Welcome to Vejjasala Retreat Centre
Vejjasala, located just outside the village of Wingello in the Southern Highlands of NSW, is the retreat centre of the Association of Engaged Buddhists. The name, Vejjasala, means a place for healing.
People come to do a retreat at Vejjasala for many reasons but they usually amount to the same thing – seeking a way to overcome the difficulties of life. Those difficulties may be physical, such as illness or injury, or the need to develop strength and resilience for the challenges of everyday living. The spaciousness and stillness of Vejjasala, the warmth of the teachers and volunteer staff create a supportive environment for letting go of the struggles and finding the joy in everyday life.
The teachings of the Buddha (the Dhamma), the practice of mindfulness meditation and the cultivation of kindness, joy, compassion and equanimity are the tools we use to deal with life’s difficulties. Practicing meditation develops our ability to pay attention to what’s happening each moment and to see clearly the truth of our experience. The Buddha’s teachings help us to recognise and let go of the common habits of mind and the patterns of behaviour which limit our freedom and increase our dissatisfaction. Cultivating attitudes of kindness allows us to treat ourselves and others with compassion and to find the joy in everyday life.
Our retreats are open to all, whether beginning or experienced meditators. Some retreats are aimed at supporting people with physical injury or illness to develop their capacity for self-healing and happiness, others are aimed at developing skill in managing thoughts and emotions. Many of our retreats include a gentle yoga practice to stretch, relax and increase our awareness of the body. To find out more about our retreats, visit the Vejjasala Retreat Experience page.
Whatever your starting point we hope to see you soon at Vejjasala. In the words of the Buddha we invite you to ‘come and see for yourself’ how these teachings and meditation practices can increase your well being in heart and mind.
Front of Vejjasala main building (above), meditation and shrine room, below.
Like the food at Vejjasala? Check out Food for Thought the Vejjasala Cookbook.
AEB Events Calendar 2017
Retreat rows are highlighted in tan and will link to a registration page closer to the retreat date.
Events on the Buddhist calendar and select public holidays are in italics.
|Thurs 26||Public Holiday||Australia Day|
|Sat 28||Lunar New Year|
|Wed 1||Sangha Lodge||First teaching of 2017|
|Sun 5||Sangha Lodge||Dana Day & AEB committee meeting|
|Sat 11||Observance Day||Magha Puja - 'Sangha Day'|
|Sun 19||Social Event||New Year 'Thank You' Picnic, Bicentennial Park|
|Sun 5||Sangha Lodge||Dana Day & AEB committee meeting|
|Thurs 16||Observance Day||Kuan Yin's birthday|
|Sun 2||Sangha Lodge||Dana Day & AEB committee meeting|
|Tue 4||Observance Day||Ching Ming Festival|
|Thurs 13 - Mon 17||Long Weekend Retreat||Thinking and Emptiness - retreat with Pandit Bhikku|
|Thurs 13 - Thurs 20||Week-long Retreat||Thinking and Emptiness - retreat with Pandit Bhikku|
|Tue 25||Public Holiday||Anzac Day long weekend|
For some time now evidence has been mounting about the benefits of meditation, relaxation and other natural healing practices, particularly about improving the quality of life for those living with a serious or life threatening illness.
Vejjasala provides an opportunity to learn different meditation practices aimed at reducing pain, freeing the mind from tension, fear and stress and supporting the body's own healing processes.
We do not seek to replace conventional medical treatment but to complement it, by helping individuals to develop their own healing powers and the healing potential in the teaching and practice of the Buddha.
The central building at Vejjasala contains a large meditation room, catering kitchen, dining room, mixed accommodation as well as shower and toilet facilities. Many areas of the central building are wheelchair accessible and there are accessible shower and toilet facilities.
Guest Accommodation in the Main House
In the main house at Vejjasala are 3 single bedrooms, 3 twin bedrooms and 1 large room with 5 beds. Single rooms are allocated on the basis of need – for example to the elderly or unwell. If you are coming to Vejjasala with a friend or carer you can request a double room which will be provided if possible.
Cottage and Kutis
On Vejjasala's grounds are a cottage for overflow accommodation as well as five small kutis (single bed huts). For more information on the kuti locations visit the Vejjasala Kutis page. If you would like to stay in a kuti, please indicate this on your retreat application.
Nearby shops and centres
Vejjasala is located in a rural / bush location so you should bring any special items with you. There is a village store in Wingello that stocks basic items. The nearest large town is Bundanoon, but if you forget something driving from Sydney, you can stop off at Mittagong, which is just off the highway.
Vejjasala - Place of Healing
219 Forest Road
Wingello, NSW 2579
Ph: (02) 4884 4443
Distance from Sydney: 160km, approx. 1 hour 45 mins
SatNav coordinates: S34 42.334 E150 10.663
Guide Sheet: What to Bring - How to Get There
Driving from Sydney:
(NOTE: Download the printable PDF instructions above)
Take the M5 out of Sydney (toward Liverpool/Canberra).
Continue on to M31 then National Highway 31 (toward Goulburn/Canberra), past Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.
Continue 6km past Penrose State Forest, then slow down after Paddys Creek to turn left in 500m.
Turn hard left off highway into Murrimba Rd, (exit sign for Wingello & Bundanoon). Follow road to end - Wingello village.
When you come into Wingello, cross the railway tracks.
Turn right on other side of tracks (past Wingello Village Store).
Take first left into Forest Rd and continue along sealed then compacted-gravel road, past Wombat Farm, distance approx. 2km.
Turn left into unsealed driveway at sign for Vejjasala Retreat. At about 250m turn hard left at the 'Retreat Centre' sign to enter Vejjasala Retreat grounds.
Using Google Maps app:
You can now get directions to Vejjasala via Google Maps on your phone. If you have a hands-free smartphone holder in your car and the Google App installed, simply type the word Vejjasala in the Search field and it will bring up the location in Wingello and guide you to the retreat centre.
Use the above map to zoom or move around to see surrounding roads and towns
Local roads at Vejjasala - from Forest Road turn hard left at the Vejjasala sign into driveway.
Approx. 250m along the driveway you will see this sign below (reflects at night).
Getting there by train
There is a train station at Wingello but someone will need to collect you and drive you to Vejjasala which is a few kilometres away, so it may be better to get a lift from another attendee. The retreat booking forms have an option to nominate that you would like a lift. There are only a few scheduled stops at Wingello per day as it is a small station. You will also need to contact the retreat coordinator to arrange someone to collect you from the station or the nearby Wingello Store.
Note that 'Caroura St' in the above map is actually signposted 'Forest Rd'