Our workshops are designed to support you in the challenging work of self exploration, in partnership with some of the leading minds of the day. Join us in discovering the next frontiers of individual and societal transformation.
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The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. ~ John O’Donohue
Uncertain times have shaken and are shaking our habitual ways of being. Individually and collectively, we are experiencing anxiety, disconnection, and the reality of impermanence even as we begin our journey into the ever-forming “new normal.” Now more than ever, we need to let our somatic system know safety by connecting to our somatic and emotional intelligence, easing into open-hearted social connections and the natural world — so we may settle and ground in our organism’s capacity for resilience, self-regulation and inherent belonging.
A sense of deep belonging and connection is the natural state of our being. Our nervous system and physiology are wired to feel belonging. We are being called to greet change in manners not previously known to most of us — individually and collectively. To know and feel our belonging in these times asks us to grow awareness — to cultivate genuine heartfelt curiosity, to have courage to feel our vulnerability, and increase our capacity for authentic compassion.
Together, we’ll explore using a variety of practices:
Listening deeply, life conspires to let us know the heart of interconnectedness even in the midst of the unknowable. We will draw from various wisdom traditions, contemplative practices, contemporary somatic and neuropsychology to explore ancient, yet new ways of belonging to ourselves, others, and to the other-than-human world to which we participate. When we embody the birthright of our interconnectedness and the heart of belonging, ever-changing life lives through us.
Please expect to be indoors and outdoors, on the Esalen grounds. We will work in group, paired, and solo practices. This workshop will take place on Esalen grounds.
“Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is important to me?”
Asking yourself these questions will activate your inner authenticity and allow you to move forward and live your life in alignment with your truest self. The answers to these questions will help you navigate life’s journey with direction, motivation, and inspiration. Perhaps the greatest regret of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live a life true to themselves.
In this workshop, you will reconnect with your authentic self through a series of exercises — such as guided meditation, self-inquiry, journaling, Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as tapping) — and one-on-one and group sharing and embodiment practices. This curated process is designed to allow you space to get clear about:
With that clarity, you can create your manifesto, a written statement declaring who you truly are. Let that sink in: We will first uncover this hidden self, and then, together, we will manifest this being into reality.
Together, we will explore:
Discover practices to connect and practical tools to reprogram your subconscious mind and heal your connection with your truest, deepest, highest self. You will also learn to apply these insights for authentic interactions with others. As you deepen the embodiment of your native self, you’ll experience the freedom of simply being you. This is one of the greatest victories possible: living a courageous life true to yourself — with no regrets.
Please bring a journal and pen to every session.
Recommended Reading: Everyday Initiations by Anne Van De Water
A journey to heal oneself and awaken deeply from within. Through meditation, yoga, and time in nature, we will tap into the stories our bodies have to tell and develop skills to nourish ourselves in 2024.
This workshop focuses on the transition from one year to the next as an opportunity to purposefully cultivate a sense of renewal. During our time together, you will be guided to explore and experience what this means for you personally.
Ritual invocations of energy and the power of the Esalen grounds themselves will support your healing journey by providing an intentional space for you to reflect on all you have experienced individually and collectively within your community during the past year.
Throughout the weekend, we will share new ways of grounding and connecting to the sacred energy of nature and the elements constantly surrounding us. This supports the act of renewal, cultivates greater presence, and creates capacity to build and replenish energy throughout the coming year to support continued health and well-being.
In this workshop, all participants are invited:
This workshop is a weekend of exploration and celebration. It is the season to express ourselves and play as we celebrate Black History Month together. We will also honor and recognize our own humanity as we uncover what triggers us, and learn to respond in ways that lead to our own inner healing.
Using empathy exercises, interactive drama, visualization, song, and movement, we will work to uncover our layers of internalized bias and gently work through them. These pursuits are openings for us to move toward resilience and empowerment without shame or blame. This workshop can be helpful for those in leadership roles as well as those working with diverse populations.
During this workshop, we will explore:
Empathy roleplay exercises — a pathway to healing. This is an opportunity to enact a scenario and “walk in another’s shoes” to understand a viewpoint different from one’s own perspective or find out what may lie beneath the surface.
