Welcome

The Hermitage, a 60-acre retreat centre on Denman Island in British Columbia, is as close as most of us will ever come to what the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition calls a beyul. Beyul are hidden valleys protected by deities and blessed as refuges, places where the physical and spiritual worlds overlap and meditation practice is enhanced. For many practitioners The Hermitage, walking distance from the ocean and surrounded by forest, is just such an exceptional place.

While our roots are Buddhist, we cultivate a spirit of openness and welcome teachers from many diverse paths. The Hermitage provides a quiet and nurturing setting for the study and practice of meditation and yoga, for the exploration of movement, philosophy, psychology, and the healing arts as means of self-discovery.

We are committed to honouring the principles of ecological sustainability, believing that the conscious practice of love for our fellow beings and the careful stewardship of our Mother Earth are the precious seeds for any viable future.

 

Residential Program Closure

After having to cancel our scheduled 2020 summer residential programs due to COVID we decided to take advantage of the requisite pause to do a thorough assessment of the centre’s aging infrastructure. This process led us to the inescapable conclusion that major upgrades are overdue, and that the COVID hiatus provides us with an excellent opportunity to initiate them. Implementing the resultant development plan will require that The Hermitage remain closed to residential programs until upgrades are completed, possibly 2-3 years. In the interim we plan to focus on developing online programs for our wider community, as well as on local Denman Island initiatives.

Online & Community Programs

When we had to cancel the summer 2020 residential programs many of the teachers who were scheduled to lead retreats generously supported our community with online teachings. This model was quite successful and, after a year-long interval, we are initiating a new round of online offerings, a few of which have already been scheduled (here). We will update the website as additional online courses become available. Please register by completing the online course registration form. Registered participants will be emailed detailed course descriptions and Zoom meeting links. Additionally, during this period, we intend to focus more on programs for the Denman Island community. A major renovation of the barn structure, slated for Phase 1 of our development plan, will provide a suitable venue for classes and events. Please check here for more info.

 

Stupa Project

As one of the objectives of the initial phase of our development plan is to finish uncompleted projects, we decided to begin with the stupa, the spiritual heart of the centre. Work on the stupa began back in 2013 and over the years there have been a few periods of intense work, bringing the project within sight of completion. The person most responsible for helping us make it to the finish line is Peter Boag, a genuine stupa master-builder from Peterborough, Ontario. Combining deep knowledge of traditional stupa construction with modern materials and laser-cut stainless steel components, Peter and some wonderful volunteers were able to accomplish in three weeks what would ordinarily take months. On October 9 Lama Rodney presided over the placing of relics and on October 17 Geshe Yong Dong led a blessing and consecration ceremony. Peter wll be returning to Denman in May to oversee the final, finishing touches which will require a few days of warm weather. Visit our Stupa Project photo gallery here.

“Having no destination, I am never lost.”

~ Ikkyu