More than just saving water

At Vijayaloka Buddhist Retreat Centre we try to put into practice ideals that go beyond practicalities. Our goal is not just to improve our facilities for our own needs, but to benefit humans, the environment and all living beings beyond our immediate community and beyond our lifetime.

We can’t save the world, but we can certainly change it. In fact, we continuously change the world around us whether or not we intend to. The Buddha taught that all things arise in dependence on conditions, and cease when these conditions cease. This is true of everything from rainbows to our bodies to mountains. We live in an ever-evolving web of conditions, and our actions affect the way these conditions evolve.

A waterfall in the grounds of Vijayaloka after the welcome rains

Modern environmental science is just beginning to discover the extent to which this teaching is true, and public opinion is gradually adapting to these discoveries.

With this in mind, we wanted to reduce our demand on town water, but still have the benefits of a reliable and plentiful water supply:

In a dry area adjacent to bush-land, a reliable water supply is not just a convenience. It can make the difference between life and death, and help save buildings and other property.

For humans, wildlife and the environment, green vegetation is an important source of wellbeing, so we wanted to have a healthy garden without imposing on Sydney’s diminishing dam waters.

For all these reasons we sought and received a Commonwealth Government Community Grant to help fund the installation of a system of rain water tanks. The largest tank, on the edge of the bush, is dedicated for fire fighting. We hope that in the event of a bushfire it will make a difference to the fire fighting effort in the surrounding area. The remaining three tanks, with a pump and filtration system, will provide high quality water for the kitchen, bathrooms and garden.

The project is now complete, and since early 2008 Vijayaloka has been nearly self sufficient for water.

Some of the participants on the Elements Retreat looking at Water Element symbols, with Chris Hayes MP

A member of the Vijayaloka koala bear colony as photographed during a retreat in December


Vijayaloka Recipient of Australian Government Community Water Grant

The Vijayaloka retreat centre transformation received a welcome boost with the awarding of nearly $42,000 from the Australian Government Community Water Grant, as part of their $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund. The Vijayaloka proposal qualified for support because it is a community orientated initiative that demonstrates public benefit and puts in place practical solutions to help save and protect local water resources.


Chris Hayes MP. Local Federal member - Werriwa, joins the Elements retreat with Chittaprabha (retreat leader) and Viraja (Chairman)

A member of the local Minto Heights Bush fire brigade admires the water tank dedicated for fire fighting in the event of a bush fire

Participants from the family retreat gather in front of the third water tank which will supply rain water for the retreat facilities

Vijayaloka Retreat Centre • 7 Howard Road • Minto Heights • NSW 2566 • Australia • Phone: (02) 9519 0440, (02) 9603 9603