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Time to Pause.....

Kia ora whanau,

While our "Oasis of Sanity" the Wangapeka has been resting from retreats and visitors, how have you been during this giant global pause?

So much rapid change, so much unknown, so much adjustment, so many plans evaporated! Life as one huge question. So many people have commented, thank goodness for the Dharma to help us navigate this time of great uncertainty. What is it about your practice and the teachings that has given you the most strength and support? If you'd like to share any of your recent experience with the community please send your reflections and stories to

It's great news that the Wangapeka is open and will be hosting retreats soon. It is taking bookings for solo retreats again, and we hope to be able to gather in July for our AGM and Hui weekend. In this Newsphere we have some beautiful updates and photos from the Board of Trustees and from Amber, Patrick and Lily at the Centre, as well as a retreat review of the online Energy Rides the Winds retreat by Luinda. 

May we use the energy of uncertainty to strengthen our practice, deepen our connections, celebrate our community, and keep bringing forth peace and joy for our world. 

As long as space remains
As long as sentient beings remain
May I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world

- From the Bodhisattvacaryavatara by Shantideva 

Kumanu Wangapeka 

From the Board of Trustees : Opportunities to Give

Kumanu means to foster, nurture and care for.  If you are reading this, we appreciate your care for Wangapeka.  As a Board of Trustees (BOT) we continue our care for Wangapeka and the community as best we can. We also appreciate the love and nurture offered to us all by the whenua—the land of Wangapeka.

The Kumanu BOT Process report is not our ratified minutes, it is intended to give you a sense of what we are doing in our meetings, some of the cares, concerns, considerations arising in the daily—monthly--yearly evolution and activity at the Wangapeka Centre.

We value your interest.  If you feel a wish to be involved with any of the activities of running the centre, please consider joining the BOT. We also have committees you can offer your help with.  Everyone has unique qualities to share, so please, speak directly with the BOT rep of the area you are interested in.

Who to Contact
Maintenance Committee: Tim Leyland
Fundraising & Finance: Dave Pooch
Communications & Media: Kath Mitchell
Health and Safety: Karen Harley & Shelley Taylor
Programming: Karen Harley

If you wish serve on the BOT, or have something you wish to communicate, or address to the whole BOT please contact:
Secretary: Tim Leyland:

If you wish to volunteer work service at the Wangapeka centre for any period, please contact Office Caretaker Amber:

Read here For the full newsy Kumanu - including updates from sub-committees, power pole installation, Covid19 process, and more 

AGM and Community Hui

Weekend of Jul 24 – 26 2020 

You are warmly invited to attend! 
This is a wonderful opportunity to come and spend time with the Community. The Wangapeka Trust is offering all food and accommodation for this weekend on the basis of Dana. Please come for the whole weekend, or just a day. There will be a Dana bowl for any contribution you would like to make to help run our Centre.

RSVP is essential for catering and accommodation space allocation, especially if there is still Covid 19 social distancing requirement. 
Please contact Amber to by 17th July, at the latest, with your arrival and departure dates and times and also any dietary requirements.

New members wanted for Board of Trustees

Please consider going on to the Board of Trustees. This is also Dana; offering your time to attend the monthly Trust Board meetings in person or on Zoom. Engaging with the other Trust Board members in this way is always a good and worthwhile experience. While the Board would benefit from some new faces at Trust Board meetings, it would also really like someone to take on the position of Treasurer. While Pierre Mitchell continues to do a great job looking after our financial wellbeing, he would be very happy to give advice and help anyone new easing into this role. 

At the AGM, the Coordinator, Assistant Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer and some additional members will all be elected to the Trust Board. Nominations can be sent to the secretary Tim Leyland or can be made at the AGM itself. The nominees, movers and seconders all need to be financial members.

The AGM is a great place to share your Wangapeka suggestions and concerns. It is where they can be talked about and decided on. This collective decision making gives a compass setting and go ahead energy for the coming year. Do come!

Read the full invitation here

2020 Community Hui - what will it be?

The Community Hui has become an important part of Wangapeka’s annual calendar. The Hui has always been seen as a community event rather than a Board of Trustees event. It's a wonderful opportunity to come together and explore a given theme that feels relevant to us as a community. What would that be? What's alive in the community right now? What does the Wangapeka/community/world need? What would benefit from us using this time together to explore? 

At present there is no Hui team for 2020. Would you like to be involved in some way? What do you think we should explore? Do you feel moved to be part of a team of facilitators, to help craft this experience? Anyone in the community is welcome to come forward and offer their skills, creativity and interest to this.

Please contact to express your interest

The Centre at Rest

by Lily Redgrave

I have had the blessed fortune to find myself here at the Wangapeka during lock down. Life in many ways is not so different, another aspect that I am grateful for.
My routine has been refined to one of ultimate simplicity. We rise for meditation, work during the day and sit by the fire in the evenings.  

Without the routine of retreats and the wonderful retreatants that fill the jobs on the roster board, I find myself spending more time than anything else doing dishes. What a luxury I realize it is to live in a place where all your dishes are done for you, well not for me but for us all. The centre thrived in a different tune before lock down and to experience it now as it is feels like a very treasured experience. Its very quiet and still and the welcome of Autumn is bringing a lot of beautiful change to the land, as well as an abundant of feijoas. Autumn leaves, once they fall, stay in the same spot on the ground for days at a time. No movement of people to rustle them around. 

It feels strange to be experiencing all of this without the community to share it with. But the land has gone on its own retreat and it's been wonderful to serve it during this time. 
Lily will leave Wangapeka as our resident cook, kitchen manager and willing all-round volunteer, on June 15th. She has nourished many beings on many retreats and huis. She has put enormous energy into developing systems and maintaining a certified kitchen. The BOT express great appreciation for her service. A farewell is being planned. 
The Power Pole being installed 

Raising the Pole

By Patrick Downey

Last week a new power pole was installed at the centre as part of the electricity upgrade project.  I watched the pole lifted into position by crane in a scene reminiscent of a flagpole raising ceremony that I witnessed at a sagadawa festival in Tibet ten years ago.

