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Ground of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Courage, Connection and Community
September 23 – October 20, 2023
September 23 – October 20, 2023
Steven Harper

Please note: On Wednesday September 20, online registration may be unavailable for up to 15 minutes while system maintenance is performed. If the 'Register Now' page does not load, please wait about 15 minutes and try again.

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Need a scholarship? Apply here.

Need a scholarship? Apply here.

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 intrapersonal — our belonging to self.
  • The interpersonal — our belonging to others through individual relationships and in community.
  • The transpersonal — our belonging to the “other than,” which is perhaps even greater than the human world with webs of communities.

The group will discover and practice contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate belongingness, including:

  • Contemporary psychology and neuroscience
  • Gestalt Practice in the Esalen tradition
  • Meditation and mindfulness practices
  • Aikido and Gestalt Awareness Movement
  • Direct experience of the natural world

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.

Learn more about the requirements to receive continuing education credit.

Lead photo:
Emma Barry
Steven Harper

Steven Harper

Steven Harper is a wilderness leader, author, personal and organizational facilitator, and Big Sur resident. A student of meditation since 1972, he weaves Buddhist psychology, mindfulness practices, and neuropsychology into his work. He is a long-time student and facilitator of Gestalt Practice in the tradition of Esalen’s co-founder, Richard Price.

Read More

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Workshop Schedule

Summer Groovers will experience Esalen in a format similar to our Self Guided Explorations workshops. Each Summer Groove week or weekend will open and close with a circle, and be filled with festive, nostalgic activities that harken back to those days of yore.

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.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Please note: On Wednesday September 20, online registration may be unavailable for up to 15 minutes while system maintenance is performed. If the 'Register Now' page does not load, please wait about 15 minutes and try again.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive tuition that includes lodging, three meals per day, access to the baths, and all activities on the Summer Groove schedule.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

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

As of June 30, 2023 we no longer require a negative COVID test at the time of check in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

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

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

Steven Harper

September 23 – October 20, 2023
Register Now

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 intrapersonal — our belonging to self.
  • The interpersonal — our belonging to others through individual relationships and in community.
  • The transpersonal — our belonging to the “other than,” which is perhaps even greater than the human world with webs of communities.

The group will discover and practice contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate belongingness, including:

  • Contemporary psychology and neuroscience
  • Gestalt Practice in the Esalen tradition
  • Meditation and mindfulness practices
  • Aikido and Gestalt Awareness Movement
  • Direct experience of the natural world

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.

Learn more about the requirements to receive continuing education credit.

Lead photo:
Emma Barry
Steven Harper

Steven Harper is a wilderness leader, author, personal and organizational facilitator, and Big Sur resident. A student of meditation since 1972, he weaves Buddhist psychology, mindfulness practices, and neuropsychology into his work. He is a long-time student and facilitator of Gestalt Practice in the tradition of Esalen’s co-founder, Richard Price.

Read More

Workshop Schedule

Summer Groovers will experience Esalen in a format similar to our Self Guided Explorations workshops. Each Summer Groove week or weekend will open and close with a circle, and be filled with festive, nostalgic activities that harken back to those days of yore.

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

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive tuition that includes lodging, three meals per day, access to the baths, and all activities on the Summer Groove schedule.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

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

As of June 30, 2023 we no longer require a negative COVID test at the time of check in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

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

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

Steven Harper

September 23 – October 20, 2023
Choose Your Path

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 intrapersonal — our belonging to self.
  • The interpersonal — our belonging to others through individual relationships and in community.
  • The transpersonal — our belonging to the “other than,” which is perhaps even greater than the human world with webs of communities.

The group will discover and practice contemporary and time-honored wisdom traditions that cultivate belongingness, including:

  • Contemporary psychology and neuroscience
  • Gestalt Practice in the Esalen tradition
  • Meditation and mindfulness practices
  • Aikido and Gestalt Awareness Movement
  • Direct experience of the natural world

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.

Choose Your Path

Workshop Schedule

Summer Groovers will experience Esalen in a format similar to our Self Guided Explorations workshops. Each Summer Groove week or weekend will open and close with a circle, and be filled with festive, nostalgic activities that harken back to those days of yore.

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.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive tuition that includes lodging, three meals per day, access to the baths, and all activities on the Summer Groove schedule.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

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

As of June 30, 2023 we no longer require a negative COVID test at the time of check in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

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

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