Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Set Your 2022 Intentions at Esalen


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.

Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance, December 20-26, 2021 with Zuza and Scott Engler. Soul is flow, an ever-changing cloudscape of textures, hues, sensations, scents and feelings. Soul is how the deathless Presence meets and moves a finite human body. In this workshop, students will reclaim the body-in-motion as a doorway to the soul’s flow, to the life that is unfolding just under the surface of everyday forgetting. Soul Motion is a meeting with self and others in a dance that is deeply nourishing, creative, intelligent, emotionally savvy, heartbreaking, soul-making, spirited, and transforming. This formless dance form allows for passionate, full-bodied movement as well as mindful inner explorations, art making, ritual and luscious lounging. Watch Zuza Engler on a recent episode of Esalen Live!

Emerge In Conscious Flow: Step into the New Year with Yoga and Energy Awareness Practices, December 27, 2021 - January 2, 2022 with Hannah Muse and Gitanjali Hemp. Enter the New Year with clarity, possibility, and joy. Stepping over this threshold moment together, we’ll cultivate a foundation of unshakable stability and radiant well-being so that we can better navigate the shifting landscapes of our lives. Participants will practice yoga, meditation, energy work, nature ceremony and moon magic, and connect to our essence nature. Through a playful process of reflection and refinement, participants will craft their meaningful intentions for the New Year.

Releasing into Presence: A New Year’s Meditation and Music Retreat, December 31, 2021 - January 2, 2022 with Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton and special musical guest, Adrienne Shamszad. Bring in the New Year with a rejuvenating weekend filled with meditation, music, and the time and space to release the old and welcome in the new. Buddhist teacher and scholar Lopön Chandra will offer expert guidance in meditation to help you release into grounded presence with ease and comfort. Students will learn techniques for developing shamatha, “calm abiding,” meditation including the practice of mindfulness of breathing which is an especially effective approach to soothing the body and calming the discursive mind and the more advanced techniques for “settling the mind in its natural state.” On Saturday night (New Years Day), Adrienne Shamszad, Iranian-American singer-songwriter, culture preserver and teacher, will serenade everyone with her inspired music.

Unlocking the Creative Within through Yoga, Writing, and Mindfulness, January 7-9, 2022 with Cara Chandler and Darnell Walker. After the holiday season, it's time to return to the inward journey, to focus on your inner artist. Whether you are just beginning your creative journey or returning, this workshop utilizes approachable modalities of yoga, meditation, and writing, welcoming all to attend. Using humor, levity, and creativity, intuitive meditation and movement guide Cara Chandler and writer, artist, and creator Darnell Lamont Walker will lead students through the journey of affirming their inner artist, recognizing your creative blocks, and understanding the creative process. Listen to Artist in Residence alum Darnell Walker on Voices of Esalen.

Tantra: Freedom and Self-Sovereignty (svādhikāra), January 7-10, 2022 with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú. Have you ever wondered if your own mind and body may hold the key to unlocking a path to transformation? Today the word “Tantra” has an incredibly array of culture-specific meanings in South Asia and around the world, ranging from the exploration of anything strange, to the carrying out of a guru’s instructions, and yes — also to sexual practices. One overarching meaning that encompasses all is this: Tantra, as an applied method of acquiring freedom from external interference and of obtaining self-sovereignty (Sanskrit: svādhikāra) along this very path to transformation. Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating new workshop, the first of a signature series on Tantra, and explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Maps to Ecstasy: 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Workshop, January 10-14, 2022 with Lucia Horan. Maps hold all the information required to lead us to where we want to go. What is your destination? In times of turmoil and change Somatic Meditation can assist you in navigating your way out of resistance and into ecstasy. Through Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms® movement practice and traditional seated meditation, one may build a skill set that supports balance, ease and joy. If you have been looking to increase appreciation, gratitude and happiness, then now is a perfect time to celebrate being alive in the wild wondrous, natural beauty of Esalen. Each day will include discourses on 5Rhythms philosophy and embodied practice, seated meditation, Dharma talks, and sharing. In an abundance of caution and with deep care for the health of all of our students, the faculty requires that students for this workshop submit a negative COVID test two days prior to arrival at Esalen. Information on how to communicate test results will be sent to you via email after registration.

Total Immersion for Total Transformation, January 9-14, 2022 (Sunday-Friday) with Raphael Cushnir. Get ready for an intense time of ecstatic rebirth. This small-group workshop is for you if you are ready and 100 percent willing to: determine the aspects of your life that are calling for healing and change; begin that healing and change on the very first day of the workshop; commit to an action plan for its completion. Take a giant leap forward in consciousness. Help create and support a small, like-minded community committed to the same leap. Raphael Cushnir creates a safe and gentle environment to help call forth your very best, using tools like: emotional-release work that combines vipassana, metta, and tantric approaches, journaling and vision-boarding, dyadic and triadic communication process, and movement and chanting.

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.

“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