The Way Forward: How To Stay Inspired, Reintegrate, and Find Hope in the Shadow of the Pandemic | An Esalen Digital Summit
March 13–14, 2021
March 13, 2021
March 14, 2021
with Ken Dychtwald, Justin Michael Williams, Shamini Jain, Dorothy Charles, Janet Stone, Lucia Horan, Mark Coleman, Lorin Roche, Camille Maurine, Kirti Srivastava, Jeffrey Williams, Swirl Jordan Moore, Deva Munay, Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart, Julia B. Canfield, Christine Chen, Robin Wilner, Janis Cooke Newman
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This March 13 & 14, Esalen Institute proudly presents the first of our digital summit series, The Way Forward: How To Stay Inspired, Reintegrate, and Find Hope in the Shadow of the Pandemic.

The Way Forward Digital Series will explore the concept of collective trauma, how it both unifies and divides us, and most importantly, how we can face it together to heal on a local and national level. In this first event, Christine Chen, host of Esalen Live!, bestselling author, master yoga teacher, and Ayurveda advisor, will engage Esalen teachers, activists and thought leaders, and movement, embodiment, and meditation practitioners  at the top of their fields to reveal what they’ve learned from the experiences of this past year and help us re-envision our world. 

The two-day program includes multiple tracks to dig into, from interviews with incredible thought leaders and activists to a session on prolonged somatic grief processing through dance and movement. Each speaker interview will be followed by a live Q&A with the Speaker, and every attendee is welcome to join in connecting with our luminaries. In true Esalen style, we will open the event on Saturday and close it on Sunday with a group awareness practice. These Friends of Esalen check-ins will be hosted by Jessica Hartzell, leader of our Community and Advancement Team.

The roster of world-class speakers includes Ken Dychtwald, Justin Michael Williams, Shamini Jain, Shelly Tygielski, and Ira Israel, and incredible movement, meditation and embodiment teachers like Lucia Horan, Janet Stone, Lorin Roche, Deva Munay, and more.

We're all living through this challenging moment together and need tools to cope and re-imagine, so The Way Forward is available to all, completely free. To support this great work and help Esalen make high-caliber digital experiences accessible to everyone, you may choose to contribute on a sliding scale.

Contributions starting at $99 or higher will give you the opportunity to go back and see any of the fantastic presenters that you may have missed the first time. We want you to have the freedom to choose your own experience, and we also don’t want you to miss a thing! In this second offering, we include full replay access to all the sessions for up to a full year, so you can go back and see the sessions you missed, or replay them whenever you need them. 

All attendees, whether free or paid, get a complimentary one-year Friends of Esalen membership, and access to the Integration Journal Prompts, written to guide you through your healing process after the event has come to a close.

Announcements for the second- and third-quarter summits in June and September will follow in the coming weeks.

Ken Dychtwald

Ken Dychtwald is a long-time Esalen lover, a gerontologist, psychologist, educator, author, lecturer, consultant and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Age Wave and has been a leading thinker on aging-related issues since 1974.

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Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams works at the intersection of music, mindfulness, and social justice. With his groundbreaking book, Stay Woke, and over a decade of teaching experience, Justin has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness.

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Shamini Jain

Shamini Jain, PhD, is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego. Shamini integrates clinical psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, vocal performance, and East Indian spiritual practice to teach others how they can best heal themselves and live joyful, meaningful lives.

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Dorothy Charles

Dorothy Charles has been a student and teacher at Esalen since 1982. A student of Esalen co-founder Richard Price, she combines Esalen body-centered Gestalt with relational Gestalt theory, and leads workshops in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

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Janet Stone

Janet Stone traveled to India in 1996, where she dedicated herself to a conscious evolution through yoga. Janet blends a wealth of knowledge and yoga experience to create a unique, vigorous yet sumptuous approach to Vinyasa yoga. She teaches in San Francisco and leads retreats internationally.

