Jeffrey Williams

Jeffrey Williams is the founder of Lifestyles of Light and Vitalist Institute. He is a multi-disciplinary transformation artist teaching and facilitating through movement, breath and sound and self-governance since 1999.

Swirl Jordan Moore

Swirl Jordan Moore, SWIRL LIFE founder and teacher/guide/facilitator at the Vitalist Institute has been leading people through self love to full expression for eight years.

Steve Van Zandt

Steve Van Zandt has been a workshop presenter for more than 40 years, a K-6 classroom teacher and currently the Principal of San Mateo Outdoor Education. At Esalen, he co-leads a summer family workshop with the Banana Slug String Band.

Claudia J. Ford

Dr. Claudia J. Ford has had a career in women’s health and international development spanning four decades and all continents. Claudia is an ethnobotanist and midwife, who studies traditional ecological knowledge, women’s reproductive health, agricultural and food justice. Dr. Ford is on faculty at State University of New York, Potsdam and also serves on the boards of The Biodynamic Association and the Soul Fire Farm Institute. Claudia is also a writer, poet, and visual artist; and a single mother who has shared the delights and adventures of her global travel with her four children.

Claudia Cuentas | Guest Faculty

Claudia Cuentas is an artist, educator and somatic practitioner inspired by music’s ability to transform difficulty into new life. Claudia comes from an Andean lineage of Peru, combining traditional practices with Western approaches to healing arts. She has a trauma-informed, social justice approach and is committed to working and supporting her BIPOC communities.

Tonya Abernathy | Guest Faculty

Tonya Abernathy is passionate about community healing work and voice embodiment. She is also a professional singer and has toured with Taina Asili and Climbing Poetree. She feel specifically called to work in collective grief settings. She has a trauma-informed, social justice and cultural awareness approach and committed to supporting her BIPOC communities.

Formica Coriandolo

Formica Coriandolo is an accomplished singer, painter and glass artist. Formica has lived in Damanhur since 1984 and is one of the first artists of the Temples of Humankind. Formica has been lucid dreaming since an early age and combines her experience in the dreamworld with her artistic abilities to help her students open up to their own infinite creative potential.

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Esperide Ananas Ametista

Esperide Ananas Ametista, PhD, is a psycho-sociologist, pioneer in human development research, coach, writer and designer. She has worked for the European Parliament and the United Nations. A citizen of Damanhur since 1993, Esperide is a spiritual healer with a background in meditation and anthropology. Her main fields of research are the interaction with intelligent subtle energies, inner alchemy and past lives.

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Ditas Katague

Ditas Katague is Director of the California Complete Count—Census 2020 Office and an expert in ethnic outreach and civic engagement. She led California's census outreach in 2000, 2010 and 2020 and was at the helm of a successful groundbreaking multi-lingual, multi-media campaign to reach the hardest-to-count Californians. In 2019, Ditas was recognized in the Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 Most Powerful Movers and Shakers in California politics. She also teaches kundalini yoga after discovering it at Esalen in 2012.

Mara Abrams

Mara Abrams is the co-founder and co-director of Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL). She mobilizes industries, communities and a diversity of influential people to create change within and outside some of the most complex institutions and environments in the world. In addition to her current role with COIL at the U.S. Census Bureau, she is also a writer, speaker, design-thinking workshop facilitator and world traveler.

Abigail De Kosnik

Abigail De Kosnik is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Berkeley Center for New Media and in the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies.  She is the author of Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom. 

Renee Lertzman

Dr. Renee Lertzman marries the worlds of academia and practice by translating psychological and social science research insights into clear, applied and profound tools for organizations around the world, seeking to engage diverse populations, communities and individuals around environmental work and climate action.

Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams joined Living Cities in February 2017 as the assistant director of Public Sector Innovation. Marlon’s career has focused on improving the economic, social and physical well-being of all urban residents with particular emphasis on increasing access and opportunity for low-income families and communities of color. Marlon previously served as director of Cross Agency Partnership for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he worked with city agencies to identify opportunities for various city programs, policies and planning processes to maximize the potential to improve the health of local residents. His previous work has created impact through the creation of innovative new programs and policies including the Jobs-Plus workforce development program for public housing residents of New York City and financial empowerment programs and policies for the United Way of NYC. He also served as a policy adviser for the Deputy Mayor of New York City, focused on housing, economic empowerment and aging.

Craig Hart

Craig Hart directs Pace University's Energy and Climate Center, and has advised governments and developers in clean and low-carbon energy and decarbonization technologies for two decades. He teaches for Pace and Johns Hopkins University. He holds a PhD from MIT.

Premal Shah

Premal Shah co-founded, a global poverty alleviation nonprofit which he led for 13 years. Kiva helped connect millions around the world with resources from millions who have something to give. Premal is most interested in unlocking our innate desire to be of service at scale.

Susan Burns

Susan Burns is a Skoll awardee and co-founder of Global Footprint Network. She is currently leading the U.S. expansion of the Poverty Stoplight, a mobile technology that empowers families to be the architects of their own living conditions.


Poranguí is an international touring musician, educator, and therapist, steeped in traditional forms of music, healing and ceremony since birth. His work draws from his cross-cultural background (Brazil, Mexico and Southwest U.S.) and ethnomusicology training at Duke University to create personal and collective freedom through creative expression.

Michelle Gale

Michelle Gale is Chief of Staff at Autodesk, board member of the Holistic Life Foundation and Foundation for a Mindful Society and strategic advisor to Wisdom 2.0 and Mindful Schools. She is a mindfulness educator and author of the book Mindful Parenting in a Messy World. Michelle was previously the head of Learning and Leadership Development at Twitter and spent most of her career working in high-growth technology startups.

Michael Schiesser

Michael Schiesser has designed and facilitated transformational programs throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe for more than 35 years. He is a co-founder of the Inner Journey Institute, which has helped thousands of people integrate the light and the dark within themselves. Michael has a MS in Social Work with a specialization in Pastoral Counseling. He recently published his first book Divorced with Love.

Trina Wyatt

Trina Wyatt is the Founder/CEO of Conscious Good, a community-driven conscious media platform, Trina has long believed that visual stories have the power to transform individuals, and thereby the world. In addition to launching the Tribeca Film Festival, Trina has held senior positions with Gaia, Prana Studios, Intrepid Pictures, and Film Independent, among others.

Celeste Hirschman

Celeste Hirschman is the co-founder of the Somatica Institute® of Sex and Relationship Coaching and co-author of three books. She offers her wisdom, love and deep empathy to her students and clients as she helps them embrace the heights and navigate the challenges off all things relational. Celeste Hirschman has an MA in Human Sexuality Studies.

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Danielle Harel

Danielle Harel is the co-founder of the Somatica Institute® of Sex and Relationship Coaching and co-author of three books. Danielle offers her clients a unique, experiential and powerful process to transform their relationships, create deep and loving connections and live their lives passionately. Daniellel has a PhD in Human Sexuality Studies and an MA in Clinical Social Work.

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Bart Weetjens

Bart Weetjens is a Belgian Zen priest and internationally celebrated social entrepreneur (Ashoka, Schwab, Skoll awardee) for his humanitarian work. He accompanies individuals and organizations that are on a path to inner peace and harmony between people, Earth and a sustainable future.

Dan Zigmond

Dan Zigmond is a Zen priest, writer and data scientist. He is director of Data Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and previously led teams at Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Google. His most recent book is Buddha's Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well.

Christopher Michel

Christopher Michel is an accomplished photojournalist whose high-impact images have been seen by millions, and have appeared broadly in print and in everything from Google screensavers to album covers.

Louis Schwartzberg

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning producer, director and cinematographer known for his breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials using his time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Louie’s uplifting stories celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places.

Anthony Giacobbe

Anthony Giacobbe is a former Esalen Executive Chef. Inspired by international travels, his culinary style is fresh, bright and showcases seasonal ingredients. Currently the executive chef for an organic catering company, Anthony is known for his engaging personality and kitchen DJ skills.

Jesse Bloom

Blending 20 years of kitchen experience, a gift for facilitating connection and a passion for transformation, Jesse Bloom creates delicious experiences though his company, Sacred Kitchen. His food celebrates global flavors highlighting plant-based and bio-diverse dishes that celebrate a sustainable future.

