De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre

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De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre
Information
Main School Vajrayana
Sub School Tibetan, Gelug, FPMT
Affiliation Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Founded 1988/07/06
STUPA
Stupa Yes (See Stupa Page)
Contact Infotmation
Address 339-433 Snug Cove Road
Gosse
South Australia 5223
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Mobile 04 17 891 921
Website http://detongling.org
Email info@detongling.org, welcome@detongling.org
Social Media

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De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre (DTL) is a Buddhist retreat centre at the north-western end of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. We offer individual retreat accommodation in five self-contained earth-walled houses and hold two annual group meditation retreats, 4 days over Easter and 10 days in October.

The centre is under the spiritual guidance of Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and is affiliated to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). The separate FPMT Australia website is available here.

De-Tong Ling is located on 1300 acres of wilderness, 3 kms from the coast and with long views out to sea. The pure air and water of its pristine environment, and the deep silence of its remote location, provide ideal conditions for retreat.

About Us

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This Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre, whose name means “place of bliss and void”, was first established in 1988 by two devoted disciples of Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, Kimball Cuddihy (the previous Centre Director) and Greg Leith, who offered the land to Rinpoche for use as a retreat centre. It is an affiliated member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

The Centre is situated on 1300 acres of wilderness at the western end of Kangaroo Island. The land is 3kms from the coast and elevated with long views out to sea and the islands in Investigator Strait. The land is extremely well-suited for retreat; the pure air and water of its pristine environment, the spacious vistas over the bush and sea, and the deep silence of its remote location provide ideal conditions for this kind of activity. 900 acres is in a completely untouched state and preserved in perpetuity under a Heritage Agreement with the South Australian government. The remaining acres were logged 40 years ago, and the vegetation there is rapidly returning to its natural state. There are no introduced plants, and foxes and rabbits are entirely absent.

Since the Centre’s inception, the principal effort has been to set in place detailed and thorough plans for its future development. It was seen as essential to gain all the relevant and necessary government approvals before seeking donations from our supporters for the Centre’s main projects, which comprise:

  1. The Enlightenment Stupa.
  2. A public teaching hall, underneath the Enlightenment Stupa.
  3. A main gompa or meditation hall for classes and meditation practice.
  4. Twelve retreat houses for teacher and student accommodation.
  5. A Group Retreat Facility, including a library and lounge for private study and discussion groups, an administrative office, kitchen, laundry, toilets, and bathrooms. An inner courtyard will also provide an outdoor educational setting.

Brief History

Gen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup, the Abbot of Kopan Monastery in Nepal, visited in 1987 and gave very valuable advice on how to develop the centre. In 1988, Khensur Losang Thubten Rinpoche, ex-Abbot of Sera-je monastery in India, performed the first Dharma activity – a fire puja – on the land, making the prophecy that “many great meditators will come here”. In 1993 the Centre’s Spiritual Director, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, performed consecration practices on the retreat centre land for the success and welfare of all who do retreat there. Rinpoche commented at that time that the retreat centre “gives hope”.

The actual development of the retreat centre began in 1994 and was done primarily to meet the demand of the increasing numbers of people in Australia interested in studying and practising the philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism in a western setting.

Initially one small retreat hut was constructed and served as the “gompa” (meditation place) for many group and individual dharma practices and retreats. It was clear that the potential existed for a very successful retreat centre to be established, but that potential had to be actualised. Early years were spent finalising payments for the land and getting the necessary survey and legal work done. After years of careful planning, having obtained all state and local government approvals, five beautiful mud brick/rammed earth retreat houses are finished and available for use as well as a 14-metre Enlightenment Stupa.

The retreat centre’s long-term aim is to provide the most highly conducive conditions for Buddhist study and meditation in retreat conditions. The centre’s other primary purpose is to promote the study, practice and preservation of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism, and in particular the teachings of its founder Lama Tsong Khapa.

Another facet of De-Tong Ling is that a 450-acre parcel of land immediately adjacent to the centre is owned by the same two students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche who first established DTL. “Yacca Creeks”, as this land is known, supports the centre by way of its buildings and infrastructure. It provides an excellent supply of pure water from a fifteen million gallon dam that is gravity-fed to the retreat houses.

In the decades to come, as the world becomes ever more polluted and busy, our vision is that De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre will always remain as a place of peace and purity. It will offer many different retreat opportunities, from an hour by the Stupa to years in isolation. The quality of the Centre’s natural environment – uncompromised by its use – as well as its remote location will play an important role in the success of those retreats.

One day, perhaps, De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre will produce a Buddha.


Yacca Creeks

The land now comprising De-Tong Ling was once part of “Yacca Creeks”. For the story of how this came about, read on below.

In 1978 a few friends who had met at Nimbin in 1973, seeking an alternative lifestyle, purchased a lease on 1900 acres – or 700 hectares – of land at the western end of Kangaroo Island. It was all bushland. The friends set up an old army tent, and began to explore the possibilities that the land offered. Dwellings were made of rocks, ti-tree sticks and clay, and gardens established. Others joined them. Children were born, and the settlement extended into the next valley. A major achievement of that time was the building of a huge dam, designed to have a capacity of around 40 million litres. The land was made freehold in 1982, and 900 pristine acres were set aside in perpetuity to remain untouched wilderness.

By 1984, the initial impetus that brought the friends together, and the others who had become involved, began to wane. One of the original friends had met the Dharma at Chenrezig Institute in 1978, just before moving on to the land. By the mid-eighties, having done some retreat in Asia, and talked to others about the options that existed for doing retreat around the world, he realised how perfect the land at Yacca Creeks would be for this purpose. Using his own share in the land as a base, he joined with four others – three of whom were Dharma students – to purchase the remaining share. The land was sub-divided, creating a retreat centre of 1200 acres, and the remainder stayed as Yacca Creeks. The retreat land was then offered to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who accepted it and named it “De-Tong Ling”.

Find Us

De-Tong Ling is located on the western end of Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. There is a daily ferry service which operates up to four times a day (seasonal) and also a regular air service between Adelaide and the Island.

Kangaroo Island is much larger than most people think (it’s around 200km long). At the moment, there are no public buses or taxis available to the centre so please make sure to arrange for transportation before you arrive if you are not travelling with your own vehicle.

The ferry service can be booked via SeaLink and the air services via Regional Express.


339-433 Snug Cove Road
Gosse
South Australia 5223
Australia

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