The Heart’s True Refuge Retreat: Finding Freedom in Compassionate Presence

Fall Retreat With Red Clay Sangha, North Georgia Mountains, Sautee, GA
Thursday evening, September 27 – Sunday Noon September 30
Led by Lisa Ernst

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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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Four Night Residential Retreat near Asheville, NC

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

Wednesday Evening, August 8 – Sunday, August 12, 2018

Heartwood Refuge Retreat Center, Hendersonville, NC

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 retreat in Western North Carolina, held mostly in silence, is suitable for newer and experienced meditators. It will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, daily instructions, dharma talks, q&a and private meetings with the teacher.

Full information, cost and registration here.

Three Night Residential Retreat – Touching the Boundless Heart: Dharma Wisdom for Difficult Times

Thursday, March 2 – Sunday March 5
Heartwood Refuge Retreat Center
Hendersonville, NC

Cultivating clear awareness of our present moment experience reveals insights into the nature of suffering and liberation. Through the practices of mindfulness, open awareness and lovingkindness, we begin to 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 that includes ourselves, our loved ones, all who suffer, and our great earth.

This retreat, conducted mostly in silence, is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators. It will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, Q&A and meetings with the teacher.

Lisa has been meditating for over 25 years in the Zen and Vipassana traditions. She received teaching authorization in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. Lisa is the founder of One Dharma Nashville and she teaches workshops and retreats nationally. She is a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.

Registration and more information here.

Fall Residential Retreat with Red Clay Sangha

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

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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.

True Refuge Residential Retreat: Steady Mind, Open Heart

7 p.m. December 10 – Noon December 13, 2015
Special extended practice option through noon December 15
Retreat full, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com to be added to the wait list

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Please join us for a weekend of meditation at a beautiful, wooded retreat site near Nashville. True refuge is turning toward our experience and finding freedom in the way things are. As winter approaches and daylight wanes, there is a natural tendency to slow down and turn inward. Yet, in the busyness of the holiday season we may forget that true refuge is right where we are. This silent retreat will focus on cultivating a quality of compassionate presence that embraces our experience with equanimity and insight. Through this practice we begin to pierce the illusion of separateness and taste the joy of interconnectedness to all things.

This silent retreat is suitable for newer as well as experienced students. The retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, instructions, dharma talks and private meetings with the teacher. Retreat fee includes lodging and all meals.

The 3 night retreat is $220 if paid in full by November 10; after $245. If you wish the stay through the 15th, the retreat fee is $365 if paid by November 10; $395 after. 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.

Lisa Ernst is a Buddhist Meditation teacher in the Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah. She is the founder of One Dharma Nashville. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. She regularly leads classes, daylong and residential meditation retreats.

Please inquire at onedharmaretreat@gmail.com about slot openings or to be added to the wait list.

Three Night Residential Retreat with Lisa Ernst

Making Peace: Being Self and Emptiness
Residential Retreat September 24 – 27, 2015
Sponsored by Red Clay Sangha
Sautee Lodge, Sautee Georgia

“Live in the nowhere that you come from, even though you have got an address here.” -Rumi

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Please join us in the beautiful North Georgia mountains for a residential 3 night retreat. In this silent retreat we will explore the nature of our identity and sense of self that 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 boundless, empty nature.

This retreat is recommended for both new and experienced meditators. Retreat fee is $150 plus dana to the teacher. Scholarships are available if you can’t pay the full fee. For more info and registration, go to here.

Lisa Ernst is the founder and guiding teacher at One Dharma Nashville. She has been meditating for over 25 years in the Zen and Vipassana Traditions. She received dharma transmission in the Thai Forest Lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. As a practicing visual artist Lisa also incorporates Dharma into painting and contemplative photography.

Residential Retreat: Awakening a Spacious Heart through Lovingkindness Meditation

I’m excited to be leading this residential retreat at the beautiful Flowering Lotus Retreat Center in Magnolia Mississippi, May 15 – 17. I hope you’ll join me!

With an emphasis on lovingkindness, this silent retreat will focus on cultivating what the Buddha called “the immeasurable states of heart and mind” – the Brahma Viharas or Divine Abodes. These are the qualities of love, compassion, joy and equanimity that reside in us all.

Our innate lovingkindness will be strengthened and enhanced through learning the formal practice of metta, along with brahma vihara instructions, sitting and walking meditation and dharma talks. As our hearts awaken through lovingkindness, we will discover a deeper sense of self-acceptance, self-confidence, openness and interconnection with all of life.

For more information and to register go here.

7 Day Residential Retreat Recap

One Dharma held its first 7 day residential retreat in early November at Bethany Hills Retreat Center in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. By all measures it was a success and I anticipate we will do another one when the time is right.

We had all levels of experience, from three out of towners who had sat countless long retreats, to three who where on their first ever residential retreat. Sooner or later, all settled into the rhythm of deep practice and many reported transformative openings and insights during the week.

Here is a photo guide of our retreat. Thanks to Frankie Fachilla for contributing the photos..

Once the temps dropped, we had a fire going continuously in the meditation hall. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Once the temps dropped, we had a fire going continuously in the meditation hall. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

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Our retreat altar. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

This  stray cat was quite friendly and had a way of slipping through the lodge door. One of our retreat attendees, Christie Bates, kindly adopted the cat, now named Khit Nhat Hanh. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

This stray cat was quite friendly and had a way of slipping through the lodge door. One of our retreat attendees, Christie Bates, kindly adopted the cat, now named Khit Nhat Hanh. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Still some leaves hanging on. The paths and trails around Bethany Hills Camp provided some good hiking opportunities. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

Still some leaves hanging on. The paths and trails around Bethany Hills Camp provided some good hiking opportunities. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

These rocking chairs on the deck weren't used too often once the "arcitc blast" hit on Wednesday. They still looked inviting. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

These rocking chairs on the deck weren’t used too often once the “arcitc blast” hit on Wednesday. They still looked inviting. Photo by Frankie Fachilla

We closed the retreat with this offering of merit:

The Buddha said that when we dedicate merit, it is just like adding a drop of water to the ocean. Just as a drop of water added to the ocean will not dry up but will exist as long as the ocean exists, so too, if we dedicate the merit of any virtuous action, it merges with the vast ocean of merit and endures until enlightenment.  ~Padmasambhava

By the power of this compassionate practice,

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness

May all beings be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow

May all live in equanimity.

Fall Three Night Residential Retreat in North Georgia

Cultivating Clarity thorough Living the Questions

Thursday Evening, September 18 – Sunday Noon, September 21, 2014

Sautee Lodge, Sautee Georgia

Led by Lisa Ernst and Sponsored by Red Clay Sangha

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“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and learn 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

Unanswered questions, intractable situations often appear to stand in the way of living from our deepest intentions.  At times we might feel blocked even from knowing what our true priorities are.  During this weekend of sitting and walking meditation, we will have the opportunity to practice opening our hearts to our unresolved inner dilemmas.  These questions contain a rich source of insight; learning to live with them brings about a radical shift that opens the door to clarity and equanimity.

Cost is $150 and includes all meals and lodging. Teacher dana is separate. The retreat will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, optional meetings with the teacher, practice instructions and Q&A. Please go to this link for additional details and registration.

Registration Still Available for Spring Residential Retreat

There’s still time to register for One Dharma’s Spring Renewal Meditation Retreat, happening at Bethany Hills in Kingston Springs. Retreat runs from Thursday evening, April 24 through Sunday Noon, April 26. Full info is here.