Bethlehem Retreat Fall 2024 - Kadampa Meditation Centre Victoria

How to Transform our Life with Lamrim Meditation

Learning and Practicing the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

Away Retreat – Nanaimo | Sept 13-17

DATES:  Sept 13 – 17.  
You can book for the full retreat (4 nights (Fri-Tue))
or just for the weekend (Fri-Sun).

TEACHER:  Gen Kelsang Zopa

WHERE:  Bethlehem Retreat Centre, Nanaimo BC


(1)  $970/person, includes accommodation for 4 nights, 12 meals and all sessions.  Friday evening through Tuesday afternoon

(2) $520/person, includes accommodation for 2 nights, 6 meals and all sessions within the timeframe of Friday evening through Sunday noon.

(3) For Locals – a commuter price of $500 for the full retreat or $275 for the weekend only. All meals and sessions within the timeframe included.

Registration for the 4-day retreat opens Wednesday, May 15, at 7.30am

Registration for the weekend-only, will open on June 15.

What is the Lamrim?

Lamrim is a Tibetan term that literally means “the stages of the path.”  It is a special organization of all Buddha Dharma that is easy to put into practice, so that we can quickly  make progress on the path to enlightenment.

In this retreat we will have an opportunity to improve both the quality of our meditation (technique) and the quality of our understanding of Dharma.

How To Transform Our Life With Lamrim Meditation

Sometimes when we meditate, we find that we’re just going through the motions—our practice doesn’t move our heart.  Effective meditation requires the power of our faith and wisdom.  Most importantly, we need to identify the object of our Lamrim meditation correctly so that it appears clearly to our mind.

Our meditations will be taken from The Mirror of Dharma with Additions by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche (pages 64-135).  We will be using the prayer booklet “Prayers for Meditation”.  Instructions will include:

  • Essential steps in preparing our mind for powerful meditation.
  • How to generate the actual object of Lamrim so that our meditation functions correctly.  
  • How to remember the object of meditation throughout the day so that our life becomes a spiritual path.  

Join us and learn how to empower your meditation practice so that steady and gentle progress can be made day by day on the stages of the path to enlightenment.



Gen Kelsang Zopa

A Canadian Buddhist monk, Gen Zopa has been presenting the profound and practical teachings of the Buddhist path for over 25 years.  Renowned for the clarity and depth of his teachings, his warmth and practicality bring to life the ancient art of meditation.

Bethlehem Retreat Centre is a healing environment that provides quiet and beautiful surroundings for a retreat.  Situated in a wooded acreage in Nanaimo, Bethlehem Centre looks out over Westwood Lake against the backdrop of Mt. Benson.  There is a well-groomed path around the lake, swimming for those who like a morning dip, and trails up Mt. Benson for the more adventurous.  Click here to go to the Bethlehem Retreat Centre Site.

This retreat includes instruction, guided meditations, and group prayers.  There will also be time to enjoy a stroll around Westwood Lake where you’ll find bluffs with a spectacular view of the lake and Mt. Benson or just to contemplate and read.

Q. Do I need to be a Buddhist to attend?
No. Anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits that come from having a peaceful mind.
Q. Do I need to have any experience?
No. Everyone is welcome, including beginners. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life.
Q. How should I dress? Is there physical exercise involved?
No special clothing is required.  You just need to be comfortable and prepared for weather changes.  The classroom area and the eating and sleeping areas are seperate buildings, so you will have to go outside between sessions.
Seating will be in chairs or you can bring your own cushion if you wish.   There is no physical exercise during sessions.
During breaks you may want to avail yourself of the hiking trails, but it is not required.
Q. What is the schedule for the retreat?

Official Check-in Time for those staying on site is between 3 and 4 pm on the day your retreat starts.  (There is no check-in necessary for commuters. If you are staying on site and arrive after 4 pm, the onsite co-ordinator from our Centre will check you in.  Just have patience.)

Dinner will be at 5:30pm.

The Introductory Session for you will be at 7:00pm on Friday.

There will be 3 meals and 5 sessions* on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and 4 sessions on Tuesday.  The retreat will end  for those choosing the weekend only at1 pm on Sunday (right after lunch) and for those choosing the full retreat at 2 pm on Tuesday.

The detailed schedule for the retreat can be viewed or downloaded from HERE.


*Morning Meditation plus 3 to 4  longer sessions that include both teaching and meditation

Q. What are the accommodations like?

Each person will have their own room – very simple accomodations with a full or twin bed. Towels and sheets will be provided.  Restrooms are shared.

If you need to avoid stairs or have other physical requirements for your accomodations, please indicate on your registration.

Q. What dietary restrictions can be accomodated?
Six meals are included starting with dinner on Friday night and ending with lunch on Sunday.  All meals are vegetarian.

Gluten-free, non-dairy and vegan dietary requirements can be accomodated easily and you can identify this on your registration.  If you have food allergies or other dietary needs, please let us know and we will see what can be done.


Q. Do I need to book in advance?

Yes, you must book in advance.  Registration opens on  May 15th at 7:30am  for those who are planning on attending the full retreat.   Registration for those who wish to attend only on the weekend will open on June 15th.  Thereafter, registration will remain open until there is no space or Sept 2 at 9 pm, whichever comes first.  If you have questions, please email us at

Q. What is the cost?

There are 4 options depending on your situation and your schedule availability.  We highly recommend Option 1 for the  most immersive retreat experience if you are able:

1)  $970/person, includes accommodation for 4 nights, 12 meals and all sessions.  Friday  evening through Tuesday afternoon.

(2) $520/person, includes accommodation for 2 nights, 6 meals and all sessions within the timeframe of Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.

(3 and 4) For Locals – a commuter price of $500 for Friday to Tuesday or $275 for the weekend only. All meals and sessions within the timeframe included.

Q. What is the cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy reflects the deposit and cancellation  policies of Bethlehem Centre.

Full Payment is due at the time of registration. Refunds, less a $50 per person booking fee, will be available until August 10. For cancelations from Aug 11 to Sept 2  we will be able to refund you 50% of the fees less the $50 booking fee. After that time, there will be no refund available unless a substitute is located.