The Emptiness of the Mind Retreat | Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Centre


Weekend Away Retreat


DATES:  Friday Apr 24 – Sunday Apr 26

TEACHER:  Gen Kelsang Zopa

WHERE:  Bethlehem Retreat Centre, Nanaimo BC

REGISTRATION:  Registration will open on February 24th at 6 am.  The retreat cost is $365 including private room with bathroom down the hall, 6 vegetarian meals and all sessions.  There will also be a commuter rate available for $220.  The retreat schedule can be accessed HERE.



All phenomena that appear to my mind are the nature of my mind. My mind is the nature of emptiness.’  We often feel stuck in painful habits of thought, such as anxiety, depression or feelings of hurt. Because we perceive our mind to be fixed and unchanging we feel trapped in these ordinary and painful emotions.

But this seemingly inflexible mind does not correspond to our reality. By experiencing the mind’s actual nature, its emptiness, we understand that our potential for change is limitless, that freedom from unhappiness and indeed Enlightenment is possible.  

In this retreat we will emphasize familiarizing ourself with both the conventional and ultimate natures of the mind.   These insights will help us to become more open-hearted and skilful in letting go of unhappy feelings and delusions, and empower our most profound practices such as universal love and compassion.

This weekend retreat includes instruction, guided meditations, and group 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 Zopa

 A Canadian Buddhist monk, Gen Zopa has been presenting the profound and practical teachings of the Buddhist path for over 25 years. He teaches introductory classes, Foundation Program and the Teacher Training Program in the Victoria region. 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 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 must book in advance.  You can book online HERE.  Registration will open Feb 24 and be open until there is no space or  April 10, whichever comes first.  If you have questions, please email us at