All workshops are for individuals as well as couples unless otherwise indicated

Love, Sex, and Intimacy

Intimacy is to the soul as food is to the body. We are nurtured and enriched at the core of our being in the experience of deep connection. When the longing for intimacy is satisfied we experience wholeness and sufficiency; we are at one with ourselves and the world. In conjunction with a sexual connection the experience of intimacy can be exhilarating, inspiring, even transcendent.

The shadow side of this connection is the fear of intimacy, which is actually the fear of loss, rejection, shame or humiliation. These fears are common, even universal, yet their presence need not prevent us from experiencing the joys of intimate contact. It is not so much a matter of getting over these fears or concerns, but learning to skillfully respond to them when they arise.

How do we maintain an open heart in the face of powerful emotions? How can we redirect and intensify the energy contained within these feelings towards states of heightened awareness? How can we open to include and honor the full range of feeling that enters into our experience during these times?

This workshop will confront these and other questions that directly relate to our ability to dive fully into the bottomless pool of our heart’s truth, and feel love in all of it’s physical, sexual and spiritual splendor. We will learn ways of understanding and neutralizing patterns that limit intimacy and practice ways of being that deepen and enhance it. We will also explore the inner landscape that exists beyond intimacy, that territory of the heart where the deep connection of ‘two’ becomes the transcendent ‘one’.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

The Art of Joyful Living

Esalen Class 2010 - slideThe desire to experience happiness is the underlying motivation behind nearly all of our behaviors. We crave happiness not simply because it feels good, but because it is an inherent aspect of our being; it is our birthright. Happiness does more than make us feel good; it enhances our health, our wellbeing, our relationships, the overall quality of our lives and even our longevity.

Happiness is the experience that affirms that we are where we belong in life, that we already are who we need to be, and that everything is as it should be. It is a state of mind in which there is a sense of goodness, wholeness and sufficiency that allows us to see the possibilities and blessings in our lives with hopefulness and clarity.

This workshop utilizes experiential exercises, dialogue, group work, and meditation to promote development of the skills necessary to live a happy life.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

Secrets of Great Relationships

For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. – Rainer Maria Rilke

Having a great relationship means more than just staying together. Unless we enjoy trust, intimacy, caring and love with our partner, we are sharing an arrangement, and not a true partnership. We seek relationships hoping to bring greater fulfillment and meaning into our lives yet for many couples the dreams of infatuation soon dissolve into the disappointment of a cold and joyless relationship or end in divorce.

The biggest mistake that many people make is not in expecting too much from their relationships, but in desiring too little. A true partnership can not only provide security, pleasure, intimacy and fun, but can be a means through which our deepest longings are awakened and ultimately realized. It can be a vehicle not only for our own transformation, but that of the world as well.

In this workshop we will examine the unique qualities that exceptional relationships embody and identify various means through which it is possible to develop and integrate those qualities and experiences in to our relationship. In addition, we will identify and engage in practices that can transform the quality of connection in ways that promote co-creativity, unconditional acceptance and spiritual awakening.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

“I learned more about relationships and myself in five days than I learned in the fifty-six years of my life. This was the most meaningful and helpful workshop that I’ve ever attended.” – Tom D.

From Conflict to Connection

We are drawn to others not because of our similarities, but because of our differences. They provide the means for growth and development. Differences are inevitable in relationships; conflict is optional. Differences become conflict when there is a power struggle to convert the other person to our way of seeing or doing things. While it is natural to want to have things go in accordance with our preferences and desires, getting caught in the grip of these impulses can lead to the destruction of a relationship.

The most important factor in the development of healthy and fulfilling relationships is the ability to manage differences skillfully. Because most of us have seen few examples of effective conflict management, it’s likely that we are inexperienced in this arena.
Through interactive exercises, group process, lecture and dialogue, this workshop will provide the means through which the skills of “conscious combat” can be learned, practiced, and integrated into our relationships. These skills apply not only to romantic partnerships, but to our families, friendships, work and community relationships as well.

