Whats the future of the New Age retreat Esalen?

Suspended next to the rocks of the Pacific Ocean, Esalen is an ideal sanctuary.

Great NYT article discussing the fears of what might become of the growing ‘corporatism’ of the infamous new age retreat in Big Sur California. Having originally introduced yoga and organic food to America, the many classes and practices offered have now become mainstream, easily found on the street and even more popular with the growing wellbeing and happiness trend that Esalen is in need of evolving – fast. What is the future of thinking about the spiritual self and how is that integrated into thinking about exploring new methods to explore what our future selves might be?

Esalen’s leaders say they are tweaking the institute’s balance between the personal and the social with an emphasis on the latter so they can present the next “edge” to America. But others, including people formerly and currently associated with Esalen, say it is losing its relevance in a culture where New Age has become a cliché. The retreat’s half-century anniversary has coincided with continuing protests over the layoff of longtime employees as part of a management restructuring.


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