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

About This Event

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"Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and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.

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.


  • Air Conditioning 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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Why Retreat?

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Opening up to the joy and peace of meditation and Yoga. <3 Marion

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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