“A beautiful and moving experience. It filled me with hope seeing couples enter the workshop full of despair and uncertainty and leave renewed and full of hope of possibilities.” – Tony C.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

Stronger At The Broken Places

Growth opportunities abound in life. They may present themselves to us as problems, obstacles, crises, or challenges, but all of these situations offer us possibilities to more deeply develop inner strength, courage, compassion, creativity and other traits and virtues that promote greater well being, and fulfillment in our lives. The key to being able to exploit the growth potential of the challenges that inevitably present themselves in our relationships and our lives in general, has to do with the approach we take in meeting these opportunities.

This workshop will illuminate the nature of this process and clarify specific steps and actions that we can take to bring about the growth and empowerment that is available during these times. We will also identify practices that can enhance our ability to learn from rather then avoid or defend against challenges. We will utilize experiential exercises, dialogue, group work, and guided meditation in the seminar. It is open to individuals and couples of all ages.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

…Still thinking about you & the wonderful bonding experience we had together in Linda & Charlie Bloom’s Stronger at the Broken Places class at Esalen in October. It will always be a very outstanding & memorable moment in my Life and growth as a human being, and the many things I learned will last me a Lifetime. Thank you, everyone for all that you have contributed to make the Class so special & unique.– Jimmy M

From Fear to Fearlessness

Fear can be a beneficial and appropriate emotion when it occurs in the context of a potentially threatening situation. Fear can alert us to peril that we might not otherwise recognize or respond to. It can serve to mobilize energies and inner resources that can help to protect us from danger. All too often, however, fear can paralyze us with the anticipation of catastrophic outcomes and rob us of our ability to mobilize life-enhancing actions and create mental scenarios that leave us feeling helpless, disempowered, and often despaired.

Learning to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate fear is one of the primary skills involved in bringing integrity, authenticity, and open-heartedness into our lives. The art of making this discernment and learning how to manage and work with fear consciously and effectively is a competency that can be developed and integrated in our lives in ways that can transform our experience of fear from something that is constricting and crippling, to a force that can serve as a force of goodness and vibrancy in our lives. Find out for yourself how you can convert fear to courage and dread to eager anticipation. Life is truly filled with amazing growth opportunities. This is one of them! Don’t miss it!

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.


Hidden Gifts of The Shadow

Although most of us are aware of what it takes to promote intimacy, trust, and deep connectedness in relationships, putting our knowledge into practice is often another thing altogether.

We may find the challenge of creating loving relationships far more difficult than we expect it to be. Our partner can bring out the worst as well as the best in us.

The shadow is that part of ourselves that holds the denied or disowned aspects of our personalities. It is not just those qualities that we deem as undesirable or unworthy that are found in the shadow, but the positive or “golden” aspects of ourselves that we conceal out of fear, shame, or embarrassment. As we embrace and more fully come to terms with the full measure of our being, we bring greater authenticity, playfulness, intimacy and co-creativity into all of our relationships.

In this workshop, we will learn to harness the vast energies bound in the shadow and transform them into powerful healing and creative forces in our lives.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

“My experience of the Hidden Shadows course was rewarding as are all of the course work I have done with Charlie and Linda. More specifically, it was about transition — my transition from resentment, suffering, and closed state of mind on the first day to an awakened and restored sense of peace, possibilities, and compassion by the second day. Charlie and Linda’s expertise provided the space for me to do the work I came to do which was to restore a sense of balance in my life.”


Outrageous Aging

Most of us resist accepting the realization that we are aging. In our youth-worshiping culture, growing older is associated with deterioration. It is not easy to see the transformative possibilities aging can hold for us. Yet as millions throughout the world have known, the process of moving into the latter stages of life offers new unimagined possibilities.

The transition into this stage of our lives can bring gifts that enrich our heart and inspire our spirit. As we slow down the velocity of our lives, we come into a new relationship with time. Finally freed from the need to make our mark on the world, we can play outside the edge of conventional beliefs and begin to discover what has true heart and meaning for us.This workshop will support the process of conscious aging and will illuminate the possibilities that open to us at this stage of our lives. Utilizing the power of group process, creative imagination, play, ritual, and music, we will weave together a community that will bring forth our gifts, celebrate our accomplishments and inspire us to embrace our heart’s deepest longings.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.


The Healing Power of Relationships

The “magic elixir” that Dr Ornish is referring to in his ground-breaking best seller Love and Survival, is Relationships. After years of research, study and observations with patients over decades of medical practice, Dr. Ornish came to the same conclusion that thousands of other health professionals have come to in recent years, which is that the quality of our relationships, particularly with those who are closest to us, is the most important variable in determining the level of physical and emotional well-being that we experience in our lives.

