Esalen is a leading center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research. We work toward the realization of a more humane and all-embracing world.
For half a century, Esalen has been a primary thought leader and shapeshifter of the culture, generating and promoting new ideas, methods, and connections that have transformed our world. As we move into Esalen’s next half-century of creative influence, we honor our rich legacy, celebrate our initiatives and our outreach today, and embrace our common human future in an emergent world culture of tomorrow.
Esalen exists to serve the world — not as a refuge from it. We believe in the deeply transformative power of this place, recognizing that retreat and refuge must always be, ultimately, in the service of something larger than yourself. So we are organized to give you the tools to unleash latent capacities and re-energize your sense of purpose — for yourself and the world.
We look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities, forge new understandings of self and society, and pioneer new paths for change, tracing the arc from change to change agent.
Human possibilities vastly exceed our imagination. Realization of the human potential transcends religious and scientific dogma. Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions of our being are inextricably joined. Transformation of consciousness is the basis for transformation of the world; individually, collectively, and in social systems. All share the potential to love, learn, feel, and create. Esalen explores these possibilities and celebrates unity in diversity.
Esalen is a noun and a verb, a seat of energy, an exhilarating adventure, a wellspring for the mainstream. It is a place of pilgrimage, grounded in a wildly alive environment—the spectacular, unparalleled, convergence of mountains and water that is the Big Sur coastline. Esalen also travels the world as an inextinguishable, animating spirit—healing lives and history, sweeping away tired paradigms, and igniting change. There is nothing else like it.
Esalen is not only a retreat center or an educational institute. Anchored by the inspiring beauty of Big Sur and an unparalleled intellectual history, Esalen is a world-wide network of seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities; forge new understandings of self and society; and pioneer new paths for change.
Whether you come to process personal pain or to embark on a modern-day vision quest, we provide the crucible and catalyst, and workshop leaders whose integrity and skills embody the highest standards of practice. We ask that you become attuned to the here and now, and understand that the relationship between self and world is an intensely communicative process that’s continually created and recreated.