Origins Retreat Centre, Balingup

Origins Retreat Centre, Balingup is a respite, retreat and activity centre governed by Origins Centre in Western Australia, a charitable not-for-profit NGO founded in 1983.

Situated on 10 acres, the Centre is surrounded by beautiful gardens, trees and native bush and is on the Bibbulmun Track and Balingup Brook. Next door on the west side is Coorain on 7 acres. Both Origins and Coorain are managed by the same committee of management.

We welcome all for respite, retreat and personal or group activity: yoga groups, health groups, meditation, carers and caring organisations, bush walkers, activists, environmental groups, school and youth groups, art groups and individuals. There is a resident volunteer Manager and Caretaker.

We try to maintain an ethos that's friendly, helpful and cooperative.

Our amenities, accommodation and facilities are available on a donation basis.

Origins Centre also governs Coorain, a special interest Buddhist residence located on the adjoining property.Coorain provides the longterm continuity in both management and teaching.Coorain practicioners instruct the mindfulness sessions, weekends and retreats as well as offering access to the dharma teachings.

Origins Centre is a drug and alcohol free zone.

Origins Centre, Balingup

Origins Centre (OC) is governed and run by a local management group with the indispensable help of many friends. We are dedicated, like so many others, to furthering the common good.The costs and needs of Origins Centre have always been met by freely given support (dana), whether as labour, work-in-kind, financial donations or fundraisers.We have also received the occasional grant to help fund a major project like the building of an office or the staff cottage.

Accomodation and all facilities at Origins are used on a donation basis.Please note that donations are not individually monitored and envelopes supplied give each donor the privacy they may require.

In 1983 the Origins property was generously donated to a WA group interested in Buddhist ideas and practices. Although retreats and Buddhist study groups have always been held here, it has now evolved into a universal, inclusive and practical place open to the community. Many different groups and individuals seek to contribute to the common good, and all are welcome. Dharma practices and teachings are still, however, a continuing feature of the offerings at Origins.

We are established on 17 acres of beautiful rural bush parkland. Maintaining and developing the natural environment is a continuous project. There is so much to learn about bush regeneration. It is a real interest to those involved and requires real labour! The diversity and accessibility of our parkland is aways improving.

Activities and training, retreats, respite and special events are the general themes at OC. A diverse mixture of individuals, families and groups come to The Origins Centre seeking time out and participation in non-intensive personal retreats. People often combine their personal interest with mindfulness practice or yoga.

Environmental, art and bush regen groups; mental health and carers groups, youth groups and children's play-groups have all been welcomed at the Origins Centre.

Over the years, since the founding of OC in 1983, kids have been very much a part of our cultural fabric. Many, many kids and parents have taken a break at Origins. Children are fine attending mindfulness training and we have Family Kindy (pregnant to 4 yr olds with parent/carer) on Wednesdays. (And for the older kids we have the highest swing in the region!)

Origins is quiet and beautiful. Artists come to write, rehearse, paint or simply soak up the atmosphere and find inspiration. Students can come and study away from distraction and OC would welcome groups of students studying something together.

Musical recitals, rehearsals and recordings; field days & walkers from the Bilbulmun track, mindfulness, yoga and meditation...are just some of the various things that go on.

Travellers always bring some joy and a story and are most welcome. Many nationalities have enriched and contributed to Origins. There is usually some casual orchard work in the region at Donnybrook, Kirup and Mullalyup. Situated right on the Bibbulmun track, lots of walkers stop for a rest here

Origins respects mental health and the effort it can take to maintain and protect it. We are a non-clinical service and long-standing supporters of mental health. One of our main purposes is to provide a friendly, safe, restful environment where people can enjoy good company and good food! Mindfulness practice itself is for the protection, maintenance and development of mental health.

There are opportunites to volunteer. Many a working traveller has been involved and contributed to Origins.

If you are interested, call Chim (08) 9764 1275 or email Origins.

Our amenities are built using the timbers from the old Bunbury wharf. Our meeting 'rotunda' was originally at Greylands Hospital in Perth. The beautiful World Peace Pagoda here was built with friends from the WA Myanmar (Burmese) community. The W.A. Burmese community sometimes comes to practice near the Peace Pagoda. We are now building a Buddha's Alcove near the Pagoda which will help further a Buddhist precinct on the property. It will provide a quiet place of solitude.

In 2006, Origins was fortunate to gain a Lotterywest grant which, combined with the great effort and generosity of many friends and well-wishers, resulted in much-needed improvements, including a manager's residence, separate office, composting toilets, upgrading our water collection capabilities and renovating the caretaker's room.

For more than 29 years the Origins Centre has been settling and growing - with a bit of luck we should be around for a good long while.

We reckon it takes 50 years to establish a viable model.

Origins Centre