Being Human Takes Practice

A Meditation Retreat for Open-Minded Explorers and Fidgety Skeptics
OCT 20–22, 2023

JEFF WARREN

JEFF WARREN

OCT 20–22, 2023
Tuition:
$360
per person—plus room/meals & tax
OCT 20–22, 2023
Retreat Type
Meditation & MindfulnessMeditation & Mindfulness
Retreat Goals
Calm & Clear MindCalm & Clear Mind
Personal DevelopmentPersonal Development
Self-CareSelf-Care

Be Your Own Teacher

This retreat explores what meditation teaches us about being human. It teaches us about resistance and gentleness, delusion and overthinking, healing stuck emotions, and expanding stuck worldviews. It teaches us mercy, forgiveness, majesty, and humility. It teaches us about how we relate to other people and ourselves.

All this and more happens when we sit and do nothing. It’s mind-blowing and heart-breaking and makes me want to weep. Maybe you will weep too, or giggle, or pass out in a patch of drool. Who can say? We go deep; we go home—we go nowhere!—and none of it can properly be captured in words.

All this gets revealed organically in our own practice. The teacher here is meditation itself—in particular, the quiet, which has a way of organizing the nervous system all on its own. You also learn a ton from other people’s reports of their experiences, insights, and challenges. So there is sharing and discussion, in addition to meditation and wandering through the late fall foliage all awestruck and blubbering “the glory! the glory!”

Meditation isn’t any one way. Every kind of experience can happen on the cushion—our internal processes are as distinct as our fingerprints, with a lot more dimensions.

On this retreat, Jeff guides a variety of adventurous practices as a way both to highlight the underlying skills and principles of meditation and to empower each person to learn what works for them. There is enormous value in this. The simple skills gathered in meditation—concentration, clarity, equanimity, and care—lie at the headwaters of mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Over three days, this becomes ever more obvious. We learn as a collective.

The goal is for everyone to leave the weekend with a clear understanding of why they meditate and a clear feeling for their own strange and beautiful practice.

A Note from Jeff

It’s funny, I never used to write like this. I preferred careful, secular-friendly language. I still enjoy speaking in this mode, but I’m also bored by it. You get blown apart enough, you watch the same stories of wonder and transformation … it’s like <hands in the air> ‘why hide it?’ Being human takes practice, and meditation is the practice of being human. It’s everything. So come get some!

This retreat is appropriate for all experience levels.

Features

Presenter

Jeff Warren 2023 Headshot Bio

Jeff Warren is a meditation instructor and journalist who is celebrated for his dynamic and accessible style of teaching. He is co-author of the New York Times bestselling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, author of The Head Trip—a travel guide to sleeping, dreaming and waking—and founder of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a nonprofit meditation adventure group based in Toronto. His mission is to empower people to take responsibility for their own mental health, through the realistic, intelligent, and sometimes irreverent exploration of meditation and personal growth practices. …

Reviews

Exactly what I was Seeking
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Jeff's focus on overarching principles of concentration, clarity and equanimity (also friendliness) and his exploration of ways to customize/calibrate our practices to our own needs were exactly what I was seeking. I left the retreat feeling much clearer about how to establish and maintain an effective practice, hopeful about the beneficial cumulative effects of meditating and pleasantly surprised to find myself attending to a neglected spirituality.
Powerful and Transformative
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I loved the format, the longer sits and how real and relatable Jeff is. I had a very powerful and transformative retreat. I felt very friendly toward my thoughts and was able to sit with more concentration and less effort than usual. I enjoyed the participation and hearing from the other participants.
Gifted Teacher
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I appreciate Jeff's practical and easy-going approach. He is a gifted teacher with unique and valuable insights.
Very Helpful
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It was very helpful and just so fun for me to listen to and be around Jeff. I had some interesting and informative experiences that I don’t think I would have had without his guidance.
Transformational Teacher
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Jeff Warren is a transformational teacher. -- Beautiful setting, tasty food, clean rooms.
Delightful and Insightful
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Jeff Warren is an amazing and effective teacher. Delightful and insightful.
Fantastic
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Amazing! Jeff is the answer.
Thank you!
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Loved Jeff! He makes meditation accessible. -- Loved the facility. Beautiful, relaxing, peaceful.
Perfect
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Program was informative, uplifting, and entertaining.
Jeff Is Gifted
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I came with four major questions about my practice and all were covered perfectly in the course, without me even having to ask. Jeff is gifted and selflessly shares that. This is my first time, but no doubt not my last. I think I've found a new gift for myself.
A++
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Jeff provided fun, practical, and poignant teaching. A++ would sit with him again! A much bigger facility than I am used to. Quite nice! The dinner saturday night was especially delicious.
Sustainable and Enjoyable
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Jeff is an amazing teacher. He makes it "ok" to go against the traditional meditation norms and to help build a practice that works and is sustainable and enjoyable. Food was delicious and staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful.
Jeff's Fun!
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Jeff presents info in a way that is easily accessible and easily transferable to real life, and most importantly, he's fun! Yoga and Kirtan were fun. Staff were friendly and helpful.
Awesome
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All good things about Jeff Warren. Clear, easy going, patient, understanding, knowledgable - awesome. Very friendly and kind staff. Great food, beautiful site.
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Rooms & Pricing

