Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Fall in Love with the Natural World in February


Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat, February 4–6, with Dan Zigmond
Students will leave this retreat with everything they need to start, revive, or deepen a daily meditation practice led by Zen priest, writer, and data scientist Dan Zigmond. Students will receive instruction in traditional Zen meditation and will sit together, practicing within guided sessions. Discussions unpack obstacles to meditation plus how to overcome them. Experience a bit with Zigmond on Esalen Live!

The I in the Storm: Bringing Self Leadership to Everyday Life, February 14–18 with Richard Schwartz
This workshop introduces the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy and teaches healing professionals and all who are interested a highly effective way to guide people to a state of inner clarity and compassion (called the Self), from which they know how to heal themselves. Participants will gain the tools to understand the role of the Self, discuss the role of mindfulness in self-awareness, and recognize the essential features of the IFS model.

Embodying LGBTQ+ Love: Celebrating Our Relationships, February 18-20 with Toni Bergins, MEd and Rev. Erika Allison
What if there was a space in which our love was not just tolerated, but celebrated… where our relationships were not judged and shamed, but showered in support, encouragement, and care? Come strengthen your couple-love through heart-opening practices and deepen your self-love through movement, expression, music, ritual, and meditation in a weekend dedicated to LGBTQ+ humans.

Self-Compassion in Inner and Outer Relationships, February 21–25 with Richard Schwartz
This five-day retreat is open to anyone — currently in a relationship or not — who wants to explore the idea that it is possible and optimal to bring one’s full heart to any important relationship. In a safe and supportive environment, this experience will offer ways to work with the parts of ourselves that stand in the way of giving and receiving love fully.

Wild Eros in a Fragmented World: Soulcraft as Radical Participation, February 28 – March 4 with Geneen Marie Haugen
In Wild Eros, students will approach the waters, forest, gardens, and creatures (human and other) as a lover, awakening the wild body and mythopoetic imagination where everything is alive and intelligent. Our soulcraft practices will include ceremony, deep imagery, dreamwork, trance drumming, dancing, and solo wandering.

Check the Journal every other Monday to see the latest additions to the schedule and sign up for our newsletter for monthly updates on new workshops and more.

There’s still time to plan your trip to Big Sur. These workshops are still open for enrollment or waitlist:

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


Can't make it to our Big Sur campus? As part of our Digital Extended Education Program (DEEP) you can register for one of two six-week online workshops and learn from the comfort of your own home.

We're All Gonna Die: Nourishing Life and Preparing for Death, January 10 – February 17, 2022 with Reverend Bodhi Be
Explore the emotional, psychological and spiritual work for living deeply, aging wisely, dying well and showing up for the world. This course is appropriate for anyone involved in death-work, including social workers, doctors, nurses, hospice care facilitators, end of life practitioners, and death doulas, or for people who care for a dying loved one, those who have recently experienced the death of someone close to them, and anyone seriously engaged in the field of transforming consciousness.

Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine, January 17 – February 22 with Dr. Julie Von and Lucia Horan
Join us as we journey into an exploration of ritual healing for women, exploring our relationship with the feminine, feminine wisdom, and how we navigate the world. This course is open to anyone who identifies as a Woman+.

“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?


Esalen Team