225 Teudts Road, Bundanoon NSW 2578
02 4884 4262
What to learn during Meditation Retreat
The Buddhist teachings in the retreat will include Pali chanting, breathing technique (Anapanasati), Loving-kindness (Metta), Contemplation on body & mind, and Four Foundation of Mindfulness (Satipattana) / Insight Meditation (Vipassana).
People will learn how to do sitting & walking meditation, and tai chi qi gong exercise. Thai vegetarian food will be served during the retreat for breakfast and lunch (no dinner-only soup or hot drink in the evening). All retreats are silent. We prefer you to contact us by email. Thanks.
The monastery faces the southeast direction welcoming the sunrise during morning meditation and qi gong exercise.
Outdoor meditation and Dhamma discussion in the midst of Morton National Park, Southern Highlands.
Orientation on the first night is very important for everyone in the retreat.
Buddhist chanting is to study the Buddha's teaching and calm down the mind. The chanting will be in Pali language with English translation.
Paying respect to the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and monks is a way to express our gratitude for their invaluable teachings. Bowing down is a common practise to show respect in all Buddhist monasteries.
Morning and evening chanting will be led by monks and it is not too difficult to learn. 'Thank you so much. I had a wonderful retreat, happy and very impressed. Phra Ajhan Mana is very kind to every one and you looked after us very well. Kim,you make the garden so beautiful. With Love P'Nat' Jan 13
Oreintation: Brief discussion on meditation techniques, rules, time tables and introduction to teacher monks and volunteers. Jan 13
5 AM is the wake up time. 5:30 - 7:00 AM is morning chanting and guided meditation.
7 - 8 AM is breakfast. All vegetarian food is carefully prepared by our volunteers. We can't cook special diet for anyone. Please select what you can eat.
Eating meditation. People must not talk during meal time and try to be mindful of moving hands, chewing and swallowing food.
Every moment in the retreat is the cultivation of mindfulness and awareness. After eating, we all wash up our own plates mindfully.
8-9 AM Qi Gong exercise. This is another way to practice mindful breathing technique, giving both physical and spiritual benefits. Kim is teaching the flow of qi energy.
Relax with a deep breath after each qi gong exercise before sitting meditation in the next session.
Dhamma talk on the Noble Eightfold Path, showing the symbol of the Dhamma wheel in front of the shrine room.
9-10 AM Sitting meditation facing the magnificent view of Jervis Bay. (In summer we cover our faces with fly net.) Jan 13
The monk will give a short guided meditation in both concentration and Vipassana practise. "I was so impressed by the monks and the retreat it was very enlightened and positive to view life in a different way. I would love to come back.." Liz Jan 13
Proper sitting position is important for deeper & longer meditation. Jai loves to sit facing the veiw.
Sitting meditation on the chair is recommended for people who have knee problems.
Part one of meditation is called concentration of the mind; to gain stillness and quietness of the mind.
When the mind starts to be quiet, we will feel more relaxed and happy.
We use breathing technique to quiet the mind first, then develop Vipassana (wisdom) later. Jan 13
Allan Jan 13
To gain deeper concentration, we learn how to overcome the five hindrances:sensual desire, anger, restlessness, sleepiness and doubt.
Some additional techniques to quieten the mind will be taught during the retreat, for example Metta(loving -kindness).
When the mind is calm, the breath will be deeper and smoother. The pleasant feeling from this relaxation is helpful for further development of wisdom.
Part Two of meditation is called Vipassana (Seeing clear) meditation. We practice observing the true nature of body, feelings, memory, thoughts and consciousness. Jan 13
We can use breathing technique in both concentration and Vipassana meditation. Jan 13
Watching the breath during walking meditation. Jan 13
Walking meditation is recommended for people who feel sleepy and after big meal.
Some people may find walking meditation before sitting meditation helpful to calm down the mind.
Vipassana in walking meditation: observing the begin and end of breath, feelings, memory, thoughts and consciousness.
