Recent Retreat Reflections
By Melanie, Stephanie, Nicqui and Karen
From “Where the Mind Goes, the Winds Gather” retreat with Gaye Rowley
I arrive, I feel anxious. This is out of my comfort zone but I feel a pull to learn and grow so I am also excited. This is my first retreat at Wangapeka and I feel the place has a strange ‘old’ wisdom, I feel like there is a presence of the people before me that have grown, reflected, learnt and developed.
Day one was a surprise! It was a day of sitting riveted to my seat as I soaked in the teaching, I couldn’t have asked for more suited learning that day. Off we went for some silence and once again a surprise – I cried and felt overwhelmed. The thing is, being a mum and a social worker, I am the strong dependable one, I do not need reassurance and rest. This is one of my constructs, I have built up this character!
The thing is I was exhausted. I needed to get away from worry, noise, action and busy.. So busy. I wondered into the garden to realise even more just how I busy myself and don’t STOP – I see weeds and tell myself not to work, not to pull weeds, it is ok to stop and rest. The garden gave me a lovely lesson and I lay down on the path and calmed my mind.
As the weekend rolled on I was given many more lessons and insights. I was given a book – Natural Awakening – huge gratitude for this book.
I am so grateful that this place exists in the crazy, busy world. It feels extremely important and precious. Massive thanks to Gaye and Jane (the most beautiful hosts and teachers).
From the moment we arrived at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre, I instantly felt a sensation of comfort and calm – which is not a feeling that always comes naturally to me, particularly in new situations! The beautiful atmosphere, facilities, history and most importantly people, all combine to make this place so truly unique and special.
The teachings we received from Gaye Rowley on our retreat weekend were given in such a way that I could immediately in visage applying them in everyday life. This has meant that our visit was not only a nourishing rest and recharge for the body and mind, but also has an ongoing and meaningful impact on my life.
I’m so grateful to have found this sanctuary and I will definitely be returning
The first thing I saw on arrival was the sign YOU HAVE ARRIVED and I laughed out loud as I took a deep breath, smiled, and said ‘Ohh yes, I HAVE’ arrived! Having been at the Gateway of Awakening for a while, I know that being at Wangapeka was taking my first step through the gate to being more aware and present for my LIFE.
The people are giving and kind, the learnings were insightful and beneficial, the food is delicious and wholesome with hot cups of tea in the lounge by the welcoming fire. The accommodation is perfectly, modestly, comfortable and there are lots of lovely spaces to JUST BE… I even found a hammock under a tree. Every moment of my time was enveloped in calm contentment. I look forward to my next retreat very much.
What a wonderful weekend retreat to Wangapeka! The retreat was a real let’s-get-back-to-the-basics-of-what’s-important experience – both physically and emotionally. My husband and I were nurtured with love and fabulous meals; given the gift of so much wise, grounded and practical wisdom during Gaye Rowley’s “Where the Mind Goes, the Winds Gather” programme – all delivered in the comfort of a blissful fire and comfy chairs. Fabulous in the winter!
There was a lovely balance of doing Gaye’s interesting and stimulating programme as well as having ‘down-time’ such as going for peaceful walks in the beech forest with fantails dancing beside you; picking out books from their interesting library; and optional meditations in the beautiful Meditation Room (the Whare) with its lovely parquet floors, views down the valley and another delicious wood-burner. It’s extraordinary that such an amazing facility has been built in the middle of ‘nowhere’.
I hadn’t realised I was so hungry for all this ‘soul food’ in our busy lives – I came out feeling like I had been cleansed and ‘recalibrated’! I’m just about to see what other retreats are on offer there – an even longer one next time!! I might even see if I can stay an extra few days!