The Meaningful Engagement Program (MEP) at OSI Sanctuary Sites

Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain

Location: Nantahala National Forest, Blue Ridge Mountain Range, North Carolina, USA

After the COVID-19 Pandemic shook and altered our world forever, all things “tele” may seem commonplace. Those who know, however, recall that Open Sea Institute was among the first to meaningfully occupy the psychotherapeutic telehealth space. Open Sea Institute was an early adopter and early innovator in telemedicine, reintegrating the hallowed methods of psychodynamic psychiatry back into the practice of psychiatry and into the new field of telepsychiatry. Open Sea also reintroduced dynamism and flexibility into the field by initiating OSI-type Coaching as a compliment to treatment and as a formidable stand-alone program of mental exercise, ethical exploration, healing and edification.

Now, Open Sea Institute seeks to innovate another revolutionizing space in the unexplored field of what we brand Eco Medicine as we endeavor to reverse the hundreds-years movement away from Nature as Primary Healer. After an exhaustive nationwide search, Open Sea Institute has identified a new OSI-type Sanctuary Site in the Appalachian Mountain Range.

Selected for its strategic location among and atop an intricate network of pristine waters, some placid, some babbling, and others rushing, Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain exists in a state of symphonic reverberation and energetic alignment with nature itself. Home to the American Big Five—Elk, Moose, Bear, Wolf and Big Cat, the Appalachian Mountain Range is a sanctuary for both animals and humans.

Open Sea introduces our programming in Eco Medicine with treatment accompaniments including, but not limited to, Biofeedback, Animal-Assisted, Movement-Assisted, Art-Assisted and Mindfulness Interventions at the Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain. Located deep in the Nantahala National Forest in one of only two North American Rainforests, Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain offers unparalleled potentials for healing and awakening.

Luxuriously appointed and seamlessly sited amidst the tall and proud peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain is situated in a primeval forest where our community can experience North America’s most biodiverse flora and fauna.

If contemplation of the lifespan of a mountain range encourages contemplation of human existence, Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain offers our community of visitors content for serious self-reflection as the mountains on which it sits are among the oldest on planet Earth itself. Over 1.2 billion years old, its geologic record preserves the memory of the ancient volcanoes that once decorated its now blissful mountain topography. Though Nantahala land far outdates human life on planet Earth, the Nantahala Forest, named for a Cherokee-origin word translating to “Land of the Noonday Sun,” was at one point the former homeland of the Cherokee People and their ancestors.

Moreover, scientists believe that the mountains on which Open Sea Lodge sits are experiencing another period of growth, providing a natural metaphor for the zeitgeist of the OSI mission and for the healing our community members will experience when they visit with us. Open Sea Institute and its Appalachian land are a celebration of growth, evolution and resilience rooted in tribute to traditions of achievement. As we always say, we serve a community that will change the world.

Grounded in our firm conviction of interconnectedness, in our belief that people do not exist in isolation of the natural world—the acquisition and establishment of Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain affords our community a nurturing and rousing space to explore the relationship between harmonization with nature and harmonization with self. As we move into the future, there can be no realistic conversation around human healing without the meaningful incorporation of environmentally informed therapies.

Once more, we invite you to join our movement.


* Active OSI Community Members will be offered the opportunity to visit The Lodge at no additional cost at the discretion of their Open Sea providers. Please inquire with your provider for information about participation and personalized programming.

Open Sea Lodge at Nantahala Water Mountain is approximately 1 hour from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and 2.5 hours from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The Lodge is conveniently located minutes from Downtown Highlands, NC, a consummately charming and luxurious mountain-town retreat destination in the Southern United States that rivals Aspen in natural beauty and high-end offerings.

Contact OSI Interface for information on lodging, shopping, dining, spa experiences, and nature excursions including golf, white water rafting, hiking, hunting, gemstone mining, caving, horseback riding, rock climbing, wild animal observation and family interest opportunities. Highlands, NC is home to a diverse range of musical experiences from nightly contemporary folk to weekly chamber music. Visitors can indulge in the performing or fine arts at any number of highly developed local institutions including The Center for Life Enrichment, The Mountain Theater Company, Highlands Performing Arts Center, and The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts. Highlands, NC is known as a treasure trove for antique and vintage shopping. Numerous festivals and parades occur throughout the year. Workshops, lectures and social experiences with internationally acclaimed speakers, authors, politicians, and professionals in a diversity of fields are offered throughout the year.

Photo by Chris Beeson