Concentration, Jhana, and Breath: 9-night Retreat in North Carolina

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Concentration, Jhana, and Breath:

a 9-night Meditation Retreat in North Carolina

led by Shaila Catherine

Friday, October 4, 2019 – Sunday, October 13, 2019

The retreat begins with registration from 2:00 – 3:30 pm on Friday, October 4. The retreat ends at 11:00 am on Sunday, October 13. To accommodate travel needs, participants may arrange to arrive Thursday, October 3 or stay until October 14.

Partial attendance can be arranged, but it must begin on the first day of the retreat, and priority will be given to those registering for the full retreat.

This retreat will utilize the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samadhi) and insight (vipassana). Daily group instructions will focus on the sixteen steps in the Anapanasati Sutta as a route to jhana and/or liberating insight. One-to-one guidance will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Some students may choose to emphasize concentration practice throughout the retreat; others may emphasize vipassana; and some may practice both concentration and insight in-conjunction with mindfulness of breathing.

This retreat offers a special opportunity to train in concentration and jhana practices with personal guidance from Shaila Catherine. It is one of the very few retreats each year in which Shaila systematically guides students to establish jhana by working step-by-step with the Anapanasati Sutta. Students who wish to embark on this training in concentration and jhana should read her book Focused and Fearless prior to the retreat. See our Concentration and Jhana FAQ page for more information about developing concentration and the absorption states of jhana.

This silent retreat is structured with alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and teacher consultations.

Prior to the retreat, please read Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine, and the Ananpanasati Sutta. You may download the sutta at:

Register early! Space is limited.
We keep this retreat small (not more than about 40 participants) to enable in-depth guidance from Shaila. We have exclusive use of the retreat center for the duration of our program to support a silent and deep experience of meditation.

TO REGISTER: Complete the HW2019 registration and waiver forms. Send them along with a non-refundable deposit of $250 (payable to Bodhi-Retreats) to the registrar (address below). The waiver and check must be sent by mail. You may send the registration form by mail or email. We are not currently accepting credit card transactions, so please send your registration deposit and fees via check or money order made payable to Bodhi Retreats. If this is not possible for some of our international guests, please contact the registrar for alternative payment arrangements.

Katrina Bergbauer
225 Second Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030


Please complete either the Standard-Printable or Form-Fillable form, and also the Waiver of Liability.
Important: If you use the form-fillable version, download the form to your computer first. Then fill out the form. After completing the form, select to print it, and in the print options select to save the form as a PDF file. Then mail or email the PDF to the registrar.

Requirements: The retreat is designed for experienced students. Previous retreat experience in the insight meditation tradition is required, with a minimum of at least two week-long silent residential retreats. If you have attended less than two week-long silent retreats, your attendance requires approval from the teacher.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Heartwood Retreat is tucked away in a quiet lake community in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina.

The retreat facility is handicapped accessible, but if you have mobility limitations, please contact our retreat registrar for details.

Please note that this will be a non-smoking retreat.

Heartwood Refuge has modest, hotel-style rooms. All rooms are designed as doubles with ensuite bathrooms. We can negotiate with the center to utilize some rooms as singles, but that will require leaving beds unoccupied; therefore, if you request single accommodations without a medical need, and if you are financially able, please choose a registration fee amount that is on the upper end of the sliding scale ($2250 – $1700). If you request a single room, please explain why you need it, citing your medical needs, sleep disorders, or preferences in the space provided on the registration form.

COST: 9 nights (includes accommodation and meals) is $2250 – $1150 sliding scale, plus a donation to the teachers at the end of retreat. The estimated actual per-person cost for this retreat (if we used a fixed rate) is $1700. By selecting an amount above $1700, your generosity supports those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. This sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be managed by self-selecting an amount lower than $1700.

Additional nights for early arrival or late departure: $100 per extra night.

Partial retreat option registration fees are below. Priority will be given to students who are registering for the full 9-nights course.

  • 2 nights (Friday–Sunday) is $700 – $400 sliding scale
  • 3 nights (Friday–Monday) is $900 – $550 sliding scale
  • 4 nights (Friday–Tueday) is $1100 – $675 sliding scale
  • 5 nights (Friday–Wednesday) is $1300 – $800 sliding scale
  • 6 nights (Friday–Thursday) is $1500 – $950 sliding scale

DANA: Compensation for the teacher is not included in the registration price. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teacher at the end of the retreat.

Co-sponsored by Bodhi-Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay

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