Heartwood Refuge Retreat and Conference Center
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. Considering the monetary constraints of our global community, it takes commitment and action to realize this vision. We thank you for your ongoing help as we build the infrastructure necessary to make the Dharma accessible to all.
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 that the Dharma inspires. In addition to Buddhist teachers, we welcome facilitators from around the world to share teachings and activities that promote compassion and clarity, be it traditional wisdom or new thought.
Heartwood Refuge is structured as the home of four interdependant organizations:
The Hendersonville Inn, Kammanna Institute, Sokhya Spa, 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(link). With hands-on service opportunities, Treasure Human Life is our compassionate action outwardly and Kammanna is our compassionate action inwardly. The Sokhya spa addresses our physical bodies, caring for the container that will assist in compassionate work in the world, which will help us be more effective, at ease, and healthful. The Hendersonville Inn is what makes all of this possible financially. When we retire our debt, we will close The Hendersonville Inn and open up our space as a Dana only center.
Heartwood’s mission is to be a living community that encompasses not only Buddhist study and contemplation, but vibrant engagement -- a flexible container where resident and visiting practitioners can understand, arouse, and verify the textual experiences of classical teachings (suttas and sutras), which are accessible and intimately knowable in the macrocosm of this moment. This 30 room victorian mansion with an additional 60 cabins has a variety of singles, doubles, quads, and suites, a long-term & self-directed retreatant wings with 2 conference halls, and a counseling suite. Including space to work on our mental processes, we offer a Whole being wellness spa available to all retreatants. Our goal is to address 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-compartmentalize 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. This allows us to preserve the Buddha’s legacy, making it accessible to everyone. This is the vision of Heartwood. And 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.
We need you now — your presence, your support. Allow a Western expression of compassionate action to emerge, one that does not deny the rich spiritual traditions that 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. And yes, we can make the Dharma available now and for future generations.