“The Whare” is the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre’s meditation hall. For around four decades, people from all over the world have meditated in this sanctuary. As you walk into the sacred space, after bowing your head, perhaps your hands clasped in prayer, there is the faint smell of candle wax, incense, and flowers.
If it is winter, you will hear the crackling and hissing of the cosy fireplace. Soon it will be roaring with heat. In summer, with the big sliding doors and many windows open, clean alpine air will refreshen you, along with the heart-warming sunshine. There are a range of meditation cushions, chairs, stools and blankets – something for every body.
All the teachings that have been given and practiced here charge and permeate the room, making everything seem vividly alive. The stillness and silence in the space envelopes you, restoring you with a feeling of deep, harmonious peace. There’s a Buddhist alcove, and Christian alcove paying respect to the Wangapeka being a modern, progressive Universalist centre, home to a wide range of paths.
Gazing around your eyes are soaked with greenery. The view in front looks like a beautiful Renaissance painting, encouraging a vastness of pure inspiration. The view behind is of the leaves and moss embracing the Whare with a gentle softness, which melt and release you into the presence of healing love.
We hope you can gift yourself the experience of one of our events or retreats this year.
Written by Mira Riddiford 13 February 2018 for Instagram. This short piece was inspired by her devotion to the Wangapeka, combined with the knowledge of “Whare Ra” (The house of the rising sun), a Western Mystery temple in Hastings, NZ that could trace its lineage back to the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It closed in 1978. Gompa, Zendo, Hall, Room with the View: The Whare can have a different meaning for everyone.
Photo of the Whare by Brandon Schwinn. “Whare” is a Māori word for Dwelling.