Workshops

Our workshops are designed to support you in the challenging work of self exploration, in partnership with some of the leading minds of the day. Join us in discovering the next frontiers of individual and societal transformation.

Interested in a scholarship? Learn more here.

We publish new workshops on an ongoing basis. Sign up below to receive  notifications when new programs open for registration.

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What is vitality? Exuberance, vibrance, sparkle, spirit, and verve — terms rarely found in psychology textbooks. Vulnerability to depression and anxiety is widespread, and our culture’s traditional emphasis is on reducing symptoms with drugs that alter certain neurotransmitters, which is only part of the picture. We are living in a new era where vulnerabilities can become strengths, and where what used to be stigma becomes common humanity. Good mental health is being redefined in terms of stress resilience, post-traumatic growth, and vitality.

This workshop explores evidence-based tools for living a vibrant life, even in the presence of stress, depression, anxiety, or any pain we may be carrying. We will help you build your own ecosystem of mental well being — including new ways to foster vitality and purpose, through caring for the brain, body, and gut, including:

  • Hot and cold exposures
  • Optimal physical challenges
  • Breathing techniques
  • Meditation
  • Embodied movement

A mental health renaissance is underway. Mental well-being is being redefined, and a range of evidence-based, whole-person approaches are gaining ground. Learn from renowned authors and scientists actively engaged in the field how to create an ecosystem of mental well-being for yourself and your clients.

Continuing education credit is available for some professionals through the Spiritual Competency Academy. See detailed approval information and learning objectives.

Cultivating Vitality in Body, Mind, and Spirit: The Ecosystem of Mental Well-Being
May 27–29, 2022
May 27–29, 2022
May 27, 2022
Cultivating Vitality in Body, Mind, and Spirit: The Ecosystem of Mental Well-Being
with Cassandra Vieten and Elissa Epel

Is your life an expression of who you really are? Is this the perfect time to pause and dig deep for what’s best and what’s next for you? This workshop is about clarifying your deepest values and seeing clearly where you are now and where you need to go to realize your full potential. You will begin to create a path to wholeness and peak vitality through:

  • personal visioning
  • concrete planning
  • a strong commitment to deeper satisfaction

Through experiential processes, group interaction, inspiring videos, and meditative exercises, you can see what you need to do now and take the next steps to get there. Dynamic processes and small group interactions will give you a clear vision of the best you. Mindful movement and deep relaxation practices will support your journey.

Unfinished Business: Create Your Next Steps in Life from the Inside Out
May 27–29, 2022
May 27–29, 2022
May 27, 2022
Unfinished Business: Create Your Next Steps in Life from the Inside Out
with Pam Kramer and Steve Edelman

This workshop calls you to rest in the natural beauty of Big Sur while gaining a foundation in the art and practice of Esalen® Massage. You will learn to sensitively listen to your partner and yourself. The basic core of Esalen Massage includes grounding, moving from the center, quality of touch, proper draping, applying classic Esalen long lengthening strokes, and listening to each person and each body. Skills to address specific problems in the neck, shoulders and low back, just to name a few, will also be presented. Each day will include a brief massage demonstration, including instruction in self-care, with plenty of time to practice giving and receiving with your classmates. By the end of the week, you will be able to give and receive a simple and satisfying massage session.

The instructors will accommodate the group’s different skill levels with at-the-table guidance. Beginners will be taught the basic tools to more skillfully massage their partners, friends, and family. Experienced practitioners will gain techniques that can easily be integrated into their massage sessions, inspiring and infusing their work with a deep sense of presence and flow. An optional evening at the baths — the birthplace of Esalen massage — will be included, weather and space permitting. This workshop is especially useful for those wishing to learn massage and those in the helping and healing professions working with their clients and patients.

Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30, 2022
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
with Ellen Watson and Robin Fann-Costanzo

Join us as we journey into the Moon Lodge, an exploration of tribal and ritual healing for women. How empowered do you feel as a woman navigating this world? What is your relationship to the feminine and her wisdom?

In a world built by dominator cultures, many do not feel the freedom to be fully empowered, and women worldwide have borne the brunt of the cultural norm. The 5Rhythms is a direct path to embodiment and empowerment. By showing up in a practice of presence one can begin to clear the past and live fully in the present. In this dynamic workshop, we will focus our energies on releasing the wild feminine into full fruitful existence.

This workshop will be about celebrating the body of Woman and the sacred feminine within. Through dance, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and ritual cleansing baths, we will share in the sisterhood of humanity. We will poultice the wounds and celebrate the great gift of our ancestors.

Dr Julie Von is a specialist in women’s health. She will be presenting her unique perspective from Chinese Medicine on the five elements, psycho-somatic process, restorative acupuncture, and self-care. She will share how to prioritize these pillars so that you can see when you are in or out of balance. All practices taught here you will be able to bring home and implement into your daily life.

Lucia will guide the group  in integrating the stillness of Buddhist mindfulness meditation with the moving meditations of the 5Rhythms®. 5Rhythms is a moving meditation practice, a map of how energy moves. It shows us the patterns, rhythms, and cycles of life — Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness®. The Buddha encouraged us to bring wise attention to every aspect of our lives.

In this workshop, we will engage in…

  • 5Rhythms Moving Meditation
  • Insight meditation
  • Restorative acupuncture
  • Women’s health practices
  • Woman’s council
  • Group sharing
  • Spa treatments

In sitting meditation, we have the opportunity to observe the mind and body at rest through silent introspection. In the practice of the 5Rhythms, we engage in mindfulness while in motion. The 5Rhythms is a map that teaches us how energy moves. The polarities of moving and sitting meditation together mirror the dance of life and open the door to peace, well-being, and balance.

No experience is required. All workshop hours contribute to 5Rhythms® teachers training prerequisites.

Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30, 2022
Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
with Lucia Horan and Dr. Julie Von

Imagine living without fear, fear of death consumed by direct contact with that which does not die. Imagine approaching the unknown with an open heart. There is a path to this freedom.

For 40 years Dale Borglum has been blessed to be in close contact with many people who were approaching death. Almost all of these people were reaching out for healing — healing in relationship to death, healing in relationship to illness, in relationship to a wounded heart, to separation from their own self. Are there some powerful truths about life and about healing that we can receive from these few who, as they went through the process of dying, deeply realized their own wholeness?

Dying and care-giving for self and for others are fundamentally spiritual processes. Here in the West, our use of ancient Eastern spiritual practices often doesn’t take into account the disembodied nature of modern life. Grounding, centering, developing compassion and appreciating the tantric sacred nature of reality are the foundation for a conscious life and a conscious death. How alive are you willing to be?

In this experiential workshop, we will travel the path to wholeness — the path that includes motivation, trust, compassion, empowerment, and ultimately, healing. We will explore possibilities for healing at the edge of life where illness, grief, loss, addiction, and spiritual yearning arise.

Guided meditative exercises that cultivate these stages of the path will be offered. Communication exercises that bring awareness and compassion to our unconscious resistance to healing also will be shared. Christian, Buddhist, devotional, and felt body energetics approaches will be honored. This presentation is designed for anyone deeply committed to healing.

Healing at the Edge: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying
June 3–5, 2022
June 3–5, 2022
June 3, 2022
Healing at the Edge: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying
with Dale Borglum

Everyone is or can become fertile. While this may seem debatable, even inflammatory, it is actually, wholeheartedly, true. Our common societal standards for measuring fertility, however, are deeply flawed. We are indoctrinated from our formative years to understand the definition of fertility as a physical concept, but what of the spiritual? Our narratives around fertility offer much in the way of diagnosing perceived haves and haves-not, but little in the way of care of the mind, body, and spirit.

Moon Lodge: Spiritual Fertility was brought into the world as a clarion call to those who have felt alone or discouraged on their fertility journey. It is meant to help you cultivate the sovereignty to navigate this journey and to develop a deeper relationship with a universe of untapped energies that can be accessed to your benefit.

In this workshop, you will learn powerful healing tools…

  • Somatic meditation
  • Insight meditation practices
  • Women’s health practices
  • Woman’s sharing circle
  • Group sharing, with Q & A

Join us for exploration in healing family wounds, releasing trauma from your own perinatal/birth experience, and clearing blockages that can be caused by miscarriage, termination, and trauma from medical procedures.

