Chakras and Embodied Writing
September 19–23, 2022
September 19, 2022
 - 
September 23, 2022
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Vikram Chandra
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Artists work with their entire bodies, calling upon every layer of their beings to power their creativity. Writing is often thought about as a discipline of only the conscious mind. The truth is, language, characters, and plots emerge from the substance of the body and the subterranean depths of the spirit.  This workshop aims to collectively explore and fine-tune ways in which we not only rediscover the macrocosm within the microcosm but also develop tools to identify emotional loci in our subtle body, i.e. the divine body.  

To write well, authors mobilize every aspect of their beings: the rational, the emotional, the spiritual. We typically do this instinctively and haphazardly.  In this workshop, you will learn together  how to intentionally reach into your emotional depths and engage your chakras — emotionally-charged loci — with the craft of writing.

Together we will…

  • Engage in sacred chakra meditation to open our hearts and minds.
  • Read published stories, engaging with their emotional impact and pleasure to encourage engagement with our own cognitive responses to writing, and consider how that impact is achieved.
  • Practice character discovery exercises: What makes a character or person come alive in the reader’s mind? How can we find parts of ourselves and other people that can come together and combine to create life?
  • Practice plot construction exercises designed to encourage writers to think about desire.

At the end is the week, we are confident you will have the tools to begin the process of developing your very own maṇḍala which will provide new depths to your craft of writing.

Sravana Borkataky-Varma

Sravana Borkataky-Varma

Sravana Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur. She studies Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, lectures at Harvard Divinity School and University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and co-founded a nonprofit, Lumen Tree Portal.

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Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra is the award-winning author of numerous books and short stories, including Sacred Games and most recently, Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, The Code of Beauty. He was an executive producer on the international hit Netflix adaptation of Sacred Games. He teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley.

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Workshop Schedule

Monday
8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am – 11:30 am

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
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