Summer Retreat: Sixtus Lodge, January 6 – 13, 2023

Our teacher for the retreat will be Birgit Saunders who is the Resident Teacher of Amitabha Buddhist Centre. She has been teaching Kadampa Buddhism for over twelve years. She teaches with sincerity, kindness and enthusiasm, making Dharma practical, relevant and meaningful, so students can make positive changes in their lives.


Summer Retreat

Our summer retreat is a special way to refresh and set ourselves up for whatever is heading our way in the coming year. We have the opportunity to gain a deeper experience of meditation and develop our sense of inner peace. If you have the chance to take a little time out in January - mark the days in your calendar, and tell the world you will be off the radar for a short while!

(bookings are now closed)

 In this meditation retreat, Birgit will  give us teachings and step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices called ‘Kadam Lamrim’, the condensation of all Buddha’s teachings. The teachings are presented in a way that is easy to follow and put into practice on our own lives, helping us develop our sense of inner peace, which forms the basis for a lasting sense of meaning and happiness in our lives. And this benefits not only ourselves, but our family, friends and others that we interact with too.
The retreat offers a special chance to either establish, or renew and strengthen, our daily meditation practice.

You do not need any former experience to attend and enjoy the retreat: Every time we engage in meditation, we develop the cause to experience peace of mind in the future, so whether you know very little about meditation and Kadam Lamrim, or if you have been using these practices for some time, you will receive benefits.


The Stages of the Path: Lamrim

The essence of Buddha's teachings are encapsulated in twenty-one meditations which explain how to enter, progress and complete the spiritual path to liberation and enlightenment. Together they give us a clearer overview of where we are heading, as well as helping us take practical steps to becoming more compassionate and wise, with a much deeper sense of peace and meaning in our lives. These meditations also provide a basis for our own home practice after the retreat as we return to our everyday life with all of its busy-ness and challenges.

During this retreat, Birgit will help us gain a deeper understanding of the meditations with clear explanations, as well as helping us explore ways in which we might put Buddha's advice into practice when we are 'off the mat'.

What to expect

Meditations and teachings

The first three sessions each day consist of chanted prayers, a teaching and guided meditation.

The teachings and meditations are based on the stages of the path to enlightenment (Lamrim in Tibetan), and the prayers are an acknowledgement of the source of the teachings and help us prepare our minds and hearts for learning and meditating (Note: You don't have to be a Buddhist to make a personal connection with the prayers).

The evening session, Heart Jewel, consists of chanted prayers with time for your own personal silent meditation.


We maintain silence until lunchtime each day, and sometimes choose to have a full day's silence on the Thursday of the retreat.

Not having to chat contributes to the general sense of peace and contemplation. It allows us to sit quietly with our own thoughts without distractions as we begin the day.

And, if you have not had the chance to experience this before, you may be surprised at how restful (and easy) this can be. It reinforces the break from the general hubbub and noise of everyday life.


Sixtus Lodge is well-equipped and comfortable and has easy wheelchair access. There are hot showers, a washing machine and a full kitchen (for the preparation of group meals). It is surrounded by farmland and beautiful bush with lots of opportunity for walks (more about Sixtus Lodge). You can choose to sleep in a bunk room or bring your own tent and you will need to bring your own sheets and blankets, or sleeping bag.


All meals are vegetarian, and coffee, tea and fruit are available throughout the day.

Information or queries

We are happy to answer any questions that you might have, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or need more information, especially if this is the first time that you have been on a retreat.

    • Phone: 06 355 3524
    • Email:



  • $475 : $330 (low income; unwaged)

(this covers accommodation, meals and teaching)


Note: bookings close 1 January, so that we can finalise numbers and make sure that we get the catering right.