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Garden of Mindfulness Family Retreat, Wizard of Oz Edition

December 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - January 4, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

Bringing mindfulness to wisdom, compassion, companionship, courage and challenging emotion. This year we will be enjoying mindfulness meditations playfully based on the themes of the Wizard of Oz.

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 we need a children’s coordinator, the role includes leading the children in activities in the morning such as craft, art, creativity, nature exploration, free play, helping them prepare for the New Year’s Eve play and whatever other talent and skills that someone would like to bring to the role. The role comes with free accommodation for the duration of the retreat.

Also we require a cook who can specialise in child friendly food. This role comes with free accommodation, food and a small stipend.

Please contact Lara the course manager if you are interested: laracusdin@yahoo.co.nz
More about GOM: This community run retreat is the Wangapeka Centres’ longest running retreat and aims to cultivate kindness, nurture creativity and exploration of mind and nature in a supportive and fun-loving environment. A lot of children, along with ourselves, now experience stress and anxiety in daily life, this retreat aims to reset our batteries so we can be more in tune with nature and our own inner peace and health. A lot of this is done through fun, freedom of exploration and breathing in the fresh air of the Wangapeka which is in the foothills of the Southern Alps providing a calming, clean, unpolluted, pristine environment.


This year GOM will run for 7 nights from 6pm 28th December 2016 to 2pm 4th January 2017.
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 two years’ successful teachings, Mira Riddiford will be leading mindfulness classes for the adults.


Mira Riddiford is a New Zealand based meditation and mindfulness teacher. With over 20 years of experience, she has been trained through retreat work, study and apprenticeship. Mira has given Mindfulness classes and retreats throughout New Zealand, and has a fun sense of humour. Her modern, warm and engaging style breathes life into these meditation teachings. Mira has taught mindfulness in education at primary and secondary level, as well as to school teachers. She has taught on mindfulness, stress and wellbeing to Pharmacy students at the School of Medicine at University of Auckland,  the Haemophilia Society, Chapman Tripp and many others. Mira has two children who will also be participating on the retreat. She looks forward to meeting and meditating with you.




GOM Fees 2017/18 (includes, accommodation, food and cook’s fee)

Members of Wangapeka
Adults (per person): 7 Nights @ $57 per day + $35 resource fee= $434 total
Children (per person) 6 -14 years: 7 Nights @ $19.50 per day + $35 resource = $171.50 total
Children (per person) 4 – 6 years: 7 Nights @ $9.50 per day = $66.50 total
Children (per person) Under 4 years: Free
Non-members of Wangapeka
Adults (per person): 7 Nights @ $63 per day + $35 resource = $476
Children (per person): 6 -14 years 7 Nights @ $19.50 per day + $35 resource = $171.50 total
Children (per person): 4 – 6 years. 7 Nights @ $9.50 per day = $66.50 total
Children (per person): Under 4 years. Free

Resource fee includes; art and craft materials, drawing paper

Dana for the cook: As a guide cooks fee would be $5 a day adults & $3 a day children. Please be as generous as your budget allows.
Children 3 and under: free food and accommodation

Dana for the Mindfulness Teacher:


About Dana/donation

Dana is often taken to simply mean donation or gift typically in the form of money. Dana is a Buddhist teaching about generosity of spirit or the sharing of blessings, the aspiration to generate health and goodwill in all the cycles of giving and receiving; the transactions of daily life. In reflecting on the practice of dana one begins to understand the interdependence of life. Dana is a gift that supports the livelihood of the teacher and their families. In turn the teachings offered are to support you in meeting with life with wisdom and compassion. Each participant arrives at the amount of dana voluntarily. Teachers of the Dharma are supported by this generosity. It is customary to offer dana at the beginning or end of the retreat (there is a traditional bowl for this in the main hall).

In accordance with tradition, Dana is left up to each individual to gift according to their own means. Please bring cash for offering dana.


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 consider becoming a Wangapeka member – click here for details.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros Studios.

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December 28 @ 6:00 pm
January 4, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
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