ESALEN INSTITUTE TIMELINE
1930 Michael Murphy was born in Salinas, CA and Dick Price was born in Chicago, IL.
1952 Murphy and Price graduated from Stanford University where each independently experienced transcendent moments and extraordinary spiritual experiences.
1956-1957 Murphy resided at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India and formulated an integral practice that engage mind, body, emotion, and spirit.
1956-1957 Price was involuntarily signed into Institute of Living and began to formulate his later focus on alternative therapies.
1960 Price and Murphy met at the Cultural Integration Fellowship in San Francisco.
1961 Price and Murphy moved to Murphy family property at Big Sur Hot Springs.
1962 Esalen Institute incorporated as a non-profit educational foundation that offered weekend seminars with Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley, and Ansel Adams and other artistic and intellectual luminaries..
1962 Charlotte Selver initiated the Esalen sensory awareness program that became the foundation for Esalen Massage.
1964 Ida Rolf developed structural integration bodywork at Esalen.
1963-1969 Fritz Perls gave Gestalt workshops at Esalen and lived at the Institute.
1962-1964 Abraham Maslow refined humanistic psychology in lectures and workshops at Esalen, but never lived there.
1965-1972 Will Schutz developed encounter groups and drew national attention to Esalen.
1965 George Leonard, former editor of Look joined Esalen leadership and became a major force at the Institute.
1964-1973 Esalen became the international hub of the Human Potential Movement.
1967-1976 Murphy established a small Esalen workshop center in San Francisco and moved to the Bay Area..
1969 The movie, Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice, a spoof on Esalen, became a movie box office hit.
1975-1985 Price led Esalen in Big Sur and focused on community, bodywork, and Gestalt Awareness practice.
1985 Price died while hiking, and Murphy recruited new leadership at Big Sur.
1998 El Nino destroyed hotsprings enclosures and a number of other areas, requiring costly rebuilding.
1998 Murphy established the semi-autonomous Center for Theory and Research related to an earlier, more informal sub-group..
1998 Key bodyworkers established the semi-autonomous Esalen Massage and Bodywork Association.
2003 A major leadership transition occurred as Gordon Wheeler became both CEO and President of the Esalen Board of Trustees.
2004 Esalen moved into the mainstream of the personal growth industry. Major figures from the Esalen community and Gestalt Awareness Practice withdrew and moved to other venues.
Beginning in the 1960s, Esalen Institute in Big Sur California brought ordinary Americans myriad experiences for personal and spiritual growth, and thereafter it operated primarily as a destination resort/spiritual retreat offering workshops on topics related to spirituality and psychology.
The Institute was never a fully developed new religious movement, but during its first two decades it functioned as the crucible and conduit for innovative ideas about self-actualization and spiritual practices that spread throughout North America and Western Europe. Moreover, Esalen facilitated the growth and spread of a number of new religious movements and religions: Americanized Zen Buddhism (Downing 2002); the Rajneesh Movement (Anderson 1983:299-302); Arica, a synthesis of Sufism and Gurdjieff’s teachings; and Psychosynthesis, which attempts to guide participants to pure awareness of their souls (Anderson 1983:222-44). The Institute has continued to function on a number of different dimensions: an idyllic spiritual retreat; a personal and spiritual growth center; a spa; an educational center; and small think tank for conferences about esoteric spirituality.
Esalen’s founders, Michael Murphy and Richard Price, both graduated from Stanford University in 1952, but they did not meet for another eight years. Both men were brought up in liberal religious traditions, which they each came to feel lacked sacred experience or authentic spiritual focus. In his childhood, Murphy carried on his family tradition and became an active Episcopalian who considered becoming a priest, while Price was confirmed in the Episcopal Church despite his father’s Jewish roots.
After college graduation, Murphy lived at the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry, India, for eighteen months, while Price spent close to a year at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, a private psychiatric institution that often forced patients to undrgo electroshock therapy. Their disparate experiences shaped Esalen’s multifaceted goals of spiritual exploration and emotional healing and personal growth.
