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9-Day Retreat – Natural Samādhi with Bhante Ānanda

March 29 @ 12:00 pm - April 7 @ 12:00 pm

Boundless Love Meditation to Nibbāna

With Bhante Ānanda

March 29th – April 7th

The Karuna Sanctuary, Saywell Rd, Katoomba NSW 2780

Natural Samādhi is the original teaching of the Buddha on how to develop mental collectedness (Samādhi), by way of uplifting the mind and relaxing bodily tension. This is what the Buddha called wise practice (Right effort). Learning to use the vehicle of Calm and Clarity (Samatha-Vipassanā), meditators deepen in their experience of a happy and composed mind, and drink deep, the bliss of the higher mind (Adhicitta).

For a mind well trained in this timeless wisdom and free from the five mental obstructions, there is no need to wish for happiness, since happiness pervades every moment of existence. The collected mind is happy, and a happy mind is collected (Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati).

Developing awareness of Loving-Kindness to Nibbāna, using right effort (6Rs). In the spirit of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) taught by Most Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi, Bhante Ānanda’s teacher.

Retreat Experience

The Karuna Centre is located in 374 acres of natural forest 1000 metres above sea level. The surrounding area is a habitat for Kangaroo families and native birds such as wattle birds and kookaburras. Within the grounds of the Karuna Centre, there are scenic bush walking tracks. Meditators can enjoy walks that lead to a beautiful waterfall and dramatic cliff-top views of the Megalong Valley. 

For all inquiries:retreat@mettacentre.com

About the Teacher

Bhante Ānanda

Bhante Ānanda is a Canadian Buddhist monk trained in the teachings and the monastic way of life of early Buddhism. In 2018, after practicing and learning from a vast spectrum of different spiritual practices including Hinduism, Hatha yoga, traditional Native American wisdom, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vipassanā meditation and much more, Bhante Ānanda discovered the Teachings of Bhante Vimalaramsi.


Highly impressed with his meditation technique and his wisdom, he decided to go forth (Pabbaja) at his center, Dhamma Sukha Meditation Centre (DSMC) in Missouri, and spent a whole summer in the presence of Bhante Vimalaramsi. During his stay at DSMC, he had the opportunity to attend closely on his teacher and to sit on meditators’ interviews by Bhante Vimalaramsi’s side for the whole summer, directly learning from him for several months.

At the end of the summer, Bhante Vimalaramsi gave Bhante Ānanda his permission to teach. Bhante Ānanda then moved to Canada as a solitary forest monk and founded the HeartDhamma community and the Heartwood Hermitage.

Visit https://heartdhamma.love

Begin the Journey

Embracing the whole of the Buddha’s teaching, Bhante Ānanda’s approach tends toward Natural collectedness of mind (Dhamma Samādhi) through, what he calls the two wings of awakening; Joy and letting go. Which culminates in the direct experience of Nibbāna, by way of wisely developing the seven supports of awakening (Sambojjhaṅgas) and Boundless Love (Mettā).

He is the author of:

Open Heart

A Guide from Boundless Love Meditation to Nibbāna


The Buddha’s Path to Awakening & Wholesome Mental Development


Recitals of Dhamma

On his personal journey to liberation, Bhante Vimalaramsi practiced and learned from many renowned meditation teachers from Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. 

But it is only after many long retreats that he discovered the first modern translation of the the Majjhima Nikāya, the Buddha’s original discourses by Bhante Ñāṇamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi.

He was then so inspired by the Buddha’s own words that he left for a cave in Thailand, where he started practicing directly from the Buddha’s own words. His discovery was life changing and shortly afterwards, he synthesized a meditation technique which called Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM).

TWIM teaches how to use the four immeasurable states of the heart: Boundless Love, boundless compassion, boundless joy and boundless calm, in a natural, gradual and linear sequence, using, as a compass, what he called the 6Rs (Recognize, Release, Relax, Re-Smile, Return, Repeat). The culmination of which leads to a perfectly clear and still mind and the direct experience of Nibbāna.