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Lucia Horan

Lucia Horan was born and raised in the Esalen community and is a leader, wife, and mother. She has been teaching since 1998. Lucia received life-long direct training with Gabrielle Roth in the 5Rhythms® method. She is formally empowered to teach Buddha dharma in all capacities.

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Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman is a Buddhist meditation teacher who has been teaching insight meditation for 20 years. He is author of Awake in the Wild, From Suffering to Peace, and Make Peace with Your Mind, and leads nature-based meditation retreats and mindfulness teacher trainings in the U.S. and Europe.

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Lorin Roche

Lorin Roche, PhD, has practiced and taught meditation since 1968. He earned his degree for research in the language of meditation. He is the author of The Radiance Sutras and Meditation Made Easy.

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Camille Maurine

Camille Maurine is the author of Meditation Secrets for Women and Meditation 24/7. Her work synthesizes meditation, movement, and expression, with a keen passion for women’s spiritual empowerment and embodiment.

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Kirti Srivastava

Kirti Srivastava builds connections between the arts and healing to provide a holistic approach to honoring the whole being in all areas of life in order to heal, grow, and expand.

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Jeffrey Williams

Jeffrey Williams is the founder of Lifestyles of Light and Vitalist Institute. He is a multi-disciplinary transformation artist teaching and facilitating through movement, breath and sound, and self-governance since 1999.

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Swirl Jordan Moore

Swirl Jordan Moore, SWIRL LIFE founder and teacher/guide/facilitator at the Vitalist Institute has been leading people through self love to full expression for eight years.

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Deva Munay

Deva is passionate about the transformational power of sacred sound. She has a certificate in Sound Healing from the Globe Institute of Sound & Consciousness in San Francisco, and lives in Big Sur where she leads sound journeys and teaches yoga, meditation, and her signature class “The Hive and Hum,” about honeybees and frequency.

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Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart

Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart is a pediatric psychologist, parent coach, author, and owner of A New Day Pediatric Psychology. She’s a speaker and writer on parenting, childhood diagnoses, ADHD, executive functioning, and racism. Dr. Lockhart is also a freelance writer for PureWow, PBS Kids for Parents, a contributor for The Gottman Institute, and serves as a board member for the VeryWell Review Board.

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Julia B. Canfield


Julia is a tender-hearted, trauma-sensitive yoga teacher. Her modalities include somatic healing, tarot reading, and photography. She weaves ritual, narrative, and body-based awareness together to help others move through their suffering and into a richer, more balanced life.

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen is the co-founder of Spellbound Yoga and best-selling author of Happy-Go-Yoga. Christine’s 20-year study of infusing yoga and Ayurveda into her life and teachings helped her emerge from painful traumas to embrace empowered, natural well-being. (E-RYT500 + E-RYT300 Lotus Flow/Ayurveda; YACEP)

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Robin Wilner

Robin Wilner is a master yoga teacher, certified holistic nutritionist, and co-founder of Spellbound Yoga. She devotes her lifestyle and teachings to healing with food and yoga as medicine, drawing from Ayurvedic principles and her vast studies over the past decade. (E-RYT500, YACEP, MS Holistic Nutrition).

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Janis Cooke Newman

Janis Cooke Newman is the author of two award-winning novels and a memoir. She is also the founder of the Lit Camp writers conference, and Creative Caffeine Daily, an online community for writers. She is also a long-time Buddhist practitioner.

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Workshop Schedule

Sat 9:00 am - Friends of Esalen Check In
Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Speakers & Presenters
Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Speakers & Presenters
Sun 4:00 pm - Friends of Esalen Check In

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing

Maximum $99.00 – Pay-what-you-can Sliding Scale, starting at $0 - Includes invitations to in-person, post-interview chats with the Speakers

$99.00 to $250.00 – Enthusiast- Includes a full year of replay of all Featured Speaker interviews and Movement & Embodiment sessions