Open Family Retreat
Monday 17 April – Wednesday 19 April
A 3 day retreat for families with school-aged children.
3 nights. $150 per adult / $30 per child
Monday 2 October – Thursday 5 October at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights
Vijayaloka is a wonderful place to connect and create community. This family retreat is open to those who regularly attend our activities. The retreat will include meditation for children and adults, parents session, drama, sports, craft, stories and songs around the campfire, and exploring the bush, river and the labyrinth.
Important Information: We are required to ask all adults attending overnight to have a Working With Children Check. If you don't have one you can get one quite easily by following the link below. Once you have an application number you can book on the retreat, and the check must be complete before the start of the retreat.
|7am||Meditations for adults and children|
|9am||Group activities (bushwalk and labyrinth, sports, story-telling etc)|
|11am||Separate activities for adults and children by age group|
|12:30pm||Lunch and free time|
|2pm||Activities for children and meditation for adults|
|7pm||Group activities (story telling, campfire songs, etc)|
Any children from pre-school age through to teenagers are welcome.
Normally we get people coming in groups of 1 adult with 1-2 children or 2 adults with 2-3 children. Please contact us in advance if you are thinking of bringing more children so we can ensure we have a reasonable ratio considering the ages of the children.
If you would like to come alone without children to help support, please contact us in advance.
Yes, please ensure you have permission from their parent or guardian. You will need to be responsible for all children that come with you.
This particular retreat is open to those who regularly attend Sydney Buddhist Centre activities. We have another Family Retreat in the year which is open to all.
The retreat cost covers the full cost of the retreat, including all food.
You are welcome to arrive any time from 6pm. Please note dinner is not provided on the first night, so feel free to bring your own picnic.
We will finish on the Wednesday morning, around 11.30am.
Vijayaloka provides simple, but comfortable accommodation. Living communally is an important and enjoyable part of the retreat. You will share a room with your own children, and everyone 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.
Many Buddhists eat a vegan diet 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.
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 bushwalk. There is a river that you can swim in, so you may also want to bring 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.
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.