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USA Silent Meditation and Yoga Retreat

the Art of Living's silent retreats can help you drop limiting beliefs, regrets and worries, and tap into a bigger vision for yourself. Whether you are just beginning your meditation journey or hoping to go deeper into the practice, these few days make the rest of your year more alive, productive, and full of energy. When you emerge, you feel recharged and refreshed, ready to take on all your responsibilities with greater focus and joy. You’ll return to your life more grounded, more centered, wiser, filled with a joy that is unshaken by outer circumstances.

Meet the instructors

Art of Living Faculty
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Highlights

  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • Experience the 7 levels of your existence
  • Higher focus and improved life-work balance
  • Reduced stress and a greater sense of happiness and enthusiasm
  • Better and longer deep sleep and connect more deeply and easily with others
  • Contemplative silence and mindful guided meditations
  • Daily delicious vegetarian meals will be provided
  • 4 nights accommodation

Yoga styles


5 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
13:00

Facilities

  • Spa
  • Dining area

Accommodations include your room, deliciously nourishing meals, and full access to all of the gorgeous grounds and facilities, including the Fitness Room, Steam Rooms*, and hiking trails. You may also choose from the available R&R activities and programs, featuring a daily variety of meditation, yoga, healing arts, ancient wisdom, and creative arts workshops.

*The Steam Rooms are temporarily closed in accordance with NC COVID-19 guidelines.

Hotel rooms

Located on a mountain ridge, these rooms offer beautiful vistas of either the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains or the quiet magic of the forest.

  • King bed or two full beds
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Private bathroom
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary tea/coffee and fresh fruit

Retreat rooms

Comfortable and simply furnished, these rooms are a great option for those who desire peace and clarity, accompanied by the music of the forest.

  • Twin beds
  • Private bathroom
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary tea/coffee and fresh fruit

About the retreat center

Watch the sunrise over endless mountaintops, rejuvenate with an Ayurvedic treatment at The Spa, or feel the quiet of a walk in the forest. The Art of Living Retreat Center supports both community groups and solo travelers. This is a place to make all your own, and the staff is here to help you do just that.

Main meditation center

The main meditation center stands on the mountaintop near the dining hall and other residential facilities. Following ancient architectural principles, the hall is designed to lift the spirit and focus the mind. The main meditation hall holds up to 3,700 people.

Additional halls

Within the meditation center, they also house seven other halls which can support retreat groups, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, corporate retreats, church groups, and student retreats ranging from 15 to 200 people.

Dining hall

The main dining hall measures 41,000 square feet and is built to offer incredible views of the mountains and sunrise.

Residential buildings

Seventeen comfortable, heated residential apartments and hotel rooms house retreat participants and staff, many featuring stunning views of the beautiful, natural setting.

Program

A profound spiritual immersion

Have you noticed the amount of noise surrounding you every day? Phones, television, news, conversations, traffic, and office machines, just to name some of the things responsible for all the sound pollution. Add to that all the internal noise, stress from work, personal relationships, responsibilities, that stream of consciousness in your head thinking about an interaction you had in a meeting 10 minutes ago, a disagreement with your partner 10 days ago, a bad financial decision you made 10 years ago!

You try to silence all this noise only to find your monkey mind, the “fun friend” that has you spinning out of control when you’re just trying to quiet your thoughts, gets louder. This signature silent retreat integrates the renowned "Happiness Retreat" and several days of silent contemplation with unique guided meditations, yoga, and advanced breathing techniques.

A structured retreat

While other retreats may leave you to your own devices to find some silence amidst a quiet atmosphere, many people find quieting their own minds is the bigger challenge. These Art of Living programs provide optimal conditions for sinking deep within and breaking free from mental chatter.

Your experience is carefully guided and crafted to give you a relaxing, supportive, and transformative atmosphere for your inner journey. It’s no wonder that many course participants refer to it as the ideal retreat for the body, mind, and spirit. You’ll not only gain valuable tools and practices that bring more resiliency, better communication, and more ease into your life, you’ll receive the support you need to continue your journey, access to the meditation app, monthly reconnection live-streams, and membership to the exclusive Facebook group.

