Esalen is currently closed. Learn more.


Residential Study

Amazing, healing, challenging, joyful, lonely, and exciting was my journey at Esalen.
—Michael, Former Residential scholar

Transformative Learning:
Residential Study at Esalen

Live, Work, Seek, Practice, Lead.

We all have powerful capacities for evolving consciousness through self-inquiry, reflection, and relationship. When we take the time to realize and develop these capacities, we can transform our lives, communities, and the world.

The Residential Study program is a 28-day immersion in Esalen’s integrative approach to personal and social transformation. It combines a rigorous course of study with the opportunity for deep relationship with the Esalen land and community. Participants must apply and be selected for the program.

Commitment to the Residential Study Program begins on 4:00 pm of the first Sunday to 7:30 pm of the final Sunday. The Residential Study Program is a complete program in itself — please do not plan to take regularly scheduled catalog workshops during your stay.

Residential Study is an extraordinary way to embody the idea that mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions of the self are inextricably connected.  

The study component. Cohorts meet together for a rigorous schedule of core teachings in a specific field of transformative practice such as Gestalt, meditation, massage, yoga, permaculture, and many more. Residential Study program teachers are world-class leaders in their fields, and programs often include sessions with additional visiting teachers.

The work component. As a complement to coursework, each participant serves 26 hours per week in one of Esalen’s operations departments, usually housekeeping or the kitchen. Please be aware that some work can be physically challenging and may involve lifting, bending, and repetitive movements.

Residential Study Program Application

Application links are provided with the program course descriptions. Esalen reviews applications on an ongoing basis. Please note that submitting an application is not registration in the program. Registration is allowed only after approval of your application.

Before You Apply

The Residential Study program is designed to explore and apply human values and potentials. It is not intended as a substitute for therapy or as a "cure." It is not a rehab program. We ask you not to drink or take recreational substances while in the program.

Program Fees

The fee for the 28-day Residental Study program is $2,000.

A non-refundable deposit of $400 in U.S. currency is required after your acceptance into the program (checks must be drawn on a U.S. bank). You may pay in full at the time you are accepted into the program or pay the $400 deposit. Your balance will be automatically charged to your credit card 10 days before your arrival.

Cancellation Policy & Fees

If you choose to cancel, you will be charged as follows:

  • The $400 deposit after acceptance into the program is non-refundable.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours prior to the program start date, you are subject to forfeit the entire cost of the program.
  • If you arrive at Esalen and choose to leave without completing the program, there is no refund.


Housing is mulit-gender dormitory style, located on the Esalen campus.


Visit the Getting Here page for driving directions, information about nearby airports, and shuttle transportation options. Shuttle van reservations for program participants can be made by contacting the Residential Study office by email to

Contact Information

Fax: 831-667-3069

Month-long Esalen Residential Study Program


We offer a rich and varied integral learning environment devoted to cultivating deep change in self and society.


Experience twenty-seven acres of Pacific coastline paradise.


Make a difference and leave a legacy by becoming a Friend of Esalen.


A global network of seekers devoted to the belief that we are all capable of the extraordinary.


Stay connected. Keep your Esalen experience alive, online or in person.

Campus Renewal

Join us on the journey of Renewal.