The school is located on five acres of woodland property in West Saugerties in the Catskills region of Upstate New York, about ten minutes from the main streets of both Woodstock and Saugerties. Saugerties is a quaint town on the west bank of the Hudson River about 2 hours north of New York City. We are part of the Saugerties School District (see map) with a population of about 25,000. Chronogram Magazine wrote an article about Saugerties, saying it’s “having a moment”. A local business owner summed it up saying, “I think it’s because we have the right mix. There are great stores, art, restaurants, and things to do. There are a lot of new people coming in but locals seem content, too. There’s something for everyone. No one feels excluded.”
The campus can be difficult to find due to an oddity in the road numbering system. We’re at 268 West Saugerties Road. We’re right at Kate Yaeger Road, 3 miles away from Taleo Arts Center, which is at 275 West Saugerties Road. In The Sticks restaurant is right up the road. There is a long driveway leading up to the school.
This area was originally the land of the Esopus tribe who retreated into the Leni Lenape tribe after being “resettled” by Germans and Dutch in the 1600s and 1700s. The Lenape have a matrilineal clan system and historically were matrilocal. Saugerties was the site of several battles during the American Revolution. Lumber and stones from local quarries were used to support the shipping industry. While the farming and hunting community has maintained a presence since these towns were founded, the last century the area has attracted a large number of artists and spiritual seekers. The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce published this brief history of the Utopian vision upon which the town was built.
Nearby Spiritual Centers
There are a number of Buddhist centers, ashrams, and other spiritual centers in the area:
- Karma Triyana Dharmachakra – The North American seat of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Woodstock)
- Matagiri Aurobindu Hindu Center – A spiritual center dedicated to Sri Aurobindo (Mt. Tremper)
- Menla – A wellness center founded by Robert Thurman (Phoenicia)
- Omega Institute – A university for lifelong learning (Rhinebeck)
- Peace Village – Braham Kumari center (Haines Falls)
- Zen Mountain Monastery – John Daido Loorie’s Zen hermitage of the Mountains and Rivers Order (Mt. Tremper)
- The Won Dharma Center – A Korean Zen center (Claverack)
- CoSM – A sanctuary of visionary art to inspire a global community (Wappingers Falls)
- And more! (Feel free to suggest)
Towns and Universities
Bard College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Ulster, The Culinary Institute of America, Dutchess Community College, Ulster Community College, and Vassar College, are just a few of the higher education institutions nearby. We expect enrollment from Ulster and neighboring counties of Greene, Dutchess, Orange, and Columbia. Nearby towns include: