Group Retreat Facility
The Group Retreat Facility (GRF) currently under construction is an important focus at De-Tong Ling retreat centre. It has been part of the overall plan since the idea of starting a retreat centre was hatched in 1991 when the land was offered to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and became an FPMT retreat centre.
Unlike other centres De-Tong Ling was dedicated as a retreat centre from the very start. Since that auspicious beginning the intent has always stayed the same, to build individual retreat houses and to follow Rinpoche’s advice to build the holy objects that are now part of the landscape at the centre. While all the time keeping in mind the need to build a GRF, which would enable the centre to offer retreat space to groups of individuals and to support them with appropriate quality facilities.
The GRF is so important in so many ways and can offer so much in the coming years. When it is up and running, De-Tong Ling will be able to offer many and varied group retreats to suit a much wider range of students at all levels of study and practice. In addition, it is envisaged that the GRF, when not being used for traditional Buddhist retreats, will be available for hire by like-minded groups, such as those practising yoga and mindfulness.
The GRF will offer us first-class facilities in a perfect environment for retreat. Just imagine, the only sounds are those of birds and native animals, the wind in the vegetation, the prayer flags fluttering! Besides the GRF offering peaceful and natural unspoiled surroundings, it is being constructed to high environmental and bushfire-protection standards and will be 100% solar-powered.
The 30-person accommodation block along with an ablution block and laundry are now complete and have already been successfully used during two group retreats. Currently the kitchen /dining /office block and store-room building are being constructed, and the workshop is almost complete. The next stage of construction will be the five duplex buildings and later, the large meditation hall. In the future, the total capacity of the GRF will be 40 to 45 people in accommodation, and at some distance away there will also be a large campground able to host many more in a beautiful native bush setting.