Presenter: Stephanie Dowrick
Course #: 1508

  • October 3, 2019 - October 9, 2019
    Check In Time: 4:00 pm
    Check Out Time: 2:00 pm

The annual Spring Retreat, led by Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick and supported by Rev Hilary Star, is a rare chance to experience your life from its most honouring and sacred perspective. This is a retreat which offers us a meaningful opportunity to come together as a single human family, without labels that divide us in any way. We will enter the sacred through focused, inspirational teachings, as well as personal enquiry, reflective silence, and community with others sharing our retreat experience. We are also blessed by coming together in the most extraordinarily beautiful surroundings. This year’s theme honours the unfolding power of inspiration in our lives – and the need we have for that continuing resource in order to live more peacefully and effectively.

Stephanie Dowrick offers clear, wise teachings within a genuinely inclusive spiritual context, drawing on wisdom traditions and contemporary psychological and social insights. Enthusiastic responses to the wide-ranging support she offers appear below. Stephanie has been teaching at Mana for nearly 20 years, and leading retreats for a decade longer. Also a social justice activist, her focus is always on how we can weave our retreat insights into everyday life to greatest benefit for ourselves and for all those whose lives we touch.

A spiritual retreat offers profound “wellbeing”. Participants are invited to welcome extended periods of silence and a constant practice of mutual consideration. Each day includes silent and guided meditation, thoughtful, accessible teachings, time for walks, reflection and guided reflective discussion periods. The beauty of Mana and the kindness offered there support the deep peace of retreat. As usual at our Spring Retreats, Stephanie will be accompanied by Reverend Hilary Star who brings to these retreats a shining example of loving-kindness and acceptance.

Why a retreat? We have no better answer than these words from poet John O’Donohue: “In some unnoticed way we have managed to inflict severe surgery on ourselves. We have separated soul from experience, become utterly taken up with the outside world and allowed the interior life to shrink. Like a stream that disappears underground, there remains on the surface only the slightest trickle. When we devote no time to the inner life, we lose the habit of soul. We become accustomed to keeping things at surface level. The deeper questions about who we are and what we are here for visit us less and less. If we allow time for soul, we will come to sense its dark and luminous depth. If we fail to acquaint ourselves with soul, we will remain strangers in our own lives.”

Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick is Australia’s leading writer on spiritual life and psychologically wise conduct. She has been teaching from an inclusive universal perspective for more than 25 years. She has written many deeply thoughtful internationally-published books, including Seeking the Sacred, Heaven on Earth, The Universal Heart, Choosing Happiness, Creative Journal Writing, and Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, plus an inspirational study of the leading spiritual poet, Rainer Maria Rilke: In the Company of Rilke. Also a trained psychotherapist as well as being an interfaith minister, a public speaker, and an opinion writer on ethical issues, she has been leading a large inner-city interfaith community in Sydney, since 2006, and has been leading retreats at Mana since 2000. “Every retreat is different,” she says, “but what is absolutely predictable from year to year is how changed and enriched people feel by the time they leave. They are not only rested, they shine. Each person takes away something unique for them. What they share, is how abundantly resourced they feel.” You can find many of Stephanie’s shorter talks via the InterfaithinSydney You Tube channel. You can follow Stephanie on her public Facebook page facebook or her website.

Rev Hilary Star has been supporting these Mana Retreats with Stephanie for many years – and will be present again in 2019. Hilary co-leads the Auckland Spiritual Community and is widely known also for her gifted teaching of social leadership throughout the Pacific, as well as her leadership mentoring and skilled spiritual direction. Hilary lives in Auckland and is also a mother and grandmother.

“I know what a different person I would have been without Stephanie’s wonderful teachings at Mana. It’s because of her encouragement and wise words that I am able to live my life with courage and conviction” – Jude F

“What a fantastic retreat Stephanie gave at Mana. It was peaceful, reflective, thought provoking and wise (with lots and lots of compassion). I came home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.”    Alex G.

“It was such a wonderful retreat, and the impact has been profound.  I am so utterly grateful in such a deep way for all that Stephanie gives to us all. Whilst it is not measurable, it is absolutely beyond measure.”  Katrina M.

“It’s always such a privilege to learn from Stephanie Dowrick’s teachings – and even more so since we have, as a couple, attended Mana retreats together.  The Retreats become such a treat! So much more meaningful to learn together how to live a good life.  So much gratitude to Stephanie for her wisdom and brilliance”.  With loving kindness, Ruth and Robert

“Attending retreats at Mana with Stephanie Dowrick and the wonderful team who support her there has benefited me immensely. I believe it to be one of the most precious gifts I have given myself and the difference it has made to how I live my life means it has also been one of the most precious gifts I have given my loved ones.” Michelle M.

The fully inclusive cost for very comfortable accommodation, all meals, all teaching plus daily spiritual activities and practices, from 3 October (arrival by 4pm please, dinner will be served at 6pm) to 9 October (after lunch). If you are able to contribute to our scholarship fund, we would be deeply grateful for that. For more information, please email the Mana team directly:

If you have not yet attended a spiritual retreat, please know that we have a strict rule of no drugs or alcohol. We would also remind you that this is a spiritual retreat, not a psychological workshop. We expect participants to welcome periods of silence and to be well enough to support others with quiet listening and consideration at all times. For details of body treatment possibilities outside teaching or community times, please contact Mana directly.

CANCELLATION POLICY: 60 days or more prior to the start of an event, a refund will be made less a $50 administrative fee. 59-30 days prior to the start of an event, a refund will be made less a $250 fee. 9-30 days prior to the start of an event, a refund will be made less a $400 fee. 0-9 days prior to the start of an event, no refund will be made.

Shuttle Service

Thames Taxi Ltd – offers a shuttle service from Auckland Airport to Mana Retreat Centre. The price varies according to the number of passengers.

$250pp for 1 passenger/$125pp for 2 passengers/$90pp 3-4 passengers/ $80pp 5 or more passengers  

Email —; Telephone — 07 868 3100

Email or phone Thames Taxi directly to schedule your shuttle. 


This Retreat is now fully booked, to register for our Waiting List please contact us at 


Venue Phone: +64 7 866 8972

Venue Website:

608 State Highway 25, R.D. 1, Manaia, Coromandel, Waikato, 3581, New Zealand


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