Main Street's Quest for Peace

People flock to holistic retreats to learn and heal on vacation.
3:00 | 04/03/14

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Transcript for Main Street's Quest for Peace
There's a very interesting stories did recently -- another part of -- us. Well we yes a few years ago I traveled to the Omega institute which is an upstate new York and I interviewed a -- -- -- the -- and the children. He one of the most notable Buddhist meditation teachers in the world. And -- found at a mega it was an interesting retreat center were people from all over the world come to learn and relax it's definitely not your typical getaway where you. Party and over -- and you need a vacation from the vacation instead there are lots of speakers and ballistic teachers -- -- people. Come to teach you how to live a more fulfilling life and we have a guest from -- -- -- -- don't Edelstein who's chief external affairs officer. -- Bob good -- yeah. Our medication shell and it's great to be here. So. How long when did -- mega stardom what is your stated goal. It was founded in 1977 we've been around about 37 years and it was. -- by a small group of people who wanted. Sort of the way you've been describing access. Easy access to some of the wisdom traditions and teachings and it grew very very quickly where a nonprofit organizations so. Over the course of several years it went from. A few hundred people to thousands of 101000 to 20000 now we see about 25000. People every year who are of these people. They are people just like us there from all walks -- life. They come to -- for reasons big and small some you know some of the stuff that you've talked about what drove you to look for meditation people can. Be in their own kind of crisis looking for something looking for ways to manage stressed to slowed down. But also people come because. They -- learn something as has grown ups living and a hyper specialized. World we often don't get a chance to dabble. And things that make us feel good that help us learn and grow. Creativity arts -- Leadership training. Learning about the ecology all all kinds with. And do you find that it's a successful business entity did you thought about replicating it elsewhere. People ask us to replicate it actually often. And it's a nonprofit organization it's a pretty big business as non profits go. It's -- 25 million dollar business and as I said we see 23000. People every year. But it's pretty special and so. When when we're asked -- can we replicate can we franchise. You know -- want it we want to maintain what's really special about it. Right exactly as soon as he starts franchising any idea you have to believe in the other people were gonna carry that idea to another place and you know capital out of control -- will also technology's really letting us expand in new ways so while people can come to campus. Our website I think we're seeing about two million people now. For traffic and you can come. Didn't come to our website at. -- a five minute meditation and you can read an article we -- increasingly online learning opportunities. So you can study with -- children whose you know one of the world's best. What is teachers but if you can't get to make a you can just go onto our website and sign on for -- class -- so that's that's kind of our current. Thinking about expanding. -- and and decided it's changing a couple of interesting ways one where we're seeing a growth and when what that the academics called nuns people and oh and yes people who. Don't subscribe to any specific religion but our interest in spirituality -- that population is growing. And -- -- -- meditation specifically making it into the mainstream and and a bit more significant way are you seeing a change. In your clientele. What we see is people feeling more and more hungry for something they want to chill out they don't know how to cope with all the technology. And I think in our consumer driven culture people are really starting to. -- the big meaning question the big meaning and purpose question what missile this rat race right there anyway and what gifts do I haven't how to like give them and how to -- -- -- line up. What I love to do what I'm good at doing what the world -- and -- and make enough money to support my family and contribute to my community. That's really what people come tell -- support in -- -- that outlined the meeting not mean people are looking for. -- -- life and they're looking for it in the multitude of ways and this is one of the ways that they're telling -- exactly comical scene thanks so much for joining us we appreciate it thank him. You know I'm really interested dad from your standpoint with 10% happier it has been so successful. At George's cycle there last night stimulus funds which look I'm sure -- I can't wait to CNN -- was on -- played at that moment in -- but up your forgiving. Does it surprise you the number of people from multitudes of -- walks of life who are interested in this. Get -- I think there is a market now. For people want to hear about this stuff but not in the way in which our guests have talked about today which again there's nothing wrong with talking about it in in. In the way in which it's -- Being discussed for years which is of a bit soft you can kind of hear pan flute in the background -- -- I think that's fine and I think that really serves a lot of people. But it does as -- keep saying leave people out and I think you were ready for discussion about happiness is a bit more realistic. I'm not promising that I can solve all of your problems through the power of meditation that's not gonna happen anybody who tells you that is possible is lying to you. So I think talking about things in a realistic way and a tongue in cheek way with. 10% happier which is a good return on investment but obviously consider it an intimate you can't wanna buy happiness that way I think people are want to hear about this in a new way. And I appreciate. You care about this so much that's where -- coming for up at the end of the day you care about it you Wear a skeptic and it has helped you played your life better my -- Driving. You know I I do have a day job that I care about very much of death when I -- -- focus will look more in my day job it after when the book thing dies down but might driving purpose here is to. Tell people that if -- can work for -- skeptical guy you -- work for them to and it can mix with your life whatever your faith is it doesn't doesn't require more than five minutes today -- a lot of science that says it will join the pantheon of no breeders like brushing your teeth going to the -- and taking the -- doctors prescribe. Because. Again in the science is there and suggests it can do -- good things for. And Harris author 10% happier making so much for joining us that really is it was fun thank you -- you can see more of -- on the weekend you -- -- And also on Nightline as an acre and he's Oliver ABC news and he'll be back Moran ABC news what's this whole book to -- -- is yes obviously you think via. They gave so much for joining us that real -- we wanna hear from you does meditation. -- -- -- feel happier -- is that real this. Until next time this is Rebecca Jarvis from New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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