All options include daily vegetarian meals from dinner on the night of check-in through lunch on the day of checkout. (Rates below are per person.)

 

Private Hotel Room

$389 per person/per night + tax
  • King bed or two full beds
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Private Bath
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
  • Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
  • Access to Gym & Steam Rooms

Shared Hotel Room (2 People)

$278 per person/per night + tax
  • Two Twin Beds
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Private Bath
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
  • Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
  • Access to Gym & Steam Rooms

Private Retreat Room

$263 per person/per night + tax
  • Twin beds
  • Private Bath
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
  • Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
  • Access to Gym & Steam Rooms

Shared Retreat Room (2 People)

$215 per person/per night + tax
  • Twin beds
  • Private Bath
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
  • Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
  • Access to Gym & Steam Rooms

Shared Retreat Room (3 People)

$188 per person/per night + tax
  • Twin beds
  • Private Bath
  • Complimentary Wi-fi
  • Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
  • Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
  • Access to Gym & Steam Rooms

Schedule

BEING HUMAN TAKES PRACTICE
October 20–22, 2023

Your Program Session Times (subject to change)

Friday 7:30–9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am–12:30 pm and 2:30–5:00 pm
Sunday 9:30 am–12 pm (Room check-out is 11:00 am; luggage can be held at Reception.)

General Information

All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST) unless otherwise noted.

Arrival Day
4:00 pm Check-in begins; Rooms are ready by 4:00 pm, but if you arrive early we will hold your luggage at Reception.
6:00–7:00 pm Dinner
7:00–7:20 pm Guest Orientation Session (Venue: Dining Hall)

Actual schedules and venues may vary; please confirm with Front Desk upon check-in.

Apart from the activities in your program schedule, we offer the following optional complementary activities. (Please join only if your program schedule permits.)

  • 9:45–10:45 am  Yoga |  Thu–Sun
  • 11:00 am–12:00 pm  Mind & Meditation |  Thu–Sun
  • 1:30–2:15 pm  Guided Hike | Assemble at Shankara Reception | Sat
  • 2:30–3:45 pm  Ayurveda Cooking Class* | Tulsi Kitchen
    Thu: Sweet Treats • Sat: Chef’s Seasonal Recipe
  • 4:15–5:15 pm Yoga |  Wed–Sat
  • 5:30–6:00 pm  Guided Meditation |  Wed–Sat
  • 7:30–8:15 pm  Meditative Chants/Kirtan |  Wed–Sat
    Saturday kirtan is outdoor by the bonfire; weather permitting.

*Included with Wellness Escapes and R&R; Other participants: $35.00/per person

Clay Studio
  • 10:00 am–6:00 pm Saturday
    Clay Handbuilding $35.00 (1 hour)
    Throwing Wheel $45.00 (2 hours)

Hours: 9:00 am–6:30 pm daily
We invite you to also make reservations for consultations, therapies, and treatments at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Wellness prior to arrival in order to ensure availability. Please call 828-264-8382 for details. Additional cost.

