Take a Break to Relax & Rejuvenate


Together with like-minded people in a beautiful setting


Retreat in Swanson, Auckland 7-9 February 2020

Join us for 2 days of rest and relaxation, delicious vegetarian food, gentle movement practices and meditation in Swanson Auckland.
The retreat provides you with a chance to get away for a weekend and to relax, recharge and meditate.

If you’ve never been on a meditation retreat before, this is an ideal place to start. There will be meditation instruction for both beginners and advanced practitioners, plenty of free time and opportunities to walk through the surrounding forest and to appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Guided Meditations

A weekend semi-silent* mindfulness retreat to relax, rejuvenate and have the opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice together with like-minded people in a beautiful setting.

This retreat is not just about meditation, it is about connecting with nature and be in a surrounding that supports inner reflection. Have a break from the busy world and daily routines and learn lifelong skills:

• How to connect with the body’s self-calming system.
• How to shift attention when caught up in unhelpful thoughts and emotions.
• How to identify and ease the voice of the inner critic.

What’s possible with regular mindfulness practice is self-regulation, giving up unhappiness and living a life of purpose as well as experiencing a more vibrant connection to life itself.

Enjoy delicious food; breakfast lunch and dinner with options for vegan and any special diary requirements (gluten-free etc.)

• Guided meditations
• Yoga classes
• Bush Walks
• Swimming Pool
• Comfortable accommodation
• Vegetarian food

located 2-3 minutes past the Swanson Railway Station, on the Scenic Drive, heading west toward Te Henga – Bethells Beach and the Waitakere ranges. Turn right into the driveway directly opposite Range Rd.

Vartamana Retreat
1119 Scenic Drive
Auckland 0816

Plenty of parking available.

* This is a semi-silent retreat which means at certain hours of the day we will keep talking to a minimum.
The benefit of having silent periods are many. It gives the brain a break from unnecessary distractions and time to deepen the contact within. It gives a chance to be fully present and just calmly observe whatever goes on, both on the outside and inside.


The Natural State Of Being Human

Mindfulness has made it to the west for a number of reasons; technology has developed and allowed researchers to study and understand the function of the brain more fully so that we now have an enormous amount of evidence-based research confirming the benefits of regular practice.

The increasing demands of living
places enormous stress on all people, children, teenagers and adults, the purposeful, daily cultivation of minimising stress, self-regulation, connection to self, others and the world around us has been proven to assist mental, emotional and physical balance.

In our fast paced and increasingly distracted and fragmented world mindfulness and meditation is proven to re-empower people with their own natural ability to restore the fragmented mind to a state of wholeness and presence.

Understanding how the brain works goes a long way to empowering people to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness ‘teaches’ us how thoughts and feelings affect our state of being and how we are able to train ourselves, intentionally, to observe the activity of the mind without becoming entrapped and start believing every thought the mind produces or be swept away by every emotion felt.

Mindfulness trains us to recognise we have a choice of where to put our attention and to recognise when we are becoming trapped in unhelpful thinking.

At this retreat you will have opportunity to deepen your own Mindfulness practice and be empowered by the discovery that you can self-manage your thoughts and emotions.

It doesn’t matter if you never meditated or done one mindfulness exercise in your life, this retreat is for anyone who are moved to establish or deepen their own Mindfulness practice and to improve focus, mental resilience and find more emotional and mental balance in their life.

Benefits such as:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • Better self-management
  • Less reactivity
  • Improved mental resilience
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Better memory
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Better conflict resolution skills

are common and expectable result from regular Mindfulness practice.



Situated at the door step of the magnificent Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Only 25 minutes from downtown Auckland




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“With Mindfulness training you are not adding to your knowledge in the
traditional sense – you are in fact removing some of the mental clutter
that is holding you back from being naturally mindful and in a state of
equilibrium”.Rita Riccola

Who is the retreat for?

  • Teachers
  • Yoga Trainers
  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Consultants
  • Psychologists
  • Team Leaders
  • Personal Assistants
  • Life Coaches
  • Physiotherapists
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Parents
  • Pastors
  • & anyone who want to add Mindfulness Facilitation to their skill set

About the Trainer


Rita Riccola

Rita Riccola

Rita Riccola is one of New Zealand’s leading mindfulness trainers She is a former teacher and a trained mindfulness teacher with 28 yrs experience who has completed courses with Mindful Schools USA and attended many Mindfulness retreats. These courses are designed to meet the growing need for educators and human resource workers to offer Mindfulness training to all.

Make A Booking

Choose a Date

Weekend Retreat in Swanson, Auckland 7-9 February 2020

Friday: Start 5.00pm
Sunday: End 4.00pm

Cost: $495
including all meals, shared accommodation. (single accommodation can be arranged on request) access to all facilities and participating in all activities (yoga classes and guided meditation).

Limited to 12 people
4 seats left

Easter Weekend Retreat in Swanson, Auckland 10-12 April 2020

Friday: Start 5.00pm
Sunday: End 4.00pm

Cost: $495
including all meals, shared accommodation.(single accommodation can be arranged on request) access to all facilities and participating in all activities (yoga classes, guided and individual meditation).

Limited to 12 people
8 seats left

Why Mindfulness?

Evidence based results from around the world continue to show that the regular practise of Mindfulness has ongoing benefits for physical and mental health. Research over the past few decades has found that Mindfulness training helps to;


Relieve Anxiety & Stress

In our fast paced lives, where we rush from one demand to another, there is very little time or space to stop and pause. Mindfulness offer the tools needed to connect with our inner intelligence, where we can access natural calmness beneath the busy minds.


Let go of Anger & Frustration

Coming in contact with your direct experience in the mindful state allows us to become familiar with the patterns that direct our lives; our thoughts, emotions and reactions.



Pain is an inevitable part of being human but suffering is optional. In Mindfulness we learn how to manage our thoughts and emotions instead of letting emotions and thoughts manage us.



Aimless thinking and inner chatter is draining our energy and clouding over the present moment. One of the most common benefits from regular Mindfulness training is greater mental clarity and a new sense of inner peace.


Have Better Sleep

To be able stop incessant thinking and worrying is one of the great benefits of Mindfulness and it makes it easier to sleep in and have unbroken sleep throughout the night.



Mindfulness practices increasingly bring you more into the present with the growing awareness that going over the past keeps you stuck in the past.


Related Courses

Start Practising Mindfulness
Self-Paced Online Course
Learn the effective mindfulness techniques that are helping individuals from all walks of life to have more balance and focus in their lives.

Bring Mindfulness to the Classroom
For teachers and consultants who want to introduce mindfulness to their students, children and staff.