Visit our online calendar here.

Fall 2015 Retreat

Other John Orr Retreats

Day of Meditation, October 3, 2015

Fall 2016 Retreat

Below are the details from the Fall 2015 retreat. The Fall 2016 Retreat details will be posted as early as possible. The Fall 2016 Retreat will follow the same format as the retreat below but will be held at a new location and with a different focus. John Orr and Barbara Brodsky will co-lead the Fall 2016 retreat.

panaramic view of field in front of meditation hall


Farewell to Stone House

For many years we have had two retreats a year at Stone House in Mebane, North Carolina. The property is for sale and this will be our last scheduled retreat there. We hope to have a fall 2016 weekend retreat at another location. Please join us for this Farewell to Stone House Retreat which will include Vipassana Meditation, Dharma and Living from an Open Heart. Suitable for beginners and the "Golden Oldies" who wish to practice together on the beautiful grounds at Stone House one last time!

New Hope Sangha will not be sponsoring a Spring 2016 Retreat, however we do intend to have a Fall 2016 Retreat at a different location with Barbara, Aaron and John guiding.

A retreat is an opportunity to develop calmness, wisdom, and compassion in a supportive environment. Emphasis is placed upon developing mindfulness in sitting, standing, and walking to help us access our innate understanding, joy, and peace. Beginners, as well as the more experienced, are welcome to attend. There will be instructions, practice, dharma talks, chanting from various spiritual traditions and noble silence.

Retreat flyer with registration form


John Orr received Theravada Buddhist ordination and training for eight years while living in Thailand and India. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats since 1980. John is the guiding teacher of New Hope Sangha and teaches at Duke University.

Barbara Brodsky is a Quaker and trained dharma teacher in the Buddhist tradition. She is the guiding teacher of Deep Spring Center in Ann Arbor Michigan. Barbara has been deaf for 35 years. She is the channel for the discarnate entity, Aaron.

Aaron is a being of light who has evolved beyond the need to return to the physical plane. In his final lifetime on this human plane he was a Theravadin Buddhist monk in Thailand, a meditation master. We have created this page with an excerpted chapter from his book "Presence, Kindness, and Freedom," where Aaron speaks about himself.

Barbara and John follow an age-old tradition of freely and open heartedly offering the dharma. They receive no payment from the registration fees. Your dana (generosity) allows the teachers to continue their work of sharing the dharma. During the retreat there will be baskets available for your offerintgs.


The retreat will be held at Stone House in Mebane, NC. We are once again excited to be holding the retreat at Stone House. This is a beautiful center on 70 acres of rolling countryside. You can find more information about this center at their web site. Here are two maps for locating Stone House, far away and close up.

"What a joy it is to attend
a New Hope Sangha retreat.
I feel deeply loved and supported
by the teachers and
the other participants."


The retreat will begin with check in at 5:00 PM Friday. Following dinner at 6:00 PM, the weekend program will begin and continue until closing at 4:00 PM Sunday. The evening programming will end by 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Breakfast will be served at 7:15 AM on Saturday and Sunday.

The retreat flyer with registration form in PDF format can be found here.

Fees include lodging, dinner on Friday, three meals on Saturday, and two meals on Sunday. The meals are vegetairan. The fees are based on your lodging preference.

Residing on site: $280
Tenting on site (bring your own tent): $255
Commuting: $200

For early registrations received before October 16, subtract $20 from your fee. For registrations received after October 16, include the full amount. About a week before the retreat you will receive directions to Stone House along with other information about the weekend.

John and Barbara will offer the retreat on a “dana” generosity basis. Participants will have the opportunity to offer dana to the teachers at the retreat. During the retreat there will be dana baskets available for your offerings.

For more information call Donna at (919) 667-5906 or email her.

Quick registration through Paypal

Important Note: When paying by Paypal you will also need to fill out and return a registration form.

Type of Registration
Your Name


We understand that circumstances may arise that will prevent you from attending the retreat after you have registered. If you cancel more than two weeks before the retreat, you will receive a full refund. For cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the retreat, we are not able to refund your payment. No refunds will be given for no-shows or partial attendance. Checks for refunds will be written after the retreat.


We are often so busy reacting to the world and trying to manage our affairs, that we do not really notice what is- sounds, smells, sites around us, nor the textures of mind…And the habits of mind that determine our experience of everything. Noble silence allows us to enter into a different mode of being. It invites awareness and a certain intimacy with life. Its nature is vastness and the experience of letting it gather around and within us can be profound. Disconnecting from our preoccupation with habits of mind, so that we can open to greater clarity, compassion and awareness, is a primary purpose of our practice. Silence does not need to isolate us. With time most people notice that silence allows a deeper appreciation of the simple things in life as well as an unusual depth of connection with others. We support each other with our silence and lack of eye contact. We contribute to the stillness by mindful walking, opening and closing doors quietly and being considerate as we eat our meals and return dishes.

