Isabel sent me the following note about her recent travels to the green hills of upstate New York. For the record, hedgehogs are my favorite animals and Isabel’s shoes are…heavy. Here is what she has to say for herself:
Lori and I were at a spiritual workshop with Eckhart Tolle at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. We were hoping for a bit of enlightenment. At Omega all food is vegetarian, everything is organic, all trash is recycled, silence is the norm, there is no drinking or smoking, and the wildlife is tame because no animals have been harmed by humans in decades. A robin made her nest on a chair on our cabin porch. People, even very young children, came to look respectfully at the little birds. Also, a local rodent was curious and I thought it might eat the birds, but when some Omega staff saw me running after the hedgehog with a shoe in my hand, I was warned not to interfere. The baby birds were beyond ugly! Naked creatures with huge beaks, but in a matter of three days they grew feathers. The mother watched from a tree nearby and came often to feed them. We had to leave before they were able to fly. (I hope the hedgehog was vegetarian too, as is everybody else in Omega. )
Regarding our enlightenment, it may be it is difficult to achieve in a week, but just being in the beautiful surroundings of the 230-acre paradise and in the presence of a great teacher and so many seekers was good for our souls.