Since then, thousands of meditators have greatly benefited from Bhante Vimalaramsi’s teaching and have experienced profound levels of liberation, freedom and happiness.

Retreat Overview

This is a time for simple living and participants need to bring their own pillows, sleeping bags or bed sheets and doona, towels, torch, toiletries etc. Accommodation is selected on a first come first serve basis so it’s important they attend on time for the registration. We recommend wearing indoor shoes or warm socks in the meditation hall, a shoe-free area, and mosquito repellent for the warmer season.


The retreat welcomes you with a grounding orientation, along with beginning Loving-Kindness (Mettā) meditation instructions on the first day, as well as how to use the 6Rs.

Meditation Periods:

Meditation periods are flexible and alternate between sitting and walking meditation, as per everyone’s level. There are mainly two blocks dedicated for meditation, which allows advance meditators to sit for longer periods of time, without being disturbed and insures that those who begin on this path, have the freedom to follow their own needs, under the guidance of the teacher.

Morning Routine:

Waking up early to make the most of the day, meditators gather in the meditation hall every morning to freshen their minds with renewing their virtue and remembering the highest refuges, and letting their minds soak in a few short essential sayings of the Buddha.

Daily Interviews:

Participants will receive personal guidance from the teacher, on meditators’ interviews. This ensures that each participant’s meditation is carefully nurtured by insightful advice and ensures good, steady progress. Since this meditation changes and evolves constantly, close monitoring is necessary and new meditation instructions are usually given during these personal interviews.


Breakfast is served early and lunch is taken before noon to allow an optimal diet for meditation, following the Buddha’s advice. Tea is available in the afternoon and no evening meal is served in order for meditators to enjoy lightness and strength in their meditation. An exception is made for participants with a medical condition who require an evening meal.

Evening Discourse:

Every evening at 7 pm, all meditators gather in the hall of a discourse on the Buddha’s teaching (Dhamma). The talks are framed around the original discourses of the Buddha (Suttas). Themes vary and include practical, down to earth meditation instructions, methods to let go of mental distractions, the development of the Buddha’s wisdom, the cultivation of wholesome, skillful mental states and so forth… Meditators will get to hear various suttas complimented with anecdotes, real life stories, relevant and inspiring poems along with a certain dose of good humor.

Rest and Sleep:

Bedtime is at 10 pm. Rest during the day is recommended, especially in the beginning, to ease the transition from the busy house life, to the purely meditative lifestyle of retreat. Feeling rested is essential in this practice.

06:00 am – Wake up
06:30 am – Guided Meditation
07:15 am – Refuges, Virtues and Meditation
07:30 am – Breakfast
08:00 am – Meditation
09:00 am – Personal Interviews
11:00 am – Lunch
01:00 pm – Meditation and interviews
05:00 pm – Tea
07:00 pm – Discourse
08:30 pm – Meditation
10:00 pm – Sleep or Personal Meditation

At lunch, Bhante Ānanda comes for alms in the dining area.
Participants may get a chance to practice their generosity and offer food in his bowl and receive a good wishes.


Comfortable amenities for both Lay practitioners and monks.
Spacious dormitory-style rooms and individual cabins available. Some shared residences are being built at the moment.
Clean. Open. Spacious. Comfortable.

The Train Kutis

We have done everything we could to keep the price as low and accessible as possible. We are hoping to be able to make this retreat by-donation only next year or in future years.

For all inquiries:


On retreat, meditators are expected to follow instructions precisely and practice sitting meditation for a minimum of 7 hours everyday, without any other activities than meditation, as taught by the teacher.

Please book a retreat only if you are certain to fulfill these conditions and are certain to attend.  Those who do not follow these criteria will be asked to leave. This is not a free vacation. Please respect the donations of those who have truly benefited in the past and practice wholeheartedly!

Previous Retreats

2023 – Blue Mountains Retreat Album



March 29 @ 12:00 pm
April 7 @ 12:00 pm
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