Workshops

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

Interested in a scholarship? Learn more here.

We publish new workshops on an ongoing basis. Sign up below to receive  notifications when new programs open for registration.

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

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

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

Sessions include:

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

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

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

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

Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
October 7–9, 2022
October 7–9, 2022
October 7, 2022
Liminal Dreaming: Consciousness Exploration and Visionary Experience
with Jennifer Dumpert

Where have you come from? Where are you now? Where are you going? We are continuously challenged to find our true purpose and meaning — our ‘direction’ in life. Unconditionally, you are invited to question your direction deeply with a very special union of The Esselen Tribe of Monterey County and the Esalen Institute.Through Healing Waters, we weave the deep knowledge of the medicine wheel, led by Esselen Tribal Medicine Woman Cari Herthel, with the powerful and moving meditation practice of the 5Rhythms®, led by facilitator Douglas Drummond.  This week-long exploration into sacred ritual practice and deep intentional movement explores the teachings of the Four Directions within the medicine wheel. We will embrace this knowledge and guidance through ceremony and storytelling, integrating the unique teachings through the 5Rhythms® moving meditation practice. This unification is metaphorically two rivers flowing together into a shared source.  

Honoring the mana/matsa — the life force — of the healing waters flowing through the sacred land at the Esalen Institute, we will set an intention to gather in community. We will share our stories, honor our differences, and celebrate our unique directions as waypoints that center us. We will breathe life into the endless directions our journeys can lead.

In this dynamic program, we will explore:

  • Dance
  • Plant rituals
  • Group sharing
  • Sensory awareness
  • Leadership exercises

All levels of experience are welcome. Bring your curiosity and willingness to explore.

The Esalen Institute is deeply honored to welcome back the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County to our workshop schedule. This collaboration will be the first in over 10 years, and it will be the catalyst for future partnerships. Acknowledging the presence of the people from this land, on this land, will be a powerful offering for our week together.  

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

Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
November 14–18, 2022
November 14–18, 2022
November 14, 2022
Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
with Cari Herthel and Douglas Drummond

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

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

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

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

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