Daylong Meditation Retreat: Resting in Openhearted Awareness

Saturday, August 27, 9:30 – 3:30
Nashville Friends Meeting
Led by Lisa Ernst


“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” – Rumi

In this silent retreat we will stabilize attention and deepen concentration through the breath and body, then gradually open our awareness to the boundless space of mind and heart. These practices will help us relax into freedom from our habitual thoughts and patterns and find equanimity in our present moment experience.

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

Cost: $50, plus dana (generosity donation) to the teacher. A reduced fee spot is available in the case of financial need. The retreat fee can be paid by Paypal here.  Directions and additional information will be emailed prior to the retreat.

Please contact with any questions.

Our New Meditation Space

Here are some photos of One Dharma’s new Nashville meditation space. Its spacious, serene and quiet. We also love the raised ceiling and skylight. If you live in or near Nashville and haven’t come by yet, please come see the space in person and join us for meditation. We meet Mondays, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Directions and additional info here.



Low light for meditation.


Dharma Talk: The Dancer in The Desert

This dharma talk was inspired by a woman named Marta Beckett who was a professionally trained ballet dancer in New York City. When her car broke down in Death Valley she saw an abandoned old theater and listened to the call of her heart and renovated it. She danced there many years with little to no audience until she was discovered. In the talk I explore how we can devote ourselves fully to our path with love and commitment, rather than seeking results, even when the terrain seems barren. In this way, we open to greater possibilities as unexpected and wonderful surprises often appear along the way.

Kindness and Saying “No More”

Early this morning, I read the poem, Kindness, and it cracked my troubled heart open. I wept. It is an unflinching and powerful poem that doesn’t look away from suffering. The kindness the author Naomi Shihab Nye advocates doesn’t preclude standing up and saying, “no more, this has to stop.” Dr. Martin Luther King, said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” His advocacy of love and non violence in the face of hatred never stopped him from protesting, speaking out and doing everything in his power to end oppression and racism.

Kindness allows my heart to break open and stay present in the midst of otherwise unbearable suffering. It allows me to touch the center of my own pain and the pain of the world, no matter how difficult, to not give up, to not turn away.

Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Fall Residential Retreat with Red Clay Sangha

Making the Mystery Clear
Led by Lisa Ernst
Thursday evening, September 29 – Sunday Noon, October 2


Our practice is not to clear up the mystery. It is to make the mystery clear.
~ Robert Aitken Roshi

Life is a balance of effort and letting go. Meditation practice gives us tools to be present, to work with our minds and to uncover the heart’s true wisdom. This wisdom also points the way to letting go — remembering that the practice is not only to help us solve problems but to enter deeply into the great mystery of life and death.

This residential 4-day/3-night, held mostly in silence is recommended for both beginning and experienced meditators. Format will be Vipassana style sitting and walking segments. Cost is $150 and covers all meals and lodging. There will be a separate opportunity to make dana (generosity) offering the teacher. Location is the beautiful Sautee Lodge nestled in the mountains near Helen Georgia (about 4 1/2 hours from Nashville). Space is limited so its a good idea to sign up early. Registration is here.

One Dharma is Moving!

After eight years at the 12 South Dharma Center, One Dharma will hold its last meeting there this Thursday, July 7. This is our once monthly LGBT meeting. The center will officially close by July 15. Why are we moving? To quote a lovely piece on the 12 South Dharma Center written by Walter Bittner, “In the end, it was the success of the revitalization and gentrification of the 12 South neighborhood that spelled the end of 12SDC. Recently, the ground floor unit directly beneath the meditation hall was rented to a juice bar which operates 7 days/week, 12 hours/day. Silent meditation in the room above a busy shop filled with the voices of customers, staff, blenders, and piped-in ambient music was no longer possible, and each of the three groups who share the center made alternate plans and negotiated to withdraw from their lease.”

One Dharma’s weekly Monday meditation and all Thursday meetings and classes will begin July 11 at Healing Well Yoga, 3808 Park Avenue, just off Charlotte Ave. This is a spacious studio and there’s plenty of parking by the building and along the street. I hope to have some photos soon. The space is truly beautiful! Interestingly, two years ago this was the very space we investigated as an option for a new dharma center. Negotiations didn’t work out but now the space available to us Monday and Thursday evenings and is perfect for meditation. Please come by and sit with us!

Our Introduction to Meditation Class will move to the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health beginning Saturday, July 9. This is a wonderful space and we are honored that Vanderbilt is accommodating us so generously. VCIH, also known as Osher, is located 3401 West End Ave at Orleans. The parking garage is at the rear of the building on Orleans. There is plenty of parking, which is free and secure. Walk through the glass door at the garage entry level (3rd floor). Turn left and follow the hallway to Vanderbilt Integrative Health, Suite 380. Stay left around the front desk to the first open room on your left. Please remove shoes before entering.

Special thanks to everyone who has made the unique, shared dharma center possible and especially Sharon Safer, whose vision was the spark that started the ball rolling. In the longer term, the three sanghas that have comprised the 12 South Dharma Center hope to find a new dedicated practice space.