Tree Forest Monastery and Retreat Centre was founded in 2005 by Venerable
Pannyavaro (Mahathero) an Australian monk of over 25 years service.
Pannyavaro spent many years studying and practicing in Burma and Sri Lanka and received higher ordination in the Thai tradition. He is better known as the founder and webmaster of BuddhaNet.net, the World Buddhist Directory and the Buddhist eLibrary project.
Pannyavaro is working on developing a meditation community to serve both lay and monastic practitioners on ninety-five acres of beautiful land at Tullera fifteen minutes from Lismore in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. This land has been purchased as a sanctuary and hermitage - known as Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Community Retreat Centre. Site works and development are being planned.
Click Here to see a slideshow of the Bodhi Tree property
Supportive conditions for ordained and lay practitioners to undertake intensive meditation practice are hard to find in western countries. To assist people to penetrate the heart of the Buddha's teaching the Buddha Dharma Education Association is currently planning to built a meditation retreat complex on its land at Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery.
The land forms and tree cover at Bodhi Tree naturally divide the land making it easy for different activities to coexist here. From two streams with beautiful rock pools the land rises to a large flat plateau. There is a good balance of cleared and forested land with many impressive old trees, the creek valleys have plenty of flat and gently sloping areas. The plateau of 15 acres of rich red soil has expansive and uplifting views and is a natural choice for the Retreat Centre.
Bush Regeneration Project at Bodhi Tree
In 2006-2007, using the Envirofund, the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery has been able to plant approximately 1,500 rain forest tree along our creek and rock pool. Since then we have extended our bush regeneration and revegetation project over the past four years and have now planted approximately 6,000 local rain forest trees and plants, which are now thriving!
Click Here to see the slide show of our forest regeneration project.
BuddhaNet.Net now has a home base at Bodhi Tree Monastery. Ven Pannyavaro pioneered a Buddhist presence on the Internet as the founder and webmaster of BuddhaNet.net since 1992. We have also establish the World Buddhist Directory database and the Buddhist eLibrary.
Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.
The Buddha Dharma Education Association (BDEA Inc.) was established in 1992 by Ven. Pannyavaro (Mahathero). Ordained in Thailand over 27 years ago he is also a teacher in the Burmese 'Mahasi Sayadaw' Vipassana Tradition. He teaches in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. BDEA Inc. is an incorporated community and Buddhist education organisation under Australian Law responsible for Buddhanet.net and the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Community Retreat Centre.
Bodhi Tree Retreat Complex Approved
Our good news is that after a prolonged process we have been granted permission by the local authority to build a Vipassana retreat
complex at Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Community Retreat Centre! Over seven years, having developed the infrastructure and monastery base we can now go ahead with the construction of retreat facilities
for forty-five meditators at a time from around Australia and Internationally.
Please watch this video showing an artists impression of how the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Community Retreat Complex will look when it is finished
When the Bodhi Tree Retreat Centre is built with proper facilities - see above - we will offer weekends, 9-day and teaching retreats for the local, national and international community. There is a great need for these facilities in Australia. We expect our location will attract many visitors from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney to our programs and retreats. Australia is a vast country and there are as yet no Theravada meditation centres north of Sydney.
As a not-for-profit organisation staffed by volunteers we offer our services without charge, so we rely entirely on your generosity to fund
this unique project.
Please join us and share in the benefits of making the Buddha’s liberating teachings freely available to all. make a donation
Supporting The Four Fold Community
The Buddha taught that the four fold community of Monks and Nuns, Lay women and Lay men needed to be strong and healthy for the Teachings to flourish. Mindful of this, we wish to support the meditation practice needs of all four groups.
Just as a Bodhi Tree gives shade to whoever sits under it the Bodhi Tree Monastery is non-sectarian. Whoever wishes to train and practice in the Insight Traditions of Theravada Buddhism is welcome. This includes ordained and lay Sangha of other Buddhist traditions as well as people of different religious traditions.
The Ordained Sangha in Australia
Bodhi Tree is a place for monks and nuns returning from training in Asia. Western monks and nuns often struggle to continue their vocation and training without the basic supports of food, shelter and community that is available in Asia, but more difficult to find in non-Buddhist countries.
The Lay Community
The Retreat Centre will cater for the needs for lay people with introductory teachings, long weekend retreats and 9-days vipassana meditation retreats for the lay community.
Eventually, when the purpose built retreat centre is ready, meditators- both lay and monastic - will have the facilities for intensive practice away from the usual responsibilities of lay life, but close to qualified Teachers.
Atthacariya or beneficial action for the common good is one of the Buddha's four teaching on the foundations of community (Sangha Vatthu).
The Buddha Dharma Education Association intends to set up a Trusts under Australian Law to promote and support initiatives in the areas of aid work, social justice, environmental repair and peace at a local, national and international level. A working centre for Ordained and Lay Sangha will continue, and enhance the ancient pattern of the natural flow of Insight into Action and Service in community (atthacariya). Please help us build and grow as fulfilling the vision of the Bodhi Tree is a big undertaking.
Making a Donation
We ask you, as a member of the larger national and international Buddhist community for your financial help.
You can send cheques or money orders made out to ‘Buddha Dharma Education Association.
Australian residents can make a gift that is fully tax deductible under Australian Taxation Law. Make these donations to 'BDEA School Building Trust Fund'. This Trust fund is only for building and site development works. An official receipt for tax purposes will be issued to you.
As we are a not-for-profit charity we do not make any charges for our services. Therefore, we rely solely on your donations for support and the generousity of volunteer workers, thank you.