New Year Summer Retreat
Saturday 26 December – Saturday 2 January at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights
For most of us New Year is an opportunity for reflecting on the year before and setting aspirations for the year ahead.
This retreat will explore how this theme is represented by Vajrasattva, the embodiment of purification, whose nectar-like light can touch every part of us, illuminating and cleansing all the dark places within. Vajrasattva purifies the mind's defilements, allowing us to discover the true nature of our potential. Through meditation, discussion, Pūjā and creative ritual, we will create the best start to the year by throwing off the old, limiting views of ourselves and stepping joyfully into the brilliant white light of unbounded wisdom.
Typical Daily Programme
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I need to have been practising?
This intensive retreat will be best suited for those who have a fairly well established meditation practice, and are able to sit comfortably for 45 minutes without guidance.
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.
When does the retreat start and end?
The retreat will begin with dinner on the Saturday 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.
The retreat will end after breakfast on the last day.
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 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 people in each (to comply with COVID-19 social distancing recommendations) 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 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.
Will the retreat include silence?
There may be periods of silence, usually beginning after the evening activity, and lasting overnight until after breakfast the following morning. In these times it is requested that silence is held in all common areas.
Where to Find Us
The retreat is at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights.
Vijayaloka's address for use in sat-navs is 36 Howard Road, Minto Heights NSW 2566. Travel time from central Sydney is about one hour.
There is a blue sign at Vijayaloka's entrance. Enter there and then park the car park immediately on your right.
If you are able to offer a lift to others travelling from Sydney, please let us know.
Vijayaloka is very easy to access by train. The closest train station is Minto which is on the T8 Airport Line towards MacArthur and Campbelltown. Travel time is about 50 minutes from Central.
We can normally arrange for those travelling by train to be picked up from the train station. Please indicate when booking if you need to be picked up and aim to be at Minto around 5:30-6pm. We will contact you shortly before the start of the retreat to confirm. Alternatively you can take a taxi from the bottle shop across the road from the station, or an Uber.
If you are travelling from outside Sydney and don't have an Opal card, you can use any contactless credit/debit card to travel on Sydney Trains.