Imagine if you could feel love towards anyone. Wouldn’t it be liberating to send love to people who have hurt you, or to those you envy? 

Rooted in Buddhist tradition, lovingkindness is a meditation practice 

which cultivates your innate capacity for 

an open and loving heart.

Sharon Salzberg is among the world’s leading lovingkindness meditation teachers and will be joining us in the tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains to share her profound and insightful teachings. It’s a unique opportunity to gain an experiential understanding of how to incorporate lovingkindness into your life with the guidance and support of an expert.

Modern society brings great opportunities, at the same time it provides ample opportunity to lose sight of who you really are, feel overwhelmed and disconnected, and lack meaningful connection within and with others.

Speed of Contemporary Society & Your Nervous System

Society is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, at a speed far greater than our minds and nervous system are capable of replicating – there is information and stimulation overload. The rise in mental health concerns and stress-related disease is of no surprise.

The majority of us fit into the realm of being stressed, overworked, feeling stuck on a conveyor belt of to-dos, socially over-committed and rushing to and from places with our feet barely touching the ground. Life is crammed. The mind overactive with thoughts buzzing around and pressure from social media to look, feel, and live a certain way – is it any wonder that anxiety and depression are on the increase? Your health suffers in this frazzled state.

Sharon Salzberg is known globally as a pioneer in the field of meditation; as a teacher, and a New York Times bestselling author of books on various meditation subjects, including Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, published in 1995. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness to the West since she first began teaching in 1974. Acclaimed for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. Sharon is the co-founder of the first western meditation center in the US: The Insight Meditation Society. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour. Find out more at www.sharonsalzberg.com

As seen in:

On Being, a regular contributor the the Huffington Post, and was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine for several years. She has appeared in Time Magazine, Yoga Journal, msnbc.com, Tricycle, Real Simple, Body & Soul, Mirabella, Good Housekeeping, Self, Buddhadharma, More and Shambhala Sun.

Sharon is a prominent featured speaker and teacher at a wide variety of global events, including serving as a panelist with the Dalai Lama and leading scientists at the 2005 Mind and Life Investigating the Mind Conference in Washington, DC.

Discover the radiant, joyful heart that resides within you.

Gain an experiential understanding of how to incorporate lovingkindness into your life for radical transformation, all with the guidance and support of a world-renowned expert:

  • Learn what lovingkindness is, and why it is so powerful
  • Settle into deep, guided lovingkindness meditation practices
  • Cultivate your innate capacity for an open and loving heart
  • Learn how this form of meditation enriches your sense of joy, peace, and compassion; and how it can improve your concentration, connection, and sense of fearlessness
  • Understand how lovingkindness can radically transform your life
  • Discover how to continue and develop your practice at home

As seen in:

On Being, a regular contributor the the Huffington Post, and was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine for several years. She has appeared in Time Magazine, Yoga Journal, msnbc.com, Tricycle, Real Simple, Body & Soul, Mirabella, Good Housekeeping, Self, Buddhadharma, More and Shambhala Sun.

Sharon is a prominent featured speaker and teacher at a wide variety of global events, including serving as a panelist with the Dalai Lama and leading scientists at the 2005 Mind and Life Investigating the Mind Conference in Washington, DC.

Program Dates

June 21-23, 2019

Your Program Session Times (subject to change)

Arrival Day 7:30-9:00 pm

Daily 9:30 am-12:30 pm; 2:00-4:00 pm

Departure Day 9:00-11:00 am (Room check-out is 11 am; Luggage can be held at reception)

General Guest Information

We hope you enjoy your stay with us at the Art of Living Retreat Center. While here, we invite you to immerse in the quiet peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains and connect within. Apart from the activities in your program schedule, there are also opportunities to join daily yoga and meditation classes, restorative Ayurvedic spa treatments, guided hiking trails, pottery classes, evening kirtans, the outdoor labyrinth or the weekly bonfire.

Retreat Tip: Arrive a day or two ahead of your program to allow the routines and busyness of daily life to melt away, and extend your stay for an extra night to integrate and absorb all your new-found knowledge and understanding. Journey back into your life reconnected, with a fresh, new perspective.

Here are more details for your stay:

Arrival Day

3:00 pm Check-in begins; Rooms are ready by 3:00pm, but if you arrive early we will hold luggage at Reception.

