Dharmaloka Buddhist Community was founded in 1977 by Žarko Andričević, Dharma heir of the Venerable Master Sheng Yen, and a small group of devoted practitioners.
It has since grown to almost a thousand formal and informal members, still being the only registered Buddhist religious community in Croatia. Over the course of time it became the leading voice in spreading the Buddha's teaching in Croatia and neighbouring countries. Today it runs the Chan Retreat Center and several city Chan groups in the country and abroad. Its distinctiveness is the practice of Chan in movement, or development of mindfulness through discipline of zenyoga.
The Chan Retreat Center Hartovski Vrh has, since its opening in 2019, been the center of all the Community’s activities. Located in the inspiring environment of the Nature Park Žumberak, the Center offers instruction and support in adopting and practicing a Chan-inspired path of personal transformation and discovering one’s own deeper nature. The Center’s program reflects its dual focus - teaching and practice, and is tailored to the requirements and needs of different types of participants. Education includes basic meditation course, Tranquillity and Insight, meant for beginners, as well as individual public lectures and lecture cycles illuminating the meaning of various important tenets of the Buddha’s teachings. At the heart of the practice are meditation retreats, ranging from one to seven days. Special programs include zenyoga workshops and seminars, programs dedicated to parents and children, as well as school for Dharma and meditation teachers. Individual stays or residencies at the Center are open to experienced practitioners who can deepen their mindfulness without an external schedule and group support.
In a broader sense and in addition to Chan-related content, the Center seeks to embody principles which inspire a responsible attitude towards the society and environment. It is a platform for cooperation and dialogue with various domestic and international organizations in the educational, civil, artistic and religious sectors.
And finally, the way of life at the Center, the design and technical solutions of its buildings are an example of the application of sustainable energy practices and an awareness of the environmental impact of our stay on this planet.