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Fall 2014 Retreat

Other John Orr Retreats

Fall 2015 Retreat

November 13 through 15, 2015
Stone House, Mebane, NC

Residential and Nonresidential Insight Meditation Retreat

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

new hope sangha fruit tree blooming in spring morning fog


Heart of the Dharma: Cultivating Wisdom, Skillful Living, and Meditation

Peace, kindness, and freedom from suffering are what we seek in a spiritual path. To align our lives with these intentions, we will focus on the three trainings of the Noble Eightfold Path: skillful living, meditation, and cultivation of the wise heart. We will explore how this path transforms our lives and inclines us towards freedom.

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 a period of eight years while living in Thailand and India. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the country since 1980. John is the guiding teacher of New Hope Sangha, an Interfaith minister, and teaches at Duke University. John is the leading teacher for the retreat.

Jim Jarvis is a senior member of New Hope Sangha. He has been practicing and studying the dharma for over 20 years. His practice is centered on the Buddha’s teachings as they are presented in the early Buddhist texts.

As many of you know, Barbara Brodsky and Aaron along with John, have been leading the Fall and Spring Stone House retreats for many years. Barbara has expressed a wish to cut back on her travel schedule and will not be leading the Spring Stone House retreats, but still plans to be with us for future Fall Stone House retreats.

John and Jim 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. There will be dana baskets available for your offerings during the retreat.


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): $260
Commuting: $200

For early registrations received before March 13, subtract $20 from your fee. For registrations received after March 13, 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 Jim 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.


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

January 23-24 Atlanta, GA

Friday Evening Talk and Saturday of Meditation with John Orr

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Held at Atlanta Unity North Church Marietta, GA
Contact: Gregg Raduka or 770-337-4393

March 6 & 7 Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Friday Evening Talk and Saturday of Meditation with John.

Sponsored by Emerald Coast Meditation Society. Suitable for all levels of retreatants.
Contact: Nancy James or 850-231-1498

April 10-12 Mebane, NC

Residential/Non Residential Insight Meditation Retreat “Heart of the Dharma: Cultivating Wisdom, Skillful Living and Meditation with John Orr & Jim Jarvis

Information and registration go here:
Contact: Donna at 919-667-5906
Suitable for all levels of retreatants.

April 25-May 2 Emerald Isle, NC

Week long Residential Beach Retreat for Continuing (Old) Students with Barbara Brodsky, Aaron and John Orr

If you are interested, please contact: John Orr 919-943-0438 to see if this retreat is appropriate for you.

June 13-15 or June 13-19 Brighton, MI

Summer Silent Retreat: “Be a Lamp Unto Yourself” Led by Barbara Brodsky, John Orr and Aaron with Lisa Zucker

For Information and registration go to: Suitable for all levels of retreatants.

July 26-August 8 (with optional third week) Abadiania, Brazil

Insight & Healing Trip to The Casa where John of God does his healing work. Led by John

For Information and registration go to or contact John at 919-943-0438. Suitable for all levels.

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

“Remembering Wholeness” Retreat with Barbara, Aaron and John

More information will be forth coming about this retreat. By mid March look at the following link: 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 to be announced later.
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.




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Photos are from previous
New Hope Sangha retreats