One thing leads to another.
If you love to golf, you’ve probably played most of Murray River’s iconic courses.
If you love art, you will have visited the regional or national galleries of Victoria and others.
If you love stained glass you may have visited all the cathedrals in England and Europe and if you have read Daphne du Maurier you must have visited and fallen in love with Cornwall.
Earlier this year, a car full of us visited the Bendigo Art Gallery to see the Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion exhibit, the first of its kind.
It blew us away with its unique color and high fashion designs that would be right at home on any international catwalk.
Next, we visited the Grand Stupa of Universal Compassion on the outskirts of Bendigo.
This eight-story Buddhist temple is today the largest temple in the Western world.
Its white facade exaggerates its already enormous presence.
In 2007, His Holiness the Delai Lama visited Bendigo to bless the start of its construction.
While the exterior is finished, the interior is still a “work in progress”.
By implication, the surrounding Peace Park is young, but its landscaping and design is clearly evident.
Everything is built through volunteer work and donations.
In its wooded surroundings is the Atisha Center.
A Tibetan Buddhist meditation center.
This center has been developing for over 40 years and now offers a study opportunity to find a spiritual path to wisdom and compassion, and meditation.
I just went through a four night / five day meditation retreat while staying there.
It was a wonderful and unique experience less than two hours from our home.
There are several buildings, three are adobe surrounded by their own beautiful garden.
One is the monastery of the nine resident monks, the most honorable is Geshe Rabten, a Tibetan monk.
A new monastery for resident nuns has yet to be built.
Our accommodation was comfortable and there were options for a range of budgets.
The meditation sessions started at 6 am in the Gompa or teaching room.
There were five sessions a day, the last ending at 8 p.m.
I slept every night at 8:02 p.m.
The dining room, office, gift shop and outdoor area are most attractive.
This allowed us all as much privacy or social interaction as we wanted.
Some were Buddhists leading their own additional practice of silence, but all revealed it after a few days.
Retirement is not for everyone.
It’s not a summer camp, but it was exactly what I needed to learn to meditate, relax, and unwind. I liked it.
The Atisha Center offers a range of residential and daytime classes ranging from in-depth teachings on Introduction to Buddhism, the Progressive Path to Enlightenment, and Advanced Buddhist Studies.
There is also meditation for beginners, Hatha Yoga, or sessions concerning physical well-being and health, death and agony.
Every Sunday there is a one hour guided meditation for beginners between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
For more information, call the Atisha Center at 5446 3336 or visit www.atishacentre.org.au
At the end of October, there is a three night Buddhist retreat for beginners with meditation.
As much I would love to go back it is a bit soon, but I will be going back.
The Great Stupa was recently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, I suggest you call first if you plan to visit 5446 7568.
This wonderful experience is due to a fabulous day trip.
– Suzie pearce