Fall 7 Day Meditation Retreat near Nashville

Sunday Evening, November 9 – Sunday Noon, November 16, 2014
Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs, TN
Led by Lisa Ernst
Early Deposit deadline: July 22
Please join us for a rare opportunity to participate in a seven day meditation retreat in Middle Tennessee. Week long retreats offer a sustained opportunity to unplug and move deeply into the silence of heart and mind, where we access insight and compassion. We also enrich and revitalize our daily lives through this gift of extended retreat.

We’re currently seeking a commitment from a core group of practitioners to move forward. If you would like to support and participate in this retreat, we’ll need a $75 deposit by July 22. This retreat will be offered on a sliding scale basis from $425 – $550, which includes lodging and all meals. Teacher compensation (dana) is separate.

Lisa Ernst is a Buddhist Meditation teacher, artist and founder of One Dharma Nashville. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. She regularly leads classes, daylong and residential meditation retreats.

Deposits can be made through Paypal here or mailed to One Dharma Nashville, c/o 12 South Dharma Center, 2301 12th Ave. S. Nashville, TN 37204. Be sure to include your email address.
For questions email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.

Forgiveness and Compassion Meditation Retreat

Led by Lisa Ernst
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Still Lake with Clouds Photography by Lisa Ernst

Still Lake with Clouds
Photography by Lisa Ernst

Please join us at a beautiful rural site in West Nashville for a daylong meditation retreat. Forgiveness is not simple and it can’t be forced. At times, it may even seem impossible. Yet our ability to forgive allows us to access equanimity in our hearts and minds. We learn to meet our suffering as well as the suffering of others with kindness and compassion. In this retreat, we will deepen our capacity to find forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and for others.

Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst, this silent retreat is suitable for newer and more experienced meditators. It will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, practice instructions and dharma talk.

Retreat fee is $50 and is due by Friday, July 25. A reduced fee spot is available, please inquire through the email address below. Paypal is here. If paying by check, make it out to One Dharma Nashville and send to 12 South Dharma Center, c/o One Dharma Nashville, 2301 12th Avenue South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204. Please include your email address. There will be a separate opportunity at the retreat to make a dana offering (donation) to the teacher.

For questions, contact onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.

Daily Meditation Tip: Letting Go of Self and Anxiety

If you have a daily meditation practice, you inevitably experience sessions when you feel restless, anxious, or uncomfortable. This is something I mention often because it’s a near universal experience. Some days you may settle onto the cushion and feel relaxed and spacious. At other times, you might quickly seek reasons to end the session, if you make it to the cushion at all.

When you sit daily, you become intimate with your heart and mind in ways both wondrous and disturbing. How do you skillfully face anxiety and restlessness on the cushion? When you first take a seat, you may see a daunting meditation session stretching out in front of you. How do you stay put when every impulse in your body says to leave? First, be fully aware of it, don’t push it away. You might start by offering gratitude to the anxiety – it is a present moment experience – this is what we have in this life. The flavor may not be your favorite, but it is worth tasting nonetheless.  Give it a try. Gratitude practice, even toward our unwanted visitors on the cushion, can help notch down resistance.

Remember to return to your body and the physical sensations associated with the discomfort. This is especially important in working with anxiety. Don’t try to get rid of it. I’ve discovered that as soon as I commit to staying present with anxiety or restlessness, my sense of time and the impulse to escape begin to dissolve. There’s no longer a “me” that is separate from what appeared to be a problem, what I thought of as “anxiety.” Labels have practical uses, but they can easily cause us to react from old scripts that separate us from experiencing what’s arising.

The apparent duality of our self and our experience creates an illusion that there is something separate to be rid of. This dichotomy leads to myriad forms of suffering because it’s a struggle with no end. As long as we identify as a self that is trying to eliminate discomfort and inconvenience, we’ll stay stuck in this conundrum. But when we let go, the sense of self and separation dissolve. What we define as a problem is gone.  What’s left? Something delicious. Beyond that, you’ll have to taste it yourself. Keep practicing. It’s well worth it!