The Ground of Belonging: An Embodied Inquiry into Resiliency in Changing and Uncertain Times
August 9–13, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 13, 2021
with Steven Harper
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The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature.
– John O’Donohue

These uncertain times have shaken and are shaking our habitual ways of being. Individually and collectively, we are experiencing anxiety, disconnection, and the reality of impermanence even as we begin our journey into the still-forming “new normal.” Now more than ever, we need to let our somatic system know safety by connecting to our somatic intelligence, easing into social connections and the natural world — so we may settle and ground in our organism’s capacity for responsiveness, resilience and co-regulation.

A sense of deep belonging and connection is the natural state of our being. Our nervous system and physiology are wired to feel belonging. We are being called to greet change in manners not previously known to most of us — individually and collectively. To know and feel our belonging in these times asks us to grow awareness — to have courage to feel our vulnerability, cultivate curiosity, and increase our capacity for authentic compassion.

Together, we'll explore using a variety of practices..

  • Sitting, walking, and laying awareness practices that build mindfulness and connection will be introduced and practiced daily.
  • Grounding and centering tools and techniques that let our nervous system and physiology feel safe and move from reactivity to choice, resilience, and trust in the body’s innate wisdom.
  • Gestalt Awareness Movement practices that invite us to trust our body’s capacity for organismic self-regulation and co-regulation.
  • You will be introduced to neuropsychology concepts and practices that can be perceptually felt and embodied in our daily life while feeling our inherent belonging.
  • Through exercises and time together in group, paired, and solo practices, we will have space to connect with self, others, and the natural world.

Listening deeply, life conspires to let us know our interconnectedness even in the midst of the unknowable. We will draw from various wisdom traditions, contemplative practices, contemporary somatic and neuropsychology to explore ancient, yet new ways of belonging to ourselves, others, and to the other-than-human world to which we are participate. When we embody the birthright of our interconnectedness and the ground of belonging, ever-changing life lives through us.

Please expect to be outdoors, on the Esalen grounds. We will work in group, paired, and solo practices. This workshop will take place on Esalen grounds.

Steven Harper

Steven Harper

Steven Harper is a wilderness leader, author, personal and organizational facilitator, and Big Sur resident. He has led workshops at venues internationally for 45 years. As a student of meditation since 1972 he has woven 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. Steven continues to explore the inner wilds and wellbeing through an eclectic range of awareness practices, wisdom traditions, and modalities that cultivate aliveness, grow somatic intelligence, and enhance connection with wild nature as vehicles for awakening.

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Workshop Schedule

Mon 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tue - Thu 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Tue - Thu 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Fri 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

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

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

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

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