Star of the SeaYamba's Star of The Sea is located on top of the hill and boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Clarence River. This unique conference and accommodation facility offers a peaceful environment with conference rooms to suit small and large groups of up to 120 people, 40 rooms of accommodation, a dining room which seats up to 80 people and ample parking.
During this retreat, we’ll use the Buddhist practice called the ‘Four Limitless Qualities’, to help us focus on recognising and cultivating the essential human aspects of Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity, which we all sense within ourselves.
“Compassion and love are not mere luxuries. As the source both of inner and external peace, they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species.” (His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.)They are the sublime expressions of love: the very obvious characteristics of the enlightened heart. They’re also known as the Four Immeasurables, The Four Sublime States, and the Brahmaviharas (or Divine Abodes). These four qualities of true love are said to be sublime, lofty, noble, and most excellent, as they’re the right and ideal way of relating to all living beings—providing assistance in all of life’s various situations. They’re also great removers of tension, peace-makers in social conflict, and healers of wounds sustained in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, awaken the latent generosity within us, and revive joys and hopes long abandoned. These four qualities of love are called immeasurable, because their capacity to purify the heart and generate positive energy is beyond measure, and as this sublime love grows within us through sincere practice, it extends immeasurably to all living beings throughout all realms of existence. Through deep contemplation and dedicated practice of these qualities, we transform our delusion, greed, self-centredness, and negativity. We heal the afflictions of anger, hatred, loneliness, sorrow, and unhealthy attachments, and ourselves and those around us reap the benefits of wisdom, compassion, and love. Eventually these sublime qualities of love become our natural and spontaneous attitude to the world. They are also called abodes (vihara) because they should become the natural habitat of the heart and mind where we feel at home, rather than places of rare and short visits, soon forgotten. In other words, our minds should become thoroughly saturated by these qualities of love, becoming our close buddies, and they should hopefully occupy our minds during the day. Just ask the Buddha: “Cherish all living beings with a boundless heart, radiating kindness over the entire world.” Tough call, but the Dalai Lama suggests we remain in this loving state of being at all times, referring to this as the “sublime abiding” (divine abode). This retreat investigates practical methods for integrating love, compassion, joy, and equanimity into our immediate experience. It’s appropriate for anyone interested in creating happier personal and global environments, whether you consider yourself a ‘spiritual seeker’ or not. Some of the teachings for this retreat are from the recordings “Perfect Just As You Are” by Pema Chodron, who teaches that spiritual practice has nothing to do with self-improvement, (as the course’s title claims) since you’re already perfect right now. The limitless qualities we refer to are your deep-down, ultimate reality, and they can’t be improved upon. But if you’re not feeling particularly kind, compassionate, joyful, or equanimous at the moment, take heart: the Four Limitless Qualities are like seeds waiting to be cultivated through practice―and being limitless, they’re rich enough to be worked with for a lifetime. Our fascinating program of study and practice provides the keys to access these radiant states, and to nurture their growth for the sake of all beings, especially yourself. Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: • How cultivating the Four Limitless Qualities is the antidote to depression, irritation, and isolation • How to get started in the foundational practice from our simple meditation instructions • How to generate and aim these radiant qualities at yourself, others and the world using guided meditations • How to challenge unhelpful thoughts and cultivate self-love • How to gain perspective on what’s important in your life • How to appreciate life and your place in it • How to discover your calm centre and experience emotional equilibrium • Powerful on-the-spot practices you can use throughout the day, even when there’s “no time to practice” This retreat fits perfectly with any other kind of meditation you’re doing or with other spiritual practices. And since no previous knowledge of, or association with Buddhism is required, it’s also ideal for those new to spiritual practice.