In order to experience the full measure of these benefits however, we need to be able to navigate the terrain of relationships with skill and sensitivity. We are not born with these skills, they must be learned. Unfortunately most of us did not learn them at home, in school, in church or on the job, and consequently our effectiveness in the area of relationships is limited.

These skills can be learned and strengthened in a relatively short period of time. The returns on this investment will bring a lifetime of fulfillment not only for you but for your loved ones as well.

This seminar will offer didactic information, practical suggestions, and effective communication strategies. It will also involve meditation, live demonstrations, interpersonal exercises, and group process. It is appropriate for singles as well as couples.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.


Transition & Transformation In Trying Times

FOR INDIVIDUALS AND COUPLES

This retreat will assure you of a deep and rich experience that will fully engage your capacity to create wholeness in challenging times. Through professional guidance and support, you will uncover your hidden power, passion, and personal longings.

You will experience what it is truly like to expand your capacity to flow with change. This workshop combines the best of experiential processes, and group exercises in which you will be safe to speak your truth and be heard.

In this workshop we will:

• “Mine the gold” in challenges

• Become more comfortable with challenge

• Clearly identify the tasks and possibilities of our current situation

• Identify and strengthen inner qualities that will serve us in this process

• Build and extend a network of committed support.

 

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.


Love, Sex, and Intimacy: A Workshop for Women

Intimacy is to the soul as food is to the body. When the longing for intimacy is satisfied, we experience wholeness and sufficiency, a sense of being at one with ourselves and the world. Deep intimacy can be exhilarating, inspiring and even transcendent.

Explore with us:

• Keeping our hearts open to the wonders and fears of deep intimacy

• Ways to deal with the powerful emotions associated with intimacy

• Building awareness of our sexuality as part of the intimate dance.

• The questions you have longed to ask about your sexuality.

This workshop will confront these ideas and other questions that directly relate to our ability to dive fully into the bottomless pool of our heart’s truth and feel love in all of its physical, sexual and spiritual splendor. Come and join us and rejoice in being a woman.

 


 

Emotional Intimacy is Great Foreplay

Intimacy is to the Soul as food is to the body. We are nurtured and enriched at the core of our being in the experience of deep connection. When the longing for intimacy is satisfied we experience wholeness and sufficiency; we are at one with ourselves and the world. In conjunction with a sexual connection the experience of intimacy can be exhilarating, inspiring, even transcendent.

The shadow side of this connection is the fear of intimacy, which is actually the fear of loss, rejection, shame or humiliation. These fears are common, even universal, yet their presence need not prevent us from experiencing the joys of intimate contact. It is not so much a matter of getting over these fears or concerns, but learning to skillfully respond to them when they arise.

How do we maintain an open heart in the face of powerful emotions? How can we redirect and intensify the energy contained within these feelings towards states of heightened awareness? How can we open to include and honor the full range of feeling that enters into our experience during these times?

This workshop will confront these and other questions that directly relate to our ability to dive fully into the bottomless pool of our heart’s truth, and feel love in all of its physical, sexual and spiritual splendor. We will learn ways of understanding and neutralizing patterns that limit intimacy and practice ways of being that deepen and enhance it. We will also explore the inner landscape that exists beyond intimacy, that territory of the heart where the deep connection of ‘two’ becomes the transcendent ‘one’.

CEUs available for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs.

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I am a holistic physician in Santa Cruz, Ca. and had the pleasure of taking a workshop with the Blooms with my husband of 17 years. Charlie and Linda have truly worked the crucible of marriage themselves and they understand how difficult marriage can be and how sweet and precious the rewards can be. I have referred patients to the Blooms for counseling and have heard wonderful feedback about their ability to listen and support their clients through the toughest of circumstances and the daily grind of living.
~ Rachel Abrams, M.D.

 

“The Purpose of our lives is to be happy” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“Admittedly, I attended the workshop as a tag-along to my wife. What I got was so much more than I had imagined I would! Linda and Charlie are as authentic a couple as I’ve ever met. My wife and I have been using the tools that we received from them and our lives and relationship have enormously benefitted from our exposure to their wisdom, wit, and loving example!” – Tom B.