I’ve been going to Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York for nearly 20 years now, missing only the time I was in India and China. It’s one of the most peaceful places I know in the world, and I never fail to return with my spirit refreshed and restored.
A former Jewish arts camp that fell on hard times and closed in the mid 1970s, Omega was purchased in the early 1980s by Elizabeth Lesser and Stephen Rechtschaffen, both writers and teachers in the fields of emotional intelligence, healing, and sustainability. It offers weekend and weeklong courses in a wide range of fields–arts, writing, creativity, yoga, healing, sustainability, and leadership, to name just a few. It never really matters what course I take (this weekend’s was a workshop with Sonia Choquette) –it’s the energy of the place, the nutrition–both physical and psychic–and the thoughtful organization of activity, time and space, and the kindred spirits in the people I meet. There’s an onsite shop with books, clothing, music, etc. where I always manage to something (or more than one something) new. This time I picked up a couple of books by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher. It was raining gently off and on almost the entire stay, but far from being annoying, it felt like the earth was being renewed along with my spirit.