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Garden of Mindfulness Family Retreat: Alice in Wonderland Edition

Dec 28, 2020Jan 4, 2021

This year’s Garden of Mindfulness is based on the themes in “Alice in Wonderland”, including by special request a focus on the Fool archetype via The Mad Hatter. Journey through the mindfulness looking glass with us! Nurture the wild creative within and enhance your and your family’s wellbeing through play and nature exploration.

A morning class will give the adults time to learn and practice a range of contemplations based on the above texts, while the children enjoy fun activities with our children’s coordinator.

In the afternoon families will have time to practice mindfulness and kindness together as well experiencing the joy of a range of nature archetypes and fun activities, such as forest walks, river swims, homemade water slides, badminton and bubble play.

The Garden of Mindfulness is a family retreat for all ages. Inclusive of all families, it is an opportunity to become familiar with the benefits of being in the present moment and unfolding through play and exploration. GOM offers a rare opportunity to share a retreat space with our families.

This year GOM will run for 7 nights from 6pm 28th December 2020 to 2pm 4th January 2021. We ask that people attend the whole retreat if possible. If you have any skills or talents you would like to contribute please let us know.  We look forward to sharing this retreat with you and your family. For further information, contact Course Manager Lara: laracusdin@yahoo.co.nz


Following the previous five years of successful teachings, Mira Riddiford will be leading the morning adults’ classes and afternoon family explorations.

About Mira Riddiford, the Mindfulness Teacher

Mira is a meditation teacher who runs ongoing classes, retreats and professional workshops throughout Australasia, and her online classes have participants joining in from Europe, Asia and North America. With over 20 years of daily practice, she has been trained through retreat work, study and apprenticeship. Mira has taught mindfulness in education at primary and secondary level, as well as to school teachers. Her modern, warm and engaging style breathes life into these meditation teachings. Mira is respectful of diversity, is LGBTQI friendly, and her family will also be participating in the retreat. She looks forward to meeting and meditating with you.

Our Course Manager is Lara Cusdin

Lara has been involved with Wangapeka and Buddha-Dharma for almost 20 years. Along with Mira, Lara is continuing the tradition of the family mindfulness retreat embracing all family types. Lara is passionate about conscious parenting, recognizing our children’s unique nature and allowing them to shape us as parents and grow into better people for them and for the planet. As a solo mum, Lara attributes a lot of her growth to her daughter.

Lara is studying counselling and has a background in psychology, care work and holistic health care. Lara will be attending this retreat with her daughter and looks forward to co-creating this retreat with you.


Retreat Fees 2020/21 (includes accommodation, food and resource fee). Please bring cash for Teacher’s additional Dana/Donation.

Adults 14+ (per person): $599
Children (per person): 5 -13 years:  $207
Children (per person): 4 years and under: free

Members of Wangapeka

Adults 14+ (per person): $529
Children (per person) 5 -13 years: $207
Children (per person) 4 years and under: free


If finances are an obstacle for you and your family attending GOM there is the Sangha Support fund.

The Sangha Support Fund is available for anyone needing financial assistance with accommodation in order to attend retreats at Wangapeka.


For more information on applying please contact Amber: wangapekacentre@gmail.com


Dana for the Mindfulness Teacher:  So people from different income brackets can benefit from this retreat, no set fee is put on Mira Riddiford’s teachings. Please give generously according to your means, taking into account Mira has a family to provide for. You could use as a guide $20 – $60 per day (with the understanding that everyone’s circumstances are different).


Have further questions? Contact Course manager Lara Cusdin laracusdin@yahoo.co.nz for further information.

If using Paypal please add 5% of the total cost and include with your payment to cover Paypal’s fees – many thanks.


To register please fill out our online registration form, please fill in one form per person

Register now

*Please consider becoming a Wangapeka member – click here for details.



Dec 28
Jan 4, 2021
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Welcome to the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre. People visit from all over the world to meditate and enjoy the peace of this remarkable destination. The Wangapeka is a purpose built retreat centre, with fresh clean air and beautiful vistas. It is very quiet and ideal for respite, stress relief and deep meditation. We have a meditation hall, solo retreat huts, a main hall for dining and community, and a fully catered kitchen and an onsite vegetable garden.

The Wangapeka Study and Retreat Meditation Centre is a Universalist centre home to a wide range of teachings, paths, and studies. Retreats are held on Mindfulness, Vipassana, Insight, Heart based practices, Loving Kindness, Calm-abiding, Metta, Compassion, Conscious Movement, Nature, Forest Walks, Yoga, Dance, Feldenkrais, Wellness, Wellbeing, Archetypal Integration, Western Mysticism, Non-Duality, Zen, Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings with Empowerments and Sadhana Practice.

We are located in the foothills of the Southern Alps overlooking the Wangapeka River, about an hour and a half drive SW of Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand.

We have meditation retreats throughout the year, have huts available for solo retreats, and welcome bookings from external groups. There are also opportunities available to work on our land. Come and enjoy this uniquely vibrant and peaceful centre.

355 Wangapeka River Rd
R.D.2. Wakefield 7096
New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 522 4221

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