Two very special (and different) October retreats

Dear Network friends

Today I am writing to share news of the two retreats that I am delighted to be offering in October. The longer, more “newsy” newsletters I usually send give you a variety of information and it’s easy to miss details of special events.

The early October retreat (3-6, 6-9 October) is at Mana Retreat Centre where I’ve now been teaching for more than a dozen years. It is a place I love for its exhilarating natural beauty but it is also a place of exceptional serenity and perhaps I appreciate it most of all for the lasting peace and kindness which all participants find there. I now teach at Mana twice each year and at the end of one retreat I am already looking forward to the next. The October gathering is a spiritual retreat where people are welcome from all paths and beliefs (or uncertainties).  Here are some lovely lines from one of the people who came at Easter: “Dear all, As I was driving home from Mana I thought what a joyful time I had experienced in your company. The melancholy that usually accompanies me had lifted…When I told someone that I had been to a Spiritual retreat over Easter their reaction was ‘you don’t seem the type’. I said it worked well as an antidote to the racing world. Guess it does not show on the outside who we are on on the inside.”

The Mana retreat is indeed about finding peace from the “inside out”. I know of no other place quite like it. There is also good care for the body as well as soul, with time to rest, walk, have restorative body treatments (if you want that), eat delicious vegetarian food in good company, as well as meditations, talks, and very safe shared discussions. We are offering an optional extension this year, with a quieter 3-days following the initial 3 days. You can book for both, or the first three days only: 3-6 October, 6-9 October. Mana is near Coromandel, south of Auckland. For anyone coming from Auckland without a car, a ferry service is available, also shuttles can be arranged and shared from Auckland airport. Please discuss that and any other details with the Mana team  (P:  +64 7 866 8972). The costs of the retreat are in NZ dollars and are always extremely reasonable. Email is:



Later in October (24 October – 2 November) I will co-lead a small group to Kyoto for “Writing in Kyoto“, a writing retreat, again with my dear friend Japanese-speaking William Suganda of Inspired Traveller. This is our fourth tour to Japan and is also a very wonderful experience, although quite different from Mana in that we will combine the development of your writing and creativity more generally with an exploration of Kyoto, regarded by many as the world’s most exquisite small city. We will have workshops most mornings; explore the city in the afternoons, with particular emphasis on temples, Zen gardens, Philosopher’s walk… And the group will again have a chance to go to Reiki Mountain. (All the touring, exploring is entirely optional – but lovely.) The writing workshops are at the heart of it and you do NOT need to be an experienced or accomplished writer to participate fully, although if you are already well along the writing path, the “deep looking” and freedom of expression that I teach will certainly enhance your work. Partners or friends are welcome to join you and to participate fully in the socialising and exploring. We are, however, restricted in numbers (not least because the writing workshops are in a small traditional Japanese “house”), so please contact William as soon as possible if this seems like a dream tour to you. Finally, you can meet us in Osaka or Kyoto from anywhere in the world! William can also help to plan if you want to see more of Japan before or after. There are wonderful testimonials from last year’s tour on the travel itinerary.  And you can email William direct at . please note that we will not be offering this tour in 2014.

It would be particularly joyful to welcome members of this Network to Mana or Kyoto. Do share with me if you decide to join us.   (Also please check Events on my website. I will be in Mudgee, NSW, this weekend, and at the Buddhism and Psychotherapy Conference in Brisbane later in the month.)    My kindest wishes to you all, Stephanie Dowrick