5th Annual Caravan Tour of Places of Worship - November 17th. 2019


Beyond Tolerance: Peace, Love & Justice


12:00 - 6:00 pm

Experience the hospitality of different faith traditions while learning and listening to their stories.


12:00 – 12:20 PM Islamic Center of Nashville Reception & Refreshments

12:20 – 1:10 PM Islam Islamic Center of Nashville

1:25 – 2:10 PM Judaism West End Synagogue

2:25 – 3:00 PM Buddhism Wild Heart Meditation Center

3:15 – 4:30 PM Christianity Clark Memorial Methodist Church

4:45 – 5:45 PM Hinduism Sri Ganesha Temple

Register at http://bit.ly/5thcaravantour

Don Givens
The Joy of Letting Go - November 2, 2019

The Buddha said we suffer because we cling and if we let go we have peace. But that's more easily said than done. What are we supposed to let go of? How do we do it? What do we do if things come back? Come spend a morning discovering where you're stuck and begin the practice of letting go. There will be dharma, sitting and walking meditation and conversation. 10a - 4p Register Here


Mary Stancavage has practiced meditation, yoga, and cultivated a spiritual practice for over 30 years and in 2009 was empowered to teach Buddhadharma. Mary is based in the Los Angeles area and teaches classes, retreats and does individual mentoring. She has taught at mindfulness at recovery centers, has co-facilitated Year-to-Live groups since 2008, and has had a weekly dharma class for over decade. She also was a director at Against the Stream for ten years. Mary completed the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Sati Center and served as volunteer chaplain at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. She also served as Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project from 2016 to 2018. Mary sits on the boards of the Buddhist Insight Network and CLUE: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Along with teaching she continues to investigate what it means to live with an undefended heart. Fun fact: Mary has a Masters Degree from UCLA and worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East. More info can be found at her website, marystancavage.org

Mary will also be facilitating our regular Sunday morning meditation and Dharma talk the following day at 10am.

Don Givens
The Precepts - Zen Advice for Living the Good Life

One day-long retreat Saturday, August 10th (9am to 6pm)

One half day retreat Sunday, August 11th (1pm-5pm)

Silent sitting in the Soto Zen tradition with just enough slow flow yoga to keep your legs happy, and just enough discussion and camaraderie to remind you that we’re all in this together.

Experience a day of quiet contemplation in a relaxed group setting. Instructions on how to sit zazen (“just sitting” meditation) will be provided at the beginning of the retreat and as needed throughout (we are all beginners here!). There will be dharma talks to help break up the silence and yoga breaks to ease the tension in the body and help clear the mind. Opportunity for one-on-one practice discussion with Dave will also be provided. The focus of the retreat will be on the precepts (ethical vows) - somewhere in between a promise and a riddle, at their heart they are just advice for how to live the good life. It will be an ongoing discussion of the fruitful complexity of ethics and morality in a world that is never quite as black and white as we might wish it to be. Join us for an opportunity to study them together in our words, actions, and ample silences as we take the time to watch them play out in real time along the wall.

You are welcome to attend either day’s sessions or both days if you like.

Register for the day-long retreat on Saturday, August 10th (9am to 6pm) here
Register for the half-day retreat on Sunday, August 11th (1pm-5pm) here
Register for both days here
Register via Venmo @wildheartnashville and put “The Precepts Retreat” in the comment

Dave Cuomo is the resident caretaker and director of the Angel City Zen Center. Founded by popular Buddhist author and blogger, Brad Warner, the Angel City Zen Center offers their own unique brand of irreverently reverent Soto Zen practice in the heart of Los Angeles. In addition to serving up weekly meals for the center, painting cartoon memes for their social media, producing the ACZC podcast, and managing the residents, Dave also gives regular dharma talks and plays host to their weekly koan discussion group.

Dave has been practicing Zen since 2007, originally with the Nashville Zen Center under the tutelage of Sensei Michael Elliston. In 2015 he moved to Los Angeles to attend University of the West's Buddhist Chaplaincy graduate program. Brad Warner ordained him in 2017.

