Our Retreat Center

A Meditation Retreat Center in Hendersonville North Carolina

Our vision is to provide residential interfaith meditation & wellness retreats for the contemplative and mindfulness practice community

The intention has been here all along — across the country, practitioners of all traditions and ages are experiencing a pull to come together for non-sectarian practice, conscious living and empowerment in service. It is time to return to a far-reaching United Sangha with an emphasis on embodiment of the Dharma.

Heartwood’s mission is to be a living container for inquiry and cultivation of ancient and contemporary Buddhist thought, while promoting interfaith and multi-lineage dialogue. Heartwood is neither defined by a single lineage, nor confined by any single sect or practice. Our retreats, refuge, courses of study, practical life and social engagement in the world are geared not towards an outward show of Buddhism as a religion, but cultivation of the inner integrity and development of being which the Dharma inspires. In addition to Buddhist teachers, we welcome facilitators from around the world to share teachings and activities which promote compassion and clarity, be it through traditional wisdom or new thought.

Heartwood Refuge is structured as the home of three interdependent organizations:

Heartwood Retreat Center, Embracing Simplicity Hermitage and Treasure Human Life.

  • Kammanna Institute will teach us how to become “fit for action”, becoming a refuge in the world for ourselves and others. We will apply our skillful means learned from Kammanna through Treasure Human Life, our fiscal agent and non-profit dedicated to relieving suffering in the world.
  • With hands-on service opportunities, Treasure Human Life serves as our compassionate action expressed outwardly, and Kammanna serves as our compassionate action expressed inwardly.
  • The Sokhya Wellness addresses our physical bodies, caring for the container that will assist in our compassionate work in the world, and helping  us to be more effective, at ease, and healthful.

Heartwood’s mission is to be a living container for inquiry and cultivation of ancient and contemporary Buddhist thought, while promoting interfaith and multi-lineage dialogue.

Heartwood’s historic thirty room Victorian era mansion, with an additional sixty adjoining cabins on campus, provide a variety of singles, doubles, quads, and suites to serve the needs of  long-term and self-directed retreatants.  Two conference/meditation halls and a complete kitchen are designed to support short term and long term retreats, conferences and workshops. A private counseling suite, quiet spaces indoors and out, invite contemplation and conversation.  Our goal is to nurture all aspects of one’s being.

Following the Buddha’s observation that for the Dharma to flourish, it must be embodied, our objectives include:

  • providing a pioneering approach to de-compartmentalizing the Western Dharmic message
  • creating a milieu where the Buddha’s entire liberation message can be embraced, converting timeless wisdom and direct experience into contemporary language without sacrificing its totality
  • making multi-lineage teachings accessible to all, cultivating the five “brightnesses” or inherent wisdoms by offering training in a range of  Dharmic arts from calligraphy to music to critical dialogue
  • offering the best blend of ancient and contemporary thought, techniques and technologies for effective leadership and social engagement

In order to form this community, we have cultivated a decade-long relationship through our local meditation center and its social action projects, fostering a basis for deep friendship. Some of us live together in community on the grounds to support intention, commitment and the dedicated practice of living simply and serving others. Nationally, we offer teachings regarding meditation, dharma, wellness and personal development. This helps us transmit the full legacy of the Buddhadharma. Our own Embracing Simplicity Contemplative Order monastics and dharmacharyas (teachers) who live elsewhere offer their intermittent presence, prayer, and skills, allowing us to preserve the Buddha’s legacy, and making it accessible to everyone. This is the vision of Heartwood. Volunteers bearing witness who support our global engagement with people who have been marginalized and oppressed are showing up and responding with compassionate and empowering action.

You are invited to be part of a Western expression of compassionate action as it’s emerging, one derived from the rich spiritual traditions which shaped and pointed us to the Dharma. Yes, we can uphold multi-lineage wisdom and embrace feminine leadership. Yes, we can go beyond secular rationalization to true liberation. You can assist through monetary donations to our charitable efforts, taking time out for your own self-retreat here, or by joining us in community.


Come. Experience the purposeful stillness of Heartwood for yourself. Visit our  Accommodations, or visit our Retreat Calendar. You are welcome here.

Make This Vision A reality!