Michael Murphy

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Michael Murphy "founder of the Esalen Institute, is an educator, author, and pioneer in the human potential and transformation movement. In 1962, Michael cofounded Esalen (with Richard Price) in Big Sur, California to explore the spiritual and psychological dimensions of human development. Esalen became the source of the human potential movement of the 1960s and continues to contribute new thinking in humanistic psychology and therapy, holistic health, spirituality, and mind-body awareness. Michael was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Humanistic Medicine (1968), the Department of Confluent Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1967), and the Esalen Sports Center (1973), which helped spur the physical fitness boom. He recently formed the Esalen Center for Theory and Research to initiate a sustained global inquiry into human potentialities. In 1980, Michael helped start the Esalen Russian-American Exchange Center, which works to develop innovative approaches to Russian-American cooperation through nongovernmental dialogue and citizen exchange. The Esalen-Lindisfarne Library of Russian Philosophy, founded in 1992, has expanded this work through the publication of books by pre-revolutionary Russian philosophers." [1]

"After graduating from Stanford University, he did graduate work there in philosophy, practiced meditation at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in South India in 1956 and 1957, and co-founded Esalen in 1962. In the 1980s, he helped organize Esalen’s pioneering Soviet-American Exchange Program, which became a premiere vehicle for citizen-to-citizen relations between Russians and Americans. In 1989, Boris Yeltsin's first visit to America was initiated by Esalen. Murphy is author of The Future of the Body, The Life We Are Given (with George Leonard), In the Zone: Transcendent Experience in Sports (with Rhea White), The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (with Steven Donovan), God and The Evolving Universe (with James Redfield and Sylvia Timbers), and four novels Golf in the Kingdom, The Kingdom of Shivas Irons, Jacob Atabet, and An End to Ordinary History." [2]


  • Jay Ogilvy (ed.), An Actual Man: Michael Murphy and the Human Potential Movement (Minuteman Press, 2010).

Resources and articles


  1. Michael Murphy, Global Business Network, accessed November 15, 2010.
  2. Michael Murphy, accessed November 15, 2010.
  3. Members, Global Business Network, accessed November 15, 2010.
  4. About, Integral Institute, accessed November 1, 2011.
  5. Institute of Noetic Sciences Distinguished Advisors, organizational web page, accessed July 14, 2013.
  6. Transpartisan Review About, organizational web page, accessed May 31, 2018.