Cultivating Hope in Difficult Times

Oct 16 – 18


John Pavlovitz

John Pavlovitz

Oct 16 – 18
Add 2 nights all-inclusive lodging and meals
Oct 16 – 18
October 18, 2020 1:00 pm
Retreat Type
Featured PresentersFeatured Presenters
Retreat Goals
Calm & Clear MindCalm & Clear Mind
Personal DevelopmentPersonal Development


Do you feel other people’s pain deeply? Compassionate people are profoundly affected by the suffering of others and you may constantly feel a need to help in whatever way you can.

This is a beautiful and invaluable instinct. The world needs people like you.

But it comes at a cost to your own energy and emotional well-being. When you step into dangerous spaces to work for healing and justice, or simply to hold others in the depths of difficult emotions, the trauma takes its toll.

To lift you up and give you the tools you need to embrace your compassionate self without hitting compassion fatigue or damaging your health, pastor and author John Pavlovitz has created this empowering and nourishing workshop.

Through guided discussion, journaling, music, and reflection, you’ll discover

  • How to nurture and protect your own energy as an empathetic person
  • Actionable self-care techniques and reflections to avoid becoming overwhelmed and consumed by other people’s struggles
  • The power of community to encourage and lift you, enabling you to be safely burdened by the pain of this world
  • Ways to craft a lifestyle of sustainable activism; and what to do when you’ve exhausted your resources
  • How to cultivate hope—even when your inner hope is not reflected in the world around you.

You will take home a toolbox filled with practical methods for sustaining yourself, and a sense of confidence and clarity. And be perfectly prepared and positioned to be the kind of person the world needs.

This program is open to all, but may be of particular interest to those working in caring professions; including activists, ministers, parents, caregivers, and deep feelers.



Pavlovitz headshot

John Pavlovitz

John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. Over the past five years his blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, has reached a diverse worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice — both inside and outside faith communities. In 2017 he released his first book, A Bigger Table; and his second book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrives November 2019.

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


$285/Night/Per Person

The private hotel room features either a king bed or two full beds, a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, a private bath and complimentary wifi.

Shared Hotel Room (2 People)


$224/Night/Per Person

The shared hotel room features either a king bed or two full beds, a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, private bath and complimentary wifi. One other person of the same gender will share the room with you.


Private Retreat Room


$233/Night/Per Person

The private retreat room has twin beds, a private bath and complimentary wifi.

Shared Retreat Room (2 People)


$190/Night/Per Person

The shared retreat room has twin beds, a private bath and complimentary wifi. One other person of the same gender will share the room with you. 


Shared Retreat Room (3 People)


$165/Night/Per Person

The shared retreat room has twin beds, a private bath and complimentary wifi. Up to two more people of the same gender will share the room with you.



Cultivating Hope in Difficult Days: Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

October 16–18, 2020

Your Program Schedule (subject to change)

Arrival Day 7:30–9:00 pm

Daily 9:30 am–12:30 pm and 2:00–4:00 pm

Departure Day 9:00–11:00 am (Room checkout is 11:00 am; luggage can be held at reception.)

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)

General Guest Information

While you are here, we invite you to immerse in the quiet peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains and connect with yourself. Apart from the activities in your program schedule, we offer the following optional complementary activities (Please join only if your program schedule permits.)

7:30–8:30 am  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

1:30–2:00 pm  Yoga Nidra | Sattva Studio; Saturdays and Sundays only.

2:00–3:15 pm  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.

5:30–6:00 pm  Guided Meditation Session | Sattva Studio

7:30–8:15 pm  Meditative Chant/Kirtan | Gita Hall

8:30–10:00 pm  Bonfire | Below Veda 2 Weather permitting; Saturdays only.


7:30–9:30 am  Breakfast

12:00–2:00 pm  Lunch (included on your departure day)

6:00–7:30 pm  Dinner

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.

Clay Studio Appointments

Our Clay Studio is open Thursday–Sunday; Hand-building classes and Throwing classes are available by appointment. Clay pieces can be glazed and shipped home as well (additional cost). Please contact our Front Desk to make an appointment.

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


639 Whispering Hills Rd, Boone, North Carolina 28607

Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in our tranquil sanctuary set amidst 380 pristine acres high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina—the perfect place to begin your journey to wellness.

NOTE Avoid using GPS—it will take you up a private road to a locked gate.  Please use the directions provided on this site.

Distance from Nearest Airport

Two hours by car without traffic


For room reservations, spa 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.

Add 2 nights all-inclusive lodging and meals

Art of Living Retreat Center

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