We will discover and be strengthened in our individual connection to sacred motherhood as we join together in the strength of the sharing circle to collectively heal. Through moving and seated meditation, self-care, Women’s health fundamentals, and supportive sharing circles, together we will hold, heal and create new paths for conception and motherhood.

Moon Lodge: Spiritual Fertility
June 3–5, 2022
June 3–5, 2022
June 3, 2022
Moon Lodge: Spiritual Fertility
with Lucia Horan and Dr. Julie Von

For many of us, it is difficult to simply let go, create, and express ourselves. Programmed to fear judgment, we set narrow boundaries on our creativity. The “dragons” of product, meaning, and control limit our choices of subjects, colors, and forms. However, once we find Point Zero, the ground from which creation springs, we can push these fears aside and recapture the magic of spontaneous creation.

This work offers practical ways to dissolve creative blocks and find inspiration so that art becomes not a means to an end but a place we inhabit, a place to explore our true selves and the mystery of our lives.

Michele Cassou has created an original approach to painting as a tool for self-discovery and spiritual exploration. This workshop is a week of painting, support, stimulation, free play, and self-realization for artists and seekers of all stripes — educators, counselors, meditators — anyone with a thirst to revitalize the creative juices.

Michele Cassou, Cherie Ray, and other teachers facilitate this workshop.

Cherie Ray is a coach/workshop facilitator. Cherie has worked and studied the Point Zero Painting Process with Michele for over 20 years. She facilitates the Point Zero method from her Houston, TX studio and virtually around the world.

Jane Malek is a Senior Teacher/Practitioner of Rosen Method Bodywork, practicing in the Monterey, CA area and teaching globally. She has studied Point Zero Painting with Michele for over 40 years.

No experience is necessary, just the desire to unleash your spontaneous self-expression. Please bring a painting apron.

$50 materials fee will be added to the workshop cost at registration.

The Painting Process Rediscovered: The Magic of Spontaneous Expression
June 6–10, 2022
June 6–10, 2022
June 6, 2022
The Painting Process Rediscovered: The Magic of Spontaneous Expression
with Michele Cassou

**Important Prerequisite: enrollment for this retreat is only available for students who have completed Justin Michael Williams Transformational Leader Meditation Teacher Training Certification. In order to register, contact the organization directly at: support@justinmichaelwilliams.com

Join us for this premiere meditation teacher training with a deep focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This program will provide you with the practices, tools, and knowledge to transform your own life and take that transformation out into the world.

In this transformative week-long program, you will learn:

  • To teach meditation to diverse audiences and students who are often marginalized.
  • The secrets to introducing transformational practices to those who are often left out of the personal growth movement and how to get them to engage, now.
  • The behind-the-scenes action of how Justin facilitates small and large group sessions of transformation, so you can start hosting groups of your own.

Whether you take it to your kids, family, community, corporation, organization, school, or national reach — this program will teach you how to use meditation, shadow work, and social equality to change lives. This is your opportunity to cultivate your personal practice and learn how to take inspired action in your life, work, and community.

Becoming a meditation teacher will not only deepen your practice but empower you to create ripples out in the world. Learn to let your soul speak to you, and live an authentic life that you love.

For more information about the Transformational Leader Meditation Teacher Training program, please visit wecandreambigger.org.

The Dream Bigger Foundation’s Transformational Leader Meditation Teacher Training
June 6–10, 2022
June 6–10, 2022
June 6, 2022
The Dream Bigger Foundation’s Transformational Leader Meditation Teacher Training
with Justin Michael Williams

Rebirth, truth, healing, devotion, and a passionate purpose. The mythical phoenix — a legendary symbol of alchemy —represents the psychospiritual opportunity to rise into one’s greater power, strength and wisdom. The extraordinary process of alchemy is transformational — turning wounds into wisdom and pain into love.

This alchemic yoga workshop awakens our power and ignites our heart fire vision through the teaching of six body-centered practices: asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mantra (healing sound vibration), mudra (energy seals created by the hands), meditation (expanded states of awareness), and vichara (self-inquiry). 

Phoenix Rising with Sianna Sherman embodies four thematic Alchemy of Yoga journeys. Each session includes asana, pranayama, mantra, mudra, meditation and self-inquiry. Sianna’s nurturing and invigorating style is elevated through her guided storytelling, shadow work and soul reflection.

  • Friday: Invoke your Radiance – A welcoming, grounding practice of standing poses; engaging the body’s physical alignment and muscles through the lens of functional anatomy; setting the foundation of our practice, calling in our intentions, and dropping into deep rest for full-body restoration.
  • Saturday morning: Awaken your Power – A more up-tempo practice of core work, basic arm balances, dynamic breathwork, and creative patterns of movement that awaken our power and renew our embodied vision.
  • Saturday afternoon: Heal with Compassion – An introspective practice that explores yoga and emotional intimacy with hip openers, seated forward folds, twists, and gentle restoratives.
  • Sunday: Rise from the Ashes – A soulful practice of vinyasa flow, backbends, heart fire vision, and a triumphant metaphoric celebration of rising from the ashes as the phoenix of our own soul.
  • Bonus Session: Ignite Magic – Come together in new community for fireside stories and a collective ritual for healing, rebirth, and re-imagination.

2022 is our year for individual and collective rebirth. The last two years have taught us so much. We are evolving in new ways. We are ready to create something new and to be part of a force that honors both transformation and liberation. The ancient, mythical phoenix holds the empowerment of rebirth and the soul’s alchemical journey. When we transform from within, we share our magic with the world to inspire change and practice freedom for the mind, body, and spirit.

Student Prerequisite: This workshop is best suited to those who love the practices of yoga, and who love to practice.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This workshop will be simultaneously held both live on the grounds Esalen, and streamed digitally into homes around the world. Learn more and sign up for the digital workshop here. Students participating at Esalen will be involved in an on-campus + digital cohort “hybrid” program, which means they may be visible in the livestream during the experience. The on-campus group will be interfacing with the digital classroom during the program. The workshop is a live-only experience, it will NOT be used for future productions. Students will need to sign an acknowledgement of this arrangement in order to participate in this workshop.

Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power Through the Alchemy of Yoga
June 10–12, 2022
June 10–12, 2022
June 10, 2022
Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power Through the Alchemy of Yoga
with Sianna Sherman

Since falling in love is biologically natural, but sustaining love is biologically unnatural, Soul Mate focuses on the art and discipline of sustaining love. You begin with learning how to appreciate your partner so specifically and frequently that your partner feels fully seen and loved.

You then practice both the art and discipline of hearing your partner’s criticisms without becoming defensive. For example, so you don’t have to fear “walking on eggshells” before sharing a concern, your partner first learns how to prepare her or himself to emotionally associate your criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved.

Soul Mate is designed as the next evolutionary shift beyond active listening. Active listening allowed the criticizer to feel heard, but failed to teach the person hearing the criticism how to emotionally associate the criticism with an opportunity to be more deeply loved. The problem? Unless the receiver of criticism feels safe the person sharing their concern cannot feel safe.

You will learn a series of practices and concepts you may integrate into your everyday life:

  • Six methods of sustaining a “conflict free zone” for 166 hours of your 168-hour week.
  • How to create a “Caring and Sharing Time” for the remaining two hours by practicing six mindsets that allow you to not feel defensive when criticized.
  • “Eight Wisdoms” as a foundation for deepening your love.
  • The four “depleters of love,” aka the “Four C’s” (Criticisms, Complaints, Controlling, and Complacency).
  • How to use your new skills with your children, parents and colleagues at work.
  • How to use music and dancing to revitalize your love (to be practiced by dancing before each session).

To sustain your practice after the workshop, you’ll be invited to attend multiple free, ongoing, group follow-up calls to resolve stumbling blocks. If you wish to review the insights and exercises at any time, you will also have the option of purchasing a Zoom version of the course.

This workshop is for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. A couple may be any two people with a history who desire a better future (e.g., parents or partners, married or divorced, newlyweds, parent-child, siblings, etc.). Developed over the past 30 years, this workshop is also used by many health professionals in their work with clients and patients.

