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Venue and arrival times

The retreat will be held in the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia. Participants will have access to accommodation, food and other facilities throughout the grounds of the three hosts Centres.

The retreat officially opens on Friday, March 30th. Accommodation is available from Thursday, March 29th, 2018, which allows  those who are travelling a long way, to rest and settle in.

Click here for contact information and directions.


How does a residential retreat differ from attending teachings at a centre?

Unlike teachings at a centre, a retreat provides the participants with an atmosphere conducive to practise 24 hours a day. Basic retreat discipline includes observing the five lay vows, attending all sessions and keeping silence for at least the first half of the day.

Use of cell phones and internet service is strongly discouraged, in order to reduce distraction and prevent disruption to the contemplative environment. Everyone is encouraged to participate as fully as possible but no one is expected to do more than they are able.

Observing the five lay vows in the context of a retreat means:

  1. No killing of any being (including insects);
  2. No sexual conduct of any kind;
  3. No lying;
  4. No stealing or taking that which has not been given;
  5. No intoxicants, including drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

During the six week retreat, Rinpoche’s commentary will be supplemented by practice and review sessions, discussion, and guided meditations led by senior FPMT teachers with additional practices to accumulate positive energy and purify obstacles so that realisations may dawn quickly in the mind.

All participants will be expected to participate in karma yoga work sessions for the duration of the retreat. In this way, the Lama Zopa Retreat 2018 will include all aspects of FPMT integrated education: study, practice, service, and ethical behaviour.

Sangha subsidies available

The board aims to make it as affordable as possible for sangha to attend the retreat. We have set aside funds for this purpose. Funds are very limited. To apply for a sangha subsidy, please complete the retreat booking form and request a "subsidy application form". This request form is to be found on the monks and nuns booking section of the website.

Work exchange subsidies for lay students    

Limited subsidies are available lay students who can offer work in exchange for part of the retreat fee. All retreatants are expected to participate in karma yoga so the work exchange subsidies are for those offering major work commitments.