Meditation as the Medicine of the Mind: Research and Practice

  • The Esalen Institute The Esalen Institute
  • 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA
  • Apr 24, 2015 - Apr 26, 2015 (3 days)
  • $405.00 – $1,750.00 (based on accommodation type)

About us

The inner work we need to do feels endless, and we never have the time to do it. ‘Life’ gets in the way, and we slowly become numb to ourselves and our surroundings - a dull autopilot takes over our lives.

This retreat isn’t another opportunity to tune out. It is tuning in. With clarity and awareness we explore our body and mind.

Meditation as the Medicine of the Mind

Does meditation have power to heal the body? In their research together at The Integrative Medicine Program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Lorenzo Cohen and Alejandro Chaoul examine the biobehavioral effects of mind-body interventions such as meditation, yoga, and t'ai chi. They are interested in quality of life as well as the clinical outcomes of those undergoing cancer treatments, and they work to get the population as a whole engaged in mind-body practices to improve health and well-being.During this workshop, in a vivid and interactive dialogue with the participants, Chaoul and Cohen will discuss the negative effects of chronic stress in our lives and the new frontier of mind-body medicine. They will focus on the landmark studies showing that practices such as meditation and yoga can change the way the brain functions and ultimately affect all systems of the body. Engaging in mind-body practices can lead to neuroplasticity (changes that occur in the organization of the brain as a result of experience) and improved well-being. Participants will be shown key mind-body practices for everyday life.This workshop is especially useful for those in the helping and healing professions in working with their clients and patients.Recommended reading: Rinpoche, Tenzin Wangyal, Awakening the Sacred Body.CE credit for psychologists;CE credit for nurses;CE credit for MFTs and LCSWs;


Accommodations at Esalen are almost always shared. Couples will be housed privately. A variety of accommodation options is possible with workshop registration. Since some of these fill more quickly than others, it is advisable to sign up as early as possible. Please indicate your second choice for accommodations and workshop in case your initial choice is unavailable. We cannot guarantee specific room requests.

All rates include: workshop tuition or personal retreat fees, organically grown food with vegan and vegetarian and gluten-free options, 24-hour use of hot springs bath facilities, Arts Center access (except when a workshop is scheduled), meditation in the Round House, and participation in scheduled daily classes such as yoga, dance, meditation, art and special events.

Standard Rooms

Standard rooms are shared housing, with two or three people per room and in some cases a shared bathroom.Couples are housed separately. Guaranteed single housing in a standard room is available on a limited basis for an additional $125 per night.

WeekendFive DaysSeven Days

Standard Room near Maslow

Point Houses

Point Houses are private suites nestled behind the Esalen Garden and perched at the cliff's edge with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Each of the three Point Houses offers a living room with wood stove, a master bedroom, a sleeping loft, full kitchen and dining area, private redwood deck overlooking the Pacific with outdoor clawfoot tub, Internet connections, and an in-room telephone.

OccupancyWeekendFive DaysSeven Days

Esalen Premium Room Bathroom

Point House

Premium Rooms

Premium Rooms offer greater privacy, upgraded bathrooms, and enhanced sound and climate insulation. You can request either ocean view or internet (ethernet cable provided) with in-room phone, and we will do our best to honor these requests. 

Please call 888-837-2536 for details about premium room accommodations and availability.

OccupancyWeekendFive DaysSeven Days

All rates include: workshop tuition or personal retreat fees, organically grown food with vegan and vegetarian and gluten-free options, 24-hour use of hot springs bath facilities, Arts Center access (except when a workshop is scheduled), meditation in the Round House, and participation in scheduled daily classes such as yoga, dance, meditation, art and special events.

Esalen Premium Room in the Murphy House

Bunk Bed Rooms

Bunk bed rooms are shared accommodations with four or more people per room. 

Weekend5 Days7 Days
Bunk bed exterior

Off-site Accommodation

Off-site accommodation is available for those who are attending a workshop or special event and staying off property.

Weekend5 Days7 Days

Sleeping Bag Accommodation

Up to 12 sleeping bag spaces are offered per workshop period, and are BYOB. These spaces are in meeting rooms and as a result may have limited access in the evening when workshops are in progress.  There is available storage space outside the meeting rooms when the rooms are being used (9AM-11PM). 

