Retreat Information

The Purpose of Meditation Retreats

In meditation retreats, you let go of the complex world outside in order to reach a powerful peace within. Meditation is the path to a pure and empowered mind, the experience of which, released from the world, can be incredibly blissful and spiritually rewarding. Depending on your level of practice, as well as your life conditions, there may be some hard work, especially in the beginning. You’ll learn that effort alone is not sufficient. Effort needs to be skillful. In particular, patience and kindness towards oneself is required, and this can only be achieved through regular practice over time.

Retreats: What to expect

Jhana Grove retreats are designed to build on your personal, regular meditation practice. To learn the basics, you can attend one of the Introduction to Meditation courses either online or in person at Dhammaloka. Alternatively, video and audio of hundreds of guided meditations, as well as written instructions are available free on our teachings page and podcast. The book The Basic Method of Meditation by Ajahn Brahm describes the method taught at Jhana Grove. Other books are also for sale in the online bookshop.

When going on a Jhana Grove retreat, you’ll typically develop additional practical techniques and uncover deeper insights, building on your existing practice. Our 3-day weekend retreats can function as an introduction to meditation; however, prior practice is still highly recommended. On all retreats, whether weekend or 9-day, you can expect a strong focus on sitting and walking meditation for many hours a day, over the entire retreat, only interrupted by 3-4 hours of daily teaching, personal interviews and meals. The bulk of your retreat time will be spent in solitude and silence, focusing on your inner states. We do not permit meditation methods that involve audible sounds and/or vigorous body movement as they disturb others. All participants must keep the meditation conditions advised by the Buddha:

Schedules

Daily schedules are effective, time-proven suggestions for retreatants, but they do not necessarily have to be followed rigidly. Jhana Grove daily schedules are somewhat flexible, grounded in kindness and ease.

Sample Schedule

First Day

Please arrive at approximately 5:15-6:00 pm.

Check-in/key handout opens at 5:15 pm (not before).

A light supper will be served at 6:30 pm.

Group Meeting with Retreat Manager at 7:10pm

The course will commence at 8:00 pm with Introduction to Retreat in the Dining Hall.

Please notify us if you will arrive late.  Otherwise, if you don’t show by 7 pm your room will be allocated to someone on the waitlist and your room bond will be forfeited.

Final Day

BSWA 9 day retreats will be finishing at 12:15pm on the last day.

BSWA Weekend retreats will finish at 3:15pm on the last day as usual.

There is usually some extra work on the final day to clear up / tidy the Retreat Centre.

Meals (vegetarian):

6:45am Light breakfast
11:00am Lunch
5:00pm Tea/evening drink
Note: there is no evening meal

Considerations: Body and Mind

Jhana Grove is a custom-built meditation facility designed to bring about spiritual and physical well being, as well as to make meditation stress-free and easy for most people. A cottage with a wheelchair friendly room for the disabled (and their carer) may be available.  Please contact bookings-assist@bswa.org to find out more, prior to making the retreat booking online.

Our retreat leaders aren’t trained in caring for meditators with serious mental or physical disorders. We do not provide medical, mental health or nutritional services onsite. Attendance is not recommended if you have any health issues such as those detailed below or if your health may be compromised by a lack of access to your regular health care support services. If you have any doubts about your suitability to attend the retreat, we require you to present this Information Sheet to your health care professional(s) and obtain clearance before attending. This is your responsibility.

Body

If you have any physical ailments or conditions that may be aggravated due to long periods of sitting or walking (arthritis, deep vein thrombosis etc.) please consult your medical doctor before booking a retreat. Note that meditation cannot replace prescribed medications; please follow your doctor’s orders.

If in any doubt or to obtain further information, please telephone Bodhinyana Monastery on +61 (8) 9525 2420. Please do this before you make a booking.

Mind

Meditation retreats cannot replace psychotherapy or psychotropic medication. Retreats should also not be seen as drug withdrawal programs with a spiritual aspect. If you have a history of psychosis, personality disorder, schizophrenia, severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, have ever attempted to take your life or have a recent history of substance abuse/addiction you must consult your therapist/doctor before booking.

If in any doubt or to obtain further information, please telephone Bodhinyana Monastery on +61 (8) 9525 2420. Please do this before you make a booking.

Dietary

Retreat food is provided mainly through donations and some meals may be prepared by some participants as a team effort under the leadership of our Retreat Manager and/or Jhana Grove Caretakers.  Retreatants have found meals to be exceptionally delicious and satisfying!  Everyone is encouraged to receive food gratefully.

Kindly email Lay Har Goh (Bookings Coordinator at bookings@bswa.org if you have the following requirement:

1. Special dietary requirements such as suffering from a life-threatening food allergy, lactose or gluten intolerance – You will be advised to bring your own food.

2. Need an evening meal for health reasons – You will be advised to keep some food from the lunch offering. You are also welcome to bring your own food if you prefer.

