This is a retreat for people who are familiar with mindfulness practice and who have some prior retreat experience. It’s also for people who have done one of the online Seeing That Free courses and would like a period of solid practice following the meditations in the course.
The term “Seeing That Frees” comes from the book of the same name, written by the much- loved Gaia House teacher Rob Burbea. The approach to practice first develops a settledness and then ways of looking that not only lead to lead to being less bound up but act as a pathway to understanding the terms emptiness, a common translation of shunyata and dependent arising. These have been seen as the crown jewels of dharma practice.
Apart from these practices there’ll be the opportunity to explore imaginal practice and some guidance on this in one of the talks.
The retreat will have some set group sittings each day, talks and guided meditations, time for one-to-one interviews, and unscheduled time. The meditation hall, or meditation barn in this case, is for sitting at any time and people are encouraged to have their own schedule outside of the set sittings and sit for whatever length of time feels fitting. People will be encouraged to arrive and leave quietly if others are sitting. The retreat will be in silence apart from necessary communication.
There'll also be a 45 minute work period each day to help with food preparation, washing up and general cleaning.
About the venue
We’ll be staying at a simple facility called Chakola.
Chakola is a wildlife refuge with kangaroos, echidnas, possums, goannas, wombats and a wide range of birds. It has walking tracks that go down through the bush to the Kangaroo River.
There’ll be single rooms (one person per room but two beds), twins-share rooms (with more than two beds) and the opportunity to bring a tent and camp near the main buildings instead of staying in one of the cabins. The cabins are very basic. There is no furniture apart from the beds. There is also an outside walk needed to go from the cabins to the amenities area. People will need to bring their own single bed sheets, a towel and a pillowslip unless they take the option of hiring them.
We’ll have good vegetarian meals.
When: Arrive between 3 and 5pm on Sunday 12th March.
Finishing after lunch on Sunday 19th March.
Where: Chakola is on Mt Scanzi Road in Kangaroo Valley.
Getting there: We’re planning to co-ordinate lifts, either from Sydney or from Mittagong, which is on the train line from Sydney. Bomaderry is closest station to Kangaroo Valley but the quicker route from Sydney is via Mittagong.
Cost: Due to the booking arrangements with Chakola payment must be made before 31 Dec2022. Cost for accommodation and all meals:
$940 single room (limit of 8 places)
$840 twin share (limit of 8 places)
$600 camping (limit of 2 places)
Cost (optional) for hiring sheets, pillowslip and towel for the week: $25.
Please see below for the cancellation terms that apply to this retreat.
For more information
Please contact Chris on cfree6223 [at] gmail.com
Additional cost: 'Dana' The retreat fee covers accommodation and meals only. In keeping with a 2,500 year old tradition no fee has been charged for the teachings. At the end of the retreat you are invited to give a donation to express your appreciation and to support the teachers to continue their work.
Bookings / registration:
Please see cancellations terms & conditions below
Victor von der Heyde - has been practising meditation for thirty five years. He's spent over two years in total in silent retreats and has taken dharma teaching roles since the mid 1990s. He was co-founder of Sydney Insight Meditators and of the Bodhgaya Development Association.
He was a student, friend and supporter of Rob Burbea (1965 - 2020) from 2012 to 2020.