Post-Conference Trip

Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley:

Iroquois Nations, Feminists, Utopians and 21st Century Esotericists

Upstate New York, to many people's amazement, is filled with fascinating sites of deep spiritual and esoteric significance. The ancient land of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, its reputation in the 19th century as the Burned Over District derived from the waves of evangelical fervor that swept across the state. It was also the birthplace of American Feminism, Spiritualism, and the utopian Oneida Community. Today it is still home to alternative communities and to biodynamic farms and centers of holistic learning, and is a vast, beautiful, and culturally vital part of America.

We begin our journey by visiting Bethel Woods Cultural Center, site of the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969 that captured the love-centered spirit of a generation. From there we travel to Ithaca to the Moosewood Café, a seminal force in the world of natural foods. We will spend the night near Seneca Falls where the first Women's Rights Convention met in 1848 and Marjorie Roth will speak to us on the intertwined stories of Spiritualism and early Feminism. The next morning we will gather at the former home of Matilda Gage, and Jeanne Shenandoah of the Onondaga Nation and Sally Roesch Wagner will speak on the influence of the Iroquois culture on the pioneering feminists. We go on to the Oneida Community, where utopian free love and gender equality flourished in the mid-19th century. Our last two nights will be spent at a Theosophical Retreat Center, from which we will journey to the enchanting Hawthorne Valley Farm, where we will learn how the legacy of the great esoteric philosopher Rudolf Steiner lives on in a vibrant biodynamic farm, Waldorf school, research center and nearby Camphill Village. On our last full day we travel to the Abode of the Message, the Sufi community in New Lebanon where Pir Zia Inayat Khan will speak to us on his sense of Inner America. Our final morning concludes at Olana, the exquisite home of the Hudson River painter Frederick Church. The sublime and epic vista that unfolds before us as the Valley stretches toward the Catskills provides a perfect spot to conclude our Quest.

Price: $985 per person for accommodations in a double room, $1,095 for a single room. This cost includes accommodations for the nights of August 28–31, all meals, travel in a luxury coach and entrance fees to sites.

People not attending the conference at Menla are welcome to join us for this post-conference journey. Please see or call Andrea Lomanto at 212.219.2527 ext. 101 for more details.

Travel Information:
After the trip, the bus will be returning to Menla or participants will have the opportunity to connect with mid-afternoon Amtrak trains leaving Hudson, New York, on Tuesday, September 1, for the 2-hour trip to NYC’s Penn Station. Trains between Hudson and NYC run approximately every 1-2 hours. Visit for schedule and fare information.

From Penn Station, travelers can then connect to NJ Transit trains for Newark Airport (, or to taxis heading to JFK and LaGuardia. We recommend booking your returning flight for after 8pm.

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Esoteric Upstate New York:
Iroquois Nations, Feminists, Utopians and 21st Century Esotericists
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