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The Heart of Insight

An Intensive Meditation Retreat on Love & Wisdom

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An Intensive Meditation Retreat on Love & Wisdom

On this week-long retreat, December 2 - 9th, 2017, we’ll be focusing on the development of wisdom through mindfulness and the cultivation of love through heartfulness, powering both with a high degree of concentration. Together, these three styles of practice form The Heart of Insight.

To deepen in relational wisdom the practice of social meditation will be an aspect of our retreat schedule. These social periods will augment periods of silent practice, so that we can include both our inner and outer experience. You will have the opportunity to choose extended periods of silent or social practice throughout the retreat, thus enabling you to create your own retreat experience.

This intimate retreat will be held at the Bend of Ivy Lodge just outside of Asheville, North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


"Vince & Emily are experimentally reshaping the classic retreat experience to bring it into the 21st century. Highly recommended for the serious practitioner."

- Buddy Griffin, Past Retreat Participant

Meet the Teachers

Emily Horn develops programs and support structures for people dedicated to living a whole-hearted life in the modern world. Emily is an authorized meditation teacher by some of the largest meditation centers in the West: Spirit Rock, InsightLA and Insight Meditation Society. She has been called a “power player of the mindfulness movement” by Wired magazine. Emily has worked in various contemplative education environments including Naropa, Sounds True, and Buddhist Geeks and is now the Co-Founder of Meditate.io. For her, the contemplative journey is simply learning to dance with all of this human experience: from transcendence to dirty dishes, evolutionary edges to ancient roots, solitary practice to deepening relationships. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband Vincent and son Zander.


Vince Horn is part of a new generation of teachers translating age-old wisdom into 21st century code. A computer engineering dropout turned modern monk, he spent his 20s co-founding the ground-breaking Buddhist Geeks project while doing a full year of silent meditation practice on retreat. Vince began teaching in 2010 and has been authorized in both the pragmatic dharma lineage of Kenneth Folk and by Trudy Goodman Kornfield, whose contemplative training is in the Insight Meditation and Zen traditions. Vince has been called a “power player of the mindfulness movement” by Wired magazine and was honored to be featured in Wired UK’s “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world.” Vince is one of the co-founders of Meditate.io, which is dedicated to offering deep practice opportunities for independent learners. He lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his partner Emily Horn and their son Zander.

"I attended two retreats lead by Emily and Vince, and both were profoundly transformative for me. The retreat container they create blends harmoniously the discipline of traditional retreats with more social practices essential to contemporary secular life."

- Francis Lacoste, Past Retreat Participant

The Bend of Ivy Lodge & Retreat Center

Think Asian Zen elements mixed with a charming restored tobacco barn, all nestled in a nature haven surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge mountains.

The Bend of Ivy Lodge facilities provide a comfortable and beautiful place to meditate, sleep, and care for ourselves as we go into retreat.

The land provides a serene and peaceful outdoor space with hiking trails, long mountain views, quiet woods, and a glade of trees by the river.

"They have managed to strike a balance in their meditative teachings between the pragmatic and profound, between heartfulness and emptiness, between the masculine and the feminine, and between the traditional and innovative."

- Will Hamilton, Past Retreat Participant

"The social meditation sessions have answered a question I've long had about meditation: what about getting along with other people? Finding that I can meditate and embrace other people has been almost mindblowing."

- Francesca Barrientos, Online Program Participant

Here's our claim: A meditation practice that is focused just on your personal experience is no longer sufficient for our time & place. It doesn't include the full richness of our relationships or help us with some of the skills we most need to thrive in the 21st century.

For the past several years we've been learning, and designing, different ways to practice socially. And what we've found is that these social techniques add a whole new dimension to practice. They extend awareness directly into the social field, and allow us to use things like "peer pressure" as a motivator for practice, rather than as something to be feared or avoided.

"The added dimension of social practice and experience sharing creates a warm supportive atmosphere, fostering a deep level of connection between participants, which can extend beyond the end of the retreat, as you become an integral part of an inspiring community of practitioners."

- Lisa Sherman, Past Retreat Participant

Deepen your Practice!



Frequently Asked Questions


What is social meditation like?
Check out a demonstration of several different social meditation techniques here: https://youtu.be/f-IEwS8pSe8
How many people will be on this retreat?
In addition to the teachers, there will be between 15-25 participants on this retreat. We like to keep our retreat format small & intimate so we can maximize our attention to what's arising for each retreatant, and so that you can get a chance to know fellow practitioners.
What kind of contact will I have with the teachers during the retreat?
During the retreat Vince & Emily will be leading the social meditation & teaching periods and will also make themselves available for regular small group & one-on-one meetings.
Are any scholarships or reduced fee spots being offered?
Yes, once the main lodge is full (~15 people) we'll be able open several scholarship spots. If you can't afford the regular retreat fee, please consider filling out this scholarship interest form: https://meditateio.typeform.com/to/SeUmSr
What is the cancellation policy?
There is a cancellation fee that applies for cancelling this retreat. See the full retreat cancellation policy.