81 episodes

"Voices of Esalen" features provocative, in-depth interviews with the dynamic leaders, teachers, and thinkers who are part of the Esalen Institute.

Voices of Esalen the Esalen Institute

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7, 104 Ratings

"Voices of Esalen" features provocative, in-depth interviews with the dynamic leaders, teachers, and thinkers who are part of the Esalen Institute.

    Ashanti Branch: Behind the Mask

    Ashanti Branch: Behind the Mask

    Ashanti Branch, M.Ed, was born and raised by a single mother on welfare in Oakland, California. He took the road less traveled to get out of the ghetto and attended one of California’s premier engineering colleges, California Polytechnic - San Luis Obispo, where he studied Civil Engineering and worked as a construction project manager. But after tutoring struggling students and realizing his true passion was teaching, Mr. Branch changed careers.

    In 2004, as a first-year teacher, Ashanti started The Ever Forward Club to provide a support group for African American and Latino males who were not achieving to the level of their potential. Since then, The Ever Forward Club has grown to serve both young men and women and become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Ever Forward Club has helped 100% of its members graduate high school and 93% of them have gone on to attend college.

    With over 19 years mentoring youth and 10 of those years as a math teacher educating inner city youth, Ashanti was awarded with a Fulbright Exchange Fellowship to India, a Rotary Club Cultural Ambassadorial Fellowship to Mexico and a 2010 Teacher of the Year Award from the Alameda-Contra Costa County Math Educators. Today he spoke to Esalen’s Greg Archer about his life, what it has been like to be a black male in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and the 100K Mask challenge.

    • 57 min
    Emily Silverman on The Nocturnists: Stories from a Pandemic

    Emily Silverman on The Nocturnists: Stories from a Pandemic

    Dr. Emily Silverman is a physician located in San Francisco. She is also the host of the Nocturnists, a podcast dedicated to the project of humanizing health care professionals. We talked about the new tactic of storytelling she’s employed for this season of the Nocturnists, which entails curating audio diaries sent in by more than 250 health care workers around the country, as they report their own personal accounts of dealing with the pandemic.

    • 58 min
    Adam Smiley Poswolsky: Putting Friendship and Connection Before Technology

    Adam Smiley Poswolsky: Putting Friendship and Connection Before Technology

    Adam Smiley Poswolsky, bestselling author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough and the Breakthrough Speaker, speaks widely about millennials, employee engagement, and intergenerational collaboration. His writing has been published in The Washington Post, Fast Company, Time, and Business Insider, and his work has been featured in USA Today, Mashable, Forbes, VICE, CNN, CNBC, Cosmopolitan, and the World Economic Forum, among others. Poswolsky is well known for his thinking around responsible and balanced engagement with technology, and together we discussed how amidst the current crisis that has displaced many workers from their regular offices and placed them in front of their own computers and screens for longer periods of time, one can craft their own balanced way of interacting with tech, and with people.

    • 30 min
    Dr. Richard Schwartz: Internal Family Systems

    Dr. Richard Schwartz: Internal Family Systems

    Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., is the founder of Internal Family Systems, a unique and astoundingly effective modality of psychotherapy that focuses on the various parts within a person. Internal Family Systems, or IFS, views multiplicity of mind as our natural state and our “parts” as sub-personalities that may be healed and transformed by bringing the Self into its rightful role as leader of the internal system. In this interview, he guides Sam through some transformational trauma work.

    • 53 min
    Stanislav Grof in 1985 : Transpersonal Psychology and Quantum Physics

    Stanislav Grof in 1985 : Transpersonal Psychology and Quantum Physics

    Archive Edition: Today we're pleased to bring you an interview conducted on August 5th, 1985, with the godfather of psychedelic psychotherapy, Stanislav Grof. At this point, Grof had been a scholar-in-residence at Esalen for more than ten years. The interview was conducted at Esalen by a young Perry Holloman, now a well-known figure at Esalen himself, having become over the course of his career an accomplished bodyworker and beloved Gestalt therapist. During this recording, he and Stan investigate the emergent tendencies of transpersonal psychology, and the context from which they emerged out of Abraham Maslow's and Tony Suttich's Humanistic psychology, touching upon the non-ordinary states of consciousness which Grof is known for as well as Jungian archetypes and the concept of synchronicity. They also go into the profound connection between Freudianism and Newtonian thinking, and chat about how new discoveries in quantum physics have affected most other scientific disciplines, including psychology. It’s a superb discussion conducted by two very smart people. By its end, if your'e listening closely, you will have an enhanced understanding of why transpersonal psychology became an appropriate container for psychedelic psychotherapy - and indeed any therapy that seeks to go beyond personal biography and delve into the realm of the spiritual and the mystic. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

    • 50 min
    Johnsmith: The Song Inside

    Johnsmith: The Song Inside

    Johnsmith is an acclaimed folk singer and songwriter, as well as a longtime teacher of songwriting at the Esalen Institute, where he’s helped thousands of students across the years to access their creativity and their personal depths to manifest meaningful and joyful work. In an interview we recorded in early March 2020, B.P., (Before Pandemic), we chatted about his past, his process, what songs are the hardest for him to write, and how inner work changed him.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

MOREPB ,

Fantastic episode with Dr Richard Schwartz

Powerful and very moving. Thank you, Sam, for being so real and vulnerable.

LowErgMicroCHP ,

Essence of Esalen - Beautiful Engagement

Esalen is an amazing place which attracts a diverse group of people and has a rich history of innovation in the healing arts, psychology and impact to improve the human condition. This podcast captures and shares the essence of Esalen. Sam Stern the producer has a beautiful voice and engaging interview style. He makes a strong connection with his subjects and draws out key insights and gifts from their beings. I have the sense that the subjects are enjoying being with Sam and the repartee really makes the episodes fun to listen to. These episodes let me sample from all that Esalen has to offer without attending. Of course it makes we want to attend Esalen to dive deeper and perhaps if I'm blessed I will.

Eliza_mathpunz ,

Tap into the magic of this little slice of California

I truly think my favorite part about being alive is hearing from interesting people. It’s clear that Esalen draws so many different kinds of people - it’s not just one type of hippie person that I thought at first - everyone comes from a completely different place and has such a different biography which is so cool to hear about.

My top 3 are:

1. Ricki Lake — so surprising, I had only remembered her from a TV show I wasn’t allowed to watch as a kid and to hear that she is making incredibly inspiring documentary work !

2.Michael Pollen — a really well spoken and researched guy who really made me aware of plants and psychedelics— his awareness of “riding the cultural third rail” opened my mind as a scientist to how we can be more open about these taboos

3.Janet stone : super interesting to hear about her childhood on a hippie farm and how that affected her as an adult. I’ve never taken a class with her but it’s been on my todo list. I always wonder how people end up so calm and spiritual in today’s day and age and this made me understand how she achieves that.

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