More Joy and Ease by Elissa Epel; The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel; Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals by Cassandra Vieten; Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life by Cassandra Vieten.
“Working on” a relationship in therapy usually means hard work and very little fun. While it can be valuable to learn emotional triggers and effective ways to manage inevitable differences and disappointments, “getting along” is only going halfway up the mountain. To reach the summit requires broadening your repertoires for joy and playful engagement, deepening bonds, and opening up new possibilities for discovery and connection
Neurobiological research has discovered the phenomenon of interpersonal synchrony: When two or more people are engaged in an enjoyable activity, such as walking, dancing, or making love, their bodies tend to automatically and unconsciously synchronize. Movements become simultaneously rhythmic, and hearts begin to slow down and beat together. Even their brains become stimulated in parallel areas. Emotionally and motorically they are connected and experiencing a “shared present.” They are literally on the same wavelength.
Psychology researchers are exploring how theater games can strengthen the working alliance between clinician and client. This workshop applies the same practices to couples and explores how they may expand their emotional and physical bonds and create synchronicity by playing — rather than just working — as a team.
We’ll begin with group discussions to find out how each couple would like to evolve their relationship. Couples will be offered an experiential process to improvise with each other. All exercises are designed to broaden your current spectrum of face-to-face, heart-to-heart, and body-to-body pleasures. None of the exercises involve nudity or sexual behavior. These improvisational forms of play involve accepting and building on each other’s contributions. After each exercise, couples will have an opportunity to process and explore new feelings and discoveries. Observers can offer feedback and express what they have learned from witnessing these experiments.
Join us for an adventure in interpersonal play and emotional and physical synchrony!
This workshop invites you to connect with the wild beauty of Esalen’s land as you gain foundational skills in our famed massage modality. Senior teachers will guide you in this experience of mindful presence translated to the massage table. Through lectures, demonstrations, and practice with your cohort, you will be introduced to the fundamentals, including quality of touch, rapport, massage skills, and effective body mechanics. You will listen to what is felt as well as what is said. You will learn how to comfortably drape and how to easily apply Esalen’s signature integration strokes, gentle stretches, and the all-important pause. You will have plenty of time for guided practice and to effectively share your experience. At the end of the week, you will be able to give a simple massage to friends and family back home.
The slow pace of Esalen massage sets the stage for our natural healing process to emerge. Classroom tools include experiential exercises designed to awaken the senses, demonstrations, and tableside guidance tailored specifically for you. The class is appropriate for the new and curious as well as the professional who would like to rejuvenate their senses and the quality of their touch.
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:
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.
Additional embodiment practices will be provided by Guest Faculty Member Nichol Chase.
Nichol’s yoga practice is informed by a vast and eclectic set of influences that blend invigorating flow with precise and insightful instruction and extensive study with a variety of innovative teachers. She is a Garrison Institute Fellow and a faculty member and teacher trainer for The Mazé Method.
Continuing education credit is available for professionals through the Spiritual Competency Academy, an approved sponsor of CE by the American Psychological Association. If you plan to apply for CE credit, please notify the Faculty during your first workshop session. Additional Continuing Education information here.
When you are a leader, often people don’t understand all the complexities you face or the weight of your responsibilities. Being in charge can be isolating and lonely; it can feel like others are looking at a projected image instead of the real you.
Whether you’re leading an organization, managing a team, or are a coach, you know your capacity to form solid and trusting relationships is key to your success. As we move into higher levels of leadership and influence, we must bravely face our inner psychology to “get real” about the hidden core relational patterns holding us back.
In this workshop, we will create opportunities to shift these patterns through experiential activities, small group work, and Gestalt-based experiences. You will discover new skills to understand others, dynamic ways to build rapport quickly, and the confidence to navigate conflict and tension. Along the way, you’ll get to know a new network of like-minded leaders you can tap into for understanding and support.
Join us for this incredible opportunity to connect, grow, and become.
Life has many transitions: From the birth of a child, to the loss of a parent, from getting a new job to grieving a pet. We all experience these “hello or goodbye” moments of change but what do we do to mark them meaningfully? Could our lives be better, richer, and more resilient if we had real ways to honor, sanctify, and make sense of these important thresholds?
What we need is ritual.
Rituals are our most trusted guide during times of change. They give us a sense of stability in the face of uncertainty and offer us a tangible and time tested way to acknowledge that as life changes, we too must change.
