Summer Weekend Retreat

Summer Weekend Retreat
24 – 27 January, 2025
Sixtus Lodge in Apiti

Price: $220, $160 unwaged (price includes, teachings, accommodation and meals)
Bookings close 22 January




‘When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within’ – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Join us for this year’s summer weekend retreat. Start your daily life feeling refreshed after the holidays by learning how to meditate and how to practise these meditations in your daily life. Since 2005 Amitabha Centre’s annual summer retreat has been a restorative and peaceful time. A time to engage in a guided retreat in a tranquil place: unhurried, relaxed and in a sincere way. From 24 – 27 January, 2025, Kadam Birgit will guide contemplation and meditations on the stages of the path, also called Lamrim. We’ll be using The New Meditation Handbook by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. ‘Lamrim’ (stages of the path) is a special presentation of Buddha’s teachings, where all the essential practices are arranged in a progression so that, through daily meditation, we can gradually increase the capacity of our mind.

This retreat will help us gain familiarity with all the stages and set us up for a successful meditation practice throughout the year ahead.


This retreat is based on Buddha’s teachings on the mind, but you do not need to be a Buddhist to attend, or to benefit from them. There is no physical exercise involved and you can choose to sit either in a chair or on a cushion. This retreat is suitable for all levels of experience.


The retreat will be held at Sixtus Lodge Outdoor Education Centre in Apiti, about a 90 minute drive from Palmerston North. It is well equipped and offers comfortable accommodation. Sixtus Lodge is surrounded by farmland and beautiful bush. There are lots of opportunities to go for walks.

Sixtus Lodge is surrounded by farmland and beautiful bush. There are lots of opportunities to go for walks.

Resident Teacher, Birgit Saunders

Birgit Saunders, Resident Teacher of Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Birgit has been a student of Kadampa Buddhism since arriving in New Zealand over twelve years ago. She began teaching with Kadampa Meditation Centre in Wellington where she was also Admin Director (AD) for three years.

Since moving to Palmerston North in 2016 she worked closely with Gen Kelsang Demo as the Education Programme Co-ordinator (EPC) for the Centre and teaching classes in Dannevirke, Feilding, at the Cancer Society and Massey University, while also working at the Cancer Society.

Birgit was appointed Resident Teacher of Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre at the beginning of 2020, and brings sincerity, bubbly enthusiasm and kindness to her teaching. She is always looking for ways to make Dharma practical, relevant and meaningful so that students are able to see how to use Dharma and meditation to make positive changes in their lives.