Holistic Education Programs
One of the great benefits of contributing at Omega is the opportunity to experience a wide variety of educational programs. Choose from a diverse selection of classes, gatherings, and special events designed specifically for seasonal team members that support the process of self-discovery. Most of these classes are open to all, though some may need special permission.
Types of Programs
The Holistic Education Programs are divided into four pillars. Some are drop in style, whereas others require a longer commitment. Below is a fuller explanation of these Four Pillars and additional types of programs:
⦁ Holistic Studies Classes (HSCs) are self-contained class experiences that do not require enrollment or long-term commitment. An integral part of the Omega seasonal experience, HSCs run from one to three hours. Professional teachers provide a consistent selection of offerings in yoga, tai chi, meditation, writing, dance, and art, as well as more eclectic topics.
⦁ Strategies for Conscious Living classes (SCLs) are highly focused, full day or day-and-a-half intensives that often contain the spark necessary to facilitate a significant shift in personal growth or life path. For this reason, preregistration and commitment to the schedule of the class is required. Subject matter for SCL classes may encompass a wide range of material, from the practical to the esoteric, and often involve a fusion of both. Topics might include: self-responsibility, communication, play, wellness, community, work, body movement, spirituality, creativity, or sustainability.
⦁ Life Skills Workshops (LSWs) are focused workshops that develop skills to enhance your life or deepen your understanding of a particular topic. LSWs require a long-term commitment (at least four weeks, meeting twice per week) and are progressive in nature. Preregistration (pre-approved by department managers) and regular attendance is required. Each season, LSW classes might include: alternative healing techniques, community building, or communication skills training.
⦁ Full Season Guilds (FSGs) are for seasonal team members who will be at Omega for the entire season and are willing to focus a significant amount of time and energy toward developing particular skills. Entrance into a FSGs requires the approval of department managers, as well as an application process. These FSGs actively engage staff in developing life skills while also giving back to the community and the world in which we live. Ongoing classes meet for a 3-hour session, once a week. FSG topics might include arts, leadership, health and fitness, peace, and Reiki training.
Daily Open Classes – classes in yoga, tai chi, meditation, and movement are designed to help you relax and unwind. Whether you are a beginner or experienced practitioner, Omega's daily open classes have something for everyone and offer a variety of practice styles taught by some of the best teachers around.
Special Events – Special Omega events include dances, Kirtan, talent shows, open mics, community ceremonies, arts and crafts fairs, and Sanctuary Hour, where we gather as a community to hear special guests share wisdom about their own life experience. Speakers have included Brian Weiss, Julia Butterfly Hill, Alex and Allyson Grey, Alan Arkin, Bobby McFerrin, Elizabeth Lesser, and Stephan Rechtschaffen.
Samplers are short 90-minute evening workshops on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are offered by some of Omega’s world renowned catalog faculty. These evening learning opportunities are a rich addition to the seasonal educational experience.
In addition to Holistic Education Programs, one complimentary workshop from Omega’s catalog is offered to Residential Seasonal Staff and Service Corps members who serve full-season. Core Staff members are also encouraged to take one two-day workshop, tuition-free.
Note: not all workshops listed in the catalog are available, enrollment for each is limited, and manager approval is required.
The Omega Dining Hall offers a generous buffet of hearty, mostly plant-based meals three times per day. Dining Hall meal times are announced with the time-honored tradition of blowing the conch shells. Join with friends as you enjoy a wide range of dining options that are as delicious as they are healthy.
Dining Hall Hours:
Breakfast 7am - 8:45am
Lunch 12pm - 2pm
Dinner 6pm - 7:15pm.
Omega also offers Family Meals, a time 45 minutes before lunch and dinner when the Dining Hall is just open for our staff community to gather and eat together.
Staff Dining Hall
The Staff Dining Hall is open 24 hours per day (except for a short period of time each day for cleaning). Hungry late at night? Grab a bowl of cereal, store your own food, or make an original creation using leftovers from previous meals. The Staff Dining Hall also has important information bulletin boards to keep you up to date about upcoming community events, classes, and more.