Trigger management. An important element when we deal with oppression of any sort is how we respond. Rather than react in a way that will be regretful, one can benefit from learning ways to manage triggers. Oftentimes, underneath the reaction is fear. When we learn how to manage our triggers, we can become more comfortable, which helps dismantle fear.
Interactive dramatic presentations. This experience gives participants a way to introspect as they observe and make comments. It may also help stimulate a restorative path to healing.
Enhancing this historical month through healing pathways is guest presenter Jayson Fann, a cross-cultural educator, interdisciplinary artist, and musician who studied at the University of Ghana. He has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the State of California for his work in cross-cultural bridge building. Jayson has also served as a teacher and consultant for several universities and colleges, including the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Jayson has performed as a soloist at the Oakland and Monterey Symphonies. In this workshop, he will explore the significance of African Diaspora music in global culture, spirituality, and the Civil Rights Movement. He will reveal the rhythmic intricacies, harmonic patterns, and profound spiritual undertones that define the musical expressions of this rich heritage. He’ll also demonstrate how these musical forms provide solace, resilience, and spiritual rejuvenation for communities confronting oppression and adversity.
This workshop can be especially useful for educators, therapists, and anyone interested in a new and gentle approach to addressing unconscious bias and trigger work. It is for everyone: all races, identities, gender expressions, and nationalities. Together, we shall build a bridge to connect our heart centers to the path that nourishes and heals us.
Recommended Reading: Corn Hollow, 2nd edition by LaVerne Hillis McLeod & The Crossroads of Social and Climate Justice by LaVerne Hillis McLeod
Explore your unique creative process and express your human potential in a weekend deep dive with The Brothers Koren.
Discover your distinct creative personality and how to find harmony and coherence in your own creative process.
The brothers specialize in facilitating a safe space for you to move beyond the inhibitions and align to your authentic expressive impulse by identifying and supporting your distinct voice and creative code.
By using their embodied voice techniques, creative process design flow, and collaborative games, you will learn how to hold a space for playfully encountering your own brilliance and bring your creative expression to life.
Bring your voice, your ideas and your curiosity. All creative modalities are welcome. Art, music, voice, entrepreneurship, anything!
The brothers believe that almost everything we do in life involves a level of creative energy; from writing a song or painting a picture, to choosing what to wear in the morning and having a conversation – we are constantly improvising and using our creative life force.
However, many of us feel disconnected, blocked and disempowered in our creative process. Some of us end up feeling stuck or shut down in different stages of our creations, whether experiencing trouble starting or finishing ideas.
What might be possible for you if your creative process was back in flow? The brothers are ready to help you reframe what it means to be creative, and to connect back to the way nature intended it. Life is a radically creative act. Join them and explore what is possible!
No creative experience necessary.
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.
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 giant 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.
Note: Please bring a journal to write in, and items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors and sacred objects that have meaning for you.
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.
BIPOC 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
“Being always on the go, on the grind, and non-stop producers has us ‘living’ our lives, but are we fully alive?” —Justin Michael Williams
Here’s the truth: If you can worry, you can meditate.
Learn how to ACTUALLY meditate, the true science behind meditation, and why it’s difficult for so many people. Build a practice that doesn’t just help you relax, but becomes a tool to help you become more empowered and aligned with your true self. On the beautiful grounds of Esalen, come and play, dance, sing, learn a deep practice you can take home with you, and come alive in your everyday life. Awaken to the truth of who you are, your creative power, and your soul’s calling. With daily meditation practice, intentional ritual-building, TED Talk-style lessons, live music, and a dance party on Wednesday night — this class will rejuvenate your spirit and bring you back home to yourself.
All are welcome. From “I never meditated before,” to “I tried it, but it doesn’t really work for me,” to “I use an app sometimes,” to life-long practitioners looking for a new technique of awakening.
In this workshop, you will be invited to learn:
This is your time to give back to yourself, do something loving for yourself, and remember the truth of your existence in a space of community, family, nature, kindness, and deep connection. Take your power back and claim your true self and story of your one big miraculous journey of life.
From the ground up, this program has been designed to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Expect a deeply rejuvenating week with a diverse group and a profoundly opening experience.
You are worthy.
You are enough.
We rise together.
This is your time — come alive.
Recommended reading: Stay Woke by Justin Michael Williams
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