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Omega in Action

Omega in Action highlights inspiring people and organizations making meaningful change. From protecting the environment to empowering women, healing veterans, and serving nonprofits, you'll find fresh perspectives, trending news, and the latest information on noteworthy events here at Omega and around the world.

Omega Donates to West Clinton Fire Department

3 years 4 months ago

Omega recently made a donation to the West Clinton Fire Department (the closest fire house to Omega), which allowed them to purchase a second thermal imaging camera. Here's a short news clip about the piece that appeared in the Hudson Valley News.

Omega Donates to West Clinton Fire Department 

By Ray Oberly

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies gave a generous donation that allowed the West Clinton Fire Department to purchase a second Bullard Thermal Imaging Camera. This thermal camera allows the viewer to see people in the dark or in a smoke-filled structure and also to see hot spots from a fire in the walls of a structure that was on fire. 

The seeing of fire hot spots enables the Fire Department to extinguish hidden fires thus better saving the building. In smoke filled rooms, it enables the Fire Department to find victims and also see the seat of the fire. Another important use of the camera is to locate people at night when doing a search when they are lost or injured.  

Currently, the West Clinton Fire Department has only one camera so whenever the fire engine from Station 2 containing the one camera responds, a camera is available. But when the fire engine from Station 2 containing the one camera does not respond, the camera containing engine from Station 2 must be called to bring the thermal camera thus adding to a time delay, extra expense to drive the extra engine, and the safety of responding. 

With the two thermal cameras (one for each Station), there is no need to request the one camera containing engine from Station 2 to come to a Station 1emergency scene. Chief Jay Marshall said, “This second camera improves our response to emergencies and provides more capability to better protect the community we serve.” Omega’s donations help the community by providing equipment to better serve without increasing taxes.

Love is the Secret to Serving Others

3 years 4 months ago
Jasmine Chehrazi, founder of Yoga Activist, has taught yoga to students of diverse backgrounds, from homeless shelter residents to White House staff. But what’s common in all of her classes is love. “Sharing yoga is another way of saying, “I love you,” to total strangers….I hear, “I love you back,” with every breath I’ve shared with students. So by the end of class, something is different. We’re no longer strangers.”
In this Yoga Service Conference Interview with Rob Schware, cofounder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, Chehrazi discusses why love is her reason for teaching yoga—and also her answer to avoiding compassion fatigue. She will be teaching sequencing for yoga service classes at this year’s Yoga Service Conference presented by Omega and the Yoga Service Council. 

Carla Goldstein to Speak at Leadership Tools for Women Conference

3 years 4 months ago
The SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center and the SUNY Leadership Institute are hosting their 9th Annual Leadership Tools for Women Conference titled, Centricity: It's All About YOU! Friday, June 21, 8:00 a.m.–5:00p.m. at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York. This dynamic, one-day conference will focus on enriching personal and professional aspects of life as well as building skills to support success.
Carla Goldstein, Omega Institute's chief external affairs officer and cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center, will be speaking on "The Art of Seeking Balance: Mapping Your Own Voyage." She will share the importance of developing a regular practice of self-reflection as a tool for living with a greater sense of meaning, inspiration, purpose and joy. 

Omega Opens Doors to All with Announcement of 2013 Scholarship Opportunities

3 years 4 months ago

Omega Awards over $200,000 to Individual Applicants

RHINEBECK, NY – Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a beautiful 200-acre travel destination in New York’s Hudson Valley, today announced it will award several scholarships across a broad range of lifelong learning opportunities. Each year, Omega opens its doors to more than 23,000 visitors for programs that cultivate lifelong learning, inspired living, and community building. Annually, Omega awards more than $200,000 in full and partial scholarships to qualified applicants with limited finances or special needs, including scholarships for women, educators, veterans, teens, and breast cancer patients and survivors.

“At Omega, we believe that the benefits of a holistic education should be available to everyone.