Weekend5 Days7 Days

All camping or sleeping on the grounds, either in tents, campers, or vehicles of any type is strictly prohibited. We do not have parking space to accommodate RVs.

This moment is my treasure house, filled with infinite potential to act, speak & think in a way that is good for myself & all beings.


Kitchen & Dining

Whether after a rigorous workshop session or a long soak in the hot springs, a meal among friends in our lodge is surely one of the most nourishing and enlivening Esalen adventures.

The Esalen kitchen staff serves delicious, healthy meals to 250 to 350 people per day. This includes everyone from workshop participants and teachers to Esalen board members and staff. The kitchen team crafts each meal with mindfulness and care, featuring produce and herbs from the Esalen farm and garden.


Breakfast: 8:30 - 9:45 am
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
Dinner: 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Between Meals

Coffee, tea, house-made bread for toast, preserves, nut butters, and fresh fruit are available all day and night until 5AM.

Hot cereals, quinoa, eggs and steamed prunes for breakfast  at Esalen lodge.

Getting Here

We are located along a scenic and relatively remote stretch of California's central coast, approximately 12 miles south of Big Sur. Our address is:

Esalen Institute
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA, 93920

Traveling by Air

Our closest airports are in Monterey and in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) – 47 miles, approximately 75 minutes
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC) – 120 miles, approximately 2.5 hours
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – 150 miles, approximately 3 hours

Airport Van Shuttle

Whether you're flying into one of Esalen's nearby airports or you live locally, using the shuttle service is a great alternative to renting a car or driving your own. You have the choice of relaxing quietly and enjoying the views down coastal Highway 1, or starting a conversation with one of the other participants sharing the ride with you. Either way, you arrive refreshed after the journey and have the satisfaction of knowing you made a sustainable choice.

  • $60 from Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY)
  • $100 from San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • $120 from San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Prices listed include round-trip transportation and are payable upon arrival to Esalen. No discount applies if return trip is unused. Return service must be confirmed with the Esalen office at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Please message us to book or cancel an airport van shuttle reservation.

Driving Directions

From San Francisco or points north:

  • Take Route 101 South.
  • At Prunedale, take Route 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.
  • Take Highway 1 South approximately 45 miles, past Monterey, Carmel, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
  • Nepenthe, a popular restaurant located on the ocean side of Highway 1, is 11 miles north of Esalen.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is 3 miles north of Esalen.
  • Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the right side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.

From Los Angeles or points south:

Those coming from the south should take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo, and then take Highway 1 north to Esalen.

What to Bring to Esalen

Accommodations can be a little rustic and drafty and the coastal weather unpredictable--we recommend bringing a few items to make your stay more with us comfortable and safe. 

In addition to layered and comfortable clothing and items necessary for your workshop, we encourage you to bring:

  • Flashlight
  • Alarm clock
  • Hair dryer
  • Medications
  • Toiletries (shampoo & conditioner)
  • Water Bottle (NON glass)
  • Cash –There is no ATM onsite
  • Hiking shoes/ Sneakers
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs – If sharing a room.
  • A watch ( as cell service doesnt work here)
  • Warm layered clothing

What to Leave at Home

A few things we encourage you to do without:

  • Candles or incense or anything flammable as the fire danger is severe and they are not allowed.
  • Any illicit drugs as we have a strict anti-drug policy
  • Pets which are not  service animals
  • Expensive valuables as we do not have safes and cannot guarantee their safety.

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

Send a message to:
Meditation as the Medicine of the Mind: Research and Practice
Book Now:

Meditation as the Medicine of the Mind: Research and Practice

at The Esalen Institute

  • Apr 24, 2015 - Apr 26, 2015 (3 days)


Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

Return to my event ×

Try free for 14 days


Free Retreat Givewaway

We love you. And because we do, we're giving away another free retreat.

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Need an escape into only yoga. Larson

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

Don't have an account? Sign up.
Or connect with Facebook

Already have an account? Log in.
Or connect with Facebook