Join internationally renowned author, artist, and ritual teacher Day Schildkret, the visionary behind the Morning Altars nature/art/ritual/movement, to understand ritual crafting.
Based on Day’s newest book, “Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration and Change,” (Simon Element) this transformative workshop will give you a basic foundation of what ritual is and isn’t. Together, we will explore the historical, sociological, and ancestral understandings of ritual, its functional relationship to thresholds, and how ritual provides stabilizing and integrating benefits such as understanding, meaning, and reflection.
This workshop will not only teach you the concepts and theories of ritual itself, but also the components of ritual design. You will cultivate a ritual toolkit in order to experiment and craft your own rituals that bring wholeness.
During the day we will focus on the importance of preparing ritual time and space, practice the art of bearing and being witness, as well as story-sharing and story-listening in pairs and triads. At night we will craft a collective creative ritual, offering the group an opportunity to practice and experience ritual design in action that allows for greater awareness, empathy, and deepening relationships.
During this workshop, you will practice:
You will come away from this workshop with the courage, resources and skills to ritualize your losses, celebrations and life changes to bring stability and resilience when life changes.
Recommended reading: Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration and Change, Schildkret (Simon Element).
What does it mean to be a hero — to live heroically — in these times? Have you known or even suspected that you have a role to play as a teacher, healer, or spiritual activist? We are living in what may be the most critical juncture in the evolution of humanity. The clarion call has gone out: “All hands on deck! You are needed now. We are all needed now.”
People whom today we call lesbian, gay, bi, trans, or queer have a long tradition of fulfilling spiritual roles such as teachers, healers, seekers of higher consciousness, mediators, and keepers of beauty. How are you giving expression to those roles in your life? Are you ready to step things up a bit? It’s time.
Come spend a weekend with an intimate group of like-minded, committed seekers. Identify and release whatever obstacles have been holding you back from stepping fully into your power. Enjoy inspiring dialogue, soul-nourishing camaraderie, deep healing, and life-changing breathwork. Let’s break through past limitations to unleash our true potential. And let’s have fun!
Recommended reading: de la Huerta, Coming Out Spiritually.
Join us for an extended opportunity to explore the true essence of Esalen, and find yourself in the process. Like a snapshot of all that we do here on campus, this workshop is composed of enlivening and heart-opening classes that are driven by Esalen’s founding areas of focus: Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit, and Community.
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:
Come experience Esalen for a heartful and healing month of service and transformation!
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” ~ Henry Miller
Authentic contemplation brings genuine heart and meaning into daily life. From time immemorial, wild nature has called humans to embodied introspection. With Big Sur’s awe-inspiring wilderness as our primary teacher we will directly experience ourselves as nature and the realms of contemplation.
To drink deeply from the fresh moments of bare awareness, the magnificence of this wild world, and the ineffable mysteries of living fully is the intention of this workshop. Earth under our feet on hikes; water of the Pacific pounding against the shore; air of Big Sur’s refreshing breezes; the fire of the earth’s core heating Esalen’s hot springs — all the elements combine to intimately touch our bodies, minds, and spirits — literally coming to our senses.
The week will include sessions on Esalen grounds, and ventures into the wilds of Big Sur on hikes 2-8 miles in length. The group will be introduced to practices from contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate authentic contemplation. Days will balance walking and sitting, movement and stillness, with guided and open-awareness practices that enrich mindfulness, aliveness, and simply being. Special attention will be given to how we integrate and embody that which we are touched by 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 connection. More information and a waiver will be sent upon registration. For an equipment list and frequently asked questions about Steven’s workshops, visit FAQs. ($40 permit and park entrance fees will be added to the workshop cost)
We invite you to celebrate World Oceans Week on the coastline of the magnificent Pacific Ocean 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 exercises, 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 our world.
We all have spirit guides. They are part of your soul family and spiritual GPS. Tuning into them takes patience, trust, and assistance from the Other Side. Learn to access your spirit guides in this kind-hearted immersion that welcomes seekers at all levels of experience and at any stage of healing.
This unique class dives deeply to understand and amplify the unseen support, healing, and unconditional love from spirit guides. Most people are unaware of the guides they are born with, let alone how to connect with them. Yet many of us have experienced a loving presence at critical moments of our lives or in our moments of serenity. What would be possible for your life if you could access that unconditional love, support, and guidance in a more dependable way?
