The land now comprising De-Tong Ling was once part of “Yacca Creeks”. For the story of how this came about, read on below.
In 1978 a few friends who had met at Nimbin in 1973, seeking an alternative lifestyle, purchased a lease on 1900 acres – or 700 hectares – of land at the western end of Kangaroo Island. It was all bushland. The friends set up an old army tent, and began to explore the possibilities that the land offered. Dwellings were made of rocks, ti-tree sticks and clay, and gardens established. Others joined them. Children were born, and the settlement extended into the next valley. A major achievement of that time was the building of a huge dam, designed to have a capacity of around 40 million litres. The land was made freehold in 1982, and 900 pristine acres were set aside in perpetuity to remain untouched wilderness.
By 1984, the initial impetus that brought the friends together, and the others who had become involved, began to wane. One of the original friends had met the Dharma at Chenrezig Institute in 1978, just before moving on to the land. By the mid-eighties, having done some retreat in Asia, and talked to others about the options that existed for doing retreat around the world, he realised how perfect the land at Yacca Creeks would be for this purpose. Using his own share in the land as a base, he joined with four others – three of whom were Dharma students – to purchase the remaining share. The land was sub-divided, creating a retreat centre of 1200 acres, and the remainder stayed as Yacca Creeks. The retreat land was then offered to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who accepted it and named it “De-Tong Ling”.