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In 1961, shortly after his return to the United States, Murphy met Richard Price, another Standford Psychology major, and in 1962 they founded the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The Esalen Institute, the leading growth center in the world, has hosted thousands of human potential workshops and conferences led by such notables as Abraham Maslow, Joseph Campbell, Rollo May, Fritz Perls, Aldous Huxley, Carl Rogers, Ida Rolf, Joan Halifax, Stanislov Grof, Joan Borysenko, Allen Ginsberg, and Linus Pauling, to name a few.
In 1980, he helped create the Esalen Institute's Soviet American Exchange program which, among other things, initiated the first live television space bridges and hosted Boris Yeltsin during his first visit to the United States.
Michael Murphy is the author of The Future of the Body, Gold in the Kingdom (released by Penguin Books/Arkana), Jacob Atabet, and End to Ordinary History, and co-author of The Psychic Side of Sports. He lives in San Rafael, California.