April 20, 2011
Omega Awards More Than 60 Scholarships To Veterans And Their Families
Fifth annual retreat planned for veterans of any war living with PTSD
RHINEBECK, NY. – In response to the growing number of returning veterans in need of support, Omega Institute is hosting a helpful retreat for the fifth consecutive year. Omega today welcomed veterans and their spouses, who were sponsored to take a 5-day meditation retreat aimed at providing tools for dealing with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The retreat, taught by Zen Buddhist monk, Vietnam veteran, and author Claude Anshin Thomas, is taking place on Omega's Rhinebeck, New York, campus April 20–24, 2011.
"We believe it is crucial to support our veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress, which is common in the aftermath of returning home. We hope this work can make a meaningful contribution to healing those who have gone to war, and help the larger society find ways to create nonviolent solutions to conflict resolution." said Carla Goldstein, chief external affairs officer and director of the Women's Institute at Omega.
The veterans retreat at Omega has grown in enrollment from 12 participants in 2007, to more than 60 this year. Thanks to generous donations Omega received to its scholarship fund, the program has been underwritten since 2008, allowing increased access to veterans of any war, and their family members and friends. Scholarships substantially cover the cost of tuition, accommodations, and meals on campus, and up to $100 in travel expenses. Thomas does not accept payment for his teachings. As a result, Omega Institute is donating a portion of the retreat's proceeds to the Zaltho Foundation, zaltho.org.
"We who have fought in war know intimately about life and death," says Claude Anshin Thomas. "We who have been wounded by war—physically, psychologically, and spiritually—need to come together in order to support each other."
Thomas, a Vietnam veteran, is author of At Hell's Gate and the founder of Zaltho Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and nonviolence. Thomas received numerous awards, including the Purple Heart, for his service in the Vietnam War. After struggling with his re-entry into life at home, he studied mindfulness meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh. During the retreat, Thomas will share his inspiring story from combat to Buddhism as a road map for those who might feel trapped in cyclical patterns of response related to a traumatic experience.
About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 195 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org