This special and intensely personal class is designed for those who are ready to connect with the spirit guides who are always by your side, just waiting to assist, support, play, and dance with you. Connecting with your spirit guides is a profoundly intimate and expansive experience. Once this connection is made, it is forever — to utilize as you wish and create whatever you desire of it.
This course will introduce and connect you with your guides and set in place a framework to engage with them steadily and reliably. Each session is interactive and includes instruction and meditation practices to ensure that your experience creates the conditions for spiritual expansion. With support, you can better focus your energies to live an empowered, compassionate life that you love. The support and love available to you from the unseen world means you are never truly alone or disconnected.
This class is for the moderately experienced spiritual seeker who is energetically sensitive, open, and curious to receive support from beyond the veil. Previous meditation practice is helpful but not required. This course is great for people who:
Doing personal growth work while still engaging in self-sabotaging behavior is like watering a garden full of weeds and expecting roses to bloom. Learn to overcome negative patterns and transform your pain into authentic power.
In this dynamic three-day workshop with award-winning instructor Justin Michael Williams, you will have the opportunity to:
Learn about the practical behavioral changes you can make to help you overcome the hidden patterns standing in the way of your goals. Together, we’ll create your personal action plan and define your “next best move” so you have a ritual for change that lasts well after the retreat. This is your moment to reset, overcome fear and self-doubt, and say “yes” to the life that’s waiting for you.
This program has been designed from the ground up to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. All meditation experience levels are welcome as well.
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
In this retreat, you will get in touch with a deep relaxation to rejuvenate the body and the mind through non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) and yoga nidra. No matter your reasons — whether you need a break from the constant pressure, are in a life transition, or just want to delve deeper into your meditation practice — this retreat will provide space and time for contemplation and reflection.
The term non-sleep deep rest, coined by Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, refers to a waking state of deep relaxation that maintains awareness. Evidence suggests reaching this state through NSDR protocols such as yoga nidra can reset dopamine levels and provide other physical and mental health benefits — including better sleep and enhanced neuroplasticity.
We’ll go on an inner journey together, and the hope is we’ll emerge more connected to both ourselves and our life paths to leave feeling refreshed and deeply rested.
Together, we will:
Through the practices of 5Rhythms dance, mindfulness meditation, and self-care, we weave together a retreat focused on healing and celebration. Looking back over the past few years, it is clear that many of us are exhausted. In times of turmoil and change, self-care and kindness are needed to connect us to the ability to recharge and renew. In order to move forward with energy, passion, and creativity, it is vital to seed these qualities in our daily life so that we may cultivate resilience.
Do you need to integrate more self-care into daily life? Would you like to be better resourced and have more energy? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you are in perfect alignment to participate in this workshop.
The 5Rhythms is an externalization process that releases and balances the systems of the body through movement. It is a method of dance focused on presence versus performance. We pair this process with seated meditation to quiet the heart and mind, allowing for stillness and integration. Bringing both together mirrors the dance of life. We come together to create an environment that cultivates and nurtures joy, calmness, and ease.
Each session will be primarily focused on Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms moving meditation practice. We will complete each practice with a 10-15-minute seated meditation. Included will be a discourse on 5Rhythms, mindfulness, and self-care. All practices taught during this course lend to the experience and wisdom of resourcing and renewing vital life energy to send you home with skills and tools to apply to your daily life.
No experience is necessary. All workshop hours contribute to 5Rhythms® Teachers Training.
This workshop will include:
Recommended Reading: Books by Gabrielle Roth: Sweat Your Prayers, Maps to Ecstasy, Connections and Dancing With Dharma: Essay on Movement and Dance in Western Buddhism – Edited by Harrison Blum
How would it feel to move into a meaningful relationship with the living world? Beyond a mere passive appreciation of nature? In the long arc of human history, people across all cultures and traditions have lived in communion with the lands they called home. Though this intrinsic connection has been largely severed in our modern age, the perspectives and practices common to our respective Earth-reverent ancestors are not lost. They lie dormant in the land, among the wild beings, and in our own animal bodies, waiting patiently to be remembered and renewed.
Immersed in the beauty of the Esselen tribal lands now known as Big Sur, we will humbly walk the trails in pursuit of reunion with the wild Earth. We will set out each morning for hikes amongst ancient redwoods, golden grasslands, and fragrant chaparral. Our community and teachers will include the plants, animals, stones, and all aspects of the wild landscape. Acknowledging Big Sur to be the ancestral territory of the Esselen tribe, we will endeavor to behave as reverent and respectful guests on sacred land.
