These are some recent programs that Esalen leaders hope will define the institute in the 1980s:

Esalen each year sponsors 20 five-day conferences for scholars to explore political and scientific issues. Conferences have examined the psychology of Soviet-American relations, research in quantum theory physics and developments in evolutionary theory.

The Soviet-American Exchange Program at Esalen--which has been called “hot-tub diplomacy”--has sponsored book exchanges with the Soviets, conferences on health and a visiting program for writers. Esalen leaders have visited the Soviet Union and exchanged information on holistic health, herbal medicine and parapsychology. Soviet officials, including the director of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, have attended seminars at Esalen.


Antioch University will sponsor a program at Esalen next fall for graduate students in clinical psychology. The program, worth 30 units of academic credit, will explore the mind-body connection in various health fields.

A philosophy program scheduled to begin in January at Esalen will be headed by Jay Ogilvy, a former University of Texas professor. The program, paid for by Laurance Rockefeller, has received commitments for a conference among philosophers and will produce a publication, Ogilvy said.