A Tribute to Tony Kruger of Sangsurya Retreat Centre, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Tony Kruger has been one of the Gods of spirituality in Australia for decades. It is sad to hear from Radha Nicholson of his passing last month in March, 2017. Along with his late wife, he became the founder and director of the Sangsurya Retreat centre, just outside Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Creative and bold, Tony set up one of the world’s most beautiful meditation centres, full of greenery, flowers, wild creatures, and views across the ocean.

If I may say, I have 44 years of teaching retreats in numerous centres worldwide. There is no retreat centre that I know of that is mostly booked five to eight years ahead.

Tony told me he could easily fill up with retreats another centre in the area. He said he would be willing to pass those requests to run a retreat to another nearby centre if one was available. He would receive as many as 200 requests a year from a range of spiritual teachers wishing to offer a programme at Sangsurya.

Radha and I would take a morning coffee with Tony. We would discuss our dates for the following year. He had to make every effort to squeeze us in. The schedule for Sangsurya was virtually completely full several years ahead. The diary for the centre had most dates full up to 2025. It was gob-smacking.

Some evenings, he would come to the talks of Radha and I. Last November, I had the opportunity to thank him publicly for his immense devotion and support to people of spiritual practice. Most of the income from the centre he ploughed back into the centre.

A big man with a big heart and a big vision.

In Sangsurya, we woke to the colourful birds and we went to sleep in a palpable silence.

We walked quiet pathways into eternity.

Tony purchased much of the furniture in Australia. He filled the rooms with the most exquisite furniture from Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and elsewhere.Some of the furniture had been discarded. He bought much of it very cheaply. He had a determination to acknowledge the spiritual aesthetics of the East. He knew the teachings of the East made an immense contribution to support consciousness in the West – meditation, mindfulness, yoga, health practices, Zen and creativity. The aesthetics and practices blended in a beautiful way.

Thanks to Tony, who had been inspired by Sufi teacher, Irina Tweedie, London based author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master.

Quietly ignoring for years all the demands of building regulations, he expanded the hall, kitchen, living quarters and much else.

Some years ago, when Byron Bay councillors came to visit him and inspect the property, they saw all the buildings were built with precision, safety and taste. They realised the buildings met all the regulations.

The councillors expressed appreciation to Tony for enabling so many people to realise that Byron Bay supports spiritual depths of practice, as well as a fun place for holiday makers.

We can show our greatest respect to Tony through keeping his spirit and vision alive at Sangsurya and through our spiritual practice.

We have incredibly appreciation for Tony for his remarkable devotion to the widespread Sanghas of practice.

As I said, Tony was one of the Gods of spirituality. The Gods are mortal.

Three Bows

 

 



  • Yes, thank you Christopher for this tribute to Tony. It is very sad to hear of his passing. Sangsurya is a remarkable, beautiful place on earth to retreat, practice, feel safe and supported, and connect with life. Many thanks to Tony and his wife for their vision, determination and love. These gifts have blessed many of us. Many, many thanks and much respect for all that contributes to Sangsurya.


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