Only Nirvana is Peace | Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Centre


Weekend Away Retreat


DATES: Friday Oct 19 – Sunday Oct 21

TEACHER:  Gen Kelsang Dema

WHERE:  Bethlehem Retreat Centre, Nanaimo BC

More About Retreats

REGISTRATION:  Registration will be available through 6 pm on Oct 1st or when registration reaches 30.  Please click below for information on costs, accommodation and how to register.


A retreat to develop the unwavering determination to abandon self grasping ignorance, the cause of all of our problems, unhappiness and sorrow. This joyful mind, looking forward to the pure happiness of liberation is the gateway to the path to enlightenment.

There are two types of self-grasping ignorance: self-grasping of persons and self-grasping of phenomena.  The first grasps at our own or others’ self, or I, as truly existent, and the second grasps any phenomenon other than our own or others’ self as truly existent.  The main point of meditating on emptiness is to reduce and finally to eliminate both types of self-grasping.  There is no greater method for experiencing peace of mind and happiness than to meditate on emptiness.

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


  Gen Kelsang Dema is the Resident Teacher of Akshobya Buddhist Centre in Calgary.  She is an ordained Buddhist nun, a close disciple of Geshe Kelsang for many years, and a qualified Kadampa Teacher.

At the request of Geshe Kelsang, she came to Calgary eight years ago with the wish to bring happiness and meaning to the people here through teaching Dharma and giving spiritual guidance.

Since then, Gen Dema’s clear explanations of Buddha’s wisdom instructions and her example of faith and commitment have helped many people integrate Buddha’s wisdom and compassion into their lives.


Bethlehem Retreat Centre is a healing environment that provides a quite 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.


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?

No special clothing is required, come as you are.

Q. Is there any physical exercise involved?

No. The classes focus on meditation and teachings alone. You can choose to sit on a chair or meditation cushion.

Q. What is the schedule for the retreat?

You can arrive anytime after 3:30pm on Friday and check into your room.  Dinner will be at 5:30pm.  The Introductory Session will be at 7:30pm on Friday.

There will be 3 meals and 5 sessions on Saturday and 2 meals and 3 sessions on Sunday.  The retreat will end at 2 pm on Sunday.

You may read and download a copy of the detailed schedule at this link.

Q. Do I need to book in advance?

Yes.  You can book online HERE.   Please book no later than October 1st.  If you have questions, please email us at