The Experience of Enlightenment means
allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by wholeness.
On this retreat you are invited to let go of any sense of separation and fall ecstatically into the overwhelming discovery of Wholeness, Oneness, Unity and Non-Duality.
This retreat will be a unique exploration that will draw upon the rich traditions of the American philosophies of Transcendentalism and Pragmatism to catapult our awareness into profound new ways of experiencing beyond separation.
Our conventional experience of reality is wrapped in a blanket of assumptions and unconscious beliefs that shape the world we live in.
In the familiar world of our everyday experience we feel ourselves to be a separate entity that lives on the surface of a planet amidst a host of other things. In short - a world of separation.
Life in this world of separation is characterized by strife and struggle, loneliness and isolation, and a deep sense that something is missing and existentially wrong.
Spiritual awakening is a subtle and profound shift into a completely different world – a world that is obscured by our assumptions of separation.
You will explore how the life-altering discovery of non-dual wholeness can become the basis for a radically new experience of life.
If you long for this kind of dramatic shift in perception – or if you’ve already had it and want to spend five days exploring it further – please join the American Awakening retreat with me in October.
During these five days you will engage in a combination of deep meditation and philosophical inquiry designed to illuminate your deepest assumptions about the nature of reality and dissolve the boundaries of your limited sense of self until you have a direct recognition of the overwhelming reality of undifferentiated wholeness.
You will spend time each day practicing the art of conscious contentment. This seemingly simply practice – asking you only to be content with the way things are – is the doorway to a profound release at this deepest levels of your being.
As you learn how to let go of any temptation to what to be anywhere other than right here/right now, you will find a boundless inner freedom is always located right in the middle of the experience you’re already having. As you continually embrace the way things are, your energy and your attention will be liberated into a full experience of life as if Is. It’s like being born all over again into the life you were already living.
As you sink more deeply into the practice your solid sense of self will begin to dissolve creating the space for a radical reorientation to life.
During this retreat you will also learn how to engage in a unique form of experiential philosophical inquiry that I call wormhole inquiry.
You won’t be exploring new ideas about reality – you will be learning how to inhabit new experiences of reality by using radical new ways of thinking to shift your actual feeling experience of being.
You will be asked to have the courage to see that reality is not the way you’ve been taught to think about it. You will be asked to step into new conceptions of realty, to feel into them with your whole being, and then engage together with others in new ways.
I call this wormhole inquiry because you are likely to find yourself slipping out of the world that you are familiar with into something dramatically new as if you had fallen into a wormhole through space into a new universe.
Experience Three Mind-Altering Ways of Seeing
In this retreat you will explore the profound philosophical conceptions of American philosophy as the basis of your mystical journey.
We will be drawing on the wisdom that I explore in my soon to be released book American Awakening. The tradition of American philosophy is in many ways an attempt to understand the truth of wholeness, and on this retreat, you will have your heart and mind opened by some of the wisdom that can be found in that tradition.
The Truth of the Higher Self
The idea of a higher, or big S, Self is by now familiar to most of us – but do you know that the American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson was devolving that idea in the 1840’s with his conception of The Over Soul?
We will begin this retreat by exploring the possibility that our life is not being lived by us. We will discover that our life is being lived by a higher source whose ultimate scope and magnitude we cannot begin to fathom. We will use the ideas of Transcendentalism as the basis for establishing practices that will allow us to experience the living source of existence moving through us.
The Self As Process Not Entity
The American psychologist William James was determined to articulate a view of the world that was free of any assumptions of separation and duality. And so he was vehemently opposed to any idea that a self, or ego, that existed separate from the world of experience.
We will continue the exploration of this retreat by investigating how the illusion of a self is created and maintained. To do this, we will be using James’ brilliant conception of the stream of consciousness. In addition, the philosopher John Dewey’s understanding that we are the unfolding of cultural habits and norms will help us further question the assumption of our separate existence, until you will discover a depth of independence and autonomy that allows us to live from a different source.
The World as Pure Experience
William James and his lifelong friend Charles Sanders Peirce, the originators of the philosophy of Pragmatism, attempted to create the ultimate expression of universal wholeness by describing the entire universe as a singular unfolding whole. We will use their extraordinary ideas to effectively think our way out of the assumption of independent existence and discover the true essence of reality.
We will step into a reality in which we never existed in the way we always thought we did. And feel how the universe itself is longing to be free of the limitations of our separate sense of self so it can live through us in the most profoundly mysterious ways.
- Retreat begins with registration followed by dinner, and then the opening session with Jeff.
- Full days of practice and inquiry
- Retreat ends at lunch time (after meditation / breakfast / closing session with Jeff).
