Stephanie Dowrick at Mana Retreat Centre 2017



Deep apologies that due to health challenges, Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick will not be offering the January Workshop, nor leading the Easter 2017 Retreat. We certainly hope that she will be well enough to offer the Spring Retreat later in the year: 5-11 October.

All at Mana wish her well.

“Our search for the sacred connects us effortlessly to all living beings. It lets us discover what is most treasured and transformative in human experience. It lets us see existence itself as entirely precious. What we regard as precious, we will naturally protect.”  Stephanie Dowrick, Seeking the Sacred

Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick has been working closely with the Mana Retreat Centre community for more than 16 years, establishing a tradition of deep support for many who seek that within a genuinely inclusive spiritual context, and at one of the most sublimely beautiful places on earth.

In 2017, Stephanie will lead the following Mana Retreats, plus the delightfully supportive “Retreat in Day” on 22 January 2017, in central Auckland, to start your year!

Please note that if you are arriving from Australia or elsewhere for one of the two residential retreats, you can reach Mana by shuttle from Auckland airport, by bus to Thames, or by ferry (approx 3 hours). YOUR STAY link offers all details. There are also details below.


Inspiration and Motivation: A Retreat in a Day, Auckland, 22 January 2017

This is a highly practical one-day workshop where Dr Stephanie Dowrick will guide us to reflect on what we will bring to this brand new year, and what we most want to discover and express. What can re-inspire you, motivate you, slow you down or speed you up to a greater sense of engagement and aliveness? The location will be easy to access in central Auckland. Lunch, morning tea included in the cost of NZ$120, as is all tuition plus notes. These January workshops are intended for personal insight and support. They are also suitable for professional development for all working in professions that support or care for others. Please book early with Mana Retreat Centre. 9.30-4.30 pm.

“All the happiness the world knows comes from treating one another with kindness, interest and respect.”

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Retreat at Easter. Beauty of the Heart: Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life 13-17 April 2017

The Retreat at Easter is a beloved tradition at Mana, a time of deep peace and lasting renewal. Please note that this is a spiritual gathering, offering a rare chance to retreat from your everyday concerns into a quiet inwardness, however busy or demanding your outer life may be. We absolutely welcome people of all ages and walks of life, but please be sure that you are comfortable with our emphasis on the sacred. We experience this through periods of silence, daily meditation and prayer, in addition to the teachings that will be offered each morning by Dr Stephanie Dowrick. There are also times of personal reflection, questions and thoughtful sharing, precious to many. The Retreat includes a service of celebration on Easter Sunday.

Mana is renowned for its welcome, for the kindness and hospitality of all who live or work there, and for the thoughtful, appreciative conduct of all who come in search of greater meaning and peace in their lives. The fully inclusive cost for very comfortable accommodation, all meals, all teaching plus daily spiritual activities and practices, from Thursday 13 April (arrival 4-6pm please) to Monday 17 April (after lunch) is NZ$875. If you are able to contribute to our scholarship fund, we would be deeply grateful for what that gives others. If you are in genuine need of part-fee help, please email the Mana team at


IMG_1163In the photograph above, Stephanie is with Reverend Hilary Star who offers quiet, wise support to Stephanie and to all attending at each retreat.

Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick teaches from a deeply knowledgeable, inclusive spiritual perspective, always allowing each person to find his or her way to bring the teachings to life through everyday living. For booking details, please go to the Mana website, or telephone +64 7 866 8972. We have limited places so if you feel this is the retreat for you, it is essential to book early. Booking, arrival and cancellation details below. YOUR STAY details here.

“Stephanie’s teachings at Mana always bring a freshness of perspective to me. Stephanie has a gift – she speaks to the universal wisdom we hunger to remember in a way that meets the listening of our times. I leave Mana each time with a deep sense of peace and joy to take back into my everyday life.”  Deborah Sim


Spring Retreat. Contemplation and Action. 5-11 October 2017

“What we gather in contemplation we give out in loving action.” Meister Eckhart

The annual Spring Retreat, like our Retreat at Easter, is genuinely spiritually inclusive, offering a warm welcome to all seekers. A spiritual retreat is itself a rare and wonderful blessing to gain the depth of inner refreshment, focus and calm that a spiritual retreat brings. Combining inspired yet grounded spiritual teachings with meditation, ample time for shared reflection, and increasing silence and stillness over the six days, participants invariably experience these retreats as a true oasis in their lives. There is a quite special union here of the inspirational with the practical, allowing you to go home deeply replenished. Stephanie’s retreat teachings are highly accessible, offered from an interfaith perspective drawing on the world’s wisdom traditions, with an explicit emphasis on bringing the best of ourselves to the world in which we live, and to the people we live among.

