This retreat explores what meditation teaches us about being human. It teaches us about resistance and delusion. It teaches us about healing stuck emotions and expanding stuck views. It teaches us mercy and forgiveness, majesty and humility. It teaches us about how we relate to other people and to ourselves.
All this and more happens when we sit and do nothing. It’s mind-blowing. It makes me want to weep. Maybe you will weep too, or laugh uproariously, or pass out in a patch of drool. Who can say?
We go deep, we go home – we go nowhere ! – and none of it can be captured in words.
Registration: click HERE
The teacher is meditation itself – in particular the quiet, which has a way of organizing the nervous system all on its own. We also learn a ton from other people’s reports of their experiences, their insights and challenges. So there’s sharing and discussion, in addition to meditation and wandering through the Art of Living‘s gorgeous late fall foliage, all awestruck and blubbering “the glory! the glory!”
Meditation isn’t any one way. Every kind of experience can happen on the cushion – our own internal processes are as distinct as our fingerprints. On this retreat, I’ll guide a variety of adventurous practices, as a way to highlight the underlying skills and principles of meditation, and to empower each person to learn what works for them.
There is huge value in this. The simple skills gathered in meditation – the concentration and the clarity, the equanimity and the care – lie at the headwaters of mental and emotional and spiritual health. Over three days, this becomes ever-more obvious. We learn as a collective.
The goal is for everyone to leave the weekend with a clear understanding of why they meditate, and a clear feeling for their own strange and beautiful practice.
Being human takes practice, and meditation is the practice of being human.
It’s everything. So come get some!
This retreat is appropriate for all experience levels. For information on the Art of Living’s Covid safety protocols, see here.
Other Art of Living perks (from the Art of Living website):
“Set amidst 380+ breathtaking acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina, the Art of Living Retreat Center is a renowned sanctuary of peace that eases the mind and inspires the soul.
Watch the sun rise over the mountaintops, rejuvenate with an Ayurvedic body treatment, or feel the quiet of a walk in the forest. The Center supports both community groups and solo travellers. This is a place to make all your own, and our staff is here to help you do just that.”
“Time slowed down and space opened up. It stopped feeling really rushed. I could finally hold things inside myself that I had been needing to hold because I was supported – quietly, subtly – by the room. I could also choose to NOT hold things. Acknowledge they were there and turn away. I felt taken care of. I learned. I felt welcomed.”
“Profound and deeply moving. Pause to be present for the sweet softness of the soul.”
“Accessible, challenging, insightful and real. This retreat will remind you or show you that being human is imperfect and beautiful.”
“I nudged, with love, my thoughts out of an obstacle that became a doorway. I opened the door, and found an enormous field of love? I think? I’m just at the edge of it.”
“I was introduced to a world of meditation that invites me to explore my internal world without concern about form or dogma, and find what works and integrate it into my busy life in a practical and powerful way. What a tremendous relief to let go of the “rules” and enter as a child with wonder! Thank you!”
“Jeff’s knowledge and skills in meditation is remarkable. The “sitting” sessions mixed in with his explanations, insights and group sharing were so helpful. I tend to be anxious and perhaps a bit controlling! I’m learning to pan back, “get curious” about what’s going on and why, and breathe! It’s a work in progress, but I left this retreat feeling calm, very relaxed, inspired and so grateful for some tools to help me accept what’s here and just BE.”
“Jeff’s ability to offer deep insight while being humorous struck just the night tone for me. His thoughtful responses to everyone who spoke were generous and insightful. I just wish the retreat was longer.”
“Go to this! Jeff is simple, amazingly human, relatable and fun! Whichever you are – a new meditator or an old friend to meditation – his insights are so valuable. Thank you!”
“I deepened my practice, gained even greater appreciation for how much meditation enhances my life, enabling me to be more present for others and more able to pursue my calling. I am more able today to fully experience and embrace the gift of being human, and that every day is indeed a new beginning.”
“Jeff helped me reset by reminding me of key principles and practices for centering and simplifying, quieting my mind and approaching meditation and life with curiosity, acceptance and joy. The support he and the group provided was invaluable. The language, imagery and tips he used were wonderful. Thank you!”
“It was a fantastic program that was able to reach people of many different levels of meditation experience. Jeff Warren uses humour and his own experiences to de-mystify meditation in a way that makes it accessible to anyone!”
Jeff Warren is a meditation instructor and journalist, known for his accessible and pragmatic style of teaching. He is the co-author of The New York Times bestselling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, and founder of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a nonprofit meditation educational group based in Toronto. He is co-host of The Consciousness Explorers Podcast, which explores the mystery of being human through practice. His mission is to empower people to care for their own mental health, through the realistic, intelligent and sometimes irreverent exploration of meditation and personal growth practices. His meditations reach millions of people through the Calm and Ten Percent Happier apps.