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The Heart Sutra, A Special Mountain Meditation Retreat

Friday, December 6 - Sunday, December 8, 2024

Retreatants will have the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on this wisdom emanating from the heart of Buddha. We will mix our mind with the precious words of Buddha guided by the sublime commentary by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in his extraordinary book The New Heart of Wisdom. This retreat will bring the Heart Sutra to life in our minds so it will accompany us and guide us in all our daily actions. We will emerge feeling lighter, wiser, and empowered to overcome obstacles in daily life.

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When

Program: December 6 - 8, 2024

Registration Deadline: November 22, 2024

Registration opens August 10, 2024

About 

The Heart Sutra is the condensed presentation of The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras taught by Buddha Shakyamuni. In this teaching, Buddha reveals the hidden truth of our self and the world we live in—emptiness.

 

Gaining even a little insight of this meditation object will profoundly change our understanding of everything around us and within us. In turn, we will learn how to protect our mind from suffering, sickness, fears and dangers, and deepen our experience of inner peace through our familiarity with emptiness.

 

“Meditation on emptiness is the universal solution to all our problems. It is the medicine that cures all mental and physical diseases, and the nectar that bestows the everlasting happiness of nirvana and enlightenment.” —Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

 

Retreatants will have the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on this wisdom emanating from the heart of Buddha. We will mix our mind with the precious words of Buddha guided by the sublime commentary by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in his extraordinary book The New Heart of Wisdom. This retreat will bring the Heart Sutra to life in our minds so it will accompany us and guide us in all our daily actions. We will emerge feeling lighter, wiser, and empowered to overcome obstacles in daily life.

 

This event will be led by the Resident Teachers of Southern Kadampa Centers. Sessions include a brief teaching, guided meditation and time for question and answer. All sessions are suitable for beginners and those with some experience of Kadampa Buddhism.

 

Everyone is welcome!

 

This regional retreat is organized by Kadampa meditation centers and branches in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. 

 

What is a retreat?

In meditation retreat, we take a break from our normal busyness to gain experience of a particular meditation practice.

 

In a retreat, we have the opportunity to gain deeper concentration by letting go of our usual busyness, preoccupations and worries, to experience a spacious and life-enhancing perspective. 

 

Even with poor concentration, we are generally more peaceful, relaxed, and happy on retreat than in our ordinary fast-paced, externalized lives.

 

Whether you’re a beginner or simply want to enjoy retreat in ideal conditions, every aspect of these retreats are structured to help you refresh your mind through meditation. During the breaks enjoy meaningful conversation and the beauty and tranquility of the North Carolina Highlands.    

 

How to prepare 

A wonderful way to prepare for this retreat is to memorize the whole or portions of The Heart Sutra and study Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’s commentary The New Heart of Wisdom. 

 

Retreat Sessions

Sessions run between 75 and 90 minutes. The sessions combine practical instruction and guided meditation that will allow you to:

  • connect with an experience of true inner peace

  • develop basic techniques that can help you to create a consistent habit of meditation

  • leave with practical inner tools to apply what you have learned to your daily life

 

During the breaks

Between retreat sessions take time to relax and carry your experience of peace, enjoy the tranquility of the grounds and connect and discuss with like-minded people.

 

About the Teachers: 

 

Gen Kelsang Norbu was ordained in 2006 by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, and was requested by him to be the Resident Teacher of KMC North Carolina. He earned the title ‘Gen’ in 2012, indicating that he is a senior ordained teacher in the New Kadampa Tradition of modern Buddhism. He is known for his loving and gentle nature and holds a very clear and sharp understanding of Buddha’s teachings.

 

Kelsang Dechok is a senior ordained teacher of Modern Buddhism. She has studied and taught in both the US and the UK for many years. She was ordained in 2006 by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, and was requested to be the Resident Teacher of KMC Georgia in 2023. Whether it be through guided retreats or classes, her playfulness and sincerity allow students to see how the teachings can benefit them in their busy modern lives.  

 

Kadam Sharon Lovich has been practicing meditation and Kadampa Buddhism since 2003 and is the Resident teacher of the Je Tsongkhapa Kadampa Buddhist Center in Asheville since 2017. She has engaged in numerous focused meditation retreats and is known for teaching others how to develop a peaceful mind with great skill, lightness, and humor. 

 

Cindy Parker has been practicing meditation and Kadampa Buddhism for over 16 years. She is the Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation South Carolina. Cindy shares her love of meditation and Kadampa Buddhism, with inspiring enthusiasm showing others how to keep a peaceful mind and kind heart.


Ethan Lechner has been a practitioner of Kadampa Buddhism since 2008. In that time, he has traveled throughout the world to receive teachings from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and the tradition’s most senior teachers.  Ethan is appreciated for his warm, humorous, and relatable style of teaching Dharma.

 

Schedule:

FRIDAY
3:00-7:30p.m.  |  Check-in
6:00-7:15p.m. | Dinner
7:30-9:00p.m.  |  Introduction and Meditation

 

SATURDAY
8:00-8:45a.m.  |  Breakfast

9:00-10:00a.m.  |  Morning Guided Meditation
11:00a.m.-12:30p.m. | Teaching & Guided Meditation
12:30-1:45p.m. | Lunch
4:30-6:00p.m. | Teaching & Guided Meditation
6:00-7:00p.m. | Dinner
7:30-9:00p.m. | Q&A and Meditation 

 

SUNDAY

8:00-8:45a.m.  |  Breakfast
9:00-10:00a.m.  |  Morning Guided Meditation
11:00a.m.-12:30p.m.  |  Teaching & Guided Meditation

Registration Fees (not including tax)

Adult Double Occupancy: $240 + $110 program fee

Adult Single Occupancy: $380 + $110 program fee

Adult Bunkhouse: $200 + $110 program fee

Commuter Rates (includes meals and program fee):

Friday: $30

Saturday: $135

Sunday: $65

Full weekend: $230

In our registration system you'll find:

"Church Retreats" |  "MountainCamp" | "Other Retreats" | "Youth CONs"

 

Select "Other Retreats", then select your "2024 Combined Meditation Retreat" package

See you on

The Mountain

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