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Connection in a Time of Social Distancing

Five ‘Conscious’ Films to Watch Right Now

Between stay-at-home mandates, tending to our families as well as ourselves, we may find ourselves craving pauses in our days. We checked in with Esalen Inspirational Film Festival Artistic Director Trina Wyatt for suggestions on “conscious” films to consider viewing that evoke a sense of heart, mindfulness and discovery. From deep spiritual messages and unconventional yet profound journeys to an eye-opening documentary, here are Trina’s suggestions for conscious cinema. Enjoy.

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A Janet Stone Meditation

How do you find your center? Experience Esalen faculty Janet Stone’s tranquil meditation, which invites us to be still, ground ourselves and delve deeper into a space of inner-connectedness. From this place, we can explore what lies beneath the surface of our emotions and tap into a greater sense of inner power. During moments of stillness, the clarity we gain offers an opportunity to discover how to harness our strength and utilize it in other areas of our lives. Janet's soulful guidance stands out here.

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A Reading From 'The Radiance Sutras'

What’s your favorite poem? Esalen Program Specialist Paula Wild reads from The Radiance Sutras edited by faculty Lorin Roche, whose life's work as a beloved writer and teacher shines brightly here. Lorin's contemporary interpretation of the timeless, universal meditations of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is sublime and in this offering, read by Paula, it explores the deep emotional waters we can swim and the deeper connection to the self that becomes possible.

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Creating Greater Vitality During Prolonged Uncertainty

When Esalen faculty Elissa Epel realized that an inventive mix of pragmatism and science were ideal tools for optimal living, she set out on an ambitious path to share that knowledge with others. As president of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Longer, Elissa shows us that when we turn to evidence-based tools for living a vibrant life, even in the presence of stress, anxiety or a crisis, we create a greater capacity for vitality.

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Big Sur Sunshine: An Immunity-boosting Juice for Our Times

While we all adjust to sudden lifestyle changes during COVID-19, there’s a vibrant call to action taking place: boost our immune system. With that in mind, we turned to the Esalen Juice bar to be reminded that juicing raw ingredients like turmeric root and ginger not only provides flavor to our juices but it is one of the best ways to enhance our immunity when health concerns are higher than normal, especially during times of stress. Enter: Big Sur Sunshine.

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Five Books To Read or Revisit Right Now

For many years, Esalen faculty Michael Sapiro, who leads the week-long workshop Stillness and Spirit: Playing in the Fields of Awareness, Sound and Movement September 27–October 2 at Esalen, has been instrumental in assisting others with reducing the “noise, distraction and disconnection” experienced in our modern era. By reminding us to rest in a spacious stillness where we simply are present, Michael, who is a clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, reminds us that dwelling in a place of pure awareness is a treasured gift.

With COVID-19 impacting us globally, that kind of gift can be a powerful tool as we find ourselves sequestered at home. One way to remain fully aware and “be in the moment,” is to read, Michael says. In fact, now more than ever, is the perfect time to catch up on our old favorites or dive into a brand new read. We turned to Michael, who shares five stellar book recommendations with Esalen:

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Seven Ways to Bring Esalen in Your Home

Esalen may be temporarily closed to the public but the spirit of Esalen remains intact. In fact, that spirit, which first came to light back in 1962 when co-founders Michael Murphy and Dick Price founded Esalen, can be implemented wherever we are. During challenging times, we can invite Esalen into our homes and smaller communities. The following guideposts show us how.

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