The Art of Samādhi – 9-day Silent Meditation Retreat

A 9-day silent meditation retreat in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW


About this event

Dates: Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 October 2024, arrive 4pm Saturday, depart 2pm on the closing day. Note that this includes the Labour Day public holiday.

Cost: $840 – $1440 depending on the type of accommodation. This price includes three lovingly prepared meals each day. Early bird prices are available until 25 August.

Capacity is limited to a maximum of 15 participants.

Registrations close Monday 30 September.

More info and registration


Samādhi is a pāli word that is sometimes translated as concentration, but might be better understood as collecting, unifying, aligning, stabilising, and harmonising both mind and body. The Buddha gave extensive teachings on how to cultivate samādhi and the importance of this practice. Through cultivating samādhi there are beautiful, lovely, and powerful states of mind that foster deep feelings of tranquility, happiness, and wellbeing. These qualities of mind also create optimal conditions for gaining insight and learning about your own mind and experience. 

These states are a possibility for all human beings and can be accessed and cultivated through practice. This retreat will facilitate good conditions for the development of samādhi through a tranquil environment, the opportunity to practice, community and sangha, and supportive guidance.

Each day there will be teachings given on the techniques for cultivating samādhi, working with the hindrances, finding a balanced approach to practice, and how to deepen the practice and explore avenues for insight. These instructions will centre around using the breath as a meditation object, whole body awareness, and the practice of mettā. All participants will be expected to utilise a base practice technique that cultivates samādhi, however there will also be flexibility to respond to an individual’s experience and what is arising in practice.

This silent retreat is structured to provide an environment where all retreatants can receive as much support and guidance as is helpful for them to move forward in their practice, and to work with whatever might arise, in order to bring freedom.

All retreat participants will have a call with Kynan prior to the retreat to ensure that we support you as well as possible and that the retreat experience is beneficial. There will also be an optional post-retreat integration call for bringing the practice back into daily life.


“This was my first 10 day meditation retreat and any reservations I had about what it would be like quickly fell away. The teacher is the real deal – knowledgeable and experienced, as well as kind, caring and was responsive to my individual needs and challenges. The retreat setting, food and accommodation were all high quality and comfortable too! I came away from the retreat feeling I had deepened my practice tremendously.”

“I would recommend the 10-day silent retreat particularly for those anyone feeling stuck in their practice or not really noticing any ‘benefits’ of meditation. I can certainly say that I have greater awareness, equanimity and took away some useful insights about different parts of the mind and hope to integrate that into daily life.”

Retreat Schedule

The schedule will mostly alternate between seated and walking meditation. Each day there will be a dharma talk, instructions and guided meditation, stretching and gentle movement, one-on-one interviews with the teacher, three meals, and time for exercise or walking outside. We will observe noble silence from Saturday night until noon on the closing day.

3-night Silent Retreat with Kynan Tan image

About the Teacher

Kynan Tan is a meditation teacher who takes a collaborative approach to helping students deepen their meditation practice. He came to meditation after struggles with stress, anxiety, and depression and found the practice to be transformative. He believes that meditation has enormous potential for creating positive change and opening up new ways of relating to our experience.

Kynan draws upon a number of different modern and traditional techniques of contemplative and introspective practice. He is a longtime practitioner of the stages of śamatha-vipassanā (as presented in the book The Mind Illuminated), Rob Burbea’s insight meditation techniques, nondual awareness, and brahmavihārā practices (mettā, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity). Kynan brings his experience as an artist, musician, and programmer into his understanding and sharing of meditation in a way that is clear, practical, and creative. 

Kynan has recorded guided meditations for SBS, and has taught classes at Carriageworks, City of Canada Bay Libraries, and Melbourne University Contemplative Studies Centre. He teaches the Pragmatic Dharma Club at the San Francisco Dharma Collective, regularly leads residential retreats, offers one-on-one instruction, and teaches online meditation courses. He is the co-founder of Sit Down and Practice. Kynan has sat a number of retreats, including a month-long solo retreat in 2021.