Day Schildkret

Day Schildkret’s visually stunning, earth-based art reconnects us to our intrinsic healing relationship with nature, impermanence and everyday ritual. With more than 85,000 followers on social media and and ever-growing list of installations across the globe, from the California Museum of Oakland to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in New York City, Day’s Morning Altars bring together ephemeral art and communities, to heal the collective human spirit.

Emily Saliers

Emily Saliers is one half of GRAMMY-award-winning duo Indigo Girls. Emily released her first full length solo album, Murmuration Nation, in 2017. She is a social and environmental justice activist and has led numerous song writing workshops, loves all kinds of music, and believes that a song can change your life.

Kirti Srivastava

Kirti Srivastava builds connections between the arts and healing to provide a holistic approach to honoring the whole being in all areas of life in order to heal, grow and expand.

Shamini Jain

Shamini Jain, PhD, is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit, Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego. Shamini integrates clinical psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, vocal performance and East Indian spiritual practice to share with others how they can best heal themselves and live joyful, meaningful lives.

Oren Jay Sofer

Oren Jay Sofer is a nationally recognized teacher of meditation, mindfulness and nonviolent communication. A member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, he holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, and co-author of Teaching Mindfulness to Empower Adolescents. Oren is co-founder of Mindful Healthcare and the founder of Next Step Dharma, an online program focused on meditation in daily life.

Galen Cranz

Galen Cranz, PhD, and Architecture Professor at UC Berkeley, is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (body-mind postural education). She is the author of The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design, and leads workshops on Body Conscious Design around the world.

Ingrid Fetell Lee

Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and author whose groundbreaking work reveals the hidden influence of our surroundings on our emotions and well-being. Through her book Joyful, her popular TED Talk and her website, The Aesthetics of Joy, she helps people find more joy in life and work through design.

Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson, author of The Birds of Opulence, Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackerries, is the winner of an Ernest J. Gaines Award. She was recently nominated for The John Dos Passos Award. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.

Joseph Machado

Joseph Machado is an Open Floor International faculty member, a somatic therapist and a public high school teacher in San Francisco. Their commitment is to help people be themselves and resist the demands to conform that take away their ability to be the individuals they are.

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Charles S. Grob

Charles S. Grob, M.D. is professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  Over the last thirty years he has conducted approved clinical research with psilocybin, MDMA and ayahuasca.

Kamilah Majied

Dr. Kamilah Majied is a mental health therapist, clinical academician, and internationally engaged consultant on inclusivity and contemplative pedagogy and practice. Drawing from her decades of contemplative Buddhist practice, clinical training, and social justice leadership, Dr. Majied engages practitioners in experiencing wonder, humor and insight through transforming oppressive patterns and deepening relationships.

Janis Nakano Spivack

Janis Nakano Spivack has wandered from “old school” advertising to becoming a catalyst for the digital advertising movement. She founded CrushYourBLOCK to counterbalance her earlier work, and to transform blocks and build bridges between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.

Douglas Drummond

Douglas has been passionately involved with teaching the 5Rhythms® since 2010. He was introduced to the 5Rhythms by his mother at 19 years old and later experienced his first class with Gabrielle Roth in New York City. His experiences were often transformational and strengthened an incredible connection between body, mind, soul and spirit. Douglas’s facilitation is grounded in integrity, safe boundaries and a fascination for the unknown. He currently serves as Director of Healing Arts & Somatics at Esalen Institute.

Jodie Evans

Jodie Evans is a peace, environmental, women's rights and social justice activist enhanced by entheogens for almost fifty years. Co-founder of CODEPINK and on the board of Rainforest Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies and Drug Policy Alliance, she has also facilitated discussions on psychedelics at Drug Policy Alliance and Bioneers.

Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams knows all too well the powerful impact of healing—from growing up with gunshots outside of his bedroom window to sharing the stage with Deepak Chopra. With his groundbreaking book Stay Woke and over a decade of teaching experience, Justin has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness.

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Saul Kuperstein

Saul Kuperstein is a Mexico City-born, Jewish, Yoruban-trained shaman. Saul’s connection to the natural world and his unique ability to peer behind the “thin veil” allows him to offer many intuitive gifts.

Teddi Dean

Teddi Dean was led by curiosity from life as a Southern California pro skateboarder to travels as a student of the Buddha. Teddi’s approach to teaching yoga and meditation is clear, practical and grounding and he is the Modern Elder Academy mindfulness leader.