Our Story

The Odiyana Centre in Melbourne was founded in 2001 by Lama David Christensen, (Lama Urgyen Yeshe Ozer) an Australian Lama of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
David completed his traditional training in a four-year retreat in Dordogne France during the 1980s under the guidance of his primary teachers, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khenpo and Tulku Pema Wangyal. He has spent over 30 years studying and practising Buddhism in Australia, Nepal, France and the USA under some of the most influential Tibetan teachers of this century. David is also fluent in Tibetan and is highly regarded for his work in translating Dzogchen texts.

The Birth of Odiyana Bali

Building began on the Odiyana Bali retreat in June 2019.  Around the same time, Lama David Christensen was appointed as Spiritual Director and work began on creating a beautiful space that would honour the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism whilst offering modern meditation and yoga facilities.

David’s vision for the new retreat centre was to capture the essence of his spiritual lineage whilst being strongly influenced by the Northern Balinese culture.

Odiyana Bali Retreat has been built exclusively using local talent, craftspeople and material. Everything down to the meditation cushions has been made within the local village

Discover the ‘Old’ Bali in the North 

As soon as you step off the well-worn path, the traffic eases up, nature returns and the tropical allure of traditional Balinese life – the very thing that first attracted tourists to the island – flourishes. 

 The Guardian

Our accommodation is situated in the northern region of Bali, Pahlengkong a small farming village in the Pejarakan area. The surrounding  location offers a glimpse into traditional Balinese culture less dominated by the tourism of the south part of the island. The local people have integrity, warmth & strong spirituality within their culture & community. At Odiyana Bali Retreat we aim to capture these same values too. Our project director David Christensen hopes to create a low impact and sustainable retreat which resonates with the rich culture and deep sense of community here.

Tucked away in the far northwest corner of Bali, our peaceful getaway has avoided the crowds and over-subscribed appeal of places such as Candidasa, Lovina, and Ulu Watu through intelligent planning and a community-wide commitment to avoiding the ravages of over-development.

Lonely Planet

Although the peaceful North of Bali remains undisturbed by the energetic tourism of Southern Bali each year, it’s not all peace and quiet. Northern Bali has some of the best diving, snorkelling in Asia. Menjangan Island ‘Deer Island,’ received its name from observing the entire herds of wild deer swimming to the island every spring. It is our wish for our guests to take advantage of the incredible activities that are enjoyed here year-round. We have partnered with the best diving centre in the area to run trips to Menjangan. At present, we attract the out-doors type from all over the world.’

For those who love the water but don’t want to get wet, Odiyana also offers a unique fishing adventures in traditional Balinese boats. For lovers of dry land, your options include lazing on sleepy beaches, discovering lush native forest or hiking to magical waterfalls while passing majestic clove, cacao, jackfruit, and mangosteen trees.

Welcome to our retreat

About Odiyana

Unwind in our stress-melting hot spring mineral pool
Catch a Session in our 16 x 8 metre Yoga Shala

As well as our own events, Odiyana is available for event bookings and for individual stays. Our main yoga shala is 16 metres in length including an entrance, library and waiting area. Facilities here include a hot spring mineral pool, swimming pool, running track and extensive gardens. Our accommodation is traditional but luxurious. Get in touch for more details.

Walk around the 3.8 Metre Dilgo Khyentse Memorial Medicine Buddha
Rest Well in one of our Traditional Rooms

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