What is Sudarshanaloka? 

"Sudarshanaloka" means "Land of Beautiful (or Happy) Vision"   this Vision is not just about the beautiful view of the hills and water and native bush,  "Beautiful Vision" is also about Sangha working together to manifest their shared vision through collective work and practise...not just some abstract unreachable beauty, but the beauty of Sangha.

Sudarshanaloka is a Mandala of different people and activities including the Retreat Centre and resident Community;  Lotus Realm Gift and Music shop in Thames; Buddhaloka, the Buddhist Centre in Thames Township (upstairs in the Post office building); Buddhafield, an outreach and Festival team and a network of friendships that spreads across New Zealand and across the World which is the Triratna Buddhist Community

This Mandala grows with each person who forms a spiritual connection with Sudarshanaloka, whether by coming on Retreat, visiting the Community or maybe helping out in some other area. This mandala includes YOU TOO! Sudarshanaloka is all about POTENTIAL and working together to MANIFEST our shared ideals, this IS our Practise! Come and Practise with us.

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WINTER CAN BE A WONDERFUL TIME FOR RETREATING... enjoying the Valley in Winter enjoying Mist and subtle colour changes in the bush, even sitting inside studying, reading or making art while listening to rain on the window can be very nourishing to the soul...

Check if there are any Winter Specials available on selected Cabins

sudarshanaloka@gmail.com with Booking enquiries.


THE FORD: there was some erosion by the river in the recent storms that swept the country. Any Help and donations at patching this will be warmly received. Thanks to Jayaghosa for coming and helping out the Community.

The Community Huts Project , due to the increasing frequency of Retreats being held in the House there arises the need for the Community to have a self contained living area apart for the House.  There are some ideas in the pipeline about how best to achieve this, so that Community can be nearby enough to assist Retreat Organizers, but private enough so as not to intrude upon Retreat situations. If you have an interest in assisting this possible project please email the Community or Sudarshanaloka Management Team at sudarshanaloka@gmail.com and register your interest. 

Donations and practical help with labour/ equipment and services are always needed

please call 07 868 5341 or email sudarshanaloka@gmail.com for bank account details and tax deductible donation receipts.


STONE, SEA and SAND: Poetry by Satyadevi

A reminder that you can purchase copies of Satyadevi's  book of poems from LOTUS REALM SHOP in Thames Phone 07 868 5431, or email  lotusrealmtraders@gmail.com

Satyadevi’s volume combines threads of the raw energy of New Zealand with her Buddhist reflections on impermanence. Receptivity to the underlying drumbeat of this nation’s painful seismic birth and her awareness that it is all but a splash on the tabula rasa of becoming, imbues her poetry with poignancy, beauty and acceptance." - Navachitta

This poetry not only reflects the Buddha's teachings on Impermanence but also in the symbol of the Stupa and by the wild nature of the elements to be found in New Zealand, a reminder to us all to use our Precious Opportunity.


BHADRACHITTA  (Auspicious, Friendly-hearted one) Passed away 1st April 2014, surrounded by tui, bellbirds mountains and Lake Whakatipu… all very aesthetic, for a very aesthetic and beautiful woman who gave of herself unstintingly to further the Dharma in New Zealand. Not only did she work in garage sales, leading classes and generally being kind and generous, she gave shelter to penniless Buddhists when ever they were down on their luck or travelling through. She was kind (very kind) a barrel of laughs, intelligent and very, very beautiful in her heyday. She was in theatre and the media used to refer to her as “New Zealand’s Grace Kelly”. She is survived by her family: Grant, Guy and Amanda and their children, and of course many friends who will miss her very much.

TARANATHA has departed from our lives, but not from our hearts or memories. He relished getting on Retreat in Chetul his favourite Cabin and loved to strike a trail or to discover which native birds were in residence. He also had an intense spiritual connection with the Land at Sudarshanaloka and we can perhaps see reminders of Tara everywhere in the intense greens of the landscape.

Sudarshanaloka literally would not exist in the way it does if Taranatha had not been involved in its very inception. He had a huge influence both in the initial  Vision, and then over the many years putting in his own effort, and helping with resources both financial and personal. His Friendship and dry wit, along with his practicality and shraddha will be missed by everyone.

