Hudson Valley Health & Wellness
Kids' Mental Health Matters

Kids' Mental Health Matters

Local clubs are empowering youth to break through isolation and build empathy, one kid or teen at a time.

Tags: Mental Health


Esteemed Reader: August 2022

On a perfect summer day in July I climbed on the Millbrook crag, at the southern end of the Shawangunk Ridge. Sometimes called “The White Cliff,” Millbrook shines bright white in the sun and is the tallest cliff in the chain. Few climbers undertake the 90-minute hike to its top, thus preserving some of its natural wildness. I’ve come upon hissing vultures in a nest, lots of loose rock, and abundant lichen and bushes growing on its faces. On a route called Time Eraser I made my way up a technical face to a precarious stance and placed some protection, small chunks of brass connected to wire loops, and clipped them into the rope. I made my way up another 15 feet to a better position, and more reliable prophylaxis against hitting the ground if I fell. While the first part of the route tested mental fortitude, the middle was a trial of strength and technique, climbing a thin crack and using small edges along its course, leading to a roof and more face moves above. A final roof with a powerful pull over the lip to a hold covered with lichen and silt left me gasping for air and feeling at once triumphant, frazzled, and profoundly present. As I caught my breath, I noticed a blueberry bush growing out of a crack in the rock. The berries were near to bursting with ripeness. I was able to reach my head in their direction and pluck several berries from the bush with my lips. They were the most delicious blueberries I have ever tasted.  The complex taste of the berries in my raw and present state opened up an awareness of the larger natural landscape. I turned and looked behind me at the top of the lush canopy of trees hundreds of feet below, stretching miles to the horizon. I felt the creative force of life flowing through the forest, saw the trees stretching with every branch and stem toward the sun. Standing on a micro-edge on this unaccustomed vertical medium I understood that the inexorable force of life flowing through nature is infinitely resilient and adaptable. Alone on the side of the cliff I laughed out loud at my concern over climate change and fears that human activity will destroy or overwhelm nature. I realized that, though we make it small with data and computer models, the power that comes through nature is unimaginably vast, little affected in the long span of her life by toxins, genetic modification, and a few more parts per million of carbon dioxide. I grokked the reality that the human species is part of the body of the biosphere, used and regulated by the whole organism like any other organ. And then my perception opened a little further and I beheld the disk of the sun radiating above, giving a force of life to sustain the Earth. Unbidden, the image of a painting I saw in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence flashed in full detail before my mind’s eye. The painting is called The Annunciation and was made by Leonardo Da Vinci. He captures the quality of active receptivity as beatific Mary gives her assent to serve as the mother of god. I stood before this painting for an hour at the Uffizi seeing more and more in it, absorbing its geometric perfection, humbled to feel that the object itself had more presence and being than I did standing before it. Taking in the view of the verdant valley stretching to the Hudson Highlands and beyond I saw that Earth and her biosphere continuously embody that active receptivity to the Sun. Like the archangel Gabriel in the painting, the Sun is announcing to the fertile Earth that she will be fruitful, and she is. The sense of reciprocity between these cosmic, no-doubt conscious beings, the beauty of the interplay of active and receptive forces, was so overwhelming I briefly swooned and had to regain my balance standing on the side of the cliff. Biochemist and author Rupert Sheldrake points out that the Anglo-Saxon word “longing” has its root in the event of sexual arousal, a penis growing longer drawn by a vagina exerting equal force of receptivity. In this way, the Earth and Sun together share a sense of longing for one another and at the same time, a fulfillment of the longing.  There is a love affair between the Earth and the Sun, a perpetual sexual encounter, a making love and conceiving, gestating and giving birth, maturing and dying all at once, all the time. All manner of life, including the human species, is the fruit of this fecundity, and it is a macrocosm of cosmic transmutation we may each actualize in ourselves....

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Rest and Reset: Make Time for Yourself with an R&R Retreat at Omega

Recharge your batteries with a retreat at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, where you can enjoy yoga classes, daily walks, wellness treatments and massages, and classes from world-renowned teachers.

Tags: Retreats

Tibet in the Catskills

Rest and Rejuvenate at Menla Mountain Retreat in Phoenicia
Menla is a 325-acre Tibetan retreat center, resort, and spa located in the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia.

Tags: Retreats

Esteemed Reader: A Deep and Living Canvas

Jason Stern appreciates the deep, living canvas of nature.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Inspirational Learning and Restful Retreats: Expand Your Possibilities at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck

The Hudson Valley has long been known as one of the country’s premier destinations for lovers of vibrant cultural, recreational, and educational experiences. And for more than 40 years, Omega Institute, a center for holistic studies tucked in the rolling countryside outside the village of Rhinebeck, has provided visitors with all of those, and more. Whether you’re looking for rest and rejuvenation or to expand your possibilities through innovative workshops led by its world-renowned faculty, Omega Institute offers a wide array of educational, restorative, inspirational, and entertaining programming at its scenic, 250-acre campus. In search of opportunities to better yourself and the world around you? Look no further than the more than 250 in-person and online workshops, conferences, retreats, and professional training opportunities Omega hosts in subject areas like creativity, leadership, sustainability, or spiritual and physical well-being, which are led by world-renowned teachers, such as Pema Chödrön, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Justin Michael Williams, and Kate Tellers and The Moth. “We believe the well-being of each of us is deeply connected to the well-being of all living things,” says Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega. “Our 2022 season brings with it opportunities to learn and practice those things that give us reason for hope—personally and together as a human family.” Looking to kick back and relax within the natural splendor of the Hudson Valley? An Omega R&R Retreat is an opportunity to enjoy a deep level of relaxation, be it through walks along Omega’s wooded trails and gardens; open classes in yoga, tai chi, or meditation; boating on Long Pond Lake; or losing yourself in one of the more than 7,000 books in the Ram Dass Library collection. Attendees of Omega’s workshops and R&R Retreats can nourish themselves with three mostly plant-based artisanal meals, sourced primarily from local farms and sustainable vendors. Also open to guests is the Wellness Center, which offers more than 40 different services in everything from massage to acupuncture to Reiki, as well as other special services to support your experience. For those looking to take part in the Omega experience from home, the institute also expanded its year-round digital offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic to include online access to popular workshops and many free resources, such as conversations with top teachers, an award-winning podcast, the Omega Online Community on Facebook, and more. Or you can become an Omega Member to access even more benefits and resources. “Whether you join us online or in person,” says Backus, “we invite you to explore the many ways Omega can help you expand your possibilities.” ...

Tags: General Wellness

Set Your Kids Up for Success By Booking Their Annual Wellness Visits

Summer is the perfect time to schedule pediatric wellness visits and vaccinations your children may need for the next school year.

Tags: Health

Esteemed Reader: Seeing Outside the Box (Store) | June 2022

Jason Stern takes a trip to Walmart with his teenage son.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Sniffing Out a Cure for Smell Loss

For those desperate to smell and taste again post-COVID, these science-backed therapies may hold the key.

Tags: Coronavirus

All Fun, No Fatigue: E-Bikes Are All the Rage at Berkshire Bike & Board

Berkshire Bike & Board, a staple of the Berkshires cycling scene since 1997, has a new location opening in Hudson this summer.

Tags: Outdoors

Esteemed Reader: On the Verge of A Revolutionary Worldview | May 2022

Jason Stern on the revolutionary worldview being born.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Esteemed Reader: Knowing What to Ignore | April 2022

Heeding Rumi, Jason Stern focuses on what to ignore.

Tags: Esteemed Reader

Staying Independent: Small Pharmacies Get Creative to Stay in Business

Facing pressure from large retail chains, community pharmacies are finding creative ways to stay in business.

Tags: General Wellness

Columbia Memorial Health’s Surgeons Get a Helping Hand from the Mako Robotic Arm

The Future of Surgery is Robotic and CMH is Keeping Pace
In 2017, CMH invested in the Mako Robotic Arm, a cutting-edge technologi- cal unit that helps orthopedic surgeons plan and perform partial and total knee replacements and total hip replacements with exceptional accuracy.

Tags: Medical

Esteemed Reader: The Glorious Day | March 2022

Jason Stern reflects on the lessons from a glorious winter day following an ice storm.

Tags: Esteemed Reader


Hudson Valley Events

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2022 SummerScape @ Fisher Center at Bard

2022 SummerScape

June 23-Aug. 14 — Bard SummerScape returns this summer with eight weeks of live music, opera,...
Teen Sound Circle @ Henry Hudson Riverfront Park

Teen Sound Circle

Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Continues through Aug. 17 — Are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Teen Sound Circle can help! This...

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Chronogram on Instagram

It’s high time Chronogram made a newsletter about marijuana. Stay in the know with the latest on dispensary openings, industry news, cultivation tips, and more as we cover the emerging cannabis scene in New York and the Northeast. Welcome to High Society.


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