Recommended resources: Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, pp. 1-87, by Dr. Warren Farrell; additional video content on warrenfarrell.com.

Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
June 10–12, 2022
June 10–12, 2022
June 10, 2022
Role Mate to Soul Mate: The Art and Discipline of Love
with Warren Farrell

Gestalt Practice at its core is an awareness practice, meant to cultivate embodied, present-moment awareness of the unfolding experience of the here and now on a journey toward authentic wholeness and radical aliveness.

Utilizing the Gestalt Awareness Movement and basic neuroscience, we’ll learn practices that support a more deeply embodied daily life and become increasingly aware of our habitual, reactive behavioral and emotional patterns — especially those that may no longer be skillful.

We will exercise our emotional and somatic intelligence in parallel to support, respect, and gently turn toward what arises moment to moment, and learn to allow more space and appreciation for silence, sensation, emotional expression, and communication.

During this workshop, we will explore the rich practices and principles of Gestalt Practice, apply them to everyday life, and begin to experience the simple yet profound potential for showing up more fully and authentically for the daily presentations of living an awake life.

Gestalt Practice cultivates curiosity, equanimity, and acceptance with greater choice for creative possibilities. Rather than focusing on “fixing”, a “cure”, or seeking “accomplishment”, this approach offers methods to encourage you in:

  • Cultivating awareness and embodied presence
  • Growing responsiveness, resilience, and choice
  • Trusting in your organism’s inherent capacity for self-regulation and co-regulation

Together we will explore the foundations of Gestalt Practice primarily through experiential personal and interactive practices. Gestalt exercises will be done in pairs, triads, and groups, allowing participants to grow their awareness and learn how we can improve our relationships — to self and others.

Steven will make time for some students to experience classic Open Seat practice in one-to-one sessions with the leader in the roles of Initiator and Reflector while in the context of the group.

Through Gestalt, we bear witness to ineffable mysteries that can bring us to living life more fully. Participants are invited to show up, choosing to be present, pay attention to what has heart and meaning, and open to what life presents — letting life live through us.

The workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience. A welcome letter will be sent upon registration along with additional information about our time together.

Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
June 13–17, 2022
June 13–17, 2022
June 13, 2022
Gestalt Practice and Principles: Cultivating Embodied Wholeness in Daily Life
with Steven Harper

As Dr. Egerton’s book Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Social Justice, Anti-Racism, and Healing through the Power of the Enneagram is released, we invite you in to learn how to use the Enneagram and IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism) for reconnection and oneness. As human beings, we all have a desire to belong. Our connection to one another is what allows us to survive and thrive as a species. We will explore the roots of our disconnects, both externally and internally, in order to begin to heal ourselves and thus heal humanity.

In this intermediate-level experiential workshop, you will have an opportunity to surface your similarities and explore and celebrate differences. You will gain new insight into how you are a conscious or unconscious participant in “othering” and marginalizing people based on some aspect of their being.

Through a blend of experiential activities, grounding meditations, Enneagram exploration, enlightening and informational background discovery, and a deep dive into inner work, you’ll be empowered with new tools, knowledge, and community connection to activate as an authentic advocate for all of humanity.

Together we’ll explore in-depth:

  • Using the Enneagram and I.D.E.A. (inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism) to create internal and external expansion to open our mind-body-spirit connection, stand in love against “othering”, and explore the ways that we can heal across differences.
  • Integrating practices for intentional engagement of our three centers of intelligence:
    • The Head Center: An exploration of what we know about all forms of “othering” and where we see the emergence of differences and division.
    • The Heart Center: Experiential practices of seeing and experiencing through the heart to stand in in love, compassion, and oneness.
    • The Body Center: Through exercises and discussion, we will build awareness of what we feel in our bodies — Fight-Flight-Freeze-Fawn. This section will focus on finding where and how your body holds onto experiences of “othering” and prevents you from healing.
  • Engaging with presence to participate in experiential practices, and become more familiar with our own patterns that contribute to “othering”. By learning how to release the underlying emotions of anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, shame, and blame, we can heal from past painful experiences that have been inflicted on us or that we have inflicted on “others”.
  • Using the Humanity Mosaic to explore self-identification and the multidimensional aspects of diversity. As we explore our Humanity Mosaics and the early messages we received about value and othering, we can begin to unravel the complexities of our own value systems and the implicit biases that may be affecting how we connect to other human beings.

Prerequisite: This workshop is an intermediate-level program, meaning that a working knowledge of the Enneagram is required in order to fully participate and take advantage of the work. The program will not contain beginner-level content, so please be sure you are prepared with the tools you need in order to have a successful experience.

Foundational Enneagram knowledge can been found on deborahegerton.com and enneagraminstitute.com.

Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Healing Humanity Through the Power of the Enneagram
June 13–17, 2022
June 13–17, 2022
June 13, 2022
Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Healing Humanity Through the Power of the Enneagram
with Dr. Deborah Egerton

Revitalize yourself entirely during this special edition of Amplified Yoga at Esalen. The Amplified Method is a fun and cathartic way to merge yogic traditions, imagination and emotion, musical vibration, and physicality to transform your life in an instant, bringing you closer to the reality of being as happy and healthy as you can be.

Throughout the weekend, Donovan McGrath leads you in the high energy yoga practices that will help you build the strong body, vibrant energy, and mental clarity that is necessary to endure the pressures of these times while Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation) DJ’s live to propel you through the therapeutic, celebratory experience.  

Expect practices ranging from high-energy kundalini designed to induce natural states of ecstasy to complete stillness and relaxation for the deep rejuvenation of all your systems. Using the signature Amplified Yoga style, we will employ ancient yogic technology, kundalini movement, breathwork, music, mantra, and meditation to unleash your potential.

No matter where you may be in your life, physically or emotionally, the practices and benefits are accessible to everyone. You’ll head home with a rich trove of  tools for:

  • Unleashing creativity
  • Building mental and physical strength and resilience
  • Opening the heart to give and receive love
  • Cultivating connection
  • Expressing self and voice authentically
  • Connecting with intuition and ‘the infinite wisdom’
  • Transforming fear energy to love and bravery
  • Building vitality and immunity

This weekend aims to inspire you, leaving you renewed and refreshed by the Amplified practice, human connection, and Esalen’s pristine beauty.

This event will be indoors and outdoors, so be sure to bring layered clothing. Yoga mats and blocks will be provided to each person in their rooms, so be sure to bring your equipment with you to each class session.

Amplified Yoga
June 17–19, 2022
June 17–19, 2022
June 17, 2022
Amplified Yoga
with Donovan McGrath and Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation)

Our emotions help us respond to the threats and opportunities in our daily lives and profoundly impact our individual and collective well-being. Feeling the joys and pains of our emotions is universal; yet what makes us emotional and how we respond is unique, and we become emotional without our conscious awareness. Developing emotional awareness is like navigating this otherwise invisible inner-landscape by holding the full range of our human experience with compassion and creativity.  

In this experiential workshop, we will draw from the evidence-based Cultivating Emotional Balance training, which integrates the wisdom traditions of modern psychology and emotion research with ancient contemplative practices as a path for transformation.

Each session will balance learning, being, and connecting.

  • Learning will include teachings on the scientific and contemplative foundations of emotional awareness.
  • We practice Being with guided meditations and reflective practices to develop mindful awareness and compassion for our mental and emotional patterns and habits.
  • Connective practices include discussion and small group work to investigate the roots of our emotions through mapping of our emotional episodes, slowing down the reel and seeing the story beneath what triggers us, how we feel, and the ways we respond to our fears, delights, frustrations, enjoyments, feelings of shame, and more.

Throughout this workshop Guest Faculty Teague O’Malley will weave interactive experiences of contemplative art that will encourage an embodied emotional awareness and heart-opening.

The foundation for emotional awareness connects in many ways with our most essential understandings of who we are and who we wish to become. Through learning, being, and doing practices with our emotions, we can remove the “dust from the gold” of our compassionate hearts. Join us for this weekend of transformative exploration and practice.

Recommended reading: atlasofemotions.org; Professional Distress and Meaning in Health Care: Why Professional Empathy Can Help.

Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance
June 17–19, 2022
June 17–19, 2022
June 17, 2022
Cultivating Emotional Awareness and Balance
with Eve Ekman

Source to Screen (S2S) is an immersive week-long lab for creators of all kinds — writers, inventors, filmmakers, musicians, entrepreneurs — anyone who wishes to integrate their spirituality and creativity in order to tap into the deepest source of inspiration and higher intelligence as they bring guided work into the world.

In the words of Carl Jung: “People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.” Breaking down this process of allowing into three stages (Creation, Manifestation, and Transmission), we walk these steps together, in an impactful, sacred process designed for cohesion, connection, incubation, and transformation.

We live in a world of great distraction that doesn’t exactly encourage deep listening. However, it’s not only possible but urgent for us to reverse those outer-facing sensory “searchlights” and go inwards. When you dive into the field of all possibilities, ideas surprisingly find you with a very specific intention. As you attune to that purpose, you gain discernment, direction, momentum, and flow.

Over the course of five days, you’ll face the “demons” that get in the way of bringing meaningful work into the world, including inertia, ego, outer blocks, and inner resistance. You will discover how obstacles can offer an invitation to pivot. You’ll realize that finding your audience/customers early in your process develops organic, sustainable partnerships, growth, and co-creation.

In S2S, you’ll be guided through:

  • Nonlinear Brainstorming to invite new and deeper relationships to ideas
  • Hotseats and Breakouts to foster vulnerability and creative risk-taking
  • Kinetic Creation (yoga, meditation, energy balancing) to increase attunement
  • Radical Pivots and Adaptivity to meet obstacles with poise and intelligence
  • Case Studies

Employing timeless principles from Vedic philosophy, S2S uses nonlinear brainstorming to deepen our inspiration, along with experiential exercises. You will do yoga, breathwork, meditation, and movement to tap into the matrix of your creative capacity. You’ll recalibrate intentions and goals. Every step of the lab contains practical solutions to push through whatever is in your way.

The lab is open (by application) to creators of all levels. You can attend either as an “incubator” with a specific project or idea that you want to workshop, or as an “observer/participant” gleaning knowledge about Conscious Creation by watching the process unfold and also participating in that unfolding. In either case, you must submit a one-page application describing your background and creative goals. If you have a project that you’re bringing to the lab, please describe it in one paragraph, tell us where you are with it, and where you want to take it from here.

See what others are saying, or if you're ready, apply now.

Source to Screen: Accessing, Manifesting, and Transmitting Great Ideas
June 20–24, 2022
June 20–24, 2022
June 20, 2022
Source to Screen: Accessing, Manifesting, and Transmitting Great Ideas
with Paola di Florio and Peter Rader

The Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor is an ancient Indigenous prophecy from the people of the “Americas,” that spoke of a time when the Eagle and the Condor — representing the indigenous peoples of the North and the South — would reunite once again with their original knowledge, strength, diversity and connection to the Earth. This would signal a new “Pachakuti,” a time of reconciliation, reunification, and healing of the land and its peoples.

Join wisdom keepers Erika Gagnon of Canada and Claudia Cuentas of Peru, as they bring together sacred aspects of traditional Indigenous wisdom of the Americas and guide us through several healing ceremonies. Together, we will learn about the importance of ancestral lineage, rites of passage, ceremonies and rituals, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies.

As we explore the healing wisdom of the Americas, you will be invited to inhabit your own authentic wisdom and power, in some of the following ways:

  • Find direct connection with our own natural ability to overcome trauma.
  • Find purpose and a more fulfilling life through the powerful lens of clarity, gratitude, forgiveness, and reciprocity.

When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you will strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a water prayer blessing, a sound healing journey, and a traditional South American healing ceremony.

We will share healing practices together to transform trauma and unhealthy patterns, and to realign body, mind, spirit, and soul back to vibrant health. We will also discuss the parallels between indigenous perspectives, somatic approaches, embodied practices and art as healing.

Now, more than ever, the ancient knowledge of our indigenous earth-based communities is needed to continue existing upon this planet in a healthy and sustainable way — not only for the people of the Americas, but for all beings, all species, and the earth, air and waters of our beloved Pachamama.

Please bring any sacred items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors, sacred objects that have meaning for you, and a journal to write in.

Special Note on Gift Economy:  For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika and Claudia embrace the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support them and their ongoing work.

Prophecy of The Eagle & The Condor: Ancient Healing Ways for Modern Times
June 20–24, 2022
June 20–24, 2022
June 20, 2022
Prophecy of The Eagle & The Condor: Ancient Healing Ways for Modern Times
with Erika Gagnon and Claudia Cuentas

The Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor is an ancient Indigenous prophecy from the people of the “Americas,” that spoke of a time when the Eagle and the Condor — representing the indigenous peoples of the North and the South — would reunite once again with their original knowledge, strength, diversity and connection to the Earth. This would signal a new “Pachakuti,” a time of reconciliation, reunification, and healing of the land and its peoples.

Join wisdom keepers Erika Gagnon of Canada and Claudia Cuentas of Peru, as they bring together sacred aspects of traditional Indigenous wisdom of the Americas and guide us through several healing ceremonies. Together, we will learn about the importance of ancestral lineage, rites of passage, ceremonies and rituals, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies.

As we explore the healing wisdom of the Americas, you will be invited to inhabit your own authentic wisdom and power, in some of the following ways:

  • Find direct connection with our own natural ability to overcome trauma.
  • Find purpose and a more fulfilling life through the powerful lens of clarity, gratitude, forgiveness, and reciprocity.

When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you will strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a water prayer blessing, a sound healing journey, and a traditional South American healing ceremony.

We will share healing practices together to transform trauma and unhealthy patterns, and to realign body, mind, spirit, and soul back to vibrant health. We will also discuss the parallels between indigenous perspectives, somatic approaches, embodied practices and art as healing.

Now more than ever, the ancient knowledge of our indigenous earth-based communities is needed to continue existing upon this planet in a healthy and sustainable way — not only for the people of the Americas, but for all beings, all species, and the earth, air, and waters of our beloved Pachamama.

Please bring any sacred items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors, sacred objects that have meaning for you, and a journal to write in.

Special Note on Gift Economy:  For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika and Claudia embrace the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support them and their ongoing work.

Prophecy of The Eagle & The Condor: Ancient Healing Ways for Modern Times
June 24–26, 2022
June 24–26, 2022
June 24, 2022
Prophecy of The Eagle & The Condor: Ancient Healing Ways for Modern Times
with Erika Gagnon and Claudia Cuentas

What does it mean to be Embodied as a Man?

Join fellow men on a hero’s journey as we explore what it means to be a man in this modern world. Defining masculinity and questioning how we as men ‘walk our talk’ is a powerful proposition that calls us together as a group to explore with courage, integrity and receptivity.

During this impactful weekend through movement, group shares, and sensory awareness, we will explore our edges, move with intention, and explore our vulnerability in the strength and company of men.

Using the tools of the 5Rhythms® movement practice we ground our emotional presence, create non-judgment and supportive witnessing, and come together in a safe space to help heal mind, body, and spirit.

The 5Rhythms® is a dynamic movement meditation practice founded at the Esalen Institute by Gabriele Roth that explores how energy, emotion, and spirit move through the body.  

Guest faculty Nick Ayers will provide a musical soundscape to support the transformational experience. A musician and dancer for over 20 years, Nick has seen the immediate effect of music on people physically, psychologically, and emotionally. He is a constant student of global music and culture who understands that music is one common language shared between all humans. Nick studied sound healing at the Globe Institute in San Francisco with qualifications in sound engineering and audio production from the Recording Workshop.

In the Company of Men: The Embodied Masculine, a 5Rhythms® Workshop
June 24–26, 2022
June 24–26, 2022
June 24, 2022
In the Company of Men: The Embodied Masculine, a 5Rhythms® Workshop
with Douglas Drummond

Explore your unique creative process and express your human potential in a week-long deep dive with The Brothers Koren. Discover your distinct creative personality and how to find harmony and coherence in your own creative process.

We will create a safe space for you to move beyond the inhibitions and align to your authentic expressive impulse by identifying and supporting your distinct voice and creative code.

By using embodied voice techniques, creative process design, and collaborative games, you will learn how to hold a space for playfully encountering your own brilliance and bring your creative expression to life.

