Nature and Contemplation: Cultivating Wild Mindfulness
August 8–12, 2022
August 8–12, 2022
with Steven Harper
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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 alive and wild coast, from ancient redwood-forested canyons to dramatic coastal beaches, from rugged, rocky mountains to the soft, grassy slopes of the Big Sur hills.

Drawing from nature and various experiential awareness practices, individuals will be encouraged to open both to the natural world and to the landscapes of 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 magnificence of Big Sur on day-hikes, 4-8 miles in length. The leader 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 begins after breakfast and concludes in time to enjoy the hot springs and dinner at Esalen. Evening sessions include informal sharing and basic awareness practices with attention given to incorporating what is learned during the week 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 the FAQs.

$40 permit and park entrance fees will be added to workshop cost.

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.

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Workshop Schedule

Mon 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tue, Wed, Thu 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tues, Thurs 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Fri 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

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

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

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
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