Buddha statue with hands over heart

December 28, 2019 – January 3, 2020

This weeklong retreat has three inter-woven themes: Vipassana Meditation, practice with the non-duality of relative and ultimate experience, and living from the open heart.

Vipassana or “Insight Meditation” is a practical method of self-awareness that makes it possible to encounter the tensions of daily life in a calm and balanced way. Vipassana trains us to be awake, noticing the moments of life with a compassionate heart. We deepen in the wisdom that the emotions and body sensations with which we have become so self-identified are really just arising out of myriad conditions and passing away.

Awareness notes from a spacious perspective that fear, pain, sadness, or other feelings have arisen. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of anger is not angry. And yet pain, fear, sadness nonetheless do arise. So we deepen in compassion for all humans who experience such challenging expressions of our humanity, while at the same time know that these experiences are non-dual with what the Buddha referred to as the unborn, uncreated, undying, deathless reality that is our ultimate experience.

The retreat will include Vipassana instruction, heart-centered meditations, dharma talks, chanting from various traditions, optional yoga, and individual meetings when requested.

Prior attendance at two or more silent ,residential Buddhist/Spiritual retreats of at least five nights in length is required to attend this retreat. No one can leave the retreat early without prior permission from the teacher, which needs to be granted before the person arrives. If you have any questions about the suitability of this retreat, please contact John Orr at bodhinc@gmail.com.

The Teachers

John Orr

John Orr received Theravada Buddhist ordination after training for a period of eight years while living in Thailand and India as a monk in the 1970’s. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the world since then and has also practiced in the Taoist, Dzogchen, and Hindu Yoga traditions. He is the guiding teacher for the New Hope Sangha in Durham, North Carolina.

Ronya Banks

Ronya Banks is the founding teacher at Asheville Insight Meditation, an Insight Meditation community in Asheville, North Carolina. Ronya has practiced daily meditation for over 33 years, and she has been a meditation teacher for over 11 years. She has attended over a year’s worth of meditation retreats with more than 30 internationally known Vipassana teachers.

Retreat Details

  • Dates: December 28, 2019 – January 3, 2020
  • Location: Southern Dharma Retreat Center in Hot Springs, NC
  • Cost (Does not include dana for the teachers):
    • Dormitory for Women – $510.00
    • Double Room – $540.00
    • Heated Single Cabin – $660.00
    • Tent Platform – $510.00
    • Unheated Single Cabin – $600.00


Registration opens June 1, 2019.

Register at the Southern Dharm Retreat Center website »

View All Classes and Workshops »

View All Upcoming Events »

Go to the Calendar »