Bring your voice, your ideas and your curiosity. All creative modalities are welcome. Art, music, voice, entrepreneurship, anything!

Our bias is that almost everything we do in life involves a level of creative energy; from writing a song or painting a picture, to choosing what to wear in the morning and having a conversation — we are constantly improvising. However, we find that many of us feel disconnected and disempowered in our creative process. Some of us end up feeling stuck or shut down in different stages of our creations, whether experiencing trouble starting or finishing ideas.

What might be possible for you if your creative process was back in flow? We want to help you reframe what it means to be creative, and to connect back to the way we believe nature intended it.

We believe that life is a radically creative act. Join us and explore what is possible!

No experience necessary.

Reawaken the Creative Process
June 27 – July 1, 2022
June 27 – July 1, 2022
June 27, 2022
Reawaken the Creative Process
with The Brothers Koren

R.D. Laing wore many robes in his career, including psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, social critic, author, poet, and mystic, and at the peak of his fame in the 1970s he was the most widely-read psychiatrist in the world. Arguably the most controversial psychoanalyst since Freud, Laing’s meteoric rise in the 1960s was the result of his rare ability to make complex ideas accessible with such best-selling classics as The Divided Self (1960), Sanity, Madness and Family (1964), The Politics of Experience (1967), and many others.

Laing’s impassioned plea for a more humane treatment of those in society who are most vulnerable catapulted him into the vanguard of intellectual and cultural debate about the nature of sanity and madness, and inspired a generation of psychology students, intellectuals, and artists to turn this disarming Scotsman into a social icon. He was a regular presenter at Esalen until his death in 1989.

One of the most seminal aspects to Laing’s approach to the human condition was his exploration into how human beings treat each other: the ethical dimension to our relationships. Laing was psychoanalyst, philosopher, and existentialist, with a no-holds barred critique of the dark side of the human condition, as well as its virtues.

Our program this year will explore what it means to be ethical from the broadest possible perspective, including secular, religious, and philosophical dimensions as conceived over the millennia, including the Greek era, spirituality, and common wisdom.

This program, designed for those seeking answers to what is right and wrong, is a continuation of our previous Esalen programs that focused, in turn, on Laing’s take about the nature of sanity and madness, the therapeutic relationship, altered states, the nature of love, authenticity, spirituality and, last year, happiness.

Our three program leaders will be joined by guest speaker attendees, (many of whom worked intimately with Laing) to assess the question of morality at the most fundamental level. The program will consist of theoretical presentations, panel discussions, and experiential exercises to demonstrate practical aspects of Laing’s legacy.

Among the questions we will explore:

  1. What is the relation between the ethical and the moral? Or is there a difference?
  2. How have our views about the nature of the moral evolved over the millennia?
  3. Does the ethical person have a better chance at happiness? Does it insulate us from suffering, or increase it?
  4. How does the Greek conception of ethics differ from the modern conception, rooted in the social contract?
  5. Is it possible to transcend good and evil? What role does love play in our notions about morality?

Join us for four breathtaking days to explore how we can promote more humane and effective ways of helping those suffering from everyday life.

Note to prospective participants: This program is not structured as an experiential workshop, and contains more lecture and witnessed dialogue than group discussion. Please read the description thoroughly to ensure this is the right fit for your personal growth goals.

This program is best suited for those who are familiar with Laing’s work and who wish to explore it further.

R.D. Laing in the 21st Century: What is Ethical? What is Moral?
June 27 – July 1, 2022
June 27 – July 1, 2022
June 27, 2022
R.D. Laing in the 21st Century: What is Ethical? What is Moral?
with Michael Guy Thompson, Fritjof Capra and Nita Gage

Awaken your internal compass. Join us for this incredible four-day, Friday-to-Monday journey into the art of sound, ceremony, and self-discovery.

Learn to navigate your heart’s wisdom with East Forest and Marisa Radha Weppner. In this intimate, transformational workshop, you will have the unique opportunity to experience three different East Forest live music performances: an intentional ceremony, a full concert, and a group co-creative music session. Additionally, we will use embodiment practices led by Radha that are based upon the principles of Self Awakening Yoga, Somatic Experiencing, and Yin Yoga to create an all-levels, accessible doorway to prepare and integrate inner insights. Ecstatic dance and breathwork are also offered.

In addition to the musical performance and participation experiences, throughout the long weekend we will move through a variety of practices that will aid you in building a sustainable and reliable connection to Self, including:

  • Daily morning yoga and meditation with music
  • Awe-inspiring time in nature
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Ritual music meditations
  • Journaling
  • Ecstatic Dance

Through the primacy of our own heart-opening we can discover a pathway of resiliency and healing from the inside out.

Now more than ever, it is important for us to strengthen our internal resolve and build practices for self-resourcing amidst a fundamentally transitioning society. Together we will explore the wilderness in our own hearts, see nature as a mirror, and walk our walk on the planet with increased grace and compassion for ourselves and others.

East Forest and Radha would like to offer a certain amount of scholarship to those in need. Please apply with this form. If further assistance would be helpful, you may apply for an Esalen scholarship in addition.

Please note: While the retreat space and exercises are conducive to deep inner work, the facilitators and Esalen do not condone the use of, or provide illegal substances of any kind.

Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony
July 1–4, 2022
July 1–4, 2022
July 1, 2022
Journey Space: Music, Movement, & Ceremony
with East Forest and Marisa Radha Weppner

The human need for connection is built into our DNA, and the past two years have been a stark reminder of our deep need for human contact. It’s essential for our well-being, our vitality, and our sense of aliveness.

Coming together can inspire creativity, expand our viewpoints, soothe anxieties, and offer much-needed friction that helps us see ourselves more wholly and become well-balanced beings.

Through yoga and intentional music crafted from ancient beats, we’re thrilled to gather as a community to safely celebrate our interdependence.

We’ll dive into meditation, pranayama, chanting, yoga asana, dance, hot baths, lovingly prepared food, open time, and space to process and reconnect.

Meet Janet Stone and DJ Drez at sacred Esalen on the cliffs, in the hot baths, in the redwoods, on the mat, in the heart. We will be practicing both indoors and outdoors, rain or shine, so bring layered clothing and protection from the sunshine.

Let’s rediscover the power of connection together.

In(ter)dependence Weekend
July 1–3, 2022
July 1–3, 2022
July 1, 2022
In(ter)dependence Weekend
with Janet Stone

Let’s meet together at Esalen, beneath the summer sun, and immerse in the power of movement, community, music, and the glory of this land and her three waters.

Janet, MC Yogi, Marti Bradley, DJ Drez, Amanda, Sita Devi and more will welcome you to a journey rich with connection and the opportunity to reset.

At the edge of the world, we will look simultaneously inward, accessing our deep inner wisdom, and outward to reintegrate ourselves to the natural world. Through yoga, mythology, chanting, dancing, and music we’ll create a different kind of playground — one for the internal senses.

Come dance, sit, and wonder with us as we honor the naturalness of transition, the outward and inward, and the waxing and waning of this precious life.

Please bring a yoga mat.

Summer Yoga Gathering
July 4–8, 2022
July 4–8, 2022
July 4, 2022
Summer Yoga Gathering
with Janet Stone

The Art and Science of Embodied Presence is an experience designed for connection with intention, meaning, reverence, vulnerability, and care. By engaging in neuroscientific and somatic approaches to the mind and body, and by practicing creative and contemplative mindfulness, together we will embark on an embodied journey towards healing through meeting the self in presence — the Truth of who we are.

  • Learn the latest science and scholarship on mindfulness, embodied cognition, and presence.
  • Engage in creative contemplative practices related to dance, improvisational mindful movement, authentic creative expression, and collaborative performance.
  • Cultivate a practice of radical presence, awareness, wonder, and awe of ourselves and the environment we exist in.
  • Self-study through stillness, writing, and creative dialog/collaborative storytelling.
  • Deepen the connection to self and others through self-expression.

Experience the practices with a live accompaniment from Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and song-writing musician Tauwoo.

