Events at Riverslea

This page lists coming events to be held at Riverslea Retreat which you may be interested in. Note that private bookings and events at Riverslea are not listed.

Coming Events

21 September 2018 to 23 September 2018

Sick of winter and ready for some internal spring cleaning?

Learn ascension meditation as taught by the Ishayas of the Bright Path

We promise you will have a fun and relaxing weekend with great people and delicious food together with the priceless opportunity to learn these techniques which you can use with eyes open and closed. These techniques are very powerful and effective at burning off stress and anxiety, allowing us to become much more present, calm, peaceful, focused and joyful. Don’t miss this opportunity.

We will have the whole retreat to ourselves. Nestled amongst native bush and trees, within a few minutes’ walk to the Otaki River, this is a very private and relaxing location.

Wellington Ishayas Savitri and Prasada will lead the retreat and will be joined by Auckland Ishaya Mahima, who will also take a daily yoga class. Massages are also available.

The mini retreat will start on Friday September 21 from 4pm and finish on Sunday at 3pm.

For more details email Savitri on or phone 021 493 783.

Click here to download brochure.

04 October 2018 to 07 October 2018

Exploring the Territory of the Real

When we investigate our experience, we can discover that what we take to be real is mostly a constructed reality, a virtual bunker, walled by our habitual patterns, opinions and beliefs. On closer inspection, our incessant inner commentary bears a disturbing similarity to the current phenomenon of fake news.

We might ask, who am I really, behind the commentary? How can I discover what is true about myself and the world? What does it take to free myself from my confinement as a separate, unloving self in my head? What qualities and potential lie dormant in the unexplored territory of my whole being?

By searching for answers, even practising meditation, we might learn to rearrange our consciousness to get some relief and ease, but we can still feel fundamentally ungrounded, trapped in a largely conceptual reality and disconnected from our source.

This retreat, held mainly in silence at the auspicious time of the spring equinox, offers the opportunity to learn and practise somatic (body-based) meditations, which enable us to reconnect directly with the spacious presence of our body. Freed from the demands of daily life, we will have the chance to taste and savour this embodied awareness which opens the door to true compassion and to the infinite territory of the real.

What to expect:

Guided somatic practices – lying down and sitting (deeply relaxing and grounding)

Sitting meditation Walking meditation

Gentle qigong practice to re-energise after lunch (or exercise of your choice)

Dharma talks and opportunities for sharing/questions

Small group and/or one-to one guidance

Contact Erin: 04 973 8900 or /

19 October 2018 to 22 October 2018

If you have ever known the power of nature to soothe the nerves, balance your perspective in challenging times, or simply feel renewed by a walk in a rainforest, or by the ocean, you know Ecotherapy!  

While the healing offered by nature is not new, it is being harnessed in new ways and settings.   

An Ecotherapist is an emerging form of healer, skilled in facilitation of nature-based immersions and experiences, with various  groups.  Work opportunities  within clinical or community settings, is increasing;  be it in mental health, disabilities, aged care /dementia, rehabilitation,  youth at risk and with children.  Management of these services, is waking to the benefits of Ecotherapy. Skilled and confident practitioners can make the most of the self-employment opportunities, that are ripening across Australia and New Zealand. 

The  Diploma of Ecotherapy (newly approved by IICT International Institute of Complimentary Therapists) is being first  taught at a series of retreat style workshops across the beautiful nature and wilderness of Aotearoa, from October 2018 - October 2019.

Or you can simply retreat:   If its  a slowdown to river-time, on the Otaki river, you need,  join us.  You can satiate your curiosity with attendance at workshops, or just walking by the river... 

For more information contact Kerryn or visit

Click here to download poster.

02 November 2018 to 05 November 2018

About the Retreat

With concentration our mind becomes bright and clear like a cloudless sky, and we naturally experience deep inner strength and mental stability. Through it, the pain and turbulence of unhappy thoughts and craving naturally subsides and it is easy to remain peaceful. It is said that pure concentration gives us the freedom to accomplish the self-transformation we wish for, whereas without it we are a slave to our negative minds and limiting self-conceptions.

On this special retreat Gen Rabten will teach and guide simple yet profound meditations that improve concentration and mindfulness, and empower us to maintain a peaceful and happy mind in daily life. Dive into the silence and clarity of your own mind and experience the tranquility and transformative quality of the mind’s pure nature, allowing you to progress towards the person you want to be. This retreat is suitable to those new to meditation as well as experienced practitioners.

Everyone is welcome.

Contact, for more details

28 November 2018 to 02 December 2018

Zen meditation retreat (sesshin). Sesshin is an integral part of Zen Buddhist training and includes sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks, interviews with the teacher, chanting, work practice and rest periods. The session is suitable for beginning and experienced Zen students and full instruction will be given. The retreat will be led by Philip Shinko Squire, an ordained priest in the Soto Zen tradition. In November 2003, following ten years of full-time residential training, he completed formal koan study and received precept transmission from his teacher, Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center in Southern California. During this time he served as head monk, administrator and assistant teacher. Shinko is a Wellington native, the father of four young girls.

For details contact : Shinko 021 215 5565 or visit

01 March 2019 to 03 March 2019

This retreat will explore the world of colour as a doorway to spiritual insight and self-development. Through simple artistic exercises and contemplative enquiry, we will explore how colour can create inner soul experiences of a universal nature opening our perception for supersensible phenomena.

This three day retreat is your opportunity to take time out from the pressure and routine of daily life and discover the peaceful, healing inner world of meditation as a pathway to self-discovery and personal development. Come and enjoy a great venue in a beautiful environment, delicious food and fellowship!

Emily Fletcher and Mark Geard are experienced facilitators and practitioners who engage in on-going research into the synergy between creative processes and meditation. They offer a safe, caring environment for self-discovery. Their enthusiasm, humour and insight offers a foundation of support and encouragement for the practice of meditation.

Commences 10am Friday and concludes 4pm Sunday

Cost: $520 / Accommodation & Meals included, Early Bird $490 full payment by 1 February. Payment by instalments is possible.

To book contact Emily or visit

07 March 2019 to 12 March 2019

Join us at Riverslea Retreat for a  five-day introductory course on the Drut’syla method of storytelling. Shonaleigh is generously sharing her traditions, offering a course based on the hereditary training of Jewish women storytellers – the ability to 'midrash' a story is a practice handed down through the generations, knowing the stories within stories and how they connect and link to each other.

This is a rare and unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the life-affirming wisdom and joy of this method. The course is for anyone who uses narrative or stories as an inspiration in their practice. So that could include leaders, social workers, teachers, librarians, communicators and community workers as well as artists in any field, writers and storytellers.Through this course, you will gain an insight into an ancient Jewish tradition of storytelling that is infinitely practical, providing you with a deep understanding of how story works, and tools to work with story in an intricate and unique way. We will explore ways in which the Drut’syla’s methods and approaches can be adapted practically to any form of narrative use from creative writing and the contemporary arts to communicating your mission and engaging your audience/clients.

Be ready to laugh, explore, create, gain new insights, learn, share and connect to your own wisdom and that of others. Shonaleigh's personable, vibrant and spontaneous style is sure to leave you inspired and ready to weave new stories of your own.

Arrive late afternoon/ early evening for dinner together on Thursday 7 March; leave late afternoon on Tuesday 12 March.

Cost: $900 inclusive of all food, accommodation and tuition.

Enrolment is open! 

Sign up by filling out this form

A $300 deposit will be needed to secure your place and full payment is required by 1st December 2018.

Questions /

29 March 2019 to 31 March 2019

This is a unique opportunity to take some quality time out, recharge your batteries, nurture yourself and slow down with the ancient sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda. This retreat comprises two relaxing days of yoga, ayurvedic self-care rituals, delicious organic vegetarian cuisine, like-minded people, an evening programme of music and meditation, and inspiring talks will increase your knowledge and experience of how to live according to the healing wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda.

Surrounded by the beauty of the Otaki River and extensive gardens, the venue at Riverslea Retreat in the Otaki Gorge caters wonderfully for the needs of nature lovers.

Includes 2 nights shared accommodation, 6 main meals plus afternoon tea, 4 yoga classes (2 vinyasa flow, 2 yin yoga classes), 2 talks and plenty of time to rest and enjoy. Payment by instalments is possible. The retreat starts at 6pm on Friday and finishes at 4pm on Sunday.

Be in touch if you would like to reserve your place or have any queries. Anja on 021 023 50601 or

11 April 2019 to 17 April 2019

Open and expand your breathing and experience its potential to gift you with great changes such as enhanced health, greater peace, direction in life, vitality, creativity, and spiritual awakening just to name a few.

Your unique breathing pattern tells a specific story of what is happening in your subconscious, behaviors, and areas of expression. These patterns run your life. By simply changing the flow of the breath major life changes can occur automatically for lasting change. Learn about the science and history of Transformational Breath; explore body mapping, movement, meditation, sound, connected breathing, and much more.

This has been called a life changing week, because for many it is. It is a time for deep personal transformation, and also the first part of your training should you wish to share this internationally recognized self-healing modality with others.

Manual is included.

Senior Trainer Helle Thomson has studied with the creator of TBr Dr. Judith Kravitz. Helle is a Transformational Breath Senior Trainer, Lighthworker, Yoga teacher and Retreat Leader. She teaches with profound knowledge, empathy and love.  

Click here to download brochure.

Contact: Helle Thomson

Transformational Breath Senior Trainer, Energy Healer, Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Guide - 06 877 8068 / 021 1049366

24 May 2019 to 26 May 2019

Over this weekend we will explore how we stand, sit and lie in relationship to the earth and to gravity; and how this relationship affects our breath and our yoga practice.

Juliet has studied yoga since 1990. In 2000 she established the Papakura Yoga Centre where she is the principal teacher. Juliet is a Senior Associate teacher with Donna Farhi, with whom she continues to study and assist.

For reservations contact : Charlotte 027 566 0704nbsp;or email For enquiries regarding yoga email

Click here to download brochure.

23 August 2019 to 25 August 2019