Walking meditation even in the rain. The weather in Bundanoon can change very quickly. It can be cold, colder, very cold, freezing cold and raining.
11 AM - 2 PM Lunch break. Vegetarian food is served to monks and all retreat people.
People are welcome to offer lunch to monks and then have buffet lunch together. Graeme is serving Ven. Phra Ananda.
The practise of lunch offering is another opportunity to practise generosity and love. Virginia is serving the monks.
Lunch is the main meal in the monastery. There is no dinner during the retreat. Faye is offering lunch to Ven. Phra Ananda (this young monk needs more energy). Jan 13
Thai vegetarian food, fresh salad and a variety of fruits to support your healthy lifestyle.
Faye,Jane and Graeme from Victoria are our regular retreat participants.
Junko is practising Vipassana in eating meditation.
Enjoy your meal but be mindful in your eating.
Food for body and mind. Fred is very serious in his noodle of wisdom.
Dimitri is practicing eating meditation mindfully.
No talking in eating. We can be friendly and smile to one another.
The monastery has a few beautiful gardens where people feel free to scatter and practice eating meditation.
Walking meditation under the trees helps the mind to flow into calmness.
We practice both concentration and Vipassana meditation in walking and mindful breathing meditation. Jan 13
Standing meditation absorbing the positive energy of Morton National Park.
Discussion on the Fire Discourse (Aditta-Pariyaya Sutta).
2-4 PM. After walking meditation, we have an outdoor Dhamma discussion.
The five door frames symbolizes the teaching on the five aggregates (Panca Khanda).
These five aggregates(body, feelings, memory, thoughts and consciousness) are fundamental elements of life.
Observing will lead to 'seeing' the truth. Vipassana meditation is to observe, to see, to realize, and to let go of attachment to body and mind. Jan 13
The empty space in the door frames represents the idea of 'Non-self, Sunnata or Anatta' taught by the Buddha in the Discourse on Non-self (Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta).
Stonehenge and the Spinning ball: the contrast of ideas between supernatural power and self development.
Explaining the interaction of the Noble Eightfold Path and the Law of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada).
The true meaning of the Law of Kamma (what goes around, comes around) is the teaching of Paticcasamuppada, which happens in the present moment -not life after death.
Discussion of King Asoka's Pillar and the spread of Buddhism from India 2nd Cent. BC.
Explanation of the interaction between ancient Egypt and India, and the development of Buddhist Art.
Explaining the meaning of ancient Buddhist icons in the carved sand stone panels around the Dhamma Amphitheatre. Jan 13
Many Dhamma teachings are hidden in the stone carving from 2nd Cent. BC without any Buddha image.
The idea of Non-self (Anatta) appears in many Buddhist symbols as the main emphasis of the Buddhist teaching.
Pillar of Fire: A symbol of the Buddha's Enlightenment.This shows the influence of Egyptian ideas/art in the early Buddhist sculpture.
Buddhist icons: Empty seat, Bodhi tree, lotus, pot, swastika, foot print, Dhamma wheel, stupa and tri-ratana symbols have been used to represent the Buddha and his teachings from 6th Cent.-1st Cent. BC
Talk on the development of religions and spirituality in many ancient civilizations. Jan 13
Fishing meditation: Using pleasant feeling to observe the rise of craving and attachment according to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
Brian enjoys his Vipassana Fishing Meditation.
Vipassana meditation is like a non-stick pan. The mind should know every thing but attach to nothing.
Fred is contemplating the Dhamma talk 'Who am I?'. We have 10 min break between each session.
All retreats are "Noble Silence." The purpose is to cultivate mindfulness as much as possible so the meditation can be achieved more easily.
No reading books. However, people should note down what they have learnt each day for their own benefit.
The Dhamma teachings in each session are connected to one another. Taking notes can be very helpful.
Faye spends the tea break noting down her new understanding of the Dhamma.
Teachings on Four Noble Truths will be in depth.
Margaret is noting down some new ideas of mediation practice.
Writing the new study of Dhamma will be very helpful when we go back home.
