Buddhist Psychology Workshop

Nashville Friends House
Saturday, October 17, 9 a.m. Noon
Led by Lisa Ernst

Dependent origination, also known as Buddhist psychology, stands as the Buddha’s deepest insight into the nature of suffering and liberation.

Buddhist Psychology provides us with a map of the inner terrain of mind and heart. Not simply a concept, but a way of living life, a path to liberation that we can experience and wake up to right now. In this class we will explore the links of dependent origination, emptiness, and the path to transformational insight. You will gain a deeper
understanding of how all things arise in dependence on multiple causes and conditions and how your practice can help you break the cycle of suffering.

The class will include instruction, experiential practice and discussion. Cost is $40 and can be paid by Paypal here. Instructions for paying by check are at this link. Be sure to include your email address with your check. A reduced feet spot is available in the case of financial need. For questions, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.

Guided Mindfulness Meditation

Take some time to be still and enjoy a guided and silent 30 minute mindfulness meditation. If you prefer a guided meditation that includes gaps of silence, this one is for you.

Stability and Clarity Daylong Meditation Retreat

Saturday, February 28, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Rural West Bellevue
Led by Lisa Ernst

Retreat full, wait list only


Cultivating clear awareness of our present moment experience reveals insights into the nature of suffering and liberation. We see that everything that arises is not my “self” but a display of impermanent conditions. When the mind sees life through this clarity and is unclouded by confusion, we create the foundation for well-being, joy and equanimity.

Led by meditation teacher Lisa Ernst, this silent retreat is suitable for beginning as well as experienced students. The retreat will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, instructions and dharma talk. Cost is $50. There will be a separate opportunity at the retreat to make a dana (generosity) offering to the teacher. A reduced fee spot is available in the case of financial need. Please inquire for details.

You can pay through paypal  here or write a check, made out to One Dharma Nashville, and send to: One Dharma Nashville, 2301 12th Avenue South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204. Please include your email address. For questions, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.

Cleaning Up the Junkyard

Over time, if we don’t cultivate awareness through a consistent mindfulness and meditation practice, our minds may become cluttered like a junkyard. Maybe long ago the junkyard was just a pretty field in the country surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers in the spring. Then gradually we began to collect old thoughts, like tarnished, broken down cars. If we grow too accustomed to them, we may even cling to them like ancient treasures.

Slowly they begin to rust and old fluids leak into the ground, polluting the soil so that nothing can grow. But we may not even notice until the day we decide to plant a garden. Taking a fresh view of the yard, all we can see is junk from one end to the other: not one spot for planting

 With this perspective we have to take a closer look at our collection of old thoughts and beliefs, to find a way to make space for a garden. But how? It’s not as simple as doing a quick clean up and replacing all the old rotting cars we’ve accumulated for years or decades with a nourishing vegetable garden. We have to start with what we’ve already got—to take time and really see the junk in the yard, to spend time with it, to live there for while. Not to drink the contaminated water in the ground, but to make our way through the clutter, to see each and every thing we’ve clung to and refused to let go.

The amazing thing about this practice is that we don’t need to make an aggressive project of clearing out the junkyard, even if we’re totally surrounded. Once we begin the practice of genuinely seeing our mess, but not adding to it, the debris begins clearing out on its own. Soon there’s a little spot for a garden, and new plants grow that nourish us. Pretty soon the field has more open patches as the junk inhabits a smaller space. Some debris is still there, and that’s ok. We don’t have to have to clear the entire yard to begin growing our garden. Even if we’re still left with some old hardware, we may appreciate the patterns and colors of the rust, and we may find uses for the old tires.  Perhaps a tree swing would be nice, just over the garden.


A bird in a secluded grove sings like a flute.

Willows sway gracefully with their golden threads.

The mountain valley grows the quieter as the clouds return.

A breeze brings along the fragrance of the apricot flowers.

For a whole day I have sat here encompassed by peace,

Till my mind is cleansed in and out of all cares and idle thoughts.

I wish to tell you how I feel, but words fail me.

If you come to this grove, we can compare notes.

Ch’an master Fa-yen

Contemplative Photography and Meditation Workshop

Cultivating Clarity, Receptivity and Joy With a Camera

Saturday, October 5, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Penuel Ridge Retreat Center

Led by Lisa Ernst

bluewaterPlease join us for a day of mindfulness as we combine meditation and the practice of contemplative photography. We will use our cameras as a means to reflect our mindful awareness of this moment in its myriad, ever changing forms. This contemplative approach to photography often yields unexpected and remarkable results that differ from conventional shots. There’s no need for expensive equipment or technical knowledge, just a willingness to meet the moment with your camera in an open and receptive state. A simple, yet profound joy often arises in this alliance of mind and heart, camera and surroundings.

Led by meditation teacher and artist Lisa Ernst, the workshop is suitable to beginning and experienced meditators. In addition to morning and afternoon photography sessions, the workshop will include meditation, silence and group interaction. The beautiful retreat site at Penuel Ridge includes many acres of wooded hills, open fields and a lovely, secluded lake.

The retreat fee is offered on a sliding scale from $75 – $100. Two reduced fee spots are available for those who need financial assistance.

A $50 deposit reserves your space and is due by 9/27 (or pay the full amount if you prefer). Paypal is available here. If paying by check, please 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. Be sure to include your email address. Additional details and directions will be provided in advance of the retreat. For more information or to reserve your spot email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.


Incense still lit

 sweet jasmine

invites me to stay.

My body had left

but my heart can’t stray.

Back on the cushion yet

obscured in the clouds

sadness like

 softly falling

 drops of  rain.

So steady and clear

thunder far away

stillness so deep

soon nothing  remains.

As the incense burns out

a smile lights my face.

– Lisa Ernst

Oregon Rain photography by Lisa Ernst

Oregon Rain
photography by Lisa Ernst

The Practice of Meditation

The practice of meditation is the study of what is going on. What is going on is very important.
– Thich Naht Hanh

Still Lake with Clouds Photography by Lisa Ernst

Still Lake with Clouds
Photography by Lisa Ernst