Finding Freedom - An Introduction to Buddhist meditation

Finding Freedom - An Introduction to Buddhist meditation

Friday 20 March – Sunday 22 March at Strathean Retreat Centre

Join us to learn two fundamental, far-reaching meditation practices, while living communally with diverse but like-minded people, explore the Buddhist vision of reality. An ideal way to encounter meditation and Buddhism for the first time, to experience the power of retreats and the larger perspective that they can bring. 

We teach two Buddhist meditation practices: Mindfulness of Breathing, for developing awareness, integration and clarity of mind; and Development of Loving Kindness (Mettā Bhāvanā”), which brings about a gentle but radical transformation of our emotional world. We will help you to set up in good posture and give a fully led practice, so there is no need for any previous experience.

Along with practical instruction we'll give some background on where meditation fits into the bigger picture of Buddhist practice and worldview.

As well as time for practice and discussion with like-minded friends, there will also be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the idyllic setting of Strathean Retreat Centre.

Book Now: $210 / $160

We want everyone to have the opportunity to come on retreat. If you cannot afford the cost even with concessions, we may be able to help. Please contact us to discuss.

Typical Programme

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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?

You will need to bring a pillow slip and sleeping bag or sheets and duvet, towel and toiletries. 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.

You may also wish to bring wet weather clothing (gumboots, raincoat, etc), ear plugs and a torch.

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.

What about food?

All food is provided. Meals are vegan but there is milk and yoghurt available for vegetarians. If you have a special dietary need please let the organiser know when 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?

Sorry, the retreat is for the whole 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.

The Team

Achala
Achala
Aryagita
Aryagita

How To Get Here

Driving by Car

If you are driving, turn off SH1 onto the Otaki Forks Road, just before Otaki. Drive for 2.6 km then turn right onto Old Hautere Road. Strathean is 1 km along this road on the left. Ideally it takes about an hour from Wellington to get there. But bear in mind you may be travelling through Friday night commuter traffic, so it could take up to two hours.

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.