The schedule is focused and spacious with two movement sessions, time for an afternoon walk around the beautiful grounds, and evening chai and conversation.
*Those who choose to remain in silence through out the retreat (or do not wish to attend movement / conversation sessions) are welcome to meditate during these times.
- Early Meditation Practice
- Morning Meditation Practice
- Meditation and Philosophy Sessions with Jeff
- Deep Inquiry Sessions with Jeff
- Afternoon Meditation Practice
- Evening Meditation Practice
- Evening Tea and Conversation*
The location for this retreat is the beautiful Highland Lake Cove Retreat Center in Flat Rock, North Carolina. It is a uniquely nourishing setting for reconnecting with Life and what really matters. During your stay, you will be sustained by the natural beauty of the land, the garden-centered cuisine and the stewardship of a caring staff dedicated to the awakening and full blossoming of the human spirit.
215 Rhett Drive
Flat Rock, NC 28731
We intend to make your travel to Highland Lake Cove as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
There are three airports in reasonable proximity to Highland Lake Cove.
- Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is 16 miles (about 22 minutes) from Highland Lake Cove.
- Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), in SC, is 40 miles (about 50 minutes) from the Cove.
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is 95 miles (about 1 hour and 35 minutes) from the Cove.
We suggest flying into Asheville airport as Uber and taxi services are readily available at reasonable rates. We will also be arranging a shuttle from Asheville - please see below for details.
For alternative transport options please see here.
We will be arranging a shuttle service from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) to the retreat center departing the airport at 3pm on Wednesday, October 28th. On the final day a shuttle will depart the retreat center at 1pm returning to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL). If you choose this option, please be prepared to pay a small contribution each way.
“I experienced a new way of seeing…
Jeff’s humility and willingness to not know allowed me to live into a reality beyond the mind and feel the new paradigm living through me. I experienced a new way of seeing that is always right here and never just a set of ideas.
“It was a turning point for me…
As someone who has done many spiritual and silent retreats, this one was a turning point for me. I returned home a different person. This change was noticed by everyone in my life.
Jeff held a space for opening and healing that was quiet, fluid, peaceful and accepting of everyone present. He is Masterful at bringing participants to a place of awakening and awareness with grace and humility. If you are serious about awakening to the truth of your being, you need Jeff as your guide.
With knowledge, experience and confidence ,born of a passion to serve, he will lead you safely home to your true nature.
It will be an investment of money and time that will go on giving for the ret of your life.
“Awash with continuous energetic vibrations…
During the retreat I found myself awash with continuous energetic vibrations. I was moved into a new way of being, a new way of looking at life and my small self seemed to get smaller and smaller.
“Wow, what a year of growth and learning!…
Do not be scared off by the prospect of exploring uncharted worlds. You will be led with openness and understanding by a master. One of Jeff’s greatest gifts is his ability to receive the intent of others and nurture that with open-heartedness, enthusiasm and love.
Jeff grants permission to people to explore directions from the heart, and he is a cheerleader for their imagination and creativity. Through Jeff’s love, you will be ushered into the possibility of becoming an ambassador of a new paradigm and artist of new possibilities…. Run, don’t walk, to this invitation for exploring your unknown and untapped riches.”
“Free from unnecessary tension and worry….
This retreat left me more present in the moment and free from unnecessary tension and worry. I find myself able to engage with the very real problems of the world with steadiness and clarity rather than tense urgency.
“Deeper clarity and recognition of depth…
Jeff’s approach brought me into deeper clarity and recognition of a depth that has always been in me. I feel ready to take responsibility to live, talk and love from there.
Retreat price includes all meals and accommodation during the entire retreat.
The Retreat House has 15 rooms over 2 floors, with 7 single occupancy rooms on each floor. Each room has a sink and mirror, a glider rocking chair, a desk with chair and a twin bed. On each floor there are 2 private toilet rooms and 2 private shower rooms. The upper floor has 1 queen room with private bathroom. Towels, linens and soaps are provided for each room.
No laundry or kitchen facilities are included.
|Private Room (queen bed) with private bath||$1550||Sold Out|
|Private Room (twin bed) with shared bath||$1350||Register for $1200|
The cabins include twin beds with linens, electricity, and A/C, and are located on the island in the 30-acre lake. While some locations may make you feel like you’re in a tree house with views of the water through the canopy, what they all share is an attention to detail and a beautiful natural setting.
All bath facilities are in a separate bath house. No laundry or kitchen facilities included.
- Full refunds with a $100 cancellation fee are available up to July 25th, 2020. 50% refunds will be available up until August 28th, 2020 at midnight. No refunds will be available after August 28th, 2020.