Frequently Asked Questions
Longer retreats (from 4 to 40 days) follow a similar schedule and format to short retreats, though the day may start before dawn. Individual interviews with the teacher are scheduled for all meditators every one to two days. If the teacher is ordained (a monk or nun) it is customary to serve just two meals per day (breakfast and an early lunch) with no food taken after midday.
1. To abstain from killing living beings.
2. To abstain from taking what is not given.
3. To abstain from sexual misconduct.
4. To abstain from dishonest speech.
5. To abstain from intoxicants.
Retreats led by ordained teachers (monks or nuns) will usually include a further three training precepts:
6. To abstain from eating after midday.
7. To abstain from amusements such as singing and dancing, or adornments.
8. To abstain from using high or luxurious beds.
Once the retreat begins, you will be asked to keep ‘noble silence’*. Maintaining silence throughout the retreat reduces distraction and assists greatly in developing continuous mindfulness and contemplation of body and mind.
Communication is limited to talking with the teacher in individual interviews, group discussions or interactions with staff regarding needs or concerns. Reading, writing and communicating with others in any way (including using mobile phones) is discouraged.
*In some weekend retreats noble silence may not be introduced until part-way through the retreat, e.g., after breakfast on the Saturday.
Please give our office number to a family member or close friend to use in case of emergency so that you do not have to check your phone. If you have fragile or dependent family members that you need to stay in contact with, please notify the office so arrangements can be made.
|Bed sheets||Insect repellent|
|Pillowcase||Shoes that are easily slipped on and off|
|Drinking water bottle||sunscreen/sunhat|
|Warm shawl or blanket for use in meditation hall||Small clock or watch|
|WARM*, comfortable, modest, clothing||Umbrella and/or raincoat|
|Towel||Torch and batteries|
|Toiletry requirements for full stay||Writing paper & pen for interview notes|
|Ear plugs for use if you’re a light sleeper||Vitamins, medicines, dietary supplements required for full stay|
*in Winter (April to October) this means thermal underwear such as long-johns, jumpers, polar-fleece jackets, windproof jackets, thick socks, woollen hat, gloves, scarf etc
- For Courses up to 4 days: where cancellation is prior to two weeks before retreat, payment is refunded less a $100 cancellation fee. No refund is given for cancellations made less than two weeks before retreat.
- For courses exceeding 4 days: if cancelling more than 30 days prior to the retreat, 75% is refunded. If cancelling within 30 days of the retreat, no refund is given.
There is no charge for the teachings, as these are given freely in accordance with the Buddhist tradition. Teachers’ travel costs are sometimes covered but teachers are not paid for their teaching or time at the Centre. Some teachers are entirely reliant on dana for their livelihood.
At the end of each retreat we invite students to make an offering directly to the teacher in addition to the set cost of the retreat which covers just the running costs of the Centre.
Tax deductible donations can also be made directly into the BMIMC building fund to support the Centre’s building program.
Food & Accommodation
Travelling to and from BMIMC
For train timetable information please see the Sydney Trains website.
If you need a lift from Medlow Bath station, please call us beforehand and leave your name and arrival time. Upon arrival, leave the station via the eastern end (the Sydney end) of the platform, walk down the pedestrian ramp on the left hand side and wait for pick-up on Railway Parade in the car parking area near the Rural Fire Service building.
Please note that travel to the Blue Mountains by train (and most public transport in Sydney) requires an Opal card, a prepaid electronic ticket. To travel you need to acquire an Opal card (obtained from newsagents and other outlets).
The visitor car-park is located at the the bottom of the Centre off Medlow Lane. Upon arrival, you are welcome to park temporarily on Rutland Road while dropping off your bags before moving your car down to the lower car-park. This may be easier than carrying your bags uphill.