In the early 1960s, each man returned to San Francisco in order to study spirituality and determine a personal life course that centered on spiritual goals. Price briefly lived at East-West House with Gia-Fu Feng, a renowned Taoist teacher, but he moved to the Cultural Integration Fellowship, where Murphy and other residents explored Aurobindo’s philosophy and practiced yoga and meditation under the direction of Haridas Chaudhuri, who had been one of Aurobindo’s prized students.
In 1961, Murphy and Price went to live the Murphy family‘s vacation retreat that was a little less than a three hour drive from SanFrancisco. There were several summer homes and a small motel on over twenty-seven useable acres of a 120-acre site that included the Big Sur Hot Springs. The extraordinarily beautiful site stretched along cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, with the Santa Lucia Mountains above it. Soon after they settled into the larger of the Murphy family’s summer houses, the two young men decided to create a weekend seminar center at the motel, where guests could stay for a few days and attend seminars and workshops inside or on the deck overlooking the ocean. However, with encouragement from Fredric Spiegelberg, a Stanford professor who championed Aurobindo’s spirituality; Alan Watts, a well-known Zen popularizer and former Episcopal priest; and Aldous Huxley, a philosopher and novelist, they soon hoped to develop a year round retreat and seminar center.
Early in 1962, Price and Murphy scheduled their first series of seminars and incorporated Esalen as a non-profit educational institution. With financial support from the Price family and generous terms from the Murphy family and its trusts, they first leased buildings and land parcels, then refurbished them, and later purchased them with their respective family money. The two founders selected the name Esalen in order to acknowledge the long-vanished Esselen Indians, who considered the land around the hot springs as sacred space, because of the confluence of the Pacific Ocean, the nearby creek that flowed from the Big Sur River, and the underground sulphur hotsprings. Murphy and Price hoped that their venture would add to knowledge that allowed all Americans to expanded their spiritual possibilities and embrace new practices. From the beginning, however, the founders had different priorities that would ultimately lead to schisms within Esalen.
Murphy wanted to model Esalen on Aurobindo’s Indian ashram and focus the Institute on the spiritual doctrines and practices associated with Integral Yoga. Aurobindo believed in evolutionary human potential: the entire human race had the potential to evolve to higher states through the individual cultivation of extraordinary human abilities such as extra sensory perception or the ability to foretell the future. Price supported Murphy’s ideas, but he grounded his spiritual practice in Taoism and Zen. He focused on emotional healing and growth and emphasized that human emotion was as important as mind, body and spirit.
During its first year, the Institute attracted a number of well-known seminar leaders such as Ansel Adams, Carl Rogers, B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow, Arnold Toynbee, and Buckminster Fuller. However, by the end of its second year, Esalen began to restructure its schedule and prioritize workshops that helped participants cultivate immediate experiences of the relationships between the self and the sacred.
In 1963, Charlotte Selver made sensory awareness a signature Esalen practice and attracted a growing constituency that developed Esalen Massage. And the next year, Tim Leary and Ken Kesey, and Ram Dass led a handful of experiential workshops on psychedelics that fundamentally changed the Institute’s public identity. Seekers of spiritual experience and self-transformation crowded out the intellectuals, as word of Esalen spread across the country (Goldman 2012:55-56).
In 1964, Fritz Perls (1969), the guru of Gestalt psychology, took up residence at the Institute, as did Will Schutz, a former UCLA psychology professor who popularized encounter groups in his best-selling book, Joy (1967). Perls and Schutz had competing perspectives about personal and spiritual growth, but they both emphasized the importance of raw, immediate emotions in uncovering an individual’s core self and his/her connections to humanity and the universe.
Individuals in Perls’ Gestalt psychology workshops worked with him before an audience of other participants. While they were on the “hot-seat,” volunteers acted out conflicts in their lives in vivid psychodramas that Perls interpreted. Perls’ Gestalt groups depended on his somewhat autocratic leadership, but Schutz’s encounter groups focused on participants’ relationships with one another rather than with a therapist (Litwak 1967). The relatively unstructured groups discussed and also acted out patterns that might impede members developing their full human potentials (Wood 2008). Schutz, and therefore Esalen, reached deep into mainstream culture when he appeared for three consecutive nights on the popular “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” soon after the release of his bestseller Joy (1967), a book that went through nine printings by Grove Press in the late 60s. The Institute’s early impact on popular culture was magnified further in 1969 when Hollywood stars Natalie Wood and Dyan Canon, who had worked with both Schutz and Perls, starred in Bob&Carol&Ted& Alice,a major motion picture that gently satirized Esalen and encounter group culture.