Along the trail, we will cultivate innate capacities for presence and wonder, build ecological knowledge, and explore pathways of reciprocity and connection with the natural world. Pausing together to learn from the land, we will participate in some of the most potent work of our time: rejoining our great family on this wild Earth.
Dealing with work-related burnout and rediscovering creative inspiration require dedicating time and space. Our daily challenges and life circumstances are opportunities to learn — and we can alchemize our life experiences and emotions into greater understanding and clarity. In this workshop, we will bring together a variety of wisdom traditions and explore simple-yet-transformative practices to deepen the relationship between our bodies, our minds, and our aspirations. To clarify both vision and intention, we will weave together the theory and practice of the Tibetan-based Yoga of Renewal with the contemplative science of compassion and emotional awareness. We will also introduce a few of the codes of Andean Cosmology and transformative earth-based rituals.
In this three-day workshop, mornings will be reserved for quiet reflection to promote a clear mind of stillness. Afternoon sessions will foster intentional connections for awe, gratitude, and empathy with one another and the more-than-human world. While we focus on the experiential through individual and small group activities, we will lay the foundational frameworks that help enliven our sense of interconnection and resilience and remind us how to align our lives with our true heart’s desires and the ingredients of a meaningful life.
We will draw on traditional ecological knowledge, contemplative practices, and research-informed strategies to enhance purpose and manage emotional distress in our personal and occupational lives. Discover a cosmological approach to refine your intentions for your clarified purpose. Learn the tools that can help you re-envision your worldview, build resilience and empathy for stronger relationships with friends and loved ones, as well as unity with the more-than-human world.
Eve and Alejandro will be joined by guest faculty Cristina Lanata, MD, a physician and scientist specializing in autoimmune diseases. She immigrated from Peru and is currently a translational researcher studying how epigenetics relates to autoimmune diseases. She is also researching how biofield therapies can regulate maladaptive immune pathways, epigenetics, and outcomes in patients with autoimmunity. Cristina practices the principles of Andean Cosmology and Qigong and is a level one Reiki practitioner.
Our awareness of energy both expands and becomes more subtle as we deepen into relaxation.
The ancient Chinese practice of Qigong, often translated as “cultivating Life Force”, is a system of movement that relaxes and energizes the body/mind. You will find this form “Wai Dan Gong” easy to learn and a powerful means of experiencing Life Force in and around you. We will enjoy moving on the Earth, under the heavens, while gazing at the Pacific. Wai Dan Gong is an excellent preparation for sitting, walking and standing meditation. Saturday morning will be held as a retreat, we will keep noble silence until lunch. At other times we will share with compassion and humor our experiences of riding the wild waves of the mind.
In this rejuvenating weekend we will explore:
Please come ready to enjoy a deep sense of ease and an expanded sense of the energy body.
Multidimensional Integrative Healing recognizes that there are multiple dimensions of reality and experience that exist and can be accessed for healing. EMDR is a powerful therapy for healing and integrating what blocks us from living fully. When we open to multiple dimensions in our work, we increase our capacity to heal on deeper levels that transcend time and space.
In this workshop for advanced EMDR practitioners, we will learn basic tools for creating boundaries and energetic sovereignty. We will meditate together and explore our dreams. We will discuss topics of interest, share our cases and be guided in discovery of spiritual and ancestral resources.
Topics of interest include:
In this workshop participants will learn:
This workshop is meant for Advanced EMDR practitioners, Parnell Institute trained clinicians.. To register for your space, please visit us at https://drlaurelparnell.com/multidimensional-integrative-healing-and-emdr-workshop/
The chakra system is one of the greatest gifts the ancient yogis and rishis of India shared with the world: a powerful spiritual map for our healing and the awakening of our consciousness so we can fully come alive! This week is an invitation to explore this map and unlock the unbridled joy, creative power, and freedom that lives inside of you.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to live in embodied enlightenment. It is to know and feel the current of mukti (the force of liberation that expands you in the direction of pure potentiality and higher consciousness) and to feel and celebrate bhukti (the gift of embodiment and all the pleasures and abundance of earthly reality). This workshop offers us the opportunity to bring these concepts into reality and into our living beings.
