Spring Renewal Residential Meditation Retreat

The Path of Awakening

Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs TN

Thursday Evening, April 11 – Sunday Noon April 14

Early registration discount due by March 11

Led by Lisa Ernst


Each spring the earth awakens from its winter slumber. Surrounded by the fresh green of newly leafed trees and longer, warmer days, we will renew our minds and hearts in the simple yet profound practice of sitting and walking meditation.  Gradually this practice will penetrate all realms of our being as we awaken to this moment with deep gratitude and joy.

The retreat will be held at Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs, TN. Retreat cost  the cost is  $215. A reduced fee sliding scale spot is available if you need financial assistance. Please inquire for rates. Participation for all three days is required. There will be a separate opportunity at the retreat to make a *dana offering (donation) to the teacher. Two sliding scale spots are available for those who need financial assistance. Make your retreat payment to One Dharma Nashville and send to: One Dharma Nashville c/o 12 South Dharma Center, 2301 12th Avenue South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204. Please include your email address. Paypal is also available here. Use the first “donate” button.

Lisa Ernst is the founder and guiding teacher at One Dharma Nashville. She began meditation practice in the late ’80’s in the Zen Buddhist tradition, studying closely with two Rinzai Zen  Masters and attending numerous mediation retreats. Lisa has also studied and practiced in the Theravada tradition since the late 90’s. She has been teaching since 2005 and was given full dharma transmission from Trudy Goodman in 2010 in the lineage of the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah.

*Dana: According to the Buddha, generosity, or sharing what we have, is one of the central pillars of a spiritual life. In the act of giving we develop our ability to let go, cultivate a spirit of caring, and acknowledge the inter-connectedness that we all share.

Please contact  onedharmaretreat@gmail.com for questions or to reserve your spot.

Huffington Post’s “Power of Mindfulness”

Last Tuesday I was invited to participate in a webcast panel discussion on  Huffingtonpost Live. The topic was the “power of mindfulness.” Special thanks to Tanya Touchstone for the referral. I hope the webcast was helpful to those who can benefit from mindfulness and meditation practice. You can view the webcast here. Huffscreenshot

Writing and Meditation Retreat Recap

This past Saturday a group of us met at the Dharma Center for a day of writing and meditation, a first for One Dharma. Despite some early morning snow and initial travel uncertainty, the retreat went on and gratefully, all the available slots were filled.  I was very relieved the weather didn’t cause us to cancel as two people had come in from Knoxville and two others from St Louis. I’m always grateful to google when interested out of towners find our retreats!


At this workshop we spent a lot of time writing, quite a bit more than many attending were accustomed to. This kind of focused writing, like meditation, will quickly reveal a person’s blocks and doubts. The process of learning to accommodate the discomfort, the hesitation and dry spells is identical to we do in our sitting practice. Finding room for the imperfections, the times that the writing practice deviates from expectations, is vital to persevering and tapping into the deeper well of creativity and insight. Most people had at least taste of this at the retreat, while some reported important breakthroughs that opened up new depth in their writing.

I heard from a number of people who were interested in attending but couldn’t make it this time. Nashville also had two other daylong meditation retreats happening on Saturday, a rarity for our town. Because of the interest I anticipate we will do this again before too long. In the mean time, keep sitting, and for you writers, keep writing! Here’s reinforcement from Ajahn Chah that applies to both:

“It’s like a child who is learning to write. At first he doesn’t write nicely — big, long loops and squiggles — he writes like a child. After a while the writing improves through practice. Practicing the Dhamma is like this. At first you are awkward…sometimes calm, sometimes not, you don’t really know what’s what. Some people get discouraged. Don’t slacken off! You must persevere with the practice. Live with effort, just like the schoolboy: as he gets older he writes better and better. From writing badly he grows to write beautifully, all because of the practice.”

The Silent Well

 This morning I fell

into a well of silence.

Not a push, not a jump,

just a breath and an instant

and all is still

like a snow covered morning

at first light.

Before the mind stirs

Before the heart wants

something else

this silence

enters me, washes me away

into the joy of this

undying moment.

– Lisa Ernst