The New York Times offers this interesting story about how Esalen, as it approaches its 50th anniversary, is adjusting to the aches and pains of age. Is it still relevant?
Esalen’s leaders say they are tweaking the institute’s balance between the personal and the social with an emphasis on the latter so they can present the next “edge” to America.
But others, including people formerly and currently associated with Esalen, say it is losing its relevance in a culture where New Age has become a cliché. The retreat’s half-century anniversary has coincided with continuing protests over the layoff of longtime employees as part of a management restructuring. Staff members and others have gathered in circles of silence here; on the Internet, including on a site called Esaleaks, other protesters have assailed Esalen’s management as corporate types bent on transforming the retreat into a boutique resort.