• – Cost is Dana

Date & Time Details: Opening Day: check in at noon, program begins at 2:00pm Closing Day: ends at 11am.

Location: Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center

Address: 159 Osceola Rd Hendersonville, NC 28739

Retreat Manager

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Monastic Training/Jhana Meditation Retreat (Open to current monastics)

with Venerable Pannavati and Venerable Pannadipa

December 14 - 21, 2019

This retreat is open to monastics and lay people contemplating monastic life. Over 8 days, we will survey the vinaya (monastic rules), discuss aspects of different lineages, and communal life, learn and practice certain rituals and ceremonies together related to spiritual life, be introduced to prayoga and practice meditation that leads to jhana (attainment) from Theravadan, TNH, Zen, Chan and Tibetan traditions.

Practitioners taking novice or bhikkhuni vows, adding additional vows (of same or other tradition) or interested in temporary vows for 8 days only, will be considered. Please complete preliminary application. You will be advised if accepted to proceed with registration.

If not students of Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa and you are seeking higher ordination, you MUST have a letter of request from your CURRENT preceptor requesting the ordination and are expected to return to that preceptor for 2 years (or remain under Venerable Pannavati’s supervision for 2 years). All lineages of Buddhayana are welcome. We currently have 10 registrants and will not accept more than 15. Training schedule will be emailed by November 15. While there is no cost to ordain or train, it is customary to offer dana to help offset the cost of convening the ordaining platform masters (air fare, etc.) as we will need to bring together 5 ordaining bhikkhunis and 5 ordaining bhikkhus; and ordainees are expected to cover the cost of their own robes, bowl and training materials. We expect this to total over $300 per participant.

The four jhanas
“Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal….

Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure….

And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding….

And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure nor stress. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness….”

MN 39: Maha-Assapura Sutta — The Greater Discourse at Assapura.


Venerable Pannavati
Venerable Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage and meditation center; Co-Director of Heartwood Refuge and President of the Treasure Human Life Foundation. A black, female Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravada, Chan, and Mahayana traditions with Vajrayana empowerments and transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemakers, she is both contemplative and empowered for compassionate service.  Venerable Pannavati is also a current disciple of Zhaxi Zhouma Rimpoche. An international teacher, she advocates on behalf of dis-empowered women and youth globally, and insists on equality and respect in Buddhist life for both female monastics and lay…
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Venerable Pannadipa
Bhikkhu Pannadipa, founding Co-Abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage, ordained in the Theravada and Mahayana (Chan) traditions. A former Taoist monk and an initiated yogi, he taught Tien Shen Pai Kung Fu, qigong, Tai Chi and Fitness for more than 25 years. As meditation counselor of the Hermitage,  his finely honed skills add unspeakable depth to a practitioner’s experience. Powerfully present with penetrating awareness, he guides meditators towards jhanic attainment, teaching them how to use this empowerment in all circumstances of practical life. In addition, he has extensive experience assisting in the transition from this life to the next for both…
Learn more about Venerable Pannadipa