We absolutely welcome people of all ages and walks of life, but please be sure that you are comfortable with our emphasis on the sacred. In the later days of the retreat, there will be a greater emphasis still on meditation and guided reflective periods that support you to access and rejoice in the spiritual wisdom of your own life and heart. There will also be time throughout for questions and carefully guided discussions. We do ask that you are comfortable with significant periods of silence.

The fully inclusive cost for very comfortable accommodation, all meals, all teaching plus daily spiritual activities and practices, from 5 October (arrival by 4pm please) to 11 October (after lunch) is NZ$1,195. If you are able to contribute to our scholarship fund, we would be deeply grateful for that. If you are in genuine need of part-fee help, please email the Mana team directly:  Registration, arrival, hospitality and cancellation details below. YOUR STAY details here. Please book early. In 2016 we have a list of very disappointed people we simply could not make room for. This is a tremendous compliment to the retreats, but of course disappointing for those who have missed out.

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About your retreat leader
Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick is Australia’s leading writer on spiritual life and has been teaching from an inclusive universal perspective for more than 25 years. She has written more than 14 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 outstanding study of the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke: In the Company of Rilke. Also a trained psychotherapist as well as being an interfaith minister, she has been leading a large inner-city interfaith congregation at Pitt Street Uniting Church, Sydney, since 2006, and has been leading retreats at Mana for 17 years. “Every retreat is different,” she says, “but the differences are in content and who’s present. 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.”  You can find many of Stephanie’s shorter talks from her services in Sydney via the InterfaithinSydney You Tube channel.

“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.

12063457_839924632795584_6443747476983438521_nMore comments from participants in recent retreats:

“Stephanie Dowrick’s gentle, loving and guiding presence is truly healing and her teaching is inspired and inspiring. I can’t imagine now not gifting these very special few days to myself each year…”  Michelle Cherry
“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
“Every year I commit to being on retreat with Stephanie. For me it’s a time of remembering, of being nourished and inspired. Being there grows my loving connection to myself and others “ Judith A.
“Once again, superb teachings from the heart right to my heart, inspirational and nourishing.”  Helen
“The teaching was all I could have hoped for and more.”  Ailsa
“Men as well as women can gain so much from these retreats. They are inspired and insightful about the kinds of challenges we face whatever our age or gender.”
“Stephanie gives her heart and soul to the teachings and we are absolute beneficiaries.”
“If you come to Mana with an open mind and heart, you will leave with them overflowing. A wonderful experience on so many levels.”
“Stephanie is most extraordinary. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Registration Early registration is highly recommended. We have restricted accommodation and Stephanie Dowrick’s retreats at Mana are in high demand. RETREATS AND COURSES will take you to on-line registration. Phone enquiries via:+64 7 866 8972  email enquiries via 

About Mana Retreats All Mana food is vegetarian, much of it grown in the Mana grounds. It is prepared with love and skill. Mana is strictly a no-alcohol and no-drugs property. During the time of the retreat we expect all participants to attend all the morning teaching sessions, to observe the periods of silence diligently, to act with unconditional respect towards one another, and to stay within the Mana grounds at all times. A Retreat is NOT a psychological workshop. Please discuss with Mana staff if you are in any doubt about what a spiritual retreat offers. Accommodation is very comfortable but will be shared, unless you have special circumstances that necessitate a single room. Healing treatments are available (other than at teaching or meditation times) at an additional cost. Nourishing vegetarian food, and unfailing kindness in every aspect of retreat life, are hallmarks of the Mana experience. YOUR STAY details.

Arrival You can get to Mana by car, bus, ferry or shuttle from Auckland Airport. Arrival details. Please arrive between 4-6pm on the first day of the retreat to allow ample time for pre-dinner registration. Retreats end after lunch.You may request extra days at either side of the retreat for personal rest, however availability will depend on space available.
Costs All costs above are in NZ dollars. Register via this REGISTRATION LINK. You can also contact Mana direct by telephone: +64 7 866 8972. Pay by direct credit to bank account 02-0304-0312089-000 or by Visa or Mastercard. Bank transfers from outside NZ: Bank of New Zealand (BNZ, Coromandel Branch, 5 Wharf Road, Coromandel, New Zealand.  BNZ swift address: BKNZNZ22).

Cancellation policy: A deposit of $300 is required to secure your registration. 60 days or more prior to the retreat the deposit may be fully transferred to another Stephanie Dowrick retreat within 12 months or refunded less a $150 admin fee. Cancellation within 60 days forfeits the deposit. If this seems draconian, please bear in mind our very limited number of accommodation places. We hope to minimize the chance of excluding others because of any late change of mind.