Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Choose Your Own Adventure

Explore, play, and tap into your vulnerabilities with a gentleness that makes space for personal journey. Our workshop offerings are ever expanding; peruse our latest and choose your own adventure.

New Workshops

Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power Through the Alchemy of Yoga, June 10–12, 2022 with Sianna Sherman
The phoenix — alchemical symbol and mythic bird of legend — represents rebirth, healing, devotion, and passionate purpose. Alchemy is the power of transformation that turns lead into gold, wounds into wisdom, and pain into love. Best suited for those with an existing yoga practice, master yogi Sianna Sherman will lead this powerful yogic journey to awaken your inner power. Note: this workshop will be simultaneously held both live on the grounds Esalen, and streamed digitally into homes around the world. 

Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance, June 17–19, 2022 with Eve Ekman
Feeling the joys and pains of our emotions is universal; yet what makes us emotional and how we respond is unique. Come learn about scientific and contemplative foundations of emotional awareness, use meditation practices to develop awareness and compassion for your mental and emotional patterns and habits, and investigate the roots of your emotions through discussions and small group work.

Source to Screen: Accessing, Manifesting, and Transmitting Great Ideas, June 20–24, 2022 with Paola di Florio and Peter Rader
Source to Screen (S2S) is a week-long lab for creators of all kinds — writers, inventors, filmmakers, musicians, entrepreneurs — anyone who wishes to integrate their spirituality and creativity to tap into the deepest source of inspiration and higher intelligence as they bring guided work into the world. Face the “demons” that get in the way, discover how obstacles can offer an invitation to pivot, and learn practical solutions to push through whatever is blocking you.

Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony, July 1–4, 2022 with East Forest and Marisa Radha Weppner
Journey into the art of sound, ceremony, and self-discovery. Three different live music performances by East Forest will be complemented by embodiment work designed to help prepare and integrate inner insights. Throughout the weekend, additional time for yoga, meditation, breathwork, journaling, and ecstatic dance will aid you in building a sustainable and reliable connection to Self. 

Reclaiming Your Authentic Power, July 15–17, 2022 with Justin Michael Williams
Award-winning instructor Justin Michael Williams returns to lead this popular workshop, where you’ll learn to overcome self-sabotage and transform your personal pain into true power. All levels of meditation experience are welcome, and 10% of tuition goes to the Dream Bigger Foundation.

Changes & Transitions in Your 40s & 50s: Finding Clarity and Well Being in Times of Change, July 15–17, 2022 with Phillip Moffitt and Jennifer Ward
If you’re considering a big change, are in the midst of one now, or are still feeling the effects of past changes, this workshop is designed to help you skillfully navigate changes and transitions with authenticity, confidence, and clarity. A variety of tools including short meditations, personal assessments, interactive exercises, and time for your personal questions and observations will support you in planning your next steps.

Mystical Realism in Movies: Meeting the Numinous Through Mindful Viewing of Films, July 17–22, 2022 with Francis Lu
This iconic film-viewing seminar returns to Esalen offering the opportunity to experience the numinous through the lens of 10 films that exemplify mystical realism. Mindful viewing of works directed by Stanley Kubrick, Peter Weir, Terrence Malick, Robert Zemeckis, Werner Herzog, and David Attenborough among others, along with films inspired by the writings of Carl Sagan will be further enhanced by contemplative reflection and group interaction.

Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life, July 22–24, 2022 with Raphael Cushnir
Setting your heart on fire starts with removing whatever is dampening the flame. Through individual and small-group work, movement, and meditation exercises, you’ll learn practical steps to feel all of your emotions with compassion, uncover your limiting beliefs; and create a life of greater ease, joy, and connection.

Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage, July 29–31, 2022 with Daniela Urbassek and Jessica Fagan
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, you’re invited to rest in the natural beauty of Big Sur while gaining a foundation in the art and practice of Esalen® Massage. Beginners will be taught basic skills and gain the ability to give and receive a simple massage, while experienced practitioners will rejuvenate their senses and the quality of their touch. 