Some consider the Omega Café to be the heart of the campus. Often it is bustling with excitement and good conversation. There are board games to explore, wifi available, and a modest selection of delicious food options differing from the Dining Hall menu. Food in the Café must be purchased.
Explore Omega’s beautiful 250-acre campus and experience a wide spectrum of activities. Here are some must-see places and ways to get the most of the Omega experience.
Long House is a recreational space that houses a large television, movies, computers, hard-line telephones, a lending library, and comfortable couches. The space is open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week through the entire Omega season. Note: there is no overnight sleeping in Long House.
The Art Hut is a special place reserved for you to explore creativity in a nurturing supportive environment. We have weekly open studios, plus art classes facilitated by our experienced artists in residence. We keep the art hut regularly stocked with a variety of fine arts materials for you to explore. We also have supplies for sewing, jewelry making and other types of creative expression. Add some whimsy and play to your Omega experience by dropping in and letting your creativity shine.
Ram Dass Library
Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now, has been a trusted guide to Omega and thousands of spiritual seekers worldwide for more than four decades. In honor of his transformative work, the Ram Dass Library's eight petal lotus blossom design symbolizes the unfolding of divine energy. Step inside and browse more than 7,000 books on holistic living. Read quietly in a window seat, listen to an audiobook, or study the work of a favorite teacher. With so many titles to choose from, the library provides inspiration and lifelong learning opportunities for everyone. Also enjoy special lectures held in the library.
Sanctuary & Yearning Pond
7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. (check kiosks for availability)
Group Meditation Hours*
7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (except Friday and Sunday)
Perched on a hill and surrounded by trees, the Sanctuary is the spiritual heart of Omega's Rhinebeck campus. A space of beauty and tranquility, it is open for meditation, reflection, prayer, or quiet contemplation.
You can access the Sanctuary by stepping through the archway next to the Juniper classroom and taking the stone stairway. Along the way, you’ll pass the Yearning Pond, curving stone walls, ever-changing cairns, and more. For a longer but less steep route to the Sanctuary, take the walking path past the Omega Wellness Center, and turn left onto the trail to the Sanctuary.
*We ask that you please observe silence in and around the Sanctuary, and remove your shoes before entering. Workshops are sometimes scheduled in the Sanctuary, which may result in limited open hours; please check the information kiosks for the current schedule. Also, every Wednesday at 2pm we hold Staff Sanctuary Hour, where you are invited to hear wisdom from an Omega faculty, co-founder or Hermitage resident. Sanctuary Hour is a highlight of the Omega seasonal experience. Here is a small excerpt related to a Sanctuary Hour from successful Hollywood screenwriter and former Omega Seasonal Staff Member, Krista Vernoff.
Omega’s gardens offer an appealing dash of color all season long and are serene spots to sit, contemplate, and listen to the sounds of nature.
Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, & Main Field
Join a basketball game outside the Dining Hall, enjoy regular volleyball games (usually twice per week), bring a racquet and play a game of tennis, or engage in the some spirited games on the Main Field lawn.
Omega has two laundry rooms extended as a courtesy for your use, free of charge. Omega provides eco-friendly laundry detergent that supports the operation of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. For large or specialized wash loads, it’s recommended to use local Laundromats located in Rhinebeck or Tivoli.
Fixed on top of a grassy hill overlooking Main Field, the Labyrinth was created as a meditative space to walk and explore. Spend time reflecting and following the winding path to find your center.
Spend time in nature on our 250-acre campus, stretch your legs, and leave your worries behind. See our trail guide below.
The following discounts are available to Seasonal Staff and Service Corps members:
⦁ Omega Café – 20% off
⦁ Omega Store – 20% off
⦁ Omega Wellness Center – 20% off (10% off for your immediate family members)
⦁ Charter Bus – The New York City Charter Bus runs during the season and is available to you for free on a first-come, first-serve basis whenever there is space. Should the seating be limited, you will be given a 20% discount to reserve a space.