The Art and Science of Embodied Presence: Mindfulness, Movement, and Music
July 8–10, 2022
July 8–10, 2022
July 8, 2022
The Art and Science of Embodied Presence: Mindfulness, Movement, and Music
with Nkechi Deanna Njaka

Through the practices of 5Rhythms dance, mindfulness meditation, and self-care, we weave together a weekend of healing and celebration. In times of turmoil and change, self-care, compassion, and kindness are qualities required to help us resource and renew. Looking back at all we have experienced in 2021, it is clear that many of us are exhausted. In order to begin to move forward with energy, passion, and creativity, it is important to seed these qualities in our daily life.

Do you need to integrate more self-care into daily life? Would you like to be better resourced and have more energy? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then you are in perfect alignment to participate in this workshop.

The 5Rhythms is an externalization process that through movement, releases and balances the systems of the body. It is a method focused on presence versus performance, while seated meditation offers us a process of quieting the heart and mind, allowing for stillness and integration. Bringing both practices together mirrors the dance of life. We come together to create an environment that cultivates and nurtures joy, calmness, and ease.

Each session will be primarily focused on Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms moving meditation practice. We will complete each practice with a 10-15 seated meditation. Included will be a discourse on 5Rhythms, Dharma and self-care. All practices taught during this course lend to the experience and wisdom of resourcing and renewing our vital life energy.

No experience is necessary. All workshop hours contribute to 5Rhythms® Teachers Training.

Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth

Resource and Renew: A 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Workshop
July 11–15, 2022
July 11–15, 2022
July 11, 2022
Resource and Renew: A 5Rhythms® & Mindfulness Workshop
with Lucia Horan

How well we navigate changes and transitions in our lives has a direct impact on the degree of well-being, purpose, and satisfaction we experience day-to-day. 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 offers you the personal understanding and tools to open to the next phase of your life with clarity and true empowerment.

Throughout this highly interactive program, we offer tools and perspectives to support you in more skillfully managing change. Your experience will include short meditations, personal assessments, interactive exercises, and time for your personal questions and observations. The meditations offer you practical skills to use in your daily life. The self-assessments are designed to give you clarity about your specific situation and support you in taking next steps.

During this workshop, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Discover a “Path to Well-being” that is beyond getting what you want and getting rid of what you don’t want in life.
  • Identify your values and intentions so you have a basis for making wise decisions.
  • Recognize habits of mind that undermine you and learn practices to disengage from their influence.
  • Explore which areas of your life need attention, gain insights about your strengths and challenges in dealing with change, and begin to strategize about next steps.

Expect a weekend full of dynamic inquiry and the opportunity to learn essential life skills for meeting all your changes and transitions with authenticity, confidence, and clarity.

Changes & Transitions in Your 40s & 50s: Finding Clarity and Well Being in Times of Change
July 15–17, 2022
July 15–17, 2022
July 15, 2022
Changes & Transitions in Your 40s & 50s: Finding Clarity and Well Being in Times of Change
with Phillip Moffitt and Jennifer Ward

Doing personal growth work while still engaging in self-sabotaging behavior is like watering a garden full of weeds and expecting roses to bloom. Learn to overcome self-sabotage and transform your pain into authentic power.

In this dynamic three-day workshop with award-winning instructor Justin Michael Williams, you will:

  • Discover your Unique Energy Signature
  • Learn a proven system to help you redefine your life on your terms
  • Learn the eight Hidden Forms of Fear and how to overcome them
  • Break beyond the hidden toxic habits that sabotage your growth
  • Create a custom “power action” that helps you overcome limitations
  • Come together and build accountability with other conscious people who are ready to create change in their lives and the world

Learn practical behavioral changes to help you overcome the hidden patterns standing in the way of your goals. Together, we’ll create your personal action plan and define your “next best move,” so you have a ritual for change that lasts well after the retreat is over. This is your moment to reset, overcome fear and self-doubt, and say “yes” to the life that’s waiting for you.

This program has been designed from the ground up to welcome all people of all genders, races, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. All meditation experience levels are welcome as well.

Recommended Reading: Stay Woke, by Justin Michael Williams

10% of tuition goes to the Dream Bigger Foundation, which provides scholarship funds to underserved communities, and hosts the Liberation Experience, a program that works to unite people across social, political, and religious divides, and other transformational opportunities.

Reclaiming Your Authentic Power
July 15–17, 2022
July 15–17, 2022
July 15, 2022
Reclaiming Your Authentic Power
with Justin Michael Williams

The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe. —Abraham Heschel

Rudolph Otto described the numinous — Mysterium tremendum et fascinans — as the wholly other, experienced as a breakthrough of wonder, both fearful and fascinating. Joseph Campbell echoed Otto when he said that “The first function of a mythology is to reconcile waking consciousness to the mystérium tremendum et fascinans of this universe as it is.”

Filmmakers continually offer us new opportunities to experience the numinous through mystical realism. Quoting Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy, Jeffrey Kripal gives us a definition of how mystical realism appears in film: “[As] an imaginative elaboration of human experiences that have actually occurred to numerous individuals… something both fundamentally subjective (mystical), but also empirical and objective (realism).”

In this workshop, through mindful viewing of ten films exemplifying mystical realism, you will discover Campbell’s “awesome ultimate mystery which is beyond and within [an individual’s] self and all things.” Your cinematic repertoire will include films directed by Stanley Kubrick, Peter Weir, Terrence Malick, Robert Zemeckis, Werner Herzog, and David Attenborough among others, along with works inspired by the writings of Carl Sagan.

Developed over the course of 28 film seminars led at Esalen by Francis G. Lu, M.D. and Brother David Steindl-Rast, this seminar employs methods including mindful film viewing, contemplative reflection, and group interaction focused on the participant’s unique experience of carefully curated films. The viewing experience will be supported by 4K Blu-Ray video projection and a surround sound of seven loudspeakers.

There will be an extensive PDF syllabus for each film.

Mystical Realism in Movies: Meeting the Numinous Through Mindful Viewing of Films
July 17–22, 2022
July 17–22, 2022
July 17, 2022
Mystical Realism in Movies: Meeting the Numinous Through Mindful Viewing of Films
with Francis Lu

“To live in accord with love is to set your heart on fire. In the crucible of such an inferno, all convention burns away. What’s left is an entirely new kind of existence, one full of passion, presence, and infinite possibility.” — Setting Your Heart on Fire

What if you could fall absolutely in love with every moment? What if you could use love’s radiance to heal your deepest wounds and break through any personal challenges — career, relationships, family, weight, self-esteem, addiction, anything?

All of this is possible. It happens naturally when you stop trying to change your life and instead learn to relax into it. This workshop is designed to meet you where you are and then call forth your very best. You’ll discover the simple, practical steps necessary to feel all emotions with willingness and compassion, uncover and transform your limiting beliefs, and create a life of greater ease, joy, and exquisite connection.

This weekend is primarily experiential. It’s designed with the recognition that your heart is already on fire — our job is to remove what’s dampening the flame. The key explorations and practices of this gathering:

  • Take place solo, in dyads, and in triads
  • Focus on the use of precise attention that is mainly centered in the body
  • Feature movement and active imagination
  • Culminate in an “inner surfing” modality that combines vipassana, metta, and tantric approaches

Special note: On Saturday night our group will host a Freestyle Dance Jam, with Raphael as DJ, as a gift for ourselves and everyone at Esalen that night. Remember to pack some loose-fitting attire and get ready to rock and roll and shake and swing and let it all go!

Recommended reading: Cushnir, Setting Your Heart on Fire, and The One Thing Holding You Back.

Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life
July 22–24, 2022
July 22–24, 2022
July 22, 2022
Setting Your Heart on Fire: A Passionate Practice to Liberate Your Life
with Raphael Cushnir

We are in a place in our human journey where we need guidance and support. As we navigate world events, the pandemic, climate change, and our own individual traumas, our goal is to not only survive, but thrive and live powerful lives we can be proud of. Ayni is the Quechua word for sacred reciprocity, and the way in which we humans can be in right relationship with the world around us. These are the times indigenous prophecies have spoken about.

Join us for two days of ceremony with the Earth wisdom teachings from Mesoamerica and Peru as we reconnect, heal, and nourish our hearts. We will work with our ancestors to build our spiritual support team and partake in a plant medicine ceremony with Cacao. We will learn how to make specific offerings to the land that help you create magic in your life.

