Our Centre has been conducting silent retreats in spring and autumn each year since 1998. It is a 3-day retreat from the Friday evening meal until Monday after lunch, with an option to stay for 2 days only.
Next Silent Retreat
You can join us for the silent retreat at Hartzer Park, Burradoo:
16–19 March 2018
19–22 October 2018
(20th anniversary of retreats)
29 March – 1 April 2019
11–14 October 2019
Information for Newcomers
If you are a newcomer please read this document.
A Sample Retreat Schedule
"Meditation brings proof of the existence of God."
"Success in self-realization depends on whole-souled effort. The true devotee knows the value of constant and regular meditation, by which his life becomes an uninterrupted prayer."
"To those who think me near, I will be near".
"Love must be the supreme motivation in our hearts when seeking God".
"Go deep into the sanctum of meditation,
mentally praying with utmost sincerity:
'Father, reveal Thyself!'"
Silent Retreat, 7–10 October, 2011
Theme: “Perceiving the Astral World through Concentration in Meditation”
54 retreatants shared a restful and uplifting weekend nourishing body, mind and soul.
The program included:
— Group Energization Exercises which were originated by Paramahansa Yogananda and are taught through the Self-Realization Fellowship home study lessons.
— A two-hour guided meditation for group practice of the SRF meditation techniques. The showing of the newly released DVDs, “Kriya Yoga Plus Devotion” by Brother Anandamoy and “Beholding God in the Temple of All Life” by Sri Daya Mata.
— Sunday Readings Service, topic “Healing Body, Mind and Soul”.
— A kirtan service with emphasis on singing to God with devotion as a prelude to meditation. Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to God-realization. Vibrations resulting from devotional singing lead to attunement with the Cosmic Vibration or the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).”
— A story titled “How I Found out About Heaven”.
— Free time for reading, resting and enjoying leisurely nature walks.
Feedback from retreatants...
“I thank you for organising such a wonderful spiritual treat. It was the most wonderful time for me this whole year.”
“Thank you again for a beautiful retreat.”
“This may well have been the best retreat of all! Thanks to all the service readers and I especially enjoyed the ‘first guided meditation’ on the Saturday. Thank you also for those lovely affirmations. Once again, it is wonderful to spend the weekend in such good spiritual company.”
“Thank you all for making the retreat possible. It was one of the best ever. I have a new determination to pierce the spiritual eye.”
"Teach me to behold Thy face in the mirror of my stillness within."
"Rest. Free your mind from the consciousness of a beast of burden."
SRF Silent Meditation Retreat at Hartzer Park, Bowral, NSW
— April 2010
“The temple of God is within your soul. Enter into this quietness and sit there in meditation with the light of intuition burning on the altar. There is no restlessness, no searching or striving there. Come into the silence of solitude…”
— Paramahansa Yogananda
Away from the chaos of a busy city whose daily needs drain a person of his balance, a retreat is an occasion that helps mankind to kindle the link between his life and spiritual revelation. The fragrance of lush trees tickled my spirit while entering Hartzar Park, 1.5 hours out of Sydney, for a 3 day SRF retreat. Before entering the chapel I thought, ‘My God, Your children are getting together on Your name, how beautiful and complete it is, in itself!’
Next moment I was welcomed by a greeter with smiling eyes saying, ‘Enjoy your retreat!’ Communion with God at quiet places is the purpose of a ‘retreat’. And I could feel its true purpose being served right from that instant.
The retreat activities included morning and evening energization exercises, morning & evening long group meditations, along with the provision of watching audio and video screenings of various inspirational SRF teachings. Each service was conducted with utmost devotion and aspiring affirmations for one’s spiritual advancement. There was enough time to relax and contemplate what mind was acknowledging. This helped in truly rejuvenating the soul with divine expressions.
The observation of strict silence for a few days helped in anchoring the mind into its true state of being. The Romanesque architecture of the chapel overlooking the vast green fields helped to provide an environment satiated with calmness and natural magnificence. The walk on these fresh sunlit grounds of the park added another element of peace.
All facilities provided at the retreat were conducive to extracting maximum benefit out of the time spent there. The rooms were well ventilated and well suited for individual meditations. The vegetarian meals prepared by nuns were scrumptious, they were light and supported the physical attribute of meditation.
The retreat helped me and all, who felt more in tune with the bliss. And I felt better equipped to endeavour again in my daily responsibilities, with a fresh outlook, faith and gratitude towards God. As Paramahansa Yogananda said, “On the doors of silence I knocked loudly with my persistent blows of faith, and the doors of space opened. There, on the altar of glorious visions, I beheld Thee, resting.”
— An account by a retreatant, April 2010