During the period of intense growth and public recognition, Esalen workshops operated almost every day of the year. A small residential community sprung up on the grounds and other devotees built houses nearby in Big Sur. In less than a decade after the Institute was founded, Americans who had never before heard of spiritual retreats or growth centers considered visiting Big Sur after detailed descriptions of the Institute appeared in mainstream media, in part because of social networks cultivated by George Leonard (1988), an editor of Look Magazine, who superseded Dick Price as Michael Murphy’s partner and closest confidante.
Whether they were favorable or critical, pieces in Holiday, Life, Newsweek, Ramparts, Look Magazine, and Time contributed to the Institute’s reputation as a catalyst for individual psychological transformation, spiritual experiences, improved intimate relationships, and new social arrangements (Carter 1997:34). Esalen’s high visibility and successful programs spawned a number of imitators and in the late 1970s, there were close to a hundred “Little Esalens” committed to facilitating personal and spiritual growth (Rakstis 1971). Many workshop leaders made their livings moving from one retreat center to another on a workshop circuit, but the most famous figures in the human potential movement (Wood 2008), Schutz, Perls, and Maslow were publicly identified with Esalen throughout their later careers.
Only few of Esalen’s imitators, notably Omega Institute in New York State, remained successful in the twenty-first century. Esalen’s advocacy of unlimited human possibilities, however, injected spirituality into humanistic and transpersonal psychology and supported the growth and spread of a number of practices, such as meditation, yoga of all types, Reiki, and other forms of spiritually-oriented massage. Esalen valorized personal religiosity and daily practice, reflecting its founders’ own priorities and also resonating with cultural demands for richer personal spirituality (Bender 2010).
In the 1970s, someone attending a workshop or spending a month as an Esalen work-study student might begin the day with yoga or meditation, try out an Esalen massage, participate in an encounter group, sit Zen with a visiting monk, go to an after dinner lecture on Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s philosophy, and then take a late night soak in the hotsprings. For some participants, Esalen represented a gateway to full commitment to a new religious movement. However, most visitors who wanted to achieve their full human potentials became spiritual bricoleurs (Levi-Strauss 1962; Bender 2010). Throughout their lives they combined different options, sampling various spiritual innovations from Ayurveda to Zen. Bricolage is by definition unfinished, so there is unlimited demand for new kinds of spiritual practices.
Two significant shifts in America’s religious marketplace contributed to the Institute’s early successes and also allowed spiritual bricolage to become more prevalent (Roof 1999; Wuthnow 1976; Bader 2006). There was a growing supply of spiritual teachers and innovators coming to the U.S. because the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 allowed them to enter the country in larger numbers than ever before (Melton 2003). Esalen introduced new kinds of spiritualities to both committed and casual seekers (Goldman 2012:57-9). Spiritual seekership accelerated because liberal, mainstream faiths lost membership throughout the sixties. Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) were disillusioned with both the teachings and the secularized practices of the Protestant Mainline and Reform Judaism (Roof 1999; Wuthnow 1976). The demand for new kinds of spiritual experiences at places like Esalen grew because of the availability of new choices and the growing demand for spiritual enrichment (Finke and Ianaccone 1993).
By 1972, Schutz, Perls, and Maslow had left Big Sur. Selver continued to lead workshops, but had other projects in the San Francisco Bay area. Nevertheless, the Institute sustained its symbolic importance until the late 1970s, when many of its innovations had already become commonplace in American psychology, spirituality, and education. Michael Murphy attempted to establish a San Francisco Esalen branch in the 1967, but it was not successful. Despite the fact that the small centre on Union Street was never popular, he continued to spend most of his time in the Bay Area, writing a best-selling novel, Golf in the Kingdom (1972), that linked Zen meditation to successful golf. The novel spread Esalen and Aurobindo’s message to wider audiences and created a lasting association between Esalen and the relatively elite sport that contradicted Esalen’s foundational equalitarian premises.
