The Mysterious Heart of Meditation
Unwind for this gleeful exploratory romp into the mysterious heart of meditation, with meditation instructor and award-winning writer Jeff Warren, co-author of the best-selling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.
On this retreat, we will explore the common language that is the foundation for all practices. Underneath the external form of a practice—whether playing music, or noticing the breath, or moving the body in martial arts—deep life skills are being trained. Understanding these skills is central to building your own practice, to being your own life teacher, and to sharing practice with others.
“The goal is not to clear your mind but to focus your mind—for a few nanoseconds at a time—and whenever you become distracted, just start again. Getting lost and starting over is not failing at meditation, it is succeeding.”
― Jeff Warren, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
In this workshop, we will
- Look at four skills in particular, as one way to understand how practice works.
- Learn to recognize and develop these deep skills not only while meditating, but also in other areas of life.
This is about healing, exploration and empowerment—there is no greater adventure.
Nurtured by breathtaking views, this retreat is suitable for total beginners to more experienced practitioners. Three days of sitting and discussion, with some movement and nature excursions to keep the energy moving and the body limber. Excitement will be had, as well as peaceful sighing and a great many terrible jokes.
A NOTE FROM JEFF
Welcome to How to Be Your Own Meditation Teacher—where it doesn’t matter how many techniques and paths you’ve explored and accidentally screwed-up. In this workshop, we start again fresh!
We’ll dig into the magical mystery weirdness of concentration, clarity, equanimity, and care, and then we’ll build an understanding of practice that works for each of us. We’ll do all this in a rigorously humanistic way that nevertheless gets cool and mystical at the end, because, frankly, that’s where the fun is.
The community is the real teacher. I’m always amazed by the everyday wisdom that comes out when people get honest and real about their lives and their practice. We all have something to teach each other about being human. There’s no hierarchy from this perspective: no special artist over here, or enlightened person over there.
As you take a break from daily life in this retreat, you’ll
- Unwind in an environment of comparative simplicity
- Keep your body still and your mind awake
- Learn the core life skills that exist within all meditation types
- Make space to do is nothing at all
- Enjoy the sense of connection through group meditation
- Create a custom meditation practice just for yourself.
Meditation can be ridiculously helpful, and it doesn’t have to look anything like the stereotypes, nor do you need to buy into a particular worldview to enjoy its benefits and perspective.
When we understand how the practice works in our own nervous systems, we can begin to be our own teacher. And then we pass it on, so the practice can find its unique expression in someone else. This is how sanity becomes a social movement.
Hope to see you in October!
Learn your own life skills and explore the common language that is the foundation for all practices.
Underneath the external form of a practice—whether playing music, or noticing the breath, or moving the body in martial arts—deep life skills are being trained. Understanding these skills is central to building your own practice, to be your own life teacher, and to sharing practice with others.
Meditation can enhance all aspects of your life. Learn how to apply your skills.
We will learn to recognize and develop these deep skills not only while meditating, but also in other areas of life. This is about healing, exploration, and empowerment—there is no greater adventure.
When we understand how the practice works in our own nervous systems, we can begin to be our own teacher.
Keep Your Body Still and Mind Awake. Meditation can be ridiculously helpful, and it does not have to look anything like the stereotypes, nor do you need to buy into a worldview to enjoy its benefits and perspective. And then we pass it on, so the practice can find its unique expression in someone else. This is how sanity becomes a social movement.
Empowerment for your mental health and what it looks like to become our own teachers and mental health authorities.
Jeff talks refreshingly about what is realistic in a practice—what traits and behaviors we can change, and what traits and behaviors we cannot change.
The community is the real teacher. Enjoy the sense of connection through group meditation.
Everyday wisdom comes out when people get honest and real about their lives and their practice. We all have something to teach each other about being human.
What is the authentic expression of you in the world that feels soulful? That is what you want to move towards.
Practice how to be human and ask yourself, "What do you need to learn from the moment?"
A Retreat in the Mountains
During your stay, you have time for personal R & R also. Whether you want to explore forest trails and bask in the fresh mountain air, enjoy a pottery or watercolor painting class, release stress with a therapeutic spa treatment, the choice is yours. (Additional fees may apply.)
