On this week-long Pragmatic Dharma Retreat, led by innovative dharma teachers Kenneth Folk and Vincent Horn, you'll have the rare opportunity to dedicate yourself to uninterrupted practice in an intimate community of peers, with teacher feedback & support, all while being immersed in the sights, smells, & flavors of peak fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Bend of Ivy Lodge
Think Asian Zen elements mixed with a charming restored tobacco barn, all nestled in a nature haven surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
The Bend of Ivy Lodge facilities provide a comfortable and beautiful place to meditate, sleep, and care for ourselves as we go into retreat.
The land provides a serene and peaceful outdoor space with hiking trails, long mountain views, some local goats, quiet woods, and a glade of trees by the river. It is a serene environment for meditative adventuring.
Gluten-free & Dairy-free options will be provided for both vegetarians and omnivores. On this retreat omnivores will have a meat-protein option each day at lunch.
The food will be delicious & healthy, with many of the veggies actually coming from an organic farm that operates on the property. One of our past retreatants actually complained that the food was so good here that it actually disrupted her concentration!
There are 16 beds available in the main lodge, all of which are in double rooms.
Meet the Teachers
Kenneth Folk is an instructor of meditation who has received worldwide acknowledgement for his innovative approach to secular Buddhist meditation. After twenty years of training in the Burmese Theravada Buddhist tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw, including three years of intensive silent retreat in monasteries in Asia and the U.S., he began to spread his own findings, successfully stripping away religious dogma to render meditation accessible to modern practitioners. He has been recognized by Wired Magazine as an influential voice in Silicon Valley’s tech culture, a "power player of the mindfulness movement."
Vincent Horn is part of a new generation of teachers & translators exploring dharma in the age of the network. A computer engineering dropout turned full-time contemplative, he spent his 20s co-founding the ground-breaking Buddhist Geeks Podcast, while simultaneously doing a full year, in total, of silent retreat practice. Vincent began teaching in 2010 having been authorized in both the Pragmatic Dharma lineage of Kenneth Folk, and by Trudy Goodman, guiding teacher of InsightLA, in the Insight Meditation tradition. Vincent has been called a “power player of the mindfulness movement” by Wired magazine and was featured in Wired UK’s “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world.” He currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina with his partner Emily Horn and their son Zander.
Car travel is doable if you live in or near the Southeast United States. While the retreat center is in a secluded location it's also only 7 miles off of the Interstate 24.
Air travel is possible via the following airports:
Asheville Regional Airport (35min drive time to the center)
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (90min drive time)
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (2hr 10min drive time)
We will not be coordinating any ride sharing to the retreat center from the airport, but there will be time to connect at the end of the retreat to see if anyone needs, or can offer, a ride from the retreat center.
The cost of this week-long retreat is $1,400 USD. This fee covers food, lodging, and a small administrative fee. It does not cover the teachers pay, which operates based on the generosity model.
The Generosity Model
At the end of the retreat you'll have an opportunity to participate in the generosity model, which involves making a donation to the teachers. There is no recommended amount to donate, as this is very much about the practice of unscripted generosity. That said, if you’d like to see transparent figures on how much has been donated to past retreats, you can view it here.
This retreat is put on by Buddhist Geeks, an educational 501(c)3 non-profit, so all teacher donations are tax-deductible.
If you need assistance attending this retreat, you can apply for a scholarship through the Open Dharma Foundation.
We'd also strongly encourage you to donate to the Open Dharma Foundation, if you have the resources, as they support a lot of serious yogis wanting to take their practice deeper.
Late cancellations make it difficult to give someone else the opportunity to attend. Should you need to cancel, please contact us immediately.
There is a cancellation fee that applies for cancelling this retreat. Fees and payments cannot be transferred to another retreat or to another person. Cancellation fee schedule for this retreat:
On or before July 31st: $300 processing fee
After July 31st: $600 processing fee
No refunds after October 1st