Being at Esalen provides a special opportunity to be in connection with the elemental spirits of the native coastline and the sacredness of the land where the sweet and thermal waters meet the ocean.  

During our time together…

  • We will learn the ancient Peruvian philosophy of Ayni — how to live in sacred reciprocity.
  • We will learn how to make an ancestral altar for us to connect and have a team of support.
  • We will be supported by the sacred plant medicine of Cacao in a ceremonial space that supports our emotional release and healing.
  • We will experience the power of community healing.

Our weekend will feature two guest faculty, who will bring their magic to enhance our understandings over the course of the week…

Kyle McBride is an international chef, food justice advocate, ferment and wild food enthusiast. He draws inspiration from the abundance and diversity of nature and seeks to honor our sacred connection to the earth through his food.

Marisa Anita Reyes is a community leader and medicine woman who uses her voice, the charango, harmonium, frame drum, and crystal bowl to take people on a journey to open their hearts, meet their ancestors, and connect to Spirit.

Come and share a weekend of Earth-based practices in community with love, support, and guidance as you learn about the Quechua and Mazotec traditions that have honored living in right relation with the Earth for thousands of years.

Ancestral Plant Medicine and Ceremony: Living in Ayni to Heal our Connection with Self and Earth
July 22–24, 2022
July 22–24, 2022
July 22, 2022
Ancestral Plant Medicine and Ceremony: Living in Ayni to Heal our Connection with Self and Earth
with Xochitl Ashe
We need the medicine of joy and magic and fun.

These are the times that all indigenous prophecies have spoken about. We are in a place in our human journey where we need guidance and support the most while we navigate world events, the pandemic, climate change, and our own individual traumas. Humanity is longing for community connection, healing, and ceremony with the Earth more than ever.  

Join us for a week of ceremony with the Earth wisdom teachings from Mesoamerica and Peru as we reconnect, heal, and nourish our hearts. We will work with our ancestors to build our spiritual support team and partake in a plant medicine ceremonies with Cacao. We will learn various daily spiritual practices that include offerings to the land to help you create and connect to the magic in you and your life.

Our week will feature two guest faculty, who will bring their magic to enhance our understanding over the course of the week…

Kyle McBride is an international chef, food justice advocate, ferment and wild food enthusiast. He draws inspiration from the abundance and diversity of nature and seeks to honor our sacred connection to the earth through his food.

Marisa Anita Reyes is a community leader and medicine woman who uses her voice, the charango, harmonium, frame drum, and crystal bowl to take people on a journey to open their hearts, meet their ancestors and connect to Spirit.

During our time together we will…

  • Learn and embody the ancient Peruvian philosophy of belonging to ourselves, each other, and the Earth.
  • Create an ancestral altar to connect with the ancient energies of the land.
  • Engage in practices to support the ancestral connection beyond your workshop.
  • Offer daily Earth-based ceremonies to deepen your connection to Earth and the land you are on, including foraging for fresh ingredients to create a sacred meal that we will share.
  • Be supported by two sacred plant medicine cacao ceremonies in a safe space that supports our heart wellbeing and healing.
  • Experience the power of healing in community.

Being at Esalen provides us a special opportunity to be in connection with the elemental spirits of the native coastline and the sacredness of the land where the sweet and thermal waters meet the ocean.

Life as Ceremony: South American Indigenous Wisdom for Healing and Connecting With the Earth
July 25–29, 2022
July 25–29, 2022
July 25, 2022
Life as Ceremony: South American Indigenous Wisdom for Healing and Connecting With the Earth
with Xochitl Ashe
Women have a unique power of creativity fueled by our reproductive system — the power to create new life and to give birth to our passion projects.

The problem? That energy is often BLOCKED by physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma to the pelvic core and the female organs.

This workshop is designed for all women. You’ll be guided through specialized imagery, movement and hands-on exercises — all done with clothing on — to heal the pelvic core, including the vagina and uterus — the places that tend to hold our deepest wounds.

Wounds may include intimate traumas: rape, abortion, sexual abuse, surgery, childbirth tearing and scars. Wounds also present through self-esteem issues and negative images about our femininity.

Because self-knowledge is vital, you’ll learn simple scientific and anatomic information. You’ll take away practices of profound self-care using pelvic floor yoga and abdominal massage.

You’ll experience exciting new possibilities for renewed feminine energy, better health, and a deeper sense of pleasure in being the passionate, creative woman you are.

There will be time to explore nature and use our connection to the earth to deepen our connection with ourselves. The course will culminate in an evening of nurturing at the Esalen baths.

In this program…

  • Students will learn how to take a baseline in sensation within their own bodies.
  • Students will explore various methods to refill their inner energy reservoirs for maximum health and presence.
  • Students will identify limiting beliefs and discover their antidotes.
  • Students will reclaim their power and path to health for themselves.
  • Students will learn about female anatomy and physiology.

Identity: This workshop is for women born with female anatomy and the accompanying cultural issues.

Attire/Supplies: wear loose and comfortable clothing (preferably no jeans or skirts) as class involves some movement work. A sweater and an extra pair of socks are suggested for times of stillness. You may wish to bring coloring implements and a journal with you to use in class, and/or during our breaks.

Pre-study: it is highly recommended that you read Suzanne Scurlock’s books and listen to the audio downloads that accompany them even if you are not a reader.

Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom (New World Library, 2017. Available via Audio or PDF download at Healing From the Core.) This book comes with several hours of audio downloads to help awaken and deepen into your inner wisdom. Download instructions are found along with transcripts of the explorations in the book.

Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom (New World Library, 2010. Available via Audio or PDF download at Healing From the Core.) Full Body Presence also includes downloads; instructions for obtaining them are at the end of Chapter One. These explorations and are also included with Reclaiming Your Body, which has quite a few more for you to practice with and enjoy as well.

Healing the Pelvic Core™
July 25–31, 2022
July 25–31, 2022
July 25, 2022
Healing the Pelvic Core™
with Suzanne Scurlock

This workshop is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Esalen’s land while gaining a foundation in Esalen® Massage.

Senior teachers will guide you in this experience of connection and presence translated to the massage table. Through lecture, demonstration, and practice with your fellow students, you will be introduced to the essentials — including quality of touch, rapport, respect for our natural impulse toward healing, and mindful body mechanics. You will listen to what is felt as well as what is said. You will learn how to comfortably drape, and how to easily apply the foundational long, integration strokes and gentle stretches that characterize Esalen massage. You will have plenty of time for guided practice and to effectively share your experience. At the end of the weekend, you will be able to give a simple massage to friends and family back home.

Esalen massage promotes feelings of wholeness and reconnects us with our natural state of being. Teaching tools include experiential exercises to awaken the senses, demonstrations, and tableside guidance appropriate for you. The class will enjoy an optional evening in the hot tubs, the birthplace of Esalen® Massage.

This class is appropriate for the new and curious as well as the professionals who would like to rejuvenate their senses and the quality of their touch.

Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
July 29–31, 2022
July 29–31, 2022
July 29, 2022
Fundamentals of Esalen® Massage
with Daniela Urbassek and Jessica Fagan

We are living in a world filled with profound threat, uncertainty, and danger. The COVID-19 crisis is just one example. As a result, leadership — leading yourself and others — is even more important to create and maintain trust to inspire employees. We need leaders who can provide psychological safety even in the face of danger and threat.

Psychological safety starts with the personal effect of the leader, creating an atmosphere of trust in the corporate culture. It starts at the top and filters down through the entire organization. Psychological safety is fundamental for creativity, innovation, and high performance. It establishes trust and respect among team members, allowing them to take risks, for example expressing new ideas, being willing to fail, and asking for help.

Drawing on studies of High-Performance Leadership from the world of sports, business, medicine, music, theater, military, and hostage negotiation, managers can translate this knowledge to the real world of leading.

During this workshop you will develop and learn:

  • Cycle of bonding
  • Leading from the mind’s eye (without falling hostage to anyone)
  • Building trust through secure base leadership
  • The use of words — the power of an interaction
  • Conflict resolution
  • Managing emotions

In this week-long journey, you will explore the roots of your leadership and your leadership talents. The workshop offers cutting-edge theory, experiential learning, and opportunities to overcome barriers to your leadership through personal work and role-plays. Examples of case studies on difficult conversations to build bridges and common understanding will be shared.