6:00-7:00 pm Dinner

7:00-7:20 pm Guest Orientation Session (Venue: Dining Hall)

Optional Complimentary Activities

(Please join only if above mentioned program schedule permits)

Hatha Yoga Class 7:30-8:30 am (Venue: Geeta Hall) During Program Dates only

Hatha Yoga Class 9:45-10:45 am/4:15-5:15 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Mind and Meditation Session 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Yoga Nidra 1:30-2:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall) Saturdays and Sundays only

Property Tour 2:00-3:15 pm (Starts at Reception) Saturdays only

Guided Nature Walk 1:30-2:30 pm/3:00-4:00 pm (Starts at Reception) Saturdays only

Guided Meditation Session  5:30-6:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Meditative Chant/Kirtan 7:30-8:15 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Bonfire 8:30-10:00 pm (Below Veda 2; Weather permitting) Saturdays Only

Mealtimes

7:30-9:30 am Breakfast

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

6:00-7:30 pm Dinner (included on your arrival day)

Ayurveda Spa Appointments

To ensure availability, we invite you to also make reservations at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Spa before arrival. Please call (828) 264-8382 for details.

Our Clay Studio is open Thursday-Sunday; Hand-building classes and Throwing classes are available by appointment. Clay pieces can be glazed and shipped back as well. Please contact our front desk to make an appointment.

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

*If a spa appointment is made during a Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, guests may request a meal to be boxed for pickup by asking spa reception.

***Please call the Spa in advance to book spa treatments during your free time if you are interested. The phone number is (828) 264-8382.

Enroll Now

Enjoy three days of tuition with world-renowned meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg: $350 (plus accomodation)

All accommodation options include:

  • Three daily delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals with panoramic views of the mountains. From dinner on the night of check-in through lunch on the day of check-out.
  • Rooms provided with bedding, linen, and towels.
  • Access to surrounding nature trails, meditative labyrinth, and wisdom library
  • Complimentary Activities*:

Hatha Yoga Class 7:30-8:30 am (Venue: Geeta Hall) During Program Dates only

Hatha Yoga Class 9:45-10:45 am/4:15-5:15 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Mind and Meditation Session 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Yoga Nidra 1:30-2:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall) Saturdays and Sundays only

Property Tour 2:00-3:15 pm (Starts at Reception) Saturdays only

Guided Nature Walk 1:30-2:30 pm/3:00-4:00 pm (Starts at Reception) Saturdays only

Guided Meditation Session  5:30-6:00 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Meditative Chant/Kirtan 7:30-8:15 pm (Venue: Geeta Hall)

Bonfire 8:30-10:00 pm (Below Veda 2; Weather permitting) Saturdays Only

*(Please only join if your program schedule permits)

Retreat Room

Features twin beds, a private bath, and complimentary wifi.

Private | Shared

$233/night | $165*-190**/night

*up to two people (**one other person) of the same gender will share the room with you.

Hotel Room

Located in the award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Spa

Features either a king bed or two full beds, a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, private bath, and complimentary wifi. Includes access to Spa facilities including fitness studio,

hot tub, steam room, and pool.

Private | Shared*

$285/night | $224/night

*one other person of the same gender will

share the room with you.

  • Do I need prior experience?

Generally no prior experience is necessary unless statedfor example in the case of training programs or advanced yoga workshops.

Remember, a beginners mind can be the best place to start!

  • What do I need to wear? What do I need to bring?

Aside from your personal effects, we suggest you bring comfortable clothing and layers (mountain weather can be changable), a water bottle, and a journal to jot down those all-important transformational insights! We take care of everything else.

If you are keen to explore the surrounding nature walks or hiking trails we suggest:

Spring: Sneakers, light jacket

Summer: Sneakers, layers, sunscreen, sun hat

Fall: Hiking boots (trails can get muddy!), warm jacket, and layers

Winter: Snow boots, warm jacket, hat

Hotel guests staying at Shankara Ayurveda Spa may wish to also bring swimwear for use in the hot tub, steam room, and pool.

Each studio space at the Center is equipped with yoga mats, blankets, and blocks.

Note: Each program may suggest particular items to bring – please check the program of interest for guidance.

  • I understand the Center is meat-free, alcohol-free and smoke-free, can you please elaborate?

To encourage a healthy environment we ask that guests do not consume alcohol or meat in our public spaces, however guests may enjoy these items in their rooms. That being said our property is always smoke-free.

Dietary Requirements: Gluten-free and vegan options are generally available. However, to ensure your dietary needs are catered for during your stay please contact the Center ahead of time.

  • Where is the Art of Living Retreat Center?

We are located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Our physical address is 639 Whispering Hills Road Boone, NC 28607. We are two hours Northwest of Charlotte.

  • What weather can I expect?

The weather is seasonal. Each season brings a uniqueness and beauty to the mountains. Spring can be cool with occasional scattered showers and may be chilly at night. Summer is generally quite temperate and benefits from the fresh mountain air, July can be hot for a week or two. Fall is temperate and cool, with a full spectrum of color – a great time to flow with the season of transformation! In winter we recommended you dress warmly with plenty of layers, it’s a particularly cozy time to visit and ideal for self-reflection and journeying within.