We'll use our time this weekend to explore the essential spiritual truths that connect different religions and strive to actually use these teachings in our daily lives to create deeper connection and freedom.

OlioHouse | Considering The Tyranny of Choice

Michael Haltenberger at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sat, Jul 13 at 2 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Considering the Tyranny of Choice: What the Tao and Zen Teach us about Our Addiction for Control

Join us up at OlioHouse for a weekend exploring what it means to take on a spiritual outlook. Is there some kind of unity which binds different religions? And if so how do we learn about that without all the other baggage that often accompanies organized religion? We will spend time together looking into some spiritual movements taking place right now as well as ancient practices and see what value we find in these messages. If we do see value, are there changes that need to be made to face our current society in a spiritual way? Or are these messages timeless, able to speak to any situation?

We will consider how choosing to live from this perspective, being deeply “spiritual” in our outlook, does not preclude being deeply and meaningfully involved in the world. This is NOT about asceticism, turning away from the material world, but rather, it’s about freeing ourselves from the burden of ego and personality so that we can more deeply and honestly be a part of the world.

This is not about losing our identity or merging into some mystical oneness. This is not about detaching from the world of form. It is about changing our default perspective from one of separateness to one of connectedness. It is about finding a balance between the useful power of ego and personality and the stillness of spirit.

We begin by accepting non-judgmentally that something is off; that our priorities, of the mind, of the heart and in the world are skewed; that we live in a world with too much dominance and not enough acceptance, too much Yang and not enough Yin.

A word from Michael Haltenberger:

I’d say striving to be happy is NOT the point. We didn’t evolve to be happy. I don’t think we evolved FOR any particular reason other than to perpetuate life. On the other hand, we can choose to find joy in that vacuum, in the empty space where we wish there were some sort of meaning. All it really takes is a change of perspective and giving up on trying to understand, on needing to be right. To live without judgment, with acceptance, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Lazy, smart, dumb, good, bad are all just thoughts. We can choose to believe them or we can be free.

**OPTIONAL** For an additional $30, you can join an expert chef and forager on a mushroom hunt on Sunday afternoon. Includes a woodfired pizza lunch with the mushrooms we find.

Schedule of the weekend:


2pm: Arrive to a communal lunch.

3pm: Intro conversation: Accepting without judgment that we are unbalanced, that we don’t really understand what is important in life, that we are all a bit nuts and miserable :)

Exploring some of the ideas of Tolle, Sadhguru and Mooji.

Define some keywords: Thought, Ego, Personality, “I”, Mind vs Self, Being, Raw Awareness.

Hand out compassion cards

5pm: Free time to explore Wassaic and hike, swim, or hang out around OlioHouse

7pm: Dinner at The Lantern


10am: Start with guided with a meditation

Olio on the Tyranny of choice

A couple of short videos and conversation

12:30pm: Light lunch and conversations about Compassion Cards

Closing Conversation

2:15pm: Return train to Grand Central.

Teacher: Michael Haltenberger

Michael D. Haltenberger has been teaching Comparative Religion at Hunter College for over a decade. His primary interest is the relationship between religion and science and how both affect the way we experience and behave in the world.

Venue: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY
Add to Calendar July 13, 20192 p.m. July 13, 2019 America/New_York Think Olio | OlioHouse | Considering The Tyranny of Choice We'll use our time this weekend to explore the essential spiritual truths that connect different religions and strive to actually use these teachings in our daily lives to create deeper connection and freedom. None

What is Think Olio?

Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info

Stay in Touch

Instagram Mailing List Contact

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.