Esalen Institute is open! However, Highway 1 to the south is closed — please review the alternate route directions.

Volunteer at Esalen

Lend a helping hand, and enjoy the magic of Esalen for a day

Volunteer Program

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. —Gandhi

Experiencing Esalen and the magic of the land through our volunteer program is a meaningful way to immerse in community while lending a helping hand. Volunteer shifts are three hours long. Esalen volunteers are welcome to enjoy the campus grounds before and after each daily shift. Outside of the shift, a day in the life of a volunteer gives access to our daily class offerings led by Esalen teachers-in-residence, three scheduled meals, and the opportunity to bask in the majesty of our treasured hot springs — all while building connection with your Self and with others.

Before you sign up:
  • All volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
  • Volunteers can arrive as early as 8:45 am and stay on campus until 8:00 pm.
  • Shifts open and may be scheduled beginning two months prior to requested volunteer date.
  • Shifts may be scheduled up to 48 hours before the requested volunteer date.
  • Volunteers are not eligible for overnight accommodations.
  • If you cannot attend your volunteer shift for any reason, please email to cancel with as much notice as possible, so we can attempt to fill your shift.


Our Cabins department ensures all guest rooms are cleaned and ready for the next guest arrivals. Volunteers of this shift should expect to make beds and clean rooms to guarantee our campus accommodations remain clean and safe for all.

Healing Arts

Our Healing Arts team welcomes volunteers to assist in cleaning, preparing, and beautifying Esalen’s epic baths, to support us in maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and sacredness. Volunteers must feel comfortable and respect the sensitive nature of the clothing-optional space at the baths.


Chop, prep, and clean with our talented kitchen crew. Get behind the scenes to support our staff in preparation of our daily feasts. No kitchen experience is required, but is always welcomed. All volunteers and staff must wear closed toe shoes during the shift.

Farm & Garden

Connect with and feel at one with the land Esalen sits on. Help sow the seeds, harvest crops, and nourish the grounds that feed the community. No gardening experience is required. Please wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty; layers are encouraged due to changes in weather and temperature during the shift hours.

Cabins shifts:
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Friday & Sunday

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Healing Arts shifts:
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

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Kitchen shifts:
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Daily
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm Daily

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Farm & Garden shifts:
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tuesday & Friday

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