In that ceremony the massive pole was covered in prayer flags and was circumambulated by chanting monks, supervised by Chinese riot police, and photographed by my trekking group. The successful setting of its position was taken as an omen of good fortune for Tibet for the coming year.
Our power pole raising was accompanied by the sound of diesel engines of the crane and digger, directed by linesmen in hi-viz, and photographed duly by the caretakers. Its positioning was a success and is surely a good omen for the coming year for the Wangapeka.  

Postscript - although the power pole is in place there are still visits from the electrician and surveyors that need to happen before everything is finished and online

Retreat in a Pandemic

by Luinda Bleakley

I was away from home (Canada) and travelling, when Covid19 started developing into a global news story. I was intending to attend Bonni’s month long retreat at Wangapeka in April. Suddenly the pace of change picked up.
The emotional score went something like this: 
Anticipation (looking forward to retreat), 
Urgency (get to NZ before borders close), 
Forbearance (self isolate in NZ), 
Fear (danger is coming), 
Urgency (I can’t stay, need to get home), 
Anxiety + Paralysis (arrive home, isolate, and cocoon), 
Preparation (for retreat), 
Settling (into retreat), 

There’s a lot of tension in the narrative, but the ending is that the (recrafted online) retreat helped me to calm and stabilize. Being on retreat is the perfect thing to do in the midst of a pandemic.

Wangapeka Complaints Process

Further to the last Newsphere, a flowchart has been designed as a quick reference guide to the Wangapeka Trust complaints process. The longer document gives detail and explores a Dharma view on how we can meet with difficult situations when they arise.
You can find the flowchart on the website along with the Complaints Process Document at these links. [Document link] [Flowchart Link]
There's so mushroom at Wangapeka during lockdown ;)

2020 Programme

The Wisdom of Angelic Archetypes

A Meditation Retreat

with Mira Riddiford, 5 – 12 June 2020
This universalist meditation retreat on Angels is based on a series of symbolic, ancient mystery teachings, helping people live better, more purposeful lives. Read more.

Simple Goodness—Loving Kindness

with Kath Mitchell, 19 – 21 June 2020
We all have the same innate, boundless loving capacity. Kindness is a beautiful gift we can cultivate to nurture and give to ourselves and others. Read more.

The Heart Sutra

with Matthew Eades, 26 – 28 June 2020
The Heart Sutra is one of the most profound and influential teachings of the Mahayana Path. In its many variations it lays out the essence of the path to full awakening. So profound is the environment that is envisaged that it is often referred to as “ the Mother of the Buddhas”. Read more.

A Taste of Nyungne

A Ritual Fasting 1,000 Armed Chenreizig Retreat

with Bonni Ross, 3 – 5 July 2020
An adaptation of a traditional Mahayana retreat practice. Read more.

Life as It Is (2020)

A Family Friendly Retreat

with Louise, Karen, and Glen, 17 – 19 July 2020

A community practice weekend for everyone. All ages, family and community welcome.

Come and join us for a warm community weekend of mindful practice and exploration where we will explore together how we grow a sense of support, connectedness, curiosity and kindness no matter what is happening in our lives- at work, at school or at home. Read more.

Chenrezig Meditation Retreat

with Mark Schrader, 31 July – 4 August 2020
This is an experiential meditation course that focuses on developing compassion for both oneself and for others. Both beginners and those wishing to deepen their practice are welcome to attend. Read more.

Every Precious Moment – Mindfulness of Death, Impermanence & Uncertainty

with Della, Di, and Chani, 14 – 16 August 2020
Death isn’t just something that happens on one particular day. Death and dying are intimately related to life and living. In this weekend workshop, we will work together to explore what it truly means to make friends with life’s only certainty. Read more.

Explorations and Mindfulness on the Nature of Wangapeka

with John Massey, 21 – 23 August 2020

The ‘Book’ of nature is the greatest book. Antonio Gaudi said ” nature is a book, read it”!

An opportunity to focus on the foundational practises of Compassion, Wisdom and Non-clinging Awareness through this eternal relationship between ourselves and the natural world we inhabit. Read more.

Don't Just Do Something.
Sit there! (2020)

with Duncan, Jane, and Mark, 28 – 30 August 2020

Want to learn to meditate? Perhaps you have tried and need some more skills and extra encouragement? Or possibly, you already meditate and wish to develop your practice and drop into a full weekend of meditation. If so, then this weekend retreat will support you in exploring this.. Read more.

Coming Down to Earth

At Home in the Body, At Home in the World

with Chani Grieve, 15 – 21 October 2020
Our journey to freedom starts with the body. It offers a down-to-earth and
immediate way to connect with ourselves and align with what is real. Our
bodies show us exactly where we are, and also the next step we need to take along our path. In this retreat we will explore through movement,
meditation, and creative enquiry, the intimate relationship between healing
ourselves and restoring our world. Read more.

Advanced Shamanic Training & Vision Quest

with Dr. John Broomfield, 28 December 2020 – 4 January 2021
This is a rare opportunity for intensive practice with a senior shamanic teacher. Exploration of shamanic cultures from around the world will lay the groundwork for our own practice of advanced techniques. Read more.

Garden of Mindfulness Family Retreat

Alice in Wonderland Edition

28 December 2020 – 4 January 2021
This year’s Garden of Mindfulness is based on the themes in “Alice in Wonderland”, including by special request a focus on the Fool archetype via The Mad Hatter. Read more.

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