Coming Back to Life - an Order / Mitra retreat

Coming Back to Life - an Order / Mitra retreat

Wednesday 24 April – Sunday 28 April at Strathean

(Starts with dinner on Wednesday night and finishes after lunch on Sunday)

When you contemplate the future of the earth, with its suffering and existential challenges, do you find it hard to trust that even Dharma practice is the answer? Do you wonder how to bring your knowledge and practice of Buddhadharma into a potent engagement with these challenges? 

On this retreat we will explore one particular approach for applying the central concepts of Buddhism to our compassionate and active engagement with the world.

Drawing mainly on Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects, as well as teachings from Sangharakshita and other sources, we'll take an experiential journey towards a more whole and hopeful engagement with the necessities of the times we live in, through interactive sessions, rituals and meditation. 

This process, called ‘Despair and Empowerment work', could be categorised as ‘engaged Buddhism’, appealing as much to those drawn to social/ environmental activism, as to those who want to feel stronger in serving the greater flow of life in this world.

We want everyone to have the opportunity to come on retreat. If you cannot afford the concession rate we may be able to help. Please contact us to discuss.

Book Now: $440 / $340

The concession rate is for those Unwaged, Students, CSC Holders, or on low incomes

Already Paid a Deposit? Pay Balance Now

Typical Programme (May vary depending on topic)

Time Activity
0700 Morning Meditation
0900 Breakfast
10:30am First Teaching session/ Discussion
1pm Lunch
4pm Afternoon activity/ Discussion
6:30pm Dinner
8pm Evening Meditation/Puja
More questions? Get in touch

Frequently Asked Questions

What health precautions should I take?

Please do not come on the retreat if you feel unwell or have flu like symptoms.

Do I need to be a Buddhist?

The retreat is suitable for everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs, and makes an excellent first retreat for people who have recently started being involved with meditation and Buddhism.

What should I bring?

A warm hat and slippers would also be good. You may also wish to bring wet weather clothing (gumboots, raincoat, etc), ear plugs and a torch.

You will need to bring toiletries and bedding.

Also loose clothing for meditation and pens and paper to take notes.

All mats, blankets, stools and a limited number of cushions will be provided for meditation, but please feel free to bring your own if you prefer.

What is your cancellation policy?

It is WBC policy that we will not profit or make a loss from cancellations. If you no longer wish to attend the retreat your deposit will be refunded less transaction charges unless the retreat is full and there isn't anyone to take your place, in which case the deposit will be non-refundable.

What is the accommodation like?

Strathean is based around a large two storey house and its annexes. There are mostly shared single-sex rooms which will be assigned to you on arrival. There a few single rooms for people with special needs. Please contact the organiser if you need a single room.

I can't come anymore. What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel, please discuss with us. The WBC will not make a loss or a profit due to a person withdrawing. Refunds will made less WBC’s direct costs.

What about food?

All food is provided. Meals are vegan. If you have a special dietary need please let the organiser know before you book.

How is the cooking and other duties done?

These duties are shared by the retreatants.

Please sign up for cooking and washing up when you arrive.

There will be some work needed to set up for the retreat at the start and to clean at the end.

Do I have to be on the whole retreat?

Normally, yes, as people arriving and leaving the retreat can cause disruption. But please talk to the organiser if you need to arrive late or leave early.

Why do you need to know about health problems I have?

We need to discuss any health issues to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable retreat. This is so we can identify your particular needs and do our best to meet them.

It does not mean you will be excluded from the retreat. One of our order members (who is a trained nurse) will contact you to discuss the problems. All information will be kept confidential and destroyed after the retreat.

What is pūjā?

A pūjā is a traditional Buddhist ritual that engages our emotions and imaginations through the use of colour, beauty and celebration.

To feel fully and vibrantly alive, we need to be engaged with all the different aspects and levels of our being.

Is it okay to come for one day?

The retreat is for the whole three day weekend. Leaving early can disrupt the energy of the retreat therefore we don't allow people to come for one day. There are regular day retreats at the centre which you can attend if you choose.

Can I bring pets?

Pets are not allowed on the property. It is the retreat center's policy to not have pets on the property. Exemptions can be made for medical or mobility reasons. Please discuss this with us prior to booking.

The Team


How To Get Here

Strathean Retreat Centre

Driving by Car

Travelling by Train

Please discuss this with the retreat organiser prior to the retreat. 

Train to Ōtaki: 

It would be the most helpful if you take the Capital Connection Express train that goes to Palmerston North and stops at Ōtaki. This leaves at 5:15pm from Wellington Station. There is only one evening train. Ticket is $14 one way and can be purchased on board or at the station. Please take cash.

Train to Waikanae   (Timetable)

The other option is to take the normal metro train to Waikanae. They leave every 30 mins or so. Please let us know when you leave Wellington.  We can organise someone to pick you up from the Waikanae train station.