While Michael Murphy and George Leonard were still involved when the Institute’s visibility began to wane, Dick Price stewarded Esalen and developed Gestalt Awareness Practice. He revised Perls’ approach to emphasize equality between therapist and participant and incorporate Zen and Taoism into the process of emotional healing. Price introduced mindful meditation as a central element in psychotherapy, anticipating innovations that were widely adapted by clinicians in the twenty-first century (Kabat-Zinn 2012).
At various points in he seventies, Price left Esalen to immerse himself in Arica, Oscar Ichazo’s psycho-spiritual approach to higher consciousness, and than he briefly became a sannyasin of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Anderson 1983:299-302). However, Gestalt Practice was always his central focus. In the early 1980s Price moved Esalen closer to the mainstream and to financial stability, when the California Board of Registered Nursing and the California Medical Association certified some of Esalen’s massage and personal growth programs as means of fulfilling professional continuing education requirements. Price died in a 1985 hiking accident. Murphy briefly returned to Big Sur in order to steer the Institute, and then he turned strategic leadership over to several successful businessmen who supported Esalen’s spiritual priorities. Most notable was Steven Donovan, who had helped found Starbucks coffee empire.
In the mid 1990s, Price’s son returned to Big Sur and became Esalen’s operations manager until 2003, when he left to live in Europe. The Institute grew more differentiated during this period, as the massage and bodyworkers formed a semi-autonomous corporation, EMBA, guest operations and workshops reached out to larger markets, and Michael Murphy focused his energy on developing an Esalen Center for Theory and Research to explore different aspects of Aurobindo’s evolutionary human potential. Murphy spent most of his time in the Bay Area and he became increasingly engaged with the California Institute of Integral Studies, an accredited graduate school with about 1,500 students that emerged from the early the Cultural Integration Fellowship where Dick and Michael met. Both Esalen and the CIIS benefitted from substantial funding from Murphy’s trusts and from Laurance Rockefeller’s Fund for the Enhancement of the Human Spirit. Both CIIS’s and Esalen’s survival and continued influence reflect Rockefeller’s priorities (Goldman 2012:143-47).
In the mid- twenty-first century, Esalen moved toward a more mainstream financial model. While still operating as a non-profit, the Institute has focused on guest relations and outreach, developing its identity as a spiritually oriented resort that is part of a loose consortium of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). This is notably reflected in the 2012 appointment of a boutique hotel entrepreneur to Esalen’s Board of Trustees. However, Esalen’s small Center for Theory and Research still sustains a commitment to research, theory, and writing that explores topics related to Aurobindo’s philosophy.
DOCTRINES AND BELIEFS
Esalen’s many approaches to personal and spiritual growth are grounded in the basic assumption that hidden sparks of divinity are located deep within all humans and link them to one another and to the cosmos. There is a distant, benign force at work (Stark 2001:9-30). These conceptions of divine personal essences and supernatural forces frame the many paths to self-discovery that Esalen has offered over the past six decades. Esalen’s foundational doctrine is compatible with every liberal faith tradition, as well as many new religious movements. According to this perspective, the universal truths shared by all great religions and philosophies are what really matter (Kripal 2007:8-11). Esalen does not embrace faiths that posit one true God because they represent fundamentalisms, but groups that emphasized the congruence of many faiths, as the Rajneeshees did, are welcomed.
Michael Murphy’s Center for Theory and Research holds conferences on different aspects of extraordinary human functioning. Following Aurobindo, Murphy asserts that the development and spread of extraordinary human powers can contribute to human evolution and social progress (Schwartz 1993:73-116; Leonard and Murphy 1995: xv).
Because men founded Esalen in the late 1970s, there has been an implicit emphasis on spirituality as an active, sometimes masculine project (Goldman 2012). Sport, physical experience, and sexuality are all affirmed in Esalen’s history and in its eclectic contemporary workshops.
The Institute’s foundational doctrine is a world-affirming one that posits an integration of spiritual and material progress (Wallis 1979). Esalen has always promoted each person’s obligation to contribute to a more peaceful, equalitarian, and environmentally balanced world. In the 1980s, Murphy initiated Citizen Diplomacy projects that facilitated informal dialogues with political and intellectual leaders in the old Soviet Union. In the twenty-first century, his Center for Theory and Research has hosted invited conferences about world peace and global environmental issues.
