Esalen Institute 2020

  • Esalen Institute 2020

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

December 20 -27, 2020

It takes some training to equate complete letting go with comfort.
in fact, “nothing to hold on to” is the root of happiness.
There’s a sense of freedom when we accept that we’re not in control.

~ Pema Chodron

Download a Flyer! Esalen Dec 2020

Facilitated by Stewart Cubley & Staff

This seven-day retreat on the edge of the world at Big Sur, CA is a one-of-a-kind experience. Founded in 1962, Esalen Institute is known as the birthplace of the human potential movement. Stewart Cubley has been presenting The Painting Experience here for over thirty years. Between painting sessions you’ll enjoy Esalen's natural hot springs, join a yoga or dance class and meet stimulating people over meals in the spacious dining hall with unparalleled views of rocky cliffs and open sea.

In our nurturing studio environment, you’ll receive individual attention and gentle guidance to help you open to inspiration, creativity, growth, and change. The Painting Experience is about your creative process, not technique or training. There will be no judgment of your work or comparison with others. Instead, you are given the opportunity to embrace your own creative voice and confidently follow it. People from all levels of experience are welcome, including those who have never picked up a paintbrush.

"I now understand why people keep taking this class again and again. It is a rare and unique opportunity to be free of the judgments, critiques and limitations to creativity that traditional western art practices support. " ~ Edy Rhodes

Tuition & Registration

Registration for this workshop is completed through the Esalen Institute website.

Or by calling Esalen at 1-888-8-ESALEN (888-837-2536).

International callers toll free line: 703-342-0500.

For general information about Esalen, call 831-667-3000 or email

Workshop tuition, five nights lodging and all meals are included in Esalen's registration fee. Meals begin with dinner on Sunday evening and end with lunch on Friday.

You'll also have access to the Esalen hot baths, yoga, movement and meditation classes, massage and bodywork sessions (additional fee), and an Esalen evening presentation on Wednesday night.

Workshop Schedule

You may arrive at Esalen any time after 2 pm. Room keys are available from the Gate or the Office after 2:30 pm.

Opening Night Session:

Sunday: 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Daily: Monday- Saturday

Mornings: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Afternoons: 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

(Wednesday & Friday evenings off)


Please visit the Esalen website for a detailed description of accommodations.

Discounts & Scholarships

The Continuing Participant discount is not available for this workshop.

Scholarships & Work Exchange may be available for this workshop through Esalen Institute. Inquire here.

Continuing Education Credits

32 CE Credits are provided by the Institute for Art and Living for:

  • MFT, LCSW, LPCC and LEP by the California Board of Behavioral Science.
    • CE Credits provided by CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
  • RN by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
  • Fee: $25.00
  • PDF of CEU Description

Read more here.


Cancellation Policy

Esalen's cancellation policy will apply to your registration. For details, click here: Esalen - Registration & Cancellation Policies


Esalen Institute

55000 Highway 1 Big Sur, CA, 93920

Google Street View

55000 Highway 1 Big Sur, CA, 93920


Getting to Esalen

Van Shuttle Service provided by Esalen Institute:

  $80 from Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY)

$120 from San Jose International Airport (SJC)

$140 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. Van Shuttle Service: Schedule & Pickup Locations

Driving Directions

Driving Directions

For point-to-point driving directions, click here. Click on “Directions” and enter your starting address.