We ask that you remain silent and avoid social contact except when talking with a teacher in your small group or in an individual session. The actions of one will benefit all.


Dana is a practice of generosity, kindness and letting go. By taking the opportunity to make dana a practice of awareness, brings it out of the realm of unconscious habit, and into the realm of wise attention. The teachers at this retreat follow an age-old tradition of freely and open heartedly offering Dharma talks. They receive no payment from the retreat registration fees. The fees cover room, board, rental of the facilities, office supplies and a little scholarship money. Dana is not intended as a tip, nor is it in exchange for receiving the teachings of the Buddha. There is no obligation to give. Offering dana indicates that we understand our interconnectedness. We realize that we depend on the generosity and kindness of others and they depend upon ours. We belong to what we support and what we support nourishes us. The decision of what to give is deeply personal. The practice of dana asks that we look within with wisdom and offer what we are able with loving-kindness. What we give allows the teachers to continue their work of sharing the Dharma. During the retreat there will be baskets and envelopes available for your dana offerings for Barbara and John.


Seva is the practice of unselfish service. At this retreat most of our needs are being taken care of by the retreat center staff and our retreat committee. There are, however, some opportunities for you to give service:

We have a practice at retreats of letting people know when sittings, instruction and evening programs are by ringing a bell five minutes before the scheduled time. We have a bell ringer sign up sheet. We ask only those who have previously attended retreats sign up for bell ringing. After your turn, please make sure to return the bell for the next person’s use.

We also need volunteers to help clean up after meals. Having volunteers for this duty keeps the cost of our retreats low and is also a wonderful part of our mindfulness practice. The duties are listed in the kitchen, or someone will be available to supervise. It would be helpful if each retreatant would sign up at the beginning of the retreat for one meal’s cleanup.

After the retreat’s closing we could use some help in packing our supplies into cars and returning the retreat center back to the state it was before our retreat. If you are not pressed for time, please consider extending your retreat a few minutes and lending us a hand.


Other Retreats & Classes with John Orr

September 24 - October 22 Chapel Hill, NC

Four Qualities of the Heart: Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity

Using mindfulness practice and guided meditations focused on loving kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity and forgiveness, we will make contact with this loving heart, nurture it and manifest it in the many contexts of our daily lives.
Meets: Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 PM Led by John Orr.
Location: Center for Rehabilitation Care of Chapel Hill, 1807 North Fordham Blvd (on 15/501 in the former Borders building) Chapel Hill, NC 27514 Cost: $250.00
Registration: To register and for more information follow this link and scroll down to “Graduate Class in Fall 2015” or contact or call 919-966-8586

October 3 Chapel Hill, NC

Day of Noble Silence and Meditation at the Oak Lodge

Camp New Hope from 9:30-4:00. Please arrive by 9:15.
Silent sitting and walking meditation, brief dharma talk and chanting. No beginners instruction offered at this retreat. Bring sitting cushions, chairs will be provided. Also bring a bag lunch and any drinks you may require for the day. Refrigeration available.
There is no registration or registration fee. This day of meditation will be offered on a dana (generosity) basis. Participants will have the opportunity to practice generosity to the New Hope Sangha for renting the building at Camp New Hope and to John Orr, the teacher, who will be leading the retreat.
Address: Oak Lodge, Camp New Hope 4805 Highway 86 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 Questions? Contact Joanie McLean at or call 919-663-1945

October 27 - Nov. 1 (5 nights) Selma (East Central), IN

“Remembering Wholeness” Retreat with Barbara Brodsky, John Orr, Amy Koch, Aaron, “The Mother and the Brothers and Sisters of Light”

More information and registration click on the following link: Then look under “Fall Retreat: Living from Our True Nature, Remembering Wholeness” Suitable for all levels of retreatants.

November 13-15 Mebane, NC

Residential/Non Residential Insight Meditation Retreat with Barbara, Aaron and John

More information about this retreat can be found at the top of this page.
Contact: Donna at 919-667-5906 or Suitable for all levels of retreatants.

December 28, 2015-January 3, 2016 Hot Springs, NC

New Years Retreat with John Orr. Register early, as it fills up!

For Information:
Contact: Southern Dharma Retreat Center 828-622-7112 or Prior attendance at one or more silent residential retreats of at least two nights in length is required to attend this retreat.




home about us sitting group retreat retreat donate resources donate contact
Photos are from previous
New Hope Sangha retreats