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.
Conscious evolution is the evolution of evolution, from unconscious to conscious choice. While consciousness has been evolving for billions of years, conscious evolution is new. It is part of the trajectory of human evolution, the canvas of choice before us now as we recognize that we have come to possess the powers that we used to attribute to the gods.
We are poised in this critical moment, facing decisions that must be made consciously if we are to avoid destroying the world as we know it, if we are instead to cocreate a future of immeasurable possibilities. Our conscious evolution is an invitation to ourselves, to open to that positive future, to see ourselves as one planet, and to learn to use our powers wisely and ethically for the enhancement of all life on Earth.
Conscious evolution can also be seen as an awakening of a ‘memory’ that resides in the synthesis of human knowing, from spiritual to social to scientific. Indeed, all of our efforts to discover the inherent design of life itself can be seen as the process of one intelligence, striving to know itself through our many eyes, and to set the stage for a future of immense cocreativity.
This awakening has gained momentum as 3 new understandings (the 3 C’s) have arisen:
Cosmogenesis: This is the recent discovery that the universe has been and is now evolving. As Brian Swimme puts it, “time is experienced as an evolutionary sequence of irreversible transformations,” rather than as ever-renewing cycles.
Our New Crises: We are faced with a complex set of crises, most especially environmental. We are participating in a global system that is far from equilibrium, conditions that are known to favor a macroshift. This kind of dramatic repatterning can be a sudden shift toward devolution and chaos, or it can be an evolution toward a higher more complex order. At this moment in evolution the outcome depends on our choices, and time is running out. We must change, or suffer dire consequences. Our crises are acting as evolutionary drivers pressuring us to innovate and transform.
Our New Capacities: The advent of radical evolutionary technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, quantum computing, space exploration, etc., offer us the possibility of profound change in the physical world. At the same time that we are facing the possible destruction of our life support systems, we can also see that the tools are there to transform ourselves, our bodies and our world. We can and are actually moving beyond the creature human condition toward a new species, a universal humanity, capable of coevolving with nature.
Otto Scharmer, a well known MIT professor, colleague of Peter Senge and author of “Theory U” is offering a series of massive online courses called transforming business society and self. Otto tackles all the big issues in the world and does his best to cultivate people’s leadership capabilities and to move them into prototyping the emerging future that we wish to see. The course I took with him on his MIT Ulab platform had over 40,000 people from 182 countries. It was an amazing experience.
Otto has a very wonderful website for the Presencing Institute at www.presencing.com and the MIT Ulab platform for the course I took is at https://www.edx.org/course/u-lab-leading-emerging-future-mitx-15-671-1x Otto offers all his courses free of charge.
“I think the most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” Albert Einstein
The Mission of the Pachamama Alliance
To empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.
The vision that informs the Pachamama Alliance’s work is of a world that works for everyone: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet—a New Dream for humanity.
Pachamama Alliance, empowered by our partnership with indigenous people, is dedicated to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.
Our unique contribution is to generate and engage people everywhere in transformational conversations and experiences consistent with this purpose. We weave together indigenous and modern worldviews such that human beings are in touch with their dignity and are ennobled by the magnificence, mystery, and opportunity of what is possible for humanity at this time.
We are here to inspire and galvanize the human family to generate a critical mass of conscious commitment to a thriving, just and sustainable way of life on Earth. This is a commitment to transforming human systems and structures that separate us, and to transforming our relationships with ourselves, with one another, and with the natural world.
If present trends continue, the probable future for life on Earth will be defined by periods of substantial social, environmental, and economic disruption, if not complete collapse.
Humanity already possesses sufficient resources, technology, and know-how to reverse these trends. What is missing is the sense of urgency and the popular and political will to act.
Without concentrated human intervention, certain tipping points will be reached that will make our present trajectory irreversible.
Guiding Values and Principles
The universe is friendly and the evolutionary Force that put the stars in motion is still moving through all of us and is a dynamic, self-organizing process whose grace and guidance we can trust.
Human beings are by nature collaborative and cooperative and innately desire the success of the human species and all life. When barriers to our natural expression are eliminated (i.e. resignation, myths of separation and scarcity), we cooperate for the common, long-term good.
Human beings are not separate from each other or Nature. We are totally interrelated and our actions have consequences to all. What we do to others we do to ourselves. What we do to the Earth we do to ourselves.
Indigenous people are the source of a worldview and cosmology that can provide powerful guidance and teachings for achieving our vision—a thriving, just and sustainable world.
