Express Yourself Fearlessly
We exist in a world where our photos are expected to be perfectly edited and our social media posts have to be carefully crafted to prevent us from accidentally showing the “real” person inside.
Life is meant to be messy. Life is supposed to be a bit chaotic. Life is an adventure where we are always a single phone call away from heartbreak or the fulfillment of our wildest dreams. Of course, this is exactly what makes being alive the best game in the universe.
People are craving authenticity. So, let’s give it to them.
It takes courage to tell the authentic story of our lives without worrying about what people will think about us. To let people see past our Instagram filters and straight into our often-untidy hearts takes an act of bravery. Giving people a chance to witness the wildness of our own existence can give them the grace to appreciate their own miracle of their uneven adventure.
As storytellers, it’s not our job to impress people with the story of our lives—it’s more about giving the reader the opportunity to embrace the highs and lows of their own journey.
Through journaling, group interaction, creative exercises, physical movement and hands-on activities, this high-energy experience with poet, writer, and comedian John Roedel provides you with the tools to tell your own story without fear of what the world will think of you. With his trademark comedy, emotive style, and obsession with keeping his presentations interactive, John shares his own journey while offering his wisdom on how you can share yours as well.
Writers, storytellers, or humans who want to live and share their lives with more authenticity are invited to join John for this unique writing retreat.
John Roedel is a comic who unexpectedly became an Amazon Best Selling Poet/Writer when he began to turn his faith crisis, depression and struggles into poems that have been read all over the world.
Over the past several years John has published four books, Hey God. Hey John., Any Given Someday, Untied: The Poetry of What Comes Next, and Remedy.
John’s work has been shared millions of times across social media and his fearless writing has attracted readers from all over the world. He loves sharing the story of how he learned to turn his broken heart into a wind chime.
Rooms & Pricing
Private Hotel Room
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.)
- King bed or two full beds
- Flat screen TV
- Private bath
- Hair dryer
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Daily delicious vegetarian meals
- Complimentary tea/coffee & fresh fruit
- Daily yoga & meditation classes
- Access to fitness & steam rooms
The Unafraid Storyteller
Tell Your Story With Authenticity
September 29–October 1, 2023
Subject to change.
Friday 7:30–9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am–12:30 pm and 2:00 pm–4:00 pm
Sunday 9:30–11:30 am Room checkout is 11:00 am; luggage may be held at Reception.
All times are Eastern Standard Time (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)
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
- 11:00 am–7:00 pm Friday & Saturday
Hand Building $55 | 1 hour
Wednesday 2:00–8:00 pm
Thursday–Saturday 9:00 am–6:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am–2:00 pm
We encourage you to also make reservations for consultations, therapies, and treatments at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Wellness at least two weeks prior to your arrival date to ensure availability. Please call 828.264.8382 for details. Additional cost.
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/per person processing fee) up to 15 days before your program or stay.
- Nonrefundable credit toward a future AOLRC program or stay (less a $50/per person processing fee) is available if you give notice between 14 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.
Unless otherwise indicated, our programs are open to participants 18 years of age and older.
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.
We are committed to the safety of our guests and staff. Our mountaintop location and the surrounding areas are spacious, remote, safe, and secure.
- It is safe to leave your windows open—and necessary for proper airflow!
- Nature surrounds our campus, and it’s common to see rabbits, deer, gophers, wild turkeys, and other small animals. Please give them space, and they’ll do the same for you. We’ve never had a safety incident with animals on campus.
You can help!
- If you come across an animal on campus or a trail, give it space, and please do not attempt to pet or feed it.
- There’s no need to bring valuables to the retreat center; leaving them at home is best.