Sunlight streaming through the forestLetting Go of the Self  is a silent residential meditation retreat that offers you the opportunity to drink deeply of the nectar of connecting with your own “True Nature”.

Led by teacher Ronya Banks and sponsored by Asheville Insight Meditation, this retreat is designed to help you recognize and let go of the constructs of the “Self” and surrender to the deep inner joy and peace that already resides within.

The retreat will benefit and support meditators of all levels — beginning to advanced. Retreat practice provides you with the well-needed opportunity to withdraw from daily cares and plunge into the depths of spiritual practice. Coming together for a committed period of time in profound silent meditation naturally results in discovering the exquisite beauty of your deepest self.

Retreat Activities

  • Mindful meditation with a community of like-minded people
  • Walking meditations on a beautiful mountain top
  • Sharing thoughts and questions in consultation with the teacher
  • Guided meditations
  • Dharma talks
  • Movement exercises
  • Evening meditations: Tibetan Singing Bowls & World Instruments

Retreat Teachers

Ronya BanksRonya Banks is a Buddhist meditation teacher and the founder and lead teacher of Asheville Insight Meditation, a Theravada Buddhist meditation community and center in Asheville, NC. She began formal meditation practice in 1985 and has studied under many teachers including Jack Kornfield, Phillip Moffitt, Pat Coffey, and Rodney Smith.Ms. Banks is soon-to-be graduate of the Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Society’s Community Dharma Leader Program. She has taught mindfulness meditation to individuals and groups for the past eight years. Ronya’s recent deep personal experience into an emptiness free of the “self” is motivating her to guide others through this spacious territory.

Kate FreemanKate Freeman has meditated and studied Buddhism since the late 1980’s. She will complete the AIM Facilitator Training Program in October, 2016 and is a member of the AIM Leadership Team. In addition to meditation and dharma teaching, Kate provides Tibetan Bowl & World Instrument meditations at AIM.
Jack HannibalJack Hannibal has been practicing meditation since high school…a long time ago. He studied Zen Buddhism with Peter Matthiesson for four years and will complete the AIM teacher training program in October 2016. Jack is a Psychotherapist in private practice in Weaverville.

Retreat Details

  • Check-in: Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 3:00 pm
  • Orientation: Wednesday, November 2, 5:15 pm
  • Formal beginning of silent retreat: After the 6:00 pm dinner, Wednesday November 2
  • Formal end of silent retreat: After lunch on Sunday, November 6, 2016 (approximately 1:00 pm)
Prama Institute in Marshall, North Carolina

The retreat will be held at the Prama Institute in Marshall, NC, a beautiful spiritual center located 25 minutes northwest of downtown Asheville and 15 minutes west of Weaverville. Website:

Directions to the Prama Institute and other information will be sent upon receipt of your registration form and payment.

  • Registration: $425 (if you choose to pay in full when registering)
  • Deposit: $215 (if you choose to reserve your space with a deposit and pay the balance November 2nd)
  • Optional Linens Fee: $10. The Retreat fee by itself covers minimal linens: a bottom sheet, pillow, and pillow case. For an additional $10, you will also receive a top sheet, blanket, bed spread, towel, and wash cloth.
  • Included Amenities:
    • Lodging at the Prama Institute (shared rooms and shared bathroom facilities)
    • Meals: Wednesday dinner, three meals on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and two meals on Sunday. All meals are vegetarian (vegan and gluten-free options also available).
Scholarship Fund Contribution

Some people cannot afford to pay the retreat registration fee.  If you would like to contribute to the AIM Scholarship Fund so that others can attend this retreat, please do so when you pay your registration fee. Because AIM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, your donation to the Scholarship Fund is tax deductible. For questions regarding scholarships, please contact Kate Freeman.


Your registration fee covers lodging and meals only. Retreat teachers and the coordinator receive no payment for their preparation and delivery of the retreat. In the Buddhist tradition of dana, (an ancient Pali word meaning generosity), you will have the opportunity to offer donations for the teachings/services you receive, on the last day of the retreat. This process allows us all to join together in the practice of generosity.

Refund Policy

We hope that you do not need to cancel your retreat, but if you do, please notify us as soon as possible so that others may register in your place.

  • If you already paid in full, notify us before October 1st to receive a full refund minus a $35 registration fee. Beginning October 1st, you will receive a refund of 50% of your payment.
  • If you paid a deposit only, notify us before October 1st to receive your deposit back minus a $35 registration fee. Beginning October 1st, your deposit is forfeited.
For More Information

Please contact Retreat Manager Kate Freeman if you have any questions.

Register Now

You may register and pay for the retreat either with an online form or a paper form.

  • Online form:
    • Fill out the online form and submit it. After submission, you’ll be taken to PayPal to make your payment.
    • Note: you do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal for your retreat payment. If you do not have a PayPal account, look for “No PayPal account?” or “Don’t have a PayPal account?” on the bottom left of the PayPal page.
    • Register online »
  • Paper form:
    • Download the paper registration form or pick up a copy at the meditation hall. Fill it out and submit it with your payment (cash, check, or credit card information).
    • Submit the form by dropping it in the dana box, handing it to Retreat Coordinator Kate Freeman, or mailing it to the address below. If you pay by cash, please hand the form and cash directly to Kate.
    • Asheville Insight Meditation
      Attn: Retreat Coordinator
      175 Weaverville Rd
      Suite H
      Asheville, NC 28804
    • Note: With paper form registration, your spot at the retreat is not confirmed until the form and payment have been received by the Retreat Coordinator.

**Note**: Our last retreat filled up very quickly, so register early to ensure your spot.

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