Esalen Institue

  • Silicon Valley executives are descending on a bohemian retreat center in California to come to terms with the technologies they created.
  • Workshops focus on things like tech addiction and fostering social good.
  • A weekend for two can costs upward of $2000 for organic meals and rustic accommodations.

Facebook’s fake news problem and talk of smartphone addiction have caused some tech workers to realize that the apps, social networks, and smart devices that made them successful may have some serious downsides.

So Silicon Valley executives are heading to the Esalen Institute, a historic retreat center in Big Sur, California that once attracted the hippie crowd to fix their “crisis of the soul,” as The New York Times puts it.

“There’s a dawning consciousness emerging in Silicon Valley as people recognize that their conventional success isn’t necessarily making the world a better place,” Esalen executive director Ben Tauber told the New York Times.

Esalen has been hosting workshops on meditation, healing, and yoga since 1962, but with Tauber at the helm, it’s reworking the curriculum to cater to Silicon Valley’s executives with workshops on everything from internet addiction to depression and tech.

In Tauber’s former life, he founded a celebrity-tracking tool called JustSpotted before joining Google in 2011. After a trip to Esalen, he realized he wanted something more. In 2015 he joined Esalen’s board and took over as director last year.

In November, Esalen hosted a weekend session called “Connect to Your Inner-Net: Mindful Practices for Life and Work.” Attendees began their days with dancing and chakra meditation before diving into practices like mindful emailing and listening. It was led by Gopi Kallayil, the leader of brand marketing at Google Social and Mirabai Bush, a contributor to Google’s workplace mindfulness initiatives.


During a “Digital Raign Reality Read More Here