Listening to the teaching of Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bojhanga Paritta).
Questions and answers on Five Mental Powers (Bala).
Five Mental Powers: Mindfulness, Effort, Calmness, Confidence and Wisdom.
Discussion on Five Hindrances to meditation; sensual desire, anger, restlessness, drowsiness and doubt.
And how to overcome these five mental obstacles.
Kim, Winston, Ming and retreat participants during outdoor evening chanting.
Looking at the valley and contemplating on Emptiness (sunnata) is another technique to calm down the mind.
Junko was practicing walking meditation around the Pagoda before she went to bed.
Junko has come to almost every meditation retreat in the past 5 years. Sadhu and Anumodhana
There are three kinds of concentration; temporary, access and deep Samadhi. But we don't need to go too deep in concentration. Just enough calmness of mind is good for Vipassana meditation.
We learn to observe calm and pleasant feelings but not to attach to them.
Learn to overcome sleepiness in meditation.
Practice meditation like playing a sport. Less expectation is better.
Learn how to balance effort with calmness and confidence using wisdom.
Keegan practiced well in the July 2012 retreat.
4-5 PM is the practice of generosity by helping to do some work in the monastery.
Sean, Graeme, Dmitri and Bernard gardening meditation. All retreat people spend one hour each day to practice unconditional love to the monastery.
We practice mindfulness in all activities.
Mindfulness in gardening
Allan practicing mindfulness in raking.
Kim was pushing the wheelbarrow mindfully.
Nicole and friends were cleaning the gift shop mindfully.
David practiced mindfulness in digging.
Vittaya and Mayre gardening meditation.
Gardening meditation in the afternoon. Jan 13
Relax and mindful gardening. Jan 13
Wombats come to visit us every night. Jan 13
6 - 9 PM is the evening chanting and meditation (compulsory for every being-including the cat!)
2 PM on the last day is summary and conclusion of what we have learnt during the retreat.
It is important for people to stay until the end of the retreat for all the teachings to be fully comprehended.
The last session is the application of knowledge from the whole retreat to everyday life.
Question and answer in the last session can help to clarify some Dhamma topics.
The monks will give blessings to all retreat people at the end of the retreat.
Sometimes we bring people to practice meditation in the local cemetery.
Contemplation on Impermanence helps both Concentration and Vipassana meditation.
Kim is contemplating Impermanence, Instability and Non-self of body and mind.
Fred learns to let go of body and mind before they 'go' away.
Phra Mana always uses teaching tools to explain complicated Buddhist theory.
The Dhamma wheel and its representation of the Noble Eightfold path.
Pumping the air: How deep breath can benefit both body and mind.
Zen painting of the Ten Ox Training to explain the mechanism of meditation.
The half tamed ox is like the calm mind. We need to practice Vipassana meditation to purify the mind.
Sunnata: Emptiness: Nirvana: Nibbana
The owl is the Greek symbol of wisdom.
What is the truth behind the story of the baby Buddha walking 7 steps immediately after his birth?
Scales represent the Buddhist teaching on the balance of the mind, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bodjhanga).
The crystal ball on top the the Gratitude Pagoda represents the highest aim of Buddhism,to attain freedom from suffering (Nibbana / Nirvana).
We use the Buddhist teachings of Ajahn Buddhadassa of Suan Mokh, Thailand as the guideline for meditation.
Paticcasamuppada: the Law of Dependent Origination in sand stone carving.
Kuan Yin statue in the pond: the symbol of unconditional love.
A sand stone Triratana symbol represents the Buddha and his teachings from 2nd Cent BC. before the creation of the Buddha statue.
The Real Buddha
Thanks and Rejoice to Khun Kim who has been working very hard to help the monastery and to 'nurture' retreat people.
Kim helps to clarify questions from retreat people and prepares them before the retreats start.
Anumodhana - Sadhu to all volunteers helping cooking during the retreat time.
May the wisdom, calmness and peace from the retreats return to all volunteers.
Xmas & New Year Retreat 26 Dec 12 -1 Jan 13.