Venue and Cost

Vejjasala, located just outside the village of Wingello in the Southern Highlands of NSW, is a retreat centre run by the Association of Engaged Buddhists. The name, Vejjasala, means a place for healing. This beautiful retreat centre features recently renovated, comfortable accommodation, expanses of bushland, and lots of amazing wildlife.

The cost for this retreat varies depending on the type of accommodation and there is an early bird discount available. Please click on “Buy Tickets” to see the different options. We have worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible while allowing for us to pay for food and venue hire.

The registration cost includes accommodation and food, with three lovingly prepared vegan meals per day. Please indicate if you have any allergies or dietary requirements. We can generally accommodate gluten free diets, however we may not be able to accommodate all requests.

There are different prices for different rooms. Shared rooms will be allocated to people of the same gender (please indicate on the form if you are booking a shared room and this is not suitable for you). You can read more about the accommodation options. Note that the kutis are traditional free-standing single person dwellings away from the house, that do not have power, bathroom/toilet facilities, or heating. Please be aware of this when booking as this may not suit everyone.

Registration is via Ticket Tailor. Please complete the form and pay the full cost to reserve your place.

Scholarships are available via Open Dharma Foundation. Please contact if you are considering applying.

The retreat registration does not include payment for the teacher. This continues the ancient Buddhist tradition where the teachings are offered freely. Payment to the teacher is made by donation (dāna or generosity) after the retreat. Participants are invited to make a donation that feels sustainable and generous according to their situation. These retreats and teachings are possible because of the generosity of others in the past and any dāna given will help make the teachings available in the future.

Full details about Vejjasala, accommodation options, directions, and information about what to bring can be found on the Vejjasala website.

There is a train station in Wingello, however trains do not frequently stop there. You can take the train to Moss Vale and then take a taxi to the venue, which could be coordinated with other attendees. Transport to and from the venue is the responsibility of the participant, however we will do what we can to coordinate carpooling, or public transport and shared taxis.

Vejjasala is a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ people.

More info and registration

Fire Danger

Due to its rural location in the bush, Vejjasala Retreat Centre is “not to be occupied” on days with an “extreme” or “catastrophic” fire danger rating (per Wingecarribee Shire Council DA for the property). During the bushfire season, if the forecast before the retreat is for an “extreme” or “catastrophic” fire danger rating, the retreat will not be able to proceed. We will monitor the fire danger, and in the case of “extreme” or “catastrophic” fire danger rating, we will advise all participants as soon as possible and provide a full refund. The on-site retreat manager will monitor the fire danger rating for the duration of the retreat.

Risks and Responsibility

This retreat will be conducted in silence (you can always talk to the teacher as required). This may not be a good environment for you if you are experiencing serious mental health issues, or if you have experienced recent or severe trauma. While meditation retreats are generally beneficial, intensive meditation practice can lead to distress or adverse effects. The teacher and volunteers will do their best to support you but they are not qualified to provide mental health support. Please consider your own situation and discuss with the organisers and teacher if you have any concerns. The teacher will arrange a phone call with each participant prior to the retreat to make sure they understand your situation and how they can best support your meditation practice.

It should be noted that participants attend these retreats entirely at their own discretion and should consider their own risks and responsibilities in regard to their own health needs and COVID. While reasonable efforts will be taken in regard to providing a safe environment, the organisers take no responsibility for individuals’ behaviour or health consequences arising from attending a retreat.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID please take a RAT or PCR test and notify the organisers at If you test positive for COVID you will not be able to attend the retreat and we will arrange a refund. If you have a negative result you may still be able to attend, depending on the severity of your symptoms and in discussion with the organisers.

Refund Policy

PLEASE NOTE: Bookings may be cancelled 21 days prior to the event with a full refund (minus booking fees). Cancellations less than 21 days prior to the retreat will not receive a refund, unless another participant is able to take your place, in which case you will receive a full refund (minus booking fees). Cancellations less than 7 days prior to the retreat cannot be refunded.


Here’s a short FAQ about going on retreat.

If you have any questions about the retreat, please email

This event is organised independently by Kynan Tan, with the Association of Engaged Buddhists as the venue partner.


Vejjasala, 219 Forest Road Wingello, NSW 2579

More info and registration