The Nashville Zen Center (Bringing NoThing to Nashville Since 1982) was founded in 1982 by people interested in Zen Buddhist practice. Like each of us, our Center has no fixed Self, and has evolved and undergone many changes over the years. Currently, we offer Zen practice in the Soto tradition (Japanese), in the lineage of Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka, Roshi. Most sessions are led by students of Taiun Michael Elliston, Roshi, Abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center and head of the Silent Thunder Order of Soto Zen practice. We welcome everyone to experience this practice with us; From the merely curious to the serious seeker, we have a cushion just for you! Find out more.

Don Givens
Back-to-School Celebration with Andrew Beer - 7/14/19

Come help us celebrate with board member and volunteer coordinator Andrew Beer as he gets ready to embark on a new journey at Naropa University. We’ll be having a pot-luck style dinner so please bring a veggie-friendly (or vegan) dish if you are able! The event is open to everyone.

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Don Givens
Buddhist Study Series - Begins Sep 14, 2019
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This 6-month program is designed as an interactive, educational, and experiential study of Buddhist theory and practices as outlined through an Early Buddhist context. The course curriculum will focus on themes related to the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, and the Four Brahmaviharas. There will be educational lectures and assignments (assigned texts, articles, and audio recordings), as well as guided practices related to mindfulness, heart practice, and relational mindfulness. The program is appropriate for beginners, as well as those with long-term practice.

Scheduled Dates (2nd Saturday of every month) from 10am – 4pm:

September 14th 2019 October 12th 2019 November 9th 2019

December 14th 2019 January 11th 2020 February 8th 2020

Graduation @ Sunday Morning OR Evening Group on February 9th 2020

Required reading, in order:

“Buddhism: A Concise Introduction” by Huston Smith & Philip Novak
(to page 88 for the assignments, the whole book is recommended)

“The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering” by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Cost: $375 – $625 (Sliding Scale) for the 6 months, payable by the first class date.

Please pay to your highest financial ability within the sliding scale – lower sliding scale rates are intended for those needing financial support. There is limited space, please register as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

If you have any inquiries, please contact: wildheartnashville@gmail.com

** Registration Deadline is August 17th**

Register by Paypal

Register by Venmo @wildheartnashville - comment with “Buddhist Study Series”

WHMC Study Programs & Trainings:

In order to better serve our mission, Wild Heart Meditation Center is beginning a series of intensive study & training programs, which will support the on-going development of dedicated practitioners and leadership in the community.

The “Buddhist Study Series” will be a pre-requisite course for those interested in a later offering, WHMC’s “Advanced Practitioner’s Group”, followed by an opportunity to be considered for participation in a year-long WHMC “Buddhist Meditation Facilitator Training”.

These 3 programs will unfold gradually over the course of the next couple years. More information will be offered during the Buddhist Study Series course, but is also available upon request.

Regardless of your intention to pursue the subsequent study programs & trainings, we hope that you will consider participating in the Buddhist Study Series if you have a general interest in exploring these teachings and practices with a dedicated community. Anyone is welcome to participate.

facilitated by:


Andrew is currently the guiding teacher and co-director at Wild Heart Meditation Center. In the Spring of 2017, he graduated from a 2.5-year Community Dharma Leadership training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where he received authorization to teach the Dharma. Andrew’s personal study & practice has included intensive workshops and silent retreat practice, including extensive month-long training in both the Thai Forest (via Ajahn Sucitto) & Burmese (via Panditarama Forest Meditation Center in Myanmar) methods of practice. Andrew is also a licensed master social worker, working as a helping professional in the Nashville community.


Mikey Noechel is a Buddhist Meditation Instructor and addiction treatment specialist based out of Nashville, TN. He has been trained to facilitate meditation groups through Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Mikey regularly leads groups at Wild Heart Meditation Center. Mikey has also helped launch Mindful Nashville, a collective of helping professionals incorporating mindfulness as a method of treatment. Currently, Mikey is in training through Heartwood Refuge in Hendersonville, NC. He is in their Dharmacharya Ordination program, which is a multi-lineage lay ordination program, lead by the Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni and the Venerable Pannadipa Bhikkhu.

Don Givens
POSTPONED - Grief Support Group
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It is required that prospective participants talk to Mara before signing up for the group to ensure that the structure of the group meets their particular needs.