When you are next bushwalking, camping, birdwatching or visiting the Stupa, stop for a moment and connect with a quality of Taranatha, he would be thrilled that we can carry on the work of developing Sudarshanaloka for future practitioners.



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Ph 07 868 5341  Fax 07 868 5346  


714 Pollen St, Thames

We accept good quality donated items to sell in the shop, so remember us next time you are having a spring-clean! We may even be able to pick up stuff so give us a call.

You can help us to support the local community and continue our support of Sudarshanaloka Trust is by doing some VOLUNTEER work in the Shop, Office or Warehouse.

Give us a call on 07 8686 5341 if you think you would like to help out.

Come and see us if you are in Thames!

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Posted by mike inman on September 3, 2013 at 20:33



+64 (0)78685340 Retreat Centre Community

+64 (0)78685341 Lotus Realm Office


Snail Mail: PO Box 538, Thames 3540, N.Z.

Hi! I'm Andrea the Office Ninja for Lotus Realm (and interim Admin for Sudarshanaloka)... I volunteer to keep this .ning site updated. PLEASE contact me at

lotusrealmtraders@gmail.com  with any EVENTS / RETREATS/ INFORMATION that needs listing on this site!



BHADRAKARI loves being on Retreat, and enjoys engaging Creative Mind in a playful expression of the Dharma. She is based in Auckland and loves clowning and playing


NAVACHITTA          Currently working as an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor.  In June of 2011 she began running the Buddhist Recovery Network at the Auckland Buddhist Centre. She has decided to defer her own Enlightenment until all living beings attain it

NITYADANA lives in Thames and is very involved in practical ways supporting Sudarshanaloka and also at Buddhaloka, where he regularly runs Monday Sangha nights. He loves meditation, music and poetry and also tinkering with mechanical things.

SILARATNA lives in Gisbourne and loves visiting Sudarshanaloka when he can to be on retreat with Sangha and enjoy the natural environment. He is a teacher and also a musician.

PRAJNALILA is an Artist and educator. She loves meditation, dharma study and teaching and manifesting the Bodhisattva Ideal. Her connections with Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre extend back to the very beginning, and was instrumental in documenting and communicating the Vision

 RATNAVYUHA  teaches at the Auckland Buddhist Centre and regularly leads retreats at Sudarshanaloka. He discovered the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1992 and has since dedicated his energies to dharma practice and helping others. He tries to make dharma practice less mysterious, more life changing. He has attended many retreats at Sudarshanaloka and has a deep connection to the land there.

NAGABODHI is a senior member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and is  the President of the ABC and although based in the UK visits NZ every few years, and always enjoys reconnecting with the Sangha here.

VESSANTARA has been an Order member since 1974. He an author of several books, and in 2008 he spent over 3 years in meditation retreat in a wooden circus wagon in France. He has made several very successful visits to Triratna centres in Australasia before giving talks and leading retreats. This will be his first visit to NZ since 2001 and he is very much looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. He has a website at www.vessantara.net

VIJAYAMALA has been exploring how to keep meditation alive and relevant for more than 30 years. She was ordained in 1992 and worked to set up and run Buddhist Right Livelihood businesses and communities for many years.  For the last 12 years she has been focusing more exclusively on meditation practice. Since coming back from her 3-year retreat 3 years ago she  teaches full time within Triratna. She is very much looking forward to connecting up with the sangha in this part of the world and sharing some very useful practice tools that she has been working with

NATALIE GRACE has been involved with the Triratna Buddhist Community since 1999 and is in training for ordination.. She is on the meditation teaching team at the Auckland Buddhist Centre and is also Centre Manager. She loves being involved in the grass roots of creating a vibrant spiritual centre. She has attended many retreats at Sudarshanaloka and has a very strong connection with the place.


PLEASE NOTE Our Donation link is under construction, please contact us on +64 (0)7 868 5341 or email sudarshanaloka@gmail.com  in the interim for details on how to donate to Sudarshanaloka

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