New Gods: American Buddhism for People of All Faiths (or None)
April 9 – May 6, 2022
April 9, 2022
 - 
May 6, 2022
with Joel Gruber
Register NowBook AccommodationsApply Now

These days, much of our time is spent looking at neon screens, animated by sophisticated algorithms and beeping machines. Though we may attain professional and financial success while inhabiting this world, we can end up feeling alienated and disconnected, and can be left asking “is this it?”

The great contemplative traditions of the East spoke of a different reality, a more awakened mode of engaging the world. These same yogis, mystics, and saints taught specific methods for transcending the mundane to become awakened. These very methods can be used to exit the electronic matrix of superficial living to become the new gods, individuals with enhanced awareness, compassion, and a more accurate view of reality.

Drawing from Buddhism, the sciences, and social theory, “New Gods” is an innovative system of embodied awakening. This unique approach to the Buddhist path was built within the university system and has been presented within the context of American culture. The program uses mindfulness, analytic meditation, meditative visualization, and somatic practice to turn the mind into an instrument of precision and the body into technology for awakening.

During this immersive, four-week workshop, our more superficial modes of engaging the world are replaced by increased awareness, creativity, and a more authentic expression of who we truly are. Throughout the 30 days, we will:

  • Study Buddhist philosophy and practice, with examples from popular culture, the sciences, and the arts.
  • Practice mindfulness and analytic meditation to increase positive mental patterns and develop new neural networks.
  • Apply mental imagery practices to circumvent left-brain narratives and tap into the more creative aspect of identity.
  • Activate our body’s innate intelligence through subtle body practices, synching body and mind to form habits, creating durable, lasting change.

This New Gods system synergistically blends academic content with meditative and somatic practices. The practice-based format ensures that, over the course of 30 days, you will experience breakthrough insights, enact these insights, and manifest embodied awakening (even if just for a moment).  

By refining our mind’s perceptive ability, activating our bodily intelligence, and untapping our creative potential, we have the ability to exit the matrix, enter the world of awakening.

Recommended Reading: We Need New Gods by Joel Gruber; Americans are Trained to Define Their Identity By the Products They Purchase by Joel Gruber.

Joel Gruber

Joel Gruber

Joel Gruber earned his doctoral degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), specializing in Tibetan Buddhism and tantric studies. An award-winning teacher and author, he has drawn from his research to create “new gods,” a modernized mind/body training system that enables the working professional to access their inner divinity, and then become it.

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Workshop Schedule

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
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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

Effective January 14, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in, in addition to proof of vaccination. The test must be taken within 5-7 days (if PCR/NAAT) or 24 hours (if antigen). If you are unable to secure a PCR/NAAT or antigen test from a test provider, we will allow an at-home rapid test to be taken on your arrival day. Bring it with you and have it ready to show at the gate when you arrive. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines 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