Make Your Retreat Extra Special
Combine your retreat with authentic Ayurveda for rejuvenation on all levels, body, mind and spirit. The recommended Ayurveda treatment for this retreat is an Abhyanga massage (“Abby” for short), followed by a relaxing steam to further release stress. Pre-requisite: 18 years of age or older
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.
Jeff has taught meditation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, US Army cadets, Arizona cops, Google executives, distractible teens, suspicious journalists, burned-out caregivers, formerly-incarcerated youth, and every other conceivable demographic of a freethinker, including squirmy six-year-old kids. He tries to do this in a way that’s rigorous and clear and adventurous. He is passionate about democratizing and de-stigmatizing meditation and other mental health practices, and is honest and very funny about being a meditation teacher—a supposed paragon of mental health—who struggles with both ADD and bipolar disorder. Jeff talks refreshingly about what is realistic in a practice—what traits and behaviors we can change, and also what traits and behaviors we can’t change. His core subject is what it actually looks like for each of us to become our own teachers and mental health authorities.
Dubbed the “Meditation MacGyver”, Jeff’s charismatic meditations in the Ten Percent Happier app were listened to by over 150,000 individuals in 2018. He has appeared on Good Morning America, ABC’s Nightline, The Joe Rogan Experience and other popular media outlets. He is a regular presenter at many corporations, universities, speaking venues, meditation centers, hospitals, and health clinics.
Rooms & Pricing
All options include daily vegetarian meals from dinner on the night of check-in through lunch on the day of check-out. (Rates below are Per Person)
Shared Hotel Room (2 People)
- King bed or two full beds
- Flat Screen TV
- Private Bath
- Complimentary WIFI
- Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
- Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
- Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
- Access to Gym & Steam Rooms
One other person of the same gender will share the room with you**
HOW TO BE YOUR OWN MEDITATION TEACHER
Your Program Session Times (subject to change)
Friday 7:30–9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am–12:30 pm and 2:00–4:00 pm
Sunday 9:30–11:30 pm (Room check-out is 11:00 am; luggage can be held at Reception.)
All times are Eastern Standard Times (EST) unless otherwise noted.
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)
7:30–9:30 am Breakfast
12:00–2:00 pm Lunch (included on your departure day)
6:00–7:30 pm Dinner
Apart from the activities in your program schedule, we offer the following optional complementary activities. (Please join only if your program schedule permits.)
Hatha Yoga Class | Gita Hall; during program dates only.
9:45–10:45 am and 4:15–5:15 pm
Hatha Yoga Class | Sattva Studio
11:00 am–12:00 pm
Mind and Meditation Session | Sattva Studio
Yoga Nidra | Sattva Studio; Saturdays and Sundays only.
Property Tour | Starts at Reception; Saturdays only.
1:30–2:30 pm and 3:00–4:00 pm
Guided Nature Walk | Starts at Reception; Saturdays only.
Guided Meditation Session | Sattva Studio
Meditative Chant/Kirtan | Gita Hall
Bonfire | Below Veda 2 Weather permitting; Saturdays only.
Optional Activities with Additional Fees
To ensure a space, please register for these activities by calling 800-392-6870 prior to your arrival.
Mindful Painting (1 hour) $25 Sunday Only
Express your creativity through art therapy as you connect your emotions to the art of watercolor painting.
Ayurveda Cooking Class $25 (1 hour) Thursday and Saturday Only
Learn how to best nourish your specific body type and thrive in every season.
Pottery Class $30 (1 hour) Thursday to Sunday
Explore your creativity. Get hands-on experience in throwing on the wheel, hand-building and decorating handmade pots.
Ayurveda Spa Appointments (Additional Cost)
Hours: 9:00 am–6:30 pm daily
We invite you to also make reservations at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Spa prior to arrival in order to ensure availability. Please call 828-264-8382 for details.
Actual schedules and venues may vary; please confirm with Front Desk upon check-in.
On-Campus Program FAQs
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 guest to 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.
Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary.