Retreats are an excellent opportunity to deepen your meditation practice and enjoy the company of other people who are exploring the Buddha's teachings. Our retreat program allows ample time for meditation, reflection and relaxation. Weekend retreats usually begin at around 7pm on the Friday evening and finish early afternoon on the Sunday.
Bookings: we recommend that you reserve your place on retreat as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Still, late bookings are possible so please check with us if you decide to attend at the last minute.
Please book through the link listed below or by calling the Auckland Buddhist Centre tel. (09) 378 1120.
Venue: our residential retreats are mostly held at Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre, Victoria Street, Tararu, Thames Coast. If you book on a retreat, we can send you directions on how to get there and a list of items you'll need to bring. People frequently carpool to retreat, so let us know if you can offer or need a lift to the retreat.
Meditation Experience: many of our retreats assume that you already know how to meditate and that you are actively practising meditation (or at least hoping to re-connect with a meditation practice that has waned). Some of our retreats are only open to people with an active and established meditation practice, please refer to the particular retreat to see if this might be the case. Unless noted, there is no beginner's meditation teaching provided on retreat.
Retreat Fees: weekend retreats held at Sudarshanaloka have a two-tiered structure $240/190. You choose what you can afford to pay. Longer retreats, some special retreats (such as week long or long weekends) and those held at other venues have higher retreat costs due to the number of additional days or higher facility costs to us.
The experiment is over .... these weekend workshops and non-residential weekend retreats are working. They create conditions different from just a 'normal weekend at home' without leaving to be 'somewhere else'. There are two primary themes for these weekends. First, they always include cultivating positive emotions like metta, patience, contentment, and equanimity. Second, they challenge our limiting notions of identity, our sticky emotional attachements, and our habitual volitional routines. All themes directly addressing the challenges and joys of cultivating our spiritual life in the midst of everyday living. These events are very meditative in quality, and approach the content through reflection rather than discussion.
Book for these non-residential weekends and workshops just like you would a residential retreat ... through the centre or the website. Cost $40 for workshops and $80 for non-residential retreats.
If you want to attend one of the non-residential retreats, we ask you to commit to attending every session over the weekend. The Friday night session will start with an introduction to the theme and some collective meditation (7-9pm). The Saturday session will begin with our joining the regular Saturday morning 10am meditation at the centre, but then continuing at the centre until around 1pm. And the last session is on Sunday from 9am to 1pm. Those participating on these retreats will be asked to attend all these sessions, for the full duration. If you can only make two of the three weekend sessions or can only stay for half a session, the continuity and integrity of the weekend will be compromised. In which case it is best to not attend this time, and instead start planning for the next one.
Workshop & non-residential retreat dates for 2014
Workshops - Sundays 9am - 1pm
Non Residential Retreats - Fridays 7-9pm plus Saturday and Sunday 9am - 1pm
5-7 September - more information coming soon...
Calm and Clear Beginners Meditation Retreat
5-7 September @ Sudarshanaloka
This retreat is an introduction to the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation practice which is one of two principal meditation practices through which we can develop calmer more concentrated and positive states of mind. During this weekend retreat you will learn the fundamental principles and practice of mindfulness and meditation in the beautiful and supportive rural environment of Sudarshanaloka. You will be guided by an experienced team of meditation practitioners and teachers in the company of like-minded people. This is a rare opportunity for you to practice the Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation many times over the weekend and to gain confidence both in this meditation and in your experience of meditating. See also our Cultivating Emotional Freedom Retreats. Led by Guhyasiddhi. Cost $240/$190
3-7 October @ Sudarshanaloka
Led by Minh Truong and team
Cost to be advised
Labour Weekend Order/Mitra Retreat
24-27 October @ Sudarshanaloka
Led by Ratnavyuha and Navachitta
Cultivating Emotional Freedom Beginners Meditation Retreat
7-9 November @ Sudarshanaloka
This retreat is an introduction to the Metta Bhavana which is a meditation practice that cultivates loving kindness.
This is one of two principal meditation practices through which we can develop calmer more concentrated and positive states of mind.
See also our Calm and Clear retreats. Led by Bhadrakari. Cost $240/$190
21-23 November @ Sudarshanaloka
Mandala, Meditation & Mantra Retreat
28 - 30 November @ Sudarshanaloka
Led by Penny Brownlee & Akasadaka
Buddhist Recovery Network Retreat
5-7 December @ Sudarshanaloka
Led by Navachitta and Punyasri
Holistic Pulsing and Meditation Retreat
12-14 December @ Sudarshanaloka
Holistic Pulsing is a hands on body-mind therapy that uses gentle, rhythmic rocking to encourage freedom of movement, connectedness and wholeness. This nuturing body therapy focuses on the water element and the guiding principles of awareness, acceptance and re-empowerment. This is an introductory weekend to Holistic Pulsing and will include periods of meditation to deepen our experience of the fluid and elemental nature of ourselves and Sudarshanaloka. Led by Natalie Grace and Bhadrakari. Cost $240/$190.
Open Retreat at Sudarshanloka
30 December to 4 January 2015
Led by Nagabodhi
Nagabodhi is a senior member of our order and president of the Auckland Buddhist Centre. He lives in the UK. Every two years we are fortunate to have him visiting Auckland. This five day retreat is open to everyone from the Auckland Buddhist Centre who is familiar with our practices and wants to spend a weekend on retreat with sangha. Bookings essential. Cost $375/$325.
Open Retreat at Sudarshanaloka
20-22 February 2015
Led by Vessantara and Vijayamala
Bookings essential. Cost $240/$190
Mitra Retreat at Sudarshanaloka
23 February to 1 March 2015
Led by Vessantara and Vijayamala
Vessantara has been an Order member since 1974. He has run Buddhist centres, acted as secretary to Sangharakshita, been overall Order Convenor and spent years living in retreat centres. He is the author of several books, including guides to the buddhas, bodhisattvas and tantric deities and books on breathing meditation and loving kindness meditation. In 2008-2011 he spent over three years in meditation retreat in a wooden circus wagon in France. He has made several very successful visits to Triratna centres in Australasia before giving talks and leading retreats. This will be his first visit to NZ since 2001 and he is very much looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. He has a website at www.vessantara.net
Vijayamala has been exploring how to keep meditation alive and relevant for more than 30 years. She was ordained in 1992 and worked to set up and run Buddhist Right Livelihood businesses and communities for many years. For the last 12 years she has been focusing more exclusively on meditation practice. Since coming back from her 3-year retreat 3 years ago she teaches full time within Triratna. She is very much looking forward to connecting up with the sangha in this part of the world and sharing some very useful practice tools that she has been working with.
Bookings essential. Cost $420/$370.