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MSC Core Skills Program with Anna Friis and Mara Elwood

January 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - January 31, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

$160 – $580
A hand holding a heart shaped rock.

About the Core Skills Program

This workshop is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the key practices and exercises of the 8-week program, to get an in-depth introduction to MSC or to re-kindle or re-energize an existing practice if you have already taken the course.

MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (emotions, sensations, thoughts). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying, compassionate relationships. Self-compassion includes the capacity to comfort, soothe and validate ourselves, but also to protect and provide for ourselves, and to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals. Fortunately, anyone can learn self-compassion.

What you will learn

• Practice self-compassion in daily life
• Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion
• Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
• Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
• Manage caregiver fatigue
• Increase your happiness with savouring and self-appreciation

Please Note: This workshop contains the highlights of the MSC training but is not the entire course and therefore does not fulfil the pre-requisite for attending teacher training or participating in other CMSC programs for MSC graduates.

What you can expect:
• Clarify what you are learning
• Apply skills immediately in real-time
• Address difficulties
• Deepen your understanding of Self-Compassion
• Review, personalize and apply practices
• Optimize learning in community through Common Humanity

Participant Guidelines:

The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.

It is recommended, but not required, that participants read the following two books before the training retreat:

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer


  • Training with Anna Friis and Mara Elwood
  • A greater sense of ease, happiness and better health
  • Shared Accommodation including linens and towel (limited single room accommodation available)
  • 3 wholesome, vegetarian meals per day
  • Exclusive use of facilities for your retreat

What do others say about training with Anna and Mara:

“Working with you has changed the most important relationship in my life .. the relationship with myself. For that, I am truly grateful.” Vanessa


The Teaching Team

Anna Friis Bio Photo

Dr Anna Friis PhD

 Anna is a health psychologist working in private practice in Auckland New Zealand, with a particular focus on mindfulness and compassion-oriented therapy. Following a high-paced corporate career, she has a particular interest in helping people find balance, ease and joy within their lives and workplaces. Anna has a PhD in  Health Psychology from the University of Auckland, during which she created new scientific knowledge of the mental and physical health effects of self-compassion among diabetes patients. Her work has been published in several leading endocrinology journals.

She is a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and speaks regularly on this topic at conferences and workshops throughout New Zealand.  Anna’s Website >>>


Mara Elwood (BA, B Ed., MA Ed.)

Mara is a New Zealand based Mindfulness and Meditation teacher and artist.  She loves to create items from upcycled fabrics and sells these privately. Occasionally she will also create something for an art gallery exhibit, all from upcycled materials.

Mara is certified in Mindful Self-Compassion teaching and teaches regular classes and workshops in MSC, Mindfulness and Meditation on Waiheke and in Auckland for both adults and teens. She also gives talks and offers workshops to teachers, and health care professionals, or one-to-one coaching in meditation, mindfulness, and compassion. She believes that presenting mindfulness, meditation, and compassion training in a secular way, may enhance their availability and reach in the world.

Mara has studied Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation and received training in MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and Non-Violent Communication (with Marshal Rosenberg), she also completed training in Activity-based Mindfulness for Children.  She regularly attends 10-day residential meditation retreats in New Zealand and abroad, committed to continuing her growth in Mindfulness and Meditation. Mara holds a Master of Arts degree in teaching and has taught a wide variety of ages.

Mara’s Website >>>


January 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
January 31, 2021 @ 2:00 pm
$160 – $580
Event Category:
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Mana Retreat Centre
608 Manaia Road, State Highway 25, RD1
Coromandel, 3581 New Zealand
+64 7 866 8972


Course Number


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tuition Fee: collected on behalf of Anna Friis and Mara Elwood (required)
$ 450.00
23 available
Shared Accommodation and Meals
$ 290.00
24 available
Single Room Accommodation and Meals
$ 350.00
5 available
Double Bed Accommodation and meals (for 2 people)
$ 580.00
24 available
Camping and meals (supplying own camping equipment)
$ 210.00
24 available
Commuter rate for guests staying off-site
$ 160.00
24 available


Payment is required in full at the time of booking, by credit or debit card, or direct bank transfer using our secure POLi payment gateway.

We draw special attention to two of our guidelines before registration: Mana provides lacto-ovo vegetarian food only, this means no fish or chicken and is an alcohol and drug free environment.


Cancellation Policy

This group requires a minimum number of participants to go ahead, if that number is not reached we reserve the right to cancel the event.

Should you, for any reason, decide to cancel your registration, please note our cancellation policy :

  • 30 days or more prior to the start of an event, a refund will be made less a $50 administrative fee, and your spot will be offered to someone else.
  • 10 – 29 days prior to the start of an event, a refund will be made less a $200 administrative fee. Event bookings less than $200 receive no refund.
  • 0-9 days prior to the start of an event, no refund will be made.
  • These policies are reassessed in certain circumstances.


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