Dharma Talk: Swimming in the Drowning Pool

Sometimes, in trying to hold ourselves up and avoid drowning, we may feel the rope burning and slipping through our hands. But we can find unimaginable freedom by letting go of the rope and learning to swim in the drowning pool.

The monkey is reaching
For the moon in the water.
Until death overtakes him
He’ll never give up.
If he’d let go the branch and
Disappear in the deep pool,
The whole world would shine
With dazzling pureness.

– Hakuin

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An Awake and Responsive Heart: Working with Emotional and Political Distress in Chaotic Times

Saturday, March 10, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Nashville Friends Meeting

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During these challenging and chaotic times, how do we best utilize meditation and mindfulness to prepare for and meet these challenges skillfully? Can practice help us to stay engaged with a compassionate heart while also offering a respite from the nearly daily challenges to our principles, values, and sense of fairness that we encounter?

The dharma offers a wellspring of wisdom and tools that can refresh and renew us. In this workshop we will identify practices that support our mental stability, help us step out of our reactive patterns and reset our hearts to continue our journey with loving attentiveness and wise action. We will also identify practical approaches and insights for staying engaged in our communities and beyond.

Led by Lisa Ernst, this workshop is suitable for new and experienced meditators. It will include meditation, group discussion, dharma talk and specific practices to address our inner and outer challenges. Cost is sliding scale, $75 – $100. Please pay at the highest level you can afford so we can support others who need to pay less. A reduced fee scholarship is available. For questions, please email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Payments can be made by Paypal here. Instructions for paying by check are at this link.  Be sure and include your email address.

Saturday Intro Moving to Weekly!

Starting February 3, One Dharma’s Introduction to Meditation and Saturday Sit is moving to weekly (rather than bi-weekly). It is open to all newcomers, to anyone interested in learning meditation, and to anyone interested in deepening their practice.

From 10:30 to 11:30 will be informal instruction and short meditations, followed by a 30 minute sit from 11:30 to 12:00. You’re welcome to join us for either or both sessions.

It will take place at the Osher Center in Movement Room C. We would love to see you, and please bring a friend! Cushions, mats, and chairs are provided. There is no charge for the group, but donations are appreciated and go toward paying group expenses. (Avg. donation is $5-10.)

The Osher Center is at 3401 West End Avenue, Suite 380. Parking is free, in the rear of the building, off of Orleans. Enter the building through the garage entrance, and turn left at the desk, pass the first Osher Center entrance, and enter the second Osher Center door. Our room (Movement Room C) is the second one you will encounter, on the right.

Dharma Talk: Dharma Lessons from India

I led a Buddhist pilgrimage to India in November 2017. It was an amazing trip with many wonderful and challenging moments. Through it all, many dharma lessons arose. Here I share some of my journey and the lessons learned. I enjoyed it so much thatI’ll be leading another tour in November of this year. This tour includes the places we weren’t able to visit last year. For the itinerary and other info, go here.

2018 Buddhist Tour of India

Yes, I’m leading another tour this year and I’m very excited about our destinations and itinerary. Here’s more info and a link to the full tour information:

Encounters with the Buddha:
A Pilgrim’s Footsteps through India and Nepal, with Lisa Ernst
November 3 – 17, 2018

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This year’s tour with Lisa Ernst will be covering some new ground, traveling through the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal. We will be spending some time with the exiled Tibetan community in Dharamsala, visiting the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini, having a short retreat in a mountain monastery, and exploring the ancient shrines of Kathmandu.Along the way Lisa will be guiding meditation in various locations, and we will also be learning from local Buddhist practitioners as we visit monasteries, shrines and other points of interest.

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This tour is open to anyone with an interest in Buddhism and meditation, from newcomers to dedicated practitioners.

For the full itinerary, cost and registration information, click here.

Spring Renewal Residential Retreat

Thursday Evening, April 19 to Sunday Noon, April 22; Extended Option to April 26
Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs
Led by Lisa Ernst

Retreat full, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com to join waitlist

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“Enlightenment is Intimacy With All Things” – Dogen

Each spring the earth awakens from its winter slumber as the days grow warmer and longer. Surrounded by newly leafed trees and rolling hills, we will renew our minds and hearts in the simple yet profound practice of sitting and walking meditation. Gradually this practice will lead us to intimacy with all of life as we touch the present moment with a kind and open heart.

This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks and private meetings with the teacher. Retreat cost is $240 if paid by March 21; $265 after. The seven night option is $495 if paid by March 21; $525 after. A $100 deposit holds your spot. Please indicate if you will be attending the three or seven night option. Fee covers lodging and all meals. There will be a separate opportunity at the retreat to make a dana offering (donation) to the teacher. A scholarship spot is available if you need financial assistance. Paypal is available here. If paying by check, instructions are at this link. Please include your email address. For questions or to join the waitlist, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

Lisa Ernst is a meditation teacher in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. She leads classes and retreats nationally and teaches meditation internationally. She is a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.