One of the most effective ways to produce results is to empower other organizations through skillful alliances, and a principle of skillful alliances is that amazing things can be accomplished when people aren’t worrying about who’s getting credit.
People’s actions are correlated with how they see the world—the story they tell themselves about the world. Transforming the way that people see and relate to the world and the possibilities they see for the future is a powerful way to effect social change.
Consciously and unconsciously created systems of ongoing oppression and inequality exist in the world. The outcomes generated by those systems are directly in opposition to our vision of a thriving, just and sustainable world.
We are accountable to—and stand in solidarity with—those whose access to material resources and free self-expression is limited by unjust systems of power and privilege.
The Shift Network empowers a global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society, one built on principles of peace, sustainability, health, and prosperity.
Stephan Dinian, author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our MIssion in Service to All founded the Shift Network many years ago. They offer a wonderful selection of online courses in every imaginable topic which support their mission. I will paste their mission below.
“We aim to create a sustainable, peaceful, healthy and prosperous world — what we sometimes call heaven on earth for shorthand.
“We hold a vision where, not only are everyone’s basic needs met while living in peace, but the very best in all of us is expressed and humanity’s full creative potential is set free.
“This is a world in which we know we are one sacred family and are united in our divinity, while celebrating our diversity.
“Undeniably, there are immense challenges on the road to this ‘better’ world and as Albert Einstein famously said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”.
“Because of this, we are working to upgrade the ‘human operating system’ by…
Supporting people to unlock their full potential through transformative education and media.
Inspiring everyone to bring their unique gifts to the world and create real, tangible change.
Celebrating and spreading the most effective and innovative ideas and practices that are transforming the way we live.
Sharing openly about our own efforts in social change via lobbying, activism, philanthropy and more.
Connecting global citizens who are called to create a better world into a network of millions around the planet.
“Our intention is to share the very best in personal and societal transformation, so that together, step by step, we’re shifting the way we do things on this planet and creating a beautiful world that works for all.
“We call ourselves the Shift Network because it will take millions of connected, activated, inspired citizens to enact the changes that are possible. A network of inspired hearts, awakened minds, and dedicated souls.
“This is what we’re creating and we’re well on our way, having served over 800,000 people worldwide with customers in 150 countries and having featured over 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
“We’re committed to shifting our world, sober about the challenges that lie ahead, and inspired by what is possible.
“And of course, we’re so very grateful for your partnership in this important work.
Evolving Wisdom is a global e-learning community specializing in transformative education.
Their virtual courses, online workshops and events with today’s leading transformational teachers and authors don’t just inspire you with new possibilities or fill your mind with big ideas—they guide you through a process of deep transformation, so that you can begin to LIVE the extraordinary, awakened life you’ve always sensed was possible.
The Mission at Evolving Wisdom…
We are committed to serving the evolution of consciousness and culture on the planet by building and nurturing a global, transformative learning community that brings visionaries and wisdom teachers together with passionate learners for the purpose of creating deep transformation at all levels.
Whether you’ve been on a transformational journey for decades, or are just stepping onto the path, you probably know that real change, lasting change rarely happens overnight. It doesn’t come from simply reading a great book or attending an inspiring talk. And even powerful epiphanies or spiritual experiences—as inspiring as they might be—are insufficient to transform deeply rooted emotional patterns and habits having a lifetime of momentum behind them.
So, what is the difference that makes the difference when it comes to human transformation?
At Evolving Wisdom, we’ve found that to truly step into a new way of being and embrace our full potential, most of us need four things:
A step-by-step transformational program
A structure of ongoing guidance and support from a teacher or mentor
Ongoing practice and reflection
A supportive community of kindred spirits who are on the same journey
We call these the Four Pillars of Transformative Education. And these pillars are the design principles for every course we offer.
In these pages, you’ll find descriptions of each of our course offerings. You’ll also find links to the websites of our different programs and links to our free audio seminar events. We invite you to have a look around. And, if you find a program that resonates with your soul, take a moment to register. Each of our courses has a 14-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose and a whole new life to gain.
Since Evolving Wisdom started in 2009, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in our course offerings and millions of people have engaged in our free audio seminar events.
This is only the beginning. As more and more people are discovering the power of transformative education, our faculty is expanding to include many of today’s most sought-after teachers.
In 2017, we’ll be announcing several exciting new programs. To make sure you receive these course announcements, sign up in the box provided in the top right part of the page.
We hope you’ll join us on the journey!
The Evolving Wisdom Team