The Institute’s commitment to public service extends themes from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah (Bruggemann 2007). Liberal theologians have interpreted the message in Jeremiah as a call to help those who are less fortunate, so the Esalen’s message resonates most strongly with individuals whose backgrounds involved with liberal faiths. However, direct spiritual experience, not promotion of social justice, is what defines Esalen to wider publics. There is still a primacy given to break-through moments and immediate spiritual experience.
Esalen offers no single, concrete approach to death and the afterlife. Some central figures at the Institute believe that people’s energy survives them, while others are concerned with possibilities of past and future lives. There is no mention of Heaven or Hell at Esalen, because its foundational spirituality underscores the importance of living fully in the immediate moment.
Because the Institute has always been a canopy that shelters diverse spiritual approaches, there is no single set of rituals. Instead, rituals are linked to specific orientations. Yoga, meditation, meditative dance and spiritually oriented massage are all rituals within different Esalen contexts.
Two important intellectuals who had long associations with Esalen emphasized the need for ritual. Both Gregory Bateson (2000) and Joseph Campbell (1949) stressed the need for humans to come together to articulate their common experiences with birth, death, fear, and triumph.
Informal, improvised rituals within Esalen’s residential community unfold during life-cycle events and also at celebrations of solstices and Equinoxes. Both old-timers and visitors alike often center their ritual activities around the hot springs that run through the Esalen property and are a significant element in its public and private identities. They are now enclosed in a multi-million dollar cement structure, but they still function as a gathering place to observe personal and collective rituals.
Esalen began as Murphy and Price’s personal vision. For a time, the two men divided leadership. However, their attempts to develop coherent programs were impeded by different interest groups, immediate financial exigencies, and lobbying by various factions of the human potential movement. Since the 1960s, Esalen has had an advisory board, but Michael Murphy and Dick Price collaborated on major decisions until Price’s death, when George Leonard took on a more visible leadership role.
Since Esalen’s first decade, there have been three interdependent groups. Michael Murphy’s inner circle became the Center for Theory and Research. Murphy focused on the intellectual foundations of spirituality and cultivated high profile networks of academics and spiritual entrepreneurs to spread Esalen’s message of unlimited human potential as a means to better the world. The small resident community, which clustered around Price, sustained the informal culture of personal quests and also cared for the buildings and grounds. A work-scholar program, which has been modified in the past decade, meshed with that group. The informal group, which developed around the hot springs in the late 1960s, created and refined Esalen’s signature brand of spiritual massage and incorporated semi-autonomously in the 1990s as EMBA (Esalen Massage and Body Work Association).
In the late 1990s, the Board of Trustees became stronger, fund-raising became a central priority, and serious strategic planning started. This occurred because Michael Murphy began to shift his financial support to the California College of Integral Studies, and the other Murphy family members made no commitments to Esalen. Moreover, after Laurance Rockefeller died in 2004, there was a pressing need to develop a new financial model to sustain the Institute in the 21st century.
Like many other contemporary non-profits, notably public universities, Esalen became increasingly dependent on donors and on programs and workshops that produced profits. Also, like financially besieged public universities, the Institute has enlarged its administrative staff and developed more explicit bureaucratic rules and regulations. The development of an Esalen endowment beyond Michael Murphy’s long-term commitments is particularly problematic. To say the least, Esalen’s historic emphasis on immediate moments has not been conducive to major financial gifts or an organized plan for an endowment.
Michael Murphy is still a member of the Board of Trustees, working to insure that his Center for Theory and Research will continue to function within an Esalen that is financially viable and publicly visible. The current Board includes some long-time financial contributors, the Esalen CEO, and the Institute’s president President, Gordon Wheeler. Most recent additions to the Board are businessmen, with interests in personal and spiritual growth.
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
Esalen’s principal challenge is familiar to many religious movements: generational transitions. Esalen’s founding generation is dying out and its primary constituents are in their fifties or older. Most of the children who grew up at Esalen have moved to other venues, although most remain committed to alternative spirituali ty (Goldman 2012:107-12). The Institute’s leadership is faced with recruiting younger workshop leaders and redefining the content of workshops to attract both baby boomers and younger consumers.
Gender relationships are another persistent issue. In the early sixties, men who prioritized their own desires to combine sex, sport and spirituality founded Esalen and articulated its public identity, despite some notable exceptions. Charlotte Selver (1979), Ida Rolf (1976), and Gabrielle Roth (1998) all developed new approaches to embodied spirituality. However, they did not stay at the Institute, but founded their own centers and worked throughout the world. Janet Lederman, a child development specialist, founded the Gazebo preschool at Esalen, and Laura Achera Huxley led early encounter groups and wrote about personal growth, but they never had the public visibility of sustained influence that men did.
Sexual exploitation was rampant in Big Sur during the Institute’s first two decades (Doyle 1981). Although that is not a major contemporary issue, it still shadows Esalen’s public identity. In the 1970s, there were sporadic attempts to adapt to the second wave of American feminism, but women like Anica Vesel Mander and Ann Kent Rush, who pioneered feminist spirituality, simply passed through Esalen and founded their own organizations (Anderson 1983: 263-67). While a number of contemporary administrators and department heads are women, feminist spirituality has never been incorporated fully into Esalen’s priorities. Moreover, despite compelling historical evidence, the Institute’s central historical narratives fail to acknowledge the ways in which women were important to its early success and ongoing history (Goldman 2012:169-70).
There are deep, lasting divisions about the role of Esalen’s early resident community. Michael Murphy has supported minimizing its role and firing a number of long-term Esalen residents. It is argued that Esalen’s survival depends on its financial viability and the individuals who cared for the buildings and nurtured its gardens for decades are no longer efficient contributors to the organization. There has also been a revision of history that downplays both Dick Price’s significant, often acknowledged financial contributions and also his lasting achievements. While Gestalt psychology workshops are still offered at the Institute, they reflect Gordon Wheeler, the Esalen President’s, approaches rather than Dick Price’s Gestalt. Recently, Christine Stewart Price, who had remained active at the Institute, announced that she would no longer be affiliated with Esalen, but would continue her work at her own center in Aptos, about sixty miles north of Esalen.
The crises in generational succession, leadership, organization, and mission at Esalen are common to most new religions and spiritual groups that survive for two or more generations. However, Esalen’s primary crisis is grounded in its extraordinary success in influencing mainstream spirituality and cultural expression. The Institute’s early contributions are now embedded in the $290 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living.
In the 21st century, most of the ostensibly shocking innovations that Esalen promoted are now commonplace. Yoga, meditation, ecstatic dance and other practices that engage mind, body, and spirit are part of undergraduate college offerings, community center activities, and liberal faiths’ enrichment programs. Spiritual teachers like Deepak Chopra (1994) or the Dalai Lama have become media stars. Humanistic psychology has been mainstreamed, and a number of private graduate psychology programs, such as Saybrook University in San Francisco, teach some of the once “radical” approaches that first surfaced in Big Sur. Moreover, sexual experimentation that grabbed headlines in the mid-twentieth century is relatively widespread fifty years later (Bogel 2008). In addition, Esalen’s credo that people can actualize their full potential in mind, body, spirit, and psyche is a message heard in best sellers such as Eat, Pray, Love (2006) and popular philosophy such as shows on the Oprah Network. Urban spas and wellness retreats also challenge Esalen’s ability to retain a unique identity and recruit new constituents.
A handful of members of the ever-smaller community of longtime workers and residents that had been part of the Institute’s dynamic past are still there., still tend Esalen’s gardens and buildings. However, their attempts to sustain Richard Price’s Gestalt Awareness Practice in workshops and workplace participation are at odds with a new set of administrators who hope to turn Esalen into a profitable wellness retreat, while continuing some of the functions of the Center for Theory and Research. A number of the old loyalists have been fired or marginalized personally and financially, while others, who have more resources, left Esalen voluntarily.
Esalen is challenged to sustain its unique place as a site for spiritual experimentation and personal growth, while still remaining profitable. A question not limited to Esalen is: Can a group grow and adapt to the times, without sacrificing its core mission (Stark 1996)? Most members of the Esalen community and many traveling teachers support Christine Stewart Price’s Tribal Ground Center and other small centers established by the Institute’s early participants, as Esalen moves ever closer to the mainstream marketplace.
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