Thursday 19 November – Sunday 22 November at Vijayaloka Retreat Centre in Minto Heights
'Tending the Garden of the Heart In Springtime'
Come on retreat and enjoy a weekend of heart-opening Beauty and Wisdom.
We will explore these ''divine abodes' of love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity through meditation, music, poetry and ritual.
The Buddha taught again and again that the Brahma Viharas are naturally occurring qualities that can arise within our own state of being if given the opportunity. They are his primary heart teachings—the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness.
They are our “spiritual birthright” - potentially existent seeds enfolded in our consciousness, and need only the same kind of care we use in tending a garden to fully manifest and bloom in our state of being and are extended without limitation to all beings.
Retreat will begin at 6pm on the 19th and end approximately 3:30pm on 22nd.
- Experience with mindfulness of breathing and mettā bhāvanā meditation practices are assumed for this retreat, and basic instruction will not be included.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a Buddhist or have any meditation experience?
Though you do not need to identify as Buddhist, this retreat does require some experience in and familiarity with the meditation practices taught at Sydney Buddhist Centre - the mindfulness of breathing and mettā bhāvanā meditations. Therefore it is not suitable for complete beginners.
What does the cost include?
The retreat cost covers the full cost of the retreat, including all food, accommodation and program.
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 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.
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.