Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Through educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit, Omega provides hope and healing to individuals and society.

Founded in 1977 by Elizabeth Lesser and Stephan Rechtschaffen, M.D., 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 point of unity and integration toward which all life is evolving.

In 1981, Omega expanded from rented facilities in New York and Vermont to its current Rhinebeck, New York home on the former grounds of Camp Boiberik, a popular Yiddish camp. Over the years, the campus has been restored while maintaining its simplicity, as it has grown to nearly 200 acres and more than 100 buildings, including the Sanctuary, the Ram Das Library, and the new Omega Center for Sustainable Living.

Today, Omega Institute is the nation’s leading source for personal growth and wellness, welcoming more than 20,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck and at exceptional locations around the world.

As a nonprofit organization, our mission has consistently placed Omega 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 has been a place where people from all walks of life come for inspiration, restoration, and new ideas.

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