Through embodied ritual practices of yoga, live music, dance, meditation, sounding, and communion with nature, you will begin to shape an intimate connection with each of your energy centers. Together we will work to break through the blockages that keep you stuck and stagnant — preventing you from experiencing the fullness of your power and life. We will dive deeply into the chakra system through accessible, dynamic, and interactive discussions and exercises.
Each day, Cristi will guide us in her signature, dynamic chakra-based vinyasa, woven with mudra and pranayama, supported by the sacred rhythms and healing soundscapes of our musical guides. DJ Marques Wyatt and DVINE1, aka Joel Long, will be playing sitar and percussion.
These practices will be enhanced by a variety of daily rituals, ranging from:
Join us as we turn the yoga dance floor into a ritual of self-expression. You’re invited to experience every ritual as a prayer to your highest self to return you home to your body and nature, awaken pleasure, and give you permission to feel. Ignite your power. Heal your heart. Claim your vision and voice. Connect to your own divinity and celebrate this gift of life!
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.
Laura will be joined by Guest Faculty Evelyn Hall. Evelyn Hall is a social worker, master hypnotherapist, and minister. For the past 36 years, Evelyn has guided individuals and led groups, helping people find healing in body, mind, and spirit. Evelyn specializes in transformative healing practices, including somatic awareness, movement, meditation, healing through nature, and leading sacred ceremonies; she has a healing center in Soquel, CA.
Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you’d like? Are you going in the right direction? You have never before been where you are right now. You have never been the age you are today, never had the experiences you now possess. This is your time to pause and reflect. We rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to stop and look at what is changing — or discover what we truly need to feel fulfilled.
This very interactive workshop will include lots of experiential exercises. Though we will cover valuable theory and there will be plenty of reflection time, this will not be a series of talks/lectures. There will be movement, coaching, a little dance, and lots of activity. All participation will be voluntary at all times.
Our goal is to step back from our lives and renew. We will create a courageous community to both challenge and nurture ourselves. Participants will have the opportunity to learn what brings them joy and purpose, and then cultivate a vision to serve as a foundation for both the next year and next phase of life.
We will engage in a progression of individual and group exercises focused on reflection, movement, and listening to our inner wisdom. We’ll discover how to navigate major life transitions and learn skills to access our intuition. We will uncover the behaviors that support our overall success, and reveal which ones undermine our goals and fulfillment. If you are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around you, this program of renewal will be especially valuable.
We are at a crucial moment in our global work culture. Leaders must meet the rising needs and challenges of mental health and well-being. As we navigate rapid changes in the modern world — from hybrid work cultures to pandemics, wars, and overwhelming stress and anxiety — it is critical for human-centered HR professionals, or “people leaders”, to become trauma-informed.
More than ever, people leaders need tools to manage their own stress, burnout, and mental health challenges while they support their teams and executives through similar obstacles.
In this dynamic workshop, Manuela Mischke-Reeds, Justin Milano, and Rebecca Crotts integrate didactic and interactive learning with guided somatic practices and meditations to help leaders become trauma-informed while also supporting their own healing process.
This workshop will offer tools to help you:
This workshop is geared toward executives, people leaders, and HR professionals who wish to better understand and navigate stress and trauma in the workplace.
As mothers, we wear a lot of crowns. Crowns are majestic and beautiful but also heavy, and we deserve to take them off sometimes and center ourselves.
Do you find yourself saying, “I need to make time for self-care”? Time to work out, for nails, for hair, time with friends, or even just time alone? You are busy, tired, talented, overwhelmed, overworked, and divine. You deserve time to be with yourself and in community with other mothers — to be still, to process, to heal, and to grow. We invite you to come to Esalen for this incredible wellness weekend created specifically for mothers — to move, to meditate, to process your birth, to strengthen your pelvic floor, and to activate your dreams.
The ultimate goal of this weekend together is for each of us to leave rested, revived, and seated in our power as a Birth Queen.
Together, we will:
Mothering with the support of a village enables us to not just survive but to thrive. We will have an opportunity for yoga, pilates, strength training, meditation, nature walks, small group discussions, and, most importantly, peaceful rest. Bring your loved ones and give yourself the gift of a weekend of healing, laughter, sweat, and new beginnings. Center yourself and prepare to release your power into the world. What are you giving birth to next, Queen?
All levels are welcome. This is a workshop for all Mothers. Postpartum is forever. If you are pregnant, you are welcome. Modifications will be provided. Breastfeeding mamas are also welcome. We can make accommodations for you to store your milk.
Recommended reading: Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.
