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Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity: a meditation retreat for our times

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Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity: a meditation retreat for our times

With Bhante Dhammadipa and Br. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson)

Sun 19th Feb, 3:30 pm AEDT to Sunday 26th February 2:30 pm, 2023.

In this 7 day immersive meditation retreat, Bhante Dhamadipa will guide us on an exploration of the theory and practice of the Four Immeasurable Minds according to the Pali and Sanskrit traditions. 

Our emphasis will be on Loving Kindness or Metta, which is the base for the other three Brahmaviharas or “Immeasurable minds"; Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. These practices lie at the heart of Buddhist teachings, especially on the bodhisattva path.  They are found in the Tibetan tradition in the form of Tonglen or "Giving and Taking", and in Deep Ecology and Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects as "Breathing Through".

In this retreat we will explore how to expand the object from the traditional focus on living beings, to an understanding of the non-dual object; Suchness itself. While some meditation experience will be beneficial, beginners are also most welcome.

Our practice will be supported by the stunning coastline and tranquil bushland of Gumbaynggirr Country. The centre is only a short walk from the beach. 

For those interested, some texts we will use as our basis include the "Path of Purification" Visuddhimagga, for the Southern approach, and texts explaining the Bodhisattva path, such as Mayahana Sutra Alamkara of Maitreya and Nagarjuna’s Commentary to the Mahaprajnaparamita sutra.

Please note: While beginners are most welcome, some basic meditation or yoga experience is recommended.

About the Teacher:

Bhante Dhammadipa ( was born in Czech Republic, where he studied Chinese literature and philosophy. He later pursued his studies in Jerusalem, Berlin and Paris, before enrolling at the Nalanda University in India to study Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy. He then lived in Japan, Sri Lanka and Burma, studying and practising as a Buddhist monk under renowned contemporary masters of Buddhism. One of his principal teachers was the Burmese meditation master Pa Auk Sayadaw, who recognised him as the first of his Western disciples qualified to teach meditation. Today, he is one of the foremost teachers of śamatha meditation. He has taught the Dharma extensively, in both theory and practice, and led students in meditation retreats in Europe, North and South America, India, China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.

Assisting: Br. Tenzin (Dr. Alex Anderson) with an ecologist’s understanding of interdependence, but the rainforest soon led him to Buddhist meditation.  Now ordained as a monk in the Sakya Tibetan tradition, he has also studied and practiced meditation under Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France, and at Pa Auk Tawya in the Burmese Forest tradition.  Guided by his main teacher Bhante Dhammadipa, his approach is informed by Theravadin, Zen, and Vajrayana methods of meditation and mindfulness, as well as Hatha Yoga, Deep Ecology, and his deep love of wild places.  He currently lives on Gumbayngirr country on the Dorrigo Plateau, where he has a project to co-create community space for meditation and nature connection:

Further Details:

Covid protocols: We endeavour to follow all relevant NSW Health guidelines on our retreats. Requirements may change at short notice, so in the interests of everyone's well being, information on current requirements will be made available in the lead up to the retreat.

Arrival time: Please be sure to arrive at Yarrawarra Cultural Centre between 3:30pm and 5:00 pm on Sunday, 19th February. We will conclude mid-morning on Sunday 26th February.

The Retreat Container:

Schedule: Each full day of the retreat will begin with an optional movement practice session of Yoga or Qi Gong. During the day we will have sessions for silent and guided sitting meditation, Dharma talks, meditation instructions, slow walking, and some free time to explore the beautiful natural surrounds at Yarrawarra.  Individual consultation will also be available with Bhante Dhammadipa.

Noble Silence: To facilitate us on our journey towards a more subtle understanding of the workings of the heart-mind, our retreat will be held in the container of noble silence, except for essential communication and of course meetings with teachers.

Five Precepts: To cultivate a safe and conducive retreat environment, we will also observe five precepts or "mindfulness trainings" during our retreat.

  1. Reverence for life: refraining from taking life or harming living beings.
  2. True happiness: cultivating generosity and refraining from taking what is not freely given.
  3. True love: Cultivating responsibility and care of our energies by refraining from sexual activity.
  4. Loving speech and deep listening: refraining from harmful and untruthful speech.
  5. Nourishment and healing: refraining from consuming toxins that create heedlessness.

Cost: for all meals and accommodation, $650 for 2-4 person dorm, $780 for a private room, $550 for concession (dorm; full time student, pensioners and unemployed). Camping is also available onsite; cost is $500 per person. (prices do not include humantix fees).

Dana: The registration fee for this retreat covers the base cost of the venue, food and the logistics.  All teachings are offered on a Dana (generosity) basis, as is traditional in Buddhist culture.  The practice of generosity is an ancient one, and central to the Buddhist and Yoga traditions. In addition to allowing us the opportunity to cultivate a heart-mind of love, and to concretely acknowledge the interdependence of all beings, Dana is a way of preserving the purity of the Dharma as something given freely for the benefit of others, rather than for individual profit.  Our teachers live by the donations of practitioners, on the understanding that whatever is offered is "enough", and Dana gives us the opportunity to honour their heartfelt commitment to many years of practice. A Dana box for this purpose will be made available during the retreat. As a guide, we can reflect on what our offering would equate to on a per diem basis, and what we would pay for an equivalent full fee retreat.

What to Bring:

  • Meditation cushion and mat
  • comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • slip-on shoes and walking shoes
  • Yoga mat
  • Swimmers, sun protection, beach towel, (Yarrawarra is located close to the beach)
  • Rain coat/ umbrella (we will be in the middle of the wet season)
  • Personal toiletries, ear plugs may be handy.
  • Torch
  • Water bottle and/or thermos
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Bedding and linen including towels, sheets, blankets and pillows, is provided by the venue.
  • Pen and paper for taking notes
  • Cash for dāna offerings to the teachers

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land where this retreat takes place, the Gumbaynggirr people; We pay our respects to their deep and abiding connection to the land, and to elders past, present and emerging.

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