Research

Independent research has shown Sudarshan Kriya (SKY), the key technique of the program, significantly:

  • Reduces levels of stress
  • Supports the immune system
  • Relieves anxiety and depression
  • Clears stress at the physical, mental, and emotional levels, relaxing the nervous system to reduce insomnia and enable quality sleep
  • Increases levels of antioxidant enzymes which protect you from many diseases and rapid aging. [6, 23, 27]

Recently, a group of Yale researchers published a study evaluating classroom wellness training programs incorporating breathing and emotional intelligence strategies. In the study, published on July 15, 2020, Frontiers of Psychiatry, the Art of Living’s SKY Campus Happiness most beneficial, reporting improvements in six areas of well-being: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect, and social connectedness.

Turn off mental chatter

Silence is more than not speaking, it is a way to renew yourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. Silence helps focus the mind, calm the emotions, and relax the body. It is a pause of the distractions of life, work and relationships, talking and listening, music and television, phones and computers. Silence is an opportunity to turn off the noise both inside and out. Even just a few minutes of true silence gives a rest far deeper than sleep, and possibly anything else you’ve experienced in life.

Relieve anxiety, depression, and stress

Proven techniques to significantly increase well-being mentally and physically, including Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY), a powerful breath-based meditation. Numerous scientific studies have shown that SKY provides a comprehensive range of significant benefits. Not only does it help with relaxation, but SKY practice settles the mind directly to the deepest state of pure awareness. You’ll experience immediate, positive shifts in your energy, clarity, and state of mind.

Learn and apply ancient wisdom

Explore the knowledge and wisdom from the ancient Vedic texts of India, which gives tools to live with bliss. Q&A sessions with your instructor provide clarity on meditation and peaceful living. These four pillars: viveka (discrimination), vairagya (broader life in life), shatt-sampatti (the six kinds of wealth), and mumukshatva (the desire to be free), are important for both inner and outer growth.

Mudras and advanced pranayama

Mudras, or “yoga of the hands and fingers” and breathing practices to channel your body’s energy flow and draw your mind inward. The course builds upon the breathing exercises taught during the "Happiness Program" and teaches a series of mudras, a subtle technique to balance the mind and emotions.

Increased energy and mental focus

Yoga and meditation to open the heart, strengthen the body, clear the mind, and lift the spirit. Practicing the physical postures of yoga can improve strength, flexibility, and circulation, while meditation keeps the mind sharp, relieves stress, and may even strengthen your immune system. Essentially, every body part is revitalized and nurtured providing you with more energy and mental clarity.

Support immune system

From reducing stress to getting better rest, these techniques have a demonstrated measurable impact on quality of life. According to Ayurvedic medicine, a healthy immune system is represented by physical, mental, and spiritual resilience, a balance of three subtle energies of prana, tejas, and soma.

When you are missing social support, dealing with chronic stress, spending time inside away from nature, being over-stimulated with media, and carrying negative thoughts and feelings, you open up yourselves to physical and mental illness. Ayurveda has been naturally supporting immune health for thousands of years, treating the body and mind with balanced nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, herbal and mineral support, and the creation of balance at mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Who is it for?

For those who have not taken the "Happiness Program", an Art of Living course, YESPlus, or SKY Breath meditation workshop and would like to learn the tools and techniques to begin a meditation practice and experience the power of silence; gentle, light, and easy.

Support

There will be a monthly reunion and reconnects.

The silent component

You'll spend the first full day of the program learning breathing techniques and other tools to manage and calm the mind, which includes talking processes. You'll enter into silence after dinner on day two. You'll have ample opportunities for questions during designated talking periods.

Important notice

In order to participate with the group in all sessions of the program, you are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test at check-in. This test must have been taken within three (3) days of your arrival at the center. If you do not provide acceptable documentation, you will be required to participate via Zoom from your room during the daily breathing exercises; you’ll need to bring your own laptop or smartphone to connect to Zoom.

