The Science and Practice of a Meaningful Life at Esalen


Science confirms what we already suspect—that connection to ourselves and others is one of life’s primary purposes and sources of meaning and contentment. However, the pace and goal-driven orientation of life today can obscure these precious endeavors. At the end of life, no one wishes they had bought nicer things or scanned more social media posts!

Our relationships with those we cherish and our contributions to the greater good are what matters. This workshop (re)unifies us with this core human need. Each day will begin with a reflective practice, leveraging silence, guided meditation and other means to illuminate core drivers of purpose. Afternoons will present structured science-based activities that explore the roots of happiness. Evenings will provide opportunity for peer-to-peer support and intention setting.

This workshop emerges from the vision of the Greater Good Science Center to use the science of well-being to foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Sessions will leverage this science to create a unique laboratory for skillful introspection and generative connection with others. Join this retreat if you are looking for an opportunity to press the pause button and take time out to deeply reflect on your life and intentions for your future.

  • Eve Ekman, Ph.D., LCSW

    Eve Ekman, Ph.D., LCSW

    Eve Ekman is the director of Training at the University of California Berkeley Greater Good Science Center. Eve’s research interests were inspired by her experience as a medical social worker in the emergency department of San Francisco General Hospital coupled with her training in the applied emotion regulation and mindfulness intervention: Cultivating Emotional Balance, CEB.

  • Chris Murchison

    Chris Murchison

    Chris Murchison is a passionate advocate for positive workplace culture. In his broad career he has focused his energy on developing creative means to build community at work and practices that support an experience of connection, meaning, joy and learning.

  • Sheena Wadhawan, JD

    Sheena Wadhawan, JD

    Sheena Wadhawan is a consultant supporting organizations to be inclusive, diverse, and to live their values.  Sheena came to this work after over a decade as a social justice attorney working on the frontlines of movements for economic justice, housing, civil rights, and immigrants’ rights.   Sheena is an immigrant, woman of color, and survivor with lived experience of social injustice and oppression.  She believes in the resilience and wisdom of the communities she serves, who inspire her to be a joyful warrior and to lead with love.