Abiding in Illusion Like-Emptiness

Weekend Retreat

Abiding In Illusion-Like Emptiness,
A Weekend Away Retreat

Friday – Sunday, April 21, 22, 23, 2017
Lodge at the Beach / Middle Beach Lodge
Tofino, BC

This weekend retreat is open to everyone and will be led by the Buddhist teacher Gen Kelsang Zopa.

Out of confusion and ignorance we misapprehend reality and perceive ourselves in a state of painful isolation from others and our world. We view our limitations as real and we feel stuck. But our limitations are not real. The actual nature of things is emptiness, which means things do not exist outside the mind, but as mere appearances arising from our mind.

Understanding this naturally frees our mind from our sense of limitation and insecurity and fills our mind with happiness.

During this meditation retreat, we will learn to meditate on the profound object emptiness, or ultimate truth. Gaining even just a little insight into this object can profoundly change our understanding of our self, and our world.

This retreat includes instruction, guided meditations, and chanted prayers. It will begin Friday evening & end on Sunday before lunch. Please register early to guarantee a space. Registration will open January 15 at 6 pm and we have to give our count of people and all information to the resort by March 21st.

The concentration of the fourth mental abiding is like clear still water that is not stirred by the wind, and the similitude of superior seeing is like a small fish swimming in that water without disturbing the surface. The similitude of superior seeing is a part of wisdom within the concentration, which investigates the object without disturbing the concentration
~From The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

All accommodation, sessions, and meals, except as noted with the *, are at the Lodge on the Beach.
Click here for a PDF of the schedule that you may download and print.


3:00 – 5:00 pm Check In at the Lodge at the Beach / Settle In
5:00 – 6:30 pm Dinner
7 – 8:15 pm Session One
8:30 pm Evening Cookies


6:45 – 7:30 am Morning Meditation in Conference Room*
7:30 – 8:45 am Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 am Session Two
Break Coffee & Tea Available
10:45 – 12 pm Session Three
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch in Main Dining Room*
Long Break Time Allowed for contemplation,
private meditation, etc
3:30 – 4:45 pm Session Four
5:30 – 6:15 pm Dinner
7:00 – 8:15 pm Session Five
8:30 pm Evening Cookies


6:45 – 7:30 am Morning Meditation in Conference Room*
7:30 – 8:45 am Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 am Session Six
Break** Coffee & Tea Available
10:45 – 11:45am Session Seven

*The Conference Room and Main Dining Room are a the Lodge at the Headlands, a short walk (or drive).

**Please have your bags out before the next session, unless you are staying over on Sunday night

Gen Kelsang Zopa is a modern Buddhist monk and Resident Teacher at Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Centre.

Gen Zopa has been presenting the profound and practical teachings of the Buddhist path to enlightenment throughout Canada for over 20 years. Renowned for his clarity and depth of his teachings, his warmth and practicality bring to life the ancient art of meditation.

The price for Standard Accommodations is $350 per person, all inclusive, which includes:

  • Private Room with Queen Bed and bathroom for two nights
  • Vegetarian Meals  (from supper Friday night through breakfast on Sunday)
  • Tea and Coffee and some snacks at breaks. Warm cookies after the last session at night.
  • 7 Sessions of Teachings with Meditation and Discussion
  • 2 Early Morning Meditation Sessions

For limited number of couples, you can add a second person in the same room for an incremental $150 (making it $500 for a couple.)

And, for confirmed Tofino residents only, we have special pricing for attendance of $125. This includes all meals and sessions.

The quality of accommodations at The Lodge at the Beach is truly perfect for a retreat. The building is very private, surrounded by nature on all sides with beautiful forest and ocean and beach views. The rooms aren’t “fancy” but are very comfortable and have all you need. Each room has its own complete bathroom, hooks for hanging clothes, dresser and bedside table(s). All rooms have views; some are forest, some are ocean. About half the rooms have balconies. And, except as noted above, all the beds are queen sized.
This picture will give you an idea of the level of room amenities.

For those who want to extend their retreat experience – you will be able to add a night before and/or after at a discount rate. This will be done directly with Middle Beach Lodge and can only be done after you are assigned a specific room, which will be February at the earliest and mid March at the latest, depending on how registration goes..

The links to registration are at the Register Tab, along with information on payment and cancellation policy.


Full Payment is due at the time of registration. Refunds less a $50 booking fee (per person) will be available until 2 weeks before the event (April 6th). After that time, no refunds will be available unless we find a substitute for your booking. Often there is a waiting list which would make that easy.

AT THIS TIME ALL AVAILABLE SPACE IS SOLD, PLEASE USE THE WAITING LIST OPTION. We have never had a retreat that didn’t have space open up in the last week or two and it is still a long way from April, so just put in your needs/desires we will contact you when something come available in date and time order.

Use this if the form does not display on the page for you:Link to Registration Form

Middle Beach Lodge 400 MacKenzie Beach Road Tofino, BC

Middle Beach Lodge is located on a spit of land between McKenzie Beach and Middle Beach about 4 km from downtown Tofino. There are two “lodges” and a campground on the site. All our lodging, all our retreat sessions and most of the meals will be at The Lodge at the Beach. We will have this lodge all to ourselves with a beautiful view of the beach and ocean. Really, an ideal spot for a truly profound meditation retreat. For more information on the accommodations, look under the Cost Tab.
Lunch Saturday and the Early Morning Meditations will be at The Lodge at the Headlands. The map linked HERE will show you the relative positions of the two lodges and walking/driving options between them.

Map and Directions

From Victoria: Driving Time: Just over 4 hours – Last spring, I made it in 6 hours easily, which included two stops: 1 for gas and 1 for lunch. It was 315 km door to door from my house in Rockland.
From Nanaimo: About 3 hours driving time.
From the Mainland: Take the Ferry to Nanaimo and drive from there. Or take a plane to Tofino. The airport is only about 20 minutes from the lodge, so I am sure we can figure out a pickup.
More details about landmarks for where to turn and where to check in will be provided by email to those who register.
Ridesharing offers and requests can be made in the registration form and we will do our best to match people up.

More information about Middle Beach Lodge is on their website.