Bookings are now closed.
If you are coming with your partner, please read the FAQ's. Room to Yourself: $620 + Dana for the teachings - All bedding is provided - Bookings are closed Share Room: $510 + Dana for the teachings - Sharing with same gender only - all bedding provided -Bookings are closed Camping: $430 + Dana for the teachings (bring your own tent and bedding) - Bookings are closed
The New Year is a wonderful time to touch sacred presence and deepen our roots in our life's aspirations. This retreat is a chance to set new or reaffirm existing pathways that open our hearts and minds through practices that help shape a more beautiful mind. In the words of David Whyte... this is about "Asking questions that help us re-imagine ourselves, our world and our part in it, working to reshape our identities and become larger, more generous and more courageous as we grow and mature". In this opening to the new within ourselves, we open the doorway to fresh and energising states of being that lay waiting for us.
Rather than setting New Years resolutions, we'll be exploring the nature of Vows. It can be freeing to understand that the vows we took at an earlier stage of our life, possibly in childhood and unconsciously can be changed, modified or let go of.
A vow is a promise to your future self. It is a contract with yourself. A vow is an aspiration to give life to a spiritual path, a project, a relationship or anything that comes from the core of your being. It is part of your life’s purpose. A vow serves as a channel for your life’s energy, so it is not scattered or frittered away.
"A vow is a deep commitment to see something through no matter the obstacles. A vow is different from a new year’s resolution. Resolutions have the air of self-improvement while vows speak to something larger. Vows ask us to continually return over and over again to our deepest intentions. They help us orient our life to what is most beneficial. And vows emerge from our own unique life and circumstances." From Zendust.org
This is an Insight Meditation retreat where we will offer teachings in the service of meditative ease and grace. Along with encouraging mindful and loving presence, we will do so with a curiosity about "What are your habits of awareness?" and in line with Buddhist teachings, what else might you include to broaden and claim other aspects of your being?
There will be meditation instructions and guided meditations, Dharma talks and inquiry, question and answer sessions and also opportunities for personal interviews if you wish. Along with sitting and walking meditation, we encourage you to experiment with meditation, and at times try lying down for meditation. Deep rest turns out to be surprisingly and delightfully, undemanding and rewarding. As the mind and body become deeply rested, a natural meditative awareness emerges where awareness becomes bright and clear.
We emphasise the importance of tuning in closely to your unique path, of falling in love with your own awakening, including all its joys and challenges. Along with our own awakening, we encourage an awareness of connections with others and rather than looking for short lived meditative spiritual highs, we cultivate long-term friendships. We also continually experiment with different formats for teachings and retreats with the aim of bringing love and wisdom into life.
Friendship is the foundation of the spiritual path and on this retreat we'll take some time to explore what this may mean for you. Freeing up old habits of connection can allow us to offer deep support, encouragement and wisdom beyond words. Some aspects of this are
Loving Presence: Looking for the good in others while holding a kind and present-centred state of being while relating. If someone has a large or small energy we can learn skills to be with that in ways that don't dominate or surrender our will.
Bringing forward our capacity for bright, clear awareness. Cultivating a continuity of awareness is central to the path of Buddhist practice.
Noticing and exploring our internal world and the influence it is having on how we engage. Without knowing it, we may have some habits that sabotage our good intentions and aspirations. With a light curiosity we can start to know and change these and give our meditation a much more solid basis to be a support for our well-being.
Developing our capacity for being truly present for others by recognising and responding with skill, care and humour. When we look for the good in others, we start to see that everyone wants to be happy. It can be a great joy to let go our ideas of how this might happen.
This retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced meditators and yogi's.
NeLi Martin is a Psychologist, Yoga and Dance teacher and Insight Meditation teacher and will be enlivening this retreat with her movement practices.
“I’m a big fan of movement to support sitting meditation. The Buddha gave us 4 positions to practice. Sitting, standing, walking and lying down. I like to think of movement practices as the extension of walking…
Yoga and other movement practice can have many purposes, e.g. fixing an injury, achieving a goal, feeling better, supporting the development of a wholesome mind-state, increasing awareness or facilitating insight.
In this retreat, I’ll be facilitating yoga and other embodied movement practices for the specific purposes of the latter three; developing awareness, deepening insight inquiry and developing open heartedness towards ourselves, our bodies and each other.
Yoga and Embodied Movements on this retreat will preference inquiry over imposition. All bodies can participate at their own pace, rhythm and capacity. It’s an opportunity to get intimate with our own bones, find the issues in the tissues, and move with deep presence, respect and reverence for our bodies as vehicles of this earthly life; movement as a prayer. Our own Dharma Dance may even emerge.
