Retreat Scholarship Appeal

Currently many people are still struggling financially and I am receiving more requests than usual for reduced fee slots for the December residential retreat at Bethany Hills.  Our regular fee doesn’t provide enough extra to fund all of these requests. Because of this need, I am creating a One Dharma scholarship fund to assist those in financial need, opening the door to people who would otherwise be unable to experience an extended retreat. Scholarships are offered at a reduced rate, but are not free except in the case of extreme hardship – reduced fee slots are generally offered at half price and up.

This is an excellent way to  practice generosity, one of the foundational aspects of spiritual life according to Buddha. Any amount you are able to contribute will allow deserving students to more fully immerse themselves in the practice. If you would like to help, you can donate through Paypal here or pay by check if you prefer (address is on the Paypal donation page.) Your donations are tax deductible and much appreciated.

The Rain

Before dawn, not yet light

crickets touch the dark

with their soft sounds

Rain drops, slow and steady

tap the leaves, fall to the ground

So close, unbound by walls

My skin is dry

but the rain soaks me through.

– Lisa Ernst

Peony with Rain  photography by Lisa Ernst

Peony with Rain photography by Lisa Ernst

Photos from the October 5 Contemplative Meditation and Photograhy Retreat

A lot of talented photographers attended the October 5 retreat. Everyone has uploaded images to a “mindful photos” Flickr account, which you can view here. Enjoy their talent while viewing the beautiful grounds of Penuel Ridge.

10/5 Meditation and Photography Retreat by Lisa Ernst

10/5 Meditation and Photography Retreat by Lisa Ernst

Half Day Buddhist Heart Practices Retreat

Living in The Divine Abodes

Saturday, November 16 8:30 a.m. – Noon

Led by Lisa Ernst

Nashville Friend’s House

ReelfootLotusPlease join us as we learn to cultivate what the Buddha called “the immeasurable states of heart and mind” – the Brahma Viharas or Divine Abodes. These are the qualities of love, compassion, joy and equanimity that reside in us all. We will learn powerful practices to reduce anger, greed and pride by opening our hearts to love for all beings. As our hearts awaken, we can discover a deeper sense of openness and interconnection with all of life.

Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst of One Dharma Nashville, this retreat is appropriate to newcomers as well as experienced meditators. It will include guided and silent meditation, walking practices, instructions and dharma talk.

Retreat cost is $35 and is due by November 11 to reserve your spot.

Paypal is available here. If paying by check, make it out 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.

For questions email

Contemplative Photography and Meditation Retreat Recap

Orange Bugs on Pod  photography by Lisa Ernst

Orange Bugs on Pod
photography by Lisa Ernst

On October 5 I led One Dharma Nashville’s 2013 Contemplative Photography Retreat at Penuel Ridge in Ashland City. It’s a beautiful retreat site and very conducive to meditation and photography. Rather than writing a general recap, I thought I’d share something written by one of the attendees, Tracy Wilson about her experience at the retreat:

Some Things I Learned on My Contemplative Photography Retreat

by Tracy Wilson

1. Birds, butterflies, caterpillars and bees wait for no one! They are as engaged with their busy little comings and goings as I am. All things change and change is constant and uncontrollable.

2. I tend to stop breathing when taking photos. When I don’t breathe, my shoulders tense up and I feel uncomfortable. So…breathe!

3. I tend to want to make adjustments to the subject of my photo…moving a leaf here, adding something there. The best photos are taken when I just let things BE as they are and accept. When I let go of trying to control them, I am more at ease and mindful and get better shots.

4. Light changes with the whim of the clouds and the turning of the earth. Photography depends on the amount of light available. It changes what and how I see things and what the camera picks up. When the light changed from morning to afternoon, the world was “new” and many things were illuminated that I had not seen before. Light changes everything.

5. Moving through my day mindfully is very relaxing and decreases inner conflict. The more I slow down, the more I see and hear.

6. Focusing on a leaf floating in a reflective pond quiets the mind.

7. Walking a Labyrinth is a lesson in patience and a beautiful way to walk mindfully. I’d love to have one!

Leaf and reflection in pond at Penuel Rigdge, photograh by Tracy Wilson

Leaf and reflection in pond at Penuel Rigdge, photograph by Tracy Wilson

To see more of Tracy’s shots from the retreat, go here.