Day 1

  • 18:30 - 21:00 "The Secret of the Breath"

Day 2

  • 07:00 - 08:30 Morning yoga
  • 10:00 - 12:30 "The Rhythms of Life"
  • 14:30 - 17:30 Deepening your experience
  • 19:00 - 20:30 Practices to calm the chatter in the mind

Day 3

  • 07:00 - 08:30 Daily dive group practice
  • 10:00 - 12:30 Step into the silent zone
  • 14:30 - 17:30 Soaking in the silence
  • 19:30 - 20:30 Wisdom to deepen your silence and Q&A

Day 4

  • 07:00 - 08:30 Daily dive group practice
  • 10:00 - 12:30 Guided meditations
  • 14:30 - 17:30 Experiencing the deeper self
  • 19:30 - 20:30 Understanding the modes/tendencies of the mind and Q&A

Day 5

  • 07:00 - 08:30 Daily dive group practice
  • 10:00 - 13:00 Gradual move out of silence and returning home instructions

Instructors

Art of Living Faculty

Retreat location

Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary.

Distances

  • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, NC, 100 miles
  • Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) in Johnson City, TN, 80 miles
  • Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, NC, 110 miles

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

Nourishing body, mind, and spirit

Drawing on influences from the local harvest in Boone to Bombay and even the Caribbean, you’ll enjoy deeply satisfying vegetarian meals. Ayurvedic principles tell you to eat nature, real food grown by the sun, soil, wind, and water that is full of nature’s prana or life force. The chefs at the Art of Living Retreat Center know this and they know that food prepared with love of the planet and of the person being fed is the best food. ⁠

Temporary dining protocols

Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, they have made some adjustments to the Dining Hall seating and service protocols. Currently, all meals are being served cafeteria-style in the Purna Dining Hall. By incorporating these new service models and touchless practices, they are ensuring higher sanitation standards by keeping the handling of serving utensils to a minimum. They’re also using disposable tableware and not using tablecloths. Everything they do has the safety of guests and staff in mind.

Main Dining Hall

The views from the Dining Hall and deck, combined with the food they serve, are feasts for both the eyes and the belly. Some of the most raved-about guest experiences take place right here.

Sample menus

Just a little preview to get your taste buds going…

  • Warm Up - Northern rosemary white bean soup, semolina cakes with apple mint chutney, and mango sauce brazed cabbage, hummus and Tabbouleh with pita chips
  • Fall in Love - Pumpkin soup, Waldorf salad, braised parsnips, bean and lentil cakes with fresh fennel and cranberry compote, greens from the garden
  • The Savory Sage - Sweet potato and sage soup, sun-dried tomatoes, kale and orzo salad, roasted roots salad with apple, mung bean, and rice pilaf house salad
  • Cool as a Cucumber - Chilled cucumber soup, black bean salad, rosemary polenta cakes, braised zucchini, house salad
  • My Favorite Things​ - Zucchini soup, avocado and couscous salad, chickpea stew, honey-dill glazed carrots, house salad
  • Sweet Dreams​ - Coconut mango rice with cilantro and fennel and raisin compote, warm Tuscan bread salad with sundried tomato pesto and parmesan, sauteed mixed vegetables, apple and potato bisque with fennel compote, salad bar

The menu addresses the following allergies: gluten, dairy, nuts, soy. There would be at least one entree on the buffet line which guests with the above allergies will be able to eat. Please choose one or more of the above four allergies if you have them.

The property is meat-free, alcohol-free, and smoke-free

To encourage a healthy environment, guests are asked to not consume alcohol or meat in the public spaces, however, guests may enjoy these items in their rooms. The property is always smoke-free.

Food allergies

Guests with food allergies are asked simply to inform the center of any allergies so they can communicate those needs to their chef. Typically, they label potential allergens such as gluten, dairy, and nuts.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Activities and amenities

The center offers yoga, meditation, and philosophy workshops, as well as holistic and Ayurvedic treatments, nature trails, and a wide variety of spaces for you to rest, learn, and explore on your own.

Yoga

Sri Sri Yoga is a holistic and energizing practice, integrating mind, body, and spirit. The techniques of Hatha yoga are taught in a light and joyful, but thorough manner, useful and suitable for everyone from beginner to advanced practitioners.

  • 09:45 - 10:45
  • 16:15 - 17:15

Mindfulness and meditation

Rejuvenate from within! Meditation offers deep rest for the mind and body. They also teach complementary breathing exercises to still the mind. Here, you can participate in guided meditation, with time for questions and discussion.

