The total immersion into daily practice promotes the growth of new neural pathways that allow us to unlock our greatest potential. Our re-imagined four-week experience, the Live Extended Education Program (L.E.E.P.), is designed for people who want to explore new ways of thinking and being.
Under the guidance of our skilled, compassionate faculty and surrounded by a cohort of twelve other learners, students will be challenged to expand their personal growth edges and open up to greater discoveries of self and community.
Our Key Pillars:
THE STUDY COMPONENT
Engage in a rigorous course of study, up to 26 hours per week over the span of four weeks. Daily deep dives led by world-class faculty members allow you to learn heartfully about the essential teachings and practices of Esalen.
Areas of study may include Gestalt practices, massage, somatics, yoga, leadership, and more.
THE SERVICE COMPONENT
As a cement to your studies into body and mind, you will be required to dedicate 26 hours of service each week in one of Esalen’s operational departments. The campus is rugged and students should anticipate robust physical activity.
Areas of service are assigned, and hours are typically performed in the kitchen or housekeeping.
Esalen provides dorm-style, gender-inclusive housing, with three students to one room. Both staff and students live in close contact with one another, and with approximately 100 guests visiting every week, privacy is at a minimum.
Esalen is located in a very rural, rugged environment on the central California coast with no nearby shopping or services. The closest major town is Monterey, which is approximately one hour away by car.
Live Extended Education Program tuition is $2900 for four weeks and includes housing, meals, and your workshop. Scholarship is available for those who demonstrate financial need. Once your application has been accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $870 will hold your space in the program.
June 4 – July 1, 2022
Since time immemorial, human beings have lived in meaningful and reciprocal relationship with the lands upon which they dwelt, and in collaborative communion with their other-than-human kin — plants, animals, fungi, stones, and more.
In more recent history, however, the dominant cultures of the globe have propelled narratives of human supremacy to justify the grave degradation and exploitation of the earth. This sea change has resulted in innumerable tragedies and has left so many of us in a state of bewilderment, grief, and painful isolation from the living world.
But we were born to belong to this earth. And even though the threads of interconnection that bind us to the land and all our wild relations may be frayed, they remain unbroken.
If we embrace this view, questions emerge:
Over the course of our month together, we will approach these questions with humility and curiosity. Taking a generalist's approach, we will introduce philosophies, modalities of awareness, crafts, and skills that can reconnect us with the land and our other-than-human kin. We will explore diverse pathways of participation and presence with the natural world to uncover meaning, nourish our human wholeness, and sense into our innate belonging to the earth.
The enchanted grounds of Esalen, and the surrounding wilderness, will be our place of practice and our primary teacher. Acknowledging Big Sur to be the ancestral lands of the Esselen Tribe, we will endeavor to behave as reverent and respectful guests on sacred land. Expanding our circle of respect, affinity, and awareness beyond the human, we will make space for the birds, flowers, and all the other beings to join our cohort. We will tend to the earth, ourselves, and the threads of kinship between us all.
Areas of focus will include:
This workshop will consist of numerous, outdoor, hands-on, physical practices and a great deal of walking, including two long-form hikes. Various hiking abilities can be accommodated, bearing in mind that our long hikes are approximately seven miles in length over uneven and often steep terrain. Participants must be able and willing to sit on the ground, work/learn outside in all weathers, and get a little dirty.
A $40 parks/permit and materials fee will be added.
As co-founder of Wildtender, Noël Vietor is dedicated to helping people build meaningful relationships with the self, the earth, and the community. Having found healing and a sense of belonging while hiking the Big Sur wild, Noël is honored to create this opportunity for others through Wildtender’s immersive wilderness programs.
Wildtender co-founder Fletcher Tucker is a devoted student and teacher of California natural history, awareness traditions, ancestral skills, and wisdom and trail-craft. Fletcher is committed to re-connecting human beings in body, mind, and spirit with wild nature and our more-than-human relations.