Top United States Retreats

Emptiness, Dependent Co-arising, and The Middle Way

  • Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center
  • 159 Osceola Rd. Hendersonville, NC 28739
  • Jun 26 - 30, 2019 (5 days)
  • $403.00 - Includes room, meals, and registration.Does not include additional dana (offered at the end of the retreat) to the teacher and to Heartwood. You can read more about the practice of dana here. $323.00 - Includes registration and meals, but not l

About This Event

The Middle Way is the Buddhist approach to spiritual practice. It also describes core Buddhist teachings about dependent co-arising and emptiness. All phenomena occur in dependence on causes and conditions. This is especially true of everything we feel, assume, and believe is “me.” Yet none of these natural phenomena and their experiences can be found to harbor a lasting, independent essence or self. The turn out to be free and empty of anything worth cling to. The Middle Way embodies this understanding in life and in Dhamma practice of all kinds. And these understandings guide our living the Middle Way.

Guided by the original teachings and the insights of Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Santikaro’s teacher, this retreat will explore how the Middle Way teachings guide the Middle Way of practice. We will do so through readings from the early discourses, guided practices, Dhamma talks, discussions, and silent meditation practice.

Ajahn Buddhadāsa’s teaching on emptiness is found in Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree, while Under the Bodhi Tree presents his dependent co-arising teaching. Both are available from Wisdom Publications.

This retreat is suitable for meditators who already have a basic mindfulness practice and are familiar with teachings of the four noble truths (ennobling realities). Knowledge of the Pāli suttas is not required. Reading Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree or Under the Bodhi Tree is recommended.

The retreat begins Wednesday evening. Please arrive early. We will end at 11 am on Sunday. You may join Embracing Simplicity’s Sunday program.

Venue Highlights

Heartwood’s facilities include a historic thirty-room Victorian-era mansion, and additional thirty adjoining courtyard rooms. Three meditation halls and a commercial kitchen are designed to support short-term and long-term retreats, conferences, and workshops. Quiet spaces indoors and out invite contemplation and conversation. Our goal is to nurture all aspects of one’s being.


Rooms are double-occupancy. Depending on the number of retreatants, if single rooms are available, we assign them in order of registration to those who registered earliest. For your convenience, Heartwood provides bed linens, blankets, and towels. All rooms, whether double or single, have an en-suite bathroom.


  • A/C in Rooms
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free


Three delicious vegetarian meals per day are offered; there are always vegan and gluten free options served for those with dietary restrictions. You are also welcome to bring a snack to share if you wish. 
Breakfast typically includes cereal, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, bread, and rice cakes. Coffee is served at breakfast only. Lunch, which is the main meal of the day, consists of a protein, a grain, vegetables, and salad. A light supper of soup, with either salad or fruit, as well as some surprises, is offered each evening.


Heartwood is located at 159 Osceola Rd, Hendersonville NC 28739. We are approximately 20 minutes from the Asheville NC airport, and 2 hours from the Charlotte NC airport.

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