Refuge Retreat – Gabriola Island

Weekend Retreat

How to Find Actual Protection from Pain and Problems:
The Beautiful Mind of Refuge

Friday – Sunday, October 16, 17, 18, 2015
The Haven Retreat Centre
Gabriola Island, BC

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

We all want a solution to our problems and spend much of our time and energy seeking refuge outside of ourselves – in our social life, our work, or indulging in meaningless activities. This is a fruitless search since none of these has true power to help us.


We can find true refuge from suffering only within ourselves, by cultivating deep experiences of love, compassion, and wisdom. On this retreat we have a perfect opportunity to discover and deepen our experience of refuge by connecting with Buddha’s blessings and receiving the encouragement of spiritual friends.  Then we can quickly and easily make progress on the path to liberation and enlightenment.


This weekend retreat includes instruction, guided meditations, and chanted prayers. There will be time to enjoy the beautiful grounds at The Haven, a natural paradise with secret gardens and buildings nestled in the trees. (Click or tap here to see pictures from our last retreat at the Haven.)
Click here for a PDF of the schedule that you may download and print.


4:00 – 5:45 pm Check In / Settle In
6:00 – 6:45 pm Dinner
7 – 8:30 pm Session One


7 – 7:45 am Morning Meditation
8 – 8:45 am Breakfast
9 – 10:15 am Session Two
10:15 – 10:30 am Break*
10:45 – 12 pm Session Three
12 – 1 pm Lunch
1 – 4 pm Long Break**
4 – 5:30 pm Session Four
6:00 – 6:45 pm Dinner
7:00 – 8:30 pm Session Five


7 – 7:45 am Morning Meditation
8 – 8:45 am Breakfast
10:15 – 10:30 am Break***
9 – 10:15 am Session Six
10:45 – 12 pm Session Seven
12 – 12:45 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm Session Eight
3:05 Ferry****

*At all breaks coffee, tea, fruit and snacks are available in The Lodge (same building as meals).

**The long break on Saturday gives you an opportunity for private meditation, exploring the grounds, contemplating, etc.

***Staff will be stripping your beds on Sunday during the 9 am session.  Please remove your belongings at any time before the 10:45 am session.  If you did not come in a car there is a secure storage space provided near the check-in desk in the Lodge.

****If you plan to leave earlier, you will need to leave right after Session Seven as the next ferry on Sundays is at 12:35 pm.

Gen Kelsang Zopa is a modern Buddhist monk and Resident Teacher at Bodhichitta 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 $300 per person, all inclusive, which includes:

  • Bed in a Shared Room with a private bathroom for that room
    • Rooms have 2 or 3 beds and sleep 2 or 3 people. The 3 bedded rooms are quite spacious.  For more information, including a link to pictures, see below.
  • 6 Meals  (from supper Friday night through Lunch on Sunday), served buffet style
  • Snacks included at any time: tea, coffee, fresh whole fruit and homemade bread with peanut butter.  (Other snacks may be purchased.)
  • 8 Sessions of Teachings with Meditation and Discussion
  • 2 Morning Meditation Sessions

Single accommodation is in a room with a double bed (or maybe 2 beds but only you) and a private bathroom for $425, all inclusive.

The quality of accommodations at The Haven is quite nice.  Rooms are simply furnished and comfortable. Each room has a private bathroom an a phone. The rooms are not all in the same building.  Many of the rooms house 3 people, usually with a double or queen bed plus 2 single (twin) beds in the room. There is one room that is a little different – it is an ocean view suite for 4 to 5 people with one bathroom. It has a queen bed in one bedroom, 2 twins in a second bedroom, and another room with a sofa bed. If you are particularly interested/not interested in this suite, please let us know on the registration form. Wifi is available on the grounds and reaches most rooms.

This links to the accommodation pictures on the Haven’s web site.    In the Osprey, we have all single rooms. The picture of Orca 104 shows a triple room.

Regarding dietary issues, please read this document and then report any severe allergies on your registration form.
The link to registration is at the Register Tab, along with information on payment and cancellation policy.

The prices are $300  for shared accommodation and $425 for private accommodation; both are all inclusive. Read more under the Cost Tab.

Full Payment is due at the time of registration. Refunds less a $50 booking fee will be available until Oct 1st. After that time, if you need to cancel, we will work to help you find a substitute.

The Haven Retreat Centre is a healing environment that provides a quite and beautiful surroundings for a retreat.
Click or tap here to see photos from our April 2015 retreat at the Haven.
Click or tap here to see some photos of they have published..
a triple room.
Regarding dietary issues, please read this document. You can report any severe allergies on your registration form>

For information on the accommodations,look under the Cost Tab.

The Haven Retreat Centre
240 Davis Road, Gabriola Island, BC

Click or tap here to go to Google Maps

Important Information about Getting To The Haven
Gabriola Island is 20 minutes ferry ride from Nanaimo
Currently passenger round trip is $10 / Vehicles $25.45
Nanaimo is 1.5 hours from Victoria by car

The ferry runs approx once an hour. Here is the link to the schedule

You can drive onto the ferry and then drive the short distance to The Haven where there will be parking.
Or you can walk onto the ferry and someone from The Haven will pick you up. Just call 250-247-9211 ext. 0 and say which ferry you are about to get on. The Haven van carries 6 passengers.

On Friday you will want to aim for either the 3:30 or 5:00 pm ferries, unless you are arriving earlier to explore Gabriola Island. We can’t check you in before 4 pm.

As car space is limited and you will likely not need your car during the retreat, you may find that long term parking in Nanaimo is more cost effective. There are several long term lots near the ferry terminal. Here is a link to download a map of parking in Nanaimo. You will note that the Pioneer Parkade and the Port of Nanaimo Centre lots are quite close to the ferry terminal.