*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.

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop for ADHD and Anxiety

Saturday, February 3, 2018, 9 a.m. – Noon
Nashville Friends House

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Lisa Ernst, meditation teacher and founder of One Dharma Nashville, and Terry Huff, LCSW, psychotherapist and author of Living Well with ADHD, will offer a workshop on meditation for adults with ADHD and/or anxiety. The workshop will include lecture, practice, and discussion and will address the following:

1. Why meditate for ADHD and anxiety?
2. Basics of practice
3. Different practices for
a. selective attention (focusing)
b. open awareness (expanding)
c. compassion (for self and other)

Research shows that mindfulness practice improves concentration, attention regulation, self-observation (of mental activity), working memory, and emotion regulation.

The workshop will be held at The Nashville Friends House, 530 26th Ave N. Cost is $60 and is due by the January 30 registration deadline; after $70. A reduced fee is available if you can’t afford the full fee.

Payment can be made by check or paypal. For Paypal go here. Instructions for paying by check are at the same link. Please include your email address.

Contact ernst.lisa@gmail.com or tmhuff@comcast.net to inquire. Terry’s book is available at terrymhuff.com.

Winter/Spring 2018 Classes, Retreats and Workshops

2018 Winter/Spring Retreats and Workshops with Lisa Ernst

New Years Half Day Retreat – The Power of Intention: Clarifying Your Path for the New Year, January 1, 2018, 9 a.m. – Noon, Nashville Friends Meeting. Info here.

Advanced Dedicated Practitioner – A Spirit Rock based study program focusing on Dependent Origination and Emptiness. Beginning late January. For experienced meditators. Email ernst.lisa@gmail.com for more information.

Meditation Workshop for ADHD and Anxiety, Lisa Ernst and Terry Huff, Saturday, February 3, 2018, 9 a.m. – Noon. More information TBA

Daylong Workshop – The dharma approach to working with political and emotional unease in the age of outrage. March 2018. More info TBA

Spring Renewal Residential Meditation Retreat, 3 or 7 night option – April 19 – 22 with extended option through 4/26. Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs, TN. Registration opens in January

More 2018 retreats, classes and workshops will be added soon.

A Dharma Lesson from India

During my recent tour of India, I was reminded over and over that one definition of dukkha is unreliability. India is a truly magical place of great beauty and spirituality but travel can be challenging at times. When Westerners first encounter this, it can be unnerving as we expect systems to work consistently. But when this unreliability is met without our usual expectations of a specific outcome, we no longer suffer. In India, when our group was able to flow with the nature of the unknown, especially in relation to travel, we didn’t suffer. Indians learned this long ago and I observed how they meet this unreliability with equanimity. So in this case there was no dukkha. And we also observed impermanence when the challenge of travel led us into spectacular scenery and magical new places to see and experience.

After returning home from Nashville, I was driving to Tuesday night meditation when I encountered a major traffic jam on 1-440. I decided to take an alternate route via West End and Murphy Road. But many others had the same idea. West End was jammed with cars and I had to sit through four cycles of the light at West End and Murphy, each of which took nearly four minutes. I watched as the clock ticked away knowing I was running later and later. As I’m a punctuality freak, this was a little unnerving. But just as frustration was about to set in I remembered the lesson of unreliability from my travels in India; I exhaled and relaxed. All was well. When I arrived at One Dharma, about 15 minutes later than usual, I jokingly told our opening volunteer that I had turned over a new leaf and had thrown punctuality to the wind!

Here are a few words from Joseph Goldstein about dukkha as the inherently unreliable nature of things:

One way we experience dukkha, the unsatisfying, unreliable nature of things, is through the direct and increasingly clear perception of their changing nature. Many people have been enlightened by this one short teaching: “Whatever has the nature to arise will also pass away.”

But because this statement is so glaringly obvious we often ignore or overlook its deep implications. On the conceptual level, we understand this quite easily. But in our lives, how often are we living in anticipation of what comes next, as if that will finally bring us to some kind of completion of fulfillment? When we look back over our lives, what has happened to all those things we looked forward to? Where are they now? This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves or enjoy pleasant experiences. It just means we need to remember the very transitory nature of that happiness and to deeply consider what our highest aspirations really are. Excerpted from “Mindfulness, A Practical Guide to Awakening.”

New Dharma Talk: Visiting the Island in Bad Weather

In this dharma talk, I share my experiences visiting the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in the Bahamas and how dashed expectations were converted into a fulfilling dharma experience.