Recommended Reading: George Kohlrieser, Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others and Raise Performance; George Kohlrieser, Susan Goldsworthy and Duncan Coombe, Care to Dare: Unleashing Astonishing Potential through Secure Base Leadership.

Leading at the Edge: Building Trust Through Psychological Safety
July 31 – August 5, 2022
July 31 – August 5, 2022
July 31, 2022
Leading at the Edge: Building Trust Through Psychological Safety
with George Kohlrieser

Learn how mindfulness and self-compassion can change everything about how you feel, how you relate, and how you live — for good.

In this workshop, Dr. Shauna Shapiro — a leading scientist studying the effects of mindfulness and compassion on well-being — shows us that acting with compassion toward ourselves is the key. She explains basic brain science and offers powerful science-based practices to alleviate anxiety, boost creative thinking, and deepen our sense of belonging and purpose. With practice, we can literally rewire our brains for greater feelings of calm, clarity, connection, and joy.  We will immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of Esalen, allowing the sounds of the ocean, the magnificent views, and delights of the gardens to nourish and support us.

This workshop is appropriate for anyone curious about mindfulness and compassion and how to deepen our connection with the beauty and mystery of life. All are welcome.

Recommended Reading: Shapiro, S (2022). Good Morning, I Love You: A Guided Journal for Calm, Clarity & Joy. Sounds True, Boulder, CO.

For anyone facing financial hardship, Dr. Shauna Shapiro invites you to contact her directly for tuition scholarship possibility.

The Power of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
August 1–5, 2022
August 1–5, 2022
August 1, 2022
The Power of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
with Shauna Shapiro

Learn to activate the right side of your brain to unlock the insights necessary to break through self-limiting patterns. Based on a Nobel Prize-winning discovery in neuroscience, this methodology helps you think outside the box and live a more creative, productive, happier life.

William Donius, author of the New York Times bestseller Thought Revolution, spent a decade researching and developing this brain-enhancing methodology. He has taught these skills to a wide range of people, from students and corporate executives to scientists and artists. This innovative approach inspires more creative solutions than conventional thinking or brainstorming sessions.

Through easy-to-learn exercises, you can discover ways to harness your intuition and uncover profound insights about yourself that make change possible. You’ll develop practical tools you can apply each time you face an important decision or obstacle in life. You can go home with new ways to unlock your own inner genius and create the life you long for.

Please bring a notebook or journal and a pen.

Recommended reading: Donius, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.

Meet Your Better Half: Unlock Your Right Brain
August 5–7, 2022
August 5–7, 2022
August 5, 2022
Meet Your Better Half: Unlock Your Right Brain
with William Donius

Esalen is the trailhead to one of the most spectacular mountainous coastlines in the world. With the Big Sur wilderness as the primary teacher, participants will explore the beauty of this alive and wild coast, from ancient redwood-forested canyons to dramatic coastal beaches, from rugged, rocky mountains to the soft, grassy slopes of the Big Sur hills.

Drawing from nature and various experiential awareness practices, individuals will be encouraged to open both to the natural world and to the landscapes of their inner world. It is said that Big Sur is not just a place but a state of mind. This wilderness experience seeks to merge mind and place, then to embody what is learned.

Participants in this weeklong workshop will venture out into the magnificence of Big Sur on day-hikes, 4-8 miles in length. The leader will draw from a wide range of contemporary and age-old wisdom traditions, borrowing from psychology, meditation, aikido, and the natural sciences to weave together a holistic experience of self and the natural world.

Each hike begins after breakfast and concludes in time to enjoy the hot springs and dinner at Esalen. Evening sessions include informal sharing and basic awareness practices with attention given to incorporating what is learned during the week into our daily lives.

All levels of experience are welcome. Be prepared for the invigorating challenge of physical activity and the opportunity to simply sit still in quiet reflection. More information and a waiver will be sent upon registration. For an equipment list and frequently asked questions about Steven’s workshops, visit the FAQs.

$40 permit and park entrance fees will be added to workshop cost.

Nature and Contemplation: Cultivating Wild Mindfulness
August 8–12, 2022
August 8–12, 2022
August 8, 2022
Nature and Contemplation: Cultivating Wild Mindfulness
with Steven Harper

Throughout modern times, movement, dance, and the expressive arts have provided individuals and communities with a means of soulful expression, healing, and connection with spirit. This workshop generates opportunities for participants to find such meaning, and become connected with the real issues in their lives. Daria Halprin’s approach to integrative movement will take participants on a unique journey into the sensing, feeling, and imagining body.

The Life/Art Process®, developed by Anna Halprin and Daria Halprin, bridges body awareness, art expression, and psychological processes. Experiencing the Process provides people with an opportunity to understand dance and the expressive arts as a way of learning, healing, expanding creativity, and developing new strategies for personal and professional life.

Each day of the workshop will include somatic awareness practices, individual and group movement and dance, drawing, poetic narrative, improvisation, and life/art reflections. Supported by the immersive Esalen experience, the beauty of the natural environment, and the amazing beats of the musicians, we will delve into themes that matter, explore deeply, play wildly, renew, inspire, envision, and catalyze new resources to bring back into personal and professional life.

Live music with special guest artists support the daily work. They will also be featured in an evening dance jam as well as the Planetary Dance — a community ritual that has been performed in over 40 countries since 1975.

Pioneers in their respective fields, the Halprins worked with Fritz Perls, Ida Rolf, Will Schutz, and others in the early years at Esalen. Their work has been a pivotal part of the groundbreaking human potential, postmodern dance, and healing arts movements since the 1960s.

The workshop is designed for everyone, with no previous experience in dance/art needed. For further information on the work please visit www.tamalpa.org and see Tamalpa Media.

Materials: bring a box of cray-pas oil pastels and a writing notebook.

Please note: masks will be required at all times except outdoors. We will try to maintain some distance while engaging!

Recommended reading: The Expressive Body in Life, Art & Therapy by Daria Halprin; Dances That Matter, Anna Halprin with Rachel Kaplan.

Empowering Creativity Through Movement/Dance & Life/Art Metaphors
August 8–12, 2022
August 8–12, 2022
August 8, 2022
Empowering Creativity Through Movement/Dance & Life/Art Metaphors
with Daria Halprin

What is the relevance and significance of the maṇḍala (“circle”)? In this workshop series we aim to individually and collectively understand maṇḍalas and related sacred shapes and their importance in Tantric traditions. We will also show how the geography of Esalen could be perceived as a sacred landscape or maṇḍala. Our focus here will be on the historical development of the maṇḍala and its connecting link between the internal and external worlds.

Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating new workshop, part of a signature series on Tantra, and explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will explore the latest findings from academic research and ethnographic participant-observation that continue to challenge and reframe our conventional understandings of what Tantra was, is, and what it can be.

Staying true to the roots of Esalen, we will intertwine the research and discussion with authentic Indian folk music performances, and guided meditations to bring this latest research creatively to life in your mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will bring to life Tantra’s connection to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices in an eye-opening and unforgettable way.

In this workshop, you’ll be invited to:

  • Develop an understanding of what a maṇḍala is and how to use it to journey from various points in meditation and on your personal path.
  • Learn to communicate your personal practice to friends and family using your new academic, researched-based understanding.
  • Creatively explore your divine potential.
  • Enjoy the benefit of overcoming negative projections and self-generated illusions by means of both formulating and canceling aspects of this network as desired.
  • Learn practical modes of meditation — including internal visualization and externalization of maṇḍalas.
  • Understand the connection of Tantra with art and music, and see a broader continuum of its relevance in daily life.

Please Note: This workshop is NOT about Tantric Sex and experiencing enhanced sexual pleasures, although much of what we discuss will address gender identity and sexuality. We invite you to join us for this series of workshops that will blend meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into what gives Tantra its power and therapeutic potential. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Maṇḍala: The Macrocosm and the Microcosm
August 12–15, 2022
August 12–15, 2022
August 12, 2022
Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Maṇḍala: The Macrocosm and the Microcosm
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú