OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism Weekend

'The Dance' - Henri Matisse

Is happiness the goal of life? Is there a secret to it? Is it a choice? How can we be happy when our world is filled with suffering and life is fleeting?  Is mindfulness the key to overcoming anxiety?  Is worrying about the past and the future holding us back?  Or is focusing on the present an indulgence that distracts us from living deeply?  And what about hedonists?  Do they have more fun not worrying about these issues? 

Some philosophers thought they knew the secret to happiness. Émilie du Châtelet, for example, proposes that achieving happiness is not so hard, but the problem is that takes most people a really long time to figure it out. Albert Camus suggests that happiness can’t be rushed—it requires a great deal of patience and willing. Some argue that, like searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, happiness is a fickle and receding goal. “Happiness,” Simone de Beauvoir writes, “is like a butterfly whose brilliant colors are tarnished as soon as they are touched.”

 At this OlioHouse weekend, we will explore the existential nature of happiness and the role of happiness in living authentically and meaningfully. We will visit ideas from Jeremy Bentham’s Hedonic Calculus, a formula for evaluating pleasure and pain; Émilie du Châtelet’s Discourse on Happiness, on the sources of happiness; and Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, about finding happiness when the world seems bleak.  Hot 'Camus' Toddies will be served all night.

Schedule of the weekend:

​2pm: Arrive at OlioHouse for lunch 

3pm: ‘Happiness and Hedonism’ Skye will lead an olio exploring the existential nature of happiness. We'll look at a host of different philosophies around the idea of happiness and decide whether it is actually a goal we're comfortable with.

4:30pm: Free time to explore Wassaic, hike and or swim! 

6pm: Workshop: Searching for Authenticity – in small groups we will go through a list of questions meant to spark meaningful connections around the topic of what it means to live authentically. 

7:30pm: Dinner at the Lantern Inn

10pm: Late night Water Coloring Class led by artist, Meredith Stein



Yoga and Breathwork Meditation

*We are all sold out of beds for the weekend but you can still grab a day trip and enjoy all of Saturday's activities*

Location: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

296 Old Rte 22, Wassaic, NY 12592

This is our gorgeous home up in Wassaic, NY. We hold weekend seminars and welcome members of our scenius for creative residencies and projects. It is located less than a 20 min walk from the Metro North station in Wassaic and 2 hours from Grand Central. We are the proud neighbors of the Wassaic Project.

Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors

Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.

Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month

Other upcoming Olios

Aug 20

Dementia Americana: The Persistence of Forgetting

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

Prospect Park Philosophy | Art vs. Reality

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:15 p.m. at Prospect Park (Grand Army Entrance)

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

Philosophy Club | "God is Dead"

Taught by Jeanne Proust
8 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Aug 22

Margaret Fuller, Beethoven, and Revolution in the Minds of Women

Taught by Christina Katopodis
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Aug 24

OlioHouse Finale | The Problem with the End of the World

Taught by Michael Prettyman
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Aug 28

Eastern Philosophy and Relationships: The Interplay of Yin & Yang

Taught by Darryl Aiken-Afam
7 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $15

Sep 17

Mediated Intimacy: The Dating App Landscape

Taught by Pani Farvad
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Sep 19

* Sold Out * OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $

Find out when we launch new classes!