Group Text: “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” by Joanne Cacciatore

The loss of a loved one, whether it is sudden or expected, is often devastating. Our culture doesn’t offer many opportunities to experience the most authentic feelings of grief without platitudes in a community setting. This inability to fully express our deepest feelings can inhibit our ability to process our emotions, which in turn can limit our ability to use this human experience to connect with others and feel a sense of shared humanity. This group offers each member if they feel comfortable, a place to share their unique story of loss. Each week a group member will pick one of the short chapters from the book “Bearing the Unbearable” to discuss. The member will also tell their grief story and how the reading resonates with their experience. These chapters allow the group to share some of the universal challenges we all face, such as dealing with family, ourselves, and our feelings about our lost one.

Mara Giovanni MSW is a facilitator at Wild Heart Meditation Center and lost her son to suicide in 2017. She facilitated this group earlier in the year and found that the connections made in the group were a profound source of healing to those who participated. This will be a group of up to 8 participants committed to attending most meetings.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Mara.

Once approved, please register using PayPal here. As usual, all programming offered by Wild Heart Meditation Center is based solely on donations. By donating, you help ensure programming continues to be provided. No one will ever be turned away for lack of funds. Due to this we ask those who are able to donate more, please do so to help provide for those who are not able. Consider the value of 8 weeks of grief support, connections and relationships with those who understand and donate accordingly. You may select one of the provided donation amounts or set your own.

PayPal QR Code

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Wednesday Night with Vinny Ferraro - June 26

Vinny Ferraro will be teaching our regularly scheduled group on Wednesday, June 26 (7p - 8:30p). All are invited to attend. This meeting, as always, is offered on a dana basis. You may pre-register using PayPal here.

About Vinny Ferraro

Vinny Ferraro has been a practitioner of insight meditation (vipassanā) since the mid 90s. He is a co-founder of the Dharma Punx and he’s been the Guiding Teacher of a Sangha in San Francisco for 15 years. He is also a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents and is a Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools. In 1987, he was introduced to Service work and began leading groups for incarcerated populations. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, a nationally recognized, social & emotional learning program, eventually becoming their Director of Training and leading workshops for over 110,000 youth on four continents.

Vinny is also a board member and former Training Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project and is the principal author of MBA’s mindfulness-based curriculum for incarcerated youth. His focus continues to be delivering direct services to folks that have limited access.

He has been trained and empowered by Spirit Rock/IMS and he doesn’t like talking about himself in the 3rd person.

We ask the community to help visiting teachers cover the costs associated with taking the time to meet with our Sangha. No one will ever be turned away for lack of funds. Please consider the value of having visiting teachers and how that helps the community both in the present and in the future. If you are able to offer more than the minimum, it helps to cover those who are unable to make an offering. You may select one of the provided donation amounts or set your own. You may donate via PayPal here

PayPal QR Code

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The Buddha and The Devil - May 25th
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Preregister via PayPal Here ($45)

Preregister via Venmo @WildHeartNashville comment “The Buddha and the Devil”

The Buddha and The Devil

A Daylong Meditation Retreat with Mikey Noechel

Sat. May 25th 10am-3pm

This day will give us the time to break free of the duality of good and evil, sin and virtue, right and wrong, as a way to soften some of our internal battles. Through sitting, walking, listening, and sharing meditation we will step into a space that carefully meets the parts of ourselves that we often define as bad, wrong, or evil with compassion.

In the traditional story of Siddhartha Gautama’s quest for awakening, it is said that he was frequently visited by a demonic entity, Mara, who attempted to disturb his heart and mind as a way to disrupt his path to awakening. Symbolically Mara represents the powerful mind states of greed, hatred, and delusion. Through wisdom and compassion, Siddhartha learned to see and know Mara directly which took away Mara’s power over Siddhartha. Rather than fighting or pushing out Mara, Siddhartha met his demons with a non-reactive, yet kind response, which led to his awakening. We will be practicing meeting our figurative demons with the same clear and careful response as Siddhartha Gautama who eventually became The Buddha.

About Mikey Noechel:

Mikey Noechel is a Buddhist Meditation Instructor based out of Nashville, TN. He has been trained to facilitate meditation groups through Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Mikey has received training in both Theravada and Mahayana schools of Buddhism. Currently, Mikey is in training through Heartwood Refuge in Hendersonville, NC. He is in their Dharmacharya Ordination program, which is a multi-lineage lay ordination program lead by the Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni and the Venerable Pannadipa Bhikkhu.

Preregister via PayPal Here ($45)

Preregister via Venmo @WildHeartNashville comment “The Buddha and the Devil”

Andrew Chapman