We also recognize that what is affordable for some will not be for all. We are committed to providing financial assistance for qualified individuals who could benefit from one of the many learning opportunities that Omega offers,” said Skip Backus, chief executive officer at Omega.

2013 Scholarship Opportunities (in order of application deadlines):

A Workshop for Young Women July 26–28
The Omega Women’s Leadership Center is offering scholarships to young women, ages 18 to 29, who are interested in attending the workshop, Say What You Mean, Be Who You Are, led by Rachel Simmons, author of best-selling books Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl. Participants will have the chance to sharpen their emotional intelligence by exploring self-awareness, practicing communication skills, and setting future goals in a fun and supportive environment. Application Deadline: June 14

Mindfulness & Education Conference August 16–18
Omega has received generous grant support from the 1440 Fund, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to provide scholarships for the Mindfulness & Education Conference: Bringing Mindfulness Practice to Children Grades K-12. Scholarships are available for teachers, educators, and school administrators who want to cultivate their own mindfulness practice for stress relief, presence, and emotional balance, and learn how to apply these skills in a classroom setting. Application Deadline: June 14

A Women’s Leadership Intensive: Become the Kind of Leader the World Needs Now September 15–20
The Omega Women’s Leadership Center is offering scholarships to this 5–day workshop led by teachers Sharon Salzberg, Carla Goldstein, Mallika Dutt, Leslie Salmon Jones, and Michele Bertran. Any woman interested in using their leadership to create a caring, just, and sustainable future is encouraged to apply. Guided by experts, participants will focus on four women’s leadership essentials: values; voice; vision; and voyage. To apply, email by July 1, 2013

Women & Power Retreat: Find Your Own Strength September 20–22
The Omega Women’s Leadership Center is offering scholarships for a two-day retreat led by teachers Brené Brown, Elizabeth Lesser, Carla Goldstein, Joan Halifax Roshi, Sarah Peter, Chung Hyun Kyung, and Ai-jen Poo. Keynote talks, experiential sessions, music, movement, spoken word, and time for contemplation will allow participants to connect with their authentic voice and define for themselves what it means to be strong. Application Deadline: July 1 

Where We Go From Here (OCSL Conference): October 4–6
Thanks to generous support from donors, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living is offering a limited number of commuter scholarships to individuals who would like to attend Where We Go From Here: Opportunities & Solutions for an Interdependent World. Join extraordinary leaders in the field to explore creative solutions to the current challenges in economic, environmental, and social systems. Application Deadline: August 26

Healing From Military Trauma: A Retreat for Military Women & Women Veterans October 20–25
Significant combat stress and trauma can cause anxiety, depression, homelessness, unemployment, and substance abuse. With the current epidemic of sexual assault in the military, the wounds of war often run deeper and longer for military women and women veterans. This women-only retreat for the military-veteran community (active duty, reserve, guard, and all branches of the uniformed services) builds a safe and healing environment to explore facing and releasing traumatic stress and increasing resilience. No Application Necessary: This program is underwritten and open to all active or inactive duty military women and women veterans. The participant is only responsible for $75 of the tuition, room, and board.

2013 United Breast Cancer Foundation Scholarship Program

Omega has received generous grant support from UBCF to provide financial assistance to breast cancer patients and survivors who would like to participate in classes, seminars, and other learning opportunities focused on holistic healing, health, and well-being. These scholarships cover tuition, meals, and accommodations for a weekend workshop. Application Deadline: Rolling. Applications are due four weeks before a workshop begins.

For general scholarship questions, please email Erin Lantz,, or call 845.266.4444, ext. 166.

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 200 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.

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Omega Helps Bring Mindful Yoga To Underserved Populations

3 years 5 months ago

Sharon Salzberg, Beryl Bender Birch & Bessel van der Kolk, MD Among Experts Gathering for the Second Annual Yoga Service Conference

RHINEBECK, NY –Omega Institute and the Yoga Service Council are pleased to present the second annual Yoga Service Conference, taking place on Omega’s Rhinebeck, New York campus, June 7–9, 2013. The Yoga Service Council was formed at Omega in 2009 by a group of organizations who collectively bring yoga to tens of thousands of people in underserved communities. As membership in the council has grown, so has their desire to inspire more people to serve and empower their communities through yoga and mindfulness, prompting the annual gathering.

