15 - 29 Jan 2022


5:00 pm - 3:00 pm

I Can’t Breathe. Taking Refuge in the Reality of Now with Bonni Ross

I Can’t Breathe* – Taking Refuge in the Reality of Now
Part One : Opening

Saturday January 15  to Saturday January 29, 2022


*We respectfully acknowledge the last words and mourn the deaths of Eric Garner, Javier Ambler, Manuel Ellis, Elijah McClain, George Floyd and some 70 other people who uttered these last words before they died in police custody in the United States between 2014 and 2020. We also acknowledge and mourn the deaths of 5.15 million people worldwide (as of November 20, 2021) who have died of COVID-19. This is a small part of the reality of now.


Breath is life and death. Breath is energy, fuelling physical well-being, emotional health and clarity in concept and understanding.

Breath is connection, interdependence. Gases, life forms — evolution unfolding for billions of years until this time, this place, this now.

Breath is awakening. This simple, instinctive action, arising and passing away with no effort required, is the direct pathway to liberation. It is a mystery, comprehended only by the wise, the Buddha said, available to everyone to find out for themselves.

We will meditate, explore, study, heal, share — many pathways, braiding like a river, nurturing all that lives.



Costs include fully catered vegetarian meals and accommodation in your own room or cabin, cooks fee, and a resource fee. They do not include Dana for the teacher.

Room or Hut
Members $1184
Non Members $1324

Members $932
Non Members $974

If the cost is a barrier for you, Wangapeka has a Sangha Support Fund and you are welcome to apply for assistance towards accommodation costs to attend a retreat. Information about this can be found on the Costs page under the About menu on the Wangapeka website or contact the Office Caretaker for more information –

About Dana

These priceless teachings can’t be quantified in monetary terms. Liberation teachings have always been given freely by Bonni.

An offering can be made to the teacher, traditionally at the beginning, and is a profound practice in itself. Giving can help us open; and through an open-hearted state of receptivity, we can find ourselves more able to receive.

Giving as generously as you can enables Bonni to continue sharing the precious Buddhadharma for the benefit of all.

About Bonni Ross

Bonni Ross has taught extensively at the Wangapeka over the last 30 years and is a deeply respected ‘Centre Elder ‘. She guides individuals in developing focused and skillful meditation and leads retreats for depth unfoldment.

Bonni began exploring the teachings of liberation in the early sixties. In the mid 70’s she met her principal teacher, Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche, whose direct, eclectic teaching and example are central to her life. Bonni teaches from a deep wealth of meditative experience. She communicates with sensitivity, creativity and humour in a way that resonates with each individual present.

Bonni is one of the founders of the dharmasphere collective and one of the visionaries behind the innovative project ‘2020 A Year of Clear Vision’.

She is inspired by ‘ordinary’ people who demonstrate exceptional courage and compassion in the midst of great suffering. Somewhat unexpectedly, Bonni now finds herself living in Nelson, and is currently deeply engaged in studying Maoritanga.


Open to everyone with some experience of the meditation on breathing and the intensity of retreat. Preference will be given to those who plan to attend full time.
For more information, please contact the Course Manager, Karen Harley,

To register please fill out our online registration form

Register now

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

Please be aware that the Wangapeka Board of Trustees has re-examined its COVID-19 response in the light of the new traffic light system. This addresses the number of people whom we can accommodate safely in the event of cases emerging in our local community and at Wangapeka, and methods for ensuring the maximum degree of safety for all. See the Wangapeka Documents page to download and view the details of this.

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

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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