SIBA Retreat Centre is a beautiful and friendly Buddhist retreat centre in the Snowy River country of East Gippsland, Victoria. Formerly ONTOS, it was founded by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and formally opened and consecrated by His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche in 2006. During this time His Eminence gave the dharma name Tsarchen Choeling.
SIBA has all the requisites for the perfect retreat. Simply being at SIBA calms the senses and heals the mind. SIBA is a welcoming and peaceful refuge and when group retreats are on the unique atmosphere is well known to visitors.
There is a year-round varied programme of retreats, some lead by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and some by resident or guests teachers. These include:
- Calm Abiding Meditation - Each year Lama Choedak Rinpoche leads a four day retreat during the March Labour Day holiday (VIC) and a ten day retreat late September/early October which is our most popular retreat of the year.
- White Tara (with Lama Choedak Rinpoche) - a beautiful meditation for developing kindness and compassion, increasing spiritual vitality and overcoming fears. (Australia Day holiday, January)
- Health and Wellness - revitalise your mind and body through yoga, meditation and alternative health practitioner consultations. Easter holiday.
- Medicine Buddha (with Lama Choedak Rinpoche) - discover the connection between wholesome thoughts, your health and happiness. August.
- Tai Chi and Meditation - Tai Chi Academy of Canberra present the teachings and practice of moving and sitting meditation. Mid-April.
- One-month Ngondro (with Lama Choedak Rinpoche) - intensive group and individual practice sessions on the preliminary practice of Tibetan Buddhism. End of year.
- Nyung-ne - devotional meditation practices combining the Eight Buddhist Precepts
- Yoga - several times a year yoga retreat are held by visiting teachers
For a full list and dates for coming retreat go to EVENTS page Events
All activities are open to the public. Please ring to let us know if you are coming as the programme is sometimes interrupted when we have retreats and other special activities running.
Daily 6am Green Tara Puja - The residents come together daily for tradionally Buddhist prayers and chanting. You can request the puja be dedicated to those who are going through difficulties as well as the deceased.
- Sunday 9 am Ngondro Preliminary practices - Includes Refuge and Prostrations, Generation of Bodhicitta, Vajrasattva mantra, Mandala Offering and Guru Yoga.
- Sunday 11 am Calm Abiding Meditation - Single-pointed meditation on Mindulness of Body and Mindfulness of Feeling/Breath. You are welcome to stay for Sunday lunch
- Tuesday 6 pm Rongton Buddhist Philosophy Studies - Listening to recorded teaching by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and other teachers.
- Wednesday 6 pm Chenrezig or Soor Practice - Meditation on Buddha of Compassion and recitation of mantra OM MANI PADME HUM. You can forward the names of those recently deceased that you would like this practice dedicated towards.
Bairnsdale Monthly Meditation Group - Meditation session and dharma talk presented by a resident of SIBA. This group is suitable for complete beginners. All are welcome. Bring your meditation cushion if you have one.
When - 10am to 12 noon Saturday
Where - Steiner Kinder, 72 Lucknow St, East Bairnsdale
How Much - A donation towards fuel costs and hire of premises is gratefully received
The actual saturday of the month on which the meditation group meets varies to work around our events.
We send out a group email to our East Gippsland friends at the beginning of the week to let them know there will be a group the following saturday so if you are interested in being kept informed as to when these get togethers are being held click on the button below.
8-week Calm Abiding Meditation Course
8-week courses are conducted in the theory and practice of Calm Abiding Meditation in Bairnsdale and Sale annually.
Keep in Touch
If you would like to kept informed with the details of these classes and courses at SIBA and in the East Gippsland area you can subscribe to our email updates
If you are booked in for a retreat you can find out about what to bring and how to get here
SIBA is run and maintained by a group of friendly residents dedicated to principles of peacefulness, service and kindness. Every morning at 6am they gather to greet the new day with Praises to Buddha, Green Tara puja and other prayers and chanting in the beautiful meditation hall that overlooks W Tree sending out positive vibes through the district. There are frequently other group practices in the day as well as dharma study groups.
The Fortunate Flock
Fortunate Flock is the rescue programme for seventy lambs that were destined for slaughter. Read more about this special project and how it brings happiness and benefit to all sentient beings...and how you can help!
SIBA is set on 108 acres with a one acre organic veggie garden, five acre orchard, dozens of chooks, pasture lands for rescued animals and plenty of bush and wildlife . The property includes three large quality meditation halls (the largest seating over 300), large geodesic domed dining room and commercial kitchen. Accommodation includes 16 well fitted en-suite accommodation units. There are also facitilities for solitary retreat.
The "Shared Room" accommodation rate is for comfortable ensuite motel-style rooms in bunk beds. There is generally up to four people per room but two rooms can accommodate eight people. Pillows, doonas and mattress protectors are provided but we ask that you bring top and bottom sheets and a pillow case. If you are unable to bring your own bedding please let us know and we can provide it for you.
We also have single, double and twin room ensuite accommodation but availability is limited.
There is accommodation suitable for physically challenged.
SIBA also has a number of bush cabins that are ideal for solitary retreat with their own kitchenette facilities. Toilet and shower are provided in an amenities block.
There is also accommodation in region by clicking on the following sites for Buchan (25 mins) and Lakes Entrance (1 hr).
There are many beautiful locations for camping and campervans on unpowered sites. Campers need to bring their own equipment. There is an amenities block with hot showers.
Families and Children
At the end of every year SIBA conducts a five day Family Retreat to allow people to come together and spend a summer holiday with a difference. Naturally, children need to have a responsible adult keeping an eye on them.
Delicious Vegetarian Food
All food is vegetarian and delicious and much of it is sourced from the organic garden. Three meals are served daily except on Buddhist Precept days (which is once of twice a week) when no food is consumed after lunch. The main meal during meditation retreat is at lunch.
People with special dietary requirements can be catered for. You can let us know at the time of registering for a retreat.
SIBA Retreat Centre
2592 Gelantipy Rd
W Tree, Victoria, Australia 3885
Email us | Ph 03 5155 0329