“We’re honored to offer this unique and intimate opportunity to build skills, forge relationships, and draw inspiration from leading teachers who work with people in underserved communities every day, including trauma survivors, incarcerated adults and teens, at-risk children, cancer survivors, the elderly, and domestic violence survivors,” said Carla Goldstein, chief external affairs officer at Omega.

The conference begins on Friday, June 7 at 8:00 p.m., with an opening keynote by renowned yoga teacher Beryl Bender Birch. Throughout the weekend, conference participants will explore the benefits and challenges of introducing yoga and mindfulness practices to underserved populations. In addition to hearing keynotes with esteemed presenters, participants will choose from a variety of workshops on topics such as: teaching techniques for specific populations, putting together a research plan, organizational management, and getting yoga service projects started and funded. The weekend will also include a panel discussion, Diversity & Cultural Awareness, moderated by Bidyut “B.K.” Bose, to discuss issues of diversity within the yoga service community and the relevance of cultural awareness and sensitivity.

“The ideas and connections generated from the 2012 conference sparked some inspiring collaborations, and this year's conference offers tremendous opportunities for community building along with information gathering,” said Jennifer Cohen Harper, a founding member of the Yoga Service Council.

Social workers, school teachers, health-care providers, yoga teachers, and all others interested in exploring the possibility of bringing yoga and mindfulness to underserved populations are invited to attend.

For detailed information, including teacher bios and the complete event schedule, or to register, please visit or call 800.944.1001.

A limited number of media passes are available. Photography restrictions may apply. To apply for a media pass, visit

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 200 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.



Omega Service Week Welcomes Participants of the 3rd Annual Women Serving Women Summit

3 years 5 months ago
At a time when nonprofits are forced to do more with less, Omega Service Week offers organizations the opportunity to make the most of nonprofit leadership retreat-time to plan, network, and build capacity. An integral part of Service Week, the Women Serving Women Summit brings together nonprofits that work to improve the lives of women and girls. Coordinated by the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, this 3rd Annual Women Serving Women Summit focuses on organizations working to ensure the safety of women and girls since their well-being and ability to thrive is crucial to worldwide social, political, and economic development.
The Women Serving Women Summit is pleased to welcome the following 2013 Service Week grantees:
Family of Woodstock
Family Services
TMI Project
Grace Smith House
Healthcare Is a Human Right
Mill Street Loft
Safe Homes of Orange County
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
New Harlem Renaissance Work Group
School of Leadership, Afghanistan
Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Omega Welcomes Hudson Valley Nonprofits to Service Week

3 years 5 months ago
As service-oriented nonprofits struggle to survive in a reduced-budget environment, Omega offers nonprofits the chance to experience strategic planning retreats. Since the inception of Omega Service Week nearly a decade ago, more than 200 organizations and 3,100 people have participated in this unique grant program. Omega’s annual Service Week is comprised of two sessions—both of which provide a rare opportunity for organizations to take a step back from the front line of their work to plan and build capacity. The first 2013 Service Week session focuses on Mid-Hudson Valley nonprofits that address social service, social justice, and safety-net needs. This year, we welcome:
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Dutchess County Arts Council
Eastern Dutchess Community Coalition
Headstart of Eastern Orange County
Literacy Connections
NAACP: Northern Dutchess County
NorthEast Community Center
ReThink Local
Rosendale Theater Collective
Taconic Resources for Independence
Wild Earth
Legal Aid, Juvenile Rights Division
Press Pass TV

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living Featured in Sustainable Building Advisor Program

3 years 5 months ago
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living is one of several local sites featured in the Sustainable Building Advisor Program offered by the Sustainable Building Advisor Institute and SUNY Ulster. The training prepares professionals to take the CSBA exam, which provides the nationally recognized Certified Sustainable Building Advisor designation. The program is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Mastery 400 course and is approved for 100 learning units by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) AP credential maintenance credits.    
The Sustainable Building Advisor Program is geared toward a wide variety of students, from building professionals to environmentalists and fundraisers. There are no specific prerequisites for the program other than the desire to learn about building better, more energy efficient, healthy, and cost-effective buildings.