 

Upon arrival at the Jhana Grove you will need to fill out a form detailing:

  1. Previous meditation experience, if any
  2. Medical conditions and medication
  3. Emergency contact details

This information is confidential and seen only by the retreat manager and teacher if required.

Assistance

Participants will be asked to assist with the smooth running of our retreats by helping with various jobs both during and at the end of the retreat.  This includes cleaning of cottages and common areas.  If you are unable to assist, please let the Retreat Manager know.

Room Allocation 

There are 10 cottages in Jhana Grove, with 6 rooms in each cottage. For group retreats such as Weekend Retreats and 9-Day Retreats, rooms will be generally allocated based on gender but there will always be mixed gender cottage(s) for each retreat. If you have a preference to be allocated a room in a mixed gender cottage, please email Lay Har at bookings@bswa.org two weeks before start of the retreat.

Interview Roster

During the retreat, participants may schedule personal interviews with the retreat teacher by putting their names on the Interview Roster.  You are encouraged to attend to discuss your spiritual progress.

How to Book?

Notice of dates of retreats is given on our website here, our Dhammaloka notice board and during announcements on Friday nights.

Please note that the minimum age for attending retreat is eighteen years old.

It is a requirement that you book online, including for the waitlist.

A credit card, valid BSWA membership number and and email address are some of the information required during booking.

If you’d like to see what the time is in your time zone, why not try Time and Date?

For all 9-Day retreats, you should have done at least two weekend retreats in Jhana Grove. Only BSWA Full Members or its related organisations will be eligible when the booking is open.  Your membership status will be verified post booking and if not valid, your booking will be cancelled! All others including non-members will be welcome to join the waitlist when it opens.
Additionally, for Ajahn Brahm 9-Day Retreat, you can only attend ONE Ajahn Brahm BSWA 9-Day Retreat each year! Approximately half the available spots will be first open for booking using the normal booking process.
When the retreat is full, a random pick process will be made available for registration, with allocated priority to Seniors and first timers to Ajahn Brahm retreats in Jhana Grove. If you are unsuccessful in the random pick process and are still interested to join the retreat, please register for the waitlist when it opens. Waitlist will open after the random pick process to all, including non-members.
For weekend retreat, no BSWA membership is required. It is recommended that you have at least done an Intro to Meditation course or its equivalent.

9-Day Retreats Online bookings open Friday nights at 6pm WA Time – AWST (GMT+8)

  • Full BSWA Members * – 12 weeks beforehand

A $280 room bond is payable for these retreats.

*Equivalent status is given to members of Buddhist Fellowship Singapore, Buddhist Gem Fellowship Kuala Lumpur, Mahindarama Pali School Penang, Terengganu Buddhist Association, Ehipassiko Foundation and Bodhinyana International Foundation (BIF) of Hong Kong.

Weekend Retreats Online bookings open Friday Nights 8pm WA Time – AWST (GMT+0800)

All Participants – 6 weeks beforehand

A $120 room bond is payable for retreats.

Self Retreats

Jhana Grove is available for practising Buddhists, being those who keep the five precepts, to have a ‘self retreat’ during the periods when no other retreats are happening. A necessary requirement is that one has completed at least two 9-day retreats in Jhana Grove. Furthermore, approval must be granted by Ajahn Brahm via email sangha@bswa.org.  It costs the Buddhist Society of WA about $30 per person per day for the upkeep of Jhana Grove, and we greatly appreciate your donations to cover these costs and further improve the facility. Please make any such donation before commencing your self retreat and email donation receipt to caretakers@bswa.org.

If you have to cancel your booking, please contact us in time by emailing Christina at bookings-assist@bswa.org, cc Lay Har Goh at bookings@bswa.org. If you cancel less than 7 days before the retreat your bond will not be refunded.

What to Bring?

  • Torch
  • Alarm clock
  • Toiletries
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Tissues
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Wrap or shawl for meditating (recommended)
  • Travel insurance (if applicable)
  • Comfortable, loose and modest clothing -shorts above the knee and leggings are not suitable
  • Slip-on shoes
  • Bed sheet
  • Pillow case
  • Bathroom mat
  • Bath towels
  • Doona

During summer: flynets and insect repellent are recommended.

Jhana Grove is colder at night than Perth, please consider this when packing.

Meditation cushions (and/or stool), or mats will be available for all. Locals are welcome to bring their own cushion or stools.

If you want to go bush walking, please bring your walking shoes.

Enquiries

Please contact the following for any enquiries about Jhana Grove:

BSWA Retreats Bookings enquiries: Lay Har Goh – Bookings Coordinator (bookings@bswa.org)

BSWA Retreat Cancellations: Christina – Bookings Assistant (bookings-assist@bswa.org), cc Lay Har Goh – Bookings Coordinator (bookings@bswa.org)

General Enquiries: Ber Sun – Jhana Grove Coordinator (jhanagrove@bswa.org)

Disclaimer

The Buddhist Society of WA and the Jhana Grove organisers, whilst taking all reasonable care, shall not be liable for any damage, direct or indirect, to any retreatants, who accept that their participation is at their own risk.