Hearing the Sky

Hearing the Sky

Friday 26 July – Sunday 28 July

Milarepa remains an exemplar of the spiritual life. His life was not an easy one by all accounts but it was through hardship that he came to let go of what held him back. Perhaps the greatest impact on Milarepa was his relationship to his teacher, Marpa the Translator. On Friday night we will hear Milarepa’s own account of his life and find out why he was so important to Urgyen Sangharakshita.

This retreat is dedicated to the power of devotion to guide one into deeper relationship with one’s inspirations. The days will begin with pūjā followed by periods of personal practice in silence. For some this might mean formal meditation, for others it might be an opportunity to write or paint or walk or reflect. Each participant is asked to explore free spaces of personal expression of Going for Refuge.

On both days the mid morning sessions will explore meditation. The skilful act of sitting has the potential to contain all aspects of the Threefold Path that encompasses Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom. One of Milarepa’s spiritual ancestors Tilopa provided six words of advice to meditators which form a valuable guide to those who wish to ‘just sit’ and become fully open and free.

The late afternoon session on Saturday will be given over to studying a short ‘doha’ or song from Milarepa’s large collection of spiritual teachings. This comes from the new translation by Christopher Stagg. Copies of the song will be made available.

Saturday night will be an extravagant pūjā with voice and instruments dedicated to Milarepa. This will be followed by meditation into the night and silence until lunch.

This weekend retreat is an opportunity for experienced practitioners and is ideal for regular attendees of study groups, GFR mitras and Mitras. 

Bodhidasa   Led by Bodhidasa
Book Now: $200 / $145

We want everyone to have the opportunity to come on retreat. If you cannot afford the cost, we may be able to help. Please contact us to discuss.


Time Activity
6:30pm Dinner
8pm Meditation & Pūjā
7am Meditation & Pūjā
9am Breakfast
10:30am Dharma Teaching
1pm Lunch
4pm Meditation
6pm Dinner
8pm Meditation & Pūjā
7am Meditation & Pūjā
9am Breakfast
10:30am Dharma Teaching
1pm Lunch
2pm Clear up & Depart
More questions? Get in touch

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I need to have been coming? Do I need to be a Buddhist?

This retreat is only suitable for Buddhists who are well familiar with our practices, and best suited to mitras or Order members. There will be long pūjās and silent meditations with no introduction or instruction.

What does the cost include?

The retreat cost covers the full cost of the retreat, including all food.

When does the retreat start and end?

The retreat will begin with dinner on the Friday evening at 6:30pm. You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm. It is normally not advisable to plan to arrive later than this. If you think you might need to, please contact us before booking.

We will finish on the Sunday afternoon, around 3pm.

What will the accommodation be like?

Vijayaloka provides simple, but comfortable accommodation. Living communally is an important and enjoyable part of the retreat. We will be in shared single-sex rooms with 2-4 people in each, and will eat together communally.

Living communally means caring for each other. The team leading the retreat are volunteers who are on retreat as well and we will ask you to help out with simple chores. Working together is a good way of getting to know each other, and it also helps us keep the cost of the retreat to a minimum.

Can I have a single room?

In order to allow us to accommodate as many people as want to come, we are not normally able to provide single rooms. If you have a very special circumstance which requires a single room for you to be able to attend, please contact us before booking to discuss.

What will the food be like?

Many Buddhists practice veganism as an expression of non-violence. As such, all food will be vegan.

If you have any allergies that aren't listed on the booking form, please contact us before booking to ensure we can cater for you.

What do I need to bring?

Unless you are coming a long distance we ask that you bring your own sheets and blankets or a sleeping bag (we have plenty of pillows).

It can be surprisingly cold in the early mornings and evenings, and quite hot in the middle of the day, so bring clothes suitable for all weather: we suggest you bring layers as well as a warm jumper or jacket. You'll also need a good sun hat and suitable shoes, especially if you want to walk in the bush. There is a river you can swim in so you may also want to swimwear.

In addition you'll need to bring any toiletries you need including a towel, insect repellent, and sun block. It is also a good idea to bring a torch if you have one and you may also want to bring a notebook and pen.

Where to Find Us

The retreat is at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights.