May 9, 2023 (Boone, NC)
Ram Dass’ Love, Serve Remember Foundation is an international organization with its roots in
Asheville, NC. After decades of hosting popular transformational and community building events on the West Coast and Maui, the foundation decided to stage its first east coast retreat in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. Over 400 people flocked from the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast to deepen into the mindfulness and heart based practices taught by Ram Dass and friends. This year even more are projected to come to the area as they explore the theme "Cultivating Loving Presence and Making Peace with our Shadow."
“Part of Ram Dass’ and LSRF’s mission is to “Feed People”. While many people are wanting for food, many are also hungry for community, connection, and belonging.” said Raghu Markus, the Director of LSRF who was one of the founders of the organization and lived in Asheville for 10 years. “People leave the retreats feeling full, with their hearts wide open, and they return home more connected and compassionate.. Isn’t that what our world needs more of these days? So we felt the need to present it to more people.”
Ram Dass was a Harvard professor who led the field in psychotherapy and then became known
for his groundbreaking work in psychedelics. After his break from Harvard, and a serendipitous
trip to India, he became one of America’s foremost spiritual teachers, writing Be Here Now, a
world-wide best selling book known as the “counter culture bible” that changed a culture and still speaks to a young generation of spiritual seekers.
After his stroke in 1997 when he could no longer travel to speaking engagements, LSRF started
hosting retreats near Ram Dass’ home in Maui. But when he passed away in December of 2019
the organization could begin to branch out into other parts of the nation to make the retreat
experience more accessible. They chose Boone in part because of the Southern Appalachian
beauty and also because of its proximity to Asheville, Charlotte, and Roanoke, and the entire
“The deep nourishment of these Southern Appalachians forests is within a day’s drive of half of
the US population,” says Jackie Dobrinska, Director of Education and Community for LSRF.
“And so many people are looking for a sort of reprieve from the hustle and bustle, dryness and
harshness of their daily lives. During our virtual calls I see people longing to connect to their
natural essence, and to also have a loving community to talk about matters of spirit, heart and
consciousness. Going to Maui is just too inaccessible for most. So bringing these kinds of
opportunities to this area really meets a deep hunger for both the long-time lovers of Ram Dass, but also this surprising new generation of people who discovered his teaching after he passed and during the pandemic.”
Some of the nation’s finest dharma instructors, and Ram Dass’ friends, will share their skills and wisdom. This includes Krishna Das, Chant Master of American Yoga, Tibetan Buddhist Teacher Lama Tsultrim Allione founder of Tara Mandala Center; Mindfulness Meditation Teacher David Nicthern of Dharma Moon; Neuroscientist, Social Activist, and Yoga Teacher Dr. Sara King of Mind Heart Collective, Musical ceremony with East Forest, Nina Rao and others.
The event also hosts yoga, nature walks and fine vegetarian cuisine.
The Art of Living Retreat Center is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range of the Carolinas
on a beautiful property that provides for exemplary experiences to connect with others, as well
as nature, and the natural ways of "BE"-ing.