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Meditation Retreat
"Awakening the Heart to the Great Perfection"
with John Blackburn
May 30 - June 1, 2025

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What would it feel like to be spontaneously open, loving, generous, and fearless? This retreat will offer simple practices for uncovering these qualities in ourselves.  Arousing these innate qualities enhances our capacity to be in relationship and brings a sense of ease and well being into our daily lives.  At the same time, these practices prepare the mind for spiritual awakening.  With the support of delicious food, peaceful surroundings, and profound teachings, we can enjoy a joyful weekend with good companions.

Prior meditation experience is NOT required.  While these practices come from Buddhism, they are essentially secular and can be employed by anyone, regardless of spiritual tradition.

John Blackburn, PhD, has practiced meditation for over fifty years, studying intensively with teachers in the Vipassana, Zen, and Dzogchen traditions. He teaches meditation in Knoxville and leads a local sitting group, the Knoxville Community of Mindfulness ( For many years he served as chair of the board of directors for Southern Dharma Retreat Center in Spring Creek, NC.

The Knoxville Community of Mindfulness, which John leads, is a gathering of spiritual friends who support each other in the process of healing and transformation. The community is grounded in various meditation practices including mindfulness, insight, loving-kindness, and compassion. We are particularly inspired by the living example and teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and our aspiration is to practice the way of awareness in order to benefit others. We offer a refuge where our innate capacities for love, compassion, and wisdom, are nurtured and can find expression. Members of the community come from all walks of life and a variety of spiritual traditions. More information here.


The retreat will be conducted in Noble Silence with periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, solitary practice, Dharma talks, and time for Q&A.  Private interviews with John are also offered.

Check-in will be at 4 pm on Friday May 30th and the program will end after lunch on Sunday.   Meals will be vegetarian (including organic eggs and some organic dairy) and are generally gluten-free. Meals include Friday supper through Sunday lunch. Teas, coffee & snacks provided throughout. Cabins (but not Cabinettes) have equipped kitchenettes if you have "special" foods you want to bring.


Register for this event with Well Being Retreat Center using the online form below.


Tuition and Accommodations (lodging, meals and snacks) for this 2-night retreat range from $465 to $695, depending on the lodging selected. 

Well Being Retreat Center's Policies for Accommodations are here.

If you have any questions about the program content or structure, please contact John by clicking this link.

If you have any questions about lodging or Well Being Retreat Center facilities, please contact Patty: or Call: 423-626-9000 or

Text: 408-510-0660

Please register with Well Being Retreat Center for accommodations, lodging, and meals using the form below:


After you "Preview Your Submission," scroll again to bottom of page to "Continue to Payment." (The Payment screen takes a few seconds to appear.) Your registration is complete when payment is made.

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