Esalen is the most spectacularly beautiful retreat center you could ever imagine. It is a place for spiritual healing, growth and renewal and it is also an educational institute focused on topics including human potential, developing positive futures and planetary transformation. It is right on the ocean in Big Sur, California. At Esalen you normally will sign up for a class during the day and have time in the evening to soak in the natural hot springs which overhang the Pacific ocean along the Big Sur coastline. The hot springs are phenomenal!! The hot water runs right out of the cliff and into the ocean as you perhaps get to watch the sun or moon set over the ocean or see the grey whales going by. They are “clothing optional” but don’t let that keep you away. If, like me, you are a pretty iffy about public nudity, then just go after dark or wear a bathing suit or both. You might get the star show of your life, or maybe get to watch the moon set over the Pacific, all while listening to the crashing surf just below you.
Esalen specializes in their own particular massage technique and massage is available at the bath-house, adding to the overall healing effect of a visit there. The subject matter of the many weekend and weeklong workshops offered ranges across innumerable personal growth, relationship, healing, spiritual awakening, alternative lifestyle or spiritual teachings workshops and much more than I can list here.
Grounded in the wildly alive but delicate Big Sur landscape, Esalen enjoys a deep relationship with the elemental forces of nature. Not only the power of the ocean, but also the streams, the gardens, the night sky there is so wonderful. There is also the most wonderful community of people who have built and sustain community there and they add immensely to its specialness. Oh and the food! They serve really great meals with plenty of options during your time there, and you don’t have to do the dishes (unless you really want to!)
Esalen is a place not to be missed.
150 Lake Drive
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit, Omega provides hope and healing for individuals and society.
Omega’s History: A Pioneer in Holistic Studies and the Personal Growth Retreat
Founded in 1977 by Stephan Rechtschaffen, MD, and Elizabeth Lesser, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies was inspired by scholar and Eastern meditation teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Together, they envisioned a dynamic “university of life” designed to foster personal growth and social change. The name “Omega” came from the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned 20th-century philosopher, who used the term “Omega Point” to describe the peak of unity and integration toward which all life is evolving.
In 1981, Omega expanded from rented facilities in New York and Vermont to our current Rhinebeck home on the former grounds of Camp Boiberik, a popular Yiddish camp. Over the years, we have lovingly restored the campus while maintaining its simplicity as it has grown to 250 acres and more than 100 buildings, including the Sanctuary, the Ram Dass Library, and the new Omega Center for Sustainable Living.
Today, Omega is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth, welcoming more than 23,000 people to our workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck and at exceptional locations around the world.
A nonprofit organization, Omega has consistently been at the forefront of human development. From nurturing early dialogues on the integration of modern medicine and natural healing; to designing programs that connect science, spirituality, and creativity; to laying the groundwork for new traditions and lifestyles, Omega continues to be a place where people from all walks of life come for inspiration, restoration, and new ideas. Our mission guides us to help people find health, happiness, and community while living gently on the Earth.