Daylong Meditation Retreat: Cultivating Clarity Through Living the Questions

Saturday, January 28, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Birdsong Retreat Center, Ashland City, TN
Led by Lisa Ernst


Birdsong Retreat Center

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Please join us at a beautiful, rural retreat location for a day of practice. During the winter months it is customary to look inward to clarify our deepest intentions, yet unanswered questions may stand in the way of knowing what our true priorities are. During this day of practice, we will have the opportunity to practice opening our hearts to our unresolved questions and inner dilemmas. These questions contain a rich source of insight; learning to live them brings about a radical shift that opens the door to clarity and equanimity.
This retreat is appropriate for all levels of experience.

Led by Lisa Ernst, the retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, practice instructions, and a dharma talk. Cost is $50 plus dana (donation) to the teacher. A scholarship option is offered. Paypal is available here. Instructions for paying by check are here.  Be sure to include your email address. Retreat information and directions will be provided in advance of the retreat. For questions, email

Living the Questions Dharma Talk and Guided Meditation by Lisa Ernst

This dharma talk was recorded at Insight Nashville on October 1, 2014. It includes a guided meditation on working with deep questions in your life.


Recap of “Living the Questions” Fall Retreat with Red Clay Sangha

This past weekend I had the pleasure of leading a retreat in the North Georgia mountains, hosted by Atlanta’s  Red Clay Sangha. The theme was “Cultivating Clarity Through Living the Questions.” This is the second retreat I’ve led for Red Clay Sangha, which is a wonderful Zen community of dedicated practitioners committed to a welcoming, strong and supportive sangha. Because they are open to learning from and practicing in other traditions, I conducted the retreat Vipassana Style and a number of Atlanta Insight Meditation Community practitioners also attended the retreat.

Fall Retreat with Red Clay Sangha. Photo by RIchard Skoonberg

Fall Retreat with Red Clay Sangha. Photo by Richard Skoonberg

Gareth Young, a  deep and dedicated practitioner and one of the founders of Red Clay Sangha, wrote a blog post about his retreat experience, which you can read here. Gareth is very involved in Atlanta’s interfaith community and he writes often about his experiences participating in several faiths.

Our location for this retreat was The Sautee Lodge near Helen Georgia. Its a lovely rural spot, perfect for a silent meditation retreat.

View from Sautee Ranch

View from Sautee Ranch

InsightLA Dharma Talk on Living the Questions

This dharma talk was recorded at InsightLA on October 13, 2013. It was part of a daylong retreat I taught about how to work with our questions in a way that can help us live from our truest intentions. You can listen  here:

Buddhist Geeks Podcast — Working With Questions in Your Practice

I was interviewed recently by Vincent Horn, founder of Buddhist Geeks, and we talked about how to work with questions in your practice. Unanswered questions, intractable situations often appear to stand in the way of living from our deepest intentions. We might feel blocked even from knowing what our true priorities are. But if we take time to turn inward with a spirit of patience and inquiry, instead of requiring the dilemmas to go away, or insisting on immediate resolutions, we can discover the resources that we need.  Internal dilemmas contain a rich source of insight; learning to live with them brings about a radical shift that opens the door to clarity and equanimity.

You can click on the image below to access the podcast. I hope you enjoy it!

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