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 centre the dharma name ‘Tsarchen Choeling’.
SIBA has all the conditions for the perfect retreat. Simply being at SIBA calms the senses and heals the mind. SIBA is a welcoming and peaceful refuge and its unique atmosphere is well known to visitors.
All activities are open to the public. Please call SIBA to let us know if you would like to attend as the Weekly programme is sometimes interrupted when there are retreats and other special activities. You’re welcome to stay at SIBA as a guest, group or solitary retreat participant, volunteer or resident. Please contact SIBA for more information.
There is a year-round varied programme of retreats, mostly led by Lama Choedak Rinpoche and some by SIBA residents or visitng 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 the 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 practices of Tibetan Buddhism. End of the year.
- Nyung-ne – devotional meditation practices combining the Eight Buddhist Precepts.
- Yoga – several times each year yoga retreats are held by visiting teachers.
For a full list of upcoming retreats click the button below:
Daily Green Tara Puja
Traditional Buddhist prayers and chanting. You are welcome to make a request here so that a puja is dedicated to those who are going through difficulties as well as the deceased.
SIBA is run and maintained by a group of friendly residents dedicated to the principles of peacefulness, service and kindness. Every morning at 6 am 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.
The Fortunate Flock
Fortunate Flock is a 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 veggie garden, five-acre orchard, pasture lands for rescued animals and plenty of bush with wildlife.
The property includes three large meditation halls (the largest seating over 300), large geodesic-domed dining room and commercial kitchen. Accommodation includes 16 well fitted en-suite accommodation units and six solo cabins. There are also facilities for solitary retreat.
Shared Room accommodation rates are for comfortable ensuite motel-style rooms in bunk beds. There is generally up to three people per room with two rooms able to accommodate up to eight people.
Pillows, doonas and mattress protectors are provided but we ask that you bring sheets and a pillowcase. 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. Please book early as availability is limited.
SIBA also has five bush cabins that are ideal for solitary retreat with their own kitchenette facilities. Toilets and showers are provided in a shared amenities block.
There is also accommodation nearby in the region in Buchan (25 mins) and Lakes Entrance (1 hr).
There are many beautiful locations for tents and campervans on unpowered sites. Campers need to bring their own equipment. There is an amenities block with toilets and hot showers.
Families and Children
At the beginning of every year, SIBA conducts a five-day Family Retreat in conjunction with the White Tara Retreat. This allows people to come together and enjoy a summer holiday with a difference. Be sure to check the Events section for this retreat.
All food is vegetarian, delicious and much of it is sourced from the garden. Three meals are served daily with the main meal being lunch. On Buddhist Precept days (once or twice a week) no food is consumed after lunch.
Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Please let us know at the time of registering for a retreat.
What to bring and how to get here
For advice on how to get here, please visit this page for further information >>
Keep in Touch
If you would like to keep informed events at SIBA and in the East Gippsland area subscribe to our email updates.
Want to visit us at SIBA?
Please call us in advance to ensure that someone is available to welcome you – phone 03 5155 0329
SIBA Retreat Centre
2592 Gelantipy Rd
W Tree, Victoria, Australia 3885