Holding to Nothing Whatever
[Past Retreats]

Holding to Nothing Whatever

Friday 2 October – Sunday 11 October

Come for 3 or 9 days.

In this uncertain, ever-changing world, we look for safety – for something to hold onto.
Amidst the volatility of our unpredictable mental states we try to do the same, and call that ‘meditation’! Yet the Heart Sutra tells us to do the exact opposite: Hold to nothing whatever. But why should we make this counter-intuitive switch, and how can it give us so much more than the mere safety we’re seeking?

Join us to meditate, come face to face with and reflect upon this conundrum, and maybe get a taste of how it might lead to greater freedom and fearlessness.

The long weekend (2nd -5th October) is open to beginners who are happy to dive into the deep end of the Buddha’s teachings with meditation tuition provided for those who require it. (Weekend only: $265 / $200 concession)

The remainder of the retreat requires an established practice. (9 days: $575 / $430 concession)

Begins 6:30pm 2nd October, and ends 1:00pm 11th October for full retreat.


Typical day
Time Activity
7:00 am Meditation
9:15 am Breakfast
10:30 am Talk/Workshop
1:00 pm Lunch
3:30 pm Workshop/Meditation
6:15 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Evening activity and Meditation

The above is just to give you an idea of what a day on retreat looks like. This is not a "silent retreat" as such, because we want to be able to workshop our practice together, but as the retreat progresses we'll have less talks and workshops and more silence to allow us to go deeper into our experience. During silent days we plan to offer meditation reviews in small groups.

More questions? Get in touch

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I need to have been practising?

The weekend section of the retreat is suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. However the full 9 days does require a personal practice and some experience.

Do I need to be a Buddhist?

Although our inspiration and practices come from Buddhist teachings, you do not need to be a Buddhist to attend or benefit from the retreat.

What does the cost include?

The retreat cost covers the full cost of the retreat, including all food. Retreatants participate in a work roster for cooking and cleaning.

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, and there is bedding available if you are unable to bring your own.)

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 if you want to swim.

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.

We have meditation gear (cushions, etc.), but you are welcome to bring your own.

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. Camping is possible if you bring a tent (check with us about borrowing one).

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.

The Team


About Vijayaloka

Our retreats are held at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre which provides simple shared accommodation for approximately 40 people in a beautiful bush setting on the George's River.