On-Campus Program FAQs

Unless otherwise indicated, our programs are open to participants 18 years of age and older. 

For room reservations, Ayurveda Wellness Retreats, and Art of Living Retreat Center (AOLRC) signature retreats, we have the following cancellation policy:

  • Refunds are available (less a $50 processing fee) up to eight days before your program or stay.
  • Nonrefundable credit toward a future AOLRC program or stay (less a $50 processing fee) is available if you give notice between seven and one day(s) before your program or stay. Credit may be applied to any AOLRC program or stay for one year following date of issue.
  • No credit or refund is available if you cancel on the arrival day, if you do not show up, or if you leave an event early for any reason. No refund will be available if you attend a program and are dissatisfied with its presentation or content.
AOLRC reserves the right to cancel a program at any time. If AOLRC cancels a program, you will receive a full refund. Some programs may have special cancellation policies; see individual workshop descriptions. For all other retreats, please be sure to check the registration page specific to that retreat.

To encourage a healthy environment we ask that guests not consume alcohol or meat in our public spaces, however, guests may enjoy these items in their rooms.

Our property is always smoke-free.

Yes, we ask that guests with food allergies simply inform us so we can communicate those needs to our chef. Typically, we label potential allergens such as gluten, dairy, and nuts.

We do have lodging and event venues that are ADA-compliant. Due to the topography of our mountain campus, some are easier to access than others, so please speak to Guest Services (800.392.6870) prior to registering to ensure we can best accommodate your needs. We also have shuttles that run frequently throughout the campus.

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Location

639 Whispering Hills Road
Boone, NC 28607
800.392.6870

Discover deep rest and rejuvenation on our tranquil mountaintop campus set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina.  

Talk to an Ayurveda Specialist

Tuition
$360
per person—plus room/meals & tax

Art of Living Retreat Center

Google Reviews

465 Reviews
4.9/5
- Leslie E.
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"If you want to relax, recharge, and find yourself again, this is the place!"
- Vasily T.
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"A magnificent place for a refreshing retreat. So peaceful and close to nature as it can be."
- Becca N.
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"Excellent food, spa, tons of activities outside of program warm environment for growth Thank you!"
- Rob H.
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"The techniques I learned here have literally transformed my life."
- Michelle L.
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"Excellent program, beautiful surroundings. Wonderful setting for deep connection & reset."
- Dan V.
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"I did not know what to expect. I am very pleased with what I have learned and excited to bring back home."
- Bonnie M.
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"Beautiful grounds with wonderful, genuinely loving instructors. This was a life changing experience!"
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Weekend of Creativity Wellness Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING

  • Plan your special day over a delicious whole-foods breakfast.
  • Walk our beautiful labyrinth or hike one of our scenic nature trails and reconnect with your inner self.
  • Express your creativity and have some fun playing with and shaping clay in your pottery class.

AFTERNOON

  • Mingle with like-minded visitors over lunch in the Dining Hall.
  • Cook up something new together in our Ayurveda cooking class or get clever on the canvas in a painting class.
  • Unwind with a relaxing spa treatment. Choose from a warm oil massage, energizing facial, or rejuvenating Netra Tarpana treatment and let our professional therapists pamper you. (Additional spa treatments available here.)
  • Recharge in the steam room.

EVENING

  • Browse our shop for crystals, jewelry, scarves, and more.
  • Nourish your body with a healthy dinner.
  • Take in the spectacular sunset or join the fireside concert.

Discover Ayurveda Solo Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING

  • Energize your mind, body, and spirit with morning yoga or meditation class.
  • Savor a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
  • Self-reflect as you leisurely walk our beautiful labyrinth.
  • Rest, replenish and rejuvenate with Abhyanga therapy—a detoxifying warm oil Ayurveda massage that incorporates warm, aromatic oils, rhythmically massaged into your body, cleansing, relaxing, and re-energizing the body and mind.

AFTERNOON

  • Grab some delicious chai and relax in our cafe or take in the majestic views on our deck.
  • Plan your afternoon over a nourishing lunch.
  • Connect with nature while hiking or walking one of our many breathtaking mountain trails.
  • Return to the spa for a Basti session to rejuvenate your joints! Stiff joints are bathed in warm medicated oil and massaged to deepen the therapeutic effects that increase lubrication and promote smooth flexibility and mobility.

EVENING

  • Get creative and have fun in our painting studio or kitchen.
  • Refuel your body with a tasty and healthy dinner.

Rejuvenating Bliss Solo Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING

  • Gaze at the sunrise while filling your lungs with fresh mountain air and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.
  • Sow a new level of calm and balance into your life with a Yoga or meditation class.
  • Enjoy a delicious whole-foods breakfast.
  • Cleanse your soul with a leisurely walk on one of our beautiful nature trails.

AFTERNOON

  • Nourish your body with a healthy and nutritious lunch.
  • Make a new memory with a cooking, painting, or pottery* class (*additional cost).
  • Choose from the widest selection of Ayurvedic therapies in the US for whole-body nourishment and renewal and let our professional therapists do all the work while you relax and rejuvenate.
  • Unwind in the steam room.

EVENING

  • Stop by our bookstore and explore our collection of new and classic self-care and spiritual resources.
  • Grab a fresh, calming herbal tea and curl up with a good book in your cozy room.

Mother-Daughter Wellness Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING

  • Plan your special day over a delicious whole-foods breakfast.
  • Retreat into relaxation with a mother-daughter spa treatment. Choose from a warm oil massage, energizing facial, or rejuvenating Netra Tarpana treatment and let our professional therapists pamper you. (Additional spa treatments available here.)
  • Recharge in the steam room.

AFTERNOON

  • Enjoy a decadent Mexican hot chocolate and reminisce in our cozy cafe.
  • Browse our shop for crystals, jewelry, scarves, and more.
  • Mingle with like-minded visitors over lunch in the Dining Hall.
  • Explore our captivating campus or head out on one of our guided mountain trail hikes.
  • Cook up something new together in our Ayurveda cooking class.
  • Self-reflect as you leisurely walk our beautiful labyrinth.

EVENING

  • Feed your body with a healthy dinner.
  • Take in the spectacular sunset or join the fireside concert.

Girlfriends Wellness Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING
  • Energize your mind, body, and spirit together with morning yoga or meditation class.
  • Catch up over a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
  • Connect with nature and reminisce while hiking one of our many mountain trails.
AFTERNOON
  • Plan your afternoon over a nourishing lunch.
  • De-stress with a girlfriends spa treatment, like our relaxing signature massage, hydrating facial, or energizing Marma session, and let our therapists work their magic. (Additional spa treatments available here.)
  • Get creative and have fun in our painting studio or Ayurveda food kitchen.
  • Grab some delicious chai and relax in our cafe or take in the majestic views on our deck.
EVENING
  • Plenty of time for bonding during a dinner.
  • Visit our shop and grab some souvenirs, rejuvenating herbal supplements, and restorative health products from Shankara’s all-natural beauty line.
  • Dance and sing at Kirtan.

Couples Wellness Escape

(Sample Schedule)

MORNING

  • Gaze at the sunrise while filling your lungs with fresh mountain air and reminisce on the moments that connected you.
  • Bring a new level of calm and balance to your relationship with a Yoga or Meditation class.
  • Enjoy a delicious whole-foods breakfast together.
  • Walk or hike one of our beautiful nature trails and reconnect with each other, nature, and oneself.

AFTERNOON

  • Share a healthy and nutritious lunch.
  • Make a new memory by taking a workshop or educational class, or create a new experience together with a pottery*, watercolor painting, or cooking class (*additional cost).
  • Reduce tension and stress with a couple’s or individual Ayurveda spa treatment. Choose from the widest selection of Ayurvedic therapies in the US for whole-body nourishment and renewal.
  • Unwind in the steam room together.

EVENING

  • Stop by our bookstore and explore our collection of self-care and spiritual resources or spend time reading in the cafe.

Small Group Inquiry Request

Note: You will receive an email confirming our receipt of your inquiry.

Our peak season runs April–November, so space fills up quickly during that time.