Questing at Chapel House
Colgate University; Hamilton, NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

The ecumenical retreat at Chapel House high on the hill of Colgate University in Hamilton, NY offers an opportunity to heal, replenish and learn in a unique setting. The chapel sits on some delightful aspects of Mother Earth’s soul and has been designed and maintained to foster contemplation and connection to the divine. All are welcome whether you are staying over night or just coming to spend a few hours.

Hamilton is located about 40 miles southeast of Syracuse and 35 miles south west of Utica.

The Spirit of Chapel House

Chapel house was designed to accept all faith traditions, or as its brochure says “none”. It goes out of its way to teach and accommodate. For example, Muslims can find arrows pointing to the east to assist them with salat. The library contains over 5,000 religious texts of all faiths. It has welcomed visitors from all over the world, of different traditions and backgrounds.

Chapel House is run as a retreat for people questing and silence is asked for. Please try to remain quiet while there or walking its grounds. I would suggest taking your shoes off when entering.

Chapel House was created in 1959 and funded by a benefactor who asked to remain anonymous. The intention was also to make it an ecumenical place for all. Per the brochure “Chapel House belongs to and is administered by Colgate University. It operates on an endowment funds which must cover expenses without requiring any help from University funds.”

Experiencing Chapel House

The retreat center and its grounds are located on numerous fields of consciousness, aspects of Mother Earth associated with higher planes of existence and other divine attributes. The place has a great feel to it from all the praying and contemplation which creates a very positive geographic samskara.

There is a chapel that has been designed to allow for both individual and group prayer. There is an extensive library on various faiths and sacred texts. There is a music room that allows for listening of a variety of religious classics from earliest times to more experimental modern day pieces. The walls of Chapel House are filled with art representing a variety of traditions.

Where to begin?

There are a lot of opportunities to learn and connect with the divine. I suggest you find a place or activity that helps you connect and most definitely try to experience all what Chapel House has to offer. While there are fields of consciousness and other divine attributes throughout there are few that I found particularly enchanting. What you like will depend upon your preference and where you are on your spiritual path.

The music room had a stacked field of consciousness (3) with three fields upon each other. The prayers and intentions of the space added to the fields and I would meditate in this room.

There are also some very sweet spots outside the front area of the retreat building having stacked fields and attributes of higher planes of existence. There is also a bench area located on a field behind the building that is very nice. Make sure to check out and meditate or pray in these areas as well other area around the building.

Avoid the Electric Transformer Cemetery Area

A couple of hundred yards up the road is a large electrical transformer and a cemetery. I only mention this because a lot of people go for walks up there and I would avoid this area.

There is a series of negative vortexes around the electric transformer. Cemeteries generally do not have a good vibe and electrical transformers can be disruptive. Energy vortexes drain you of prana and should always be avoided. After spending time replenishing your soul and subtle body it would be a unfortunate to have your efforts diminished by a negative vortex.

According to Hindu philosophy Shiva (consciousness) must merge with Shakti (energy) to elevate your spiritual path. Patanjali’s fourth limb of yoga is pranayama and breath or energy control. So energy is vital for your spiritual evolution. Having it depleted by a negative vortex is counterproductive.

Just about every place I recommend in Mother Earth Prayers has a negative energy vortex or bad geographic samskaras in very close proximity and I seldom mention them. The only reason I mention this now is that so many people leave the retreat center and go for a walk in the cemetery area. Instead take a walk in the huge field in front of Chapel House.

Overnight Guests

You need to make reservations a few weeks in advance and need to say a minimum of two nights. Your stay includes three meals. The charge is so inexpensive that one must wonder whether the charge even covers the cost of the meals.

Getting There

Chapel House is located at the top of the hill at 13 Oak Drive, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY. For directions.

Once in Hamilton following Route 12 B south, turn left onto the campus at the second traffic light in Hamilton (Sign for Colgate University at drive entrance). Traveling up the hill, take the second right turning which is in front of James B. Colgate (Administration Building) onto Alumni Drive.

After two stop signs, bear left and then turn sharply to the right and up the Hill onto Chapel House Road. The road curves through a wooded area to the parking lot on the left. Chapel House is on the right.

Chapel House
Chapel House
Hamilton, New York 13346-1398
Phone: 315-228-7675

Thanks to all those on the Interfaith works list serve in Syracuse, NY that first recommended Chapel House for review. Thanks to Lorraine Mavins for her input and photography.

In emailing me make sure to change (at) to @ in the address header: madis senner

Madis Senner

PS. Make sure to check out nearby Spirit House in Georgetown, NY

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