Reaching Out to Heal Addiction

3 years 5 months ago

Rob Schware, cofounder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, talks with Roxanne "Nikki" Myers, cofounder of Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR), about helping people heal from addiction in body, mind, and spirit. After two relapses, Nikki Myers combined 12-step program and yoga practices to support her recovery. Her unique program is now shared in more than 50 donation-based Y12SR meetings across the country. She will be teaching about addiction recovery at the Yoga Service Conference presented by Omega and the Yoga Service Council.

Read the full interview

Learn more about Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR)

Omega Cofounder Elizabeth Lesser To Appear On Own: Oprah Winfrey Network’s ‘Super Soul Sunday’

3 years 5 months ago

The Emmy® Award-winning Series Featuring ‘The Bigger Picture With Oprah, Rev. Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Lesser & Mark Nepo’ Airs Sunday, May 26, at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on OWN

RHINEBECK, NY – Omega Institute cofounder and New York Times best-selling author, Elizabeth Lesser, sits down with Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Ed Bacon, and Mark Nepo on the Emmy® Award-winning series “Super Soul Sunday Sunday, May 26, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The very special episode, “The Bigger Picture,” will feature a panel discussion about today’s top global headlines, bringing unique and thoughtful perspective to world news topics ranging from prescription drugs to terrorism, gun violence, and our fascination with celebrity culture.

Said Elizabeth Lesser, “With the opportunity to connect with news 24-7 from around the world, we're bombarded with way too much information that often seems more like a video game than a thoughtful exploration of issues that affect all of us. Therefore, I was thrilled to join this conversation about the deeper meaning and bigger picture oflife in today's world.”

Viewers can join the global conversation online via, Facebook, and Twitter using #SuperSoulSunday. Simulcasting worldwide on and Facebook.

About Elizabeth Lesser
Elizabeth Lesser is cofounder of Omega and a senior advisor. She is the New York Times best-selling author of The Seeker’s Guide and Broken Open. For more than 30 years, she has studied and worked with leading figures in the fields of emotional intelligence and healing—healing self and healing society. For much of that time, Lesser was a driving force at Omega, helping to lead the organization, create the curriculum, and spearhead many of its programs, including the Women & Power conferences, which offer a dialogue between women in leadership positions in a variety of areas—government, religion, media, the arts, and more. Lesser helped Oprah Winfrey produce the 10-week webinar for Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. Since then, she has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and webcasts, and is a frequent host on the Oprah Radio channel on Sirius/XM. Lesser is also a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide.

About Super Soul Sunday Super Soul Sunday is the multi-award winning daytime series that delivers a timely thought-provoking, eye-opening, and inspiring block of programming designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them. Recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Daytime Emmy® award, the Alliance of Women in Media Foundation with a Gracie award, and the Religion Communicators Council with a Wilbur award, Super Soul Sunday features all-new conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, visionaries, and spiritual leaders. Exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, spirituality, and conscious living, guests who have appeared include Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Wayne Dyer, Gary Zukav, Debbie Ford, Marianne Williamson, Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Daniel Pink, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Home to Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, the series has helped surge book sales of best-selling author Cheryl Strayed and debut novelist Ayana Mathis. The series also frequently presents Rainn Wilson’s collection of uplifting short films created under his SoulPancake banner. A truly unique television experience, this groundbreaking series has attracted one of the most loyal, active, and engaged social communities in television. Every episode has ranked in the top 10 most social shows in broadcast television and cable, spiking to number one more than 12 times (source: Bluefin Data). Produced by Harpo Studios, Super Soul Sunday presents an array of perspectives on what it means to be alive in today’s world.

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 200 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.

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