Our Retreat Center

Heartwood’s mission is to be a living container for the realization of the Buddha’s teachings, while promoting interfaith and multi-lineage dialogue. Our spiritual leaders, Venerable Pannavati and Venerable Pannadipa, have received teachings, ordination or empowerments and authorization to teach in all three major Buddhist traditions—Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—and our center’s philosophy reflects this ecumenical approach to the Dharma.

Therefore, Heartwood is neither defined by a single lineage, nor confined by any single sect or practice. Our retreats, refuge, courses, trainings, practical life, and social engagement in the world are geared not towards an outward show of Buddhism as a religion, but towards cultivation of the inner integrity and the development of being that the Dharma inspires. In addition, Heartwood welcomes teachers from other faith and wisdom traditions to share teachings and activities that promote compassion and clarity, whether through traditional wisdom or new thought.

Heartwood is home to four interdependent organizations:

Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center offers teacher-led retreats, self-directed retreats, an intentional community, and wellness programs through the Healing Continuum Wellness Center (coming soon).

Kammanna Institute provides Dharma leadership education via an online distance-learning platform(coming soon) in combination with in-person practice periods at Heartwood.

Embracing Simplicity Hermitage holds Dharma teachings three afternoons each week, evening silent group meditation, a Chi-Lel Qigong group practice, and a weekly Refuge Recovery gathering for our local community and those visiting the area.

Treasure Human Life Foundation is our incubator for social action, and is in its ninth year of bearing witness to global suffering and responding with compassionate wisdom. We have provided aid to Dalits in Tamil Nadu, India, ordained bhikkhunis in Thailand, and assisted homeless teenagers here in North Carolina to learn job skills and to finish school. Venerable Pannavati tours the US and helps other sanghas develop service programs.

Together, these organizations allow Heartwood to create the container for non-sectarian practice, conscious living, and empowerment in service. You are invited to be part of this Western expression of compassionate action as it’s emerging—one derived from the rich spiritual traditions that shaped and pointed us to the Dharma. Together we can uphold multi-lineage wisdom and embrace feminine leadership. Together we can go beyond secular rationalization to true liberation.

Come. Experience Heartwood for yourself. You are welcome here.

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