  • 11:00 - 12:00 Mind and meditation
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Guided meditation
  • 19:30 - 20:15 Meditative chants/Kirtan

Kirtan

Allow yourself to settle in for a soul-stirring session of community singing with an emphasis on both ancient chant and modern melodies. Kirtan happens nightly and is a community gathering for all interested guests, staff, and volunteers.

  • 19:30 - 20:15

Nature walks

The center is situated on 380 acres of a forested mountain. Two trails meander through the woods here and several nearby trails offer experienced hikers miles of in-depth exploration. Majestic sights and clean mountain air await!

Pottery studio

In the clay studio, you are free to play and learn. Gain hands-on experience in throwing on the wheel, hand-building, and decorating handmade pots.

  • Saturday from 10:00 - 18:00
  • Clay hand-building 35 USD (1 hour)
  • Throwing wheel 45 USD (2 hours)

Facilities

The Fitness Room has free weights and weight machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills. The Steam Room is temporarily closed to comply with NC COVID-19 guidelines.

  • Steam Room: Temporarily closed
  • Fitness Room: Open 24/7

Labyrinth

People around the world have used labyrinths for centuries as a walking metaphor for the pilgrim’s journey, as a way to open the mind to the present moment and stay centered. The labyrinth allows for this inner journey in a unique, mountain setting.

  • Dawn - Sunset

Fire circle

There’s no better way to close the day than a fire circle under the stars! If you’re interested, they love arranging lovely, end-of-day gatherings for those who wish to come and sing or chat by the warmth of the open fire.

  • Saturday 19:30 - 20:15

Nearby

Boone is famous as a vacation destination, with miles of scenic trails, serene lakes, historic sites, climbable cliffs, ski slopes, horseback riding, whitewater rapids, and kayaking spots, local Appalachian music, and delightful dining just steps away.

What's included

  • Daily yoga and meditation
  • Contemplative silence
  • Wisdom tools and techniques
  • Learning Sudarshan Kriya (SKY) and its benefits
  • Mindful guided meditations
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals from dinner on the night of check-in through lunch on the day of checkout
  • Complimentary tea/coffee and fresh fruit
  • Monthly reunions and reconnects
  • Access to the Art of Living meditation app
  • Membership to the exclusive Facebook group
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Any transfer to and from the venue
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by car

Here are directions to help you make your way easily. While it is a pretty drive, some of the turns are tricky and GPS does not work nearby, so here are the step-by-step directions along with landmarks for all main routes. Please note, for your comfort and convenience, you are requested that you please switch off your GPS once you reach Boone.

Driving directions from the east, west, or north (by US 421)

  • From the traffic light at 421 and Bamboo Road, turn onto Bamboo Road | Landmark: Mobil Gas Station (Address: 2200 US 421 South, Boone, NC)
  • Follow Bamboo Road for about 3 miles
  • Turn LEFT onto Little Laurel Road. If you hit gravel, you’ve just missed the turn. | Landmark: Stonework Bridge
  • Drive under the bridge and go approximately 2 miles on Little Laurel Road
  • Turn RIGHT onto Little Laurel Extension (0.6 miles) | Landmark: large, blue Art of Living sign on the right
  • Drive half a mile, then take a hard LEFT onto Whispering Hills Road
  • Follow Whispering Hills Road all the way up to the top of the mountain

Driving directions from the south (by US 321)

  • From the traffic light at 321 and Deerfield Road, turn RIGHT onto Deerfield Road | Landmark: CVS Pharmacy (Address: 2147 Blowing Rock Road, Boone, NC)
  • Stay on Deerfield for 3 miles, until the road ends | DO NOT TURN RIGHT before the road ends
  • Turn RIGHT at the end of the road, which is the second Bamboo Road intersection | Landmark: McConnell Wholesale Motors
  • After 0.3 miles, turn LEFT onto Little Laurel Road. If you hit gravel, you’ve just missed the turn. | Landmark: Stonework Bridge
  • Drive under the bridge and go approximately 2 miles on Little Laurel Road
  • Turn RIGHT onto Little Laurel Extension | Landmark: large, blue Art of Living sign on the right
  • Drive half a mile, then take a hard LEFT onto Whispering Hills Road
  • Follow Whispering Hills Road to the top of the mountain
  • Once you reach the entrance sign: continue going straight, following the “Reception” signs. Park nearby and walk to the first floor of the large yellow building.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

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