Join Heidi Rose Robbins for a deep dive into your astrological chart. If you are committed to growing out of habit and negative patterns, and moving into radical authenticity, this astrological immersion is for you. Through an exploration of your astrological map, via deep group study, movement, writing, and even poetry, we’ll practice loving, acting courageously, and fully embracing our next life steps.
In this workshop, we will come together in the beauty of the circle to share wisdom and empower one another through the act of witnessing and being witnessed. Your astrological chart is a lens through which you can find out who you are and the gifts you have to share. As we learn astrology, we can become ever more generous with our own daring and fears, along with our transformations and uncertainties, to liberate love in others and ourselves.
This immersion into the power of the zodiac calendar for self-care and self-renewal will include:
You don’t need to know anything about astrology, poetry, or movement. Just come open and available with the willingness to embrace the richness of everyday radiance.
Recommended reading: Everyday Radiance: 365 Zodiac-Inspired Prompts for Self-Care and Self-Renewal by Heidi Rose Robbins; Zodiac Love Letters by Heidi Rose Robbins; Wild Compassion by Heidi Rose Robbins.
This immersive week-long lab is for creators of all kinds––writers, inventors, filmmakers, musicians, and entrepreneurs––anyone who wishes to integrate their spirituality and creativity to tap into the deepest source of inspiration and higher intelligence as they bring guided work into the world.
In the words of Carl Jung, “People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.” By breaking down this process of allowing into three stages (Creation, Manifestation, and Transmission), we will walk together along an impactful, sacred path designed for cohesion, connection, incubation, and transformation.
We live in a world of great distraction that doesn’t encourage deep listening. We must reverse those outer-facing sensory “searchlights” and go inwards. When you dive into the field of all possibilities, ideas surprisingly find you with a very specific intention. As you attune to that purpose, you gain discernment, direction, momentum, and flow.
Over the course of five days, you’ll face the “demons” that get in the way of meaningful work, including inertia, ego, outer blocks, and inner resistance. You will discover how obstacles can be an in your process develops organic, sustainable partnerships, growth, and co-creation.
In this workshop, you’ll be guided through:
Employing timeless principles from Vedic philosophy, this class will use nonlinear brainstorming to deepen our inspiration, along with experiential exercises. You will do yoga, breathwork, meditation, and movement to tap into the matrix of your creative capacity. You’ll recalibrate intentions and goals. Every step of the lab will contain practical solutions to push through whatever is in your way.
The lab is open (by application) to creators of all levels. You can attend either as an “incubator” (with a specific project or idea that you want to workshop) or as an “observer/participant” (to glean knowledge about conscious creation by watching the process unfold and also participating). In either case, you must submit a one-page application describing your background and creative goals. If you’re bringing a project to the lab, please describe it in one paragraph, tell us where you are with it, and where you want to take it. LINK TO APPLICATION.
Part writing workshop and part tantric retreat, this unique blended workshop explores the relationship between personal writing and subtle body practices.
Religious historian and Tantric practitioner Sravana Borkataky-Varma will lead experiential sessions largely stemming from Hindu Goddess Tantra practices. Author and journalist Erik Davis will then guide the group in reading and writing exercises for skills and techniques to help us creatively express our direct experiences of the meditations.
Exercises and opportunities will include:
Over the days, we will collectively cultivate a feedback loop between writing, discussion, and inner work. Through this alchemical process, participants will learn to more intimately and poetically clarify their subtle experiences, while at the same time using the power and energy of such practices to fire up and inspire their writing life.
Now more than ever, it is important we build practices to strengthen our internal resolve and self-resourcing amidst a dynamically shifting society. Together, we will listen to our heart’s wisdom in this rich 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 multiple East Forest’s live music performances. Additionally, Radha will lead us in embodiment practices of Self-Awakening Yoga, Yin Yoga, and breathwork to create an all-levels and accessible doorway to inner insights. Through the primacy of our own heart-opening and felt experience, we can discover the inner pathways to fortitude and healing.
East Forest and Radha would like to offer a certain amount of scholarship 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 condone the use of or provide substances of any kind.
What is the relevance and significance of the maṇḍala (“circle”)? In this workshop, we aim to individually and collectively understand maṇḍalas and related sacred shapes and their importance in Tantric traditions. Even the geography of Esalen can be perceived as a sacred landscape or maṇḍala. Our focus here will be on the historical development of the maṇḍala and its connecting link between the internal and external worlds.
Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating new workshop, the third of a signature series on Tantra, to explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will investigate 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 our research and discussion with authentic Indian folk music performances and guided meditations to bring these new breakthroughs 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:
Come to learn how Tantric teachings navigate the interrelationships between the microcosm, or individual, and the macrocosm, or external universe. We’ll pay special attention to the ways deities are called to inhabit maṇḍala and other diagrams, as well as the connection between deities and the power of speech using mantra. We invite you to join us for this workshop that will blend meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into Tantra’s power and therapeutic potential. Bring an open mind as we will explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.
Please Note: This workshop is NOT about Tantric Sex and experiencing enhanced sexual pleasures, although many discussions will address gender identity and sexuality.
Integrative Gestalt Coaching™ (IGC) is a comprehensive and interactive therapy method Perry Holloman developed over the last 40 years while living at Esalen. He and his wife, Johanna, travel and teach this approach in the USA, Europe, and Asia, working with individuals and groups and coaching businesses and communities.
This month-long program is designed for people who want to learn basic skills in the practice of Gestalt, applicable to both their personal lives as well as their work with individuals and groups.
Gestalt places high value on the development of awareness in the realm of our internal experience (personality structure) and our relational experience (family relationships, intimate relationships, professional relationships, and other dynamics). Developing awareness of how our internal experience influences our relationships — and how those relationships transform us personally — can have a powerful impact on the quality of our lives and will be a central focus of our time together.
Perry and Johanna have developed experiential exercises supported by theoretical knowledge to create a well-rounded program suited for persons who want a month of self-exploration and also those ready to cultivate Gestalt Coaching skills for their work with individuals and groups.
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:
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.
10 hours of CE credit for:
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.
Tibetan yogis, monks, and nuns are human like you and me; they have feelings and emotions, and obstacles in their lives. That is why the practices they have created as a way to remove obstacles from their body, energy, and mind are suitable for us too.
These tools remained as secret recipes for centuries, and only in the last couple of decades have started to be known in the West, as they’ve been researched scientifically and practiced now by thousands of people. Those who practice them can discover or tap into a radical sense of presence — an aliveness in the midst of chaos — like a lotus flower coming out of the mud or the sun illuminating everything without bias.
Well-being in the Tibetan tradition is a holistic sense of wellness that encompasses body, energy, and mind. During this program, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan wellness and experientially practice meditative yogic techniques that utilize the healing power of the breath-energy (qi or lung in Tibetan) as a link and support for a healthy body and more aware state of mind. In addition, some of the current research in this area will be presented and discussed.
This workshop encourages participants to explore the potential of their subtle bodies — composed of channels and chakras — as a powerful tool for meditative practice, which utilizes the five breath-energies present in yogic and medical texts. These meditative practices and movements allow one to clear the “poisons” of one’s afflicted emotions, become more familiar with the healing support of the breath, and be radically aware of one’s “inner home.” Please bring a journal.
“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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Know Justice Know Peace, by Deborah Threadgill Egerton, Ph.D
The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. ~ John O’Donohue
Many of us have the experience of not belonging — to ourselves, family, community, workplace, this earth. This disconnect expresses itself in a divided self, dysfunctional relationships and communities, and the destruction of the very planet that birthed and sustains us.
However, a sense of belonging and deep connection is the natural state of our being. To know and feel our belonging asks us to have courage, curiosity, and compassion. A deep longing calls us to risk intimacy, vulnerability, and a willingness to feel how life conspires to let us know our interbeing.
When we somatically know our belonging — experience it in our bodies — we engage in the world feeling supported and with greater ease and grounding as we face life’s challenges, joys, and inherently ever-changing nature. This monthlong workshop will be a whole-organism, experiential inquiry into what belonging might be for each of us individually and collectively.
Although not a linear path, we’ll explore:
The group will discover and practice contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate belongingness, including:
Special attention will be given to “what walks with us” in our daily lives as we weave together an eclectic and holistic experience. When we embody the birthright of our interbeing and the ground of belonging, life lives through us.
Together, we will enjoy giving and receiving therapeutic touch, moving in ways that free energetic flow, settling into silence, and laughing and connecting deeply with our healing community.
During the Streams of Energy month, you will:
This month is designed to open you to your innate healing potentials, for you to experience the power of safe therapeutic touch, and to be more fully present in your unfolding as a unique expression of Source.
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