Esalen Institute is located on 120 acres of fertile land carved out between mountain and ocean, blessed by a cascading canyon stream and hot mineral springs gushing out of a seaside cliff.
300,000 people have come from all over the world to participate in Esalen’s 50-year-long Olympics of the body, mind, and spirit, committing themselves not so much to “stronger, faster, higher” as to deeper, richer, more enduring.
They come for the intellectual freedom to consider systems of thought and feeling that lie beyond the current constraints of mainstream academia. They come to discover ancient wisdom in the motion of the body. They come to rediscover the miracle of self-aware consciousness. At best, they come away inspired by the precision of a desire to learn and keep on learning through all of life, and beyond.
Cheryl Fraenzl, Director of Programs at Esalen, has attended the recent Gatherings
The Esalen Vision
Esalen is a major catalyst in the transformation of humankind, working with individuals and institutions to integrate body, mind, heart, spirit and community in a nurturing relationship with the environment.
The Esalen Mission
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, seeking answers to questions unlikely to be explored by traditional universities and religions. We sponsor pioneering initiatives and offer personal, spiritual, and social transformation programs for residents, interns, and workshop participants.
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.
Growth. We share the right to realize our potential to love, to learn, to feel deeply, and to create, living fully in all aspects of our being — mind, body, heart, soul and community. We take risks to reveal and discover ourselves. We provide learning opportunities and support personal and social transformation.
Service. We value relationships and community, doing service by offering our experience and support to the growth of others.
Responsibility. We know and take full responsibility for who we are including our choices, attitudes and actions. We acknowledge our part in each situation and recognize that our actions affect others.
Integrity. We strive for congruency among our values, beliefs, words and actions and to cultivate authentic self-expression.
Stewardship. We take care of Esalen and the land. We take responsibility for the way we use all that is available to us. We understand and interact with the natural world with consideration for those here now and those who will follow.
Presence. We are willing to return to body and sensation, seeking to be here now and fully experience what is in this moment.
Community. We recognize the interdependence of all things, appreciating diversity of persons, thoughts, actions and beliefs. We are aware that our actions and attitudes affect the whole.
Gratitude. We recognize and honor the gifts of each moment.
Statement of Purpose
Esalen Institute exists to promote the harmonious development of the whole person. It is a learning organization dedicated to continual exploration of the human potential, and resists religious, scientific and other dogmas. It fosters theory, practice, research, and institution-building to facilitate personal and social transformation and, to that end, sponsors seminars for the general public; invitational conferences; research programs; residencies for artists, scholars, scientists, and religious teachers; work-study programs; and semi-autonomous projects.