Seacroft Estate is an historic former monastery set on 15 acres overlooking the Great Ocean Road with 180 degree ocean views. Just across the road is a semi-protected beach for swimming and about 40 minutes walk into the surrounding hills is a waterfall. Click here to see more photo's
Arrival: 4pm on the 28th Dec. Departure: 11am on the 1st Jan.
This is a fully residential retreat. Seacroft has a mixture of single rooms, shared accomodation and camping. If you sign up for a shared room, please note that these are allocated on a same gender basis only. All bedding is provided if you book a room on this retreat. If you are camping you must bring your own.
This retreat will be held in alternating periods of silence, conversation and guided group practices. For beginners, please note that noble silence does not exclude common sense communication in times of emergency or at times when communication is needed to clarify meditation or work period instructions or questions you may have about anything you need to clarify.
Giving of service or Karma yoga ~ Insight meditation retreats are run on a non-profit basis, so in this way we are able to keep the costs down. Therefore In the same spirit we ask that everyone who comes to our retreats contributes one hour of their time each day towards the running of the retreat. This may be anything from washing up, veggie chopping, cleaning or something else connected with running the retreat. We thank you in advance.
Drugs and Alcohol
In the interests of creating a safe space for all, this retreat is a drug and alcohol free zone. We have no judgement about these things but this is not a place for alcohol or recreational drugs of any description. If you're after that then we recommend you find another event or venue that might suit your needs.
Please note: If you are in the midst of a life trauma, emotional upheaval or instability that might require individual support beyond our scheduled meetings with teachers, this retreat format may not be a good match at this time. Should you have any questions about this, please contact us via email
Question: What is the cancellation policy? Answer: This is in the Retreat Practical information document... see above.
Food: To help you make the most of the retreat, we will provide 3 nutritious vegetarian meals each day and this is included in the cost. Vegan, Gluten Free & Dairy Free can also be catered for and you can indicate this in the booking process.
Question: I have very specific dietary needs, (eg Fodmaps) can you cater for special diets? Answer: We can offer a simplified diet that usually satisfies most special needs, including Fodmaps. Please note we don't and can't cater for individual preference (eg. I would like 2 eggs fried with spinach and sourdough!) If in doubt, please send us an email to clarify before booking.
Question:I snore and there are only twin share rooms available... what to do? Answer: Please don't go ahead and book a twin share and potentially put the other person in a situation where their retreat may be compromised. Thanks for your care about this. On this retreat camping is an option. You will need to bring all your own camping equipment.
Question: Do I have to bring bedding? Answer: On this retreat, all bedding is provided and included in the cost, unless you are camping.
Question: With meditation, do I have to sit on the floor on a meditation cushion? Answer: Absolutely not. There will be more than enough chairs to sit on. We encourage you to find a posture in meditation that allows you to be comfortable and easy.
Question: Will there be sitting cushions and mats provided. Answer: There will be approximately 30 meditation mats and cushions available. You will need to bring your own yoga mat.
Question: I've never meditated before & I'm worried it will be too much. Even though you've said that the retreat is suited to beginners, do you really mean it! Answer: Yes we do! We will be there to support you in any way that may be needed from getting the right posture for you, through to clarifying the meditation instructions.
Question: Can I do just part of the retreat or I would like to arrive late. Answer: No, for all sorts of reasons. Your respect for this is deeply appreciated as late arrivals puts pressure onto the retreat staff and teachers.
Question: I'm coming to the retreat with my partner, can we share a room? Answer: Normally on an Insight Meditation retreat we don't allow partners to share a room. We do this so that each of you can have their own experience and their own retreat without fitting into the usual patterns of relating, communication and thinking that are part of being together. Also on retreat we have precepts that we follow and one of those is to abstain from having any sexual relations with ourselves or others. Being in separate rooms is a simple, helpful way to support meditative awareness and freshness of experience. Having laid out the guidelines, this retreat will not be the usual silent Insight meditation retreat as there will be periods of activities and interaction where communication is very much encouraged and supported as well as long periods of silence. IF both partners are experienced with silent retreats then on this retreat we are open to you sharing a room with your partner. Some of the rooms do have double beds and you would pay the share room rate. Please email us with your retreat experience and if suitable, we will send you the booking link for this. Click here to email us
Question: Do I have to do the yoga? Answer: No, the yoga is optional. If you do choose to join the yoga/movement class, you are always encouraged to find your own pace with whatever is being offered.