In this talk I describe my intensive practice with zen koans. I also explain how it laid the groundwork for deep inquiry into challenging life questions and how this practice can lead to insight and liberation. The talk includes a guided inquiry meditation.
Saturday, November 23, Nashville Friends Meeting
9 a.m. – Noon, Led by Lisa Ernst
Right Concentration is the final leg of the Buddha’s eightfold path but it is frequently misunderstood. Concentration and mindfulness differ, although right mindfulness is a support for meditative concentration. Skillful concentration often leads to the jhanas, the eight altered states of consciousness that can deepen joy and improve your insight practice. In this half day retreat we will explore meditation through the lens of concentration and the jhanas as a path to awakening.
The morning will consist of instruction, meditation and discussion. This retreat is suitable for all levels of experience although an existing mediation practice is recommended.
Cost is $50. A reduced fee, scholarship spot is available in the case of financial need. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire. Payment can be made through Paypal here. donate button or by check here . If paying by check, be sure to include your email address. Venmo is available @onedharma.
Daylong Workshop led by Lisa Ernst
Saturday, October 19, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Nashville Friends Meeting
Contemplative inquiry is a vital skill for practitioners and facilitators for cultivating focused, open attention. It is the art of embodying presence and mindful listening, while reflecting a deep and heart-felt sense of kindness and curiosity. These qualities ground and support us in the unfolding nature of experience, expanding awareness and inviting reflection on what we experientially observe. Through the practice of inquiry, we begin to disrupt and release rumination, limiting beliefs and conditioned responses, while bringing more intention and joy to our lives and interactions.
In this daylong you will learn to incorporate inquiry practices inro your own meditation and strengthen your ability to incorporate these skills when working with others. Inquiry practices free the mind from habitual stories, narratives and patterns of avoidance that prevent present moment awareness and compassion from unfolding. These skills are suitable for personal investigation, facilitating groups and working one on one with clients.
This workshop, led by Lisa Ernst, will include instruction, meditation, group interaction and practice in the inquiry process. The cost is $75 – $125 sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level you can afford so that others who need to pay less can also attend. (This is not a “dana” daylong and compensation to the teacher is included in your fee.) A scholarship spot is available. Email email@example.com Payment can be made here.
Three or Five Night Silent Meditation Retreat
Thursday Evening, 12/5 – Sunday Noon 12/8, Optional Extension to 12/10
Bethany Hills Retreat Center, Kingston Springs, TN
Registration opens September 3
All of our joys and sorrows, thoughts and feelings arise and fall away in a field of awareness that is clear, expansive and open. In this retreat we will explore how mindfulness, concentration and open awareness support each other. We will learn how developing the capacity to rest in awareness creates a wider container to meet even our most challenging and stressful thoughts and emotions with presence and compassion. It also stabilizes concentration (samadhi) and strengthens insight (prajna). This retreat is designed to invigorate and nourish, not only our formal mindfulness and concentration practices, but also our daily activities.
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, instruction, dharma talks and private meetings with the teacher. Retreat cost is $330 if paid by November 7; $360 after. The five night option is $465 if paid by November 7; $495 after. A $100 deposit holds your spot. Please indicate if you will be attending the three or five 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.
Lisa Ernst is a meditation teacher in the Thai Forest/Spirit Rock lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. Lisa leads classes and retreats nationally and is a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
Cancellation Refund Policy: More than four weeks from retreat start date – $30 cancellation fee; four weeks to 20 days from start date – $100 cancellation fee. No refunds are available for cancellations less than 20 days from retreat start date.
There’s still time to register for this four night silent meditation retreat I’m leading in August at Heartwood Refuge Retreat Center in Hendersonville, NC. Full information and registration here.
Saturday, June 15, 9 a.m. – Noon, Nashville Friends Meeting
Led by Lisa Ernst
Metta is the Pali word for friendship or lovingkindness. It is taught as a meditation that opens our innate capacity for a joyful, loving heart. Metta is traditionally offered along with forgiveness practices that deepen compassion and equanimity. We will also include the powerful sending and receiving practice of Tonglen. One of the most significant aspects of Tonglen is that we naturally move out of the “self center” where we primarily identify with our own suffering and find a deep sense of interconnection with others where compassion fully comes alive.
These practices support and deepen the development of concentration,
ease and a greater ability to give and receive unconditional love. In these difficult times, our world needs these qualities more than ever.
This silent retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, instructions and q&a. It is suitable for all levels of experience. Cost is $50, payment can be made by Paypal here. Instructions are here if paying by check. Be sure to include your email address. A reduced fee spot is available in the case of financial need. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join me for an adventure of a lifetime to India. On this tour we will be visiting some of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites as well as many other points of interest. We will meditate under the Bodhi tree, a descendant of the very tree where Buddha was enlightened 2500 years ago.This was one of the highlights for me of the 2017 tour and an experience not to be missed while in India. Pilgrims from all over the world travel here and it is truly an amazing experience to be at ground zero for the awakening of Buddha and Buddhism.
We’ll also visit Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon. Sarnath is close to Varanasi, where the famous Aarti ceremony is held every night at sunset on the Ganges. This is another not to be missed highlight that can’t be fully captured in words. In addition, a tour of India wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Himalayas. This year, we’ll travel to Dharmsala, home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile. Finally, there’s an optional two day extension to visit Amritsar and the Golden Temple.
The tour is guided by expert local guides in India, and I will offer meditation and dharma discussions along the way in various locations, from hotel gardens to Tibetan monasteries.
It is a fun adventure and is open to everyone interested in Buddhism and meditation. (No experience required.)
For the full itinerary and cost, go here. If you are considering this tour and would like to talk to me directly, feel free to email email@example.com.
Making Peace with Your Ego: Finding Freedom Through Letting Go
March 14 – 17, Southern Dharma Retreat Center, Hot Springs, NC
Led by Lisa Ernst
“Live in the nowhere you come from even though you have got an address here.” Rumi
During this retreat, we will explore the nature of our identity and sense of self we use to live in the world, as well as the wise space of heart and mind that lets go. As we practice meeting all of the activity of self with mindfulness, steadiness, and kindness, our insight and compassion grow. The more we make peace with our ego, the more we dwell in our own boundless, empty nature. These practices also empower and support us in our challenging everyday lives. This silent retreat will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, daily instructions, dharma talks, q&a and meetings with the teacher.
All experience levels welcome. For full info and registration, go here.
Fall Retreat With Red Clay Sangha, North Georgia Mountains, Sautee, GA
Thursday evening, September 27 – Sunday Noon September 30
Led by Lisa Ernst
True refuge is turning toward our experience and finding freedom in the way things are. This silent retreat will provide a time to turn inward, to give our hearts and minds a respite during these challenging and often chaotic times. We will cultivate a quality compassionate presence that embraces our joys and sorrows with equanimity and insight. Through these practices, we begin to dissolve the illusion of separateness and taste the joy of interconnectedness to all things.
This retreat, held mostly in silence, will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, daily instructions and dharma talks, q&a and optional meetings with the teacher. All levels of experience are welcome. Cost is $175 and includes lodging and all meals. Teacher compensation is separate and is offered on a dana (generosity) basis.
Lisa Ernst is a meditation teacher, visual artist and founder of One Dharma Nashville. She has been meditating for over 25 years in the Zen and Vipassana traditions and received teaching authorization in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. Lisa offers meditation training and retreats nationally and she is a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
Go here to register.
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