The Power of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, August 1–5, 2022 with Shauna Shapiro
Are you ready to change how you feel, how you relate, and how you live — for good? Learn the basic brain science and powerful science-based practices to help alleviate anxiety, boost creative thinking, and deepen your sense of belonging and purpose. With practice, you can literally rewire your brain for greater feelings of calm, clarity, connection, and joy.

Nature and Contemplation: Cultivating Wild Mindfulness, August 8–12, 2022 with Steven Harper
Open yourself to the natural world and to the landscapes of your inner world. Each day, you’ll venture out on 4-8 mile day hikes into the magnificence of Big Sur, while practices from a range of contemporary and age-old wisdom traditions help weave together a holistic experience of self and the natural world. Read more from Steven about connection in The Journal.

Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series, Part 3: Maṇḍala: The Macrocosm and the Microcosm, August 12–15, 2022 with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú
Explore the relevance and significance of the maṇḍala (“circle”) in Tantric traditions and learn practical modes of meditation involving internal visualization and externalization of maṇḍalas. Discussions of academic research findings will be intertwined with meditation, art, and music, creating a holistic inquiry into what gives Tantra its power and therapeutic potential. Watch: The Myth, Reality, and Freedom of Tantra.

More On-Campus Workshops

We have even more workshops still open for enrollment or wait list.


Live Extended Education Program (LEEP)

What would happen if you pressed pause on your everyday life and gave yourself four weeks to evolve and transform at Esalen? If you’re ready to take the LEEP, we’re accepting applications for these five exciting programs.

Streams of Energy: Eastern Bodywork and Movement, May 7 – June 3, 2022 with Jim Gallas
This month is designed to open you to your innate healing potentials, experience the power of safe therapeutic touch, and be more fully present in your unfolding as a unique expression of Source. Connect and laugh with a supportive healing community while you learn Shiatsu, Qi Gong, and Reiki.

Becoming Kin: Tending Relationship with the Natural World, June 4 – July 1, 2022 with Noël Vietor and Fletcher Tucker
Explore your ancient and essential relationship with the natural world through numerous, outdoor, hands-on, physical practices, including two long-form hikes. Engage in mindfulness practices to cultivate natural awareness, explore biology and botany to better understand any place, discover perspectives on humanity’s place within nature through poetry and prose, learn about pan-ancestral traditions of foraging and crafting for food, medicine, utility, and beauty, and more.

CranioSacral Therapy: Exploring Presence and Intentioned Touch, July 2–29, 2022 with Karen Axelrod
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle and profoundly moving form of bodywork known to help regulate the central nervous system for body-mind-spirit balancing. Learn how strong therapeutic presence and intentioned touch facilitate safety and comfort for clients, while practicing hands-on techniques to help unravel pain and dysfunction and enhance health in every dimension. To attend this program, you must be a professional healthcare practitioner or student, or meet the course pre-requisite requirements.

Leadership and Presence, July 30 – August 26, 2022 with Suzanne Scurlock
Presence is the hidden key to successful leadership. Learn to develop greater presence by paying attention to the subtle cues you receive from your body and the surrounding environment all the time, and use these signals to help you regulate your energy reservoir, make healthy connections, maintain good emotional boundaries, and have more powerful leadership conversations.  

Burnout Recovery For Health Care Workers & Therapists, August 26 – September 23, 2022 with Lissa Rankin, MD
Healers need healing too. After all that healthcare workers and therapists have endured the past two years, this month-long program is designed to heal the healer in a trauma-informed way, and transfuse you with life force. Experience a variety of self-healing tools collected by Dr. Lissa Rankin during her 10 years traveling the globe to study Indigenous healing and faith and energy healing, as well as cutting-edge trauma therapies from her book Sacred Medicine.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.

Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?

And if you’ve always wanted to visit Esalen but haven’t been able to find the room in your budget: did you know about our scholarship program?

Learn more


Esalen Team